10 Personal Development Books You Must Read Before you Die

10 Personal Development Books You Must Read Before you Die

Personal development is a lifetime process, a process that one goes through in their life stages and phases. One notable area to develop personally is mental development. There are countless things that you can do for yourself to develop yourself mentally, reading books is one of them. That’s why I am here to share with you the 10 best personal development books you should read.

Reading the right book improves your sleep hours, sharpens your mental acuteness, and relaxes your mind and body. Here are the 10 best and most carefully selected personal development books for you:

10 Personal Development Books to Read

1. The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale

For development to thrive, the mind needs to be trained to hold positive thoughts and the brain to think positively. This book comes with the package of faith and inspiration.

The title of the book quite gives it off and is highly expressive, straight to the point too.

The author; Norman Vincent Peale has written 46 other books and this particular book was an international bestseller with over 5 million print sales. People call him the father of positive thinking.

The book opens your mind, helps you be kind(er) to yourself, builds determination, and majorly, pushes you to believe in yourself.

2. The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz

You probably just rolled your eyes because here is another book titled “the power of…” that’s fine. Pretty understandable in fact. However, developing personally equates to seeing the power in the mundane things in and around you. One of the things this book highlighted is the power of your energy. It also debunked the excuse that we mostly tell ourselves; “I don’t have time”. It’s not the time to do that thing, it’s the energy you have as regards doing that thing.

When you read this book, one thing is for sure, you’ll understand this quote.

Success is about creating a series of “life-sprints”, not a marathon

3. Habit Stacking by S. J. Scott

Habits are what we do consistently and what makes us who we are in the long run. The hook highlights creating small deliberate positive habits in your day-to-day life. Studies show that it takes 5 minutes to do a small habit and 21 days to master the habit that it becomes part of one. Scott mentioned 127 small ways to change some aspects of your life.

Reading this book opens your mind to the possibility of building a habit.

4. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihaly

From the title, you might have deduced that this book is a mix of science and reality. Mihaly used science to back ways you can align and understand your flow. “Flow” in this context means your happiness, contentment, success, and whatever gives you peace. It opens a door that helps you understand these things and how you can maintain the flow.

Everyone has a flow, what is yours? Find out in the book.

5. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

I am an introvert, I don’t like talking and my best thing to do is type. Seeing the title of this book gave me what I was looking for, “quietness”. Susan’s writing is quiet and it made me nod in affirmation almost every second, my neck hurts.

This book is one of the best personal development books that you can read as an introvert. It highlights the power and understanding of your quietness.

6. The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play by Neil Fiore

We all procrastinate; it’s something in-built.  Procrastination is a pandemic and this book is like a vaccination. Stating the scientific reasons why you procrastinate and how you can overcome it as a whole.

I procrastinate a lot and reading this has helped greatly, I’ll sure be going for a second read soon. You can start your first read.

7. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen

David Allen made sure to emphasize the fact that a person can be productive after they have had enough rest. The boom is quite lengthy but it is written with a clear tone. In a world where people want to be productive and develop, I think this is a must-read.

It encompasses time management and productivity plans.

8. Whatcha Gonna Do with That Duck? by Seth Godin

As friendly as the title sounds, that’s how friendly the book is. Seth Godin, among many other things, is a seasoned writer and a wise man. It slowly kicks off by asking you that question subtly, drags you far from your comfort zone then, by the end of the book, boom! You are left with fresh perspectives. Also, it is packed with honesty with yourself and your mind.

The book is one of the best personal development books out there.

9. The Attention Revolution by Alan Wallace

Nowadays, attention is lost and focus is nonexistent. Technology has a part to play in it but it can also be harnessed to stay and pay attention.

This book unlocks the power of a focused mind. It challenges you to train your mind to focus and gives you a guideline in stages that can help. It helps you recognize your distractions and that my friend is one of the first steps to personal development.

10. Failing Forward by John C. Maxwell

You have failed more than once and I have failed lots of times. But what did we do at that point of failure? Our attitude toward failure matters.

John is a big-time writer, growth coach, and speaker. In this book, he explains that failure is not a terrible thing as opposed to popular opinion. He gave a story about how he made failure his friend and how it developed him and several aspects of his life.

Failing Forward is a book that tells you to not stay where failure meets you but to evolve, move past it, and progress. It also tells you not to take failure personally but also to embrace it and persevere through it.  


Each of the best personal development books that I have shared with you has its unique aspect it will develop in you. Pick one up and get growing!

While you are at it, you should check out books that changed my life.

You can also leave your questions or thoughts about this article in the comment section below. Thanks.


Will reading any or all of these books build my mental development?

Yes. Only if you read to understand other than to finish the book. Also, the application of what has been read is also key.

Are these the only books I should read for my personal development?

Of Course not, there are several other books online that you can read. These are just my 10 best, for now.

How long would it take me to finish these books?

Everyone reads at a different pace. I am a fast reader; you can be a slow reader. The pace doesn’t really matter when you read. It’s the comprehension of the information that does. So take your time and enjoy the ride while reading.