Our 10 Favorite Personal Development Books

The Whole Life Challenge is all about taking small daily actions in order to develop a new habits. Habits to help you become more healthy, active, energetic, and fulfilled. But if the research is true — if it takes an average of 21 days to establish a new habit — then how can we stay disciplined throughout that process?

Establishing routines is one thing. Surrounding yourself with a community (like those of us here at WLC) is another.

And surrounding yourself with knowledge is yet another.

Our 10 Favorite Personal Development BooksThe Value of Reading Personal Development Books

Regularly reading books about personal development, self-mastery, and growth are excellent ways to help you become not necessarily a “better” version of yourself (you’re already pretty great as it is, you know), but simply more of who you are: a genuine, more authentic reflection of your true self.

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As an added bonus? Reading is good for you. Even just thirty minutes a day may decrease your risk of dying prematurely by as much as 23%. To that end, we’re sharing ten of our favorite personal development books to help you get the most out of your career, relationships, finances, self-worth, and life in general.

The Art of Possibility1. The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life

Written by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander, The Art of Possibility is a fantastic guide that can help you learn how to take on new approaches to challenging situations.

If you’re looking to get a jump-start on creative projects, hoping to unite your team at work, or simply looking for practical and sound advice that can help you gain a fresh perspective in life, this book is a great place to start.

The Four Agreements2. The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book)

Don Miguel Ruiz wrote The Four Agreements in 1997. Since that time, it’s remained a fantastic resource for anyone looking for an accessible way to explore spirituality and living your best life.

Based on modern linguistic theory and philosophy, this book discusses the simple yet profound tenets of “Always do your best,” “Be impeccable with your word, “Do not make assumptions,” and “Do not take things personally.”

The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself3. The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself

The Untethered Soul was written by Michael Singer and has sold more than one million copies. As a reader, you’ll be introduced to ancient wisdom of the ages.

It can help you learn how to access your deep sense of spirituality without being overburdened by difficult-to-understand text. Simple, elegant, and truthful words that belie its profundity.

The Power of Habit4. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

Written by Pulitzer-prize winning business reporter Charles Duhigg and recommended by the likes of Tim Ferriss and Jim Collins, The Power of Habit provides scientifically-backed research from the world of human psychology and biology on how habits develop.

Use this book to help you if you’re trying to develop any new habit for your health, productivity, or relationships (or any of the WLC’s 7 Daily Habits).

Radical Acceptance5. Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha

Written by meditation teacher Tara Brach, Radical Acceptance provides an insightful and warmhearted narrative using the teachings of Buddha to help you break through universal issues such as fear, anxiety, and the challenge of building authenticity within relationships.

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles6. The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

Written by Steven Pressfield, The War of Art is a quick read but has the potential to profoundly impact the way you think about art, innovation, and problem-solving.

Whether you’re a writer, an artist, a business leader, an athlete, or anyone who uses creativity in their daily lives (which is, truthfully, pretty much everyone), this easy-to-read book will be hard to put down. Learn about resistance, discipline, and the power of inspiration.

 Power of Now7. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Eckhart Tolle is a world-renown spiritual teacher. In The Power of Now, prepare to come away with stunning insights.

Learn about life-changing concepts such as the pain-body, consciousness, and how to access present moment awareness (plus why it’s so darn important).

Gifts of Imperfection8. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

Researcher and self-proclaimed “storyteller” Brené Brown rose to fame through her highly rated TED talk on vulnerability and shame. In her book The Gifts of Imperfectionshe culminates years of research to help you learn what it means to live “wholeheartedly.”

Included are ten guideposts to help you along the way, such as “Cultivate Resilience,” “Find Self-Compassion,” and “Foster Creativity.”

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success9. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

Do you have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset? Which one do you think will help you (or your children) achieve goals, overcome failure, and maximize personal potential? Psychologist Carol S. Dweck wrote Mindset as a way to summarize her research with people outside of the academic world.

If you’ve ever wondered about how your mind influences your behavior (and how you can change it), this book will be a game-changer.

The Values Factor: The Secret to Creating an Inspired and Fulfilling Life10. The Values Factor: The Secret to Creating an Inspired and Fulfilling Life

Dr. John Demartini is a chiropractor-cum-international speaker who has written dozens of self-mastery and personal development books, including The Values Factor. This book shares a ground-breaking process on how to identify what’s truly important to you in life (and not merely things you do because you think you “should”). This book will present you with simple questions such as “How do I fill my personal space?” and “What do I love to talk about?” in order to help you live your life more in line with your true self.

Demartini has said before: “You can’t stick your hand into a pot of glue without some of it sticking. So, too, you can’t immerse your mind into books without some of their ideas sticking.” A fitting image to wrap up our list of our favorite personal development books! If you’re still looking for more book ideas, check out The Top 10 Leadership Books You Should Be Reading.

Got someone you care about in your life? Be sure to share these recommendations with them, and let us know if you have any favorite personal development books of your own to share.

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Becca Borawski Jenkins
Becca is a bit like a cat — she’s gone through a few “lives” to get to her current one (with which she’s quite pleased). She earned her MFA in Cinema-Television Production at USC’s famed film school, and her first career was as a music editor (if you’ve watched Scrubs, you’ve likely heard her work).

Becca found her way to career number two through martial arts. She began training in BJJ and muay Thai and started working with professional MMA fighters, building websites, working on fight promotions, and producing videos.

As a competitor in BJJ herself, Becca wanted to get stronger and fitter. In 2005, she became a student at CrossFit Los Angeles where she met WLC co-founders Andy Petranek and Michael Stanwyck. In only a couple years, she became CrossFit Level III Certified, left her entertainment career, and dedicated herself full time to coaching, serving as the Program Director of CFLA and founder of the CFLA CrossFit Kids program.

After seven years as a music editor and then eight years as fitness instructor, Becca segued to her current career — full-time editor and writer. She and her husband are full-time RVers and have a first-hand comprehension of the pros and cons of remote work.