What are your plans for 2021? Staying motivated when you’re working towards a goal can be challenging for everyone, but these ten books can provide a boost when you need it most.
1. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
You can learn a lot by delving into the history and mindset of leaders. In this case, Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs explores the transformation of modern life due to technology and the role Jobs played in that. Based on more than 40 interviews, the book covers Jobs’ rise and success, as well as the obstacles along the way. It’s a success story that can provide the motivation you need to reach your goals this year.
2. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
First published 30 years ago, this book has become a must-read on personal and professional development book lists and it remains as relevant today as it did when it was first published. Its principle-centred approach for solving problems has been used by thousands of people. With insights and practical information, Stephen Covey’s advice is straightforward yet can be immensely helpful when looking for motivation and tools to get the most out of a project.
3. Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive by Charles Duhigg
If maintaining productivity is something you struggle with, this book could be perfect for you. Charles Duhigg sets out eight simple principles to improve productivity. It draws on findings from neuroscience, psychology, and behavioural economics to improve how you work and get the most out of your time. It demonstrates how effective people from a diverse range of industries use the principles to achieve more.
4. 101 Essays That Will Change the Way You Think by Brianna Wiest
Broken down into 101 essays, this book is a great option for picking up when you want a quick read while still benefitting from pearls of wisdom. Each essay targets a different area, from pursuing purpose over passion to becoming aware of cognitive biases, with each aiming to change the way you think. It can alter your perspective and motivate you to tackle challenges, whether professional or personal, with a different approach.
5. Mindset: Changing the way you think to fulfil your potential by Dr Carol Dweck
Building on decades of research, psychologist Dr Carol Dweck explores how mindset plays a pivotal role in success. She focuses on how a different mindset can create a love for learning and build resilience that will help you overcome barriers to achieve greater things. It offers ways parents and mentors can motivate children, as well as reaching personal and professional goals themselves.
6. Show Your Work by Austin Kleon
Filled with illustrations, quotes, stories and examples, Show Your Work is an easy but valuable read when you need inspiration. It embraces the communal nature of creativity, showing how you can find inspiration from others. The book sets out ten rules for sharing creativity that is relevant for anyone working creatively, from entrepreneurs to artists.
7. Tuesdays with Morrie: An old man, a young man and life’s greatest lessons by Mitch Albom
Tuesdays with Morrie is bittersweet but motivational too. It recounts the meetings of Mitch Albom with his old college professor and mentor as he knows he’s dying from motor neurone disease. During weekly Tuesday meetings, Morrie shares his life’s lessons and the importance of embracing opportunities and experiences. It’s a reminder of hope and why you should seize opportunities when they arise.
8. Grit: Why passion and resilience are the secrets to success by Angela Duckworth
Psychologist Angela Duckworth concludes that talent isn’t what makes humans most likely to succeed. Rather, it is ‘grit’ that sets those who are successful apart. Drawing on extensive research, the author shows why a willingness to persevere really matters. If you’ve suffered setbacks and challenges, Grit is a great read to help motivate yourself to get back up and try again.
9. Illuminate: Ignite change through speeches, stories, ceremonies and symbols by Nancy Duarte and Patti Sanchez
Illuminate focuses on the power of communication. It sets out five steps that can help you be heard, by communicating in a way that inspires people, weaving together stories, symbols, and ceremonies. It looks at the communication tools great leaders used, from Steve Jobs to Dr Martin Luther King Jr. It’s a book that can not only motivate you, but place you in a position to motivate others.
10. Gmorning, Gnight by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Sometimes all you need to stay motivated is some positivity and words to put a smile on your face. The words in this book started as inspirational morning and evening Tweets from the creator of Hamilton. The original poems, sayings and aphorisms have now been gathered together and illustrated in this beautiful book. It’s the perfect antidote when you need a pep talk and to brush negativity away.