Tuesday, June 15, 2021

20 Best and Famous Motivational Books to Keep You Going

Consider the following cases:

  • Do you often lack motivation especially when doing important tasks? Or;
  • Do you lack motivation because you underestimate your level of experience? Or;
  • Are you unable to survive even a slight amount of constructive criticism about you or your performance and immediately fall prey to de-motivational thoughts and feelings? Or;
  • Is it your fear of failure that demotivates you and holds you back? Or;
  • Do you often give up easily and change your goals instead of considering planning a different strategy and re-attempting the same challenge till the time you finally win?

The above five questions are just the tip of the iceberg called motivation. But if the answer to any of these or similar questions is ‘Yes’ in your case, then this article is definitely going to help you.

Why read books for motivation or read motivational books?

Book reading is regarded as one of the fondest hobbies of all time.

While many people tend to read books in their spare time for pleasure and enjoyment, many others try an in-depth expedition to find pieces of motivation hidden somewhere in its pile of abundant knowledge as if it were a treasure trove.

Aside from this many successful people admire book reading as the first and the foremost source to learn, absorb and get motivated by the wisdom of the author.

It is worthwhile to note here that despite the fact that successful people themselves have ample amount of personal and professional experience enough for them to remain highly motivated at all times, their high regard and respect for book reading stems from the fact that how much they value the concept of learning and grabbing motivation from other people’s experiences well before they experience anything new themselves.

Our selection of 20 best and famous motivational books to read

While we try our best to guide you on the importance of taking inspiration from reading motivational books or reading books for motivation, it is only a glimpse of it that we can highlight.

Therefore to thoroughly understand the reasons behind reading motivation books to inspire your mind towards further reading, it is mandatory that you begin reading a book yourself.

To ease this purpose, we have selected here a list of some 20 all-time best and famous motivational books for you to start with.

Take a look.

1. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Steve Jobs is undoubtedly one of the most innovative, creative, successful, passionate, motivationally driven and inspiring figures of the 21st century who will be remembered for his remarkable contributions in shaping the modern day technology as we know and use it today.

His journey of failures and repeated trials to become a successful business tycoon, investor, technology designer and media proprietor has already inspired many and is bound to inspire numerous others in the years to come.

The book ‘Steve Jobs’ which was originally published in October 2011, the same month and year of his death, is his self-titled and authorized autobiography written on his own request by Walter Isaacson.

Walter Isaacson has to his credit a few other best-selling biographies like the ones written on Albert Einstein and Benjamin Franklin.

The book ‘Steve Jobs’ itself is a compilation of several interviews with Steve Jobs himself and with many of his family members.

It discusses how an individual took his passion and ability to turn the technological world upside down irrespective of numerous turn downs and even being fired from the very own company that he founded.

But despite all this, he did not only regain the former designation in his company but also led its revival at a time when it was on the verge of a bankruptcy.

2. Becoming by Michelle Obama

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Published in November 2018, the book titled ‘Becoming’ is a memoir written by the United States former first lady Michelle Obama.

In her book, she has encompassed her personal experiences on being not only the first lady but also the first ever African American to have that role and how she played her part in making not only the White House but also the whole of America a safe place for people of different races.

The book also talks about how Michele Obama helped her husband, the former President of the United States Mr. Barack Hussain Obama, to pass through some of the toughest times in their country’s history.

It also highlights her role as being a frontline activist in raising voice for the rights of women in the United States and all around the world.

3. Mindset: the New Psychology for Success by Carol Dweck

Mindset: the New Psychology for Success by Carol Dweck

This book named ‘Mindset: the New Psychology for Success’ was published in 2006 and has been written by Carol S. Dweck, who is himself a well-known and established psychologist from Stanford University.

The book is based on decades of research by the author in the area of psychology and has been a source of life changing motivation for many people.

It categorically discusses how our mindset can be an integral part of our overall growth; thus transforming a simple idea in our brain into becoming our potential to achieve anything we want.

4. Rising Strong by Brene Brown

Rising Strong by Brene Brown

Originally published in 2015 by the author Brene Brown, the book ‘Rising Strong’ revolves around the concepts of shame, vulnerability, courage and worthiness.

It discusses how falling and failing is inevitable on the road to fulfill dreams and achieve anything but which only a few people have the courage and willing attitude to resist.

Hence the true potential lies in how a person dares to stand up again and again after every time he fails and falls till the time he finally succeeds in his effort to take charge of his destiny and write his own version of its ending.

5. Girl Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis

Girl Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis

Apropos to her earlier book just a year before, ‘Girl Stop Apologizing: A Shame Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals’ is an extended version of her book ‘Girl Wash Your Face’ and a self-help book by Rachel Hollis which was published in March 2019.

The book is a perfect narration of some of the most common and general issues faced by women of all casts and societies from around the world.

It figures out how women are stopped from talking openly about their dreams, wishes and desires and how they are deprived from forming their own identity. Their only credible identity is who they are as an associate for example in the form of someone’s wife, daughter, mother and sister.

The book emphasizes on how women can let go of these limits and boundaries by not being afraid of any embarrassment and learning the skills essential to become confident.

6. Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis


Published in February 2018, just a year before publishing her another famous book titled ‘Girl Stop Apologizing’, author Rachel Hollis’s book ‘Girl Wash Your Face’ has been described by The Washington Post as a mixture of motivational tips, memoirs, quotations and every-day common-sense girl talk.

Its full title ‘Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be’ formed the basis of her second book ‘Girl Stop Apologizing’.

In this conversational type yet challenge oriented book, the author opens about the twenty lies and misconceptions that can hold back any person.

By disclosing a set of strategies, her main concern is to encourage and convince her keen readers to deploy them if they might be facing the same or similar nature issues.

7. You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

This book titled ‘You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life’ by Jen Sincero is a self-help book published in April 2013.

Jen Sincero is a personal development and success coach, winner of the Audie Award, rated as Best Selling Author and a speaker.

Each chapter in the book tends to engage its reader with a sense of humor and can be a great help for those people who are struggling with insecurities of life.

The book as a whole serves as text containing exercises, advice and inspiring stories to help the readers identify the self-destructive patterns of their personality that hold them back from moving ahead.

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

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

The book ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life’ was published in 2016 and is the second written text by the blogger and author Mark Manson.

In this book, Mark Manson describes how we have been taught to adopt a positive behavior for almost everything in life which is sometimes true but other times false.

In his opinion, the key to living a rich and happy life does not always have to do anything with being positive. He says that due to this uniform approach, we sugarcoat things for unnecessary reasons.

His point is to find out the things that matter most in our life and care for them only in order to become happier and better.

9. The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz

The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz

Although this book is quite old and was originally published in 1959, ‘The Magic of Thinking Big’ by the author David J. Schwartz has managed to make it on to our list because it is still considered by many as a classical self-help book for motivational reading.

The entire book can be summarized into five life changing lessons.

First, to treat other people irrespective of their rank and position equally in the same way in which we ourselves want to be treated.

Second, positive thinking can play a great role in making otherwise impossible things possible.

Third, focus on your path and do not heed the conspiracies and hate statements of your enemies.

Fourth, break big objectives into smaller and attainable goals. By taking one step at a time, you become better at achieving long-term plans.

And fifth, remain busy and work as much as possible to make things happen.

10. The 4-Hour Week by Timothy Ferriss

The 4-Hour Week by Timothy Ferriss

Tim Ferriss is an educational activist, American writer and entrepreneur whose self-help book ‘The 4-Hour Week: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich’ was published in April 2007.

The book explains the concept of how millennials and anyone else can follow a flexible and portable work schedule. It turns down the conventional thinking of having to over-work long hours and make small savings during the peak years of life so that in the end one is able to enjoy a happy retired life.

The main theme of the book is to be your own boss and understand the value of time to make as much money as possible and spend it simultaneously without having to wait for retirement.

11. The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins

The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins

Mel Robbins has herself been an inspiration for many people. She is well known for being an American TV host, motivational speaker and author. Especially her TEDx Talk titled ‘How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over’ is still a major source of motivation for its audience.

In this book of hers published in February 2017 and titled ‘The 5 Second Rule’, she asks the readers to learn ways in which they can push themselves harder and further to achieve their goals.

She says that while our parents, teachers, coaches, mentors and friends have always been our source of strength and motivation, there is also another thing that she calls a ‘push moment’, which requires only 5 seconds and can be enough to increase our productivity, engagement and collaboration throughout our day.

12. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

The book ‘Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance’, originally published in 2016 and authored by the psychologist Angela Duckworth has been an instant New York Times bestseller.

The author is a pioneering psychologist who considers that a blend of passion and persistence which she calls as ‘grit’ is more important to succeed than mere talent.

By describing her own real story about being the daughter of a scientist who frequently measured her level of genius to match and predict her accomplishments, she explains how she found her true interests and succeeded in becoming experts of fields by not being a genius, but because of her passion, devotion and perseverance.

13. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

This business and self-help book titled ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ is written by Stephen R. Covey.

Although the book was originally published 3 decades back in 1989, it features seven useful traits of high achievers that still prove to be effective in today’s world.

To briefly summarize, the book asks its readers to take necessary breaks from their work routine, be alert and adopt a proactive approach, have an aim and vision of where should they end, prioritize things first and then perform, narrow down their negotiations towards a win-win situation, keep an open mind and try to understand others point of view as well and divert their energy for the mutual benefit of each player when playing in a team.

14. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink

In his fourth non-fiction book titled ‘Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us’, author Daniel H. Pink argues that while most people consider monetary and financial rewards to keep them motivated, they also have a need to become a better version of themselves and create a better surrounding by learning new knowledge and building new things.

This according to him is the secret to attain high level performance and satisfaction in whatever role we have been assigned and whether it is professional or personal.

The author is also of the opinion that by using smart techniques, we can change the manner in which we think and how we plan to transform our lives.

15. Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg


The Book ‘Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business’ is another remarkable and adorable book written by Charles Duhigg who is also the author of the best-selling book ‘ The Power of Habit’.

Published in the year 2016, the author discusses how in today’s competitive and fast paced world, it is more important to manage our thoughts and how we think, rather than what we are thinking.

In the writer’s opinion, thought process management plays a critical role in shaping our behavior and making us more productive in life and business.

The book revolves around eight key productivity concepts and explains how some people and organizations develop extraordinary, different and out-of-box techniques to become more productive and stay ahead of others.

16. How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie

The book ‘How to Stop Worrying and Start Living’ by Dale Carnegie addresses the most common issues that hold back many people from pursuing their dreams because of emotional feelings and worries.

In his book, the author emphasizes that wasting time in worrying is a useless and waste of energy act which becomes your anxiety.

When you waste time worrying and do not make actionable efforts at the right time, the opportunities become your worst regrets. So without wasting any more time worrying, it is better to start taking action.

17. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho is an inspiring story of a young shepherd who begins a journey to follow his desire of travelling the earth and discovering its treasures but whose search somehow ends up in getting a different type of reward than what he aimed for at the beginning.

In simple words, the story of this young shepherd in ‘The Alchemist’ is a lesson for all people to pursue their dreams in life, find their unique set of skills and do not miss any opportunity to discover better treasures.

18. The Power of Now Journal by Eckhart Tolle

The Power of Now Journal by Eckhart Tolle

Originally published in 2001 and written by Eckhart Tolle, ‘The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment’ has globally sold over 2 million copies with translations available in more than 30 foreign languages for its international readers.

The core idea of the book is to indulge its readers on an imaginative, spiritually rich and inspiring journey where they are able to dive deep into themselves to find their true and ultimate growth potential.

The writer further explains how readers can enlighten themselves and why they should live their best form in the present to have a pain-free mind.

19. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

The ideas mentioned in the book titled ‘The Four Agreements’ by Don Miguel Ruiz are about how any person can encourage to be a better reflection of himself in order to do something better in everyday of his life, has enabled the book to sell over 6 million copies of it alone in the US and raked it to be a New York Times best seller for more than 8 years.

The main purpose of encouraging ourselves is to overcome the limitations and beliefs that make you go through unnecessary sufferings by not letting you enjoy the pleasures of life.

20. Choose Yourself by James Altucher

Choose Yourself by James Altucher

The book ‘Choose Yourself! Be Happy, Make Millions, Live the Dream’ by James Altucher is perhaps one of the most inspiring and motivating books you will ever come across. Published in 2013, the book has the tendency to change your life entirely if becoming a self-reliant and self-accomplished person is your goal.

The book comprises numerous case studies, interviews and examples to prepare its readers for the worst of the worst circumstances.

In it, the author discusses what do you think would happen or how would you react if someday everything that you rely upon like your job, trade markets, your investors, your buyers and sellers, all disappear and you have nothing to choose from except you.

The book points out modern ways and tools of money making and living an independent life, free from any kind of external support.


Motivation is any person’s ability and willingness to continuously strive, thrive and survive no matter what the cost, pain or consequences come along on its path to achieve success.

Out of the many things that can be done to overcome lack of motivation, taking inspiration from reading motivational books tend to be amongst the most beneficial.

So whether you choose a motivation book from our list of recommendations above or select any other book on motivation, we believe we have been successful if this article has really helped you in discovering book reading as a great source of motivation.

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