My Top 10 books on Personal Development:

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There are many books written lately about Personal Development and sometimes it’s difficult to navigate in this offer. For the last couple of years, I’ve read a lot of those books, thanks to my coaching studies and now I keep reading 3 to 4 books per month. There are loads of them with same topic repeated over and over again with no new information.  Yet, there are other books, which have this WOW effect provoking reflections and giving practical advice to apply in daily life.

Here it is my list of books, which impacted me or provided a new point of view or enlarged my horizons.

1. Dan Miller “The way of peaceful warier”

What I liked about the book:

The author is telling us his real story. A professional athlete who’s going through recovery period after an accident, looking for life purpose and answering fundamental questions with a help of his spiritual teacher.

Everyone tells you what’s good for you. They don’t want you to find your own answers. They want you to believe theirs.

2. Elkhart Tolle “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose “

Why I liked this book:

Elkhart explains the importance of living here and now.  Expanding it to the global scale, teaching how enjoy the present moment and how to cope with our ego.

Can you look without the voice in your head commenting, drawing conclusions, comparing, or trying to figure something out?

3. Darren Hardy « The Compound effect »

Practical and straight forward applicable to daily life. I found some tips and tricks especially about morning rituals which helped me a lot to improve my productivity. The power of habit, a small thing every day vs big thing we do once in a while.

You alone are responsible for what you do, don’t do, or how you respond to what’s done to you.

4. Gretchen Rubin “The Happiness project”

This is an easy reading book, and if you look at Goodreads rating, it’s quite controversial.

I’ve liked this book for 2 reasons: 1st one – the idea to transcribe happiness as a set of concrete steps to take, going through the self-discovery process and reflecting on the experience. And 2nd, that book is written as a journal, each month is devoted to the new focus areas to work on.

When I find myself focusing overmuch on the anticipated future happiness of arriving at a certain goal, I remind myself to ‘Enjoy now’. If I can enjoy the present, I don’t need to count on the happiness that is (or isn’t) waiting for me in the future.

5. Tim Gallwey “The inner game of tennis”

Gallwey is considered as a father of coaching. His principles of training tennis players – through their inner game, like creating awareness, self-reflection, not offering the solutions but inviting the person to find his own answers are universal and were further applied to the business coaching

 

6. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience”

How to recognize those moments when we are in the state of flow in what we are doing? What are the components of this state and how we can achieve it on purpose – to be in our best, top productive, focused and passionate.

Enjoyment appears at the boundary between boredom and anxiety when the challenges are just balanced with the person’s capacity to act.

7. Brian Tracy “Maximum Achievement: Strategies and Skills that Will Unlock Your Hidden Powers to Succeed”

Practical guide of self-improvement.  In my opinion, this book can replace 20 others of the similar topics by combining all aspects and tactics of high achievers.

You are where you are or ever will be is up to you. You are where you are today because that is where you have chosen to be. You are always free to choose your actions or inactions, and your life today is the sum total of your choices, good and bad. If you want your future to be different, you have to make better choices.

8. Julia Cameron, “The artist way”

This famous book provides loads of techniques to wake up your inner artist and boost creativity. Famous morning pages exercise help a lot of people to get clarity and calm down the inner critic.

Main ideas:  Creativity is the natural order of life. Life is energy: pure creative energy. When we open ourselves to our creativity, we open ourselves to the creator’s creativity within us and our lives. As we open our creative channel to the creator, many gentle but powerful changes are to be expected.

The voice of our original self is often muffled, overwhelmed, even strangled, by the voices of other people’s expectations.

9. Sam Harris “Waking up guide to spirituality without religion”.

A deep-dive book explaining the illusion of self. A rational approach to spirituality, exploring the nature of human consciousness.  It explains how to meditate, and warns you about spiritual gurus.

How we pay attention to the present moment largely determines the character of our experience and, therefore, the quality of our lives.

10. Brene Brown “The gifts of Imperfection”- Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

This book is about the lifelong journey from ‘What will people think?’ to ‘I am enough”, no matter what gets done and how much is left undone. It’s going to bed at night thinking “Yes, I’m imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.”

Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.

 

What would you add to this list? Looking forward to seeing your favorite books about Personal Development in the comments, if not top 10, maybe top 3 for example. I love to learn and will be looking forward to seeing your insights!

Elena Ivanushkina
Elena Ivanushkina
Elena is professional PCC certified coach by ICF ICF (International Coach Federation), helping managers and executives develop their leadership capacities and enhance their professional competencies in challenging and changing environment of organizations.

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