Best Self Development Books

10 Best Self Development Books To Help Yourself

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Self-understanding and development is a lifelong process. The longer you live, the more wisdom you gain. While enlightenment is something that requires patience to come by, there are always methods that can help speed up the process. It is for that reason precisely that I have compiled a list of the best self-development books for today’s day and age.

They say that the best way to improve yourself is to learn from your mistakes. However, the fastest way to self-improve is by learning from other people’s mistakes. As human beings, there are limits to the number of experiences we can live through in a lifetime. The best way we can learn from experiences we cannot live through ourselves is by reading about them in books.

There are so many self-development books available today that offer wisdom on self-improvement from a variety of different perspectives. Whatever problems you’re dealing with right now, there’s probably a book out there that can help you find a solution. Make sure to go through all the books on this list to find what best suits your interests.

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Why Should You Read Self Development Books?

Reading books provides you with the opportunity to look at life through the eyes of someone else. When it comes to issues in our own lives, we tend to have distorted visions. Things that should be simple feel messy, and it becomes difficult to look at the bigger picture. Reading self-development books offers you a fresh perspective that allows you to see things more clearly.

While it is unlikely that merely reading a self-help book will alter your entire vision of life, it can at the very least offer comfort in moments of dread. When things aren’t going according to plan, it is easy to feel like no one understands what you’re going through. Reading self-help books by people who have overcome similar experiences can make you feel less alone.

Life is a difficult journey, so we should try and get help wherever we can. While school exists to teach us grammar and math, there are so many skills that human beings are expected to learn on their own. Self-development books are an easy way for people to quickly learn life skills so that they can become the best version of themselves.

10 Best Self Development Books

There are thousands upon thousands of self-help books available all around the world. While they are all unique and enlightening in their own ways, there are limits to the number of books a person can read. The following are some of the best self-development books currently available in bookstores.

1. The Mountain Is You: Transforming Self-Sabotage Into Self-Mastery

“The Mountain Is You: Transforming Self-Sabotage Into Self-Mastery” by Brianna Wiest tackles issues regarding self-destructive tendencies. With an approach that is both psychological and spiritual, Wiest explains the roots of people’s issues with self-sabotage.

Using the metaphor of a mountain to show how you yourself are the biggest obstacle in your way. The book goes into the author’s perspective of why people develop self-destructive tendencies as well as how to overcome them. At its core, the book is ultimately about guiding the reader towards a path of self-acceptance and self-love.

Key Takeaway

  • The aim of this book is to explain to people why they fall victim to self-sabotage and how they can learn to control it.
  • Though psychological issues are considered, the book mainly focuses on emotional intelligence and healing.

Recommended for: Anyone struggling with self-destructive tendencies.

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2. Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself

“Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself” is a New York Times bestselling book by Nedra Glover. As suggested by the title, the book is about prioritizing yourself by setting boundaries. Saying no can be difficult. This book tackles this problem by offering a guide on how to have these uncomfortable conversations when trying to set boundaries.

According to the author, being able to set boundaries helps a person feel more in control of their own lives. This new feeling of empowerment is what allows someone to achieve a perfect balance between work, friends, family, and love.

Key Takeaways

  • The book offers a guide on how boundaries can be set in a way that is respectful to both yourself and the people around you.
  • The book also shows how saying no can often help you reconnect with yourself. It aims to encourage people to find happiness by not compromising on their own comforts.

Recommended for: People who struggle with finding balance in their life

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3.  The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck

“The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life” by Mark Manson is probably one of the most popular self-help books of this decade. If you find self-help books a bit pretentious or boring, then this book might be perfect for you. The playful tone of this book takes an approach to self-help that is both educational and humorous.

The main contents of this revolve around the central message of not taking life too seriously. Manson’s philosophy on life argues that regardless of how hard we work, life is always going to be extremely difficult. Thus, instead of beating yourself up over every little thing, it is better to accept life for what it is.

Key Takeaways:

  • This book takes a humorous approach to self-help and life philosophy. The tone makes the book a fun and easy read.
  • ●      The main message revolves around not pushing yourself to work too hard and learning to accept imperfection. The author reflects on his own experiences to show how success is not only determined by working hard but also learning to accept failure.

Recommended for: Anyone who has a hard time because they take life too seriously.

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4. Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up

Most people know Marie Kondo from the infamous phrase “spark joy” and her show on Netflix. While most books on this list focus on spiritual self-improvement, Marie Kondo’s “Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up” relates more to self-improvement through organization skills.

Though it may seem burdensome, it cannot be denied that a tidy room allows for a tidy mind. This book is the perfect tool to help you get yourself together by getting your surroundings more organized. Aside from Kondo’s tips on cleaning, the book also comes with illustrations that perfectly guide you on how to best organize your things efficiently. 

Key Takeaway

  • The book offers a guide to cleaning that connects with a person’s emotional and psychological being.
  • The step by step illustrations in this book are very well drawn, detailed, and easy to interpret.

Recommended for: People who would like to get more organized.

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5. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

The gist of “The 4-Hour Workweek” by Timothy Ferris advocates the message that you should be working smarter, not harder. Though there have been criticisms of this book for being somewhat unrealistic, the central message is still one worthy of hearing out. In a world occupied by capitalism, knowing not to let your job get the best of you is not a bad thing.

This book offers a new perspective on the current generation’s conception of what it means to be rich. We consider being rich to mean the person who earns the most money. Ferris argues that richness is relative. A person may earn a lot of money. But if doing so requires them to slave away every day of their lives, are they really rich?

Key Takeaway

  • The main message of this book is about changing your priorities and looking at the bigger picture. Doing this will let you work more efficiently.
  • This book also offers a lot of advice on the best way to save and make money. The author provides insight on how looking at the bigger picture can help you manage your money better.

Recommended for: People looking for hacks or tips to advance their careers.

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6. Think Like A Monk: Train Your Mind For Peace And Purpose Every Day

This New York Times bestseller by Jay Shetty shares the author’s experience of adopting the mindset of a monk. If you are searching for a spiritual awakening, this book might just be perfect for you. Reflecting on his time in a monastery, Shetty provides insights into what aspects of a monk’s lifestyle regular people can incorporate into their daily lives.

Due to its focus on monks, this book centers on a philosophy inspired by eastern or Buddhist cultural practices and beliefs. The book’s philosophy extends into matters of love, fear, hatred, greed, anger, jealousy, and more. By contrasting how most of us view life with how life is seen by a monk, Shetty offers that the key to happiness lies in a shift of perspective.

Key Takeaway:

  • The author provides a modern interpretation of Eastern philosophy. This interpretation may be more palatable for people interested in Buddhist mindsets but intimidated by its strict rules.
  • The contents and illustrations in the book all pivot around the author’s message of finding one’s true self. 

Recommended for: Anyone searching for spiritual awakening relating to self-identity.

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7. Roar: Into The Second Half Of Your Life (Before It’s Too Late)

This body of work by Michael Clinton is about how to tackle issues amid a life crisis. Most of the popular self-development books tell you how to have a fruitful career. However, Clinton’s “Roar: Into the Second Half Of Your Life” offers what to do once you are already halfway through or done with your career.

Post-retirement depression is more than real. Clinton tackles this issue by addressing people who are halfway through life and are unsure of what comes next. The book offers aid in reimagining life goals at an older age. Clinton also suggests in the books that we should look at our age as an opportunity for new beginnings, not a means for endings.

Key Takeaways:

  • The book looks at the age-old issue of a midlife crisis and offers solutions on how one can build themselves up again.
  • The book’s discussion of reimagining a future helps guide middle-aged individuals to find joy in life by creating new goals.

Recommended for: Anyone going through a midlife crisis and feeling lost in life.

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8. Forgiving What You Can’t Forget Study Guide

“Forgiving What You Can’t Forget Study Guide” by Lysa TerKeurst is all about the art of letting go. TerKeurst talks about the dangers of holding onto painful memories and hoarding unresolved emotions. The author provides solutions for how a person can learn to let go of painful memories in order to finally find peace.

The book takes a spiritual take on pain and discusses what the Bible has to say about forgiveness and solitude. Throughout the book, the author goes into a detailed guide on the “who,” “what,” “when,” and “how” of forgiveness. The step-by-step counseling makes it easy for people unsure of how to begin reconnecting with themselves by forgiving others.

Key Takeaways:

  • The book analyses the Christian perspective on forgiveness. The author aims to appeal to the reader’s spiritual being to help them understand why they should forgive.
  • The six counseling sessions separated by chapters help the reader tackle their pain through step-by-step guidance.

Recommended for: People struggling to move on and let go of painful memories or experiences.

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9. Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

“Atomic Habits” by James Clear looks at how the formation of habits can make or break your life. This number one bestselling book explores how, as human beings, we are defined by our habits. Good habits improve our lives, while bad habits make life complicated. Clear breaks down good habits from bad ones and tells his readers how little changes can make a huge difference.

The book provides detailed guides on how people should work to form new habits and break old ones. With plenty of examples and breakdowns of the mechanism of habit formation, Clear provides insight into just how much of our lives are determined by the habits we live by. If you are looking for easy but effective methods of self-improvement, this is the book for you.

Key Takeaways:

  • The main aim of the book is to explore how much of the actions of a human being are determined not by choice but by habit.
  • The author provides insights on which habits are good and which are bad. He also offers guidance on how someone can go on to create good habits and break bad ones.

Recommended for: Anyone looking to self-improve through easy yet effective efforts.

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10. Thinking, Fast and Slow

In “Thinking, Fast and Slow” the Nobel Memorial Prize holder, Daniel Kahneman, takes a psychological approach towards promoting self-development. Compared to the other books on this list, Kahneman’s book is a lot more educational and complex. However, if you are passionate about understanding the human mind, this book is more than worth the effort.

This book looks at the two modes of thinking that exist in a person’s mind. One is fast and instinctive, while the other is slow and rational. In our upbringing, most of us were taught to prioritize the latter. Kahneman argues that the fast and instinctive mode of thinking is just as important. The book explains how balance between these two modes of thinking can lead to a more fruitful life. 

Key Takeaway:

  • This book aims to differentiate between the two modes of thinking that coexist in the human mind. The author advocates the importance of both and explains how they differ from one another.
  • The book also explains which mode of thinking should be used in which situation. The author also explains that knowing when to use which mode of thinking can greatly impact your ability to make good choices.

Recommended for: Anyone interested in developing themselves by learning about psychology.

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The list provided above consists of what I believe are some of the best self-development books of the current decade. Self-improvement is a long and vigorous journey. However, the fact that you are reading this right now is a sign that you are making an effort. While self-development books are unlikely to solve all of your problems, they are a good place to start.

 I hope this article has proved helpful in finding a book that relates to the aspects of life you are trying to improve. Self-development is different for individual people, but hopefully reading some of these books can inspire you to make choices that are best for you. Thank you for reading this article. May your journey to self-improvement be full of success.