Table of Books
- Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
- The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy
- Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz
- The Success Principles by Jack Canfield
- You Were Born Rich by Bob Proctor
- Your Invisible Power by Genevieve Behrend
- The Essential Thomas Troward
- The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace Wattles
- As a Man Thinketh by James Allen
- Wishes Fulfilled: Mastering the Art of Manifesting by Wayne Dyer
- Working with The Law by Raymond Holliwell
- The Power of Awareness by Neville Goddard
- Ask and it is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks
- Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
- Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
- The Choice by Og Mandino
Welcome to the Reading List
Below, I've put together a list of the books that I not only recommend, but the ones that have had a direct impact on my life, from just the chapter title alone to a whole book. They are the ones that have helped me on my path to understanding how our mind works, why we do what we do, and how we can go about making the necessary changes to change our own outcomes and results.
Some of these books were written at a time when all this knowledge wasn't known. I won’t say that they were a secret, but I will say that people were not informed. It's not that it wasn’t available, because it was - it was a case of ignorance and lack of knowledge - we didn't know it existed and didn't think of looking for it.
It used to be believed that our environment is what directed the course of our lives. In a way that is still true, when you consider how the environment we live and work in is what we take on to believe in.
But when you come to understand that everything you see around you, what you have right now, who you are right now, is the result of all the decisions you have taken up to now, and accept that responsibility, you can start to make the changes you want to make.
The books below will give you an insight into why you are who you are and what you can do to get what you want from life.
One word of warning - if it was easy everyone would be doing it. And that's the key - DO!
To read is not enough. You must ACT.
Now, before going through the short list of books below, I want to let you know that:
Most of the links are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a book through the link, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. I have experience with these companies and I recommend them because they are the ones that I use.
Don’t buy any book unless you feel you need it to help you clarify, help you to understand or help you to achieve your goals.
So, on with the books that can change every part of your life… If you want to change that is!
This is the book that started me truly thinking – Napoleon Hill’s 1937, “Think and Grow Rich". I first spent about a year and a half absorbing this book, of which 9 months alone were reading daily the chapter on “Decision". Repetition does work!
The 13 principles outlined in this book are timeless. They never change. Each chapter is linked to the other; the book is an example of the synergistic process of our lives, how everything is combined, linked and co-dependant.
From “Desire" all the way through to the “6 basic fears", it is an easy enough book to read, but, as you’ll see with all the other books, the key is in the understanding.
I prefer this edition, the original, unedited 1937 edition, without the updates and new editorials. If you like to see more modern examples of the principles there are newer editions out there.
This is one of my favourite and reading-staple books.
Joseph Murphy lead a varied life, finally becoming a minister, as well as a psychiatrist!
The book is an insight into how the subconscious mind works and its effects on individuals. It is interlaced with stories of people who, by changing their subconscious beliefs by consciously influencing the subconscious mind, changed their life.
What makes this book special, is that Murphy tells the reader what he told the people in the stories to do, so that the reader can apply that idea as well.
In addition, it is a marvellous insight into the workings of the subconscious mind and its influence on our lives.
One that I consider to be the core books to read, in understanding our subconscious mind.
This is not your usual personal development book that outlines principles and what-not’s. It is a book written by Dr. Maltz.
Maxwell Maltz was a plastic surgeon who observed that some of his patients, even after plastic surgery to correct a visual imperfection (an imperfection as far as the patient was concerned), there would be no change in their self belief, self esteem or self confidence.
He studied this effect, which became to be known as the Self Image.
The book is all about the self image and how changing our self image can help us attain the success we seek.
As he writes in the preface of the book, “The ‘self image’ is the key to human personality and human behaviour. Change the self image and you change the personality and behaviour."
The 21-day challenge in the book is a game changer for your self image.
When I first got Jack’s book I read the first couple of pages and put it down. When I mentioned above that in some books the title was enough, this was one.
Chapter one is about taking 100% Responsibility for your life – all of it. Past, present and future. That got me!
The book is a collection of guiding ideas, made up of 67 principles. It’s not a small book or a small read. It needs consideration and putting into practice what is written.
There are exercises in the book that you can do and I strongly recommend that you take each chapter seriously, and complete each exercise as you go along.
If you have not delved into personal development before, this is a book I strongly recommend starting with. It’s based on real world principles and ideas.
Some will appear obvious, until you realise that putting them into practice requires effort… and 100% commitment and responsibility on your part (which is why the first chapter is on responsibility).
I did eventually read the whole book - responsibility!
This was Bob's first book on the mind, why we do what we do and how to change it.
In the book he talks about money and the ideas we hold about it, the self-image, the law of vibration (the first law), whilst encompassing the subconscious mind and what it is.
I have followed Bob since I started my own journey.
This book encompasses his ideas in simple terms. A great first book and accompanies "Think and Grow Rich" beautifully and practically.
This is one of the older books on the list and one of the shortest ones. BUT, it’s one of the more powerful ones.
Genevieve Behrend was Thomas Troward's (see below) one and only student.
The book is all about the use of our imaginative faculty to visualise the life we want. It paints a picture of how we should use our imagination to better our life and instructs on how to go about doing that.
It’s an established fact that visualisation is an important part of the achievement of success, and this little book sets you up well into the use of that faculty.
I’ll be honest – even writing about this book is… I don’t know what! I love this book for its writing style and it’s content, making it almost a romantic composition on the mind.
When I first read “Your Invisible Power", I wanted to know who this Thomas Troward was and his “Edinburgh Lectures", which is one part of the book.
He was a judge in British Colonial India, where he grew up. His ideas, thoughts and explanations he called “Mind Science", written in the colloquial fashion with a touch of the way that British law and acts are written.
This makes these writings more difficult to understand than usual. Spend time reading it, however, with time to understand what is being portrayed and you’ll soon be fluent, almost, in Colloquial English.
This is a mostly metaphysical book, but, being a judge basing things on fact, Troward draws from what facts he could to substantiate what he says.
Although Troward first gave his lectures in 1902, what is written is still the basis of all that is being spoken about and taught about thought, the mind and the effect on the environment.
For me, Troward was the person that brought all that we talk about and hear today on the mind, into the open and in reach of the common person.
The book is a collection of Troward’s lectures, including the Edinburgh lectures and the Doré lectures, in which he talks about “entering into the spirit" of things.
This is one of the main books that led to the creation of a film that became known as “The Secret".
It was first published in 1910 and the writing style reflects that. It is a book that is based on the metaphysical. It is based on how our thoughts shape our environment. It is an ideological book, relying on the readers understanding and belief.
This is one of the earliest books on how we shape our environment and how we can use our mental faculty to create the life we want.
It’s a fun read, reasonably easy in the understanding, but, once you get used to the method of writing, it begins to become much clearer.
A key chapter is "Gratitude". If you have never heard of the importance of gratitude in your life, this chapter gives you an insight that's second to none.
One of my favourite lines in this chapter is this:
"The whole process of mental adjustment and atonement can be summed up in one word, gratitude."
“As a Man Thinketh" is one of the first books I read and a classic on the mind and self-help, written during the “New-thought" movement era.
Written in the English language of Victorian Britain, it’s a book that is almost poetic and rhetoric. It is a small “jewel" on the way we think and how we ought to think.
Just like Thomas Troward (further down this list), it’s not an easy read because of the language used, but it’s worth investing the time reading and understanding its content and message.
There is a short poem at the beginning of the book, in the foreword, which begins:
“Mind is the master power that moulds and makes, and man is mind."
This short poem epitomises the book itself and the power we hold. If you can understand the poem, line by line, then you understand the power that your mind and thinking hold.
A must for any student of the classics and the mind.
This book is one of my dearest companions. Alone, it changed my life and had the single most impact of all the books on my list here.
Wayne’s writings challenged my beliefs about me and what I believed in. It got me thinking in ways I hadn’t before and opened my eyes and my life to a new way of living – to the assumption of the wish fulfilled.
The book is a combination of Wayne’s experiences and readings, drawing its title from Neville Goddard’s “The Power of Awareness" (see below).
Wayne guides you through, what he refers to, the “Five Wishes Fulfilled Foundations", from understanding who you are to the use of the imagination.
It’s a spiritual and enlightening journey that must be experienced first hand.
In the introduction we are given, in plain language, what Holliwell meant by “The Law", the definition being, “God working in our lives".
Keeping that in mind, what follows are 11 principles, the first of which is “The Law of Thinking".
I recall an acquaintance who on reading the first chapter of this book her life was changed.
Not dissimilar to Neville, but in the same way not the same, Holliwell explains the universal laws that guide our lives, not only in a spiritual way, but also the mental applications.
Gently drawing from The Bible, Holliwell wrote a book that has the capacity to change your life.
Wayne Dyer (from above) gave each of his children this book and “Wishes Fulfilled" is partly based on what Wayne understood and observed from Neville’s book.
“The Power of Awareness" draws its knowledge from The Bible and Neville’s interpretation of a number of passages.
This is not a book for everyone. I don’t agree with all of Neville's opinions, but even so the message he delivers is a great insight.
This book together with “Feeling is the Secret" (freely available online) comprise two of the most condensed and thought provoking texts you’ll find.
They are spiritual and metaphysical in nature, but so applicable you cannot fail but wonder why you have not come across them before.
If you have never heard of Esther Hicks, Jerry Hicks or Abraham then this is a good introductory book. I won’t tell you about the authors. Rather, I’ll leave you to discover who they are.
The book has its basis on the Law of Attraction, but in reality it is so much more. In it are outlined 22 processes, all of which are directed towards changing your life.
This is as much spiritual as it is personal development. I consider it a metaphysical text, as it relies on your belief system rather than proving itself on scientific principles.
The guidance, however, is rock solid.
My favourite part of the book, which I have bookmarked, is Chapter 22 on the Emotional Scale (an emotional pathway to follow).
You’ll discover insights that other books do not go into.
Marcus Aurelius kept a diary – that’s what “Meditations" is.
As you read the book keep this in mind - it's one man's personal diary of his own thoughts. It was never written for publication - it just happened.
It’s a diary made up of twelve books that look into the life and thoughts of one of Rome’s greatest emperor’s, as written by himself.
“Meditations" is one of the few ancient writings and insight’s into Stoic thought.
The reason I prefer this version, translated by Martin Hammond, is because of it’s plain language and ease in reading.
It still needs some thought to comprehend what Marcus Aurelius meant and it’s better taken on when putting yourself in his time and environment.
No bookshelf on self help, personal development or self development is complete without this book by the creator of logotherapy, and the person who was living proof that freedom is in the mind.
Viktor Frankl was a psychiatrist and an Auschwitz survivor. A man who lost his family, but never allowed his freedom to be taken – not even during captivity.
The book tells the story, in Frankl’s own words, of his experiences in Auschwitz.
His use of his imagination is an example of how powerful our mind really is. The ability to maintain a mental attitude for life through harrowing events is the epitome that is Viktor Frankl.
This short book is so much more than just about a meaning to life. It is about having a mindset that is unbreakable, a mindset for survival.
It is not a book for everyone, but it is a book that should be read at least once in a lifetime.
I don’t want to say much about this book as it will give the plot away and the outcome.
Needless to say, it’s based on a man that has to make a choice, based on belief.
After reading this, I wanted more and followed it up with “A Better Way to Live".
Unbeknown to me, the latter book, is about Og Mandino’s own life. The “challenges" he had to overcome, which prove that even when you hit rock-bottom, if you want to make that change, you can.
Both books are inspirational and give you a sense of compassion. I have not read the others by Mandino. These two are inspirational, motivational and moving.