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6 Books That Will Help You Focus on Your Personal Growth

books for personal growth

1. You Can Have It All

Just Not at the Same Damn Time

By Romi Neustadt

Too many people confuse having it all with doing it all, Romi Neustadt writes. 

“We can’t be all things to all people, live a life of Shoulds, have a never-ending to-do list, accomplish what we actually want to during our precious time on Earth, and not be stressed out of our minds, exhausted, or worse,” Neustadt writes. “It’s not possible. It is possible, however, to have all the things that are really important to us.”

Neustadt shares insight on how to focus on what really matters to you, while finding ways to thrive professionally and personally at the same time. She writes based on her own experiences as a lawyer and PR exec, but also draws on the stories of others in different industries. 

The book is geared toward women, but the insight Neustadt passes along can help anyone in any profession. (January; Portfolio; $22)

2. Here to Make Friends

How to Make Friends as an Adult

By Hope Kelaher

Making friends once you’re out of school can be difficult. There aren’t as many opportunities and places for that to happen organically, and it can be hard to toe the line between being close and too close with a coworker.

So how do you make friends as an adult?

Hope Kelaher offers ways to identify relationships and how to foster them. She takes it a step further and offers insight on how to maintain the friendships you already have, how to nurture old friendships, and also how to recognize when a friendship could be toxic for you. 

Even if you already have a stable group of friends in your life, you could benefit from reading this book. Kelaher breaks down what it is we should expect from our friendships, and ways we can become better friends. (January; Ulysses Press; $15)

3. Tiny Habits

The Small Changes that Change Everything

By BJ Fogg

B.J. Fogg has been studying habits for years. The tinier, the better.

Tiny means fast, Fogg says. Tiny can start now. It’s safe, it can grow big, it doesn’t rely on motivation or willpower, it’s transformative, and it starts with a key.

One helpful tool Fogg offers is a look at ways to stop bad habits. He asks readers to write down three habits they’d like to quit, find ways to make it harder, find ways of reducing the motivation to do that, and putting that solution into practice. It sounds easy on paper, but quitting soda might be harder than it seems. 

Fogg’s advice isn’t just helpful if you’re trying to lose weight or quit smoking. His insight can help you be productive, too. It can help you on a greater scale, too, like building a business. That’s why Fogg says tiny can grow big. (December; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; $28)

4. Success Freak

Kick Ass in Life in 7 Days

By Bruno Gralpois

How do you begin to turn your life around in a week? Bruno Gralpois breaks it down by offering one new skill to learn for seven days: creating your own measurement for success, ways to think and act differently, how to learn from failure, ways to balance reflection and productivity, ways to manage your time, why resilience is important, and how to live with purpose and passion.

It won’t be easy, Gralpois warns, but if you use these skills and commit to them, they can help you achieve more. But that’s not the finish line; success takes work.

“To profoundly change our lives, we must do more than repaint the car or change the battery,” Gralpois writes. “We may need to change our means of transportation or change the destination altogether.” (November; Beaufort Books; $18)

5. Edge

Turning Adversity into Advantage

By Laura Huang

Laura Huang says she was hesitant about writing this book because she didn’t want it to be like books other business school professors have written—the kind that teach lessons about people who are well-known. Instead Huang says she wanted to write about ordinary people, and how they achieved success by gaining an edge.

Her approach makes the book more relatable and useful for readers.

“You can empower yourself to face challenges with grace and to smooth your path to success,” Huang writes. “You give yourself the ability to delight others, open up opportunities, and strategically guide the interactions that you have with others.” (January; Portfolio; $28)

6. All You Have to Do Is Ask

How to Master the Most Important Skill for Success

By Wayne Baker

Asking for help isn’t always easy. Sometimes we’re too proud, don’t want to come off as weak or inept, or we think we can do things better on our own. But when people don’t ask for help, it can get costly. 

In All You Have to Do Is Ask, Wayne Baker writes that research shows not asking for help can cost Fortune 500 companies billions of dollars per year.

Not seeking assistance can also have detrimental impacts in our personal relationships and even negative impacts in our own lives. In this book, Baker shows how to ask for help, why it’s important, and why we need to do more of it.

“Giving voice to our needs and requests has so many benefits,” Baker writes. “It makes us more effective at our jobs. It leads us to new job opportunities—or new talent for job openings. It helps us better adjust to new circumstances. It enhances learning and boosts creativity.” (January; Currency; $27)


This article originally appeared in the January/February 2020 issue of SUCCESS magazine.
Image by Redshinestudio / Shutterstock

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Jesus Jimenez is the managing editor for SUCCESS magazine after working as social media coordinator and associate editor. He eats, breathes and sleeps Texas Rangers baseball. He also enjoys running, traveling and buying cool socks. 

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