VIDEO: 10 personal development books you should read

my top 10 personal development books

In the previous blog I gave you tips about 10 books which I really loved reading, because they helped me grow professionally. In this blog, I want to share another 10 books with you, but this time, it’s about books that helped me grow as a person. 

Again, I will provide several groups of these books and hope you get some inspiration for your reading list. 

RELATIONSHIPS

How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie

how to win friends and influence people

The first group of the books will be about relationships. I’ll start with How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. I think you definitely heard about this book even if you haven’t read it, because it’s quite well known. It was written long ago and it’s been very popular for dozens of years. This book is about relationships with people and how to make sure they are of good quality and that other people also enjoy being in touch with you.

I’ve learned a lot from this book. I know that the title sounds a little bit manipulative. But actually the content is really good. A good friend of mine told me that he reads this book every January to remind himself of the rules that apply in human communication, so that he freely applies it in practice. I think it’s a good idea, if you haven’t read it, then read it at least once and see if that gives you a few tips as well. 

Everything You Need to Know if You Want Love That Lasts – Sabrina Alexis

everything you need to know if you want love that lasts

Two other books I want to mention in the relationship section are about partner relationships. The first one is for women, so guys can skip this one. It’s by Sabrina Alexis, who wrote two books. I definitely recommend both of them, but if I just have to mention one, then it’s Everything You Need to Know if You Want Love That Lasts. I recommend this book to every woman out there, whether single or in a (happy or unhappy) relationship.

This book really gives you great insight into relationships and how they work or don’t work. I recommended this book to a few friends of mine, and all of them told me that it really really helped them with whatever stage of relationship or non-relationship they were in. So if you want to dig deeper in the topic of relationships then definitely read this one.

The Five Love Languages – Gary Chapman

the 5 love languages

The third book I think is quite well known. It’s Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages. It’s really well known, and you have probably read it if you’re into this topic. But I have to mention it, because I think it’s really good, and it helps you understand how communication works for a couple, but also I think it’s easily applicable to other relationships (with your friends, children or anybody out there).

It’s basically about the idea that we all have different languages and how we like to communicate our love and how we want to be loved by the other person. Some people feel loved when they hear it said in words. For some people it’s when they receive presents, for other people it’s expressed by touch. So this book is really interesting. Regardless of what relationship or non-relationship phase you’re in, I think these books are a must read.

MEANING OF LIFE 

The second group of books I want to recommend is about spirituality or even the meaning of life. First, I would like to say that I’m not very much into spiritual literature or spirituality in general. I would say I’m just getting to know this sphere and I found two incredibly useful books. 

A New Earth – Eckhart Tolle

a new earth

The first one is A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. You’ve probably heard about another of Tolle’s books – The Power of Now, which is a best-seller. It’s probably better known, but I’ve read both of them, and I think A New Earth is actually more valuable, as it gives more insight into how life works. This book was probably the slowest read I’ve ever done. I usually like to read books fast, but with this book, I had to stop after every few lines to think about them. I highlighted like half of the book.

It gave me so many insights about life, people, and the meaning of life in general. I’m definitely going to read the book again. If I should pick a book that’s worth reading every year, it would probably be this one because I think it has taught me a lot. This book has really changed me. 

Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankl 

man's sesarch for meaning

The second book I would like to mention is Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning. This is quite a well-known book; you’ve probably heard about it. It’s basically a biographical book. The author was a psychiatrist and was imprisoned in the Auschwitz Nazi concentration camp for several years.

He describes the life there from a psychiatrist’s point of view. He doesn’t just describe the atrocities that were happening there, but he depicts how people felt about them, and how they interacted with each other. It’s incredibly interesting reading, and I think it also gives a few intriguing ideas about the meaning of life mentioned in the title.

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

Miracle Morning – Hal Elrod

the miracle morning

vI’m not sure what to call this category, so let’s say the books are about personal development or life in general. The first one is Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning. The book basically says that you could wake up way earlier than you normally do, for example at 5:00 a.m., and spend the first hour of your day working on yourself and on your own personal development by writing a diary, doing a little exercise, thinking about what you want to achieve in life.

I think the idea was very new to me when I read it a few years ago, and even though I do not wake up at 5:00 a.m. in the morning, I tried it for a few weeks. It was interesting, and although I didn’t really stick with it for a long time, I kept some other things from the book from then on. I’ve been writing a diary, which is a great thing to do, I definitely recommend it. 

I think Miracle Morning is also quite an interesting read for language purposes, as it’s pretty simple to read. I personally read it in French which is my weakest language, and I didn’t have any problem at all. I’m sure it was translated into many languages, so if you want something interesting to read, then I would definitely recommend Miracle Morning.

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind T. Harv Eker

secrets of the millionaire mind

The second one is T. Harv Eker –  Secrets of the Millionaire Mind. This book is great for people who want to change their mindset about money, success, and what is possible in life. I got a few really interesting ideas from this book, and I would say that it’s a good book for general personal development, especially in relation to money. 

AUTOBIOGRAPHIES

Let’s move on to another category:  autobiographical books. Books that really inspired me and that are based on true experiences of the authors. 

Born a Crime – Trevor Noah

born a crime

The first one is Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime. Trevor is a very well-known comedian from South Africa, and he tells about his childhood in the apartheid period. It was just so fascinating to read about what it was like there, and I was surprised that we didn’t really learn anything about that at school. I was actually shocked, read a lot about it in Wikipedia afterwards, because it was a whole new topic for me.

That may not be your case, but anyway, I think this book is really interesting. Not only does it show what life was like back then, but it is also well written, because Trevor is a very good comedian. I loved to watch his stand-up performances, and his humor shows in the book. It will make you laugh and cry. It will touch you, and it will make you learn new things, if you don’t know about what happened in South Africa in this period.

Etched in Sand – Regina Calcaterra

etched in sand

The second autobiography I want to mention is Regina Calcaterra – Etched in Sand. It’s the story of a woman who has four siblings, and they were all abused by their mother as children. It’s incredible how these children survived and how they take care of each other. They basically had to grow up when they were really young. Their story is very well written and I think it’s just an interesting read. I wouldn’t say I enjoyed reading this book. It’s difficult to read it, because what happens to these kids is just so bad. But I think that makes the book very interesting and inspiring in many ways.

FICTION 

And finally, after all the non-fiction books, I want to end this blog with a fiction book. I generally prefer to read non-fiction, but fiction is also great. 

Millennium – Stieg Larsson

Millenium trilogy

This book is great for language purposes if you want to read a book that will interest you and that you have a lot of material to learn from. It’s Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy. You’ve probably heard about it or maybe even read it. It was quite popular a few years ago. It was a bestseller all over the world, translated into many languages.

The author is originally Swedish, and the book is a crime story. I’m not a crime story fan, but this book was really good, and I totally enjoyed it. The good thing about it is that if you like it, you can continue with the second and third one, and I think there was even a fourth one afterwards, although not by the same author. This book just doesn’t let you stop reading, so it’s great if you want something to get hooked on.

Have fun!

If any of these books caught your interest and if you enjoy reading them, I’ll be happy to know that. Leave a comment if you know any of these books, if you have read any, or if you read some of them based on my recommendations. I will be very glad to read it. Have fun!

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Lýdia Machová

Language mentor
I have learned 7 languages by myself, and I usually add a new one every two years. As a language mentor I've helped thousands of people to learn languages by themselves, in ways different from traditional classroom methods, and with much better and faster results. I'm a TED and TEDx speaker and a former organizer of the Polyglot Gathering, one of the biggest world events for polyglots.
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