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These 16 Inspirational Books That Will Change Your Life

These 16 Inspirational Books That Will Change Your Life

You will have to do things differently if you want to change your life. However, you can also look to inspirational books to help you positively change your life.

It's impossible to deny that successful people are readers. They understand how important it is to learn from others, stay sharp, and be aware of current schools of thought.

If you want to change, you must step outside your comfort zone. According to more than two dozen high achievers, the following titles are worth checking out (and our research, of course)

"Screw It, Let's Do It: Life Lessons," by Richard Branson

Reading about other people's life journeys can help you better understand what the journey of change entails. Richard Branson is interested in reinvention, and as a result, he welcomes change.

This book will pique your interest in trying new things. It will show you how to identify the self-limiting beliefs that prevent you from taking on the challenge of change.

Paul Coelho's "The Alchemist"

This slim, enthralling fable of a book is a global best-seller — and a favorite of celebrities ranging from Will Smith to Madonna. It's easy to see why: The Alchemist contains a wealth of wisdom in only 163 pages, which Coelho wrote in two weeks of inspiration. Even better, it combines self-help advice with a captivating story. Follow Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy plagued by prophetic dreams, as he sets off for the Egyptian pyramids in search of a glorious treasure. He'll meet kings and face betrayal along the way. And even fall and love — while teaching us how to pursue our dreams.

The Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler's "The Art of Happiness"

"The very motif of our life is towards happiness," says the Dalai Lama. Still, getting to the end goal can be easier said than done. Thankfully, this philosophically rich, compassionately written handbook is here to help. The Art of Happiness emphasizes compassion for others as the key to personal fulfillment, which is fitting given that it is the work of a Nobel Peace Prize winner. 

The Dalai Lama collaborates on the vast subject of happiness with psychiatrist Howard C. Cutler, so expect scientific and spiritual insights. But finally, the central lesson of this book is both humbling and deeply motivating: true happiness is an art that must be practiced.

Don Miguel Ruiz's "The Four Agreements"

Don Miguel's life code is what he poured into the Four Agreements. This book provides an inspirational code for how you handle your relationships, behave, and communicate with others. Read "The Four Agreements" if you want to change your life. This book will teach you how to live a happy and fulfilled life.

Krista Tippett's Becoming Wise: "An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living"

When it comes to inspirational speeches, Krista Tippett is the quintessential thought leader. Based on her sixteen-year-old radio show On Being, this collection brings together the wisdom of theologians, poets, scientists, and Buddhists to address our fractured world with acceptance, grace, and educated hope.

Tippett encourages us to tap into our inner empath to create a new universe that uses our creativity for social good and justice. The sheer number of voices in Becoming Wise will provide you with a lifetime of smarter living ideas that will feel like a TED talk on steroids — in the best way possible.

Steven Pinker's "The Better Angels of Our Nature"

Bill Gates has endorsed Steven Pinker's The Better Angels of Our Nature, saying, "If I could give each of you a graduation present, it would be this — the most inspiring book I've ever read." However, Pinker's thesis that global violence has decreased in both the long and short run is notoriously contentious, especially considering all the major wars and genocides of the twentieth century.

On the other hand, Pinker draws on a large amount of hard data and statistical analysis to make his case, even presenting several political and psychological causes to explain how we may be living in the most peaceful period in our species' history. So when you're feeling cynical about the day's news, pick up this book to remind yourself of the more positive, hopeful direction we're heading in the future.

David J Schwartz's "The Magic of Thinking Big"

"Those who believe they can move mountains do so." Those who think they can't. "Belief activates the power to act." Schwartz, David J.

Dr. Schwartz believes that to bring about change in your life and achieve your goals, you must first change your thinking and attitude.

The key message of this book is the importance of preparing your mind and thinking for the journey of personal change.

Mel Robbins' "5 Second Rule" 

The 5 Second Rule promises to teach you how to become confident, overcome procrastination and self-doubt, overcome fear and uncertainty, and be happier. As difficult as that may seem, Robbins more than delivers in this wildly popular self-help book based on the titular 5-second rule: the five seconds you should take every time you need to push yourself. Robbins introduced the 5-second rule in her wildly successful Ted Talk, which has been viewed by over 8 million people worldwide.

If you prefer videos, you can check them out. But if you'd love to have a copy, that will be on you read this inspirational.

David McCullough's "The American Spirit"

Historians aren't usually thought of as literary stars, but David McCullough is the exception that proves the rule. He's received every conceivable honor, from the National Book Award to the Presidential Medal of Freedom. This deeply moving book compiles nearly thirty years of his speeches, delivered before members of Congress, college graduates, and everyone in between.

The American Spirit ranges widely, treating us to the fascinating stories of doctors, artisans, and performers throughout the history of the United States. It is erudite but never stodgy, uplifting, but never saccharine. He'll have you waving the red, white, and blue before you turn the last page, no matter where you're from.

Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic, "Creative Living Beyond Fear"

Elizabeth Gilbert is no stranger to the art of motivation; she is best known for her book Eat, Pray, Love, which inspired a generation to travel. But you don't have to leave your house to access Big Magic, which brings out your inner creativity whenever you need it. Gilbert's conversational, no-frills, no-BS style is used to write a love letter to the artist within you. Big Magic will assist you in achieving your goals, whether they are to write a book, paint, or compose music. It is a celebration of art on every level: funny, honest, illuminating, and encouraging.

"Congratulations, By the Way,"  George Saunders' 

"Some old fart, his best years behind him, who throughout his life has made a series of dreadful mistakes (that would be me), gives heartfelt advice to a group of shining, energetic young people with all of their best years ahead of them (that would be you), and I intend to respect that tradition."

We thought to give you a glimpse of what's in this incredible book. This excerpt begins George Saunders' Congratulations, By The Way, a convocation speech to graduates — or, more accurately, a small masterpiece that will both inspire and humble you. In this short manual that lays out a few basic principles and tips for a more fulfilling life (one of which is the gentle reminder to always "err in the direction of kindness" Saunders is at his brilliant best.

Deepak Chopra's, "Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul: How to Create a New You"

Deepak Chopra believes that personal transformation involves the mind, the body, and the soul. Chopra believes you cannot transform your mind without transforming your body and soul.

Reading this book will inspire you to consider the potential energy force and power you possess. This energy grows when you are connected to and aligned with your mind, body, and soul.

Tara Westover's  "Educated"

Tara Westover was 17 years old when she entered her first classroom. She had previously lived in rural Idaho with her Mormon survivalist family, working in her father's junkyard and stockpiling herbs for her midwife mother. Tara had no idea about the Holocaust, slavery, or World War II because she was raised with her father's non-mainstream views — that is, until she discovered a thirst for knowledge and set out to obtain a formal education.

Educated is an eye-opening, life-changing memoir about an insatiable quest that spans decades, continents, and universities. Westover is now a Gates scholar with a Ph.D. from Cambridge.

How she got here is a coming-of-age story about self-invention that delves deep into the meaning and importance of education while ignoring the cost that it can come at — in Westover's case, family.

Og Mandino's "The Greatest Salesman in the World"

Since 1968, this little classic has been around. Have you ever wondered what true success has in common?

This book does not teach you how to be a good salesperson. It will, however, provide you with some fantastic advice on how to be an entrepreneur, self-motivated, and think like a successful person.

The underlying message is the power of positive thinking - that what you think, say, and do become who you are. This book contains excellent strategies for those of us who are undergoing the painful process of changing.

Sheila Hocken's "Emma and I"

Emma and I is an autobiography written with candor and heart that focuses on the purest bond of all: the love between a guide dog and her human. Sheila Hocken, born with the condition that caused progressive vision loss, could no longer navigate her own home by sight by the age of seventeen.

For Emma, the chocolate lab that would change her life, appeared at that time. Sheila learned to deal with anything life threw at her, from devastating disappointments to medical miracles to love — this time of the human variety. This sweetly touching book is a must-read for all dog lovers and will warm your heart (and possibly make you cry).

William Poe's Endings "Poetry and Prose"

What makes us different from the Greeks if they got by with catharsis? While William Poe's Endings plunges into the depths of despair, the stories and poems in this collection provide a new language for describing death, loneliness, and the broken parts of our lives.

This new "language" can assist you in coping and in naming emotions that might otherwise dissipate into tension, or worse, trauma and guilt. Furthermore, for those who are prepared to face difficult times, Poe's perspective on art as a healing tool will undoubtedly aid your spiritual growth in 2020.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh's "The Gift from the Sea"

The Gift from the Sea, Anne Morrow Lindbergh's miniature but massively powerful memoir published in 1955, took the world by storm. Readers get an intimate look into Morrow Lindbergh's thoughts as she tries to slow down to a mindful state as she muses on a short break from motherhood and society's growing technologies while on an ocean-view vacation. And because she thinks brilliantly in metaphor, you're in for a treat — from seashells to the tides, get ready for new connections and ideas you won't find in modern self-help books.

Morrow Lindbergh's tools for reintroducing a sense of calm into a busy life outside of vacation are particularly relevant.

While she never expected smartphones to be both a blessing and a curse in the twenty-first century, those who are burned out on technology will be especially inspired to take a break after diving into this gift from the sea.

Chip and Dan Heath's Switch, "How to Change Things When Change Is Difficult"

Have you ever tried to lose weight or get in shape but failed? You know you need to change your life, but you're not sure how.

If you're nodding in agreement, you should read "Switch." If I had to pick one book to show you how to make and keep lasting change in your life, it would be "Switch."

Chip and Dan reveal the Secret to creating and maintaining change in your life in this book.

This book will undoubtedly show you how to change your life.