Motivation is what drives success, which is a recurring theme in self-help and business insight books. There are hundreds of these books to choose from authors who started with nothing or adverse circumstances and built vast empires of wealth by following certain principles. Here are seven key motivational books that provide inspiration for success.
#1. Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter – Rich Dad Poor Dad
Many motivational experts consider Rich Dad Poor Dad, published in 1997, to be the greatest personal finance guide of all time. This book tells the story of Kiyosaki’s two fathers: one being his biological (poor) father and the other being the (rich) father of his best friend. Both men had a huge influence on how he developed ideas about money and investing.
The book debunks the myth that you need a high-paying job to acquire wealth. Kiyosaki discusses how there’s a big difference between working for money and letting money work for you.
#2. Napoleon Hill – Think and Grow Rich
The reason this 1937 book makes the list is its staying power influencing several successful entrepreneurs. Over the past several decades it has sold over 80 million copies. Hill interviewed various millionaires to find commonalities between them. Some of the wealthy industrialists he investigated were Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. Here are the 13 steps to success he outlined (source):
- Autosuggestion (vehicle for controlling your subconscious mind)
- Specialized Knowledge (of service, merchandise or profession)
- Imagination (arranging and creating ideas)
- Organized Planning
- Power of the Master Mind (intelligence, experience and experimentation)
- Mystery of Sex Transmutation (switching thoughts of physical expression to another nature)
- The Subconscious Mind (how thoughts are classified and recorded)
- The Brain (how it broadcasts and receives thought vibrations)
- The Sixth Sense (creative imagination)
#3. Seth Godin – The Dip
Godin is considered a top internet marketing guru in the 21st century. He identifies “the dip” as a metaphor of a temporary setback in a person’s life. But many people confuse setbacks with dead ends and Godin emphasizes that successful minds seek dips as challenges to overcome. He asserts that the bigger dip you can beat, the more rewards you can earn.
One of the themes that makes this book stand out is that he turns the old saying “winners never quit and quitters never win” upside down. Godin explains that quitting is part of winning. The key is to know when to quit and when to break down barriers through a dip.
#4. Tim Ferriss – Tools of Titans
Ferriss has established himself as a well-known podcaster who has interviewed many business leaders and celebrities. Tools of Titans is based on these conversations that have generated valuable information. He emphasizes actionable details, such as how people prepare themselves for success on a daily basis. He explores workouts, supplements and tips on time efficiency. Ferriss experiments with advice from professionals himself to make sure it’s worth writing about. He considers Tools of Titans to be his ultimate notebook of high-leverage tools for his own life.
#5. John Lee Dumas – The Mastery Journal
This book by successful podcaster Dumas provides steps to mastering productivity, discipline and focus in 100 days. You must develop a plan, based on tasks that matter to you and your business. Then you must use discipline to execute your plan. Eliminating distractions is vital to sharpening your focus. Dumas explains how the following activities play an important role when it comes to boosting your productivity levels, inculcating discipline, and developing a razor-sharp focus in quick time:
- Morning routine
- Daily focus sessions
- Self-evaluation of progress
- Celebrating victories and learning from struggles
- Crafting and execution of a plan
#6. Tony Robbins – Awaken the Giant Within
Robbins has been a leading self-improvement author since late eighties. His central themes have been financial freedom and how to achieve peak performance. Awaken the Giant Within was his second book, published in 1991. It’s about self-mastery and how to take control of your emotions, physical conditions and finances.
The foundation of his methods are based on the study of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) in which language affects the nervous system. Many people associate emotions with events, allowing events to shape their emotions, whereas Robbins is an advocate of people taking control of their emotions regardless of events. People need to focus on where they want to go instead of what they fear. He points out that questioning your limitations marks a clear path toward progress.
#7. Ryan Holiday – The Obstacle is the Way
Holiday focuses on how solving problems is the key to happiness. The book was published in 2014 and the title is based on the writings of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. Holiday says that obstacles should not be viewed as blockades to success, but as instruments that enable success. He documents stories how successful individuals such as Amelia Earhart, Steve Jobs and Barack Obama had to overcome obstacles to find success. The key is to turn obstacles into opportunities.
The above list comprises a chosen few among the countless many motivational books that you’ll find adorning a library shelf or on the world wide web. What makes this select list of books stand out is the timeless piece of advice that’s being offered to their readers by the industry thought leaders, making it all the more worthwhile to read them and get inspired from.