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The ONE Thing That’s Holding You Back
You’ll find a number of book summaries and reading lists on The Art of Living filled with timeless advice on topics as varied as communication, learning and productivity. (There’s even a collection of my favourite growth mindset quotes.)
And yet, despite this surplus of wisdom, at least 95% of the people who come here (and even of those who actually read the books recommended) will fail to sustain meaningful change.
Why? Because not knowing “What” to do or “How” to do it is rarely what holds most of us back. And if you take a careful look at your life, you’ll probably find that it’s not what’s restricting you either.
I’ve seen it thousands of times: the main reason people don’t act is that they gave up before they got started. What holds most of us back is belief – in our teachers, in our “Whys” but perhaps most of all in ourselves.
Why These Best Mindset Books Matter
In the list below, you’ll find some of the best mindset books I’ve discovered on beating those odds.
You’ll find books on grit, books on suffering, books on ownership, books on success and books that put your life in perspective. But above all, you’ll find books that teach you to believe in you; in your ability to shape your own destiny.
Of course, it takes more than just a positive mindset to succeed. Everything worth achieving demands its price in blood, sweat and tears.
But what the best mindset books below will give you are the tools to lighten your load, to take action, to turn obstacles to your advantage, to get back in the saddle and, with luck, to love yourself no matter where life’s journey takes you.
So with that in mind, good luck, go well and remember: “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas Edison.
The 60 Best Mindset Books Ever Written
Why these best mindset books and not others? To stay objective, I rank all my book recommendations by what’s most loved (Goodreads rating), what’s most popular (Goodreads review count) and what’s proven timelessly relevant (first publication date).
This isn’t a whimsical list. It’s a data-driven, crowdsourced collection of the best mindset books ever published as decided by book lovers just like you. (Note: To maximise diversity, I only include the top ranking book from any series in a list.)
And if you think something's missing? I LOVE book recommendations so if there are any other best mindset books that you think deserve mentioning, email me and I’ll be sure to include them in the next round of updates.
Until then, enjoy this ultimate list of the 60 best mindset books of all time...
Books 1-10: The Top 10 Best Mindset Books of All Time
The top 10 best mindset books of all time are...
1. As a Man Thinketh
- James Allen
As a Man Thinketh is THE #1 ranking, uplifting, pocket-sized pep-talk on the power and importance of changing your thoughts as the cornerstone to changing your life - by philosopher and prolific self-help author, James Allen.
Published 1902 // 34 pages // Rated 4.3 over 68,100 reviews on Goodreads
2. Think and Grow Rich
- Napoleon Hill
Think and Grow Rich is a best-selling book of all time and a cornerstone guide to the Law of Attraction and the role of the subconscious in transforming your life - by a titan of the self-help genre, Napoleon Hill.
Published 1937 // 233 pages // Rated 4.2 over 254,900 reviews on Goodreads
3. The Magic of Thinking Big
- David J. Schwartz
The Magic of Thinking Big is a powerful, practical and uplifting book to help get you out of a rut, invigorate your goals and empower you towards success - by life-long motivational writer and coach, David J. Schwartz.
Published 1959 // 320 pages // Rated 4.2 over 77,300 reviews on Goodreads
6. The Science of Getting Rich
- Wallace D. Wattles
The Science of Getting Rich offers a short, pragmatic guide to attracting wealth and success by reprogramming your thinking, ovecoming mental barriers and learning to create, rather than compete - by New Thought and self-help author, Wallace D. Wattles.
Published 1910 // 146 pages // Rated 4.1 over 35,500 reviews on Goodreads
7. Acres of Diamonds
- Russell H. Conwell
Acres of Diamonds is a short, inspirational reminder that all you need for success, wealth and happiness can be found right in front of you and that the grass is always green where you water it - by minister, orator and founder of Temple University, Russell H. Conwell.
Published 1892 // 68 pages // Rated 4.2 over 8,400 reviews on Goodreads
- Maxwell Maltz
A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life
Psycho-Cybernetics defined the concept of self-image and inspired a generation of books on the power of identifying and breaking limited beliefs - by cosmetic surgeon and best selling author, Maxwell Maltz.
Published 1960 // 288 pages // Rated 4.2 over 20,300 reviews on Goodreads
9. The Master-Key to Riches
- Napoleon Hill
The Master-Key to Riches is an accessible self help manual that covers everything from positive thinking and goal visualization to habit formation and self-discipline - by titan of the genre and author of Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill.
Published 1945 // 208 pages // Rated 4.3 over 5,200 reviews on Goodreads
10. The Four Agreements
- Miguel Ruiz
A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom
The Four Agreements is a provocative and mind-altering Toltec guide to waking up and finding peace in our illusory world - by retired surgeon, author and Eagle-Knight shaman Don Miguel Ruiz.
Published 1997 // 168 pages // Rated 4.2 over 247,800 reviews on Goodreads
Books 11-60: The Best Mindset Books to Read Next
Here are the next best mindset books from my database...
- Richard Bach
The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah
Published 1977 // 144 pages // Rated 4.1 over 59,800 reviews on Goodreads
17. Awaken the Giant Within
- Anthony Robbins
How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!
Published 1992 // 544 pages // Rated 4.1 over 62,000 reviews on Goodreads
19. The Inner Game of Tennis
- W. Timothy Gallwey (FREE Summary
The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance
The Inner Game of Tennis is an insightful and practical guide to optimizing natural learning and performance with applied mindfulness - by author, speaker and ex-Harvard tennis captain, W. Timothy Gallwey.
Published 1974 // 134 pages // Rated 4.2 over 12,800 reviews on Goodreads
- John Wooden (FREE Summary
A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court
Wooden set's out John Wooden's effort-and-integrity focussed personal philosophy - spanning family, achievement, success and excellence - by UCLA's famous philosopher-coach, John Wooden, and author, Steve Jamison.
Published 1997 // 201 pages // Rated 4.5 over 4,500 reviews on Goodreads
21. The Go-Giver
- Bob Burg
A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea
Published 2007 // 133 pages // Rated 4.4 over 18,000 reviews on Goodreads
23. Daring Greatly
- Brené Brown
How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
Published 2012 // 287 pages // Rated 4.3 over 158,700 reviews on Goodreads
25. The Gifts of Imperfection
- Brené Brown
Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
Published 2010 // 138 pages // Rated 4.2 over 136,800 reviews on Goodreads
27. Tiny Beautiful Things
- Cheryl Strayed (FREE Summary
Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
Tiny Beautiful Things is a heart thumpingly raw, vulnerable and powerful collection of letters and advice on the power of love, of forgiveness and of finding growth in the darkest of places - by award-winning writer, Cheryl Strayed.
Published 2012 // 304 pages // Rated 4.3 over 73,800 reviews on Goodreads
29. With Winning in Mind
- Lanny Bassham
The Mental Management System: An Olympic Champion's Success System
Published 1996 // 162 pages // Rated 4.4 over 1,200 reviews on Goodreads
35. Can't Hurt Me
- David Goggins
Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds
Can't Hurt Me is a powerful, uplifting, part-how-to, part-memoir that'll pick you up by your collar, help you take control of your life circumstances and kick your victim mentality to the curb - by endurance athlete and retired Navy SEAL, David Goggins.
Published 2018 // 290 pages // Rated 4.4 over 94,000 reviews on Goodreads
36. Failing Forward
- John C. Maxwell
Turning Mistakes Into Stepping Stones for Success
Published 2000 // 209 pages // Rated 4.2 over 10,200 reviews on Goodreads
- Carol S. Dweck (FREE Summary
The New Psychology of Success
Mindset is a research-grounded dive into the self-fulfilling nature and impact of Fixed- and Growth-Mindset beliefs in personal development - by social and developmental psychology professor, Carol Dweck.
Published 2006 // 276 pages // Rated 4.1 over 111,300 reviews on Goodreads
47. The Happiness Advantage
- Shawn Achor
The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work
Published 2010 // 272 pages // Rated 4.1 over 30,000 reviews on Goodreads
48. The Master Mind
- William Walker Atkinson
Published 1913 // 276 pages // Rated 4.2 over on Goodreads
53. Who Moved My Cheese?
- Spencer Johnson
Who Moved My Cheese is a short, light-hearted parable about the different ways we respond to life's changes and how doing so skillfully can help us find more success and happines in our lives - by best-selling author, Dr. Spencer Johnson.
Published 1998 // 96 pages // Rated 3.8 over 405,300 reviews on Goodreads
58. Maximum Achievement
- Brian Tracy
Strategies and Skills that Will Unlock Your Hidden Powers to Succeed
Published 1993 // 352 pages // Rated 4.1 over 5,200 reviews on Goodreads
More Book Recommendations
Enjoyed this list of the best mindset books of all time?
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These are some lists of best fiction books to read...
Or, you can read all my book recommendations.
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