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Will reading self improvement books help me become successful?

I am starting off in my career. I am very ambitious and I have personal growth and development goals that I want to accomplish before I am 30 years old. I have come across several personal growth books from workmates and friends but I always see them as a waste of time. However, my friends insist that these books have helped them gain personal development skills. Will reading self improvement books help me achieve my goals and grow my career? If so, what are the recommended ones I should read?

Timothy Norman

in Self Improvement

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Victoria Fowler on January 30, 2018

I understand your sentiments that books on personal growth are a waste of valuable time. However, this is a misconception that is held by a significant number of people. The market may be flooded with many cliché books but there are a few really inspiring and helpful books.

Everyone needs to self-improve at some point in the life. This may be in their career, business or social life. So yes, I believe reading these books will help you to achieve your goals.

Here are three books for self-improvement I would highly recommend to you:

1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven R Covey.

This book is on this list because of two reasons: it is timeless and effective. Published in the late 1980s, it is still practical in our time. This book will help you achieve the results you desire through adopting 7 recommended habits.

2. Whatcha Gonna Do with That Duck by Seth Godin.

This book comprises Seth Godin’s best blog posts from 2006-2012. It might be a big book but once you start reading it, you will discover it’s so much worth the time you put into it. It focuses widely on skills for personal development that will improve almost all areas of your life.

3. How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

This book is absolutely healthy for you. It has helped people in all walks of life improve in their professional, social and personal lives. It focuses on improving your ability to think, relate with people and how people view you.

To gauge the real life impact after reading a book, assess the following personal
aspects of your daily life:

  • Decision making. Ask yourself if you have gained skills in making life and career decisions wisely.
  • Communication skills. These are oral, listening and written skills. How well are you associating with others? Are you able to express yourself efficiently?
  • Self-esteem. A good way to know if you have achieved positive personal development and growth is your self-esteem. Are you more confident around people? Do you believe in yourself? Are you happy with the person you are?
  • Ability to adapt. This refers to the ability to accept and reasonably adjust to situations that are beyond your control.
  • Problem solving skills. How well are you able to solve problems you encounter daily? How satisfied are you with the solutions you have implemented?

Eric Batesa year ago

I will sit on the fence on this one. I believe the impact of self-improvement books on people largely varies. They might improve your life, confuse you or not make a difference.

Before you emulate a particular book, consider these important factors:

  • Does it relate to the part of your life you want to improve? Yes, this is the number one question you should ask yourself. You may want to just focus on improving your career or professional life. Look for a book that talks about just that.
  • The author's professional background. You want advice from someone who is skilled in the area they are writing about. A good book is one which an experienced author has written the book themselves.
  • The quality of the written work. Feel free to be critical of the book. The style in which the book is written will determine if it will motivate you.

Jessie Thompsona year ago

Personally, I think that reading self improvement books focused on what one is trying to accomplish helps a lot. I have read two out of three books mentioned for personal growth and development. I also think that there is no one-size-fits-all method contained in these books. You can tweak it to suit your goal and speed. I also do background research to ensure that these writers are professionals who are living what they write about. Research has helped me find fake writers that give unrealistic solutions to issues. I wish you good luck on your road to self-development. 


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