Wednesday, March 9, 2011

10 Motivational Books That Actually Motivate


As George Eliot once said, “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” Maybe, but a brutal recession and its dreary aftermath have made inspiration a scarce commodity. Working harder and longer has taken its toll, and achieving that all-important work-life balance seems nearly impossible. If that sounds like you, it’s probably time to take a step back. We’ve compiled a list of 10 motivational books that can help you get back on track, both in your professional and personal lives. If you’re looking for guidance in leadership and business success, Warren Buffett, Rudy Giuliani and Bill George have some ideas to consider. If you’re seeking guidance for your everyday life, then look no further than these works by Nelson Mandela, Norman Vincent Peale and Peter Barton. Some of these books will give you the advice you need to move forward. Others will show you how to make the most of difficult personal circumstances. All of them will offer perspectives and stories that can help you restart your engines.


  1. The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life
    By Alice Schroeder
    October 2009
    A frank account of the business icon’s successes, failures and personal life.
  2. A Long Walk to Freedom
    By Nelson Mandela
    Little, Brown
    The South African’s journey from decades of imprisonment to his election as president.
  3. Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success: Building Blocks for a Better Life
    By John Wooden and Jay Carty
    August 2009
    The legendary basketball coach’s formula for personal and professional success.
  4. The Last Lecture
    By Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow
    August 2008
    A Carnegie-Mellon professor used his last classroom appearance to inspire his students to live a fuller life.
  5. Why Courage Matters: The Way to a Braver Life
    By John McCain
    Random House
    January 2004
    The senator and former POW uses stories of war and politics in his guide for finding your own courage.
  6. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
    By Stephen Covey
    Free Press
    The best-selling guide for performing better in your personal and professional lives.
  7. Leadership
    By Rudy Giuliani
    January 2005
    The former NYC mayor calls on his years of experience in politics and law encorcement to describe his leadership style.
  8. Not Fade Away: A Short Life Well Lived
    By Peter Barton and Laurence Shames
    Harper Perennial
    September 2004
    The adventurous cable executive chronicled his success—and his preparation for dying from cancer.
  9. True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership
    By Bill George with Peter Sims
    March 2007
    A guide to becoming more aware of what drives you to succeed.
  10. The Power of Positive Thinking
    By Dr. Norman Vincent Peale
    Ballantine Books
    The famed preacher’s guide for eliminating self-doubt in everyday life.

1 comment: