I have read quite a few books over the years when it comes to personal growth and productivity. They could be lumped into the self-help category, but not all self-help books are about better management of time, becoming more productivity and growing as a person into the best version of yourself.
I have also read my fair share of self-help books, which I classify differently for a few reasons. Self-help books find us when we are really struggling with something in life, while productivity and personal growth books may simply enhance our current life or help take us to the next level. They don’t always find us when we are struggling with something.
While I certainly cannot claim to know every book out there on productivity & personal growth, I know enough to rank my very own top ten. Below are the books that have influenced me in many ways and have helped me grow into a better version of myself. These books should never just be read, however. They must be studied.
Often, I will read, re-read and highlight/take notes on these books so that the information will actually sink in and become a part of my life. I also have to digest the books and take out what fits with my beliefs (Christian) and morals, as not every book is going to perfectly line up with my beliefs. This is an important step as you should never compromise your beliefs for anything.
Anybody that truly knows me knows books are a huge influence in my life. Not only have they helped me with productivity and personal growth, but they have also led me out of darkness, out of desperate times and helped keep me company in some of my worst moments. I have always turned to books and I believe they have saved me from becoming a member of the living dead on more than one occasion.
Okay, let’s get to the list!
This book found me in my early 20s and was a big part of the influence that led me to become who I am today. It helped me to discover many things about myself and challenged me to grow in ways I didn’t realize were possible. The book’s cover says, “Living Everyday with Passion & Purpose,” which is exactly what it will teach you to do. If there’s one book on this list I would recommend EVERYBODY get and read, it’s this one from Matthew Kelly.
You might be hesitant to pick up this book if you’re not in sales, but it’s not just for those people in sales. It’s for everybody and worth a read, even if you’re not trying to grow a company. The book is probably the most famous from Og Mandino and it found me in my late teen years.
When I read The Greatest Salesman in the World, I was in sales. However, it has stayed with me throughout my life and I have re-read it since when I wasn’t in sales. It’s an incredible story with plenty to offer for anybody in sales, in business or just trying to live a better life. This book also led me to others by Og Mandino that have changed my life in many great ways.
While it’s a book about the life of Payne Stewart and his golf, it’s also about personal growth. His story is one of personal growth and there is so much great influence found in this book. It changed my life in ways I cannot express in words.
I picked up this book when I was in a bad place and had just started to emerge from an isolation period in my life. It was a book that I desperately needed at the time and one I had been putting off reading for more than a year. The book let me into a better place and has a profound impact on my life. While it won’t give you tips or tricks to be more productive or show you how to become a better you, the story of Payne Stewart is one that you can easily find truth in and use as a model for your life.
A unique tale told in a way to keep you entertained, yet help you grow, The Monk who Sold His Ferrari is one I will never forget. I read this one more recently and it has some incredible advice for personal growth, especially for those filling their lives with emptiness and work.
I actually listened to this book, which made it even better! The steps found in this book can be applied to anybody’s life, but it was one I had to be careful of when it came to my own beliefs. It has a bit of a Buddhist theme, which is fine as most of their practices are very peaceful and wonderful, however, some of it doesn’t quite align with what I believe. However, it’s still a great story with plenty to teach us.
Another choice from Og Mandino and I could probably add four more from him to this list. He’s one of my favorite authors and I have read his book, A Better Way to Live at least a half-dozen times. It’s an easy ready with practical advice you can start using immediately.
Probably the one book you’ll find on just about everybody’s list, if they have desires to be productive and grow as a person, is Think and Grow Rich. Just about every author I read has recommended this book and for good reason. It’s where the personal growth and productivity books get quite a bit of their material. This may be an older book, but the tips and advice work just as well today as they did back when it was written.
If you enjoy a bit of history and you want to learn the core of personal and business growth, Think and Grow Rich is a book you simply cannot deny any longer.
Maybe the single best book I have ever read when it comes to entrepreneurship and leadership, Entreleadership from Day Ramsey is a must read. I actually listened to this book and it was narrated by Dave. He’s a great speaker and it makes it even more powerful. If you want to know how to run a business right, this is the man to model your business after.
Another excellent choice from Matthew Kelly, this book allows you to really figure out how to become a happier person. It’s practical advice giving you the ability to grow and become more productive. While it’s not a book on productivity, a happier person is usually a more productive person. If you want to really figure out how to live a happier life, get a copy of Perfectly Yourself by Matthew Kelly and study it.
An inspiring book with plenty of practical advice, The 4-Hour Workweek is a great addition to anybody’s library. It was one of the first books that really influenced me to want to work from home, become a writer and gain the freedom I have been seeking for many years. While I am certainly not down to a 4-hour work week, I am getting closer every few months and working towards freeing up more time for what I really want to do.
If you’re looking for a way to gain time with family, travel more and still maintain enough money to live life, this is the right book for you. With The 4-Hour Workweek, you can become a part of the New Rich!
Another one I finally got around to reading (well, listening to) The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin will give you a glimpse into one of the smartest, most productive, most driven men to live. Benjamin Franklin was known for many things, but his story will open you up to many other things. It’s certainly worth picking up and reading.
There are several other books I could recommend, but these are my top ten. If you need more, I recommend any books by Og Mandino or Matthew Kelly. They are two of the best authors I have ever read. I also recommend picking up the Bible, even if you’re not Christian. Read Proverbs and you will find so much wisdom about personal growth, happiness and even money management, you may just be surprised.