We all need a little extra oomph to be our best selves, and self help books can be a great, low-cost, easy way to make positive changes in your life. But if the books are dry or preachy, that’s no help at all–which is why we’ve rounded up some of the best inspirational books that are full of great advice, motivational quotes, and advice to get you on your way to becoming your best self. Whether you’re looking for no-nonsense, direct motivation (Get Your Sh*t Together) or something a bit more gentle and uplifting (The World According to Mr. Rogers), we’ve got a self-help book to help you!
by Jen Sincero
Hey, you're pretty great and you should never forget it. Jen Sincero has included twenty-seven mini-lessons that will help you ditch your self-sabotaging beliefs and gain more confidence in your own abilities. So whether you want to make a change in your life, make more money, or pursue something you always dreamed of doing, this book can help.
Okay, maybe it sounds silly that changing your life can start with making your bed, but if you've ever gotten into the habit of making your bed in the morning, you know how it can make you feel just a bit better about your day. That's the basis of this book, which is taken from a viral graduation speech that the author gave at University of Texas. Here, McRaven explains how simple, easy-to-do tasks that he learned from his career as Navy SEAL can help change your mindset and inspire you to be a better person.
by Randy Pausch
When Randy Pausch was asked to give his last lecture, he knew it was his final chance to impart the wisdom he'd gleaned on the world, because he knew he was dying. His topic was "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" and in it he spoke about meeting challenges and learning not to fear obstacles, helping others achieve their dreams, and taking advantage of all the time you are given–because as he showed us, you might not get as many years as you hoped for.
by Sarah Knight
If you find that you often lack the motivation to follow your dreams, or you keep putting off projects for another day, this is the book for you. Sarah Knight will help you organize your life–not just your physical stuff, but she'll help you organize your priorities so you can focus on what's really important, let go of what you don't need, and figure out a way to change your life once and for all.
For over twenty years, this book has helped people get their priorities in line. If you have a hard time starting a project because you feel so overwhelmed by everything in life, then you need this book to help you figure out how to focus on one thing at a time, reframe your problems as learning opportunities, reach out and ask for help and learn how to help others in turn, and learn to let go of the worries holding you back.
Raise your hand if your driver's license says you're an adult but you definitely don't feel like one! Kelly Williams Brown can help you out. She's packed this book with tons of lessons that range from maybe a little boring (but practical) to funny and essential–learn how to stock your kitchen in a cost-efficient way to how to maintain an adult relationship with other people and love the things you enjoy unironically and without shame. This book is a great, all-encompassing read, even if you feel like you have some aspects of adulting down.
David Foster Wallace, celebrated literary novelist, was private about his own life, but gave a graduation commencement speech in 2005 that resulted in this book. Living a compassionate life is the focus, and in order to do that Wallace argues that you must not make yourself the center of attention and to be mindful of your place in the world. Readers have loved this book for over a decade because of the straightforward scenarios Wallace proposes, and the solutions he offers for responding with kindness.
by Fred Rogers
A generation of kids grew up with Mr. Rogers in their living rooms, and now everyone can experience his wisdom in book form. This book is full of advice, anecdotes from his life and time on TV, and advice on how to live your life with kindness, grace, generosity, and respect. It's a gentle, soothing book that will motivate and inspire you to be a better neighbor and friend.
What are some of the most inspirational self-help books you’ve read?
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Tirzah Price is a writer and contributing editor at Book Riot. Find her on Twitter @TirzahPrice.