7 Best Personal Development Books of All Time

Personal development books are an effective way to assist in solving personal problems. The author writes these books intending to help readers who are suffering through a similar issue. This implies that the author has gone through this situation before and all the advice is anecdotal. Thus, it adds to the relatability for the reader and conveys a sense of empathy. If reading is not your forte, then feel free to check out the best lifestyle blogs for inspiration and motivation.

So, the following list is the top 7 personal development books that will cover a range of issues from wealth creation to positive thinking. A majority of these books will include a blend of elements such as inspiration, self-empowerment and thought provoking ideas.

Top 7 Personal Development Books to Read

1. Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill

Think and grow rich

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Napoleon Hill is a journalist and writer of the successful book ‘Think and Grow Rich’. In his book, he draws on the stories of Andrew Carnegie, who is one of the richest and influential business magnates of his time.

Here, Carnegie made an exciting proposal to Hill. He asked the author’s help to develop a philosophy for success. So, he was offered to arrange meet-ups with 500 of the wealthiest people in America. Then, Napoleon Hill was asked to extract all the success mantras from these people and put it into a series of books.

He successfully formulated 17 principles that wealthy people had, in regards to their qualities and behaviors. Moreover, he noted all of these applied to the common folk and were easy to learn. After a long delay, the book hit the stores in 1937.

Eventually, Think and Grow Rich went on to become one of most successful personal development books in the world. Most of the wealthiest people in America have read it over and over again. Thus, we would suggest you start with this one to join the long line of readers consisting of successful business people.

2. How to Win Friends & Influence People – Dale Carnegie

How to win friends and influence people

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Have you ever want to enhance your relationships with others personally and in business? Are you interested in knowing how to create genuine positive relationships? Do you want to learn to communicate with anyone and seal that deal?

If you answered yes to all three questions, this book is for you. The author, Dale Cernegie, preaches it as the only book you are going to need to succeed.

How to Win Friends & Influence People is about landing groundbreaking deals and creating a winner’s aura around you. It’s no secret why this book sold a whopping 15 million copies globally. Warren Buffet, the business tycoon, attended this as a course when he was 20 and you can see where he ended up.

In our society, many of us deal with people through our emotions and pride, rather than take actions based on logical reasoning. On the contrary, computers choose decisions based solely on logical reasoning. So, what should you keep in mind when trying to forge relationships with others? This problem is what the book intends to explain.

For many areas of life, it’s all about attracting the right people and making them gravitate towards you. If you want people to like you, keep working on yourself and never stop learning. For a fact, Carnegie himself reworked this book repeatedly from 1930 to 1955. This tells us that he too had to revise the information he addresses in the book, based on his ongoing experiences in life.

3. The Power of Positive Thinking – Norman Vincent Peale

The Power of Positive Thinking

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Peale regularly comes with up exciting and innovative ideas and his personal development books is a manifestation of that. It emphasizes the notion of positive thinking and the abundance of benefits that can come from that in your life.

The Power of Positive Thinking explains a lot about the benefits of staying grateful. Here, the author has a unique take on the ideologies of life. The book’s view of positive thinking has inspired an entire generation in the past and will be a literature piece that remains popular in the future. Thus, when they said that books like this shaped America, it is not an exaggeration.

These were the types of books that garnered traction during the 1950s and 1960s. Here, the readers or follows of Peale have become the movers, shakers and wealthiest people in the country. It sold over 5 million copies worldwide in the 1950s and 1960s, highlighting the success of the book.

4. Mastery – Robert Greene


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This novel divulges into the paths taken by successful people and is highlighted through historical references. Here, it dissects into the minds of the geniuses and how they got to the top of their craft.

As the book title suggests, the focus is on achieving mastery in whatever you are doing. The list of stories included in the book contains that of Benjamin Franklin, Charles Darwin, Freddie Roach, Michael Faraday, V.S. Ramachandran, Martha Graham, etc.

Mastery explains how these stories apply to your life. Moreover, you can get a reflection of yourself through these stories because many of them started from scratch.

So, the book breaks the myth that ‘success is a straight line’. It shows that no matter who you are, you have to overcome the challenges present to you. Above all, it teaches you that mastery doesn’t come easy and must be earned.

5. Think Big and Kick Ass – Bill Zanker and Donald Trump

Think Big and Kick Ass Personal Development Books

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Yes, this book is related to the U.S president himself. It has references to the real-life stories of Donald Trump and was famous during his ‘Apprentice’ days.

Donald Trump explains his life philosophies, his observations on influential people, meetings with stalwarts and more. The co-contributor to the book, Bill Zanker, turns it into a course by including related questionnaires.

In the book, they decode the curious case of William Jaird Levitt, the father of modern American suburbia and is strongly highlighted in this book. Through his case study, Trump explains how significant maintaining the momentum for the actions that bring us success is.

It is no secret that Trump has such a vast number of billionaire friends. All of that knowledge translates to business and life lessons in Think Big and Kick-Ass. So, be prepared for some candid humor from the billionaire himself.

6. How to Be Rich – J. Paul Getty

How to Be Rich

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This book is brought to you by the oil baron himself, Jean Paul Getty. During the turn of the century, the tycoon was the wealthiest man alive. If that is not enough, he also was multilingual, speaking exactly five different languages. Despite the riches he has amassed, Getty is a very frugal man with only art as his choice of investments. So, How to Be Rich lays down the fundamental rules of success. If he doesn’t know this, then who does?

Luckily, the lessons discussed in How to Be Rich has aged like fine wine, as the content within is still relevant to this date. For some subjects presented in the book, the relevancy has created motifs for the future generations who read it.

Unlike Donald Trump’s book, it does not contain any flashy or boisterous content, if that is your cup of tea. The reason for this is because J.P Getty had strong discipline throughout his whole life and thus was humbled through his experiences. He believed being rich comes with responsibility and cooperating with labor unions to uplift the lives of workers.

7. Unlimited Power – Tony Robbins

Unlimited Power Personal Development Books

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Arguably, Tony Robbins is the greatest success coach of all time and this success is imprinted in his personal development books. His contemporaries are trailing by miles when it comes to success books.

Unlimited Power is all about discovering what you want in your life and getting your priorities sorted. Above all, it teaches you everything about human psychology. Here, you can learn to reprogram your mind in minutes and how learning helps get over your fears and phobias.

Tony teaches you to duplicate the success of others through proven practices. It’s a must-read if you love the amalgamation of success and psychology books.

So, from the above list of personal development books, which book are you going to read first? Do let us know in the comment section below.

7 Personal Development Books