The Best Personal Development Books Reading List

Books Pile Reading List

Her email closed with – “are there any books you like?  what should I read?”

“Easy question” I thought to myself, as my fingers flew to the keyboard and I rattled off 10 books, then 20.  I could have gone on, but I stopped.

More Items Does Not Make the List Better

I took a step back, and realized that my reader didn’t need yet another long lists of books – there are plenty of those online, and if you want an endless list of reading material, check out this list of all the self improvement products at Amazon (1,140 at last count).

No – she was asking for my help, to sort through it all. The more items I gave her, the less helpful I would be.  

A better approach would be to give her a list that provided the best value – a list of the best personal development books, and the shorter better.  

This was a much more difficult problem. After much reflection, here is my list.

The Best Personal Development Books Reading List – A Practical, Short List

Let’s get right to it – I’ll lay out the list for you, and then explain each of my choices.

  1. The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino
  2. How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  3. Getting Things Done (GTD) by David Allen

The Best Personal Development Books Reading List Explained

The Greatest Salesman in the World

Greatest Salesman In The World Og Mandino Book CoverThis book is the perfect place to begin. The “scrolls” (self affirmations/positive self talk) at  the end are what make this book worthwhile.  As recommended, I read each one to myself 3 times a day for a month.  I now read them at least once a day and alternate the scrolls each week.  The main purposes of this book are to:

  1. Instill the discipline to stick to the process daily.  
  2. Provide a starting point for future personal development with broadly applicable lessons.  
  3. Show tangible results

How To Win Friends and Influence People

How to Win Friends and Influence PeopleOnce the you’ve had a taste of personal development, and developed the habit of committing to it daily by following The Greatest Salesman in the World, it’s time to start working on interpersonal skills, for a few reasons. The primary things I gained from this book are:

      1. Effective Conflict Resolution
      2. Breaking down social interactions into patterns
      3. Leadership Training

Getting Things Done (GTD)

Getting Things Done David Allen CoverGTD will not provide you more time to do things, but it will keep all the machinery focused and moving forward.   The main results gained from Getting Things Done are:

  1. Clearing your head so you can focus
  2. Never lose anything again
  3. Know that you are doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing