10 Most Influential Books for Personal Growth


Their message of awakening, peaceful living, and expanded thinking could be exactly what you need to jump start your personal development.



By: Amanda Froelich

True Activist.

A means of expression one’s personal experience, scientific revelations, or new way of thought, books are extraordinary tools to broaden one’s perception and share new ways of thinking. Some of the most influential books that are available world-wide and share a simple, non-oppressive message follow below (in no particular order). Their message of awakening, peaceful living, and expanded thinking could be exactly what you need to jump start your personal development.

1. Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda

Autobiography of a Yogi introduces the reader to the life of Paramahansa Yogananda and his encounters with spiritual figures of both the East and West. The book begins with his childhood family life, to finding his guru, to becoming a monk and establishing his teachings of Kriya Yoga meditation. Furthermore, it describes his most famed feat, bringing yoga to the west. His extraordinary life is sure to make readers re-think what is possible and contemplate their own journey into self realization.

 2. Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman

Way of the Peaceful Warrior is a part-fictional, part auto-biographical book based upon the early life of Dan Millman. The story tells of a chance meeting with a service station attendant who becomes a spiritual teacher to the young gymnast. The attendant, whom Millman names Socrates, becomes a kind of father figure and teaches Millman how to become a ‘peaceful warrior’.

3. A New Earth, awakening to your life’s purpose by Eckhart Tolle

In A New Earth, spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle advocates present moment awareness and the dismantling of the ego as the path towards awakened living. His message is that “heaven” is the awakened state that will bring about “a new earth” in the outer world, the world of form.

4. Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life by Dr. Wayne Dyer

As Wayne says, “This is a book that will forever change the way you look at your life, and the result will be that you’ll live in a new world aligned with nature.” Having reviewed hundreds of translations of the Tao Te Ching and written 81 essays on how to apply the lessons to the modern day world, the book is meant to be slowly read one day at a time. Famously quoted saying “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”, his message is tactfully through the pages of this piece.

5. Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra

In being both a devotional tract and a prosperity manual, The Seven Spiritual Laws acknowledges that abundance in any aspect is ruled by certain spiritual laws of the universe. Drawing from Eastern thought and quantum physics, the notion is that power derives from stillness and Chopra goes beyond money to show what abundance really means.

6. You can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay

Louise’s unconditional message of love is that you deserve to be healthy, happy, and full of life. After identifying her illness (Ovarian Cancer) with her sexual abuse as a child, she created healing through mental techniques, affirmations, and the art of positive thinking. She shows how one can empower themselves out of victim-hood and heal from illness by changing their thoughts.

7. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

A masterful synthesis of ideas from Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism, and other traditions, The Power of Now focuses on the problems one has today and the person you are at this moment. Perhaps the most practical of any self-help, success, or spiritual classic because it denies the usual tendency to imagine some bright future without ever truly coming to grips with the present, it’s an illuminating book that will pull you into the moment and awaken the truth within.

8. Celestine Prophecy by John Redfield

A first hand experience of a spiritual awakening, Celestine Prophecy discusses various psychological and spiritual ideas that are rooted in many ancient Eastern traditions, such as how opening to new possibilities can help an individual to establish a connection with the Divine. The main character of the novel undertakes a journey to find and understand a series of nine spiritual insights on an ancient manuscript in Peru, prophesied over 2,000 years ago by the ancient Mayan culture.

9. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

The Secret shares the fundamental law of the universe, otherwise known as the Law of Attraction. Spiritual masters have proclaimed for ages “what you sow, you will reap” and “Ask and it is given”. This book (and now documentary) goes in-depth to describe how by changing your thoughts and what you visualize, you can dramatically change your life.

10. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist tells the story of a young shepherd named Santiago who is able to find a treasure beyond his wildest dreams. Along the way, he learns to listen to his heart and, more importantly, realizes his dreams, or his Personal Legend, are not just his but part of the Soul of the Universe.

If one is seeking a more enlightened direction in their personal journey, this list of life-changing reads will definitely inspire change.

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