As Buddha once said, “we are what we think”—and positive thinking is an important step in any achievement. Whether in your career or personal life, why not follow the advice that inspires some of the most successful people on the planet?

Maybe you are looking to make changes in the way you approach your relationships, or you are striving to alter the way you handle work-related stress, or looking to make your first million. Self-help books can be a valuable guide, and what better gauge of their quality than to select the ones that have helped successful people to live their dreams.

Sage UK has conducted the in-depth survey to determine the best books for shifting your mindset and creating personal happiness or professional success.

From Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking” which builds your confidence by teaching you to trust your intuition, to “Zero To One” by billionaire philanthropist Peter Thiel, which is aimed at generating a positive approach to starting your own business, this list covers all bases when it comes to inspiring you in all aspects of life:

1) Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose – Tony Hsieh Zappos CEODelivering Happiness Book-Amazon

Tony Hsieh offers an insight into the numerous life lessons he learnt while pursuing a variety of business ventures over the years. Delivering Happiness highlights the importance of creating a corporate culture which focuses on the happiness of those around you, and how their joy can grow you as an individual.

Recommended by:
Padmasree Warrior (CEO of NextEv, dubbed Queen of the Electric Car by Fortune)
Simos Kitris (Founder of People per Hour)

2) Zero To One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the FutureZero to One-Amazon

Peter Thiel finds the unexplored corners of your creativity: that’s the central premise of this luminary’s bestseller. Peter Thiel argues that you need to escape competition and think for yourself if you truly want to forge your own path in business.

Recommended by:
Elon Musk (Founder of SpaceX and Tesla Motors)
Gareth Williams (Founder of Skyscanner)
John Sculley (Former CEO of Apple, Inc; and former President of Pepsi-Cola)

3) Blink: The Power of Thinking Without ThinkingBlink by Malcolm Gladwell-Amazon

In Blink, Malcolm Gladwell explores how we ‘know’ something without exactly knowing why. Gladwell teaches readers how trusting your instinct can be more effective than approaching a decision with caution, inspiring you to think in new ways.

Recommended by:
Marillyn Hewson (CEO, Lockheed Martin; “The World’s 20th most powerful woman” –Forbes)
Paul Jozefak (Managing Director of tech company Liqud Labs)

4) Search Inside YourselfSearch Inside Yourself-Amazon

Chade-Meng Tan, Google’s personal growth pioneer, talks us through the mindfulness techniques he teaches to employees as he attempts to unlock their full creative potential. Credited with augmenting the productivity of one of the world’s pre-eminent tech companies, Meng imparts a wealth of useful mind training.

Recommended by:
Arianna Huffington (Founder, Huffington Post)
Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos, an online shoe and clothing retailer)

5) The Four AgreementsThe Four Agreements-Amazon

Don Miguel Ruiz believes there are four rules that can transform our existence: be impeccable with your word, don’t make assumptions, always do your best and don’t take anything personally. By removing self-limiting beliefs, the author suggests that we will be better-placed to harness our innate potential.

Recommended by:
Ellen Degeneres
Jack Dorsey (Co-founder and CEO of Twitter)

6) A Return to LoveReturn To Love-Amazon

Based on the author’s own experiences as a teacher and lecturer, A Return to Love looks at how the principles of love can transform and heal people during any trials or difficulties life has to offer. Sharing her own insights, Marianne Williamson offers practical applications of love and how it can change all aspects of our lives.

Recommended by: Oprah Winfrey

7) Now, Discover Your StrengthsNow, Discover Your Strengths-Amazon

Using the data mined from a study of over two million high-achievers, this book by Marcus Buckingham sets out 34 themes geared towards maximizing your business success. Through the completion of an online test, readers will discover which of these themes relate to their strengths, allowing them to cultivate the best working environment for them.

Recommended by:
Sheryl Sandberg (Author and COO of Facebook; founder of

8) Letters From a Stoic SenecaLetters From a Stoic-Amazon

In this book, Robin Campbell translates the philosophical musings of Lucius Annaeus Seneca, the advisor to emperor Nero. Seneca was credited with humanizing Stoicism and transforming it from an otherwise foreboding belief system into a useful philosophy for life.

Recommended by:
Tim Ferriss (Author of self-help books on the ‘4-hour’ theme, entrepreneur, public speaker)

9) The Right StuffThe Right Stuff-Amazon

Author Tom Wolfe monitors and interviews the first Project Mercury Astronauts in an attempt to identify the mental and physical characteristics that primed them to become pioneers in their field.

Recommended by:
Peter Thiel (Co-founder of PayPal and founder of Clarium Capital)

10) The Life of the MindThe Life of the Mind-Amazon

Arranging the mind into three key processes (thinking, willing and judging), Hannah Arendt delivers an in-depth exploration of the way we process information. From scholars to business specialists, Hannah believes that an inability to think is preventing us from maximizing our potential.

Recommended by:
Phuthuma Nhleko (African businessman, executive chairman of MTN Group)

Click To Share With Your Fellow Bookworms… (Photo by Syda Productions)


  1. This is good. Here is my fav list of books

    The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins
    The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
    The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Peale
    Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
    Why We Do What We Do by Edward L. Deci
    Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
    The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
    Give and Take by Grant Adam
    The Power of Habit by Duhigg Charles
    The One Thing by Jay Papasan

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