Motivational Books

Updated on April 11, 2024
Article bySayantan Mukhopadhyay
Edited bySayantan Mukhopadhyay
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM
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Top 14 Motivational Books to Read [Best Sellers]

We have a selection of top motivational books that can revolutionize your life. You can read, learn, apply, and teach the material in these books to anybody who needs help. Below is the list of such best-selling books on motivation:

  1. Think and Grow Rich ( Get this book )
  2. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People  ( Get this book )
  3. Man’s Search for Meaning  ( Get this book )
  4. The Alchemist  ( Get this book )
  5. The Power of Positive Thinking ( Get this book )
  6. You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life ( Get this book )
  7. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance ( Get this book )
  8. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life ( Get this book )
  9. Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson ( Get this book )
  10. You Can Heal Your Life  ( Get this book )
  11. How to Win Friends and Influence People  ( Get this book )
  12. The Compound Effect – Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success ( Get this book )
  13. The One Thing – The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results ( Get this book )
  14. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success ( Get this book )

Let us discuss each motivational book in detail, along with its key takeaways and reviews.

Motivational Books

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#1 – 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 Series)

Most people think this is a book on making money. But if you give it a read, you will know how important it is to read the book. This motivational book has changed millions of life all around the world. It’s time that you grab the book and make your life count.

Book Review

“Think and Grow Rich” is not a book that one can take lightly. However, if you take all the principles to heart, it’s guaranteed that you will have an amazing life. Many people who have become rich by transforming their life of misery give credit to this book. And the word “rich” doesn’t only connote “money”; rather, it’s much more than “money.” It’s an abundance that you can achieve by applying the 13 lessons laid out in this book.

Key Takeaways

The best takeaway is the six-step formula for success/wealth/abundance that Dr. Hill etched out. Here’s a snapshot –

  • Step#1: Decide how much money/kind you need
  • Step#2: Ponder what you are willing to give away to earn it (trade-off)
  • Step#3: Set a deadline for when you intend to receive it
  • Step#4: Create a step-by-step plan to get there
  • Step#5: Write everything down
  • Step#6: Read the written statement twice daily – after getting up in the morning and before going to sleep
<< Get this book >>

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#2 – The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

by Dr. Stephen Covey

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

It talks about seven specific habits that can transform the paradigm of an average individual and can make his life count. Have a look at the review and best takeaways.

Book Review

This book is the best motivational book of Dr. Covey ever. Most other books Dr. Covey has written on the principles are etched here. In this motivational book, you will learn to shift your paradigm from being a victim to being a victor. You will learn to change your habits. You will begin to start any project with the end of life. And most of all, you will find out your life’s purpose.

Key Takeaways

Two things are most important in this book –

  • First, Dr. Covey says there are no quick fixes in life. If you want to change anything (health, wealth, career, family), you must take deliberate action and try to “understand first and be understood later.”
  • Second, Dr. Covey talks about an exercise in which you need to imagine that you are an 80-year-old chap who is grasping for his last breath. Now, think about what you want your near and dear ones to tell about you! You will find your purpose.
<< Get this book >>

#3 – Man’s Search for Meaning

by Viktor Frankl

Man's Search for Meaning

This motivational book has changed the lives of a great spiritual teacher, Dr. Wayne Dyer’s life. It is so powerful and relevant that you will feel goosebumps after reading it.

Book Review

Imagine that you have been imprisoned for a very long time. The guards have taken away everything – food, clothing, friends, family, and a life worth living. During that moment, what could you possibly think? Can you think of a possibility? Viktor Frankl did. He thought to himself – What if they take away everything and still can’t get to the deeper part of me where I am my own? And he did. He came out alive from that Nazi camp and wrote this book. If you are prone to despair, this is a must-read book.

Key Takeaways

  • The story of utter misery will inspire you to live a life of mission. You can’t let go of your freedom of choice at any moment.
  • The most important quote of the book is this – “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
<< Get this book >>

#4 – The Alchemist

by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist, 25th Anniversary: A Fable About Following Your Dream

This book is one of the bestselling books of all time. After writing this motivational book, Paulo Coelho book started to receive an enormous fan following. It is a novel that revolves around a boy and his dream.

Book Review

If you have a dream, you must take advantage of this book. It will show you how to dream, how to listen to your intuition, how to take decisive action in uncertain times, how to choose between the most important tasks and important tasks, and how to follow your heart. This motivational book is a fascinating read by all celebrities, movie stars, businessmen, and women worldwide. If you have yet to read this, it’s time to pick it up.

Key Takeaways

  • You will find many metaphors that match up with your life incidents. You can relate to whatever happens to the shepherd boy in the story.
  • You will also find that the secret to achieving your dreams lie within the very heart of your being. If you search elsewhere, it’s time to go within and find what’s hidden inside.
<< Get this book >>

#5 – The Power of Positive Thinking

by Norman Vincent Peale

The Power of Positive Thinking

About the book

The book demonstrates the power of faith in God and provides many practical techniques to help you achieve a happy, satisfying, and fulfilled life. It is one of the best books written on positivity and self-improvement.

Book review

In this book, the author takes a mix of an analytical and religious approach to condition your mind towards worthwhile living. However, he doesn’t recommend any simple instruction but dives much deeper to provide you with an excellent set of guidelines that you can teach to your core habits. The only major concern with the book is that the techniques provided are entirely on Christian teachings; a secular approach could have been a better option. However, the teachings elucidated in the text are generally such that they are open to interpretation as per your religious belief and hence can be easily adopted. Overall, it is an inspirational book that will teach you to have faith in everything around you.

Key Takeaways

  • This book can aid in your intellectual growth and help you understand the laws of the universe.
  • It is an excellent book choice if you seek solutions for your troubles from a religious standpoint.
<< Get this book >>

#6 – You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life

by Jen Sincero

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life

About the book

This self-help book has 27 bite-sized chapters, at the end of which you will learn how to change something you don’t like and start liking something that you can’t change to have a wonderful and peaceful life.

Book review

This inspirational book offers some great skills and practical techniques, which, if you can apply them to your life, will help you grow. Furthermore, the book will help you realize that you have enormous potential within you and possess all the skills required to succeed in everything only if you can direct your energy in the right direction. The author states usually, you stand as an obstacle in your way to success. To sum it up, if you intend to change your life and make it happier, you are the only one who can make it happen.

Key Takeaways

  • It is a must-read for you if your mental barriers keep you from achieving your life goals.
  • It would help if you were open-minded to gain from this book as it will constantly force you to introspect yourself.
  • This book will teach you techniques that will help you to become a total badass.
<< Get this book >>

#7 – Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

by Angela Duckworth

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

About the book

The book, in totality, highlights the importance of developing a tenacious character because grit and not mere talent help you achieve outstanding results in life.

Book review

The book starts with the question of why only a few people achieve success while the rest fails. The author says that the secret to achieving the outstanding result is not talent but focused determination and grit. In this book, she shares many insights from her breakthrough research work on grit, explaining why mere talent can’t be seen as a guarantee for success and is rather dependent on your ability to see things through. The book can divide into two parts where the first half is more about self-help, while the second half focuses on academic analysis. Overall, it is an inspiring and well-written book supported by the author’s extensive research findings.

Key Takeaways

  • It is a must-read book for you if you are striving for success but suffer from a lack of self-belief.
  • It focuses on the fact that talent alone can’t take you to success if you don’t display perseverance.
<< Get this book >>

#8 – The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

by Mark Manson

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

About the book

In its no-shit language, the book suggests you not run away from painful truths but confront them. This way, it instills a sense of honesty, courage, responsibility, and perseverance.

Book review

For decades, we have been taught that positive thinking is the key ingredient of a happy and fulfilled life. Yet, here comes an author who says, “Fuck positivity.” He states that humans are born with flaws and limitations, which is not their fault. He highlights that everyone can’t be extraordinary, and there are bound to be few winners and many losers. The idea behind this preaching is that you should know your limitations and embrace them, and it is only then that you will be able to overcome your fears. The most striking feature of the book is the writing style, which justifies the title of the book.

Key Takeaways

  • While reading the book, you will feel as if you are speaking to your best friend, who is hilarious, vulgar, and at the same time, very thought-provoking.
  • It helps you identify the things that you should care about and also the things that you shouldn’t care about. In other words, it tells you to accept your flaws and limitations and move on with your life.
<< Get this book >>

#9 – Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson

by Mitch Albom

Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, A Young Man and Life's Greatest Lesson

This book is not motivational; it talks about something radical – how to die well. The philosophy of this book revolves around this snippet of wisdom – “if you can learn how to die well, you will know how to live well.”

Book Review

This motivational book is written with extraordinary candor and a stunning narrative. The book is full of dialogues with the author’s dying professor from whom the author learned the magic of life. If you want to have an amazing living experience with an older man and want to soak in his wisdom, love, compassion, and honesty, this motivational book is for you.

Key Takeaways

  • It’s often hard to imagine the best of life until we are on our deathbed and gasping for our last breath. But here’s your chance to know what you need to know before the erratic nature of death brushes you off and makes you realize the true worth of life.
  • It’s written as a sort of memoir where the author tells the story of a dying professor and how the author realizes the essentials of life during the latter’s last days.
<< Get this book >>

#10 – You Can Heal Your Life

by Louise Hay

You Can Heal Your Life

This book is a ground-breaking motivational book by the mother of personal development, Louise Hay. She has shared the exact strategies and affirmations she used to reach an incredible wealth level, cure cancer, and get rid of the guilt and shame of childhood abuse.

Book Review

If you think affirmation doesn’t work, you must read this book. The author says people who think affirmation doesn’t work are negating the positive effect of affirmation by saying so. This motivational book has sold millions of copies, and many men and women have reported stories of incredible transformation in their lives by applying the principle. So grab this book and apply the insights, ideas, affirmations, and meditations given in this book.

Key Takeaways

To experience a dramatic transformation, you need to read this top motivational book. There are two snippets of wisdom you will learn from this book:

  • Affirmations work if you first believe and then practice them day in and day out.
  • Affirmations will urge you to take instant action, which you need to take without judgment or any logical reasoning.
<< Get this book >>

#11 – How to Win Friends and Influence People

by Dale Carnegie

How to Win Friends & Influence People (Dale Carnegie Books)

Talk about classic man-management, and here’s what you get. This top motivational book has changed an entire generation of people and taught them the secrets to winning friends and creating influence.

Book Review

You can do ordinary things to make an instant connection with them. You may call them old school, but you know they work once you start doing them. For example – when you meet anyone, get genuinely interested in them (don’t tell them what you need), remember their names if you have met them before, smile, and so on. This motivational book is still very relevant and can do wonders for people who struggle to make friends and influence.

Key Takeaways

The three A’s are the fundamentals of this ground-breaking motivational book:

  • Attention – Give people your attention and time.
  • Affection – Let them know that you like them. Never tell them that they are wrong.
  • Aspiration – Tell them that you are interested in their interests and they can share with you.
<< Get this book >>

#12 – The Compound Effect – Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success

by Darren Hardy

The Compound Effect Lib/E: Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success

If you are in despair and can see no possibility of making your life count, this book will aid you. It is a modern success manual written in a step-by-step manner. Follow this motivational book, and success will be yours.

Book Review

The author has himself used all of the principles articulated here. When he wrote this book, he was the editor of the most esteemed magazine in the world, “Success Magazine.” Using the same principles, he became a millionaire at the age of 24 and then began his journey of teaching and leading. This book is on the principle of momentum. If you start a tiny habit, you may need more time to give instant benefits. But give it enough time, and you will see that it will transform your life.

Key Takeaways

The best takeaways are the examples and stories of clients Darren shared throughout this book. You will learn how you can achieve amazing success over the years by changing a tiny thing in your life. It’s like compound interest. Over a long period, whatever you do, multiplies. So if you want to achieve success in your life, grab this motivational book and apply all of it.

<< Get this book >>

#13 – The One Thing – The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth About Extraordinary Results

If you want to specialize in business or skill or subject, this is the book you should pick up. In this age of generalist culture, it’s a big relief to know that you can do ONE thing amazingly well if you choose to.

Book Review

One should read this book with a pad and pen handy. This book has so much to learn that you may need to re-read it multiple times to get the hang of it. On the other hand, if you feel overwhelmed with what you need to do, pick this book up, and you will learn how to set your priorities and get extraordinary results doing the same.

Key Takeaways

We have put this book in a motivational genre not only because it has so much to teach us; it will also help you step out of your comfort zone and take real action toward mastery. From the domino effect to blocking off time for your one thing to concentrate on the right things throughout the day, you will learn a ton from this book.

<< Get this book >>

#14 – Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

by Carol S. Dweck

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

This motivational book will shift the way you think; using this new mindset will make you unstoppable.

Book Review

This motivational book is comparative research on two mindsets – fixed and growth mindsets. People who have a fixed mindset believe that their talent and abilities are inborn and they can’t do anything to change it. People with a growth mindset believe they can grow their talent and abilities by learning and training their minds. You will know why it is important to have a growth mindset and how you can shift your mind from being fixed to being open and ready.

Key Takeaways

The best part is the research the author shows to support her statements. You will learn a lot more than you think. Po Bronson, the author of NurtureShock, mentions that this is one of the most influential books about motivation.

<< Get this book >>

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