Having read tons of books, I’m a little shocked that I haven’t done a “best self-help books” list yet. These are some of the fundamental books you should read if you want to change your life.
I tried to cover the major areas people care about in life with these recommendations: regret, happiness, wealth, mastery, love, and health.
Why these books? I’ve read hundreds in these categories, and what stands out to me boils down to books that provide lots of scientific evidence, influence a lot of people in a positive way, or have stood the test of time.
- Mindset: The Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck
- The How of Happiness (covers every foundational level of how to increase long-term happiness backed up with tons of science. Also, it dispels incredible amounts of false assumptions and beliefs about how money, fame, genetics, reputation, or women play towards your long-term happiness)
- Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
- The Way of Men by Jack Donovan: You may not agree with everything he says, but he gives a solid account of the evolutionary background of men, their function, what they needed and still need, and how modern society is removing elements of what they need. His lessons may help you live a better, happier, or more attractive life as a man, husband, father, and/or bachelor.
- Principles by Ray Dalio: This one’s a thick one, so I’d recommend the audiobook version at 1.5x and/or skipping the first half, which talks about his life and credibility. There’s also a table of contents that will guide you through.
- Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing: This book is self-explanatory. Find out what regrets people make so you don’t make them.
- What Women Want By Tucker Max and Geoffrey Miller: This book breaks through a lot of false beliefs and limiting assumptions that men have about women and attraction with a lot of science. It covers what you should focus on improving in an actionable, digestable way. Some of the insights are surprising.
- How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie: This book as stood the test of time for a reason. Written decades ago, it still gets recommended almost every week by an influencer or guru.
- The Happiness Advantage: There are a lot of so-called science-backed books on what brings happiness. Some have good science but bad writing, others have a tiny bit of science and decent writing and stories. This one has good science and writing.
- Awaken The Giant Within: This one’s rather short and basic, but a good primer if you’re new to self help and mindset books. Here’s a post on my summary and notes.
In the future, I may cover more “advanced” or additional reading, but for now, if you haven’t read these foundational self improvement books, you need to by the end of 2020.
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