Ben Coomber’s favourite Personal Development Books
Posted 08-08-2019 | Updated
If you want to learn and master new skills you have to read, or listen to books/podcasts/videos that explore the world and what we believe in.
I would put the majority of my knowledge down to two things, reading and learning new things every week, and being reflective and intuitive about my surroundings and how I implement and contextualise this new found knowledge. What do I mean by this?
In this information age I think too many people are good at learning non-stop, through podcasts, social media, videos, books and audio books, we read one, then another, then listen, then watch, it can be relentless. It’s almost like an addiction, more more more.
While this is good to an extent, are you applying everything you learn in the real world, in your life? I ask as I know a lot of people that read and listen and learn lots but never seem to go forward much. Why is that? For me we need to spend equal amounts of time learning as we do implementing the stuff we have just learnt.
After you read a book how long do you spend thinking about how you’re going to use that knowledge, how it’s going to be implemented in your life, how you feel about it, what changes are you going to make?
Would it not be better to read 6 or 7 books this year and really study the content, master it, apply it, and allow it to really change you for the better, rather than 12-14 which you power through hoping it sticks while you’re already thinking about the next book you’re going to read?
Learning is awesome, but only learn what you have time to implement and use, otherwise what’s the point, why do it at all?
Please do take your time with what you learn, let it change you, spend time with that knowledge, allow appropriate time to genuinely grow from it.
In this blog I’m going to outline my all-time favourite personal development books, NOT fitness and nutrition books. When it comes to nutrition, fitness and health I’d like to think I’ve got you covered with my books. So please do check out my store HERE for my books.
Also, when it comes to recommending you nutrition, health and fitness books (which is what my primary trade and expertise is), I haven’t actually read as many mainstream books on nutrition and fitness as you may think. Because I am a practitioner of that trade much of my learning in fitness and nutrition has come from courses, textbooks and research papers (oh, plus my degree), so me recommending my favourite textbooks of all time on nutrition is going to be appealing to about 5 people haha. Plus, when I learnt a lot of my nutrition knowledge it was a long time ago, and many of the books I started that knowledge with are outdated and I wouldn’t actually recommend them now. That’s why I decided to write my own. Anyways, back to personal development books.
I would describe a personal development book as a mixture of mindset, behavioural psychology, business, history, technology and spirituality. A personal development book often encompasses all of this, through stories, wisdom and perspective. Sometimes they are based on science and research, but equally they are based off the wisdom of great people that have been there and done it and are sharing their experience on a topic.
I’m a big fan of personal development books because I want to be the best version of myself, it’s as simple as that, me striving for awesome every single day. So I read a broad variety of books on mindset, business, life, and just anything that develops me, my business and my relationships. All key skills of life to master.
So, lets crack on with this blog. I’ll give you the title, author, why I like it, and who the book is for. Please don’t go buy 10 books just off my recommendation, again identify what’s important to solve or grow from in your life right now and focus your time and energy there and the books that can help you now.
Extreme ownership by Jocko Willink & Leif Babin: When I’m interviewed on podcasts and on TV this is a book I often quote in my top 3 of all time. Who should read this? Everyone, it’s a book I wish I had personally written. It’s for people looking to take control of their life and is a book I would recommend to every human on the planet. In short, when I took extreme ownership of my life only good things happened and I take pride in teaching these principals to everyone that will listen, it’s one of the first concepts I talk about in my coaching program Fat Loss for Life. Top recommendation.
Link to purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2SI8gG4
7 Habits of Highly Successful People by Stephen Covey: Again another book I recommend to everyone. If you want to be your best self and you want to get into the mindset of an all-round winner, to be the leader in your own life in the way you envisage for yourself, get this book, again its one I recommend to everyone, hands down. It covers so much, life, perspective, relationships, personal growth, parenting, its just awesome.
Link to purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2YovnX6
How to be Brilliant by Michael Heppell: Awesome book and I managed to get him on my podcast for a chat which was…. AWESOME! I love this book as it enabled me to channel my inner values, to identify what I want to focus my energy on, why, and what makes me, me. It was also very motivational and was a book I did every exercise in that it asked of me and as a result it had a big impact on me. I’ve got the main values list I created from the book still on my wall at home in my office to this day.
Link to purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2YmvOkR
The Greatness Guide by Robin Sharma: Love Robin Sharma, a proper motivational dude, he’s got a good micro podcast and some awesome videos on YouTube also. Another book I read in my early years and has some real pearls of wisdom in here. Highly recommended filling in the gaps after How to be Brilliant. Again a book for everyone, tips and musings galore.
Link to purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2YtchTS
12 rules for Life by Jordan B Peterson: Another all-round life book, one by a man who’s studied human psychology for his whole life and puts his many years of study and clinical experience into a book. He also has some incredible stuff on YouTube, I’d argue his best work is on YouTube, but the book is awesome too. Big fan. If you want to get ahead in life and hack the human brain and some of the aspects of human conditioning, grab a copy.
Link to purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2ycrN7R
The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin: This book is for the person looking to understand themselves and their character better, but also of their loved ones to better manage your interactions and relationships. After all, if you understood yourself better, and your partner, parents and kids, wouldn’t you live a more fulfilling life with more fulfilling relationships and experiences. After all, we are who we are, we can continue to fight it and get nowhere, or accept and understand what is and optimise the people we are. An awesome book on understanding our own and others character traits.
Link to purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2OlGZuu
Principals: Life and Work by Ray Dalio: If you want to know the secrets of life and in business read this book. Ray Dalio is a powerhouse in the world of business and success and this book is a gold mine of his wisdom, which is abundant. If you want the tips, knowledge and mindset of a great man this book is for you, big fan.
Link to purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2YozXEM
The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday: Ryan has some awesome books, this is one of them (also love Ego is the Enemy and as I write this I’m reading The Daily Stoic, one chapter every morning as I make coffee). This book looks at life and what’s in front of us and being able to crush the many obstacles that gets thrown at us. After all we’re good at taking the easy route in life, how do we get around this and achieve more. Ryan will show you how and teach you that actually the obstacle is the way.
Link to purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Y3sLmm
Loving What Is: Four Questions that can Change your life by Byron Katie: A powerful look at who we are, what we want and how to decipher our emotions. Many of us are stuck in our beliefs, we struggle to navigate how we feel, why, and what we want out of life. If you’re ready to go deep there is no better place to start than with Byron Katie.
Link to purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Y4yXuc
Legacy by James Kerr: A wicked book all about the culture, mindset and mentality of the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team, arguably one of the most successful sports teams of all time in any sport. There is a certain mindset that gets success and repeatedly produces incredibly talented athletes. Read this book if you’re into sport, own a business or are in a leadership position, or want to understand the power of culture.
Link to purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2YgGCRu
Atomic Habits by James Clear: Want to understand your habits, hack them, and generally take more control over your life? James Clear outlines our habits and how they define us into simple terms and gives you practical steps to hack your habits to create a more resilient, more productive, happier human. He’s also been on my podcast, twice, both blockbuster episodes. Awesome book, perfect for anyone looking to hack their habits and get more out of life. After all, our habits define our actions, and the actions we repeat sculpt the person we are.
Link to purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2SEnbkg
Money by Rob Moore: Many feel money is dirty, yet the simple fact is it makes the world go round, so you can keep saying its evil or its dirty and generally have a poor relationship with it, but it’s not going to get you more, and most would be better off with more, most want more. For me, more money equals more adventures in life, a beautiful home for me and my family, the longer-term goal of being financially free, and never being held back or restricted, it ultimately gives you more freedom to do what you want, and give more if you want.
This book is an awesome look at money, what it means and how to develop a better relationship with it, how to create value in the world (in most cases the money you receive is a direct result of the value you give to the world), and how to live with more abundance. His Money podcast is also a belter for people interested in money, investing and business. To hide from the facts of money, to not talk about it, to say you don’t need or want more when you do, these are all limiting beliefs, crush them with this book.
Link to purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2MkQ04b
Choose Yourself by James Altucher: There are few books that calmly put your potential into succinct pages, but this does an excellent job of proving why you should choose yourself in life, put your goals and ambitions first, and chase your dreams. James Altucher is a gifted writer and tells a good story, few will not enjoy this book, one I read a long time ago and would happily read it again now.
Link to purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Y9wnDp
The School of Greatness by Lewis Howes: This man has had every big name in the world on his podcast, and his book doesn’t disappoint. I’ve listened to a lot of his podcast and the wisdom on it (circa 2014-2016) and I got his book simply to support all the awesome free content he’s put out over the years, it felt like the least I could do. So I bought 5 copies to say thanks and myself and everyone I gave the book too took a lot away from it, very enjoyable and an easy read that fires you up.
Link to purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Y4mCGB
The Life Changing Magic of not Giving a F**k – Sarah Knight: Not giving a f*** is an easy thing to say, but few can genuinely do. We often take peoples words to heart too easily, and half the time don’t even know them, but their words stab us like our best friend has rammed a dagger in our back. Thing is, this worry holds us back. It’s time to stop that and learn to not give a flying f***. I love this book, it’s a quick and beautiful read, I’d recommend it to anyone that struggles to let go of what people think of them.
Link to purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Ojhslu
I’ll add to this list over time for you. I’ve read a lot of books, and it was hard enough whittling it down into this list. But I hope you enjoy whatever you decide to read on this list.
Experience one of my 5-day challenges and let’s optimise your body, learn cool stuff and above all get Awesome(r)