Best Books for Self-improvement + Reader Recommendations!

by | Aug 24, 2015 | Blog

A couple weeks ago I sent an email to my free VIP email list and shared with them a list of the books that have most influenced my life in a positive way. These are what I consider, for me, the best books for self-improvement. I asked everyone to reply with books that have had the greatest impact on their lives so I thought I’d share my own list with all of you along with the recommendations they sent back!

I love to read. I love it because my personal growth, happiness and success are only limited by my willingness to learn. That means I can ALWAYS get better! I can always improve my health, body, mind, finances and relationships! That is so exciting and empowering!One of the common characteristics of highly successful individuals who reach and surpass their goals is that they are lifelong learners. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with TV or music, but when I read a book or listen to a podcast, I’m learning and absorbing things that help me improve my life.Books I’ve read have given me the information and strategy I needed to pay off $130,000 of student loan debt in less than 2 years.
Books I’ve read have motivated me to overcome failure, loss and tremendous heartache.
Books I’ve read have encouraged and inspired me to take huge risks and start my business. They’ve taught me strategy and best practice to constantly build and improve that business.
Books I’ve read have introduced me to the tools I used to lose over 140 lbs and completely reinvent myself in every way.
Without these books I don’t think I’d be where I am today. I’m not sure I’d have had the right strategy or the consistency to get out of debt, to lose a tremendous amount of weight or start my own business.
Sure, I love watching sports on TV and I love a good Netflix marathon as much as the next person but I want to make things happen. I believe that we only have one shot at life here on earth and I want to be happy, I want to crush my goals and I want to live the best life that is possible for me. A huge part of that is learning via reading.
Today I wanted to share with you 10 books that have dramatically improved my life. Is there a book that changed your life? I love adding books to my library so please shoot me an email with the book that impacted you most and why!
The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
As you guys know, this book was the catalyst for me paying off my student loan debt, becoming debt free and learning to budget at any income level. Those changes are completely responsible for me having the opportunity to leave my job in corporate America and start my own business. I can’t tell you the ripple effect created when you take control of your finances. It improves every single aspect of life. And honestly, this is possible regardless of your current income. Afterall, financial peace is more about how much money you keep, not how much money you make.
Money Master the Game by Tony Robbins
Tony does an amazing job of explaining the importance of setting money aside no matter where you’re at in your financial journey. Here’s the thing: we all know we should save money. I get that. But Tony presents the case for saving and investing in a very powerful, unique way. Plus, he clearly explains some of the major mistakes people make when saving and investing. Understanding those mistakes, for me, was the most valuable part of this book because I was making many of them! I’ve read a lot of books on finance and this is one of the best.
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
This book has given me the mantras and mindset strategies to overcome temptation, manage frustrations and be happier, more peaceful person. I have a collection of quotes on my desk and in my phone and the majority of them have come from this book. To me, this is the guidepost for happy, productive living. I can’t recommend it enough!
The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday
I cannot say enough about this book. This is my personal handbook for getting through difficult times. Whether it’s heartbreak, failure, loss, fear, or any other challenge, The Obstacle is the Way helps you not only survive, but actually thrive and improve your condition. This is one of my top 3 favorite books of all time. I keep this book on my desk and routinely re-read it. If I ruled the world (watch out!), I’d make this required reading for everyone.
Triggers by Marshall Goldsmith
If you can’t control your emotions and your emotional responses, you can’t control your life. Triggers is about understanding your habits, understanding the triggers that lead to your unhealthy responses and helping you implement strategies for positive change. Yes, fat loss is 90% nutrition but nutrition is 90% mental. Triggers helped me understand why I sabotage myself and how I can stop making excuses and start making progress.
Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis
Having grown up hearing about how wheat is good for you and whole wheat products are “heart healthy”, this book was a game changer. Wheat Belly clearly and succinctly explains why wheat today is nothing like wheat from a couple hundred years ago and how (and why) wheat products are closely associated with the development of some of the most common health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, ADHD, depression and more.
Primal Body Primal Mind by Nora Gedgaudas
This is an incredibly comprehensive book about how your body is impacted by your food and lifestyle choices. It goes into detail, without being too technical, about the impact of processed foods, sugars, wheat, dairy, toxins, alcohol and much more on your mood, body composition, cognitive abilities and overall health. This is always one of the books I recommend for people looking to understand the importance of moving towards a whole foods way of eating.
The ONE Thing by Gary Keller
I am an overachiever and perfectionist. My natural tendency is to take on too much and then feel overwhelmed and not reach the goals I’ve set. The ONE Thing made such a positive impact on my life by teaching me incredibly valuable strategies for prioritization. My biggest lesson from this book was that oftentimes, when you set out to do less, you end up getting so much more accomplished (and done well) than when you set out to do more.
Resilience by Eric Greitens
Eric Greitens is a former Navy Seal who writes this amazing book about overcoming adversity and creating the life you want. The format is really unique – the book is a compilation of letters between himself and another Navy Seal as they transition back into life after combat and navigate serious obstacles and challenges. It is extremely inspiring but also highly practical.
The 5 Minute Journal by Alex Ikonn & UJ Ramdas
Ok, so this doesn’t quite count as a traditional “book” but it’s bound and hardcover so I’m totally counting it! I learned about the 5 minute journal from Tim Ferriss – he uses it regularly – and I was hooked within the first couple days. It takes me less than 5 minutes but I start and end my day with it – writing a few things I’m grateful for, a few great things that I’m planning to make happen that day, and a couple other things. This helps me stay really focused on all there is that makes my life great instead of allowing my focus to naturally drift towards the things that stress me out or overwhelm me.
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
This book reminds me so much of my grandfather. My grandfather taught me to never stop learning and to bring as much value to the world as possible. Atlas Shrugged, though fiction, continues to inspire me to think for myself and not be shy about bringing my passions and abilities to the world. (Goodwill warning: DO NOT WATCH THE MOVIES. They are dreadful. Honestly. Daytime soap operas have exponentially better acting than these unfortunate movies. Read the book)
When I sent this list everyone on my VIP list, I asked for their recommendations – their favorite, most high-impact books. So what do my readers consider the best books for self-improvement?
Here’s what you guys shared with me!

Reader Recommendations


What would you add to the list? Email me and I’ll add your suggestion!

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