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Last Updated on March 2, 2021

11 Best Inspirational Books That Can Change Your Life

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11 Best Inspirational Books That Can Change Your Life

If you want to change your life, you are going to have to do things differently. And sometimes, you can look to inspirational books to create a positive change in your life.

If you desire change, you are going to have to step out of your comfort zone. As Anthony Robbins points out:

“All personal breakthroughs begin with a change in beliefs. So how do we change? The most effective way is to get your brain to associate massive pain to the old belief. You must feel deep in your gut that not only has this belief cost you pain in the past, but it’s costing you in the present and, ultimately, can only bring you pain in the future. Then you must associate tremendous pleasure to the idea of adopting an empowering new belief” — Anthony Robbins

In order to transform your life, you will experience discomfort and pain. Change can be a painful process, but the rewards of going through the change are priceless.

Before I focused on running my own Lifehack business, I was a full-time manager in a software company. I was offered another promotion after succeeding in a project. But I wasn’t thrilled about the opportunity. That was when I realized something wasn’t going quite right in my life. Why would I not be excited about such valuable opportunity? Wasn’t that what I wanted?

I felt like all these times my effort in my job was wasted because it didn’t seem to be what I wanted most for my life.

I was lost and didn’t know what to do, so I started to look for ways to get out of the rut. The shrinking free time remaining was spent poring over hundreds of books about motivation, productivity and communication.

And through reading, I found my purpose in life and how to break free from my limitations to live the life I truly want. Here’re the 11 books I recommend you reading too to get inspired.

1. Awaken The Giant Within, by Anthony Robbins

    The inspirational message from this book is how you have the power right now to control how you think, how you feel, and what you do. Anything you want or desire in your life, you already have the power to achieve it.

    “You and I have that same power at our disposal every moment of the day. At the moment, the questions that we ask ourselves can shape our perception of who we are, what we’re capable of, and what we’re willing to do to achieve our dreams” – Anthony Robbins

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    2. Screw It Lets Do It: Lessons in Life, by Richard Branson

      Reading other people’s stories about their journeys in life can give you better perspective of what the journey of change can be about. Richard Branson is into reinvention and as a result, he embraces change.

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      This book will fuel your enthusiasm to give things a go. It will show you how to sort out the self-limiting beliefs that stop you from stepping up and taking on the challenge of change.

      “As soon as something stops being fun, I think it’s time to move on. Life is too short to be unhappy. Waking up stressed and miserable is not a good way to live” – Richard Branson

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      3. The Art of Happiness, by Dalai Lama

        There is not a person I know who is not in the pursuit of happiness.

        “The Art of Happiness” is a book that will encourage you to practice the discipline of self-reflection.The more you reflect on your life, the deeper you look into your inner self (your soul). This is where you discover what happiness truly means to you.

        Knowing what happiness means to you, gives you purpose. With purpose, you’ll have clarity, focus, and a vision. These are the foundations that will empower you to embark on the journey to change your life.

        “Both these people illustrate the essential point that happiness is determined more by one’s state of mind than by external events.” – Dalai Lama

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        4. The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz

          “The Four Agreements” are Don Miguel’s code for life.

          “The Four Agreements” provide an inspirational code for life, for the way you handle your relationships, how you behave, and how you communicate with others. If you want to change your life, read “The Four Agreements”. This book will show you how to attain a happy fulfilled life.

          “If you live in a past dream, you don’t enjoy what is happening right now because you will always wish it to be different than it is. There is no time to miss anyone or anything because you are alive. Not enjoying what is happening right now is living in the past and being only half alive. This leads to self pity, suffering and tears.” – Don Miguel Ruiz

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          5. The Magic of Thinking Big, by David J Schwartz

            According to Dr Schwartz, to create change in your life and to attain all that you desire, you need to change your thinking and your attitude.

            The importance of preparing your mind and your thinking for the journey of personal change is the key message of this book.

            “Those who believe they can move mountains, do. Those who believe they can’t, cannot. Belief triggers the power to do.” – David J. Schwartz.

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            6. The Full Life Framework – The Essential Guide, Leon Ho

              Rather than a book that I’ve read, this is actually a book that I’ve written.

              Back in 2005, I was a new entrepreneur trying to grow my aspiring blog Lifehack, which is what you’re now reading, into a real business and career. As it turns out, growing a business from scratch, while managing thousands of readers… while starting a family was a pretty tough balancing act. In my quest for success, I almost lost everything in the process.

              Through it all, I learned a crucial, valuable, life-changing lesson — balancing your life for the sake of balance will get you nowhere.
              In fact, when we try to “balance” everything… what happens instead is that we lose ourselves. We lose touch of what really matters.

              In this book, I will share my experience in trying to balance different life aspects so as to achieve the kind of success that I want. I will also share with you what actually takes to live a “Full Life,” so when you’re struggling like I did, you can try my tested method to live a happy and successful life on your own term.

              If you order this book on our site now, you can get it for free! Grab your free copy here.

              7. Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul: How To Create A New You, by Deepak Chopra

                Deepak Chopra believes that personal transformation not only involves the mind, but also your body and soul. According to Chopra, you cannot transform your mind without transforming your body and soul.

                Reading this book will encourage you to think about the potential energy force and power you hold within you. This energy grows when you are connected and aligned to your mind, body, and soul.

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                “The key to transformation is that you create the change you want to see in yourself.” – Deepak Chopra

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                8. The Greatest Salesman In The World, by Og Mandino

                  This little classic has been around since 1968. Have you ever wondered what truly successful people have in common?

                  This book doesn’t really tell you how to be a great salesperson. It will; however, give you some fantastic tips on how to be an entrepreneur, how to self-motivate, and how to think like a successful person.

                  The underlying message is the power of positive thinking – that you become what you think, say, and do. This book has great tactics for those of us in the process of change.

                  “My dreams are worthless, my plans are dust, my goals are impossible. All are of no value unless they are followed by action.” – Og Mandino

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                  9. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, by Richard Carlson

                    This book helps you to manage the small stuff in your life that is usually creating the most pain in your life. This very supportive book is full of great practical suggestions on how you can live a more joyful and peaceful life.

                    “True happiness comes not when we get rid of all of our problems, but when we change our relationship to them, when we see our problems as a potential source of awakening, opportunities to practice, and to learn.” – Richard Carlson

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                    10. Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard, by Chip & Dan Heath

                      Have you ever tried to lose weight or get fit and never reached your goal? You know that you have to make changes in your life, but you don’t know how?

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                      If you are nodding in agreement, then you need to read “Switch“. If I had to recommend one book that shows you how to create and maintain lasting change in your life – then it would be “Switch“.

                      In this book, Chip and Dan share the Secret as to how you can create and sustain change in your life.

                      Hint: It has something to do with knowing how to “Direct The Rider”, “Motivate The Elephant”, and “Shape the Path.”

                      This book, without a doubt, will show you how to change your life.

                      “When you’re at the beginning, don’t obsess about the middle, because the middle is going to look different once you get there. Just look for a strong beginning and a strong ending and get moving.” – Chip & Dan Heath

                      Print | eBook | Audiobook

                      11. The Gifts of Imperfection, by Brene Brown

                        Do you ever feel that you are just not worthy enough, intelligent enough, or courageous enough to live a fulfilled happy life?

                        Do you have secret dreams that you hold deep inside of you that you don’t share in case someone thinks they are silly? Or are you too scared to follow your dreams because you fear that you may fail?

                        Brene Brown’s book, “The Gifts of Imperfection”, will show you how to find your courage, as well as rediscover your self-belief and self-worth.

                        This is the book that will get you prepared to embark on your journey of change. “The Gifts of Imperfection” is about you learning how to let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are.

                        “Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy — the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” – Brene Brown

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                        The Bottom Line

                        These 11 books were key to helping me change my life. I rediscovered my purpose and my strength. I hope that by reading these books, you will find the same inspiration and motivation to your challenges in life.

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                        Featured photo credit: Thought Catalog via unsplash.com

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                        Leon Ho

                        Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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                        Trending in Success Mindset

                        1 Why the 10-80-10 Rule Is Key To Achieving Success 2 How to Deal with Setbacks And Use Them for Future Success 3 How to Improve Your Confidence And Give a Boost to Your Self-Esteem 4 How to Get Over the Fear Of Responsibility And Achieve More in Life 5 10 Things To Do When You’re Angry At Yourself (For Your Mistakes)

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                        Published on November 29, 2021

                        Why the 10-80-10 Rule Is Key To Achieving Success

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                        Why the 10-80-10 Rule Is Key To Achieving Success

                        The 10-80-10 rule is an extension of the Pareto principle that says 80% of productivity/wealth is generated/owned by 20% of the population.[1] This ratio is often observable in various statistics and studies.

                        The 10-80-10 rule takes this principle and applies it more specifically to human behavior. It is also malleable, enabling people to move between categories. If we apply it to a company (just as an example), in essence, the 10-80-10 rule looks like this:

                        • 10% Highly Productive Elite – This is the core of your business. These people will work all the hours that God sends for your company, leaving no stone unturned and generating the maximum possible productivity/revenue for you that they can.
                        • 80% Productive – These lovely folks make up the majority of your business and will work 9-5, getting their tasks done and not making much of a fuss about it. They are less likely to offer innovation, but they are reliable, trustworthy, and dutiful.
                        • 10% Unproductive and Defiant – These people are outliers and mercifully low in number, but they create work. They are difficult, unwilling to work hard, and generally take more from your company than they give.

                        This can also be applied in other areas of life. Morality is another example, with the vast majority (80%) of us being law-abiding citizens who may bend the rules occasionally, 10% being unscrupulously good, and 10% being out-and-out criminals.

                        Who Came Up With the 10-80-10 Rule?

                        As touched on earlier, the 10-80-10 rule is an off-shoot of the Pareto Principle, first conceived of in the early twentieth century by Italian civil engineer turned economist Wilfredo Pareto. He simply observed that 80% of the property in Italy, at that time, was owned by 20% of the population. Wealth distribution, according to Pareto, was divided 20/80 across all sections of society. The country, age, gender, or industry didn’t matter. This principle still applied.

                        Later on in the 1940s, Joseph M. Juran (himself an engineer and management consultant) applied the Pareto Principle to human behavior with the aim of improving quality control, positing that 80% of the success on any one project would be due to the efforts of 20% of the team working on it.

                        Since then, various researchers and theorists have expanded the Pareto principle into the 10-80-10 rule—observing that 10% are true leaders, 80% seek guidance from others, and 10% wilfully act in a counter-productive manner.[2]

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                        How to Apply the 10-80-10 Rule to Management to Be More Successful

                        Well, let’s stay with the team/workforce model for now: if you want to improve productivity in your company, where should your focus be? All too often, “the squeaky wheels get the grease.” That is to say, we tend to try and fix what’s most broken in our organization (namely the bottom 10%) before we move on to the less broken.

                        When you realize, though, that you’re pouring resources into just 10% of your labor force, it starts to look very inefficient. Moreover, that 10% is comprised of folks who are highly unlikely to change their tune (statistically anyway). You need to focus on the 80%. That’s where you’ll have the most impact and where you’ll create the biggest uplift in productivity. The 80% aren’t (of course) completely equal. Some will sit closer to either of the 10% range, but this means that you should be able to increase the size of your top 10% to be more like 20 or 30%.

                        How Much of a Difference Would That Make?

                        Now, before you slam your laptop shut, haul off, and start brainstorming ideas about team-building exercises and corporate days out, it is first very important to understand the metric by which you measure productivity. Numbers on a spreadsheet or letters next to a person’s name only paint part of the picture.

                        What you value in your company is unique to you. As I’m constantly saying to entrepreneurs and business owners that I coach, you have to be specific with what you are asking of your team, your customers, and the universe at large. Ask a vague question and you’ll get a vague answer.

                        So, do the work of understanding exactly what is working for you and what isn’t. Simply saying that you want revenue to increase is not enough. By how much? In what areas? Who will we add value to increase their spending with us? Where and whom should we target for new growth?

                        Who Does This Desired Increase in Productivity Help You Become and Who Does It Serve?

                        Armed with this, you will have much more clarity to take to your team and with which to start formulating a plan of action. You can look at what would incentivize those in the 80% who just need a slight nudge. That’s where minimum effort will yield maximum results! So, start there.

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                        A 2014 Gallup poll found that a third of the US workforce felt unmotivated in their jobs, with the highest levels of motivation found among managers.[3] This tells us two things:

                        • Firstly, the unmotivated third is comprised partly of those in the 80% camp, but the entirety of the unmotivated 10% is in there, too. If you take them out (because they are those people), the remainder isn’t as many people and they are in a group that still wants to work and get on.
                        • Secondly, those in a position of management (i.e. those who feel as though they can effect change in the company) tend to be the most motivated.

                        Now, let’s not confuse motivation with productivity. You can be as motivated as you like, but without proper strategy or direction, you’ll just be a hammer in search of a nail. Nevertheless, those in management who felt the most motivated to be productive are worth interrogating.

                        Why Did They Feel More Motivated?

                        I would posit that the answer is very simple: they felt heard and that they could affect change. It’s a hugely important part of human psychology that we feel as though our ideas, thoughts, and feelings are heard by others. When we feel ignored, we feel unvalued. When we feel unvalued, we are (naturally) unmotivated.

                        This is not to say that you should make everyone a manager within your company. Your business might be a start-up or just a few people working out of your converted garage. The point is, make sure that they all feel heard. I guarantee you that—especially among the upper end of the 80%—you will see the greatest uptick in productivity if you simply listen to them. Make them feel as though they have a vested interest in growing your business, too.

                        If they can see the role that they play is important and understood by you, they will push themselves to go further, work harder, and achieve more. You have to put yourself in their shoes, which brings us on to the next point. . .

                        How to Use the 10-80-10 Rule to Improve Success

                        Okay, so far we’ve just looked at the 10-80-10 rule as it pertains to the success of groups. But how does it apply to us as individuals? What can we learn from it and use in our day-to-day lives?

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                        You might be a sole trader or maybe a consultant—someone who does not have a team to rally and simply sells your services to others. In that instance, how does this work for you? Divide yourself up into the 10-80-10. Do it by tasks: what are you most efficient/gifted at, what are you good at, and what do you constantly put off doing?

                        Here’s an example. Say you’re a writer (where did I get this one from?), and you’re very successful. You are asked to write articles for lots of great, top publications like LifeHack, or maybe you’re writing a book and your screenplay just got picked up by Warner Brothers. Writing is your 10% elite. It’s where you offer the greatest value.

                        It’s probably not the actual writing so much as it’s the creativity, ideas, and talent that you can bring to bear in your writing. The actual writing—sitting down at your computer, tapping it out, proofreading, and catching spelling/grammar mistakes—that’s your 80%. Sure, you’re good at it. You are competent and get it done. But it’s not where you are at your most powerful, and you usually run out of steam at some point during the day.

                        Then, there’s your bottom 10%. That’s probably your operational tasks, such as your timekeeping, bookkeeping, invoicing, correspondence, tax return, etc.

                        Where Do I Get These Examples From?

                        So, where can you be most effective in taking action that will support you in accelerating your growth? Again, start with the 80%. Try finding ways to improve the writing experience for you. Maybe observe yourself on a typical day, and note when you do your best work. It might be right after your second coffee that you stay at your desk for longer and write with the greatest clarity. So, start structuring your day around that.

                        What has that cost you? Nothing! It was simply a case of reorganizing your day and bingo, you are doing more of your best work in less time than it took you before. Pretty soon, after you’ve tightened up your day so that you are of maximum productivity, you’ll find that you have more time and resources.

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                        Once you are better resourced, having landed bigger and bigger jobs, you’ll be able to take care of that pesky bottom 10%. It could be that you eliminate it by outsourcing the work to someone else. Now that you earn more for less of your time, why not? Just take it out of the equation altogether.

                        Final Thoughts

                        The 10-80-10 rule is not about adding ridged structures or following strict rules per se. It’s simply a lens through which to view human behavior, including your own. The reason why it is (or could be) the key to your success is that it enables you to identify those small changes that you can make that will have the greatest impact and accelerate your growth the fastest.

                        If you categorize your labor and the labor of your employees in this way, you’ll be able to more easily identify where you can have maximum impact with minimum input. If you continue to work out from there, your success will snowball, and you’ll have the support in place to maintain it.

                        More Tips on How to Improve Your Success

                        Featured photo credit: Andreas Klassen via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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