11 Inspirational Self-Help Books that Will Ignite Changes in Life

11 Inspirational Self-Help Books that Will Ignite Changes in Life

With so many self-help books out there, it can be hard to know where to get started.  At Lifehack, we believe that changing your life starts at the root, which is changing how you think about things.  With our rapidly evolving society, new ways and methods are being introduced all the time that improve upon old formulas.  At the same time, there are time-tested frameworks that work whether it was for 15 years ago or for today.

Here is a collection of 11 self-help books that cover the basics of thinking – adapting these as a foundation will help you in multiple aspects of life, be it productivity, relationships, career, or other life goals.  We keep it updated to include some of the freshest ideas while retaining the mindset gems that have managed to stay evergreen.

    The Art of Thinking Clearly

    by Dobelli, Rolf

    Hitting the No. 1 of Germany’s Der Spiegel Bestseller list and later catching the world’s attention, The Art of Thinking Clearly is an internationally bestselling non-fiction written by the world-class thinker and entrepreneur, Rolf Dobelli. The Art of Thinking Clearly exposes humans’ everyday logical fallacy based on theories from psychology and economics. Divided into 99 chapters with each no longer than 3 pages, this book is condensed, well-organized, especially reader-friendly to busy modern readers. The though-provoking insights of this book will definitely sharpen readers’ ability to spot simples errors made in everyday thinking, and to eventually make better, more logical, and more efficient decision.

    PrinteBook | Audiobook

      The Lost Art of Listening: How Learning to Listen Can Improve Relationships

      by Nichols, Michael P.
      The notion that listening is lubricant in relationships is such a cliche that is heard again and again. Unfortunately, from time to time, we can’t help forgetting this foremost rule in relationship.

      Arguing that there is always room for people to improve listening, the experienced professor of psychology and well-known therapist, Michael Nichols distills years of clinical wisdoms into practical advice about improving interpersonal communication. By weaving professional theories and vivd examples, Nichols clarifies the “proper” listening process among relationships, eventually enabling readers to improve their relationships through better communication.

      Ultimately, The Lost Art of Listening is suitable for anyone who wants to be listened or needs to listen. And that is basically every one of us!

      Print | eBook | Audiobook

        Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise

        by Ericsson, K. Anders

        Though it is deep-rooted in many people’s minds that innate talent is needed to learn any expertise, Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise belies this notion and proves we are all born with the seeds of excellence.


        Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise, a non-fiction written by the eminent scholar Anders Ericsson, condenses three hundred years of psychological research to introduce an incredibly powerful approach to learning. Devoted to helping readers build fundamental skills essential to self-learning such as goal setting and self-motivation, this book will promisingly assist readers learning any expertise like a natural. For readers like you who wish to excel in various disciplines, Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise is your brightful start.


          Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

          by Gladwell, Malcolm
          The best-selling author of The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell has again translated the research of his specialized areas into a fantastic story-telling in his new book, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. By incorporating ideas from a wide variety of professions, in Blink, Gladwell reveals the mystery of snap judgement — the decision we make in a blink of time. Gladwell argues that great decision makers are not the ones who process the most information, but the ones who master the art of “thin-slicing”, an ability to filter factors which matter from an overwhelming number of variables.

          In this book, readers will be guaranteed a revolutionary insight to the mysterious world of human subconscious mind, which helps readers gradually become a clever decision maker.


            Mindfire: Big Ideas for Curious Minds

            by Berkun, Scott

            A book should be informative, for sure; but a great book apart from being abundant in information reminds its readers of the things that are important. In that sense, Mindfire: Big Ideas for Curious Minds is a well-written book.

            Written by Scott Berkun, the best-selling author of six other books, Mindfire is a collection selecting some of Berkun’s best essays. These essays make insightful observation and discussion on questions that curious minds are hungry to know the answers of. Each essay of Mindfire, short in its length though, is sufficient to push you to think and expands your perspective. It is promised Mindfire would be an pleasurable reading for all curious minds.


              The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

              by Duhigg, Charles

              Certainly there are things you want to achieve in life, which may be building attractive body shape, raising a smart child, or excelling in a career. Achieving is great, but how to achieve is the big question. The secret to achieving success, as The Power of Habit argues, lies in the action of forming habits.


              Written by the award-winning New York Times business reporter, Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit explains the formation of human habits from the eyes of scientists. Scientific and precise as the content is, with penetrating intelligence Duhigg successfully distills the vast amount of information into a simplistic but not least engrossing narration, guaranteeing readers a pleasurable reading experience.

              Reading The Power of Habit, you will take a provocative journey to understanding how your life is shaped by your own habits; and at the end of the journey, you will gain sharper insight, and can better manipulate the formation of your habits to your own good so as to prepare excellence in your career and also your life in general.


                Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

                by McKeown, Greg

                In life, sometimes we do feel the anxiety for feeling busy but not productive or that time is always hijacked by trivial things. These moments are actually alarming us to start decluttering.

                Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less is a good manual for those who wants to regain control of what is important in life. Written by Greg McKeown, a bestseller who graduated from Stanford University and had given speech in multiple major companies such as Apple or Google, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less offers readers useful tools and motivation to practice a life of essentialist. With the insights of the book, readers will find a systematic approach to eliminate trivial things, but learn to spend their precious time and energy on what really matters.

                If you hope to get motivational ideas or effective tools to refine a life to one that is dedicated to what really matters, this book will be helpful to you.


                  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

                  by Kondo, Marie

                  Despite the constant hard work to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts or clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles in your home? Though “there is nothing like staying at home for real comfort” as Jane Austen says, it is difficult to feel comfort in a messy home!

                  In the spirit of essentialism, here is another book guiding readers to achieve a clearer and decluttered life, though this precious one focuses on decluttering one’s house. Despite the fact that there have already been many books teaching home tidying skills, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is a diamond in rocks.


                  With a concrete and creative but not least effective home-decluttering method — the KonMari Method, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up helps readers simplify, organize, and store clutters in an efficient way. Following the guidance, readers will soon create a house surrounded with things that spark joy — a unique home that calms and motivates the minds of its owners.


                    What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets

                    by Sandel, Michael J.

                    With everything governed by capitalism, our world is pushed to be market-driven. In a world where everything is labeled a price tag, our moral standard is put to the test.

                    The problem of a declining moral standard is brought to the light by What Money Can’t Buy. Written by Michael Sandel, a famous professor of Government at the University of Harvard, What Money Can’t But aspires to discuss the biggest ethical question of our time: is it wrong with a world in which everything is for sale?

                    Offering no easy answers but instead serving as an invitation to reflect on the world we are living in, the provocative discussion of this book will definitely ignite the fibre of your brain, or even subvert your deep-rooted outlook.

                    If you want the knowledge which will protects you against this corruptive society or you want to be once again reminded of the importance of ethics, What Money Can’t Buy is a book worthy of your read.

                    Print | eBook | Audiobook

                      Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

                      by Dweck, Carol S.


                      Mindset is “an established set of attitudes held by someone”, as the Oxford American Dictionary defines. It is not difficult to understand that any long-held, deep-rooted attitude towards ourselves will greatly influence the way we perform in our study or in our work. However, as it turns out, this set of attitudes as what we call mindset ought not to be so fixed, as Dweck suggests.

                      Written by Carol Dweck, a world-renowned Stanford University psychologist, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success offers a revolutionary concept: Growth Mindset, which is not only applicable to individuals, but even to groups or organization. Infused with engaging stories and in-depth research, Mindset will lead readers to understand the provocative idea that those who believe that abilities are fixed are less likely to flourish than those with a growth mindset—those who believe that abilities can be developed.

                      If you are an adventurer who wants to foster great accomplishment, or if you are a teacher who hopes to inspire your students’ potentials, why not give Mindset a place on your next-reading list?

                      Print | eBook | Audiobook

                        Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

                        by Allen, David

                        In an era when multi-tasking is a necessary living skill, anxiety and depression due to heavy workload and information overload are rampant. If you look for a way to get things done without any stress, Getting Things Done is worthy of your attention.

                        Since its first publication 15 years ago, Getting Things Done written by David Allen, a world-wide leading coach to many American prestigious organizations, has become one of the most influential business books of its era. In this newest edition, the book is re-written from start to finish, with up-to-date material added.

                        From this masterpiece on personal organization, readers will learn mental skills necessary for this hectic, knowledge-base society, eventually boosting their productivity and well-being.

                        For readers who have not read this precious asset, it is time to read the manuals every business predecessor had read a decade ago; for readers who had already read this, it is always worthwhile to re-read this inspirational self-help. As the old saying goes, a good book is worth reading twice!

                        It is time to speed up your productivity, and escape from burnout due to over-stress.

                        PrinteBook | Audiobook

                        More by this author

                        Lifehack Reads

                        Lifehack Reads is the curated collection of our favorite books, carefully categorized and sorted by our Editorial Team.

                        10 Inspirational Books That Can Change Your Life 27 Must Read Books Every Novel Lover Should Read at Least Once 1 Minute Book Summary: 59 Seconds 2 Minutes Book Summary: How the World Sees You Good Book to Read: What I Know For Sure

                        Trending in Books

                        1 10 Inspirational Books That Can Change Your Life 2 Book Summary: The Power of Habit in 2 Minutes 3 1 Minute Book Summary: How To Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less 4 1 Minute Book Summary: 59 Seconds 5 2 Minutes Book Summary: Thinking Fast and Slow

                        Read Next


                        Last Updated on September 26, 2018

                        10 Inspirational Books That Can Change Your Life

                        10 Inspirational Books That Can Change Your Life

                        If you want to change your life, you are going to have to do things differently. 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 in the quote below, you are going have to experience discomfort and pain in order to transform your life. Any change, whether it be an organisation or personal, can be a painful process. However, the rewards of going through the change process are priceless.

                        “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

                        There are two specific events that threw my life into a tailspin, where for a while there it felt like I was losing control. These two events were, the sudden and tragic loss of my parents, and being made redundant three times in eighteen months.

                        With the third redundancy, I was at my lowest point in my life. I felt utterly useless. My self-confidence was at zero, and I could see no future for me.

                        My life was turned upside down. I knew that I had to turn it around. I just didn’t know how.

                        Then one wet Sunday afternoon, I picked up a book from my bookshelf called ,“The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brene Brown. I had this book for at least a year and had been meaning to read it, but hadn’t gone anywhere near a book for months.

                        When I read this book, I decided that I needed to get my life back. I needed to learn how to heal and rebuild my confidence, as well as my self belief.

                        So I started to read books. I read lots of books about inspirational stories on life, love, and happiness. Personal development and motivational books were full of information, tools, and strategies about how I could take control back and change my life. I would like to share with you the inspirational messages I got from reading these ten books that changed my life.

                        Read these 10 books because I believe they will inspire you, motivate you, and show you how to take action and go change your life!

                          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

                          Print | eBook | Audiobook

                            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.

                            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

                            Print | eBook | Audiobook

                              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

                              Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                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

                                Print | eBook | Audiobook


                                  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.

                                  Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                    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.

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

                                    Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                      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

                                      Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                        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

                                        Print | Audiobook

                                          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?

                                          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

                                            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

                                            These 10 books were key to helping me change my life. I rediscovered hope for my future. I found my courage, strength, and my self-belief. I hope that by reading these books, you will find the same inspiration and motivation to take up the challenge and change your life.

                                            “If one reads enough books one has a fighting chance. Or better, one’s chances of survival increase with each book one reads.” – Sherman Alexie

                                            Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                            Read Next