This was originally going to be a list of my 5 best Personal Development books I read in 2016 that you should read too. I had a list of 10 and cut it in half to 5. Then I could not decide on what 5 would make the list. So here we are with 6. Then I realized, out of these 6, 3 of them I actually read in 2015 and 1 I read in 2013 then re-read in 2015. Sigh. (If you read all that and it makes sense to you, thanks. If not, I apologize, I confuse myself oftentimes too.) So I ditched the 2016 idea completely and now I have a list of my 6 best personal development books that will undoubtedly change your life! At least they did for me.
Disclaimer: I teamed up with Amazon on this post and added some affiliate links, which means that if you click on and purchase from one of the product links, I may receive a small commission. Which would be pretty dope because it’ll be the first time my site has made any money. But these books are really just a few that have changed my life and I hope they’ll change yours.
My 6 Best Personal Development Books
The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley
This book is not a personal development book. It’s an autobiography. (duh, it says it in the title) But it helped to develop me personally so it makes the list, hands down. I can go as far as saying it’s in the top 3 best books I’ve ever read. It’s that good.
My spiritual journey really transformed when I read a book called The Gospel of Inclusion 7 years ago. It began to flow organically and lead me to think in ways totally different from how I grew up thinking. Ways that felt more natural and honestly brought me closer to God. Reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X helped shine a light on the religion of Islam. A religion that’s too often misunderstood. It helped me to understand the religion more thoroughly and surprisingly helped me realize my own truth.
The story takes you from Detroit, Michigan where Malcolm in his younger days was known as the small-time criminal “Detroit Red”, all the way to the holy land of Mecca in Saudi Arabia when he made the holy pilgrimage to discover the pure essence and love of Islam.
A quote that resonated with me says: “I’ve had enough of someone else’s propaganda…I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” – Malcolm X
Spike Lee calls it “The most important book I’ll ever read. It changed the way I thought; it changed the way I acted. It has given me courage that I didn’t know I had inside me. I’m one of hundreds of thousands whose life was changed for the better.”
And I could not agree more. It’s a powerful book of transformation, inspiration, and courage. Malcolm wore each of these labels the best, above all others that he may have been given in his short 39 years here on earth.
When you think about your existence here so far and think about what all he was able to accomplish in 39 years, you’ll indeed feel motivated to live your life to the fullest. I know I was.
2. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
Like I said before, my developed and persistent spiritual journey started about 8 years ago. My wealth building and entrepreneurial journey started a short 2 years ago. This book introduced me to the fact that I’ve been doing it all wrong! That’s really what I’d tell people when they’d ask me what I got out of this book.
For me, spirituality, religion, and black history were all I read about. When I finally incorporated entrepreneurship and abundance to my reading list, my life began to change!
Rich Dad Poor Dad is a story of a man’s two mentors he had growing up. His real dad who raised him and his best friends dad. He goes on to explain how these two men had very different perspectives on money and what it meant to have it. His real dad, who Kiyosaki refers to as his “Poor Dad” always taught him to find a job, work really hard at it, save your money, and retire on his savings. While his best friends dad, who Kiyosaki refers to as his “Rich Dad”, would encourage him and his friend to strive for entrepreneurial endeavors and investments that provided passive income. His rich dad also taught him the life-changing concept that a home is actually a liability because all the things you pay for while living there is taking money out of your pockets, as opposed to adding to them.
It’s a totally different mindset that will make you reconsider some if not all of your decisions you’ve made when it comes to money and wealth. But isn’t that what makes a good book great? So if you’re open-minded and willing to accept new ideas this is the book you have to read! USA Today called it “The #1 Personal Finance Book of All Time.”
It inspired me so much that only 5 months after reading it I bought a duplex! I told you my life changed.
3. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
This is probably the most introspective and thought-provoking book I’ve ever read. It allows you to follow a journey of a young Spanish boy and inspires you to think about your life at the same time.
The boy sets out from Spain and heads to the pyramids of Egypt to find a buried treasure that keeps reoccurring in his dreams. That’s crazy and scary in itself! How many of us actually follow our dreams? Then to follow them, literally, like the boy did from Spain to Egypt, was the point at which I realized this book was here to stay.
One of the main takeaways I got from reading it is a quote that drives me still to this day. So much, that I included it in the gift I sent my wife 2 hours before our wedding.
“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” – Paulo Coelho
Absolutely powerful when you fully put faith and belief to anything you do. It drives you undeniably and reassures you that you won’t fail. Simply because The Universe won’t let you when you want it enough.
Another one that changed my world says:
“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”
Sheesh! That’s dope! I wrote about faith and fear in an earlier post entitled “Change Your Mindset, Change Your Views“.
Go get the book.
4. The Law of Attraction by Esther and Jerry Hicks (audiobook)
Ok, I read this book about a year and a half ago. And for the past year and a half I’ve been practicing the things I learned from it. Indirectly this blog as a whole is the result of the law this book teaches.
The law states that “like attracts like”.
Meaning that whatever one focuses his thoughts on, that is what you will attract in your reality. If a person focuses on positivity, then that is what he or she will experience. It works the same way with negativity.
The book goes way more deeply into these laws and gives examples of how to implement them into your everyday life. The authors also provide examples of how the law has changed their lives.
I was inspired and motivated by the book and even gifted it to a few of the people closest to me.
The mental shift that it jumpstarted is one that has propelled me to do things that fear wouldn’t allow me to do just a short 2 years ago. It’s definitely a must-have.
5. The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod (audiobook)
I never was a “morning person.” I remember vividly sleeping until 2 pm daily as a kid on summer breaks. That carried over into adulthood when getting up for work was the worst part of my day. Not until I read this book was when I stopped believing I’m not a “morning person” and quickly became one.
The book teaches you how to transform your mornings and your life in 6 minutes a day. These first 6 minutes of your day set the tone for the remainder of it.
Minute 1: Silence
Minute 2: Affirmations
Minute 3: Visualizations
Minute 4: Scribing (Journaling)
Minute 5: Reading
Minute 6: Exercise
I won’t go into detail as to how Hal (the author) tells us to complete these tasks. That’d be a totally different post. But know that since reading the book I no longer associate with the cop out that “I’m just not a morning person”. I am whoever I think I am.
I now, get up at 5 am every morning to head to the gym. On the way there I listen to an audiobook. (more on that in a few) Upon returning I meditate and visualize how I want my day to be. By 8:30 am I’m ready to work. I’m more productive, focused and energized than I have been in a while.
If you’re struggling with the belief that you’re not a morning person, then read this. You’ll become one if you want to.
6. The 7 Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra (audiobook)
This one highlights that success doesn’t require relentless hard work to achieve it. It happens naturally when you apply these 7 Laws. The idea that when you allow nature to run its’ course, good things happen.
“A seed doesn’t struggle to become a tree, it simply unfolds in grace.” – Deepak Chopra
Out of the 7 laws, the one that resonated with me the most was The Law of Dharma. It states: Seek your higher-self. Discover your unique talents. Ask yourself how you are best suited to serve humanity. Using your unique talents and serving others brings unlimited bliss and abundance.
My willingness to help others leads me to where I am now. It motivates me to type out posts every week that my readers can find value in. I hope to reach just one person who is inspired by the things I put out. It can also motivate you to discover your unique abilities and use them to serve humanity.
To Wrap It Up
You may have noticed all these books encourage you to think differently. Once you’re able to think differently, the battle is won. Your actions will follow your mindset.
You may have also noticed that the last three do not have any photos associated with them. Well, because I don’t have a physical copy of them. I read those on Audible.com It’s literally how I read everything now. It’s a subscription-based product that actually gives you a free book each month. I’ve read (and listened to) maybe 15 books this year because of it. In the car, at the gym, on the plane, anywhere I feel like learning, I hop on Audible.com. I’ve turned my car into a ”rolling university” like Zig Ziglar would say.
Hope these few do for you what they’ve done for me.
Give me a few suggestions in the comments and let me know if you’ve read any of these. Subscribe if you haven’t!