Timeless treasures: Best Self-help Books of All Time

Timeless treasures: Best Self-help Books of All Time

Self-help or personal growth books have been huge sellers for many decades now, having an estimated $776 million in sales for more than 24 million Americans every year. The first self-help book was published in 1859 and was entitled “Self Help”. You should consider reading some of the best self-help books of all time if you are going through some personal problems or if you have any weaknesses that you want to improve. Today, Tony Robbins is considered as one of the most undisputed modern authors of self-help books. 

Today, there are many best self-help books available in the market. In case you want to improve yourself and are looking for some best self-help books, you have come to the right place.

1. The Alchemist; written by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist is a magical story about Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who wanted to explore different places in search of a lavish treasure. He travels from his homeland in Spain to the markets of Tangiers and ultimately comes to an Egyptian desert where he has a fateful encounter with the alchemist. This is the story about the treasures that he finds on his journey which also teaches us about the indispensable wisdom of paying attention to our hearts while learning to read different signs along the path of life, and ultimately following our dreams.

Paulo Coelho brings a fantastic book with beautiful storytelling. The choice of words in The Alchemist is impeccable and full of wisdom. It is an enchanting story that bursts with optimism. The Alchemist also shows how the path to an individual’s destiny is as important as the destination itself. It also gives importance to hope, faith as well as spirituality with the help of a story about an ordinary boy. 

The Alchemist is sure to appeal to everyone in general as people tend to have dreams and, in some cases, all one wants is someone to tell them that their dream may come true. Overall, ‘The Alchemist’ is an exciting fiction novel that deserves a space in your bookshelf.

2. How to Win Friends and Influence People; written by Dale Carnegie

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie is one of the best self-help books of all time.  According to Carnegie, successes generally follow those who can communicate effectively. Dale Carnegie thus emphasizes these skills by making you understand how to value people and make them feel appreciated.

This self-help book by Dale Carnegie is considered to be one of the best books of the 20th century and is a must-read for people who are introverted or find it difficult to communicate with others. Just by spending some time practising these tips, you would be able to understand how to carry-on conversations effectively. You would no longer feel uncomfortable or nervous while talking to people as you would have several ideas on how to start a conversation and keep it going. The fundamentals of human interactions are timeless and this is the reason that this book has been around for more than seventy years.

3. Rich Dad, Poor Dad; written by Robert Kiyosaki

Kiyosaki addresses the ‘financial literacy’ which is generally not addressed in schools. Rich Dad, Poor Dad talks about two fathers. One of the struggles from paycheck to paycheck for his whole life who Kiyosaki has referred to as “poor dad” and the other one is a multimillionaire whom he refers to as “rich dad”.  The idea behind the book is that while rich people have money working for them, the poor workers have to work for money.  

The expressions “rich” and “poor” have been used by Kiyosaki to explain the kind of behaviour that is preferable for having financial freedom. It also states that you should not judge yourself on your current state of finances or riches. Being one of the best self-help books, it encourages you to save money as well as accumulate assets that can ultimately replace the income that you make through your employment.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a must-read book for changing a person’s negative beliefs on money or to understand how money can work for an individual. Rich Dad, Poor Dad is also quite inspirational, as it portrays a way of life that can fulfil the dreams of being free and independent.

4. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People; written by Stephen R. Covey

Stephen R. Covey presents an integrated, holistic, and principle-centred approach for solving professional and personal problems. The book has powerful insights and reveals a pathway to live with integrity, fairness, service, as well as human dignity–principles. Such anecdotes give the reader security while adapting to change as well as the power and wisdom for taking advantage of the opportunities that might be created due to those changes.

The ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ is a reference to the skills of effective communication, personal development as well as successful interaction. At no point does Covey claim that an instant miracle can be produced. He rather conveys that with practice, a gradual process of transition can give us the required tools for making positive and radical changes. Covey also shows how to explore our philosophies, the parameters which we set for ourselves as well as how to deal with problems. You get to know your most genuine, deep-rooted, and long-term values.

Covey sets out a step-by-step approach for being successful while defining how to lead a way of life based on integrity, ethics, common sense, and wisdom. The laws of success that have been outlined in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People are universal and apply to different areas of life.

5. The Road Less Traveled; written by M Scott Peck

Scott Peck brings you a book that is going to wake you up and gives you some candid lessons of life. The timeless teachings from ‘The Road Less Traveled’ help one in exploring the nature of loving relationships and leads us to peace and fulfilment. One also learns how to differentiate dependency on love and how to be a sensitive parent. You would also learn how to be one’s true self.

The Road Less Travelled is a classic book that might seem a bit earnest to some, however, it is full of life-changing and eye-opening insights. This is a giant of the self-help canon that has sold more than seven million copies across the globe and has even entered the public idiom. In short, once a person admits that life can be difficult, the fact doesn’t remain a great consequence. Accept responsibility would help you in making better choices in life.

6. The Four Agreements; written by Don Miguel Ruiz

The self-help book by Miguel Ruiz has roots in traditional Toltec wisdom. ‘The Four Agreements’ contains steps that need to be followed to achieve personal freedom. Since beliefs can be transformed by keeping these agreements, Ruiz asserts claims that life can be easily filled with peace, grace, and unconditional love.

Although many agreements in The Four Agreements are oversimplified, it is still a great read as it contains some heavy ideas. By focusing on even one of these agreements, one can easily improve their lives and reduce stress. If you focus on all the four, it can be a life-changing point for you. If the agreements are followed generally and not radically, the suggestions can help in reducing stress. They also help you in avoiding thoughts and behaviour patterns that create blame, frustration, or other negative emotions.

7. Man’s Search for Meaning; written by Victor Frankl

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The author, Viktor Frankl, was a psychology and neurology professor who had set out a theory for life in his book ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’. He argues that, while decisions related to life or death can seem to depend on the flip of a coin, belief in the fact that life has a purpose or meaning can encourage even prisoners to fight for their survival during dark times.

Man’s Search for Meaning has fascinated generations of people with its detailed descriptions about the life of prisoners in the Nazi death camps and its lessons related to spiritual survival.  Frankl also claims that although one cannot avoid suffering, however, you can choose how to deal with it, find meaning, and then move ahead with a renewed purpose. 

Victor Frankl helps you recognize the significance of caring about someone or something. It is a great read for people who are going through psychological pain, financial or emotional hardship and are looking for meaning and purpose at such testing times. Although this might not be a comforting or easy read, it gives some important and rewarding lessons about life.

8. The Celestine Prophecy; written by James Redfield

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The Celestine Prophecy is a book about ancient manuscripts that were unearthed in Peruvian rainforests. It contains messages and secrets about mankind, its evolution as well as spiritual advancement. James Redfield talks about nine insights that are suppressed by the government and the church; however, they continued to intrigue people who had questions in life but had no answers.

The book by James Redfield contains messages and secrets that can change the way we think. It is based on ancient wisdom and draws inspiration from it. You would be able to easily make connections with the events happening around you as it states that whatever is happening is not a mere coincidence, but an indication or message from a separate energy level. The Celestine Prophecy is best for people who want to understand why you are at a particular phase or position in life and how you can align your life with optimism, making it one of the best self-help books in the market.

9. The Power of Positive Thinking; written by Norman Vincent Peale

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Through his book, Dr Peale enlists 10 simple rules that can help in gaining confidence, 5 techniques for overcoming defeat, 3 magical secrets for vigour, and much more. He proves with The Power of Positive Thinking that attitude can help you in changing lives, becoming successful, and overcoming any obstacle.

The main principles of The Power of Positive Thinking can be easily moved from the original place and time and applied to your present life. It is a refreshing book as it does not have any gimmicky techniques. The Power of Positive Thinking is recommended for people of different age groups who worry about every single obstacle and often go to bed thinking about the problems about the next day.

10. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success; written by Deepak Chopra

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success sums up 7 simple principles that can be easily applied to different areas of your life for being successful. Its basic idea is that personal harmony and harmony can lead to fulfilling relationships as well as material abundance without needing any extra effort.  Every chapter in The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success provides specifics on how one can achieve it. 

The pocket-sized book can be completed in less than an hour although the actual understanding of every aspect may take time. Chopra lists seven laws of success through a spiritual perspective. He says that an individual should not look out for success only in terms of fame and money but should also consider self-transformation and self-growth.

Each law in ‘The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success’ is explained in a concise manner, where the author sticks to the point and offers a good understanding of each law. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success contains simple techniques that can be implemented easily in our daily lives. It would also help you in becoming more responsive as well as aware of the fact that everything works as per the universe.

11. The Magic of Thinking Big; written by David J. Schwartz

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The Magic of Thinking Big by Schwartz is about ‘getting ahead’, and pays attention to how to exponentially increase one’s income, make that dream home a reality, or how to get your kids a high-class education. It also tells the readers how to look, think, and feel ‘important’. 

Using The Magic of Thinking Big, many people across the world have improved their lives. Schwartz’s teachings would help you in selling better, leading a more effective life, earning more money, and finding more happiness as well as peace of mind. He also proves that one does not require an innate talent for achieving success but needs to understand the thinking habits and behaviour patterns of people to get there.

12. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway; written by Susan Jeffers

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Most of us have fears about something or the other. Susan Jeffers gives you a chance to push through your fear once and for all. With Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, readers would learn how to move from being a victim to a creator. The book contains a 10-step process for turning off negative thinking and helps in bringing more meaning to your life by helping you overcome your fears.

Susan Jeffers also explains that you do not need to do all the exercises to gain the benefits by reading this book, even a simple read would reveal a lot. Although many people might claim that some ideas in Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway are redundant, however, it is a must-read for the people who are looking to regain their self-confidence.

13. Awaken the Giant Within; written by Anthony Robbins

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Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins is considered one of the best self-help books for a long time. Robbins has listed some of the most effective techniques and strategies for mastering one’s body, emotions, relationships, finances, as well as life using a step-by-step program. The program teaches self-mastery which enables an individual to discover his or her true purpose and take control of their life.

The book by Tony Robbins is one of those that can change your life. Such gems are rare, but also unique for each individual. This is an overwhelming read that teaches you about yourself and makes you want to change along with providing the necessary tools to do so.

14. The Power of Intention; written by Wayne W. Dyer

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The Power of Intention isn’t a typical book on intention. Dyer has done detailed research on intention and claims that it acts as a force in the universe which allows creation to take place. In his book, he not only explores intention as what you do but also as an energy that you’re a part of. He says that we all are intended here because of the power of intention. He was the first in the industry to consider intention as a form of energy that can be used to co-create life.

The basic concept of The Power of Attention is that people tend to attract what they intend, i.e. if an individual intends to attract good life, his life would be good, and if someone intends negativity, then his life would attract negative experiences. Dr Dyer shows that you are already connected with the power even if it is not visible right now. This simplistic explanation is worth a read by people who want to understand that life has no limits.

15. What to Say When You Talk to Your Self; written by Dr Shad Helmstetter

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Dr Shad Helmstetter, through What to Say When You Talk to Your Self, points out that one can redirect self-talk. It claims that instead of letting our mind say things which may limit us, we can take complete control of the conversation. With such control, one can change destiny as well as negative thoughts into more healthy ones.

What to Say When You Talk to Your Self can help with changing your life dramatically. This is one of the best self-help books for people who doubt themselves in every instance or feel insecure about different things.


  1. Dr Ajay Verma

    Nice collection! I think we all should read this kind of matetial to become more produvtive. Cheers

  2. Eshita

    Amazing Article!

    This sounds like a perfect reason to start my reading again. Thanks Nikita, for this list and I will surely have this as my top 15 in my to-do list to read during this lockdown days for sure.

    Keep up the great writing 👍

  3. Kaustubh Verma

    Awesome details and a great article. Thanks for sharing.

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