The Successful Reading List: 15 Inspirational Books for Success

July 28, 2014

| Strayer University

books

Reading for fun is not only entertaining, it’s also enlightening. People who read frequently, beyond their assignments for school, experience a myriad of benefits. Studies have shown that readers are able to learn more efficiently, retain more of what they learn, and have more opportunities to learn new things (read study here). It is no surprise, then, that reading is also important to success. Check out these 15 inspirational, motivational and great books that will help you be successful in any endeavor you choose.

1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

By Steven R. Covey

First published in 1990, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change is considered by many to be one of the most inspiring and impactful books about personal success ever written. The book aims to fundamentally change how you perceive and interpret the world, balancing personal and professional effectiveness to help you achieve success in all aspects of your life.

2. The Happiness Project

By Gretchen Rubin

This book from 2011 is an inspiring account of one woman’s quest for happiness. During her yearlong “happiness project”, Gretchen Rubin challenged herself to assess every aspect of her life, from her marriage to her own self-fulfillment, to discover how she could realize her goals for each and achieve true happiness.

3. Act Like a Success, Think Like a Success: Discovering Your Gift and the Way to Life’s Riches

By Steve Harvey

Act Like a Success, Think Like a Success: Discovering Your Gift and the Way to Life’s Riches is the forthcoming book from Strayer University’s new partner:  #1 New York Times bestselling author and popular television personality Steve Harvey. Instead of telling you to attain success by seeking new areas for growth, Steve teaches you how to recognize the gifts you already possess. These characteristics will lead you to a successful life, and Steve shows you the way to developing those gifts, directing them, and harnessing their power to achieve your dreams.

4. The Last Lecture

By Randy Pausch

Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, had been diagnosed with terminal cancer when he was asked to deliver his “last lecture”—a tradition in which professors give a lecture as if it were their final one before retirement. For him, it was his last lecture, and “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” became a moving and renowned discussion of the importance of overcoming obstacles, empowering others to realize their dreams, and making the most of every moment.

5. Winning

By Jack Welch

Legendary business visionary Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric and founder of Strayer University’s Jack Welch Management Institute, gathers some of his most insightful business wisdom in his 2005 book Winning. Written with his wife, Suzy Welch, Winning is an accessible book for anybody seeking answers to some of the most difficult questions of the business world, and looking for a way to pave their road to success.

6. The Secret

By Rhonda Byrne

This wildly popular book became a phenomenon upon its publication in 2006. In The Secret, Rhonda Byrne clearly outlines and makes accessible The Law of Attraction: a philosophy that the power of thought has the power to transform one’s life. The book contains insight from modern-day professors, scientists, and philosopher, all of whom share stories of how the power of positive thinking can bring you success.

7. The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children

By Dr. Shefali Tsabary

The critically acclaimed 2010 book The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children, is a must-read for parents looking to teach and learn from their children to ensure mutual success. The book argues that children are mirrors of their parents, and instead of simply receiving the lessons that parents impart, actually serve to develop the parents and contribute to their growth. In this sense, success comes from being a conscious parent—one who recognizes how to embrace the lessons their child has to teach them.

8. The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be

By Jack Canfield

Jack Canfield is the co-creator of bestselling Chicken Soup for the Soul series, and in The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, walks readers through 64 time-tested principles used by successful people throughout history. He teaches you how to apply these practices to your everyday life, and shares real-life inspirational stories from people who have seen these principles lead to success.

9. My Beloved World

By Sonia Sotomayor

In My Beloved World, Sonia Sotomayor teaches readers the power of believing in oneself and the importance of perseverance and determination. As the first Hispanic and third woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court, Sotomayor is a true success story, and in My Beloved World shares her journey from the projects of the Bronx to the federal bench. Her story is an inspiration to everybody and a reminder of how we are all capable of success.

10. Thinking, Fast and Slow

By Daniel Kahneman

This New York Times bestseller is an award-winning exploration of how we think, and how the benefits of slow, rational, and deliberate thinking can help us achieve success in our personal and professional lives. Author Daniel Kahneman teaches the reader how to guard against impulses and intuition—“mental glitches” that can get us into trouble, and how thoughtful decisions can shape our success.

11. Game Plan for Life: Your Personal Playbook for Success

By Joe Gibbs

Game Plan for Life: Your Personal Playbook for Success is a guide to success in numerous areas of life such as physical, emotional, and spiritual health, relationships, finance, finding the right vocation, and living a life of purpose. Considered an “average Joe’s” guide to 11 important topics for men, three-time Super Bowl and NASCAR champion Joe Gibbs’ book is an important guide to a successful and well-rounded life.

12. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

By Sheryl Sandberg

Lean In is a compelling examination of the causes of inequality in the workplace and the underlying issues that have prevented women from emerging and advancing in leadership roles by one of Fortune’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business. Sheryl Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook, and in her book offers solutions to empower women to lean in and find the will to succeed.

13. Steve Jobs

By Walter Isaacson

Compiled from more than forty interviews with Steve Jobs, and hundreds of people who knew him, this book is one of the most riveting and revealing looks into the life and vision of one of the country’s most innovative minds. Isaacson examines, not only the passion and inventiveness that helped Jobs drive Apple’s massive success, but the personality, values, and even the shortcomings of Steve Jobs as a person. Sharing “lessons about innovation, character, leadership, and values,” this is an important book for anyone seeking creative and professional success.

14. Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life

By Dani Shapiro

Still Writing is both an intimate and inspirational look at creativity and a pragmatic guide for living your life as a writer. Dani Shapiro blends memoir with advice on the craft of writing and the artistic process to help guide writers in their path to creative success.

15. Eat. Pray, Love

By Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert’s 2007 memoir, Eat Pray Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia, is a hugely popular meditation on success as a personal journey that leads to fulfillment in life, whatever that may be. Gilbert tells the story of how she left behind a “typical” life in America to discover what she truly wanted, travelling the world to learn about herself amidst different cultures and become who she wanted to be.

Reading is a great way to get and stay motivated. These inspirational books will not only help you on the road to success, but will keep you inspired by seeing how others have achieved their dreams. Add these books to your shelf and pass this list along to others on a journey to success.


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