There’s something innately powerful about finding a self-help book that truly resonates with you. It’s like finding that friend who always gives good advice, no matter the situation. Self-help books are often referred to as an, “exercise in self-education,” and historians suggest that they’ve been around since ancient Egyptian and Medieval times.
In these periods, stories would be passed around to royalty, citizens, and the like detailing what kind of behavior should be avoided in order to be considered a successful individual. In fact, the Bible is actually considered by some historians to be one of the very first self-help books ever written because it detailed such things so explicitly.
Of course, in the years since the first Egyptian self-help scrolls and copies of the Bible appeared, self-help books have risen to prominence in modern culture as more audiences have expressed interest in using books as an aide to help their self-development journeys.
Despite the deeply poliarising nature of the books themselves (some critics swear by their success while others disagree) self-help books can actually give you the tools needed to live a happier life as a better coworker, partner, or friend. Though, it should be mentioned that they are not a replacement for therapy—rather a useful aide to one’s self-development—and some books may not speak to all people, depending on one’s individual motivators for development.
Speaking of development, now that the new year is finally on the horizon, there’s no better time to pick up a self-help book and see if it pushes you to achieve your new year’s goals. After all, this year has been a rough one. Why not emerge in 2021 as a new and improved person? Below are a few of our favorite self-help books for more happiness in the coming year.
Daily Rituals, Mason Currey
Feeling like you have the potential to be more productive? You may just need a killer daily ritual. Learn about the daily rituals of 161 of the world’s most recognizable artists. After you’re done reading, you may feel compelled to shake up your own routine for productivity’s sake.
Outliers The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell
For many of us, learning to prioritize between work and home life was a long time challenge that 2020 heightened. The secret to success, according to Malcolm Gladwell, means learning how to focus on the things that truly matter to you, and forgetting those that don’t. This book will help you prioritize and focus in 2021, no matter where you’re working from.
Let Go!, Pat Flynn
After a year like 2020, we all know that life has some pretty high highs and some very low lows, and Pat Flynn knows it too. He’s faced plenty of adversity, and has the perfect recipe for getting to your feet, letting go, and moving on. Flynn’s story will inspire you to pick yourself up when the going gets tough, an important trait no matter the year.
The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz
This year, read The Four Agreements to learn how to experience a life of true happiness, love, and freedom. As you learn to unlock your true self, you’ll evaluate how you communicate, how you process and respond, and what achievement looks like for you. I don’t know about you, but I think that sounds like just the recipe for an absolutely perfect new year.
The best scientists, entrepreneurs, and CEOs all spend a significant amount of time each year focusing on themselves and growing as individuals. In fact, did you know that 85 percent of the world’s wealthiest people read two or more self-help books every month? By continuing to read and work on yourself as an individual, you’ll never stop growing, giving you the opportunity to harness your true power. With the help of the books above, 2021 can be just the year for you to do that.
*This post was updated in December 2020