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Best 5 Self-Improvement Books that will Change your Life in 2021

Change Your Life in 2021

Reading books, especially self-improvement books, greatly attributed to my personal growth and development.

A lot of the people I consider mentors and coaches are actually authors. These individuals, even if it’s only through reading a book, taught me many invaluable lessons.

These five self-improvement books that I listed in this post have proven to be especially helpful for my personal and professional development.

After reading each one of these, I saw real, tangible results. With the new year approaching, 2021 is the perfect time for anyone to make a change in their lives.

Full Disclosure: I use affiliate links for book recommendations, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you.


“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.”

In this book, Malcolm Gladwell studies extremely successful people who are considered “outliers.” Many people attribute success to natural, innate talent and intelligence.

However, Gladwell debunks this. Success isn’t black and white — many factors that play into success. Just because you are naturally talented at something doesn’t mean you’ll be successful. You won’t get anywhere if you don’t put in the work.

This book is optimal for those who

  • Want to Succeed
  • Feel hopeless about their endeavors
  • Are wondering why they haven’t succeeded yet
  • Want to live extraordinary lives
  • Want to emulate the habits of the top achievers

How it helped me:

I felt like I could never compare to my smart friends. I attributed success to natural talent and intelligence. However, my narrow worldview caused me to overlook their hard work and discipline.

Gladwell clearly explained how practice and diligence matter more than natural-born talent.

Reading this book was a reality check. It honestly inspired me to work both harder and smarter so that I’ll be ready when the right opportunity comes.

Overall, this book gives a good insight into success and how you can implement productive steps into your work ethic and life.

You can get the book here

The Power of Now

“It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living.”

“There are new discoveries to be made along the way: you are not your mind, you can find your way out of psychological pain, authentic human power is found by surrendering to the Now. When you become fully present and accepting of what is, you open yourself to the transforming experience of The Power of Now” (Source)

Many people are miserable. We dread the future and hold regrets about the past. Eckhart Tolle shares his experiences with dread and depression before reaching an important realization — the present is the only moment that matters. This book is truly eye-opening and will shift your perspective.

This book is optimal for

  • People who are stuck in the past
  • Those who are too caught up with the future
  • Individuals who are constantly worried and stressed
  • People who think in worst-case scenarios
  • Constantly anxious people
  • Those who are held back by fear

How it helped me:

I’ve always been an anxious person, worrying about what’s to come. On the other hand, I also regretted a lot of my past. I found myself in a loop — anticipation and then regretting my actions.

I would also hesitate to take any action due to my assumptions for the future. However, this book taught me that now is the only time that matters.

If I am stuck in this loop of living in the past and the future, I’ll never take any real action. After reading this book, I found myself enjoying the present moment more. Rather than worrying about what I can’t fix, I now try to find beauty at the moment at hand.

Purchase here.

Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days 

“Every time you check your email or another message service, you’re basically saying, “Does any random person need my time right now?”

“A practical guide to answering critical business questions, Sprint is a book for teams of any size, from small startups to Fortune 100s, from teachers to nonprofits. It’s for anyone with a big opportunity, problem, or idea who needs to get answers today.”

Although this book is mainly for project management, it can be applied to your life. This book goes over a 5-day process for solving problems and testing out new ideas.

Your life should be a design project that you’re constantly trying to improve. Knapp explains the steps to a sprint, a five-day work procedure, precisely, and goes into depth about how you can implement these steps in whatever you’re working on.

This is optimal for

  • People who struggle to take action
  • Those who want a framework to test ideas
  • Business owners and those who are trying to change their lives
  • Those who want to prototype and see fast results
  • Individuals who want to organize their life and work
  • Those who lack organization, prioritization, focus, and time

How it helped me

Everything can be designed, including your life. This book drives the point of trying something to see if it works or not. Knapp provides a formula that not only applies to business projects but personal projects, such as life design.

His guidelines will allow you to focus your full attention on the task at hand, minimize distractions, speed up the process, and see clear results at the end.

Failing fast is the only way to figure out if something works or not. Following his formula for a sprint gave me clarity on what I wanted to do and will definitely give you clarity as well.

You can grab your copy here.

How to Win Friends & Influence People

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

This is an intensive book that covers making friends, leadership, persuasion, improving the quality of your life, and improving your relationships all around.

Carnegie delivers his points in easy to read bits and also uses anecdotes to help you apply these tips. Relationships are a crucial part of life, as it affects your quality of life (Source). Fostering good relationships also leads to opportunities and career advancement.

This book is optimal for:

  • People who want to make more friends
  • Socially awkward and shy people
  • People who want to be recognized (at work, school, or wherever)
  • Improving relationships (friendship, romantic, professional, family, etc.)
  • Individuals who want to get out of their comfort zone
  • Those who want to make life-changing actions

How it helped me

I had a misconception that if you are shy, you’ll forever be shy.

I was a quiet and timid kid, and the thought of always being like that scared me. However, little did I know that being social was an actual skill. (hence, social “skill”) It is something that you can practice and improve upon.

I implemented some of the steps in the book and saw tremendous results: I made new friends, strengthened many of my relationships, talked to people I thought I would. This is a book I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to develop both professionally and personally.

Purchase here.

The 4-Hour Workweek

“A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.”

If you are tired of working for little money and want to be rewarded by the value you provide rather than time, this is the perfect book for you.

Time is the most valuable asset we have, as we can never buy back lost time. Ferris does a good job of introducing key concepts. He shows you that there are better ways to live and ways to optimize work and play to best suit your needs.

This book is optimal for:

  • Understanding and making a passive income (making money while you sleep)
  • Those who feel lost in the rat race
  • Individuals unsatisfied with the status quo
  • Escaping the 9-5 lifestyle
  • Finding meaningful work
  • Finding a true work-life balance
  • Those who want to enjoy the entirety of their lives

How it helped me

I thought to become rich, you had to trade time for money. Climbing up the corporate ladder seemed like the only way to make decent money, which would take a long time.

Also, I believed that the company you worked at determines how much money you’d make. However, this book debunked all the preconceived notions I had. It is possible to make money while you sleep, becoming richer in both money and time.

Get your copy here!

Final Thoughts

Books are invaluable. The value you get from books is often overlooked. I know you will get value out of these self-improvement books.

I linked the book titles to Amazon, where you can find printed, digital, or audible versions of the books listed.

Power of Now
Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days
How to Win Friends and Influence People
The 4-Hour-Workweek

If you’re interested in pursuing your self-development goals, check out our goals printables in our shop! This printable pack will help you create intentional and meaningful goals! Now is the perfect time to set smart goals.

Thank you for reading! Let us know in the comments about your favorite best self-improvements books!


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