Here at The Head Plan, we LOVE personal development books. In fact, we have bookshelves groaning under the weight of them.
Before we get stuck into how personal development books have changed our lives for the better, and how they can change yours too, let’s get a handle on what the personal development genre actually is.
Some people call it self help. Others call it self improvement. But really, it doesn’t matter what name you want to give it, personal development books are simply non-fiction texts that are packed full of powerful, transformational wisdom. They’re often jam packed with practical instruction, tried and tested steps, and inspirational real-life stories that can motivate you to make changes in your own life.
More often than not, personal development books are written by someone who is an expert in that particular field, or someone who has been there done that and wants to share their wisdom with the world so everyone can reap the rewards together.
Why read personal development books
If you’re a self-confessed suspense novel addict or romantic tales of unrequited love are your thing, you might find it hard to put down your usual read, but let us tell you a secret: the answer to every problem you’ve ever hadis hidden in the pages of a personal development book.
Whether you want to know how to build your confidence, how to let go of fear and reach for your dreams, how to create meaningful habits, or simply how and why you should start getting up earlier in the mornings, someone somewhere has written about it.
Someone somewhere has done all the work. They’ve discovered what works, and what doesn’t, and they’ve compiled all their wisdom, knowledge and experience into one easily digestible read so you can bypass all the guesswork and follow their blueprint for success.
To put it simply, personal development books are a really accessible way to constantly learn and evolve. They are the cheapest, quickest, and easiest way to gain valuable insights from the best mentors and thought leaders around the world.
Add to that, personal developments books can expand your idea of what’s possible, help you smash through limitations, allow you to build on your strengths and successes, and inspire you to set big, exciting goals. And all you have to do is buy the book, get comfy, and learn.
Choosing the personal development books that are right for you
Picking a personal development book is often an intuitive experience. In fact, you might find that you simply attract the very book you need to read into your life. Or you could be acutely aware of an area you want to work on and choose your reading material based on that.
Our advice is to read as many personal development books as you can. Make a commitment to life long learning. And keep your choices varied. Consider reading a personal development book for each area of your life, whether you want to improve your finances, your relationship with friends, your career, or some other area. And if you’re stuck? Just ask us for recommendations. We’ve got a bucketload.
How to get the most out of personal development books
Here’s the thing: reading personal development books is not a passive experience. While you might find yourself getting lost in the pages of that soppy love story, personal development books require you to pay attention and engage.
That might mean taking a highlighter and highlighting important passages. It might mean jotting down notes as you read. It could mean marking important chapters that you want to read time and again to really let the message sink in.
While regular old fiction is about pure blissful enjoyment, personal development is about learning and expanding your horizons.
Most importantly, however, personal development books require you to take action. You can have all the wisdom and knowledge in the world, but it means very little if you don’t act on it.
Napoleon Hill, author of the renowned personal development book Think And Grow Rich, turned the often repeated “Knowledge is power” quote on its head when he noted, “Knowledge is only potential power.”
You have to take the knowledge and learn how to implement it in your own life. That’s right, you’ve got to do a little work too.
Break it down
That doesn’t mean you have to take every single learning from each book you read and try to put it into practice. No, that’s a surefire route to burnout and exhaustion.
Even if you only take one important lesson away from each book and use it to positively change your life, then you’ve 'levelled up’. When you read, you get to pick and choose the lessons that really resonate with you, and you’ll instinctively know which ones will benefit you most.
And, pro tip time: the lesson that you’re most resisting putting into practice, is usually the one you need to implement most. Bear that in mind as you’re reading.
Make it a habit
After each reading session, consider what you’ve learned. Mull it over, think about how it relates to your life, and make a plan. Grab your copy of The Head Plan and start writing. How could this impact your habits and goals? How could you use this to improve your life? Add it to your daily tasks and watch it become a habit that can transform your life.
Now that you know all about the magic of this genre, are you ready to crack the spine on a book that has the power to change your life? We hope so because the next chapter of your life starts with the turn of a page.