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Boost your life and career with the best book summaries.

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10 must-read personal development books

<1 min read ⌚ 

personal development

Want to better your life? Whether you’re looking to develop a talent, learn the art of public speaking, improve your productivity or conquer your fears, these are the best books on the subject. We’ve picked the ones that truly changed the way we think and act, and we know they’ll do the same for you.

The Places That Scare You | Pema Chödrön

Places That Scare You

At a time when everything is fast-paced, the office stress follows you home thanks to cellphones and everyone else seems to live a perfect life on social media, American Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön offers a refreshing alternative. It’s filled with advice on dealing with the difficulties life will throw your way. Learn how to accept yourself (and others) and live in the present. Chödrön says it best: “We can let the circumstances of our lives harden us or we can let them soften us and make us kinder and more open to what scares us.”

Drive | Daniel H. Pink


Thought you knew how to motivate yourself and those around you? Think again. As Daniel Pink explains in Drive, the old-school notion of motivation – offering rewards – is no longer relevant in today’s world. The secret to high performance lies in our innate desire to be autonomous, to discover and create, and to do better.

Presence | Amy Cuddy


Have you ever left an important job interview filled with regret about the impression you think you made? Amy Cuddy’s book will change all that. She believes the most important thing is to stop worrying about the impressions you make on others, and instead work on impressing yourself. Beautifully researched and easy to read, Presence will teach you how to bring your best self to the most challenging situations.

The Start-up of You | Reid Hoffman & Ben Casnocha

Startup of You

LinkedIn cofounder and chairman Reid Hoffman and author Ben Casnocha show you how to grow your career at a time when global competition for jobs is incredibly fierce. Working on the startup of you, you’ll learn to act like the entrepreneurs: investing in yourself, growing your network, and taking intelligent risks. Take control of your future now.

The Gifts of Imperfection | Brené Brown

Gifts of Imperfection

Who are you? Who you dreamed and hoped to become, or who people around you expect you to be? From time to time we should all indulge in some moments of introspection. Moments when we can confront our own ego and ask questions meant to unchain us from society’s barriers. Brené Brown, a leading expert on shame, authenticity, and belonging, shows us how to do just that in The Gifts of Imperfection.

The Happiness Advantage | Shawn Achor

Happiness Advantage

Do you believe the conventional wisdom that if you’re successful, you’re happy? Well, Shawn Achor doesn’t, and he proves exactly why in his book. It’s actually just the other way around. It’s your happiness that will lead you to success, and his book is the perfect path to unlocking your positivity.

Flow | Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi


Esteemed psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi brings together decades of research to lead us on our path to happiness. There’s a reason Flow is one of Bill Clinton’s favorite books. “Flow” refers to a state of consciousness where people experience deep contentment and creativity, and Csikszentmihalyi demonstrates how to control this instead of leaving it up to chance.

Better Than Before | Gretchen Rubin

Better Than Before

We all fall into the trap of “tomorrow” – a bubble where everything will be right with the world and we’ll make a big change. Well, it never is. But how can you successfully change your habits? The core endeavor of Better Than Before is to answer this exact question. It’s a journey of self-reflection, experimentation, and research on habits.

Awaken the Giant Within | Tony Robbins

Awaken the Giant Within

Tony Robbins wrote this book with the sole purpose of helping people take control of their lives in order to achieve success. He acts as our coach, intending to teach us what is valuable in life, the beliefs that we need to cherish, and the emotions that are empowering. These will ultimately lead us to success.

On Writing | Stephen King

On Writing

Part memoir, part masterclass from one of the world’s bestselling authors, On Writing is bursting with the experiences, habits and convictions that have shaped King’s work. A must-read for any aspiring writer, or anyone curious about what goes on in the mind of the man who created masterpieces such as Carrie, The Shining and The Dark Tower.

Love any other self-development books? Let us know in the comments below!

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Improve Your Reading Habits in 28 days

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Improve Your Reading Habits in 28 days

Explore key insights and ideas from 2500+ titles in audio and text

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