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Last Updated on August 6, 2018

15 Best Autobiographies Everyone Should Read At Least Once In Their Lives

15 Best Autobiographies Everyone Should Read At Least Once In Their Lives

An autobiography is a first hand experiences of the authors written by the authors, thus, making them interesting to the readers and enabling them to understand the “other,” unseen side of the authors.

Autobiographies are mainly written by famous persons. They teach us different stories, the authors’ struggles in life, the emotions they went through, making the autobiographers more human. Here are 15 of the best autobiographies in no qualitative order.

1. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin.

franklin

    Written from 1771 to 1790, this book contains the life history of one of America’s founding fathers. Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography will tell you how a lower-middle classed youth raised up into one of the most admired men in the world.

    It will also tell you how Mr. Franklin believed in the American Dream, and indicated the possibilities of life in the New World. He proved to the world that hard works paid off, and that undistinguished persons could become of great importance in America.

    Another reason why this is a classic is due to the historical factors. It reveals how life was in the 18th Century, the idealism, the intellectualism and optimistic beliefs are very well expressed. This autobiography contains four parts and is totally worth a read!

    2. Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela.

    mandela

      Nelson Mandela’s autobiography contains every elements of knowledge you want to know about this legendary leader. Starting from his childhood, growing up in to a freedom fighter, to his twenty seven years in prison, and his significant role in molding up a new, democratic South Africa, this book has it all.

      It also contains in depth analysis of Mandela’s perception of the anti-apartheid struggle of the South Africans. In simple words, this book is Mandela’s long walk to freedom!

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      3. The Story of My Experiments with Truth by Mahatma Gandhi.

      gandhi

        Mahatma Gandhi’s autobiography is a frank and humble account that highlights the moral and spiritual side of an extraordinary leader. This book is firmly rooted in the historical background of the forty years he spent in India. It has every detail of Gandhi’s life, historical and political incidents, and his personal philosophy on life. It is a beautiful book, not to be missed at all!

        4. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.

        annefrank

          This diary is very unlike your usual autobiography. Anne Frank was a Jewish girl, who, along with her family and few friends, went into hiding during World War II. This beautiful piece describes everything that a thirteen year old girl would experience: typical girlhood consciousness, friendships with other girls, her crushes on boys, and her academic performances.

          It also states how her life was while in hiding, her emotional roller coasters, her opinions on other people’s behavior, and her loneliness. Her diary ends shortly after her fifteenth birthday.

          5. Chronicles, Vol 1 by Bob Dylan.

          dylan

            Bob Dylan needs no introduction. This is the first volume of his autobiography and it contains three chapters. Here he talks about his life in New York in 1961, his experiences while recording his first album and his devotion towards two of his lesser albums.

            This is something all the music lovers will enjoy, especially those who adore him. He is planning to write two more chronicles, thanks to the immense success of his volume one.

            6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou.

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            maya

              This autobiography is the first of Maya’s seven autobiographies, but this has claimed fame for her. This book tells a wonderful, emotional journey of a struggling Black American, who went through bitter experiences in the course of her first seventeen years.

              It starts from how her life changed after her parents’ divorce, how she was raped by her mother’s live-in boyfriend, how she overcame her trauma, and all the events that interlocked in between. This beautiful piece of literature teaches us the hardships of life and the extreme racism the Black Americans used to face at one time.

              7. The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X.

              malcolm

                This particular book is a solid example of the underside of 20th Century American life. Malcolm X poured out the details of his life, from the poverty of his childhood, to his criminal teen, and then his emergence as a national figure and world leader.

                The readers are never allowed to forget that converting to Islam was the major turning point in Malcolm X’s life. This is considered a spiritual classic.

                8. Agatha Christie: An Autobiography by Agatha Christie.

                agatha

                  This autobiography can be considered as the unraveling of one of the best mysteries, Agatha Christie herself. She bespeaks of the delight of her happy childhood, her affectionate acquaintance with her mother, the tragic episodes that touched her, her mother’s death and her first husband’s adultery, marrying her second husband, and most importantly, about her works.

                  9. Open: An Autobiography by Andre Agassi.

                  agassi

                    During the early 1990s and mid 2000s, this dashing man had dominated the tennis court by not only his charm and fashion, but also with his talent in the game. This former world number one wrote about his life account, confessing to controversies, his love life, and his “hate” for the game. This memoir is darkly funny and is regarded to be one of the National Best sellers of that time!

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                    10. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King.

                    sking

                      This memoir is crafted exceptionally well and does not contain the slightest hint of horror in it (unlike King’s other books!). After reading this, you will have learned about King’s personal life, experiences, his struggles during pre-fame and post-fame, and what makes him such a popular horror novelist. The style contains good humor and good dexterity. Each part (there are three parts) is equally informative and enthralling.

                      11. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway.

                      ernest

                        A Moveable Feast is a story of innocence lost. It tells the life events of the great American author and journalist, how he was shaped into becoming an author, his love interests, and his perspectives on things. Though the events are scattered, the book is still interesting in its own way.

                        12. Autobiography of Mark Twain by Mark Twain.

                        twain

                          In this first volume of Mark Twain’s memoirs, we see a colorful presentation of this great author’s long life. The book is a classic itself, and every element, like style, scope, imagination, laughter and tragedy, prove it all. It also manifests the different roles he had in life – a family man, an author, a son, a brother, and a friend.

                          13. I Am Ozzy by Ozzy Osbourne.

                          ozzy

                            The vocal of Black Sabbath may be not have a good reputation, but, at the end of the day, he is a human being too. And this is exactly what he tells us here. There are many things to learn from this man’s experiences. This is a book written in details and humor.

                            14. Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler.

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                            hitler

                              To understand Hitler, you must read this autobiography. If you start reading this book, you will be able to comprehend the “other side” of this tyrant and mass murderer. Mein Kampf is a German phrase meaning My Struggle. This book depicts his childhood, early aspirations, his conflict with his father, his rise to the politics, and his hatred of the Jews. The chronicles are poised frankly.

                              Last, but not the least,

                              15. Dreams from my Father by Barack Obama.

                              obama

                                This is a rendition of the struggles, of the relationships between families, of the racisms faced, and of the love affair of the current most powerful man in the world. Obama’s writing style shows class and exclusiveness as he reflects on his personal experiences on the racial relationships in the USA.

                                The knowledge one acquires from reading one autobiography is more than that acquire from reading a few novels. The readers can blend into the characters and witness the history from first-hand experience. Besides, why wouldn’t you learn from successful people who have experienced all the ups and downs before they succeeded?

                                I believe that people who love reading MUST have one at least one of these books in their collection. And if you’re looking for more books to help you improve and get closer to success, these are must-reads:

                                35 Books on Productivity and Organizational Skills for an Effective Life

                                Top 25 Books to Unleash Your Creative Potential

                                15 Best Leadership Books Every Young Leader Needs To Read

                                Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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                                Last Updated on August 16, 2018

                                10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

                                10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

                                The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.

                                In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.

                                Here are 10 ways to help you step out of your comfort zone and get closer to success:

                                1. Become aware of what’s outside of your comfort zone

                                What are the things that you believe are worth doing but are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?

                                Draw a circle and write those things down outside the circle. This process will not only allow you to clearly identify your discomforts, but your comforts. Write identified comforts inside the circle.

                                2. Become clear about what you are aiming to overcome

                                Take the list of discomforts and go deeper. Remember, the primary emotion you are trying to overcome is fear.

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                                How does this fear apply uniquely to each situation? Be very specific.

                                Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your looks?

                                Or, are you afraid of being ignored?

                                3. Get comfortable with discomfort

                                One way to get outside of your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort.

                                Let’s stay with the theme of meeting people in social settings. If you start feeling a little panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to comfort. If you stay long enough and practice often enough, it will start to become less uncomfortable.

                                4. See failure as a teacher

                                Many of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams.

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                                Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from the experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance of success?

                                Many highly successful people failed plenty of times before they succeeded. Here’re some examples:

                                10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

                                5. Take baby steps

                                Don’t try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.

                                Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to do public speaking, start by taking every opportunity to speak to small groups of people. You can even practice with family and friends.

                                Take a look at this article on how you can start taking baby steps:

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                                The Number One Secret to Life Success: Baby Steps

                                6. Hang out with risk takers

                                There is no substitute for this step. If you want to become better at something, you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start emulating them. (Here’re 8 Reasons Why Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful).

                                Almost inevitably, their influence will start have an effect on your behavior.

                                7. Be honest with yourself when you are trying to make excuses

                                Don’t say “Oh, I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead, be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.”

                                Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance of moving forward.

                                8. Identify how stepping out will benefit you

                                What will the ability to engage in public speaking do for your personal and professional growth? Keep these potential benefits in mind as motivations to push through fear.

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                                9. Don’t take yourself too seriously

                                Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will inevitably involve failure and setbacks that will sometimes make you look foolish to others. Be happy to roll with the punches when others poke fun.

                                If you aren’t convinced yet, check out these 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously.

                                10. Focus on the fun

                                Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.

                                Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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