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best personal development books

Best Personal Development Books:

I’ve been a fan of personal development books for years. Since my early 20s when I discovered Tony Robbins’ book Awaken the Giant Within. That book was a game changer for me. It was all common sense, but broken down in ways I had never thought of before. I was in full-on party girl mode and after reading that book I got my shit together in a big way. It connected dots for me that I didn’t realize needed to be connected and helped me position myself for success.
I remember reading my books from Tony Robbins, Louise Hay, Wayne Dyer (May he rest in peace) and others on the subway to and from work each day without a care. It didn’t occur to me that I should feel embarrassed or ashamed for reading a book designed to help me improve my life. Though now I wonder what people thought I was dealing with when openly reading (and re-reading) Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life on the E train late at night. I wonder how many side eyes I missed.

Seriously though…
I doubt anyone was checkin’ for my reading materials, and if they were, I hope it inspired them to step up their self development and grab a book of their own. I however, was nosy as hell and would peep at whatever folks were reading. I noticed a lot of people using these cute fabric book cover thingies (like the ones people use for their bibles at church) and when I would peep I’d see they were reading “How to Win Friends & Influence People” and the like. (OK full disclosure, some were reading those Harlequin type romance novels.)

Kindles and other e-readers certainly fixed that problem, eh.

But my question is, why is there shame around personal development in the first place?

I don’t understand it.  Nobody has it together 100% and everyone knows that. We all also know that nobody is perfect. Is admitting you need the help doled out in self help books really that big of a deal? I vote no.

I vote let’s be proud that we want to do better, live better, feel better, be better. Let’s be open in looking for help and guidance, and let’s share it when we find a resource that helps us out. Deal? OK, good.

In that spirit. A few of my “oldie but goodie” favorite personal development books are:

  1. Awaken the Giant Within
  2. Power of Intention
  3. Real Magic
  4. You Can Heal Your Life
  5. Get Rich Lucky Bitch
  6. As a Man Thinketh
  7. Think & Grow Rich
  8. The Power of Your Subconscious Mind
  9. The Power of Now

Luckily, I have e-friends who actively work to improve themselves as well and are willing to share their faves. Take a peek:

Reposition Yourself Living Life Without Limits. By T.D. Jakes

Jakes shares wisdom from more than thirty years of counseling, T.D. Jakes covers financial, spiritual, and relational growth options for the reader willing to make a plan and make their life more productive, while expecting and embracing change and not fearing it.
Toiia L. Rukuni

A set of short stories with fun, yet practical lessons about learning how to pick yourself up after fall ALL the way down on your face.
Not only does this book break down all of the false images that we try so hard to subscribe to, it outlines specific steps for what the author calls “wholehearted loving.” Absolutely life-changing stuff!
Wonder why you’re not getting ahead at work? You just might be engaging in small behaviors that have a major impact on how you’re perceived in the workplace.
Paul Brunson’s It’s Complicated (But it doesn’t have to be) is a relationship book that mainly focus on getting yourself together in preparation for your mate. Each chapter focus on a specific topic, and he close the chapters with some type of homework. For an unmarried woman, I was able to realize what kind of man I was looking for as my significant other.
The author reflects on her Nasty Girl business and how it’s evolved. Along the lines, she also shared lessons to help entrepreneurs and business professionals take a step towards their goals. Her book is completely awesome!
About A.G. Gaston and the making of a Black American millionaire.  The quote that stood out most was he said to find a need and fill it. I took this to heart, created a local blog for new families and new moms moving into the neighborhood and created a one stop resource called It brings local resources together so busy moms don’t have to do the work/research. It has since grown into something larger and keeps me busy.
The rest of the amazing book suggestions come from Charnaie from Here Wee Read 

Work the System: The Simple Mechanics of Making More and Working Less will show the business owner how to achieve a positive macro result by looking at business and work on a micro level; by analyzing and refining the separate internal sub-systems, the systems that, added together, comprise the whole primary system business entity. Readers will learn how to “tweak” this “system of systems” in order to maximize profits, create client loyalty, and develop autonomous employees.

Destiny: Step into Your Purpose by T.D. Jakes

Whether you are just starting out, starting over, or wondering if there is greater success than what you’ve already accomplished, now is the time to reset your inner compass. Clear your path of distractions and disruptions. Correct places where you have veered off course. Get unstuck. Embrace your God-given purpose and, with this revelatory guide from T.D. Jakes, dare to pursue the unseen order in your life circumstances that is your DESTINY.

The Noticer is a unique narrative blend of fiction, allegory, and inspiration in which gifted storyteller Andy Andrews helps us see how becoming a “noticer” just might change a person’s life forever.
The author of the blockbuster New York Times bestsellers, The Happiness Project and Happier at Home, tackles the critical question: How do we change?

Gretchen Rubin’s answer: through habits. Habits are the invisible architecture of everyday life. It takes work to make a habit, but once that habit is set, we can harness the energy of habits to build happier, stronger, more productive lives.

Every woman has had this experience: you get to the end of the day and realize you did nothing for you. And if you go days, weeks, or even months in this cycle, you begin to feel like you have lost a bit of yourself.
While life is busy with a litany of must-dos—work, parenting, keeping house, grocery shopping, laundry and on and on—women do not have to push their own needs aside. Yet this is often what happens. There’s just no time, right? Wrong.
In this practical and liberating book, Jessica Turner empowers women to take back pockets of time they already have in their day in order to practice self-care and do the things they love.

A Curious Mind is a brilliantly entertaining, fascinating, and inspiring homage to the power of inquisitiveness and the ways in which it deepens and improves us. Whether you’re looking to improve your management style at work or you want to become a better romantic partner, this book—and its lessons on the power of curiosity—can change your life.
OK… that’s more than enough to get started on your personal development reading journey if you haven’t already. Remember don’t just read the books like a novel and go on your merry way. You’ve got to take the actions suggested to make any changes.
 What are your fave personal development books? 


  1. says

    There are a lot of books on this list that I’ve read or downloaded to my Kindle. I’m reading TD Jakes’ “Destiny” (and about 3 other books) based in a friend’s recommendation. I’d add The Purpose Driven Life and If You Have to Cry, Go Outside by Kelly Cutrone.

  2. Tyra says

    I am going to save this list. I am currently reading Audacious Prayers and always looking for good books. Now finding the time to read them… well… 🙂

  3. says

    Thanks for sharing! Actually, I’m currently listening to (Audible ‘ s become quite the companion these days) Brene Brown’s The Gift of Imperfection. I’ll be sure to put some of these suggestions on my “to read” list.

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