You’ll find a number of book summaries and reading lists on FASTER TO MASTER filled with timeless advice on topics as varied as social skills, learning and productivity. (There’s even a collection of my favourite growth mindset quotes.)
And yet, despite this surplus of wisdom, at least 95% of the people who come here (and even of those who actually read the books recommended) will fail to sustain meaningful day-to-day change.
Why? Because not knowing “What” to do or “How” to do it is rarely what holds most of us back. And if you take a careful look at your life, you’ll probably find that it’s not what’s restricting you either.
I’ve seen it thousands of times: the main reason people don’t act is that they gave up before they got started. What holds most of us back is belief – in our teachers, in our “Whys” but perhaps most of all in ourselves.
The Best Books on Mindset
In the list below, you’ll find some of the best books I’ve discovered on beating those odds.
You’ll find books on grit, books on suffering, books on ownership, books on success and books that put your life in perspective. But above all, you’ll find books that teach you to believe in you; in your ability to shape your own destiny.
Of course, it takes more than just a positive mindset to succeed. Everything worth achieving demands its price in blood, sweat and tears.
But what the books below will give you are the tools to lighten your load, to take action, to turn obstacles to your advantage, to get back in the saddle and, with luck, to love yourself no matter where life’s journey takes you.
So with that in mind, good luck, go well and remember: “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas Edison.
P.s., I’ve ranked the titles below by a combination of Goodreads rating, review count and first publication date. The goal is to give a good balance of what’s most loved, what’s most popular and what’s delivered timelessly relevant advice.
Think something’s missing? Leave a comment below and I’ll add it to the next round of updates. I honestly love hearing from you so please, do get in touch!
- As a Man Thinketh (1902), James Allen
Rated 4.3 over 47,300 reviews on Goodreads
- Think and Grow Rich (1937), Napoleon Hill (Summary)
A best-selling book of all time and a cornerstone guide to the Law of Attraction and the role of the subconscious in transforming your life – by a titan of the self-help genre, Napoleon Hill.
Rated 4.2 over 151,400 reviews on Goodreads
- The Magic of Thinking Big (1959), David J. Schwartz (Summary)
A powerful, practical and uplifting book to help get you out of a rut, invigorate your goals and empower you towards success – by life-long motivational writer and coach, David J. Schwartz.
Rated 4.2 over 52,900 reviews on Goodreads
- Law of Success (1925), Napoleon Hill
Rated 4.4 over 7,800 reviews on Goodreads
- On the Shortness of Life (-49), Seneca
Rated 4.2 over 12,000 reviews on Goodreads
- The Power of Positive Thinking (1952), Norman Vincent Peale
Rated 4.1 over 66,500 reviews on Goodreads
- How to Stop Worrying and Start Living (1944), Dale Carnegie
Rated 4.1 over 63,800 reviews on Goodreads
- The Last Lecture (2008), Randy Pausch
Rated 4.3 over 275,000 reviews on Goodreads
- The Success Principles (2004), Jack Canfield
How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be
Rated 4.3 over 25,600 reviews on Goodreads
- Psycho-Cybernetics (1960), Maxwell Maltz
A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life
Rated 4.2 over 13,400 reviews on Goodreads
- Awaken the Giant Within (1992), Anthony Robbins
How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!
Rated 4.1 over 47,000 reviews on Goodreads
- The Strangest Secret (1957), Earl Nightingale
Rated 4.5 over 200 reviews on Goodreads
- The Inner Game of Tennis (1974), W. Timothy Gallwey (Summary)
The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance
An insightful and practical guide to optimizing natural learning and performance with applied mindfulness – by author, speaker and ex-Harvard tennis captain, W. Timothy Gallwey.
134 pages. Rated 4.3 over 6,400 reviews on Goodreads.
- The Alchemist (1988), Paulo Coelho
Rated 3.9 over 1,708,300 reviews on Goodreads
- The Gifts of Imperfection (2010), Brené Brown
Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
Rated 4.2 over 74,500 reviews on Goodreads
- Daring Greatly (2012), Brené Brown
How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
Rated 4.3 over 80,600 reviews on Goodreads
- Ask and It Is Given (2004), Esther Hicks
Learning to Manifest Your Desires
Rated 4.2 over 20,600 reviews on Goodreads
- Tiny Beautiful Things (2012), Cheryl Strayed (Summary)
Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
A heart thumpingly raw, vulnerable and powerful collection of letters and advice on the power of love, of forgiveness and of finding growth in the darkest of places – by award-winning writer, Cheryl Strayed.
Rated 4.3 over 50,300 reviews on Goodreads
- Wooden (1997), John Wooden (Summary)
A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court
An effort-and-integrity focussed personal philosophy – spanning family, achievement, success and excellence – by UCLA’s famous philosopher-coach, John Wooden, and author, Steve Jamison.
Rated 4.5 over 3,600 reviews on Goodreads
- Maximum Achievement (1993), Brian Tracy
Strategies and Skills that Will Unlock Your Hidden Powers to Succeed
Rated 4.3 over 3,200 reviews on Goodreads
- Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff … and it’s all small stuff (1997), Richard Carlson
Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life
Rated 4.0 over 73,700 reviews on Goodreads
- Mindset (2006), Carol S. Dweck (Summary)
The New Psychology of Success
A research-grounded dive into the self-fulfilling nature and impact of Fixed- and Growth-Mindset beliefs in personal development – by social and developmental psychology professor, Carol Dweck.
Rated 4.1 over 55,700 reviews on Goodreads
- With Winning in Mind (1996), Lanny Bassham
The Mental Management System: An Olympic Champion’s Success System
Rated 4.4 over 800 reviews on Goodreads
- The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari (1996), Robin S. Sharma
A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams and Reaching Your Destiny
Rated 3.8 over 82,700 reviews on Goodreads
- Who Moved My Cheese? (1998), Spencer Johnson (Summary)
A short, light-hearted parable about the different ways we respond to life’s changes and how doing so skillfully can help us find more success and happines in our lives, by best-selling author, Dr. Spencer Johnson.
Rated 3.8 over 305,700 reviews on Goodreads
- The Law of Attraction (2006), Esther Hicks
The Basics of the Teachings of Abraham
Rated 4.2 over 15,600 reviews on Goodreads
- Learned Optimism (1990), Martin E.P. Seligman
How to Change Your Mind and Your Life
Rated 4.0 over 14,000 reviews on Goodreads
- Extreme Ownership (2015), Jocko Willink
How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win
Rated 4.3 over 19,300 reviews on Goodreads
- The Happiness Advantage (2010), Shawn Achor
The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work
Rated 4.2 over 18,000 reviews on Goodreads
- Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life (2003), Brian Tracy
How to Unlock Your Full Potential for Success and Achievement
Rated 4.2 over 1,100 reviews on Goodreads
- The Willpower Instinct (2011), Kelly McGonigal
How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It
Rated 4.1 over 21,400 reviews on Goodreads
- Switch (2010), Chip Heath
How to Change Things When Change Is Hard
Rated 4.0 over 35,200 reviews on Goodreads
- Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me) (2007), Carol Tavris
Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts
Rated 4.0 over 20,000 reviews on Goodreads
- The Obstacle Is the Way (2014), Ryan Holiday
The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph
Rated 4.1 over 24,800 reviews on Goodreads
- The Art of Possibility (2000), Rosamund Stone Zande