Dictionary definition for Motivation

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Do you need a boost? It’s normal for the daily grind to get a little stale. Sometimes, we get lost in our routine and drag through it like robots. Lack of motivation can also make it hard to achieve new goals you set for yourself. Whether you want to start hitting the gym or work on a project around the house, motivation is key for starting your engines. That’s why we’ve decided to find out what the best motivation books are.

Did you know scientists discovered that our level of motivation depends on how fatigue gets processed by the brain? Having energy throughout the day and feeling a real zest for life can come down to how motivated we are. But sometimes, it can take the words of wise authors to push us to the next level. We’ve curated a list of the eight best self-help books for motivation, according to the consensus of 10 experts. Our list is based on the titles that appeared most frequently across top reviews. If you’ve got your own suggestions, by all means, leave them in the comments at the bottom of the post!

The List: Best Motivation Books, According to Experts

1. “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey

Many consider Covey’s classic book to be the quintessential self-help book. Not only will you be inspired by reading it, but you’ll also have a clearer sense of how to organize your mind and life to thrive while others lag behind. The best part? It’s interesting and fun to read.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: 30th Anniversary Edition (The Covey Habits Series)
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: 30th Anniversary Edition (The Covey Habits Series)

Forget dry self-help tomes promising a one-size-fits-all path to success. Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” throws that notion out the window. This book, as Verywell Mind points out, is a goldmine of practical advice, using real-life stories to illustrate seven key principles you can incorporate into your daily routine.

No matter your goals, “The 7 Habits” offers a roadmap to personal and professional achievement, making it no wonder ChoosingTherapy hails it as a timeless classic in the self-help world, even three decades after its release. Packed with relatable anecdotes and actionable tips, this book might just be the secret weapon you’ve been searching for.

2. “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book)
The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book)

Keep your word. Don’t take things personally. Don’t make assumptions. Always do your best. Can you practice those four things all the time? Ruiz’s book on motivation, “The Four Agreements,” argues that those who can will live a better life.

Ever feel like you’re on autopilot, just going through the motions? This book might be the wake-up call you need. As EverdayPower points out, the book hinges on a simple idea: consistent effort towards these four principles can unlock true personal freedom.

But “The Four Agreements” goes beyond just motivation, according to Lifehack.org. It’s a call for introspection, a nudge to dig deep and see what potential you’ve been holding back. This self-exploration journey could lead to surprising discoveries about the strength and resilience you already possess. So ditch the self-pity parties and grab a copy – “The Four Agreements” might just be the key to unlocking your inner powerhouse.

3. “You Are a Badass” by Jen Sincero

You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero
You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

Many of the books on motivation that made this list have been around for a while. In some cases, nearly a hundred years. Not Sincero’s book—it was written in 2013, but has become a staple of the self-help and motivation community. Some say it’s even a good bridge for those who haven’t been able to find motivation from reading books in the past.

Struggling to design your dream life? Ditch the dusty self-help manuals and pick up Jen Sincero’s “You Are a Badass” instead, says Lifehack.org. This isn’t your typical motivational fare. ChoosingTherapy describes it more as an “entertaining, inspirational guide” that cleverly disguises personal development as pure fun. Sincero’s secret weapon? A healthy dose of humor and real talk, all delivered with a dash of profanity (because, let’s face it, sometimes that’s exactly what we need).

4. “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill

Think and Grow Rich: The Landmark Bestseller Now Revised and Updated for the 21st Century
Think and Grow Rich: The Landmark Bestseller Now Revised and Updated for the 21st Century

Calling all aspiring moguls! If you think getting rich is about fancy suits and champagne wishes, think again. Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich,” a bestseller since 1937 according to PureWow, dives deep into the minds of legendary millionaires like Andrew Carnegie and Henry Ford.

Those are some big names, yes. But you may need to do a quick Google refresher to remember exactly what Carnegie and Ford accomplished in their lives. Does that make Napoleon Hill’s book any less motivating? Definitely not. 

Hill cracks the code on their success secrets, showing you exactly what it takes to build your own financial empire. But forget about some dry, theoretical treatise. WallStreetMojo warns that this book is anything but. It’s a motivational powerhouse that’s transformed millions of lives. So ditch the skepticism, grab a copy, and get ready to unlock your inner financial genius. “Think and Grow Rich” might just be the missing link to your own seven-figure fairy tale.

5. “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie

One easy way to stay motivated is to surround yourself with like-minded folks who also want the best for you. Maybe that’s been a struggle in the past. Reading this book can change that.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Feeling stuck in a world of cold handshakes and awkward networking events? Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” might be the game-changer you need. Before Carnegie’s groundbreaking book, according to Inc.com, the line between business and personal relationships was clear-cut (and pretty darn dull). But Carnegie flipped the script, showing how genuine connection is the secret weapon of successful professionals.

Instead of robotic glad-handing, Carnegie’s principles teach you to build real rapport, the kind that fosters trust and paves the way for mutually beneficial partnerships. So do away with forced conversations and put Carnegie’s wisdom to work. You might be surprised at how much more enjoyable – and productive – your professional life can be.

6. “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” by Angela Duckworth

Generating motivation to work for a day or two isn’t what most of us are after. We want to find the motivation to live fulfilling, compelling lives every day, which takes a lot of hard work—or as Angela Duckworth argues in this seminal book, a lot of grit.

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

Imagine Angela Duckworth as your own personal success guru. In her book “Grit,” PureWow tells us she pulls back the curtain on what it really takes to win. Forget about overnight sensations and lucky breaks. Duckworth dives deep, unearthing fascinating historical anecdotes and the latest science on how to perform at your peak.

But “Grit” isn’t just about theory. She also chats with high-flyers like Jamie Dimon and Pete Carroll, gleaning their hard-won wisdom on the road to achievement. You’ll have a whole new take on motivation and what it means to get (and stay) motivated by the end of this book.

7. “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carol Dweck

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

When Carol Dweck released this book, the field of performance psychology changed virtually overnight. Schools, businesses, and sports teams began talking about what it takes to develop a “growth mindset” in their organizations. You, too, can use the science of mindset to get more motivated.

Stuck in a rut? Feeling like you’re going nowhere fast? Buckle up, because this book is about to blow your mind. According to Teambuilding.com, it all boils down to believing in your ability to grow. That’s the core message of the growth mindset, and it’s the key to staying motivated and reaching your full potential. No more “I can’t” attitude, embrace the “I can learn” mentality.

8. “Awaken the Giant Within” by Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins is a big personality in the self-help world. If you’ve ever listened to one of his tapes or seen clips of his seminars, you know he’s got a message (and voice) that’ll kick your butt into gear. “Awaken the Giant Within” is one of the masterpiece books he wrote in the 1990s. It’s sold millions of copies around the world and to this day helps people find motivation to live a better life.

Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins
Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins

With this read, you can expect tips and strategies to harness your emotions, body, relationships, finances, and life (EverydayPower). It is an all-encompassing look into what needs to be changed in order to achieve your goals.


Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and received no compensation for making these recommendations.

About Ben Kissam

Ben Kissam is a writer, standup comedian, media strategist, and author. He’s written two books and has been published in The Boston Globe.

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