Books of success have enjoyed popularity among many people since it has helped them turn their life around. Many of these books discuss how one should see relationships, handle business, encounter problems and deal with the everyday ordeals of life in general.
Out of hundreds, the editors of SUCCESS have narrowed our list to 25 must-read books for achievers. The task wasn’t easy, although our criteria were simple. These are books we’ve read, liked and that made a difference in our lives. We chose books that take a comprehensive approach to money, life and personal development because we know that one-dimensional success really isn’t success at all.
You might wonder why your favorite book didn’t make the list. Well, we could’ve filled the magazine with dozens more books. Our top 25 are by no stretch of the imagination the only books you should read. To the contrary, we know reading about and applying techniques and success strategies are the best ways to discover and stay focused on your life’s journey.
We hope our list opens your eyes to something new, inspires you to pick up that volume you’ve always meant to read or to re-read a favorite classic. If you have suggestions on what we didn’t include, we want to hear from you.
We encourage you to find a book that interests you and carve out a few minutes every day to read at least a few pages. You’ll be amazed at the difference it will make in your journey toward success!
1. How To Win Friends and Influence People
First published in 1937, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie was an overnight success with staying power. Today, this book is regarded as one of the all-time best for its lessons on dealing with people.
The chapter titles seem, at first, a little manipulative: “Six ways to make people like you,” “12 ways to win people to your way of thinking.” But the reality of Carnegie’s teachings is that none will work if the intent is manipulation. The word “genuine” appears repeatedly throughout the book. Only with authenticity and honesty will Carnegie’s methods work consistently.
How to Win Friends and Influence People is packed with anecdotes from historical leaders and lessons learned or taught by some of history’s greatest businessmen, making the read as interesting as it is enlightening. And the methods–calling a person by his or her name or looking at the situation from the other’s point of view–work in business and in personal life with family and friends.
Carnegie’s book is a classic. Though he credits many people for inspiring his ideas, his methods are the foundation for many of today’s personal-development and business-management books.
2. The Richest Man in Babylon
Too often, life doesn’t turn out as expected. And money, or the lack of money, plays a large role in people’s ability to handle life’s ups and downs. Perhaps that’s why, in the 1920s, banks and insurance companies decided to distribute short parables written to educate people on important financial principles. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason began in 1926 as a series of pamphlets, the most famous ones later compiled into one of the best-loved money guides of all time.
The book begins with two men realizing that, while they lived a meager existence, one of their childhood friends had become known as the wealthiest man in Babylon. Despite growing up in similar circumstances, their friend seemed to have created a life of gold while they barely scratched out a living.
The situation is all too familiar even today. And like the men who’d come to the realization that they’d failed to think beyond the day at hand, readers have the opportunity to sit at the feet of the richest man in Babylon and learn how to build wealth. They learn how to plan for the future, make wise investments and how to view money as a tool rather than a measure of success.
With time-tested principles and an engaging format, The Richest Man in Babylon is an excellent introduction to finance, and a classic.
3. Think and Grow Rich
Napoleon Hill, inspired by business legend Andrew Carnegie, spent 20 years of his life studying the lives of some of history’s most successful people. The culmination of his research was the in-depth series, The Laws of Success. In 1937, Hill published another book, Think and Grow Rich, founded on the same philosophies of success. This book condensed the wealth of knowledge he’s accumulated into 13 principles for successful living.