Become a Writer Today

11+ Motivational Books You Must Read

July 31, 2023 Bryan Collins
Become a Writer Today
11+ Motivational Books You Must Read
Show Notes Transcript

Welcome to another episode of the Become a Writer Today podcast. Today we have an exciting lineup for all you aspiring writers out there. In this episode, we'll dive into the world of motivational books. 

We'll explore eleven must-read titles that will inspire and ignite your personal and professional creativity.

Get ready to discover some old classics that have stood the test of time and some contemporary gems that will challenge your mindset. From Dale Carnegie's timeless masterpiece to James Clear's revolutionary "Atomic Habits," we've covered everything. 

So please sit back, relax, and let's dive into the world of motivation and inspiration. 

But before we start, I'd like to remind you to leave a review for our show on iTunes and share it with your fellow writers. Your support helps us reach more people who can benefit from our content. Also, remember to check out our companion YouTube channel for even more writing advice. 

So, without further ado, let's jump into the captivating world of motivational books and become the best writers we can be!

Support the show

If you enjoyed the show please leave a review on Apple. And if you have any questions you can find me on Twitter @BryanJCollins

Thanks for listening!

Bryan: Hill offers readers 14 different principles that will help them find both spiritual and material wealth. And for this motivational book, he interviewed some of the greatest business minds of his day, including Henry Ford and JD Rockefeller. The book also features 3 American presidents, and it includes motivational nuggets like, 'You are the master of your destiny.' 'You can influence, direct, and control your own environment.' 'You can make your life what you want it to be.'


Welcome to the Become a Writer Today Podcast with Bryan Collins. Here you'll find practical advice and interviews for all kinds of writers.

Bryan: Are you looking for a good motivational book? I've read dozens of motivational books over the years, read them on paperback, Kindle, and even listened to the audio versions. Hi there, my name is Bryan Collins. Welcome to the Become a Writer Today Podcast. I'm gonna profile over 11 different motivational books which are worth your time and attention. Hope you enjoy this roundup of some of the best motivational books out there.

First up, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. It's probably one of the most popular and best-selling motivational books of all time. Now, sadly, Covey passed away back in 2012, but in this book, which is an accessible and engaging read, he lays out seven habits for finding success at work and in your personal life. And the book also comes with a companion workbook to help you put these habits or practices into practice.

As motivational books go, I found it quite inspiring because it covers problems at work and in your personal life. What are the seven habits? Be proactive, begin with the end in mind, put first things first, think win-win, seek first to understand, then be understood, synergize, and sharpen the saw. Covey elaborates on each of those habits inside of the book, and he says, "Most people do not listen with the intent to understand. They listen with the intent to reply." Definitely, one to check out.

Next up, we have How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. This best-selling motivational book was published all the way back in 1936. So it's probably one of the oldest books on this list. It's probably one of the oldest motivational books out there, which is still selling today. In fact, it sold over 30,000,000 copies, and it's still in print. It addresses topics like your popularity, earning power, becoming a better public speaker, and winning people over to your way of thinking or ideas.

Even though the book was written 80-plus years ago, much of the wisdom is still useful. Examples include don't criticize, condemn, or complain, instead, give honest and sincere appreciation and arouse in the other person an eager want for what you want too. The author also writes about how to encourage people to like you by smiling, how to become genuinely interested in their problems, and how to become a good listener. Carnegie writes, "You can make more friends in 2 months by becoming interested in other people than you can in 2 years by trying to get people interested in you."

Another classic motivational book is Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. This book was published in 1937, a year after our previous book on this list. And again, much of the advice is still relevant today. In Think And Grow Rich, Hill offers readers 14 different principles that will help them find both spiritual and material wealth. And for this motivational book, he interviewed some of the greatest business minds of his day, including Henry Ford and JD Rockefeller. The book also features 3 American presidents, and it includes motivational nuggets like, 'You are the master of your destiny.' 'You can influence, direct, and control your own environment.' 'You can make your life what you want it to be.'

Number 4. Awaken the Giant Within, by Anthony Robbins. Now, Anthony Robbins isn't for everyone. But you can't deny he's one of the most famous motivational coaches of all time. His coaching process trains both the mind and the body, and like some other authors on this list, he covers your business life and your personal life. You can spend thousands of dollars to attend his seminars. But why pay that much when you can get his insights in a book? This one was published in 2001. The core was topics like feeling out of control and living a life with passion and energy.

To be honest, it's one of the longer motivational titles in this list. Took me quite some time to get through it. And that's partly because Robbins writes at length about each idea. In some sections, I thought he could have done with an editor. Personally, I prefer listening to him on YouTube. I listened to his talks rather than reading a book, but it's still worth waiting through if you wanna get an insight into what he teaches on his courses. Expect germs like, 'If you can't, you must.' 'If you must, you can.'

As A Man Thinketh by James Allen was published in 1903. The author continues to motivate people today, even though he's long since passed away. His goal was to help people live a better life using the advice inside of his pocket companion book. I guess these days, our pocket companion books are Kindle apps on our phone or tablet. Anyway, this motivational book has a spiritual angle to it. He argues for thinking beyond what we are to what we can be. And he writes the outer conditions of a person's life will always be found to be harmoniously related to his inner state. Men do not attract that which they want but that which they are. So as you can see, the writing is a little bit old and a little bit archaic compared to modern-day motivational books. But if you're interested in the genre, It's one to check out because it's informed books that have come afterward years later.


Bryan: You're listening to the Become a Writer Today podcast with Bryan Collins. And if you enjoy this week's episode, please consider leaving a short review on iTunes. You can also share the show with another writer or a friend who you think will enjoy this week's podcast episode. When you leave a review or when you share the show, it'll help more people find a podcast. We also have a companion YouTube channel, which is packed full of writing advice. Simply visit to catch the latest videos. That's

Bryan: Next up a slightly newer book, The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino. This one was published in 1968. It's not actually about sales, after all, so don't be misled by the title. Instead, it prescribes how to live a life of abundance using ten principles. I guess it's kinda like the 7 Habits book.

Anyway, he dubs these as 'the legend of the ten scrolls.' Examples include, master your emotions, multiply your value every day, and the power of laughter. Mandino or Mandino says it should take you 10 months to read this book so it's not something that you're going to get through in a single day or a single session. He writes every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.

Next up, we have Don't Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson. It was published in 1998, and it carries a simple motivational message. Let go of the clutter. This book aims to help readers differentiate between what's important versus clutter, and he argues managing stress and finding motivation is hard if the little things weigh us down. In fact, he writes, "The key to a good life is this. If you're not going to talk about something during the last hour of your life, then don't make it a top priority during your lifetime."

Next up, we have Drive by Daniel Pink. He's a New York Times best-selling author who I interviewed for the Become a Writer Today podcast. He's also one of the most engaging and colorful business authors in recent times. One of his earlier books is this 2011 title, which is all about how to perform at work. He covers why the most effective people are masters of their own time. And actually, Pink subsequently wrote a follow on book all about how to manage your time and live a good life. That book is called When, and I'd encourage you to read that as a companion.

Anyway, in Drive, he also talks about how to have a purpose beyond monetary rewards. And in this book, like his others, he interweaves personal anecdotes with 3rd party research in a way that no other writer is doing today, apart from Malcolm Gladwell. He writes, greatness and nearsightedness are incompatible. Meaningful achievement depends on lifting ones sites and pushing towards the horizon.

Norman Peale's, The Power of Positive Thinking regularly makes lists like this one, even though it was published in 1952. The book is all about happiness through, you guessed it, positive thinking. According to Peale, this is a skill that anyone can learn with a little bit of practice. The healthier and cheerier person is more likely to do well than somebody who doesn't hold the same mindset.

The power of positivity is the way to go, according to Peale. Personally, I think some of the concepts in this book are a little bit dated, but it's still worth a read. He writes, "The way to happiness, keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, scatter, sunshine, forget self, think of others. Try this for a week, and you'll be surprised."

Next up, we have The Power of Ambition by Jim Rohn. I listened to the audio version of this book a couple of years ago when I was struggling with a mild case of depression. I was a bit skeptical at the time when I listened to the first few chapters. But as the book went on, I was surprised by how engaging and warm Jim Rohn is or was in this particular audiobook.

Now it was published in 1994, but the advice is still pretty good today. It's not too different to what you read in other books, but it's exceptionally well delivered by Jim Rohn. He basically communicates clearly how to overcome personal setbacks and issues, including depression, and it covers how to find financial freedom too. So it's practical. He says motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.

That topic of habit brings me to my 11th book on this list. It's one you've undoubtedly heard of because it's in bookshops everywhere. You'll often see it when you're getting on a plane in the airport. It's Atomic Habits by James Clear, who I also interviewed for the Become a Writer Today podcast. This book, of course, is a huge success, and he's a New York Times best-selling author. It basically explains how to succeed in your personal life or in your professional life through creating the right habits, making better decisions, and setting yourself up for success. He also provides advice about how to use habit trackers and how to find your motivation when you let habit lapse. I've used some of the insights in this book to create a writing habit and to create an early morning routine habit too. It pairs quite nicely with The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and it's quite contemporary compared to some of the other titles on this list.

A couple of bonus additions for you. Tribes of Mentors by Tim Ferris and also Tools of Titans. In both books, basically, Tim Ferris interviews world experts at their craft, from business, from the arts, and from other fields. And he distills how they approach their life and their work into practical takeaways and insights for you. So as you can see, I've earmarked lots of different pages inside of this book because I was able to use some of the tidbits to work on my business, to work on myself, and also to work on creative projects. I personally find it very engaging. And, of course, if you're a fan of Tim's work or listen to his podcast, definitely a motivational book to check out, because it'll show you just how much is possible when you put your mind to it.

If you're interested in motivational books, I'd also recommend you check out works by Robert Green. This one here is called The Laws of Human Nature. As you can see, it's a really big book. It actually took me a good few months to get through it. Some of the writing is quite dense. But to be honest, his most popular books are The 48 Laws of Power, and Mastery. Mastery is particularly good if you have a particular skill that you want to work on, like writing, for example, and you're prepared to commit to it for months, if not years of your life. And in Mastery, Robert Green interviews a lot of masters at their craft to understand how they achieved what they've achieved. Those are some of the best motivational books out there.


Bryan: Which ones did I miss? Which ones should I include? I hope you enjoyed this week's episode. If you did, please consider leaving a short review on the iTunes store or sharing the show on Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you're listening. More reviews, more ratings, and more shares will help more people find the Become a Writer Today podcast. And did you know for just a couple of dollars a month, you could become a Patreon for the show? Visit, or look for the support button in the show notes. Your support will help me record, produce, and publish more episodes each month. And if you become a Patreon, I'll give you my writing books, discounts on writing software, and on my writing courses.