Top 10 ‘personal development’ books – my top ten picks

Posted by Stephen Sutherland on Thu, Oct 18, 2012 @ 01:30 PM

Top 10 personal development booksThis is the last in an eight part series that has looked at forty of my all time favourite books.

Over the last few weeks, we've covered books around stock market investing, investment psychology, increasing income and personal development. I hope you've found this series useful and a few of these books have made their way onto your reading list, I can wholeheartedly recommend them all.

Following on from last week, in this post we'll be looking at the final five of my top 10 personal development books. As always, I’ve also provided a link to each book on Amazon should you wish to purchase it. If you do decide to buy, I will not be compensated in any way. Enjoy!

6. Psychology of Success [Paperback] – Denis Waitley

‘Psychology of Success’ defines the fundamental psychology principles of success — principles applicable to everyone regardless of age, education, background or speciality. Unlike many books, ‘Psychology of Success’ doesn’t take a one-size-fits-all approach; rather it asks you to take an active role in defining what is right for you as an individual. It calls on you to use self-awareness and critical thinking to examine your dreams, values, interests, skills, needs, identities, self-esteem and relationships and to set and achieve goals based on your personal vision of success. It introduces key concepts of psychology and offers creative exercises designed to help you understand these concepts and apply them to your life. It’s a workbook as well as a textbook and offers simple yet effective strategies for self-improvement.

7. Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever [Hardcover] – Ray Kurzweil & Terry Grossman

The information in this book blew my mind. The main concept is that if we can live long enough, we may be able to to live for ever! The two authors tell us that ‘Immortality is within our grasp’. Inside you learn that we are in the early stages of multiple profound revolutions spawned by the intersection of biology, information science and nanotechnology. With the decoding of the genome and our efforts to decode its expression in proteins, many new life-extending methodologies are emerging. This great book brings it all together for the layman. Accessible and clear, ‘Fantastic Voyage’ charts the progress that has been made and points the way to what is to come. From the self-evidently sensible (take plenty of exercise) to the truly mind-boggling (reduce biological ageing by the injection of nanobots), it lays out our paths into the future with plenty of practical recommendations for age-deferring in the present. 

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8. The Psychology of Winning [Mass Market Paperback] – Denis E. Waitley  

I recommend this book without hesitation. This is the second book I’ve recommended written by Denis and there is a good reason why. Denis has worked with groups as diverse as medical researchers, top executives, returning POWs and Olympic athletes. The focus of his work has always been on helping people bring out the best in themselves and their organizations. Inside Waitley gives solid advice on how to transform high expectations into real outcomes, concentrate on desire and the rewards of success instead of fear and failure, and how to visualize and act out winning situations to help increase the probability of success. Waitley presents material in an easy to read fashion. His points are excellent, and his book is indeed worthy of being on every individual's book shelf.

9. Awaken the Giant within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Physical and Emotional Self [Paperback] – Anthony Robbins

This was the book that switched on the light for me back in the late nineties. It felt like a ‘once I was blind and now I can see’ moment.  Inside Robbins offers advice on such matters as mastering emotions, overcoming debilitating habits and taking control of personal finances. The book includes personalised self-help tests with a view to revealing your core beliefs and you also learn about the importance of ‘quality questions’ and ‘life metaphors.’ If you ever decide to go see Tony Robbins in seminar, you’ll discover that he’s very intense and for me a bit ‘over the top’ however in a book format, the experience was great.

10. The Monk Who Sold his Ferrari [Paperback] – Robin Sharma

This great book was recommended by my good friend Steve Todd and is littered with powerful life lessons. It tells the story of Julian Mantle, a lawyer forced to confront the crisis of his out-of-balance life: following a heart attack, he decides to sell all his beloved possessions and trek to India. On a life-changing odyssey to an ancient culture, he meets Himalayan gurus who offer powerful, wise and practical lessons. One thing this book did do was to teach me the incredible power of daily habits. When you get your daily habits right, everything else seems to take care of itself.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series. I’m certain that at least one of the books featured will end up on your top shelf and I’d love to hear your stories, especially if any of the information you learn in these books makes a big impact on your life.

As always, if you have any questions or thoughts on the books I've covered, please leave a comment below or connect with us @ISACO_ on Twitter.

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Topics: Essential reading