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Top 10 Books to Read for Personal Growth

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Top 10 Books to Read for Personal Growth
Written by Omolola Akinyemi

For many centuries, books have been an integral part of the learning process amongst the literate society. Books have served as vital channels of history, of secrets hidden for a while, and vast knowledge existing and discovered. Endless volumes of knowledge that can help (or harm) humanity are locked away in books, waiting for discovery and exploitation. And books for personal growth are no exception. 

Books for Personal Growth: The Relationship between Books, Learning & Change

We know for sure that learning and change are two occurrences in life that occur non-stop. We could say change is the product of interacting life forces within and all around men, moving people either in the favorable or unfavorable direction. Or both – life can get complex without warning. 

And our attempt to take control of these life forces or otherwise use them for our benefit, leads to learning. By learning, we become the pupils of the Almighty Creator and the entire creation also. Through learning we explore the laws, principles and forces that shape our lives. 

Both change and learning occur throughout life for the awakened mind. But the necessary learning to enforce POSITIVE change must work through certain channels. One channel is by physically learning from mentors who have succeeded in areas of human imperfection. And the other one, through the invaluable materials called books. Especially books for personal growth. 

Call them personal growth, self-help, or self-development books. Books for personal growth are the written, tested and trusted manuals of these mentors. Personal growth books help to guide us away from unwholesome, repetitive habits and wasted effort. Because these mentors have walked the path of life, made the same mistakes we are making now, and discovered the secrets of success in certain aspects of life. 

Why Personal Growth Books Are Invaluable 

Books have been used for various purposes ever since men learnt to read and write. And books have taken various forms; from clay tablets and carved stones to leather and modern paper. And now we have e-books on digital devices. Entertainment, information and specific instructions or guides in learning a skill or profession are common uses of books. History, truth and lies have been preserved through books, waiting for further proof. But self-help (or self-development) books go a step further. 

  • Rather than repeat the mistakes of history over and over again – we need books for personal growth. They focus on the past mistakes of others; they draw lessons from human errors of times gone. Because certain unhealthy behaviors and habits are typical of human nature everywhere – regardless of race, historical period, culture or some other prevailing factor. We can learn from the mistakes and escape strategies of the learned through their books.
  • To conquer our limitations in certain aspects of life, we can learn from those who have overcome the same limitations. And the valuable breakthrough strategies they used to succeed. 
  • We can draw strength, inspiration, great insights and enhanced powers of thinking, by reading books for personal growth. The way these books open up our imagination and sharpen our thinking and problem-solving capacities can be awesome. That is, if the reader puts the ideas to work. 
  • Books for personal growth teach individuals to draw strength from within, and stand on their own two feet. These books challenge us to build our inner strengths, believe in ourselves, and become a better version of ourselves. They give us courage to step out of the ordinary and aim higher.
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First to a curated list of 25 of these books according to their popularity across many sources, both online and offline. Then – we take a sneak peek into (arguably) the most popular ten books for personal growth. And in no particular order. Are you ready? Let’s go. 

Renowned Books for Personal Growth

  • The Power of Positive Thinking (Norman Vincent Peale)
  • The Four Agreements (Don Miguel Ruiz)
  • How To Win Friends and Influence People (Dale Carnegie)
  • Think and Grow Rich (Napoleon Hill)
  • The Power of Now (Eckhart Tolle)
  • Atomic Habits (James Clear)
  • Rich Dad, Poor Dad (Robert Kiyosaki)
  • The 48 Laws of Power (Robert Greene)
  • The Power of Habit (Charles Duhigg)
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Stephen Covey)
  • Awaken the Giant Within (Tony Robbins)
  • The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
  • Outliers (Malcolm Gladwell)
  • The Magic of Thinking Big (David Schwartz)
  • You are a Badass (Jen Sincero)
  • The 4-Hour Workweek (Tim Ferriss)
  • Thinking Fast and Slow (Daniel Kahneman)
  • As a Man Thinketh (James Allen)
  • Who Moved My Cheese (Spencer Johnson)
  • Man’s Search for Meaning (Victor Frankl)
  • Daring Greatly (Brene Brown)
  • Big Magic (Elizabeth Gilbert)
  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck (Mark Manson)
  • Deep Work (Cal Newport)
  • The Secret (Rhonda Byrne)

The Top 10 Books for Personal Growth: A Quick Review

**The Power of Positive Thinking (by Norman Vincent Peale)

In this book, the author insists that to succeed in life, you must take control of your mind. The mind is the source and powerhouse of all the events of our lives. Also, people should stop worrying, learn to let go, become selfless, and take charge of their thoughts and attitudes. 

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**How To Win Friends and Influence People (by Dale Carnegie)

This deeply moving, best-selling book of all time uses the personal experiences of the author to teach powerful life principles about making human relationships work to our advantage. Especially by changing how we think, and what we make others to think and see as well. 

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**Think and Grow Rich (by Napoleon Hill)

The author carefully studied the lives of many rich people, in a quest to find out what made them prosper and stand out from the crowd. His discoveries were put together in this powerful book for others to learn from. 

**The Power of Now (Eckhart Tolle)

The author of this book emphasizes on the need to live in the present moment in order to achieve true happiness. Because the past is gone forever; and worrying about the future is wanton waste of time and energy. Rather learn to maximize the moment, and use it to create a successful pathway into the future.

**Atomic Habits (James Clear)

In this book, the author gives a practical guide of how to drop bad habits and adopt good ones gradually, through a series of conscious daily routines. 

**Outliers (Malcolm Gladwell)

The book analyzes the lives of highly successive people of our times. The author linked their success stories to the influence of their backgrounds, combined with rare opportunities that were presented to them. He concludes that there is no self-made person. That very often, forces beyond our control shape our lives in a particular direction – especially where they come from. 

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**Rich Dad, Poor Dad (Robert Kiyosaki)

In this thought-provoking book, the author shares the powerful money-making and wealth management lessons he learnt while growing up with two fathers. He had the opportunity of being mentored by his friend’s biological father (the rich one). Along the line, he was able to compare the choices and life outcomes of both his own father (the poor one) and his adopted father. And how that mentorship took him out of poverty forever. 

**The 48 Laws of Power (Robert Greene)

This book investigates the concept of power, and how it has played out over many centuries of struggles by certain people to control the rest of human society. It points out the methods through which these powerful people have wielded strong control over others. How to obtain and keep power; and how to prevent others from using their powers against you, are all in this book. 

**The Power of Habit (Charles Duhigg)

The author reveals how he discovered through in-depth research, that our habits strongly influence our lifestyle and the success of our goals. He further explains why certain habits exist, and principles we can use to change our habits towards a more successful life. 

**The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Stephen Covey)

This famous book teaches 7 critical habits you need to imbibe to become highly successful both in personal and professional life. 



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About the author

Omolola Akinyemi

A Computer Science graduate of UNILAG, I hail from Ekiti state of Nigeria. An astute teacher, learner & admin assistant of many years experience. I love technology, innovation, and Nature. A problem solving mentality is important to me. The future is only seconds away, and I believe I can define the future now. You can also.