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Want to improve your life? Books can help, and these are the ones we recommend.

Master Yourself

Awaken the Giant Within : How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny

Awaken the Giant Within : How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!

If you’re only going to get one personal development book, this is it. Awaken the Giant Within is a classic and best-seller because it’s full of solid strategies to help you improve your life.

It’s a complete guide to the most fundamental personal growth methods, written in a personal and easily-read format by one of the most inspiring coaches in the field. From start to finish, it gives you a complete course on personal growth, from understanding your moods, to mapping your goals and contributing beyond yourself.

Always recommended.

Unlimited Power : The New Science Of Personal Achievement

Unlimited Power : The New Science Of Personal Achievement

The best guide to the Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) we’ve seen. Anthony Robbins’ first book is not as accessible as Awaken the Giant Within, but still full of valuable information to help you improve your life.

Unlimited Power goes into NLP whereas Awaken the Giant Within does not, and although it doesn’t say as such anywhere in the book, it’s a good starter for anyone curious about NLP.

Both Unlimited Power and Awaken the Giant Within will form a solid bedrock for anyone’s personal development library.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Another groundbreaking classic. Stephen Covey makes a strong case for character driven principles to lead an effective life, versus the personality traits that personal development books in the last half-century have espoused.

Instead of the ‘get results overnight’ pitch that other people in the personal growth field try to sell, Covey instead uses the metaphor of the farm. On a farm, you can’t do all the work one day and expect the field to bloom overnight – real growth takes time and effort.

7 Habits is like a book of common sensical home-spun wisdom, but it’s wisdom we sometimes need to be reminded of in an ‘overnight’ society.

Success Built to Last : Creating a Life that Matters

Success Built to Last : Creating a Life that Matters

A Wall St. Journal and BusinessWeek bestseller, and Top 3 of Amazon’s Best Books of 2006: Top 10 Editors’ Picks for Business, the authors interviewed over 300 of the most successful people of our time, and reveal the common ground that made them what they are today.

The interview requirements were stringent, everyone who was interviewed had to have had at least a track record of 20 years of enduring success. And not just by the social benchmarks of success; fame, power or fortune, but they needed to have had made a positive impact on the world.

A thought-provoking and inspiring read, especially when you read about how some of the most successful people of our time went through the tough times and came out on top.

Read my Success Built to Last book review.

Master Your Time

First Things First : To Live, to Love, to Learn, to Leave a Legacy

First Things First: To Live, to Love, to Learn, to Leave a Legacy

Do you ever feel like the most important things in your life aren’t getting the attention they deserve?

Stephen Covey continues the work he started with the 7 Habits by revealing why most people end up doing things right but not doing the right things. More than a time-management tool, First Things First is about creating a life of fulfillment.

Covey’s no doubt a leader in the field of ‘top-down’ time-management, instead of doing things right he wants you to make sure you do the right things first. To him, it’s like climbing a ladder. No matter how fast and how effectively you climb that ladder, it’s no use in the end if the ladder’s leaning up the wrong wall.

The essential one of two time-management books in my library, the other one is below.

Getting Things Done : The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

Getting Things Done : The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

GTD (Getting Things Done) has a massive following and for good reason, it’s a useful system and way of thinking to help you climb out of your cluttered schedule and get to-do list under control.

Created by the ‘personal productivity guru’ David Allen, this book shows you how to sort and manage your tasks with the GTD system. There’s also a good reason why GTD is especially liked by geeks, the system might sound complicated and mechanical to the first-timer. But once you get the hang of it, you realize how elegant it is.

GTD is famous for being a ‘down-up’ approach to time-management, instead of setting your schedule by your values like Covey, Allen wants you to be handle your day-to-day tasks first. That’s why GTD I always recommended with First Things First, they’re a perfect complement to each other.

Ready for Anything : 52 Productivity Principles for Work and Life

Ready for Anything : 52 Productivity Principles for Work and Life

With 52 productivity essays, ‘personal productivity guru’ David Allen’s book hits the mark. Every principle is explained in an easy-to-absorb 2 to 5 pages that are readily usable. It’s refreshing to read a book that’s not repeating the same lightweight generalizations about achievement over and over again.

Instead, what you’ll find in Ready for Anything are thoughtful reflections on maximizing productivity – defined by Allen as ‘making something happen with as little effort as possible.’

Read my Ready for Anything book review.