There’s a good chance you make a promise to yourself every year to become a better person. Whether that means eating healthier, running a marathon, getting six-pack abs, quitting binge-drinking, reading more books or becoming more productive, you try to be committed to this goal.
But as time flies, you realize that this is easier said than done, and sometimes, you just need a little inspiration to keep you going (who doesn’t?). You can find the best kind of inspiration to become a better person in… books!
Yeah, I believe that any book you read can make you a better person. It doesn’t matter what book it is or how you choose to read it, (listening to audiobooks count as reading too, don’t worry), reading books tend to give you new ideas, increase your empathy and stimulate your mind. It can also boost productivity, sharpen your brain and relieve stress.
Therefore, I’ll be sharing five self-improvement books that can help you on your journey to becoming a better person. Word of advice? Read and think about the elements you agree and disagree with, digest ideas that make you uncomfortable, explore subjects that you’re scared of, challenge yourself–that’s how you can become a better person.
Pro tip: Once you have finished reading each book, share your knowledge. Try to write the key takeaways down in a journal or publish your thoughts on your own blog so that other people can be inspired by your quest to become a better person.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at five books on becoming a better person.
7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven R. Covey
Do you want to be a successful person in life? Well, who doesn’t? The best way to become successful is to learn from people who are already successful.
In this self-improvement masterpiece, Covey combines the habits of the best leaders. This book teaches many things: how to prioritize, how to achieve work-life balance, how to synergize, and how to differentiate between urgency and importance.
Although this book focuses on personal change, a lot of it is also applicable to professional situations, too. Before you adopt the seven habits outlined in this book, Covey advises that you change your mindset and approach to positive thinking, time management and productivity.
After reading 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, you will surely learn valuable lessons that will benefit you for the rest of your life.
Memorable quote: “Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be.”
Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins
If you need a self-improvement book that will teach you how to take charge of every aspect of your life, Awaken the Giant Within is the book you’re looking for.
Published in 1991 by thought leader, Tony Robbins,this book will teach you how to conquer the challenges that life brings to your body, mine, workplace, relationship and financial situations. You’ll learn about the driving forces of pain and pleasure, the necessity of living by your values, and the importance of asking questions.
Although this book is written in simple language that anyone can understand, it is advisable to read it slowly and practice the exercises given within. That’s the fool-proof way to actually imbibe Robbins’ teachings into your life.
Memorable quote: “The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If you don’t, life controls you.”
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
This book takes a very different approach to self-improvement than the typical self-help books. Instead of sugar coating things and making every life situation look positive, Manson focuses on our ability as human beings to handle what we are given better rather than wanting things to change.
This book is a refreshing take on what it means to live life to the fullest. Manson’s witty commentary and irreverent tone makes this a very unorthodox, yet amusing and interesting read. His advice goes straight to the point with little regard as to whether or not you’re willing to digest that point. If you want to live a happy and content life, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is the book for you.
To learn more about this book, you can read our summary of it here.
Memorable quote: “You and everyone you know are going to be dead soon. And in the short amount of time between here and there, you have a limited amount of fucks to give. Very few, in fact. And if you go around giving a fuck about everything and everyone without conscious thought or choice—well, then you’re going to get fucked.”
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
This book covers all aspects of habit at three levels: individual, organization and society. It shows, through stories, the impact of habits at each level, and how we can change bad habits and create positive habits in our lives.
As you read, you’ll learn why some people and organizations find it hard to change, despite years of trying, while others are able to transform themselves overnight. You’ll find out the neuroscience behind the concept of habits and which parts of the brain they develop and dwell in.
Duhigg’s major argument in this book is that the key to becoming more productive, exercising regularly, raising great children, and achieving success is about understanding how habits work.
The Power of Habit is a book I believe everyone should read if they want to take charge of their life. Its explanation of how habits work are backed by research, science and true life stories.
The book also provides practical techniques to apply the changes on the individual, organizational and societal level.
Memorable quote: “As people strengthened their willpower muscles in one part of their lives—in the gym, or a money management program—that strength spilled over into what they ate or how hard they worked. Once willpower became stronger, it touched everything.”
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
This great book tells the story of Santiago, a young shepherd, who travels from his home in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure that’s buried in the Pyramids. finds a treasure beyond his wildest dreams.
On his journey, he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who says he’s a king, a man who brags that he’s an alchemist and a man who’s actually an alchemist but doesn’t brag at all.
Each of these people point Santiago towards his quest. They don’t know what the treasure is or if Santiago will be able to overcome the obstacles he’ll face on the way.
Santiago did face problems. His money gets stolen, he trusts the wrong people, and he gets captured in the desert, amongst many other unfortunate things, but great things happen too and the tides turn for the better.
With his actions, Santiago changes his destiny. What starts out as a journey to find worldly treasure turns into a discovery of the treasure within himself. He learns to listen to his heart, and realizes that his dreams (his Personal Legend) don’t belong to him alone. They’re also part of the Soul of the Universe.
Memorable quote: “Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”
Wrapping It Up
The journey to becoming a better person is not linear. It takes work, involves some setbacks, but that is what life’s about. To make your personal journey easier, these books will help you see the potential in yourself, your uniqueness, your strengths and your ability to reach your goal.
I, on this side, am wishing you the best of luck and success on your personal journey.