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In this day and age, many things distract us from reading. However, everyone can set aside a little time each week to read inspirational books that can improve their world view and lives. To help you get started, we've compiled a list of 30 life-changing books that we think everyone should read.

Whether you're looking for inspiration or advice, we think you'll find something on this best life-changing books reading list. Let's take a look!

30 Life-changing Books for Everyone

1. Do the Work

By the author Steven Pressfield, this book makes you question everything you thought you knew about your work and your life. Pressfield argues that we all have two lives: the life we live, and the unlived life within us. The latter is what he calls our "calling." And our calling is what we're meant to do with our lives. It's what we're here on this earth to do. 

The maxim “do the work” is a grown-up outlook that helps you recognize the significance of combating your internal demons and being steady in each aspect of your life. It is a great book that will change the way you think about your own life. If you're looking for a first time book that will inspire you to pursue your dreams, this is it.

2. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

This thought-provoking text has the ability to influence people. The book takes us on a journey that begins with the history of our species and our behavior related to the planet, and ends with a look into our future. The author, Yuval Noah Harari, does an excellent job of making complex topics understandable and enjoyable to read. It’s a great choice for anyone who wants to learn more about themselves and the world around them.

3. Life of Pi

By the author Yann Martell, it is one of the best life-changing books. It's the story of a boy named Pi who is stranded on a lifeboat with a tiger for 227 days. It's a story filled with  life lessons of survival and hope, and it will stay with you long after you've finished reading it. 

The story is engaging and written in a beautiful, lyrical style. It's a complex tale of faith, family, and the power of storytelling. We highly recommend it to anyone looking for an unusual, but ultimately uplifting story.

4. The Alchemist

Paulo Coelho's bestseller has been transformational for high school students and adults alike. It's often included on reading lists for self-help favorite books and personal development. It is a book that uses fiction to teach how to overcome obstacles in the path to achieve your dearest goals. 

The story follows a young shepherd boy on a quest to find his destiny. Along the way, he learns some invaluable lessons about life, love, and following one's dreams. It is a story of self-discovery and a quest to make a better new world. Some of the lessons go from listening to your heart and following your dreams. This book is sure to inspire and motivate you to pursue your own personal legend.

5. Rich Dad, Poor Dad

This book is based on Robert Kiyosaki's life and his relationships with the two father figures in his life- his best friend’s dad, who was rich, and his actual father, who was poor. It is a great book because it offers meaningful life lessons that everyone can benefit from learning. 

It teaches people that they need to think for themselves and not let anyone else control their lives. It also shows how important it is to have financial security and to be able to provide for oneself and one's family. Overall, it is an excellent first book for anyone who wants to learn more about personal finances and how to become successful in life.

6. The Power of Now

This one is not a feel-good book or a self-help book. It is a book that will challenge you to think about your life in a different way. It claims that every human being is a miracle because we already have everything we need. Eckhart Tolle's message is simple: living in the present moment is the key to happiness and peace. 

The author challenges readers to question their assumptions about life and to focus on the present moment. The book is divided into "The Power of Now," "Living in the Now," and "Enlightenment." If you are looking for a book that will help you find inner peace and happiness in your own way, this is the read for you.

7. Beloved

There are many books that have the ability to change our lives. For some, it may be a book that offers new perspectives on life and death. For others, it may be a book that helps us to understand ourselves better. Beloved, by Toni Morrison, is one such book. 

The novel is based on a true story and it tells us about Sethe, a woman who escapes from slavery only to find herself haunted by her past. What makes Beloved such a powerful work of literature is Morrison's masterful use of language. It will stay with you long after you have finished reading it. It is a book that will make you think about the meaning of freedom and the power of love.

8. Slouching Towards Bethlehem

One of the most impactful works by Joan Didion, this book makes you think about your own life and what you're doing with it. It is about Didion's experiences in California during the 1960s, and it's filled with her observations about the people she mets and the things she saw. 

This book shows us that even in the midst of all the chaos and change happening in the world, there are still things that never change. It is a book for anyone who has ever fallen in love with or felt nostalgic about a city.

9. The Four Agreements

This book written by Don Miguel Ruiz gives you the chance to say “I am a happy, positive person who is always looking on the bright side of things.” The four agreements are: 

  • Be impeccable with your words. 
  • Do not take anything personally. 
  • Do not make assumptions.
  • Always do your best. 

If everyone in the world followed these simple agreements, it would be a much better place.

10. Where the Crawdads Sing

This story by Delia Owens is captivating and heartbreaking, but also incredibly uplifting. It's about a young girl named Kya who raises herself in the marshes of North Carolina. She is an outcast and misunderstood by everyone around her. However, this book is about so much more than just Kya's story- it's about learning to be yourself, finding your own strength, and never giving up on yourself.

11. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

This book by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is full of fascinating case studies and stories about people who have achieved flow in their lives. Csikszentmihalyi’s own research on flow is also included, and it is truly eye-opening. 

The book starts off by defining flow as “the state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience itself is so enjoyable that people will do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it.” 

This text is a must-read for every person who desires a new perspective that will change the way you think about your own life and how to live it to the fullest.

12. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

In his book, Stephen R. Covey lays out seven principles that can change your life for the better. Some of them are to be proactive, to begin with the end in mind, and to put first things first. If you're looking to improve your life in some way, whether it's your career, your personal relationships, or your health, this book is a great place to start.

13. Talent is Overrated

In his publication, Geoff Colvin argues that what we traditionally think of as "talent" is actually not as important as we think. Rather, it is a combination of many factors —including practice, opportunity, and environment— that leads to success.

This may be one of the most life-changing books there are because it changes the way we think about success. The book follows the stories of a number of highly successful people - from athletes to business leaders, to musicians, and illustrates how each of them achieved their success. 

14. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life 

Anne Lamott is a hilarious and brutally honest writer, and in Bird by Bird she shares her wisdom on everything from how to get started on a writing project (“bird by bird” – taking it one step at a time), to how to deal with rejection, to the importance of finding your own voice. 

But it’s not just a book about writing: the author writes about her own struggles with addiction and depression, and how writing has helped her to cope and make sense of her life.

15. The Artist’s Way

This book by Julia Cameron will help you get in touch with your creative side and start living a more creative life. It is full of useful exercises and information that will be extremely helpful in getting you started on your journey as an artist. It is a self-help guidance in discovering your own creativity.

16. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

This cultural and social satire written by Mark Twain is one of the most beloved bestsellers of all time. The book tells the story of a young boy named Tom Sawyer who likes to play pranks and get into mischief. He also has a big imagination and is always daydreaming about adventures. 

One day, Tom's life changes forever when he witnesses a crime. He then decides to solve the mystery and clear his name. It teaches about the importance of friendship, loyalty, and doing the right thing.

17. The Power of Habits

This book was written by Charles Duhigg and it changes the way we view habits and their importance in our lives. Duhigg explains the science behind habits and how they work. He also provides case studies of people who have used habit change to improve their lives, and gives readers practical advice for changing their own. The book is full of useful information, but one of the most important things to learn from it is that habits are not destiny. We have the power to change them, and doing so can have a profound impact on our lives.

18. Grit

Written by the hand of Angela Duckworth, it is an inspirational book about the power of passion and perseverance to help young people succeed both in high school and college. Duckworth, a psychologist and researcher, explains how these two qualities can determine success in any field, from academics to business to sports. 

Hardwork and resilience are the traits that this book highlights. The author provides readers with an inside look at how grit can be developed and used to achieve goals.

19. The War of Art

If you're an artist of any kind —a writer, a musician, a painter, a filmmaker— then The War of Art by Steven Pressfield is a must-read. It's one of those life-changing books that makes you question everything you thought you knew about art and creativity. The book is structured as a series of short, punchy chapters, each one addressing a different aspect of the creative process. 

Pressfield argues that the primary impediment to creativity is what he calls 'resistance' (the self-doubt, procrastination, and fear that can prevent us from starting or completing a project), however, it can be overcome.

20. The Buddha Said - Meeting the Challenges of Life’s Difficulties

The Buddha Said is a book about meeting the challenges of life's difficulties. Osho uses his own unique brand of wisdom to offer readers guidance on how to deal with the problems they face in their lives. The book is divided into four sections: 

  • The first section deals with the problem of suffering. 
  • The second section works through the cause of suffering. 
  • The third section talks about the way out of suffering. 
  • And finally, the fourth section offers some practical advice on how to apply the teachings of Buddhism to our daily lives. 

It is a life-changing book that will help you overcome the challenges you face and live a happier and more fulfilling life.

21. The Art of Learning

The book by Josh Waitzkin is based on the author's own journey from being a child prodigy chess player to becoming a martial arts world champion. He shares the important lessons he learnt along the way, which he believes are essential for anyone who wants to achieve mastery in any field. He highlights the importance of focus, concentration and taking risks. It is a great option in the search for a meaningful life.

22. Untamed

Glennon Doyle published this book in 2020 to show us that it is okay to break the rules, to be wild and free, to follow our hearts. With this thought-provoking book, the author makes you realize that some people had been living a life according to someone else's rules —rules that didn't allow you to be your true self. Doyle shows that there is nothing harder than living a fulfilling and authentic life.

23. The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness

This book provides readers with the tools and mindset to achieve massive success and happiness. Author Jeff Olsen shares his own journey of overcoming adversity to show readers that anyone can create their own destiny by harnessing the power of positive thinking and taking consistent action. 

The book starts off by explaining how our thoughts and beliefs create our reality. Olsen provides powerful exercises to help people identify and change their negative thought patterns. He then goes on to show how the smallest daily actions, when done consistently over time, can lead to great success.

24. Stumbling Upon Happiness

This non-fiction book by Daniel Gilbert is about the science of happiness and how our brains are wired to perceive happiness. Gilbert uses research and studies to back up his claims and provides readers with actionable steps to take in order to improve their own happiness. One of the most interesting things from the book is that our brains are actually quite poor at predicting what will make us happy. We often think that we know what will make us happy, but in reality, we have no idea.

25. The Little Prince

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is a simple but elegantly told story. It is about a young boy who lives on a small planet all by himself. He's happy there, but one day he realizes that he wants to see more of the universe. 

Ultimately, The Little Prince is about what it means to be human. It's about love and loss, hope and despair, joy and sorrow. It's a book that will make you laugh and cry, and it's a book that will stay with you long after you've finished reading it.

26. Perennial Seller

This book is written by Ryan Holiday. It's one of those books that you read and it completely changes the way you think about things. It is a practical and helpful book that goes over stoicism. 

It is made for entrepreneurs and goes over numerous movies, books and other pieces of art that have endured during the years, as well as their authors. This book opens your eyes to a whole new way of thinking about success, marketing, and creating something that will last.

27. Post Office

Written by Charles Bukowski, it tells the story of Henry Chinaski, a man who has hit rock bottom and is trying to find his way out. He takes a job at the post office, and through his experiences there, he learns about himself and what it means to be alive. 

This book is not for everyone. It is gritty and real, and it does not sugarcoat the harsh realities of life. But for those who are willing to open themselves up to its lessons, Post Office will change the way they see the world forever.

28. The Year of Magical Thinking

It is a 2005 memoir by Joan Didion about the year following the death of her husband, John Gregory Dunne. The book describes how grief can lead to magical thinking, a state of mind in which a person believes they  can change reality through their thoughts and emotions. The book was a bestseller and won the National Book Award for Non-fiction in the US.

29. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

This book by Robert M. Pirsig is about a man who goes on a motorcycle trip with his son, and it turns into a journey of self-discovery. The man learns about himself and his relationships with other people. He also learns about the importance of living in the present moment. 

It contains various ideas about life and its importance developed through metaphors of a ride across the US. The book changes people’s perspective on life, and it is a great recommendation for anyone who is looking for a life-changing experience.

30. The Outsider

This book was written by Albert Camus. It's the story of Meursault, an Algerian man who commits a senseless act of violence and is then put on trial for his crime. The book is about much more than that, though. The author writes about how people try to make sense of their lives and how they fail, sometimes miserably. It's about how they're all outsiders, no matter how hard they try to fit in. And it's about how, in the end, they're all alone. The Outsider is a powerful book that will make an impact for a long time.

After going through this list, it's clear that there are many life-changing books out there for everyone. Whether you're looking for a text that can help you with your career, your relationships, or your personal development, there's definitely a life-changing book out there for you. So don't wait any longer! Go and find a volume that can help you achieve your goals and live your best life.

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Ingeniero de Producción. Fundador de Tiny Rockets y Meaningful (Agencia de Growth Marketing). Ha liderado proyectos de Growth Marketing para grandes empresas de Silicon Valley como BetterUp, Grove y Rocketplace. Participó en el Workshop de hábitos con James Clear en el evento de Habit Hackers Colorado 2018. Más de 5 años desarrollando productos para ayudar a las personas a construir mejores hábitos.


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