10 Must Read Self Improvement Books

If you’re looking to improve your life, then self-improvement books are a great place to start. And out of the ones that I’ve personally read, the following ten books are the best of the bunch.

Whether you’re looking to improve productivity, change your behavior, or build a more positive mindset, there’s a book here that will match your goals.

So without further ado, here’s a list of some all-time great self-improvement books.

* Note: There may be affiliate links on this page, which means I receive a small commission if you choose to make a purchase *

#1: Atomic Habits By James Clear

best books on habits - atomic habits by james clear

If I was only allowed to read one personal development book for the rest of my life, then this is the book that I would choose.

Atomic Habits is a masterpiece from James Clear that teaches you everything you could ever want to know about habits.

If you’re looking for a thought-provoking book that provides simple & actionable advice that you can act on immediately, then pick this book up.

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#2: The Slight Edge By Jeff Olson

cover of a self improvement book

The Slight Edge is one of the all-time best self improvement books ever written.

It outlines a simple but powerful philosophy that you can apply to any area of your life. Among the most important lessons in the book is this — your life is a product of the tiny, seemingly insignificant choices that you make every day.

Olson hammers home this idea with powerful true motivational stories as well as personal anecdotes to illustrate how big those little choices we make each day really are.

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#3: Deep Work by Cal Newport

best time management books - deep work by cal newport

Newport’s productivity classic is one of the best time management books that I’ve read in the last few years.

If you’re looking for a book that will show you how to be productive instead of busy, then this is definitely a must-read for you.

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#4: The Confidence Gap By Russ Harris

cover of confidence gap by russ harris

The Confidence Gap came to me at a perfect time in my life. I was just beginning to notice that I had zero control over my thoughts and spent too much time in “mind wandering mode.”

My constant daydreaming about the future and my obsession with the past left me blind to the only thing that matters, the present moment.

Harris’s book is the perfect read if you’re looking to be more present, manage your thoughts better, or reduce anxiety & stress.

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#5: The ONE Thing By Gary Keller

cover of the one thing by gary keller

Gary Keller’s ONE Thing philosophy took the world by storm when this book was first released, and after reading this book myself, the hype is certainly well deserved.

Too often in life people find themselves chasing too many goals, while struggling to make meaningful progress on any of them.

If that sounds like you, then grabbing Gary Keller’s book will help you shape an entirely new process for getting what you really want out of life.

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#6: The 5 Second Rule By Mel Robbins

book cover of the 5 second rule

Out of all of the books on this list, this is probably the most inspiring and motivational one. However, that doesn’t mean it’s all hype and no help.

Mel describes how to get unstuck and start living the life you were meant to live by adopting a powerful psychological hack called the 5 Second Rule.

If you find yourself struggling to take action in spite of fear and self-doubt, this book may just give you the kick-in-the-ass you need.

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#7: 12 Rules For Life By Jordan Peterson

cover of 12 rules for life by jordan peterson

If you’re looking for a ra-ra feel-good self-help book, then this book might not be for you. In this book, Peterson reiterates the Buddhist philosophy that life is suffering.

However, he also explains that the antidote to the suffering of life is to pursue something so meaningful that you can tolerate life’s malevolence.

It’s a real and raw look at life that will undoubtedly challenge some of your pre-conceived notions about what it really means to be happy.

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#8: The Power Of Now By Eckhart Tolle

cover of the power of now by eckhart tolle

Eckhart Tolle’s best selling classic is all about staying present and embracing the power of the here and now.

There’s nothing revolutionary about the idea of staying present, but this was the first book to really go into detail and explain why it’s essential for reducing anxiety and feeling more content.

This book isn’t the most actionable on this list, but it’s certainly one of the most eye-opening. I guarantee you’ll have several of those “aha” moments as you turn the pages.

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#9: Free To Focus by Michael Hyatt

free to focus by michael hyatt

This book is about as actionable as it gets if you’re looking to increase your productivity.

Free to Focus isn’t about one time productivity hacks, it’s a complete system that shows you how to organize your life around what you love to do most.

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#10: Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

flow - one of the best books for finding your passion

You ever have those work sessions where time seems to fly by and you feel fully engaged in the task at hand?

Well, there’s actually a name for this mental state where we’re at peak productivity, and it’s called the flow state.

This book highlights why it’s so important to be in flow as well as powerful tips to put yourself in this state more often on a daily basis.

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