15 Books With the Power to Change Your Life
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15 Books With the Power to Change Your Life

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The life-changing book list

Words and books have the power to change lives. This could be religious texts such as the Bible, the Bhagavad Gita or the Quran that inspire millions of people to live life within a certain set of beliefs, or it could be self-improvement books which help us be better people, or biographies and autobiographies which can inspire and uplift, or something else.

Books can inspire us to re-think the way we live our lives; some texts are so influential that people return to them time and time again – seeking guidance for this human experience. We’ve compiled a list of 15 books that have the power to transform your life – financially, spiritually or in many other ways.

1. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Coelho's fable teaches us, as only a few stories can, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, above all, following our dreams. The story follows the journey of a young boy called Santiago in his treasure seeking quest, yet along the way he finds mentorship, love and most importantly a clear understanding of himself. The Alchemist is a lesson on perspective and what really matters in life.

2. Atomic Habits by James Clear

Selling close to over 15 million copies worldwide, Atomic Habits truly can provide you with the knowledge to transform your life. Author James Clear delves into exactly how minuscule habitual changes can grow into life-altering outcomes. It is a blueprint book for changing your behaviour and sticking to it.

3. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

If you want a no-bullshit approach to navigating life and can handle Manson’s repetitive swearing, this book is for you. Described as a “generation-defining self-help guide,” Manson’s book is filled with tough truths and a realistic view on life. His theory is that a relentlessly positive mindset is damaging and we need to learn to accept our limitations and our failures. "F**k positivity," Manson writes. "Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it."

4. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl's memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Frankl explores the polarity of life and death and finding one’s true meaning when you are faced with insurmountable challenges. If you’re searching for purpose and positivity in your life, Frankl’s book can aid you in finding this. A pertinent quote from Frankl is “when we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

5. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Walter Isaacson tells the remarkable life story of creative entrepreneur Steve Jobs, whose passion and drive revolutionized six industries. From his “searingly intense personality” to his ability to marry imagination and technology, Jobs was fundamental in shaping today’s technological age. Isaacson’s biography is based on more than forty interviews with Jobs himself, and interviews with more than 100 family members, friends, colleagues and even adversaries. This book is an unvarnished view of a revolutionary life, exploring Jobs’ obsessions, passion, and perfectionism.

6. Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

Sapiens is probably the most digestible book on the history of the human race you can find. Author, Yuval Noah Harari sagely notes that “we study history not to know the future but to widen our horizons, to understand that our present situation is neither natural nor inevitable, and that we consequently have many more possibilities before us than we imagine.” Sapiens covers the big bang theory to the rise and fall of empires and the evolving role of humans in the natural ecosystem.

7. You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero

Master the mindset of wealth with New York Times bestselling author Jen Sincero. Drawing on her own financial transformation, Sincero sheds light on how she went from living in a converted garage to someone who is financially free. By weaving hilarious personal essays with financial concepts, Sincero’s lessons on wealth are easily digestible. From shedding the victim mentality to tapping into the power of our thoughts, this book will transform how you think about money.

8. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

Drawing from ancient Toltec wisdom, author Don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create unnecessary suffering. The Four Agreements is seen as a code of conduct to transform one’s life to embrace love, freedom and happiness. It has been translated into over 46 languages across the globe and received high accolades from many influential people. Oprah Winfrey says “This book by Don Miguel Ruiz, simple yet so powerful, has made a tremendous difference in how I think and act in every encounter.”

9. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

Fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed $50 from his father and founded Nike with a simple vision – import low-cost, high-quality sports shoes from Japan and sell them for profit. In 1963, he made gross income of $8,000, today Nike’s annual sales sit at around $50 billion. Shoe Dog is Knight’s memoir, delving into the company’s early days and the chaotic journey Nike went through to become a billion dollar business. Knight opens up in an honest way few CEOs would be willing to, detailing risks he took, setbacks the company endured and the many triumphs.

10. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

The Power of Now is a must read if you are interested in delving inwards or on a path of spiritual awareness and personal growth. Tolle’s book has been monumental in modern-day spiritual teachings, selling over 2 million copies worldwide and being translated into over 30 languages. His teachings centre around seeing life as a series of present moments and freeing oneself from the ego and the mind.

11. The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko

The book is a compilation of research done by the two authors in the profiles of American millionaires.

The authors compare the behaviour of those they call "UAWs" (Under Accumulators of Wealth) and those who are "PAWs" (Prodigious Accumulators of Wealth). Their findings, that millionaires are disproportionately clustered in middle-class and blue-collar neighbourhoods and not in more affluent or white-collar communities, came as a surprise to the authors who anticipated the opposite. Stanley and Danko's book explains why, noting that high-income white-collar professionals are more likely to practice lifestyle creep and devote their income to luxury goods or status items, thus neglecting savings and investments.

12. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Carnegie’s book is a masterclass on relationships. How to Win Friends and Influence People teaches you how to become a likeable person who has sway over others by making a conscious effort with others. From good manners and a friendly tone to asking pointed questions about someone’s life. “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you,” says Carnegie.

13. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

This book could be worth a million dollars to you. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill was first published in 1937 after the Great Depression, and established itself as a best-selling publication for decades to come, selling over 20 million copies worldwide. Hill focuses on the theory that our thoughts become our reality, and offers techniques such as visualisation and affirmation. “What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve,” Hill famously said.

14. Elon Musk : How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is Shaping our Future by Ashlee Vance

If you’re seeking inspiration for your own life, why not read about someone who has achieved great things? Billionaire Elon Musk’s story is not your usual. Sometimes described as “the Steve Jobs of the present and future,” Musk is known for his innovative and green tech solutions as the CEO of electric car giant Tesla and the pioneering rocket producer Space X. He is determined to use his power to push the limits of humanity. Vance’s rendition of his life explores not only his dreams but delves into the obstacles Musk overcame from his childhood of abuse and bullying.

15. The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel

Housel explores the intersection of money, emotions and personal biases in our financial decision making. Success with money comes down to behaviour and individual relationships with money. Housel helps one grasp complex financial topics in a simple way, unpacking how our early experiences with money influence our present-day self and why envy and greed will be your biggest financial mistakes.

The Bottom Line: Books With the Power to Change Your Life

From captivating stories to profound wisdom, these literary gems will ignite minds, touch hearts, and ignite a passion for growth. Whether you're seeking personal development, spiritual enlightenment, or simply a captivating escape, the books listed above will leave an indelible mark on anyone fortunate enough to experience them. So, skip the ordinary reads and choose extraordinary books that have the power to shape lives.

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