Personal development is such a nebulous topic. There are numerous informative and well-written books that can help you with self-improvement. Here is a look at the top 7 self-development books you should have on your shelf. For this list, my choices for this section are revolving around all the books that do more to stimulate emotions and give ideas instead of step-by-step.

1. Eating Animals

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Bestselling author Jonathan Safran Foer spent much of his life oscillating between enthusiastic carnivore and occasional vegetarian. For years he was content to live with uncertainty about his own dietary choices-but once he started a family, the moral dimensions of food became increasingly important.

Faced with the prospect of being unable to explain why we eat some animals and not others, Foer set out to explore the origins of many eating traditions and the fictions involved with creating them. Traveling to the darkest corners of our dining habits, Foer raises the unspoken question behind every fish we eat, every chicken we fry, and every burger we grill. This book is referenced by Thrivo articles.

2. Think and Grow Rich

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It could be very easy to think that a book about achieving success written 80 years ago and based on the success principles of men like Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, and Henry Ford would be stale and out of date, like a dry history lesson. This simply is not true. While there are admittedly parts where you have to substitute modern methods of execution for old fashioned counterparts, the basic principles themselves are based on human nature and just as true today as they were 80 years ago.

This book is a classic and for good reason. Over the past 80 years, many successful people have read this book and gained from its knowledge and insight that have helped them to achieve their own success. When a self-improvement book sticks around for as long as this one has, there has to be a reason for its longevity and success.

3. How Not To Die

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'This book may help those who are susceptible to illnesses that can be prevented with proper nutrition'

How Not to Die gives effective, scientifically-proven nutritional advice to prevent our biggest killers - including heart disease, breast cancer, prostate cancer, high blood pressure, and diabetes - and reveals the astounding health benefits that simple dietary choices can provide.

Based on the latest scientific research, the internationally bestselling How Not To Die examines each of the most common diseases to reveal what, how and why different foods affect us, and how increasing our consumption of certain foods and avoiding others can dramatically reduce our risk of falling sick and even reverse the effects of the disease. It also shares Dr. Greger's 'Daily Dozen' - the twelve foods we should all eat every day to stay in the best of health.

4.The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

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Your life doesn't just "happen." Whether you know it or not, it is carefully designed by you.

Stephen R. Covey's book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People®, has been a top-seller for the simple reason that it ignores trends and pop psychology for proven principles of fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity. Celebrating its fifteenth year of helping people solve personal and professional problems, this special anniversary edition includes a new foreword and afterword written by Covey exploring the question of whether the 7 Habits are still relevant and answering some of the most common questions he has received over the past 15 years. Read More on HubSpot about the 7 habits of highly effective people.

5. The Power of Positive Thinking

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Most people who achieve any degree of success will tell you that attitude is a big part of the success equation. Positive thinking will not magically make success happen, as this books “successor” The Secret, would have you believe, but positive thinking can put you into position to make the most of it when it happens. So skip the “Secret” and go right to the first (and best) book on getting your mind right for success.

One slight negative is that many people complain because of some of the religious overtones of the book. While Dr. Peale is clearly a faithful Christian, I believe this book has merit for you regardless of personal faith. Just listen to good advice.

6. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

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Have you ever felt on the top of your game? Answers and ideas flow freely. You feel energized and alert. You feel happy and content. You are in control. This is a state Dr. Csikszentmihaly refers to as “flow”

The flow state happens to everyone from time to time, but it can be engineered to happen more frequently and when it does the happiness, content, and satisfaction it brings can have a lasting halo effect on our lives. Part science and part philosophy this book does an exceptional job of relating to us not only how to get more done, but how to live happier and fuller lives due to having an understanding of the “Flow.”

7. Best for Health: What Are You Hungry For?

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Deepak Chopra is the self-help guru of our time and any one of his books could be recommended for various reasons. What Are You Hungry For? Will help you see your relationship with food in an entirely new light.

While this self-help book could be considered a guide to help with weight loss, it’s really so much more. Chopra does talk about losing weight and also gives a pretty regimented recommendation on what to eat. But he also digs deeper into the reasoning behind our desire to seek this transformation, and fulfillment is at the center of this argument. Since change isn’t easy for most, the book offers a lot of intention-setting tips to help readers determine the motives behind their goals. Attaching emotion to the things you want in life, health-related or otherwise, makes it easier to stay the course when the going gets tough.

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