(Slideshow) Top 10 Self-Help Books of All Time

(Slideshow) Top 10 Self-Help Books of All Time

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1The 4 Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss

The 4 Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss

Forget the old concepts of retirement and a deferred life plan. There is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times. For living more and working less, this book is the blueprint. A really new kind of thinking about where you invest your time and what is the most effective way to do it.

“For all of the most important things, the timing always sucks. Waiting for a good time to quit your job? The stars will never align and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time. The universe doesn’t conspire against you, but it doesn’t go out of its way to line up the pins either. Conditions are never perfect. “Someday” is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it’s important to you and you want to do it “eventually,” just do it and correct course along the way.”

Related: 10 Successful Entrepreneurs Reveal The Books That Changed Their Lives

2Man’s search for meaning by Viktor E Frankl

Man’s search for meaning by Viktor E Frankl

This book is at once a memoir, a self-help book, and a psychology manual that tells the story of a psychologist (the author) imprisoned at Auschwitz during the Second World War.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

3Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen

One of the best productivity books. It is a complete system for using your time most efficiently and especially there where it matters most for you. The GTD method rests on the idea of moving planned tasks and projects out of the mind by recording them externally and then breaking them into actionable work items. This allows one to focus attention on taking action on tasks, instead of on recalling them.

“You don’t actually do a project; you can only do action steps related to it. When enough of the right action steps have been taken, some situation will have been created that matches your initial picture of the outcome closely enough that you can call it “done.”

Related: 5 Books To Read Before Starting Your Business

4The Art of Happiness by The Dalai Lama

The Art of Happiness by The Dalai Lama

A great and complete guide to happiness in life by The Dalai Lama. It focusses on worldly factors like wealth and satisfaction as well as spiritual parts. Through meditations, stories and the meeting of Buddhism and psychology, the Dalai Lama shows us how to defeat day-to-day depression, anxiety, anger, jealousy, or just an ordinary bad mood.

He discusses relationships, health, family, work, and spirituality to show us how to ride through life’s obstacles on a deep abiding source of inner peace.

“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.”

5The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck

The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck

This is about ‘a new psychology of love, traditional values, and spiritual growth’. Written in a voice that is timeless in its message of understanding, the book continues to help us explore the very nature of loving relationships and leads us toward a new serenity and fullness of life. It helps us learn how to distinguish dependency from love; how to become a more sensitive parent; and ultimately how to become one’s own true self.

Recognising that, as in the famous opening line of his book, “Life is difficult” and that the journey to spiritual growth is a long one, Dr Peck never bullies his readers, but rather guides them gently through the hard and often painful process of change toward a higher level of self-understanding.

“Human beings are poor examiners, subject to superstition, bias, prejudice, and a PROFOUND tendency to see what they want to see rather than what is really there.”

Related: 3 Books To Help You Become Better, Smarter And Faster

6How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

For more than sixty years the rock-solid, time-tested advice in this book has carried thousands of now famous people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives. Advice offered includes:

The six ways to make people like you

The twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking

The nine ways to change people without arousing resentment.

“Don’t be afraid of enemies who attack you. Be afraid of the friends who flatter you.”

7The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

The 7 habits of highly effective people by Stephen R Covey

This book aims to help you build positive habits that really improve your life. It provides a framework for success and for building character and integrity, with Stephen Covey being the exceptional personality who really walked his talk. Covey presents an approach to being effective in attaining goals by aligning oneself to what he calls “true north” principles of a character ethic that he presents as universal and timeless.

“Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.”

Related: 3 Brilliant Books To Help You Launch Your Business

8The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

This is one of those life-changing books that can turn your world upside down. In his book, the author describes his transition from despair to self-realisation soon after his 29th birthday. Tolle took another ten years to understand this transformation, during which time he evolved a philosophy that has parallels in Buddhism, relaxation techniques, and meditation theory but is also eminently practical.

He shows readers how to recognise themselves as the creators of their own pain, and how to have a pain-free existence by living fully in the present. Accessing the deepest self, the true self, can be learned, he says, by freeing ourselves from the conflicting, unreasonable demands of the mind and living present, fully, and intensely, in the Now.

“Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time—past and future—the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.”

9Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy

Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy

For people who are overwhelmed by tasks of all sizes, this book provides methods for conquering procrastination and accomplishing more. By identifying, then tackling, their biggest, most unpleasant task first – the philosophy of “eating a frog” – readers learn to plan and organise each day, set priorities, get started right away, and complete jobs faster.

“Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution; this gives you a 1 000 percent return on energy!”

10Who Moved my Cheese? By Spencer Johnson

Who Moved my Cheese? By Spencer Johnson

This is a motivational book about change management written in the style of a parable or business fable. It describes change in one’s work and life. It is an amusing and enlightening story of four characters who live in a ‘Maze’ and look for ‘Cheese’ to nourish them and make them happy.

‘Cheese’ is a metaphor for what you want to have in life – whether it is a good job, a loving relationship, money, a possession, health, or spiritual peace of mind.  The ‘Maze’ is where you look for what you want – the organisation you work in, or the family or community you live in.

“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”

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Alison Job
Alison Job holds a BA English, Communications and has extensive experience in writing that spans news broadcasting, public relations and corporate and consumer publishing. Find her at Google+.
  • Matthew Davids

    Great list. But if you are talking about the top 10 self-help books of ALL TIME, surely Napoleon Hill’s Think And Grow Rich beats most books on this list. I’ve read a few of these titles though and it is a good list.