It is no secret that I have a love for personal development books. I am actually infamous for it. The books I will list here are books I have read, and I know they are worth reading. There is nothing worse than getting a book and going through the motivation and drive to read it, only for it to fall flat.
I want you to have a thriving year. That kind of happiness and productivity takes work, and you don’t want to waste time reading books that are generic and don’t give you the kind of information you are looking for. But this is a list of tried and true classics.
I once heard someone say that it is better to study a masters’ work over and over again rather than study many novices’ work, which I really like in this context. Because when you find an author who you connect with and have the results you want, it is best to stick with them and study their work.
I find it frustrating to read a whole book only to feel like it was a waste of time. This brings us to my master list of books that I have had the luxury of reading and implementing their wisdom into my life to make me lead a successful and happy life.
Here are the 22 best books that will make this year a happy and productive one:
1. The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
If you want to be productive this year, read this book. The Compound Effect is a staple book in productivity because the whole concept makes achieving goals and working towards anything easy, simple, and achievable.
It breaks down the goal-making process and builds you back up to achieve your goals. It has a no-nonsense approach to personal development, and it is a personal love of mine.
Darren Hardy also runs daily video emails with nuggets of knowledge to help keep you on track with your goals. I watch it every day over coffee to help get my mindset in place, achieve goals, and stay on track while also following The Compound Effect. If you haven’t read this one, get it.
2. The Courage to Be Disliked by Fumitake Koga and Ichiro Kishimi
This book is a secret love of mine, and it’s one of the best books for 2022. The Courage to Be Disliked is really easy to read as it is structured like a conversation. You get to follow along as someone discovering the secrets of happiness for the first time and it is fascinating.
Sometimes, personal development books can be dry and hard to get through. But this one reads more like a novel, and the concepts in it are exceptional. They also have a follow-up book called The Courage to be Happy, which is just as good, but it is more of a practical book.
3. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers
One of the biggest holdbacks of happiness is fear—fear of being judged, of injury, of death. Fear is what holds us back from doing things we want and need to do to make us happy.
Fear will always hold you back from happiness and progress unless you learn how to overcome it. Reading Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway is the best way to do that. As the title says, you have to feel the fear but you have to do it anyway, and this book gives you the confidence to do that.
4. You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
When people start their journey into finding happiness, I always send them to Jen Sincero. Her book, You Are a Badass, is hilarious, upbeat, to the point, and covers some fundamentals of self-love to get you off your buns and go for what you want in life.
It is written in a personal style with her unique sense of humor, so it feels like you are sitting with a good friend and listening to their wisdom. If you are looking for that “get started” or motivational book, this one is a great one to come back to over and over again.
5. Discover Your Destiny With the Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: The 7 Stages of Self-Awakening by Robin Sharma
You may be thinking something along the lines of “what is this book and how does it lead to either happiness or productivity?” And you would be right in thinking it. I admit, it is an off recommendation, and it is a different suggestion. But Discover Your Destiny With the Monk Who Sold His Ferrari is a great book.
This book covers really important lessons that can help you build a happier life. It is also really easy to read, and it is nice to follow along with the protagonist learning all of the wisdom. It isn’t a big book either, so it is something you can read on your commute or over coffee in the morning without having to sit down and focus.
6. Karmic Management: What Goes Around Comes Around in Your Business and Your Life by Christie McNally, Michael Gordon, and Michael Roach
Karmic Management comes under the category of helping you become happy and productive. It covers the concept of being selflessly generous—how being kind and generous can lead to personal and financial growth.
It is a short book, which means that it is to the point, which I love! It’s a quick read and offers great insight into happiness and growth. It is one of the best books for 2022 that you can read over coffee in the morning and you can absorb the content and incorporate it into your life easily.
7. Respect Trumps Harmony: Why Being Liked is Overrated and Constructive Conflict Gets Results by Rachael Robertson
I have had the luxury of interviewing this writer, and I cannot express how much I loved this book. Respect Trumps Harmony is not only engaging and interesting to read but also filled with exceptional nuggets of wisdom.
Her theory about Triangles alone makes this book worth reading. Adopting Rachael’s Triangle system into my life has led to an end to miscommunication and drama. If communicating with other people is causing you to be unhappy or less productive, you need to read this book.
8. The Obstacle Is the Way by Ryan Holiday
Are you a chronic procrastinator? If so, this one’s for you.
Procrastination makes fools of us all, and whatever is your underlying reason for procrastination, you need this book. The Obstacle Is the Way is one of the best books for 2020 that bluntly tells you to stop, embrace the journey, and embrace the struggle.
We spend so much of our lives trying to take the easy path because we are exhausted from fighting. This book teaches you to embrace the struggle and turn it into a game. It is a must-have if you want to be happy and productive.
It is also a book you can come back to time and time again and learn something new to apply to your life. It is timeless.
9. Courage Is Calling by Ryan Holiday
I am adding this book even though I have not finished it yet because I hold this author in such high regard. It is sitting in my reading pile (which is always five books high).
Happiness and productivity require courage to overcome fears and push you out of your comfort zone. These aren’t easy feats. You need the courage of a lion to overcome your battles, and this author is exceptional at what he does. Courage Is Calling is also well-reviewed, and I just cannot wait to finish it.
10. Rhinoceros Success by Scott Alexander
If you are looking for a short and quick motivational book, Rhinoceros Success is the one you need. It is short, funny, but to the point.
It is the sort of book you can read in an hour but will hype you up to get you over your excuses and into the thick of it with excitement. It is one I love to have nearby for that kick in the pants when the procrastination sinks in.
11. Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones by James Clear
This book is iconic and one of the best books to read in 2022. It is in theme with Darren Hardy’s book, The Compound Effect.
Atomic Habits is about mastering your small habits to help you achieve your goals, but it also helps you break bad habits that aren’t getting you the things you want in life. If you are serious about being productive this year, get this book, read it, and implement it.
12. Start With Why by Simon Sinek
If there is a book that is going to help you find happiness and productivity, it is Sinek’s Start With Why. If you want an understanding of this book, you can watch Sinek’s Ted Talks or some of his videos. They are outstanding, and his book is in the same vein.
Learning your “why” can not only enhance how you tackle life but also how you find what makes you happy. Once you find your “why,”
you can build your life around it. It is the fundamental idea that brings success, which makes this book one of the best to read in 2022.
13. Happy: Finding Joy in Every Day and Letting Go of Perfect by Fearne Cotton
The title says it all. If you want to be happy, this book gives you the tools you need to get it.
Happy: Finding Joy in Every Day and Letting Go of Perfect is a great introductory book and one of the best books to read in 2022 if you are struggling and you need a reminder. It is a book I always hand out to people who are new to the personal growth and happiness world.
If you want to be happier this year and you don’t know where to start, start here. Make it your January “to read” book, and then go from there.
14. In the FLO: Unlock Your Hormonal Advantage and Revolutionize Your Life by Alisa Vitti
This book is mostly for my ladies, but I always think that if you have a woman in your life, everyone should know about this.
Learning more about your body and planning your life around being in sync with it is a game-changer. Instead of fighting against the tide, you learn to surf with the flow of your body, and it makes life so much easier.
In the FLO is an eye-opener if you always feel like you are constantly battling your body, your mood, and your energy levels. It is a big book, but it is easy to read, really interesting, and filled with those “Aha!” and “ohhh” moments that all great books are made of.
15. Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight Book by Linda Bacon
Health at Every Size is old and borderline outdated, but if you are struggling with body issues/ insecurities, it remains outstanding. It not only takes a fresh perspective on your body and how to view it, but it also helps you heal your relationship with it and food.
If you want to start healing and being happy with your body, this book is an amazing place to start. Another strange addition to this list as I am sure you were just expecting the same Toni Robbins and Stephen Covey books, but I intentionally left a lot of the classics out of this list to expand your horizons.
If you want to find happiness, this is where you start regarding body image.
16. Good Vibes, Good Life: How Self-Love Is the Key to Unlocking Your Greatness by Vex King
The concept of this book is simple, but it is so good. Good Vibes, Good Life is a beautifully written book that you cannot put down, making it one of the best books to read in 2022.
This book talks and teaches about the fundamentals of self-love and how to overcome them. I read this book in just one day because I could not fathom doing anything else other than absorbing it. It is uplifting and gives you the courage on your self-love journey.
17. The Full Life Framework by Leon Ho
The Full Life Framework is one of the best books to read in 2022 to help you build a productive and happy life. It takes you through a pragmatic system and helps you break down each area of your life and plan to have happiness and growth in all areas of your life.
If you a looking for a more step-by-step style, then this is 100% the book for you. I prefer a more pragmatic style myself, so this book is perfect for making sure that I have a balanced life and find fulfillment in all areas. Like most people, I find it hard to balance all areas of my life.
18. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
I felt like this book was five years too late for me as I only read it in 2021 for the first time. It is one of those long times you have to read this kind of book.
The Alchemist is written with a great narrative, but it is for people who are new to personal growth and spiritual journey. If that is you, read this book! It won’t take too long, and it is great to read over morning coffee or in the evening. If you are a few years in, you might find it a little basic, though.
19. The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
If you want to be productive and make changes, make time to do things that make you happy and make these goals happen. You can start by reading The Miracle Morning.
The premise is really simple: wake up an hour earlier, and prioritize your goals. But we all know how that has worked out previously, so get this book and embrace the lessons. This is a really good chance to bring change to your life.
When I implemented it, my productivity tripled, and I had more time for things that made me happy.
20. Get Some Headspace: 10 Minutes Can Make All the Difference by Andy Puddicombe
I hear you—a mediation book, really? I hear you, I really do. But Get Some Headspace is actually really interesting because it explains to you how to meditate—not why or what, but the actual breakdown of how to for normal people like you and me—people who aren’t naturally meditation-minded with pinball machines for brains who don’t have time to sit and think of nothing.
This book is really interesting and frank while teaching you the benefits of meditation. so if you don’t find you need a moment to just breathe, you will have the fundamentals in place. I loved this book. It is one of the best books to read in 2022, and it is enlightening.
21. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
Full disclosure: I haven’t read this one, but I have watched a lot of the author’s work and read her articles.
I love the concept of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. Grit is the defining factor in success, productivity, and even happiness. If you can cultivate the grit to keep going, to push through when times get tough, then you can achieve anything.
If grit and perseverance are the factors that let you down in life, try this book. This one is on my January to-read list.
22. Reality Transurfing by Vadim Zeland
I am going to end this list with the most controversial book of them all. Reality Transurfing is not controversial because of what you might think. It is not because this book is so large and complex that it took me three months to finish (there is an entire audiobook version on youtube by the way) but because it is very interesting.
Do not get me wrong, it’s complicated and hard to follow. It is not for easy readers. But the concepts discussed in it are next level in helping you keep a positive and happy mindset. You have to have an open mind to take in the concepts addressed in this textbook.
If you are looking for a challenge and you want a book unlike any you have ever read, you might want to try this one. I enjoyed it, but do take notes as you are going through with your thoughts and nuggets of knowledge.
These are my 22 best books for you to thrive and have an excellent year ahead. This year will be what you make of it, so I hope you find the motivation and courage to make it the best year ever.
Featured photo credit: Alexandra Fuller via unsplash.com