The 12 Best Personal Development Books

You can judge the value of a personal development book based on the concrete changes it produces in your life.  Do you walk away happier or more productive?  Do you walk away with a set of skills you didn’t have coming in?

By that metric, these are the best personal development books I have ever read.  If I taught a class called “Living: A Guide To Do It Right,” this list would constitute the best syllabus I could compile.

I’ll be adding to this list.  Not just the new revelations, but the old ones whose lessons have become so ingrained in my mind that I forgot to mention them.  For now, here are the 12 best personal development books (up until now).

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12 Steps To World Class Presentation Skills

We used to have these “All Hands” meetings at work.

During the meeting, the senior partners would take turns presenting about how business was going. What new projects they were selling, new work in the pipeline…

Not necessarily a showcase of oral presentation skills or public speaking prowess.

But I noticed something interesting in those meetings. Given the same exact topic and the same exact audience, one partner could make you perk up for those 5 minutes. Another would lull you to sleep.

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The Truth About Lying

Are you an honest person?

Seriously, ask yourself: are you honest? Wait til you have your answer before reading on.

Do you have it? Cool.

Now ask yourself: Do you lie sometimes?

I’m willing to bet that you’d say you’re an honest person. I’m also willing to bet that you lie sometimes. So you’re honest…except when you’re not.

Now for the real question: can someone who lies sometimes qualify as an honest person?

Or are we all really just liars in denial?

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How To Be More Confident: 3 Pillars Of Unshakable Self Confidence

Note: This is part of a larger series on how to be more confident.  Part 1 is here.

Today, I want to talk about the three distinct types of confidence and how to build confidence in each area.  Whether that’s at work, with your friends, in romantic life, amongst superiors, it doesn’t matter.  If you want to know how to be more confident, you need to identify the area you in which are weakest and get to work.

So let’s start with the most common type…

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How To Gain Confidence: 6 Tips To Nail Self Confidence When You Need It

Note: This is part of a larger series on how to gain confidence.  Part 2 is here.

Confidence matters. More than you can even imagine. Hewlett Packard discovered that years ago.

They were researching why there was such a discrepancy between men and women in positions of management. Sexism was still as issue. But they found something else.

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You Have a Hero Complex Thanks to Just About All Media

I’ve been reading the Night Angel trilogy.  It’s okay.  A real page-turner, but I don’t find myself marveling at it like I did with Game of Thrones.  (After Game of Thrones everything else pales, and this post explains why…)

The main character is introduced on page 1.  He is normal.  But we discover that he is indeed NOT NORMAL.  He is marked for greatness.  He is special.

You see this everywhere.

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How To Be Happier: End These 4 Life-Sucking, Unconscious Pursuits

Everyone wants to be happier. But no one thinks to ask how to be happier. We assume we know what we need to be doing.

After all we’ve seen the movies. We watch the Academy Awards. We’ve see the smiling faces of our almost certainly more fulfilled friends on Facebook.

But it’s all a trick. All the things we’ve been conditioned to think will finally teach us how to be happier are total bullshit. Take, for example . . .

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How To Never Run Out Of Things To Say In Conversation

You’re talking, conversation is flowing nicely, and you feel like you’re really starting to form a connection with this person…

But what happens when after 10 minutes, that dreaded moment rears it’s head?

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The Most Important Mindset For Exuding Charisma

The following is an excerpt from Charisma on Command, available on Amazon.

“Wait…you’re going where?”

I’d gotten this question so many times in the last week that I didn’t feel like elaborating or explaining.

“Brazil.”

“But dude, you don’t have any money.”

He was right.  I had just a few grand in the bank and a mountain of student loans.  I had no job.  I had no chance of getting one in Brazil.  I had (at max) a few months before I zeroed my bank account the way I was currently spending.

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The Test

Conner looks right through me while we talk.  Through me to the two blonde girls he’d rather be speaking with.  Unfortunately for him, he is drunk and boring.  The girls are having fun with my friends.  Conner is doomed.

To be fair, Conner isn’t my first choice of conversation partner either.  I’d much rather be talking to the shorter of the two blondes.  Probably the same one that Conner wants.  But I hesitated.  Sam didn’t.  And when I saw him walk up to her I cursed myself.  Flawless skin, a fit body, and narrow blue eyes – I am kicking myself for hesitating.

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