Top 10 Self Improvement Books [Updated 2021]
To live is to improve ourselves. And to improve is to become better at everything we do – from daily chores to doing meaningful work, from getting up in the morning to retiring well, and from reading more books to becoming better versions of ourselves. Below is the list of books on self-improvement to read in 2021 –
- Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy ( Get this book )
- Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers ( Get this book )
- The 48 Laws of Power ( Get this book )
- The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage ( Get this book )
- The Obstacle is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trails into Triumph ( Get this book )
- The Compound Effect ( Get this book )
- The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure ( Get this book )
- What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How successful people become even more successful ( Get this book )
- Mastery ( Get this book )
- Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny! ( Get this book )
Let us discuss each of the self-improvement books in detail along with its key takeaways and reviews.
#1 – Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy
by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
This book comes from two New York Times Bestselling Authors and is one of few masterpieces you shouldn’t miss out on.
Death isn’t an easy thing to receive when you see that one of your dearest ones is crashing on the gym floor. Author and Facebook COO Sheryl’s husband Dave died suddenly, which made her feel that she would never find pure joy again. She shared her grief with a friend and Wharton Professor Adam Grant, who told Sheryl that it’s possible to find joy irrespective of this painful experience.
And as a result, this book was born. Life is not certain, and we don’t know what is waiting for us in the next corner. Option B teaches us to be resilient, to be ready, and to find joy within those darkest hours where there is no room for light. From readers all over the world read and mentioned their deep-felt appreciation for this book. This book is not for grief only or doesn’t only include Sheryl’s story; but also ways you can embrace uncertainty and fascinating research through which it can be possible.
- We recommend that you read this book in one sitting to get the actual benefit from it. From real-life experience to research, you will find ways to cope with uncertainty, from a job loss to a sudden disease, from being anxious about life to be ready, and so on.
- This self improvement book will teach you to walk toward Option B when Option A is not available. Often times, we don’t have the courage to let go of Option A to embrace the next best. This book will teach you how.
#2 – Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers
by Timothy Ferris
This book is the culmination of distilled strategies, ideas, and insights taken from Tim’s interviews with giants.
The book is a powerful collection of tips, tricks, and insights of people who have achieved tremendous success. Tim has mentioned that he didn’t only publish these tactics; he also tested them, all of them in his own life, to see whether they work or not. And according to him, these strategies work.
From readers all over the world, there are two kinds of opinion. One type of reader mentioned that this book is very useful to them, a lot to learn from this book. Another kind of readers didn’t like the arrangement of the book. Before you ever purchase the book, you can go to iTunes and check out Tim’s podcasts, and if you feel convinced, you can go and buy this book.
- This edition is very comprehensive, and you will find everything (health, career advice, mindfulness, cooking, and so on) in these 707 pages book.
- This self improvement book can be used as a reference to improve many areas of your life. You can go to a section called “health” and can apply one of the strategies in your life to see whether it works or not. And then, you can pick up the next strategy and try applying.
#3 – The 48 Laws of Power
by Robert Greene
This book would seem contradictory to what you believe to be fair in this world, but read this book cover to cover to know its magnificence.
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This book is a guide that you should keep with you always. Even if you’re fair in your dealings, ethical in your business, and good with people, the world doesn’t work that way. Power-hungry people work and think in a much different way than you can ever know.
From all over the world, readers have mentioned that there are two things you will learn from this book – first, how not to get exploited by people in this power-hungry world; second, how to use power to dictate your magnificence. The book is very controversial but, at the same time, enlightening to people who want to work their way up to power. It also has a concise version. But you will get the maximum benefit by reading the actual one.
- All the laws of power are incredible. And the author not only tells you the principles; he also shares many examples from history to illustrate his points.
- This self improvement book should be given more time (and no, it’s not a book to just slide your eyes through). Read it, highlight it, apply it, and you will know why the laws of power work.
- The book has been produced after a lot of research, and you will know once you grab the book in your hand.
#4 – The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage
by Mel Robbins
Go read it right away, 5 4 3 2 1.
The author Mel Robbins is a powerful speaker, and she gave a TED talk a while ago where she mentioned a rule she uses to get anything done and cure any bad habit. She called it “5-second rule”. And that concept has now become a book. In this book, Mel will show you how to create powerful habits that last, how to break the habit of anxiety, how to get things done, how to procrastinate less, and how to become the person you always wanted to be. The opinions of readers are mixed for this book.
Few readers mentioned that the entire concept of the book could be written in a single blog post. That’s not valid because the book has not only explained to use 5-second rule; it has also presented many research, ideas, insights, and personal stories that couldn’t fit into a blog article. Most of the readers like this book and started using the magic formula with ease.
- This self improvement book is not based on theoretical musings. This book is practical. Once you read it, you will know that Mel has used the tactics of the books to change her life. And it has done the same for many others.
- You will be able to become much more confident, embrace uncertainty, share ideas on stage with courage and passion, stop that negative, vicious cycle of anxiousness, and break the habit of procrastination and a laid back attitude.
#5 – The Obstacle is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trails into Triumph
by Ryan Holiday
See any obstacle on your path? The obstacle is the way.
Often in our lives, we are our greatest obstacle; this book will teach you how to get over yourself and find a way to triumph. If you’re new to stoicism, you would know how this 2000-year-old philosophy can revolutionize your life. Amid all positive-thinking-revolution, this book is the piercing light, making sense of how much we don’t control and how we can embrace the obstacles along the way. In the author’s own words – “Whatever we face, we have a choice: Will we be blocked by obstacles, or will we advance through and over them?” The whole book is written on the basis of the above theme. Many readers have mentioned that this self improvement book has changed their ways of looking at life.
- If you don’t know who Marcus Aurelius or stoicism is, this best self-improvement book will act as a great introductory course on stoicism. Moreover, it’s very relevant in terms of present life scenarios and provides action steps and insights to find out the hidden paths within your obstacles.
- You will learn why stoicism can help you advance through pains and become more than your intellect, intelligence, and talent.
#6 – The Compound Effect
by Darren Hardy
If you want to kick-start the life of your dreams, then read this book.
This self improvement book is a masterpiece. Within short 173 pages, you will get everything you need to improve your life. Do you want to improve any area of your life? Track that area on a daily basis. You want to reach from A to B? Set powerful goals and take massive action. Darren Hardy, as a founding editor of Success Magazine, gets to sit with the giants, pundits, best creators, and best businessmen/women of the world. And from these suggestions, insights, ideas, and tips, he has taken the best ideas and used it for himself to revolutionize his life. Now it’s your turn to do the same through this book. Most of the readers told me that this book had given them a blueprint for life improvement.
- This book is based on the theme of how little daily decisions can make your life better. And it doesn’t only talk about a single area; it’s about every area of your life – from money, health to career, relationship.
- This book is filled with beautiful stories from Darren’s personal life and also from the lives of moguls he interviewed.
#7 – The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure
by Grant Cardone
There is only one theme of this book – how massive action is required to achieve anything worthwhile in your life. No matter where you are or what you do, if you take 10X action, then anything is possible for you. The author mentioned that anything he approaches in his life; he does with 10X action. If the norm is to make 10 calls a day, he will make 100.
And as a result, he could make a ruckus of his life and created multi-million dollar businesses. You can read this book if you want to hear the reasons why extreme effort is necessary. The only pitfall of this book is it may be more suited for sales professionals than entrepreneurs because a bad idea can’t improve by taking massive action.
- There are few things you will learn from this best self-improvement book, e.g., becoming omnipresent in the market; you don’t need to become competitive, rather dominate your market; set goals 10X higher than you need, and so on and so forth.
- It includes a lot of personal stories that will educate, entertain, and teach you how to create success from scratch.
#8 – What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How successful people become even more successful
by Marshall Goldsmith
If you want to know why your growth is stopped, this book is for you.
This self-improvement book won’t preach that “hard work is what you need to do.” No, this book is for those who are already successful, know the value of arduous effort and have already hit the plateau. The author has trained thousands of people over the years and sat with many one-to-one, and he found that becoming more successful needs a different version of an already successful person. That’s why he wrote this book to help you climb up the ladder, find out your blind spots and change multiple bad habits to create a “new you” to achieve excellence in your life and in your career. This book is based on coaching models and many stories of clients and people who have been coached by the author. And that’s why readers can relate to the book at a deep level. If you’re struggling with being more successful, this should be your top go-to resource.
- This top self-improvement book will help you become aware of your blind spots and will tell you how to get over them slowly and eventually.
- This book is not for everybody; thus, its audience is limited. You should only read this book if you believe that you have achieved a level of success already and have hit a plateau.
- The “stop list” is an excellent culmination of some bad habits which will make you aware and nudge you to improve over them.
#9 – Mastery
by Robert Greene
This best self-improvement book is a masterpiece just like any other book written by Robert Greene.
This book is un-miss-able and un-put-down-able. If you read one book on finding one’s calling and applying practical steps to live your purpose, this is the book you must read. You will not only learn a lot about finding a mentor, finding your niche, becoming an apprentice, improving social skills, practising your craft, and lot more. Robert Greene is very well-read, and he has the ability to synthesize knowledge in such a way that readers find it fascinating to read any book he writes. Of course, this book is a how-to guide; along with that, this is a biographical book as well. You would be able to peep through the masters’ early lives and would be able to discover what made them great.
- There isn’t one takeaway from this best self-improvement book. The book is filled with biographical accounts, insights, and ideas that you can apply immediately. For example, how John Keats decided to practice his craft, how Benjamin Franklin started his apprenticeship, how Faradey found his mentor, and so on and so forth.
- This book is very lucidly written, and it is divided into sections that help you apply concepts with ease.
- One of the best takeaways is the author, Robert Greene. You must read this book and all of his books.
#10 – Awaken the Giant Within How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!
By Tony Robbins
This book is old but is also full of wise insights and breakthrough ideas.
If this top self-improvement book can be expressed in one word, it would be “self-fulfilment.” Imagine a book is of 544 pages! Imagine how comprehensive the book can be. All the years of experience, insights, failures, lessons Tony put into this book for you, the reader. If you have ever attended Tony’s seminar, you would know how powerful Tony’s coaching style is. And by purchasing this book, you can experience the same method of coaching. Tony will coach you one on one through this book. No matter whatever area in your life you’re struggling with, you will find one or more ways in this book to make that area better. If you have not read this book by thinking that this is one of the self-help books, then it’s time that you change your mind. Once you pick up this book and start to read, you will realize that you should have read this book earlier.
- This is not a book; rather, a program to change any area of your life. As Tony says, your life will change just by making a decision. Why not decide to read this book now?
- This book isn’t focused on one aspect of life. It includes all areas of your life – financial, emotional, personal, well-being. If you read one book this year, make it that book.
- You will learn how you can rewire your beliefs, how you can take charge of your life, and how you can transform yourself from “being stuck” to “climb around the world.” If you have the guts to follow your dream, this book could be the first step toward it.
This has been a guide to Self Improvement Books to read in 2021. Here we discuss what the book proposes, its review and key takeaways. You may also read the following books –
- 10 Best Decision-Making Books
- Top 10 Motivational Books of All Time
- Best Seth Godin Books
- Time Management Books
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