The 18 best books to read if you want to achieve more success in life – Business Insider

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
Whether you’re looking for guidance in navigating your 20s, learning how to invest, or advancing in your career, books are a highly accessible way to continue your education in any subject.
Naturally, “success” is a topic that readers tend to seek out a lot. The self-help genre is full of bestsellers that cover everything from forming good habits to learning how to lead, written by everyone from well-known politicians and CEOs to psychologists who’ve dedicated their careers to studying a subject.
Below, we outlined some of the most popular self-help and personal development books and memoirs that can help you be more successful in life, from managing your money to tweaking how you approach problems. We also included reviews from Amazon customers who found the books helpful in making big changes in their lives.
The High 5 Habit: Take Control of Your Life with One Simple Habit” by Mel Robbins 
What it teaches you: How to form a simple, science-backed habit to deal with self-doubt and self-criticism to boost your confidence and happiness.
Positive Amazon review: “I don’t want to give anything away but Mel shares 2 really powerful stories that illustrate what happens when you use these habits, and especially the one with the painting had me in tears. It was such a beautiful ending and somehow the book combines what you expect from this kind of book, motivational self help inspirational stuff, with memoir, really deep spiritual insights, a big pep talk, and it’s still really easy and entertaining to read.” — A.
Feeding the Soul (Because It’s My Business): Finding Our Way to Joy, Love, and Freedom” by Tabitha Brown
What it teaches you: How to find ways to listen to your body and soul to live a more loving, kind life.
Positive Amazon review: “Absolutely phenomenal so far! I had been looking for books specifically from those affected by autoimmune disorders, like myself, and when I read the description a few months ago, I knew I had to preorder it. Halfway through the first chapter, I immediately ordered it for a dear friend.” — C
Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones” by James Clear

What it teaches you: How to form small, meaningful habits that add up to produce significant life changes. It also provides tips on reducing bad habits, such as procrastination.
Positive Amazon review: “It’s possible this might become your most highlighted personal improvement book because every page is so chocked full of memorable and quotable gems of advice.” — Tom Venuto
Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.” by Brené Brown
What it teaches you: How to use vulnerability, compassion, and empathy to improve your leadership skills and connect with your teammates.
Positive Amazon review: “What I loved best about this book is that it showed me in a hundred different ways where my thinking was flawed and what I could do to fix it. It did it in a way that was not shame inducing but empowering.” — Randy Bell
Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life” by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans
What it teaches you: How to outline and figure out the day-to-day tasks you actually like doing (instead of focusing on a “dream career”). You can read a full review of the online course based on the book here.

Positive Amazon review: “I spent an immense amount of time in my life in my late 20s reflecting, researching, reading, and stressing about what I wanted to do with my life. I wish I had had this book then.” — Amazon Customer
Get Good with Money: Ten Simple Steps to Becoming Financially Whole” by Tiffany Aliche
What it teaches you: How to take a deep look at your spending habits and learn to realistically budget and save your money, no matter what your current financial situation is.
Positive Amazon review: “If someone shaming you into austerity hasn’t helped you get your financial life in order (weird how that doesn’t work long-term), then I highly recommend this as an alternative. “Get Good with Money” is a fabulous tool to help you develop skills and introspection on your way to creating sustainable change in your life.” — Frankie Yap
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment” by Eckhart Tolle
What it teaches you: How to use meditation and relaxation techniques to find your “true” self and live in the present moment.
Positive Amazon review: “There’s much more to this book than just ‘living in the moment’ — although that’s the basic premise. But it’s flushed out in a way that is profound.” — Daniel S.
Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know” by Adam Grant
What it teaches you: How to be more open-minded and prioritize mental flexibility, which can help you negotiate and compromise better as well as generally improve your relationships.
Positive Amazon review: “This is an utterly original book on a topic that not only bears directly upon our success, but also our long-term happiness.” — Dr Ali Binazir
Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It” by Chris Voss
What it teaches you: How to be more persuasive in your personal and professional life using nine core negotiation principles.
Positive Amazon review: “I went into the dealership the next day, and bought the car for $900 less than their original ‘Out the door’ price that they ‘just couldn’t go down on.’ I used all the tactics in the few pages I had read.” — pamela doxey
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain
What it teaches you: How to embrace your introverted side and use your strengths to succeed in a world built for extroverts. You can read our full review of the book here.

Positive Amazon review: “The wealth of information and insights in this book cannot be overstated — especially if you are an introverted type of person who has always felt there was something not quite right about you, or that you somehow needed to change to fit in or succeed.” — Karen Hall
Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman
What it teaches you: How to “slow down” your thinking and make more logical, thought-out decisions.

Positive Amazon review: “‘Thinking, Fast and Slow’ is a book for anyone who is interested in how thinking works and why they think the things they do.” — T.L. Cooper
Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity” by Kim Scott
What it teaches you: How to give honest, effective feedback as a boss without being insincere or needlessly harsh.

Positive Amazon review: “‘Radical Candor’ is one of the most helpful books on management I have read. Not only is the theoretical model (caring personally while providing critical feedback) incredibly helpful, but there are dozens of practical suggestions and tips on everything from 1-1 meetings to successfully managing large projects.” — c.bright
Lead from the Outside: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change” by Stacey Abrams
What it teaches you: How to lead and innovate when the odds are stacked against you or you feel like an outsider.
Positive Amazon review: “This book illustrates what it’s like to come from humble beginnings and constantly have to learn the rules along the way.” — saga72
Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World” by William H. McRaven
What it teaches you: How to really commit to small habits (like making your bed every day) that accumulate over time, and embody other life principles that can help build resilience.
Positive Amazon review: “A respectful, thought-provoking book which should be required reading for all adults, and maybe reread a couple of times at different stages in a person’s life. It gives purpose and direction.” — Kindle Customer
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo
What it teaches you: How to clean up and organize your home — and feel mentally better and more in control of your life as a result.

Positive Amazon review: “Nearly all the things Kondo says have come true. We know our likes and dislikes. Our house is cleaner and easier to clean. Our house better reflects our personalities.” — Paige Turner
The 5 AM Club: Own Your Morning. Elevate Your Life.” by Robin Sharma
What it teaches you: How to get into the habit of waking up earlier to get distraction-free time to yourself.

Positive Amazon review: “I’ve been an off again and on again early riser for years, but I could never make it stick. While I’ve only started implementing the frameworks of the 5am Club, I can already see that this new approach will have much more staying power for me.” — Jason Billows from Ottawa
Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind Defy the Odds” by David Goggins
What it teaches you: How to be aware of what Goggins calls “The 40% Rule” (where we only tap into about 40% of our potential) and work to reach higher self-actualization through resilience.

Positive Amazon review: “With this book he doesn’t just offer short term motivation but rather a deep shift in your mindset that will help you achieve your fullest potential, as long as you’re willing to put in the work.” — silviu
How to Win Friends & Influence People” by Dale Carnegie
What it teaches you: How to more effectively communicate and deal with people who don’t agree with you and handle conflict, especially when you’re in a leadership position.

Positive Amazon review: “Even if you do not think you need any advice…this book is priceless. It not only provides you insight into your own actions, but gives you a window into the actions and choices of those you work with/for.” — MISS MARIE
Sign up for Insider Reviews’ weekly newsletter for more buying advice and great deals.

You can purchase logo and accolade licensing to this story here.

Disclosure: Written and researched by the Insider Reviews team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our partners. We may receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at [email protected].


Leave a Comment