If you’re looking for the best self-improvement books of all time, keep reading. A brand-new year is coming soon, along with our plans and resolutions to make this next year better than 2020 (which shouldn’t be hard, considering the year we’ve had). Whether you are looking to be more organized, improve your fitness regime or eat healthy foods – a new year means a chance for a new, better version of yourself.
We’ve rounded up some inspirational books to help you on a path to a new, improved you. Here are the 6 best self-improvement books of all time to help you get 2021 started off on the right foot.
“The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg
Many of our own habits go unnoticed – from things like double-checking the stove before leaving your home or grabbing a glass of water before bed. These are routine actions in our lives that we do without much thought. Charles Duhigg’s “The Power of Habit” shows us how we can use this to our advantage by intentionally developing habits that will lead to a successful personal and business life. As the title suggests, Duhigg uncovers the power of habit and how the long-lasting habits we build can either lead to our downfall or gain.
“The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin
What does it truly mean to be content? This memoir takes you on the author’s 12-month journey to finding the answer. As she shares her personal stories and goals, we are motivated to focus and discover the journey to happiness ourselves.
Each chapter represents a new month in the 12-month journey in which Rubin focuses on a particular section in her life. For example, the goal for Chapter 4 (April) is to lighten up (parenthood), while Chapter 10 (October), is to pay attention (mindfulness). The book has been especially praised for its relatability and honesty as readers can apply it in their own lives.
“The Social Animal” by David Brooks
Love, character and achievement. The three aspects which influence human drive. Unlike other sociology and psychology books out there, “The Social Animal” by David Brooks captivates us by blending nonfiction with fiction. His two characters, Harold and Erica, are representative of the theories and behaviors he discusses. By following these two characters, who were born into differing socio-economic backgrounds, readers are witnessing them shape into thoughtful and successful people despite the struggles they face. In this fascinating approach to telling a story, Brooks reveals what truly motivates human behavior.
“Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman
The human process of thought is so complex and full of unexplainable irrationalities. However, we’ve fortunately been given a comprehensive tour of our psyche through Daniel Kahneman’s book “Thinking, Fast and Slow.” What determines the decisions we make?
Kahneman discusses the two systems of thinking (system 1 and 2) and how this alone makes the decisions for us. For example, what’s 1 + 2? It shouldn’t have taken you more than a second to have the answer pop into your head. That’s because it went through system 1: automatic and unconscious thought. Now try 47 x 142? Unless you’re a math genius, it’s unlikely you could have solved that instantly even with a calculator in front of you. This is called system 2: calculating and conscious. Kahneman links this theory of decision making to biases and the placement of stereotypes. If you want a deep-dive into your brain, “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” is the way to go.
“A Short History of Nearly Everything” by Bill Bryson
You can never know too much about the world around you, but to be frank, all that information can be slightly overwhelming – no, actually, very overwhelming. Bill Bryson understands that and has made learning about nearly everything much easier.
One thing that can be off putting about science books is the complex terminology and long-winded explanations that will guarantee to have lost our attention by the second chapter. However, “A Short History of Nearly Everything” is perfect at explaining things in terms everyone can comprehend and engaging with the general public. From geology to quantum mechanics, Bryson reveals these different topics though a fascinating light.
Enlightenment about the world we live in and how everything works is in a way a form of self-improvement. No matter who you are, as long as you live on this planet, this book is highly recommended and should be on top of everyone’s reading list.
“Eat and Run” by Scott Jurek
Although this book is an autobiography about the author Scott Jureck and Steve Friedman’s journey to ultramarathon greatness, you do not have to be a runner to take away just as much from it.
From being a meat-eater to vegetarian, then eventually vegan, Jurek uncovers the influences of diet through his own experiences. It’s an eye-opening account on our eating-habits and ways of pushing ourselves to reach our full potential. The book is full of captivating stories of persistence, challenges and triumphs that are part of being an ultrarunner. And who knows? This book might inspire you to become an elite athlete.
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