After reading hundreds of books in search of motivation for the readership of TheSTRIVE.co, we decided to create a list of the best motivational books based on those that were most helpful in firing up our audience.
So, if you are looking for a little something extra to help get you going on that project, dream, or goal you’ve been sitting on, do yourself a favor and check out one of these motivational books (If you want more details on any of them, just click on their image). Because, without a doubt just about every one of them has the ability to help you rekindle your fire and get you back on track towards achieving your goals.
“If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Behold, the 25 Best Motivational Books of all time:
All-Time Best Motivational Books
Disclosure: Each book we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
1. The Magic of Thinking Big
The Magic of Thinking Big is a classic motivational book. It ranks first on this list because of the abundance of actionable insights. And every insight provides effective tips to help you improve your life.
In addition to all the insights, it also helps the reader stretch their minds. This is important because bigger thinking is necessary for reconsidering what is possible for your life.
Indeed, this book is a highly beneficial and motivating book that everyone should read.
2. Think and Grow Rich
Everyone has heard of Think and Grow Rich, and it is absolutely one of the best self-development books ever written. But the reason it makes the list for best motivational books, is because of it’s ability to help you believe that you can be rich, and not just rich as it relates to money, but rich in terms of living a quality life.
This books does a great job selling you on how an abundant future is possible for you if you can get your thinking under your own control.
Classic book, highly motivational, and worth every penny (and then some).
3. The Leader Who Had No Title
This books is a gem. It has the ability to help people believe that they can contribute more and rise higher than their current station in life, regardless of their titles. If you’ve ever used your lack of having a title as a reason to not act like a leader or perform to your potential, then you need this book.
Read this book, and then let its message motivate you to take inspired action right where you are, whatever your title may be, right now.
4. The Strangest Secret
No doubt, the secret contained within the pages of this book has a catalyzing effect on people. How do we know? Because it’s done so for countless people, all of who have attested to the power of this book, and it’s ability to change their lives.
Not all motivational books need to be rah-rah to be good. Sometimes, then can subtlety influence your thinking, and in so doing, influence how much action you take towards your dreams and goals. This book was a game changer when it came out, and it still is to this very day.
Let this Earl Nightingale book be your catalyst to chasing your dreams.
5. The Alchemist
The Alchemist is a book that provides hope. But don’t expect it to motivate you to go jumping onto chairs and waving flags. No, it doesn’t provide that type of motivation. In fact, it won’t motivate you explicitly; however, it will, over time and in a subtle way, give you the courage to take action on those ideas and dreams that you’ve talked yourself out of doing.
So, if you’ve never given this book a read, and you are looking for some subtle motivation, something to slowly encourage you to go for your deepest aspirations, then this is a must read.
6. The Icarus Deception
This Seth Godin book is motivating in that it helps you get over any hangups you may have on trying out your ideas in the marketplace. Seth does an excellent job given examples of the false fear that if we aim to high, we may get burned.
This book is required reading for all entrepreneurs, artists, or anyone with even a sliver of ambition. Yes, this book is for you!
If you are looking for something punchy, something short, sweet, but inspiring none-the-less, then you’ll want to read this powerful book by Price Pritchett.
This book will help you look at how you’ve been doing things from a different angle, and can help motivate you to try something new, and to take the leap of faith that is typically required for most significant achievements. Without a doubt, this little gem deserves to be on our list of best motivational books, and after reading it, you’ll think so too.
8. The Go Giver
If you’ve tried everything under the sun to reach success, but you’ve yet to reach your objective, then this book is helpful. It can help you take a different approach to finding success, one that is based on giving versus getting (or taking).
The Go Giver is listed as a great motivational book, because it can move you to serve, to give, and through those thoughtful actions, succeed.
Read it, and then let it move you to attempt a different approach towards achievement.
9. The Millionaire Messenger
Brendon Burchard wrote a book specifically dealing with motivation, however, it is this book that actually inspires action.
Brendon makes a strong case for how anyone who is an expert in something, can leverage that expertise, becoming and advocate/messenger for that knowledge, and in turn, become a millionaire.
If you are the type of person who has ever thought you could be making more money off of what you know, then read this book. It will give you the blueprint to confidently get started on becoming a messenger of your craft.
10. Reinvent Yourself
James Altucher is an interesting guy who knows a thing or two about reinventing himself. He makes strong case for choosing yourself, and for why you can and should reinvent yourself if you wish to live the life you truly want.
In this book, James gives a plethora of unique insights that can help you rethink what is possible for you, and it will inspire you to try creating for yourself a whole new you.
And it’s consider one of the best motivational books because of its ability to inspire change….which always requires healthy amounts of motivation.
11. Tools of Titans
This Tim Ferris book covers many different subjects, but it delivers on motivation because of all the detailed examples (on top of tips and tricks) related to how many celebrities and high performers were able to succeed.
The book is large, VERY LARGE…and it will take some time to get through, but it has so many insights and helpful tips for improving yourself and your life.
Without a doubt, this a motivational book that you’ll be referencing for years to come.
12. Awaken the Giant Within
If you’ve never read this book you will be astonished at the strategies provided. Anthony Robbins is very good at what he does, and in this case, he provides precise strategies that anyone case use to tap into the best part of themselves.
It’s a big book, with big ideas. Educate yourself with the mental strategies provided for you in this book, then go out and unleash your greatness into the world.
13. The Power of Positive Thinking
Norman Vincent Peale created something special when he wrote this book. Truly it is one of the best motivational books of all time. Much of Norman Vincent Peale’s material is focused on encouraging you to have faith, and to embrace a positive mindset, which in turn can help move you into positive action.
And believe it or not, a little tweak in your self-belief and mindset can add staggering changes in your eagerness to achieve.
So, if you’re lacking faith in your vision, faith in yourself, and a good attitude about what is possible for you, then this motivational book will do the trick.
14. The Millionaire Fastlane
Everybody wants to get rich, but very few people want to learn how to get rich. This book provides not only a great starting point for the type of mindset you’ll need to acquire if you wish to get rich, but it also provides a clear message on the value of execution and taking action on your financial/business goals.
If money motivates you, then this book will help get you started in actually making more of it, and inspire you to do it fast.
15. The Dip
Seth Godin’s ‘The Dip’ is a great motivational book because it provides accurate insights into those times when you won’t be very motivated. In it, he lends wisdom to the point in an achiever’s journey towards a goal where they will most likely fail, and it is in the dip.
This book is required reading for motivation, because it can help you rediscover yours if and when you get into “the dip”, and it gives you insights on what you can do to pull yourself out.
16. The Greatest Secret in the World
You’ll have to be hungry for more in life to even pick up a book like this; however, once you’ve read through this book, you’ll have a new awareness of success. And with this new awareness, you’ll almost automatically be inclined to dial up your efforts in every area (at least the ones you wish to be successful at) of your life.
If more accomplishment and fulfillment in life is what you seek, this book will act as a catalyst for helping you find it.
17. Message of a Master
Most people don’t get started on their dreams or big goals because deep down they lack the belief that they’ll ever truly achieve it. If you’ve neglected to honestly consider going for that big dream or big goal, read this book. It will give you the assurance that what you seek, also seeks you.
If you’re on the fence with this motivational book, you can always give these Message of a Master quotes a look first. You know, to see if this book is up your alley.
With that said, be sure to get this book if you truly wish to master your motivation, and in so doing, become a master of your life.
18. See You at The Top
‘See You at The Top’ is a classic self-help book by Zig Ziglar. The ideas and tips contained within this book are useful in helping the reader change how they think about themselves and their work.
Zig Ziglar manages to make very good cases for everyone of his suggestions and uses pithy anecdotes that could convince even the most stubborn and lazy person to do something positive with their time and their lives in general. Truly, this is a go-to-book for anyone who is ready to start their climb towards higher achievement.
19. The 12 Week Year
This book comes highly recommended as a game changer by a few high performers.
The premise of the books is is to focus on goal completing within 12 week blocks. Why? Because there just isn’t enough time to get complacent in this amount of time; as such, the urgency around everything you do will intensify. So, if you are looking to add more clarity, focus, and fire to execute on what matters most, then this book is a must read.
20. The 10X Rule
The 10X Rule is a powerful book. Grant Cardone has catalogued the exact steps and mindset he deployed to help him achieve the massive success he’s found in his life. And his insights culminate into what he calls the 10X Rule. It’s a call to action for massive action.
You can definitely feel Cardone’s energy in this content, and it will have you wanting to go out and start hustling at the end of every chapter. It is for this reason, that this book definitely belongs on this list of books that will get you and keep you fired up to succeed.
21. The Obstacle Is The Way
The Obstacle is The Way belongs on this list, because it provides its readers with the mindset that is necessary for achievement. While most motivational books are great at getting you started, this book is the one you’ll want to read to keep you going during those challenging times.
Ryan Holiday has managed to very eloquently convey the wisdom that all seekers of success will eventually come to realize; that what stands in the way of action, is exactly what should be advancing our action. As such, we can’t recommend this book highly enough.
22. The Magic of Believing
The Magic of Believing is truly a classic book. And the reason it has made our list of top Motivational Books of all time, is because of it’s ability to get you to take action. Regardless of the age of the book, Claude Bristol convincingly teaches the reader about the power belief has in our ultimate success. And if there is one thing that keeps most people from taking action on a thing, it’s their lack of belief that they can succeed or achieve that thing.
So, if you’re a person who doubts what’s possible for you and your life, and you want to learn about a perspective that can give you the motivation you need to change your life, this book is for you.
23. The War of Art
Steve Pressfield is not your typical champion of motivation or success. He’s not a motivational speaker, or a motivational guru. But, he’s pieced together a timeless motivational work of art in his book, The War of Art. With this book, he’s managed to drill down on the resistance that every person, whether it’s an artist, entrepreneur, or corporate climber will face. And it’s refreshingly motivating to know that the obstacles and resistance you’ll be facing is normal. But more importantly, that it’s conquerable.
By the end of the book you’ll have a renewed sense of hope that you can conquer what’s holding you back in life, and achieve whatever it is you are striving for.
This book has the power to deliver. There are not too many books out there that can prime your mindset for high achievement like this book can. You’ll walk away from this book with the mindset that has helped some of the greatest athletes become, well, the greatest athletes.
To be sure, this book is highly motivating. And after reading, you will have discovered the type of relentlessness that anyone can hone, to achieve great things. This is a motivation book for anyone who is ready to take their life to the next level.
25. How To Win Friends And Influence People
Our final motivational book is nothing short of a classic. How To Win Friends And Influence People is a masterclass is human relations and self-development. But the real reason this book makes the list, is primarily because of it’s ability to motivate the reader into wanting to work on those social/soft skills that lead to success.
There’s not very many books that inspire you to want to get out there in the real world so-to-speak, to put what you learn to immediate use. This book will give you solid encouragement and advice for finding more success in life. As such, this is one motivational book you do not want to overlook.
Bonus Motivational Book
We have one last bonus book for you. Now ‘The Strive Journal’ is not your typical motivational book. In fact, it is not a motivational book at all. However, it makes the list because it takes many if not most of the principles from the previous books just mentioned, and mashes them together to create an easy to use workbook that ensures you stay motivated for the long haul.
No doubt, you’ll have to be motivated to even consider buying a resource like this, but its motivational power comes from helping you stay focused, zeroed-in and engaged to take action on your goals long enough for you to actually achieve them.
Final Thoughts on This List of Best Motivational Books
There you have it, the top 25 motivational books of all times. Without a doubt, reading just a handful of these highly motivating books (let alone all of them) will help give you the nudge you need to get you back out in the world and striving towards your big goals and dreams.
But all things start with action, even when you’re unmotivated. And the smallest of actions that you can probably take at this very moment to get your motivation back, is to invest in your mind.
So, get yourself one of these motivational books, read it, and then get to work on that important something of yours.
Till next time,
PS – If you enjoyed our list of the top motivational books, then you’ll definitely love our list of top motivational sites as well as this collection of our all-time favorite motivational quotes.
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