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5 Timeless Books You Should Read for Your Personal Development

“I love reading.”

That’s one of the biggest lies I ever told in my lifetime, before the last two years happened. I guess it fit into the fact that I was not a sporty guy so I had to assume the opposite stereotype, the nerdy guy who loves to read. But aside from famous novel series such as J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson, a couple of Paulo Coelho’s novels, great classics from Mark Twain and Johanna Spyri, and a few odd selection here and there, I didn’t really love reading.

You wouldn’t find me going into book stores at least once every week to buy at least one book. You wouldn’t see my lips curve into a big smile at the sight of a Kindle sale. You wouldn’t see red lines and highlights on any of my books. You wouldn’t see a “Yeah I read that already” look on my face upon encountering a book mention in another book while reading it. I know I didn’t really love reading then because I love reading now.

@@You love reading when you treat it more than just entertainment@@, a way to pass time, a form of escapism. Whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, it is an essential part of your life because it teaches you things you will never learn in the confines of a classroom. It makes you experience the world without leaving the comfort of your couch or the coziness of your bed. It lets you grow - the person you were as you turned the cover is no longer the person you are when you close the book. It challenges your conventions and/or reassures your myths teaching you to become an individual who doesn’t just read but also thinks. Last, it feeds that extraordinary thirst of your soul, that different kind of wanderlust, that yearning for a spiritual kind of experience you will not get in any church or any constitution.

“I love reading.”

This year I have finished at least 40 books, a personal record, most of them non-fiction, a major leap from my fiction-only-reading past. A part of me thinks, “You need to read faster boy.” but I shouldn’t dwell on that. Instead, I should celebrate on the achievement. 

Here I share with you five timeless books on personal development that I read this year. Timeless because they weren’t books only published this year. Some were published in the last five years, others more than that, yet that doesn’t deter from their impact and relevance today. I’m pretty sure that people will get to know these books down the road of the future and will have the same impression as I did. But I’m going to save you some time. If you haven’t met these books yet, consider this your blind date. I’ll give you my thoughts on the books but will try not to give much away. Best for you to get your copies and read them.


5 Timeless Books You Should Read for Your Personal Development


177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class by Steve Siebold

This book makes clear the difference between being a champion and an amateur, which has become one of my go-to self-check tool. On evaluating things I do, I ask myself, “Does this make me a champion or an amateur?” 

Before buying another book: “Will this make me a champion or an amateur?”

On planning for a weekend: “Will this make me a champion or an amateur?” 

On cutting someone from my life: “Will this make a champion or an amateur?”

This book also introduced me to other great books I haven’t heard of which was a really, brilliant surprise.


Personal Development for Smart People by Steve Paulina

A cynical part of me thought motivation or personal development might just be cotton candy with no nutritional value: Just do it! Come on in out of the rain. He who travels more, learns more. Peace, love, channel your inner Jung. 5 Things You Should Do to Be the Better Version of You. Why Losing My Virginity Was the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me.

Until I read this book.

Smart. Logical. Detailed. With substance. Relevant. Actionable. Did I say smart? 

If it wasn’t for this book’s entrance into my life, I would have probably broken up with personal development (big chance of that happening). But this is the perfect read for anyone cynical with “personal development and motivational stuff”.


The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

Here’s a book from our third Steve - Mr. Pressfield. For some of you this choice might’ve looked “out of place”. It’s a book you might think that’s more suited for the topic Creative and not Personal Development. You might say this is more geared for artistic types of people and not simply for those who care only for personal development.

Let me tell you one thing. @@Art is not just painting, writing, composing music, or drawing.@@ Art is also baking, running a business, organising events, managing people, and living a healthy lifestyle. If you want to do great work, then you must start looking at what you have to do as art. The War of Art disperses the clouds trying to sabotage an art creation.


The Gifted Adult: A Revolutionary Guide for Liberating Everyday Genius by Mary-Elaine Jacobsen

One book made me cry alone in an empty pantry while eating chicken and broccoli. This is the culprit.

I attribute to serendipity the existence of this book in my life. I believe our paths were meant to cross and cross it did in the most mundane way. 

But the impact Jacobsen’s book had on me was beyond mundane. The book shed a lot of light on my personality, the life I lived, and the life I still have to live. It’s a mix of opposite things: impersonal and personal, technical and layman, heartbreaking and empowering, and providing you with lots of answers and opening so much more.

If you are to whom this book was written for, you MUST read this. If not, you still have to read this. It’s great to look at things from a different perspective, from the opposite side of the table.


The Law of Success: In Sixteen Lessons by Napoleon Hill

I saw Napoleon Hill’s name many times before from online articles I read, each encounter I felt a sense of marvel attached to his name. And it’s rightly deserved.

This 1925 book proves that, yes, books can be timeless. Each lesson is still applicable to the present time. The core of most modern self-help materials can be found here which is why I treat this as the original personal development book. 

I also became a fan of Mr. Hill’s writing and can admit it’s hubris ;) to claim I’m emulating his style.


If you don’t own some or all of these books, it’s time for you better do some hunting.

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