The average young professional typically has four main goal categories: money, career, relationship and health. Here are 7 must-read books that will help you with all of these goals and more.
One of the best and easiest ways to achieve a tremendous amount of growth is by investing in a good book…or two…or twenty. As the saying goes, “The more you know, the more you grow”. But the trick is – you don’t know, what you don’t know. So, invest in yourself! A $10 to $15 book could drastically change the course of your life.
The books chosen below could give you a considerable advantage in your current career and help you successfully move forward, whether it’s entry level, executive or entrepreneurial. Plus, the principles in these books are as relevant today as they were decades ago.
Wisdom is timeless.
If personal development is one of your goals this year, then check out the list below and see what catches your eye. I’m a Kindle reader, so I’ve included Amazon links to each one on every book cover image, but they can all be found at your local library for free too.
*Note: Biblical wisdom and self-improvement are not mutually exclusive. The Bible is forever in my personal list, but I didn’t include the Bible in this list because there is knowledge worth having that has nothing to do with faith or religion. There are wise atheists just like there are foolish Christians – so this list is not spiritually specific AT ALL.
Here is the list (in no particular order):
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
The title is straight forward enough and the language is poignant yet simple. The book shares principles to help you develop relationship-building skills which leads to leadership qualities. The biographical and historical data of great leaders are told with fascinating stories and anecdotes. For me, it’s helped me build new interpersonal relationships and helped with my social anxieties. Standout quotes:
“People who talk only of themselves think only of themselves.”
“A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”
The actual book title reads, Smart Couples Finish Rich: 9 Steps to Creating a Rich Future for You and Your Partner. It’s not just debt management as a couple, its really about aligning your financial goals so that you can both benefit from your dual incomes. One of the biggest stresses in relationships is money, so eliminate the funny money business by learning to invest/spend/save/manage dual incomes successfully. Standout quote: “How you spend money has nothing to do with how much you love each other.”
We Need to Talk: How to Have Conversations That Matter by Celeste Headlee
Take a moment to consider how many outcomes in your life may have been affected by poor communication skills. Could you have gotten that job you really wanted? Resolved (or better yet) saved a relationship/friendship? What about that disagreement that got out of hand? How is it that we so often fail to say the right thing at the right time? I’ve only just started this one, but looking forward to learning how to effectively communicate both personally and professionally. Standout quote: “We must learn how to talk to one another and, more important, listen to one other. We must learn to talk to people we disagree with, because you can’t unfriend everyone in real life.”
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
If you’re the philosophical type, then you may be interested in this one. Sometimes we desire to steer our lives in a new direction but we hit mental roadblocks, negativity and doubt. It is highly recommended for people looking to hone in on their positive thinking skills. Standout quote: “All that we are is a result of what we have thought.”
Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim
Do you know how to compete in today’s ultra-competitive market place? The Blue Ocean Strategy: How To Create Uncontested Market Space And Make The Competition Irrelevant is based on a study of 150 strategic moves spanning more than thirty industries. Authors W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne argue that lasting success comes from creating ‘blue oceans’: untapped new market spaces ripe from growth. This is an excellent read for Marketing careers and brand building for entrepreneurs.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
Want to learn more about taking full advantage of opportunities that come your way? Sometimes we’re not even aware or prepared for those moments. Don’t get ready, stay ready! This principle-centered approach for solving personal and professional problems is applicable to time management, productivity and personal development. Standout quote: “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
The first taste of Malcolm Gladwell came in the form of the very entertaining and informative Revisionist History podcast. He really takes the facts of so-called history and exposes the truth of what really happened. Gladwell is a renowned author as well, including this little gem. The #1 National bestseller hones in on what Gladwell calls the ‘outliers’: the best and brightest, the most famous and the most successful. It basically discusses the mystery of success, what factors come in to play and of course, the 10,000-hour rule. Standout quote: “Hard work is only a prison sentence when you lack motivation.”
Honorable mentions include The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene and 177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class by Steve Siebold. The takeaway from all of these books is that you don’t have to figure it (life) all out on your own. A good piece (or two) of literature can be the start of something great.