young woman reading book in bed at home

As Buddha once said, “we are what we think” —and positive thinking is an important step in any achievement, whether in your career or your personal life. So why not follow what 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 perhaps you are striving to alter the way in which you handle work related stress. Self-help books can be the best tool, and what better gauge of their quality, than to select the very books that have helped these successful people to live a more positive life.

Sage UK have conducted an in-depth survey to determine the books that have inspired the personal and professional successes of some of the planet’s most accomplished business people, and in doing so, have unearthed the ten very best books for shifting your mindset.

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From Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking” which builds your confidence by teaching you to trust your intuition, to the more career-minded ‘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 – so whether you’re looking for the love of your life, starting out on the path to making your first million or simply looking to lead a happier and more positive existence, you’re sure to find something to suit your needs – take a look at the following:

Delivering Happiness Book-Amazon

1) Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose Tony Hsieh Zappos CEO

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

Zero to One-Amazon

2) Zero To One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

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)

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell-Amazon

3) Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

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 of Lockheed Martin, named the 20th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes)
Paul Jozefak (Managing Director of tech company Liqud Labs)

Search Inside Yourself-Amazon

4) Search Inside Yourself

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)

The Four Agreements-Amazon

5) The Four Agreements

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)

Return To Love-Amazon

6) A Return to Love

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

Now, Discover Your Strengths-Amazon

7) Now, Discover Your Strengths

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 Kara Sandberg (Author and COO of Facebook; founder of

Letters From a Stoic-Amazon

8) Letters From a Stoic Seneca

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.

The Right Stuff-Amazon

9) The Right Stuff

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

The Life of the Mind-Amazon

10) The Life of the Mind

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: Phutuma Nhleko

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  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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