Here are some of the best self-help books that will actually help you.
I have chosen them based on one question…
Do they offer practical strategies you can implement in your life as soon as possible?
So, you won’t find books that make you feel good for a few days and then you return to old patterns.
I took the liberty to include key lessons (that I found helpful) and you also have the preview option to see the book content.
A New Guide to Rational Living by Albert Ellis
Albert Ellis is one of the most influential psychotherapists in history.
In 1955, he developed Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT).
It is built on the idea that our thoughts cause our emotions and influence our behavior.
In this book, he explains how you can dispute irrational thoughts with facts and reason.
The Confidence Gap by Russ Harris
It is a comprehensive, no-bullshit guide to building confidence.
He shows you the root cause of why people lack confidence and gives you the tools to achieve your goal.
How to Think Like a Roman Emperor by Donald Robertson
Cognitive psychotherapist explains how Marcus Aurelius lived according to the teachings of Stoicism philosophy.
In this book are discussed the techniques Marcus Aurelius used to cope with problems such as chronic pain, anger, anxiety…
Mastering Fear: A Navy SEAL’s Guide by Brandon Webb
Brandon is an ex-Navy SEAL, and he gives an effective 5-step strategy to master your fears.
The keyword is master.
The reason is that fear will stay with us for the rest of our lives.
Our goal is not to pretend that it’s not there, but to use its power to our advantage.
The author clearly knows what he is talking about, and it’s worth following his advice.
Key lesson: Make fear your ally.
Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance by Alex Hutchinson
Hutchinson presents the latest scientific research on human endurance.
And you will learn how to train your brain to boost your performance.
Important Lesson: No Pain, No Gain
“Simply getting fit doesn’t magically increase your pain tolerance; how you get fit matters: you have to suffer.”
Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise
Another brilliant book on improving your performance.
Modern society tells us that some individuals such as Lionel Messi, LeBron James, Elon Musk… have a God given talent.
They are lucky. They have the “gift”
Well, Anders Ericsson’s 30 years of research say this is not true.
Anders Ericsson, a cognitive psychologist, studied for 30 years these special people. Every detail of what they do and how they do it.
He found that expertise was not the result of natural talent, but of hard work.
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck
In this book, author and renowned psychologist Carol Dweck discusses two mindsets:
- Fixed Mindset – Believing that your qualities are carved in stone creates an urgency to prove yourself over and over.
- Growth Mindsets – Believing we all can change and grow.
12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan Peterson
Jordan Peterson is a Clinical Psychologist and a psychology professor at the University of Toronto.
He has over 30 years of experience in clinical psychology.
In this book, Jordan explains the order and chaos.
The order is when you act according to well-understood social norms and remain predictable and cooperative. Chaos, in contrast, is when/where something unexpected happens.
I believe the author’s intention was to help you bring order into your life and prepare yourself for the chaos when it comes. And in my opinion, he reached that goal.
Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism by Olivia Cabane
It’s one of the best books on charisma.
It’s full of practical tips, action steps, and examples that will help you build a charismatic personality.
Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio
In 1975, Ray Dalio founded an investment firm, Bridgewater Associates, out of his two-bedroom apartment in New York City.
Forty years later, Bridgewater has made more money for its clients than any other hedge fund in history
In this book, he shares a set of principles that helped him have this incredible career.
Think Like a Rocket Scientist by Ozan Varol
“One of the best books to read in 2020” – Bill Gates
A former rocket scientist explains the strategies scientists use to solve complex problems.
To think like a rocket scientist is to look at the world through a different lens.
Rocket scientists imagine the unimaginable and solve the unsolvable.
They transform failures into triumphs and constraints into advantages.
They view mishaps as solvable puzzles rather than insurmountable roadblocks.
They’re moved not by blind conviction but by self-doubt; their goal is not short-term results, but long-term breakthroughs.
They know that the rules aren’t set in stone, the default can be altered, and a new path can be forged.
Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy Your Odds by David Goggins
David Goggins is a man who defied the odds…
He is the former world record holder for the most pull-ups and chin-ups done in 24 hours. He ran 205 miles (330km) in 39 hours without stopping.
And he’s completed over 60 ultra-endurance events in his career.
You might think he has been strong his entire life, but you would be wrong.
In this book he tells the story of… how he and his mother escaped from the claws of the abusive father; struggles he faced in school with racism; struggles with ADHD, anxiety, depression, obesity; Decision to join SEAL; And how he ultimately became the toughest man alive.
Key lesson: The beauty of people is that no matter what happened in their past, there is still potential to change.