Author of globally renowned Harry Potter series of books, J.K. Rowling, says: “I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book.” Her quote is rather astute. Books do help us in our daily lives.
Reading books authored by the greatest motivational speakers, management gurus, and successful businessmen indeed serves as a beacon for those looking for personal development.
Importance of Reading
Reading books is among the first casualties of the onslaught of smart-phones, the Internet, and satellite TV. Indeed, reading is now labeled as ‘old fashioned’, despite the easy availability of excellent books.
Whether they are based on fact or fiction, theory or evidence, books help us in different ways. They help improve vocabulary, enrich our general knowledge, creates awareness of threats and opportunities, and help in overall personal development, vital for a successful life.
Here we present a selection of 10 books that help people worldwide develop their career and overall personality.
1. Rich Dad, Poor Dad – by Robert Kiyosaki
This bestseller by Japanese-American motivational speaker and financial expert Robert Kiyosaki, is a must-read for everyone from teenage students to those embarking on careers, middle-aged people as well as top executives.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad, is based on the real-life experiences of the author. It speaks about how the educated generally lag in wealth. Robert Kiyosaki provides you with a goldmine of information, based on his own experiences, about how a person can strike the perfect balance between education, wealth, and happiness.
First published in 1997, this book has helped millions of people worldwide to fulfill their dreams over the last two decades. It continues to remain a bestseller in its genre.
2. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People – by Dr. Stephen R. Covey
Authored by America’s topmost motivational speaker, (late) Dr. Stephen R. Covey has molded the lives of American Presidents, CEOs of global companies, educators, students, and their parents.
To date, ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ continues to inspire people across the globe in career and personal development. Dr. Covey, a Harvard MBA, speaks about the various phases of character development in a person’s life.
‘The Seven Habits…” takes you on a journey of character development from childhood till teenage and beyond, when people start their career.
The first three habits primarily focus on growth years, when we depend upon parents, teachers, and society for our needs.
The next three habits cover teenage and mid-20s when young women and men migrate from a state of dependence to inter-dependence.
Dr. Covey speaks of the new person born due to these first six steps as the seventh habit.
3. The Eighth Habit – by Dr. Stephen R. Covey
‘The Eighth Habit’, the author, Dr. Stephen R. Covey is a sequel to his earlier book, we mention above.
This book shows readers how to open vistas for their career and personal growth.
Dr.Covey exhorts readers to delve deeper into their inherent attributes- talent, need, conscience, and passion to scale great heights in life.
4. Zero to One – by Peter Thiel
‘Zero-to One’ is a collection of lectures and personal experiences of the author. The book is fun to read, highly informative, and extremely encouraging, to say the least.
Thiel was associated with several top Silicon Valley companies, including Facebook and Napster. In ‘Zero to One’, this American entrepreneur of German origin gives valuable advice to anyone- from teenager to retiree- about how to start an enterprise with almost no investment.
The book is excellent for career and personal development since it features several quizzes (with answers provided) for you to work upon, interesting anecdotes, problem-solving techniques in business, job, life, and loads of other information vital for succeeding in life.
The Net & The Butterfly is something every person aspiring for career and personal growth should own. Authors Olivia Fox Cabane and Judah Pollack say the mind is like a butterfly, capable of doing several great things.
However, they liken the mind to a butterfly, which is erratic and hard to catch. The book teaches people how to catch this ‘butterfly’ (mind) in a net (creative activities) for deriving the best from career and life.
It consists of several to-do exercises and puzzles, including an imaginary universe with zero gravity that you can rule and games for getting rid of our ‘impostor’ syndrome or the person we pretend to be.
6. The Journey Within – by Radhanath Swami
Though the author, Radhanath Swami, is a renowned preacher of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), his book, ‘The Journey Within’ deals more about balancing a balance between our material needs and spiritual cravings.
Though Radhanath Swami uses a lot of jargon peculiar to the Hindu faith, its contents are relevant for followers of all religions. Indeed, it has lesser to do with religion and concerns more about personal development.
This book helps everyone from youngsters to top businessmen to overcome the vital question of spirituality while living hectic lives in a material world.
Questions like ‘What is love? What is the soul? Who is God? How can we live in the physical world without losing touch with the spiritual?” are answered in a very down-to-earth manner by this world-renowned preacher.
7. The Power of Onlyness – by Nilofer Merchant
Everyone is unique and each brain is capable of conceiving some rare yet workable idea. In her book, The Power of Onlyness, author Nilofer Merchant forces readers to search deeper into themselves to find their inherent uniqueness, regardless of their strengths or weaknesses.
It helps readers to get rid of that lingering feeling of being a misfit or being unable to cope with others due to differences. Instead, she encourages readers to look upon everyone as a unique creation and accept all people are one by accepting their peculiarities.
Nilofer Merchant explains why some people attain greatness and shows ways and means by which you too can soar to heights you never imagined.
8. Stealing Fire – by Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal
Stealing Fire draws on four elements- psychology, neurobiology, pharmacology, and technology to explain our brain’s functioning. It helps us to understand why we behave in a particular manner or how we react or respond to situations.
The authors teamed up for a four-year study which culminates in the book. Kotler and Wheal explain why some people become presidents and CEOs and mental aptitudes to become successful. It helps you map gray areas of your brain. Stealing Fire is one of the topmost books for career development.
9. Tools of Titans – by Tim Ferris
Becoming rich and famous does not involve only exceptional talent, Ferris adds. In his book, Tools of Titans, author Tim Ferris analyzes these habits and routines of some of the world’s top rich and famous.
The book features interviews with Hollywood star Kevin Costner, founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffmann, and others, where they speak about simple measures that helped them achieve success.
This book is a must-read for anyone eyeing career and personal developments to soar to great heights by following simple habits.
10. Own It: The Power of Women at Work – by Sallie Krawcheck
Despite centuries of progress, women lag in entrepreneurship when compared to males. In her book, Own It, author Sallie Krawcheck deals with this issue.
She aptly highlights why women lag, blaming a lack of confidence and other self-created issues as hurdles. She includes examples of successful businesswomen in her book.
‘Own It’ is a great book for every woman who wishes to realize her dream of striking it rich and famous. Regardless whether you are a teenage girl or a working woman, ‘Own It’ will inspire you to take that leap you felt were impossible, for attaining great heights.
Thanks to online stores and Kindle-based publications, these books can be bought as hard copies or downloaded at very economical rates.
American writers author a majority of these books. Yet, their contents have global relevance.
While you can learn a great deal from this book, action on your part is the prerequisite for career and personal growth.