Best Books to Begin Personal Development

Reading is fundamental! This is repeated often in schools to encourage young students to read and to value learning through books. However, when we reach adulthood most of us stop reading, stop learning, and eventually our personal growth comes to a slow stop or complete halt. I began reading personal development or self-help books in my mid-twenties thanks to a friend’s birthday present. We all are aging and assume that wisdom comes with age, but this is a common misconception. Self-awareness is one of the best presents that you can give yourself and you can gain this through therapy or reading PD books. The following 5 books will ignite your personal growth journey:

1. How to Win Friends and Influence People- Dale Carnegie

One of my friends gave me this book for my 24th birthday and it was one of the first personal development books that I read as a young adult. It is short, sweet, and to the point. A great starter to the personal development genre. This Dale Carnegie classic gives healthy and positive ways to make a difference in the lives of other people. If you have trouble making friends, or if you want to be a better friend, this book would be a great place to start. The older you get, the harder it is to make new friends and keep old friends, so this book can give you a chance to reset your inner friendship button. The one tip I remembered from this book was that a person’s name is the sweetest sound to that person. Actively work to pronounce and remember a person’s name to make them feel seen in the world.

Order How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie:

2. The Slight Edge- Jeff Olson

The Slight Edge explains how major life changes come from the small mundane daily choices that we make. Change will not happen overnight. It is your everyday choices that lead to positive and negative changes overtime. The Slight Edge teaches discipline and shows you how you may be holding yourself back from your greatest potential. Do you eat the candy bar today or not? How will today’s decision effect you in the long term? Use the Slight Edge to lose weight, or accomplish your goals, or become the best you possible.

Order The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson:

What Happened to You: Conversations on Trauma, Resilence, & Healing- Bruce D. Perry & Oprah Winfrey

We all have had some type of trauma at least once in our lives, and some had more severe trauma than others, but our brain does not know the difference. Oprah discusses her own trauma throughout her life and describes how she overcame those struggles and found healing. Dr. Perry discusses his client cases throughout the years, where he had to come and intervene after a traumatic childhood situation and helped lead those young clients to healing through various strategies. The book also explores how intergenerational trauma also affects marginalized communities, especially black people in America. This book was healing for me personally, and also opened my eyes to the fact that our education system may be reinforcing more trauma on students who experience it at home regularly. This is a great read to gain more awareness and insight into the human brain and how it works before, and after traumatic experiences.

Order What Happened to You: Conversations on Trauma, Resilence, & Healing- Bruce D. Perry & Oprah Winfrey:

The Big Leap- Gay Hendrix

What unique gifts do you possess? Are you utilizing those unique gifts? The Big Leap explores the Zone of Competence, Zone of Excellence, and Zone of Genius. All of us are living in at least one of these zones. Most of us are living in the Zone of Competence or Zone of Excellence, but will never reach our Zone of Genius unless we decide to take the big leap. When good things happen we tend to self-sabotage because our default setting is zone of competence or zone excellence and our subconscious wants to go back to the most comfortable zone. Read the Big Leap to begin the journey to living in your zone of Genius permanently.

Order The Big Leap by Gay Hendrix:

The Five Love Languages- Gary Chapman

The Five Love Languages was written for couples, but I read this book as a single woman and gained so much information about how to love the people in my life. How do you like to be loved? How does your significant other like to be loved? How does your friend or mother like to be loved? People are showing love left and right, and think that they are filling their loved ones love tank. Why isn’t their love tank filled? Most of us show love to others the way we want to be loved, which is okay in a casual relationship, but in a more intimate relationship this leads to problems and unfulfilled love tanks. This book introduces and defines the 5 love languages and how you can begin showing love to someone close to you the way that they want to be loved.

Order The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman:


Read the books above to begin your journey of love, discipline, healing, making friends, influencing people and taking the Big Leap to your fullest potential in your Zone of Genius. What book most interests you? Comment below.

Happy Sunday,

Dominique Duarte

What is your favorite personal development book? Why? Comment below!

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