RANKED! The 12 Best Motivational Books of All Time
With the country sort of locked down, maintaining a motivational mindset ain’t easy. Finding your inner peace never really is though. Of course, it’s even harder with larping dadbods battling in the streets. Luckily, there’s an industry dedicated to making you healthier, happier and more efficient. Motivational books can be pretty hokey, but they can assist you in maintaining focus. While everyone is losing their heads, it’s even more important to keep yours screwed on tight.
Given that there are thousands of titles to choose from, how do you pick? Some authors are little more than smiling scam artists. Others are well-meaning but clueless. However, some are just what the doctor ordered. Maybe you need some straight talk and a swift kick in the pants to get your life together. Or, possibly you need to rethink your problems until you can see them as opportunities. Whatever your flavor, there’s a literary scoop of ego ice cream that’s right for you. We’ve ranked the 12 best motivational books of all time that can help you help yourself.
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12. 'Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations: Ancient Philosophy for Modern Times'
Jules Evan talks ancient philosophy to marines, gangsters, astronauts and other guys you wouldn’t want to pick a fight with at a bar. He makes age-old truths engaging and practical for the modern person, plus he cracks a few jokes.
11. 'Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking'
The title pretty much says it all for this practical manual in stopping all that stupid trash talk spewing from your weird brain. S.J. Scott and Barrie Davenport lay out practical tips in a clear and easy to read style, and without too much new age gobbledygook.
10. 'You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life'
The best self-hope books share a basic message: you can be a badass if you stop dicking off. Jen Sincero lays it all out in her no-nonsense guide to getting yours.
9. 'The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck'
This is both a self-help book and an anti-self-help book at the same time. Mark Mason’s counterintuitive advice includes gems such as don’t try, happiness sucks, and suffering is actually the best.
8. 'An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything'
Even if you can’t jimmy open a space station or fly a rocket like astronaut Chris Hadfield, approaching life on Spaceship Earth like an astronaut has its benefits. You can learn them all in this book full of out-of-this world advice.
7. 'The Prince'
If you want results and are willing to do anything to get them, then count on old Niccolo Machiavelli to give it to you straight. This practical guide maybe nearly 500-years-old, but CEOs, rappers and even politicians still look to Nic today.
6. 'The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change'
Stephen Covey’s book is all about values, but he isn’t talking about the monetary kind. There’s no shortcut to happiness, but these seven habits can at least help you get stuff done.
5. 'How to Change Your Mind'
Michael Pollan’s book about the insights psychedelics and neuroscience give into life is positively transcendental. Trip or no trip, this book is full of advice ranging from practical to mind-blowing.
4. 'The Art of War'
This ancient Chinese manual for war is full of keen insights on how to not lose, which is like half of winning.
3. 'Thinking, Fast and Slow'
This book analyzes how we make quick judgments and more strategic decisions. Fast or slow, we’re all subject to biases and blind spots, and this book can help you watch out for both.
2. 'How to Win Friends & Influence People'
This is one of the best-selling self-help books of all time for a reason. It sounds sneaky, but Dale Carnegie’s insights are all about genuinely connecting with people, which is hopefully not too surprising.
1. 'The Meditations'
Marcus Aurelius was the good emperor of Rome before Joaquin Phoenix went all Joker in Gladiator. He not only ran an empire but also found the time to write The Meditations, our No. 1 pick, which is filled with sage advice that can help us all confront our inner Joaquin Phoenixes.
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