We all lack motivation at some point in our life. Life’s challenges and tough rides put us in a state where it gets difficult to pick ourselves up and get going. But a few words of motivation come to our rescue and help us to get back. As Zig Ziglar puts it “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.” And the ideal way to get your share of daily inspirational reading is to go through some of the best motivational books.
As one of the Cicero quotes says ” If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.
Thus, many famous authors like Mark Manson, Stephen R. Covey, etc have written some of the top inspirational books. These provide you with some valuable life lessons that motivate you and help you live a meaningful life.
Best Motivational Books
1. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck is one of the top motivational books by the bestselling author Mark Manson. In this book, Manson, in his straight-on-the-face, no-nonsense style of writing, gives you some important realizations that hit you hard. As you read chapter after chapter, you get to know the substandard beliefs that hold you back from leading a meaningful life. Apart from his foul-mouthed approach that shakes you up, the real-life stories he shares are eye-opening.
These are stories from his own life and some of the well-known personalities across the world. Through these, Mark brings forth the idea that none of them were without problems. But, what helped them live a fulfilling life despite such issues were the good values. In his book, he distinguishes good values from bad values.
As one of the Mark Manson quotes puts it “Our values determine the nature of our problems, and the nature of our problems determines the quality of our lives.
Further, he claims that happiness comes from solving problems and that the only thing that is certain is death.
This is a motivational book that you would want to keep by your bedside. This is to motivate you each time you feel weak, worthless, or hopeless about yourself and life in general.
2. The 48 Laws of Power
This is a book by Robert Greene, an international best-selling author who is also the author of the book ‘The Laws of Human Nature. The 48 Laws of Power lays out 48 laws that help individuals to have power over people and events. The author compares the greed for power that exists today with the power dynamic that was there in the cunning world of the old aristocratic court. He says that today’s world considers itself as the summit of fairness. However, bad emotions like envy, greed, hatred, lust, etc still spur within us. This is much like these old aristocratic courts. They too considered themselves to be the highest point of refinement and fairness. However, what simmered beneath were these dark emotions.
As one of the quotes by Niccolò Machiavelli mentioned in the book says “Any man who tries to be good all the time is bound to come to ruin among the great number who are not good. Some of the laws of power mentioned in the book are as follows:
- Conceal your intentions
- Always say less than necessary
- Make other people come to you – use bait if necessary
- Infection: avoid the unhappy and unlucky
- Learn to keep people dependent on you
Best Inspirational Books
3. Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life
Unfuck Yourself is another best-selling motivational book for people who undergo a self-defeating monolog. So if you are out of those people who :
- face that continuous internal murmuring and judgment that ceases to end
- hear that internal voice saying to them that they are worthless, lazy, or not good enough, this book is for you.
As per the author Gary John Bishop, we all engage in self-talk. In fact, it doesn’t matter if we are introverts or extroverts. We talk about a number of things to ourselves on a routine basis. As mentioned in this book, studies reveal that we have close to 50,000 thoughts each day. Given these numbers, the author asks us to ponder over the boatloads of things we say to ourselves but shouldn’t say or try to defeat.
Further, he also emphasizes that no doubt we cannot control these automatic thoughts from coming to us. But, we can certainly decide the amount of importance we need to give to various thoughts.
He further reveals that the current research in the fields of neuroscience and psychology. As per the studies, the kings of conversations we have with ourselves have a significant impact on the quality of our lives.
4. The Mountain Is You
The Mountain Is You is a book that makes you hopeful in times of hardships and distress. Brianna Wiest gives some amazing insights on why and when we self-sabotage and how we can avoid doing it. She provides some practical tools that help you to develop courage and get a deep understanding of why you are here. That is, get the courage and understanding to climb your own mountain.
According to Brianna, life is actually working for our best interest much like nature. Although, it may look as if we are only being offered alterations, difficulties, and hardships. Just like nature is most fertile at its boundaries where the climates interact. Similarly, we undergo a transformation when we are at our respective edges. These are these times in our life when we are compelled to move out of our comfort zone and recollect.
We no longer depend on our defense mechanisms to astray us from the problems we are experiencing. That’s when we may feel that we have hit a low in our lives. But, in reality, this is the time of self-awakening as we acknowledge our problems that were being ignored for a long time. In the words of Brianna, “the breakdown is often just the tipping point that precedes the breakthrough.
5. The Four Agreements
Four Agreements is a book that contains a behavioral code that is said to be founded on Toltec wisdom. Toltec wisdom promotes the idea to be free from beliefs that are responsible for one’s suffering and limitations. As per the Toltec wisdom, each one of us enters into agreements with ourselves, God, as well as others. It is through these agreements that we typically tend to say who we are, what we can do, and what we cannot.
Now, some of these agreements do not cause any issues with our routine functioning. While there are certain agreements that cause challenges for they instill fear which drains up a person’s emotional energy. Thus, as per the author Don Miguel Ruiz, one must do away with these agreements forced on oneself out of fear or societal obligations to be free and happy.
This book talks about the four important agreements that individuals should make to influence their happiness. These are as follows.
- an agreement to not take things personally. This is because each one of us has different perceptions about various aspects of life. And to take someone’s view personally only leads to vices like hatred, anger, etc which are self-impeding.
- to take responsibility for one’s words and actions.
- to not assume things as assumptions lead to suffering
- to always give your best
Best Motivational Audiobooks
6. Courage Is Calling
Courage Is Calling is one of the outstanding inspirational books by Ryan Holiday. In this, he introduces the four virtues that one needs for a good life. According to the ancient world, the four key virtues include courage, temperance, justice, and wisdom.
This book talks about Courage, the first virtue which is marked by bravery, sacrifice, honor, and fortitude.
In this book, Ryan Holiday quotes Marcus Aurelius who called virtues the touchstones of goodness. Our life is all about making choices between the virtues and the vices.
Further, these must be practiced by everyone, irrespective of their gender, strength, or nature. Taking about courage in this book, Ryan quotes Leo Tolstoy, who said the following quote about courage:
“There is no deed in this life so impossible that you cannot do it. Your whole life should be lived as a heroic deed.
Further, he says that courage is something that is valued the most. Yet, it is rarely found in people. Also, it exists in each one of us, infinite, and renewable. Yet, it remains rare because humans are afraid and want to go for something that is safe and convenient.
For instance, why fight ourselves? Instead, it must be left for people who are better trained and equipped for this. In addition to this, Ryan further holds that as per philosophers courage is not divided into categories like physical and mental courage. Courage is courage. It is sacrifice, determination, persistence, commitment, and truth. It is something others say you shouldn’t or cannot do.
7. Letting Go of Nothing
Letting Go Of Nothing is a book by Peter Russell is what you need on your path to spiritual growth. Russell is this book that beholds that it is the internal letting go of the attachment to thought and emotions that leads to spiritual awakening.
He puts it clearly that saints and Sufis in ancient times considered letting go necessary for spiritual awakening. From Islamic Sufis to saints in India and Buddhists, one needs to give up on everything material one could attach himself to. For instance, material possessions, rich food, home, comfort, sexuality, etc.
The main purpose behind giving up these worldly possessions was to starve one’s ego to death. But as per Peter Russell, giving up on material possessions didn’t really free them from their egoic sense of self. That is one way or the other, ego used to come back via some means.
That’s why Peter talks about letting go of something which is internal rather than external. He clarifies that one must focus on the inner dimension of giving up. This includes giving up on the attachment to thought and emotions. This is because it is these thoughts that compel us to perceive or rather misperceive reality.
These thoughts are nothing but narratives, that constant voices in our heads which are the basis of all complaints, expectations, regrets, etc. And these narratives, especially the ones that are repetitive, become the cause of all worry and anxiety.
8. The Power of Vulnerability
The Power of Vulnerability is an audiobook by the American professor and author Brené Brown that puts all her work together. Through this, she explains how being vulnerable can actually work in our favor and is actually the starting point of joy, love, a sense of belonging, and authenticity.
The vulnerability has a kind of stigma attached to it. Typically, being vulnerable is linked to being weak. This is because it is commonly associated with emotions like fear, shame, and uncertainty. However, as per Brown, being vulnerable helps us to give up on that shield that stops us from experiencing life and having opportunities to find our purpose.
According to Brown, being vulnerable to life, people, events, and whatever comes our way is not a sign of weakness but audacity. She says that we don’t want to feel disappointed, shameful, or experience sadness. That’s why we use defenses like cynicism, paralyzing ourselves against joy, and turning off our inclination to love.
But we as people forget that we give up on so much in the name of this self-defense. Through this book, she pleads readers to be whole-hearted by becoming aware of one’s vulnerability. In addition to this, she also teaches us how to be there, showing ourselves up instead of defending ourselves. In this audiobook, she breaks the myths attached to vulnerability and educates us about the strategies we use for self-defense. Additionally, she also teaches how to practice wholehearted living via stories in this six-hour-long audiobook.
9. The 5 AM Club
The 5 AM Club is a book by the best-selling author Robin Sharma. This is a book that is coming out of his experience and work of over 20 years. As the name goes, this book is about the morning routine that has enabled his clients to be productive. Not only this, but it has also helped them to live a healthy life and keep their serenity intact in this complicated world.
In this book, Robin Sharma reveals that there are so many people who have achieved outstanding results following the morning routine. In addition to this, they were able to feel alive and be happy.
The book reveals the struggle of two strangers who meet a tycoon. And this tycoon unknowingly becomes their mentor.
This book will give you an understanding of how the most successful people of the world start their mornings. Morning routines that lead to outstanding outcomes. In addition to this, this book will also help you know how you can find time for exercise and self-growth.
Inspirational Books Based on True Stories
10. Man’s Search for Meaning
Man’s Search for Meaning is a very famous book written by Victor Frankl, the Austrian neurologist who survived the death camp. The book covers personal experiences of unlimited prisoners told by Frankl who himself was a prisoner.
However, he survived the death camp and wrote this book that narrates the day-to-day life in a concentration camp that brings out the mind of an average prisoner.
This book is not about the suffering of great heroes. However, it is about sacrifices and the suffering of the unknown victims. As per Frankl, an outsider would think with emotion and pity about the likeness of people in a death camp.
And this is where he would go wrong. An outsider has no clue about the daily flight for existence that prisoners had to experience. This book explains the experience of the prisoners by the man who himself was a prisoner in the death camp without attaching personal bias as far as possible.
11. The Artist’s Way
The Artist’s Way is a book by Julia Cameron who is called ‘The Queen of Change’ by The New York Times. She is acknowledged for starting a movement in 1992 that made the concept of creativity popular. People understood that unchaining one’s creative potential is what makes for a more meaningful life.
Additionally, it’s a book that serves you with a twelve-week course that tells you the process of winning back your creative self. It helps you get rid of the negative thought that most of us are conditioned for which says that we are not talented enough.
Accordingly, here the 12-week program starts with the most important tools for winning back your creative side. These include the Morning Pages and the Artist Date. Where the Morning Pages refer to the daily writing ritual, the Artist Date is the time you keep to grow your inner artist.
Further, she provides a host of exercises, activities, and motivates readers to read each chapter closely. Basically, this book is a step-by-step guide that will help you get rid of the artist’s block. This may include fear, jealousy, guilt, etc. At the same time, it gives you tools to replace these blocks with self-confidence and productivity.
Untamed is a memoir written by the activist and the best-selling author Glennon Doyle. The book talks about the challenges women have to face to be themselves, given the conditioning and the social pressure. Women are always asked to keep their discontentment a secret. In the wake of being good mothers, partners, and daughters, women have been suppressing their feelings beneath cultural conditioning and years of substance abuse.
In this book, she expresses her own unhappiness when she realized she was a lesbian. However, she had to or rather was forced to bury this truth to make people around happy. However, she shares the journey of how she realized who she was and how she decided to quit being good to please others. How she chose to give up on the expectations of the world out of her and live the way she wanted to.
This book is a reminder for women who sacrifice to live for the sake of different roles they play. It basically gives them the understanding that being a good mother in no way means dying each day for your family. However, it rather should be about living each day to the fullest.
13. Feeding the Soul
Feeding the Soul is a book by Tabitha Brown, the American actress, and vegan food influencer. In this book, she appeals to the people out there, who are struggling to make good out of their lives. She serves you with both affirmations and inspiration on how to live your life with freedom, love, and peace of mind.
She says that people always look at her now and tell her what a beautiful life she has. However, they are only looking at her life from the outside. That is, they are looking at the fruits and ignoring the roots.
Through her own life stories, Tabitha consoles all the people striving to make good out of their lives that it is never easy and quick. That, she herself has been through anxiety, depression, auto-immune pain herself and come out strong.
She was at such a juncture where she had never thought that she would be able to pull herself out of this darkness. But, she made it through and decided that the day she makes a breakthrough, she will be the light for others. This would help them to come out of the darkness.
In this book, the author gives faith, hope, and light to people who are struggling to make it in life. She says that it is never easy and that you are not alone. No matter what the journey looks like today, it shall pass.
Further, she even cautions that nothing happens overnight. The fear of uncertainties has made more and more people stressed and anxiety-ridden. But through her life stories, she gives hope that life is not always difficult. There are lighter moments in the book that will make you laugh. There are also instances where you will cry.
Finally, she also shares some of the easy vegan recipes in her book for you to cook by the spirit.
14. Tuesdays with Morrie
Tuesdays with Morrie is the New York Times Best Seller written by the journalist Mitch Albom. The book is about Mitch and his professor Morrie. Morrie Schwartz was Mitch’s favorite professor, whom he introduced his parents to on his graduation day. Morrie was very fond of Mitch and told his parents on the graduation day how Mitch took every class Morrie taught and that Mitch was special.
Mitch hugged his professor and promised to keep in touch. But, after stepping out of college, Mitch gets caught up in life and its demands. He has a serious encounter with death where he sees his favorite uncle, just 44, died due to prostate cancer. This changed his life all of a sudden and he started feeling that time is very precious. So, he completed his master’s degree in journalism and decided to never look back. This is because his uncle worked in a corporation and hated his boring, routine job. Mitch didn’t want to die like his uncle.
However, Mitch narrates how in the wake of this, he lost contact with his loved ones. Then, events take place where he gets to meet his favorite professor Morrie. However, Morrie is now in a wheelchair and is suffering from a terminal illness. But, the professor hasn’t lost hope from the day his doctor told him about his illness which will lead him to death. Mitch, in his final meeting with Morrie, learns his last lessons of how it feels like dying. And how one should ideally live his life.
Books on Success and Motivation
15. Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds
Can’t Hurt Me is a book written by David Goggins, the U.S. armed forces icon, and named by the ‘Outside’ magazine as ‘The Fittest (Real) Man in America. In this book, Goggins shares stories from his life. He narrates instances of how he was born broken, grew up with the beat downs, was tortured in school, and called a nigger innumerable times.
And much like many people, he used to say that God dealt him a bad hand. He also reveals that he knows what a bad hand feels like because he has faced it all. Typically, it is normal for people to make bad choices in such circumstances. This is because this comes naturally to humans as that’s how our brains function.
However, he chose a path full of pain, accepted and loved his suffering, and changed himself from a weak personality to the strongest one. As per him, no matter who you are or what your parents do, you are just living at 40% of your real capability.
According to Goggins, all of us are capable of doing so much more. However, it takes a lot of will, heart, and a determined mind to achieve that. He says that we all become eligible to die from the day we are born. Similarly, we also become eligible for finding our potential and preparing ourselves for the fight ahead. It is only you who can control your mind which helps you to live a fearless life filled with achievements.
16. The High 5 Habit
The High 5 Habit is a book written by Mel Robbins, the international best-selling author of the book – The 5 Second Rule. In this book, the author talks about the high 5 habits that she’s proud to discover. As per the author, she found this rule one morning when she was in the bathroom, brushing her teeth.
That’s when she got a glimpse of her in the mirror and started complaining about everything that formed part of her. The dark circles under the eyes, the pointed chin, the loose skin on her stomach, etc.
She started thinking about a number of improvements she needs to make to look good. Basically, she went into the self-critical zone, given the increasing demands of life.
This is when she realized that things could really turn if there would be someone to tell her that all will be well. That’s when she discovered the high 5 habits. That is, giving a high-five to yourself each day.
It’s like without uttering a word, you give yourself the assurance that you can do it. It is about being kind towards yourself and saying that you are not alone.
17. Whatever It Takes: Master the Habits to Transform Your Business, Relationships, and Life
Whatever it Takes is a book written by Brandon Bornancin, the CEO and founder of Seamless.AI, one of the top 50 LinkedIn startups.
As per the author, you have to have a ‘Whatever It Takes’ attitude to amplify your success. He says that one needs to get rid of self-limiting beliefs, develop such an attitude, and continue to strive regardless of challenges.
He’s out of people who became the richest kid in college with his first business venture and lost it all in his second. He says that one must take his failures as the fuel one requires to get up and get going. And this is the point from which you must do whatever it takes to achieve your goals.
In fact, the author wrote this book during the pandemic so that he could reach out to people who were shutting down their businesses. He lost all his money in his second venture during the 2008-2009 global financial meltdown. That’s when he learned how to survive the tough times.
In this book, he shares the bulletproof mentality that his team at Seamless.AI practiced. This helped them grow the company by over 300%, all during the pandemic.
One of the quotes from this book is from Will Smith’s popular movie, Pursuit of Happyness. It says “Don’t ever let anyone tell you, you can’t do something. Not even me. You got a dream, you gotta protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they want to tell you, you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period.