There is something I love: BOOKS!

I didn’t think it was a natural passion…

I think it was more of a habit first since my dad made us read every day. It was mandatory in our house to have a book to read and have a dedicated reading time.

We didn’t have much abundance at our home, but we had books… and that was more than enough.

I got into personal development books not so long ago, and the avenue I arrived at the genre of self-growth books was through leadership.

Working in the corporate, there was access to a lot of content, training, and leadership presentations. After I became a team manager, this subject started to be even more important to me. How can I impact my team members positively? How can I have a high performing team?

Those two questions made me look for authors in leadership.

So the sequence was, I would watch a TED TALK, and then I would buy the book.

Nowadays, the self-growth genre is much developed, and incredible authors are writing excellent books.

I wish I had more time to read my full list of books, but I’m aware of the goal I set this year: to read (including re-read) 30 books.

Twenty of them are already set, and I have ten open for the new releases that could interest me.

Thirty books a year is like 2.5 books a month. How am I doing it? I read physical books, and I also use audible.

For example, at the moment, I am reading, in audio, the book from Alicia Keys, which audio makes the experience just unique.

At night, I am rereading the book Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl before going to sleep, and rereading Brendon’s Burchard book, High Performing Habits during the day, generally in the morning.

In this last book, I want to get deeper and take notes, as I am part of a Book Club reading this book every week.

In January, I wanted to check off those 3 books. 2 of them are reading, as I feel it has a lot of value. And I also count listening to a book in Audible as “reading”.

As you are always asking about books, I decided to write this post listing 10 Personal Development Books that I highly recommend.

The books I usually read, talk about, and the books clubs I am part of are books that include self-growth. Within this genre included leadership, as some of you may consider business. I don’t read many spiritual books, as I consider myself a beginner in this area. But it is included.

Here are my top 10 books that I recommend to read in the self-growth space:

1. Start With WHY by Simon Sinek

This was my first book on “personal growth”. It was the first time I reflected on WHY I do things and the importance of doing what we love and not what we should do.

I first heard his TED Talk in training about presentation skills at work at the end of 2013. After the training, I ordered the book and finished it in one night, then I reread it, and then I reread it. Then I wanted to share it with everybody.

I was living in the UK at that time, and I took the last line of the book very seriously.

Don’t keep the book, give it to another person. So until now, I don’t have the book, and I give it away to so many people.

There’s this concept of the Golden Circle, the author explains why businesses succeed, and leaders impact the world. It is not because of HOW they do it, not because WHAT they do it, but because WHY they do it.

Think to yourself: If you love what you do, you will be happy no matter what happens during your journey.

After this book, I got all the books from Simon Sinek. I attended some live conferences to listen to Simon Sinek speaking, and I’ve been to his book-signing events in NYC 3x!

So you can tell I am a fan! 🙂

2. Grit by Angela Duckworth

I got inspired by Angela Duckworth’s TED Talk in 2013.

I listened to it the first time at work, in the training of leadership. I was amazed by the concept that you don’t need to be gifted to succeed!

There is a superpower in GRIT.

If you believe, have the passion, and work for it, you can achieve.

The author has found that grit—a combination of passion and perseverance for a singularly important goal—is the hallmark of high achievers in every domain.

If you want to read more about this book, I wrote another article that will help!

3. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

Man’s Search for Meaning is a 1946 book by Viktor Frankl chronicling his experiences as a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps during World War II, and describing his psychotherapeutic method, which involved identifying a purpose in life to feel positive about, and then immersively imagining that outcome. According to Frankl, the way a prisoner imagined the future affected his longevity. The book intends to answer the question, “How was everyday life in a concentration camp reflected in the mind of the average prisoner?”

You have to be prepared mentally and emotionally to read this book. Some of the stories the author describes in the book are quite hard to picture.

But the way the author describes how to face such adversity and how your body can be strong in such scarcity is just a blessing!

There is this constant reminder that life is on edge, the gas chamber is right there, and each time he was saved from the line to go to the gas chamber, he was so grateful! Can you believe it?

Then the other takeaway, which is quite impressive, is in order to keep the focus on your purpose, there are a series of habits you have to keep doing.

I remember the author saying that they had to shave every day, even with a glass piece! There is a lot to take in this book! 

Life is short! If you believe, you become! Your mind is so powerful and it makes you stronger!

4. Dare to Lead by Brene Brown

This book is just excellent! It was my first time reading about the positive side of being vulnerable. I learned about empathy. I learned courage is a skill you can learn!

I always had this mindset of problem-solving, so if someone comes to me with some kind of issue, personal or at work, I used to jump in to fix it. And sometimes you kind of need to listen, and it is ok not to be ok without fear of exposing. 

This book helped me at work, seek help honestly and authentically, and the way I receive and give feedback, and how I show up to my children. 

Ah!! There is a chapter with the exercise to define your Values. So powerful.

I also wrote a blog post a few years back about this book when I read it the first time.

5. Untamed by Glennon Doyle

This is a book full of truth!

Very short chapters. A candid, authentic memoir from Glennon Doyle.

I can tell it is at the moment my favorite book.

I resonate, and I feel a lot of women in this world will resonate as well. So many times, we silent ourselves, without even knowing!

There is a voice of longing inside each woman. We strive so mightily to be good: good partners, daughters, mothers, employees, and friends. We hope all this striving will make us feel alive. Instead, it leaves us feeling weary, stuck, overwhelmed, and underwhelmed. We look at our lives and wonder: Wasn’t it all supposed to be more beautiful than this? We quickly silence that question, telling ourselves to be grateful, hiding our discontent—even from ourselves.

6. Mindset by Carol Dweck

After decades of research, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., discovered a simple but groundbreaking idea: the power of mindset. 

People with a fixed mindset—those who believe that abilities are fixed—are less likely to flourish than those with a growth mindset—those who believe that abilities can be developed. Mindset reveals how great parents, teachers, managers, and athletes can put this idea to use to foster outstanding accomplishment.

This is the book in which you can learn about growth mindset! It empowers you to understand that everything is possible, time, efforts, resources.

I have to say it is not an easy book to read, at least the edition has many references and material. It looks like a textbook from college, but I recommend it, as I always have the book.

The author also has a TED Talk regarding the Power of YET, which is exceptional, touching base on its power growth mindset.

7. The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

This book is just the best book for making things happen with such practical advice.

It has the powerful concept to focus on what matters most in their personal and work lives.

It’s a book of productivity that breaks the mindset beliefs of how you manage your time and gives tools to focus and achieve better results in your life! Also if you are focused, you will have more time for the things that matter the most in your life!

There is the first part of the book that explains the 6 lies:

1- Everything matters equally

2- Multitasking

3- A disciplined life

4- Willpower is always in will-call

5- A balanced life

6- Big is bad

I follow many of the concepts the book explains, like multitasking is a myth, or the success list, and focus on the one thing you want to do. I even shared some of this content with you in different blog posts! Expect more to come soon!

8. Girl Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis

This book reminds me of a good conversation with my closest friends, where I acknowledge my mind traps and think about a plan to follow my dreams.

When I read the two chapters, Excuse #3, I don’t have time, and Excuse #8, What will they think? I thought… man! This is ME! Then the thought came: What am I doing about it? I need action! GO!

I know this is the feeling this book brought me!

If you want to learn more about this book, I wrote a more detailed blog post here.

9. High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard

This book is also like a textbook, teaching how to be extraordinary! How to become a high-performer in your life, to your standards!

It’s broken down into six areas: seek clarity, generate energy, raise necessity, increase productivity, develop influence, and demonstrate courage. 

The art and science of how to do all these are what this book is about.

10. Super Attractor by Gabrielle Bernstein

This is my first book in the spiritual arena. I even planned a discussion about this book in a Book Club last year. I have to say I got impressed, so I have to recommend this book.

This book brought me a bit more clarity in some new concepts related to the Universe, like:

1- Be aligned with the Universe – For me, this means we need to be aware of our feelings and accept what is around us. This will bring us peace, feel good, and naturally we will be more focused on the positive events, which will make us happier.

2- Feels good, feeling good!!! – This is a big truth and depends on how we position ourselves regarding what happens around us. We choose how to react to what happens to us.

3- Signs of the Universe – It was a challenge, thinking about signs of the Universe… I made jokes in the beginning, but it made me more aware of what is around me. I took the challenge.

4- The Universe gives back – As I believe, if we put positive energy in the things around us, we will have the return of it! I truly believe positivity attracts positive things happening to you!

These were my main takeaways and learnings from this book!

I also loved the new meditation technique!

Those books are my mentors. They made me believe it is possible to achieve my goals and my dreams. And THIS, this is to keep you inspired and keep your dreams alive!

I hope you enjoy these books that I HIGHLY recommend! And if you like this blog post, let me know in the comments below so I can add more suggestions and book reviews!

Let me know which books you are reading! I would love to hear from you!

Take care always,

AnnaJo

4 Comments on 10 Books That Made Me Fall In Love With Personal Development

  1. Before clicking on this article my ego was telling me that I already knew what you would say in the article.

    Has that ever happened to you??

    My ego was way off. I thought I’d know every book but I actually don’t know most of them and that’s so refreshing to me. I think I’m going to pick up the one thing after I’ve finished the books on my reading list.

    Amazing article by the way Anna.

    • Yes!! It happens to me!! LOL!!!
      Let me know some of the books you may recommend. I am like you continuously looking after new books.
      And thank you so much for your kind words, and the continuous support.

      • Here are my recommendations :

        How to be a bawse by Lilly Singh

        Everything is figureoutable by Marie Forleo

        Your last diet by Kathleen DesMaisons

        Born a crime by Trevor Noah

        Surrounded by idiots by Thomas Erikson

        Why men love bitches by Sherry Argov

        It’s my pleasure.

      • Thank you for the recommendation! From your 6 just read 2 of them. Marie Forleo and Trevor Noah’s book. I will get the others in my reading list!👍🏻👍🏻

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