The best books to help us know ourselves

Who am I?

We live in the age of selfies, when it’s easy to snap a picture of ourselves in the day-to-day activities of our lives. But a deeper and far more satisfying journey is to take a selfie of our inner selves to better understand who we are, what we want, and how to get it. I’ve spent a lifetime on this journey. Self discovery and self understanding, and through them self-empowerment, these are the essence of my work. As a #1 bestselling author, my purpose is to help others discover their purpose, and live it. The five books I’ve recommended here have helped me greatly along that path.

I wrote...

Magic Bullet

By Keith Ellis,

Book cover of Magic Bullet

What is my book about?

This book takes only 20 minutes to read, but it can change your life forever. You see, we’re born asking questions. Magic Questions turn that skill into a superpower. There’s nothing complicated about it. There’s no ten-step system to memorize, no mantra to chant, no checklist to follow. And it doesn’t cost a penny. The power of a Magic Question isn’t limited by language, gender, culture, race, education, age, or IQ. Anyone on the planet can ask a Magic Question to help solve any problem. All it takes is about 10 seconds to ask it out loud and begin listening to your answers. Then, like a magic bullet, they can help you get what you want from life.

Why? Because Magic Questions let you hack directly into your brain to access mental resources you might not know you have. Combine this with their uncanny power to cut through emotional red tape and Magic Questions become the ultimate catalyst for change. If you ask yourself the right question at the right time, you can begin to change your life in 10 seconds—or less. In fact, when you know what you’re doing, Magic Questions can change your life at the speed of thought. But there is a trick to it. The right questions take you where you want to go in life. The wrong questions take you in the opposite direction.

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The books I picked & why

First Things First

By Stephen R. Covey, A. Roger Merrill, Rebecca R. Merrill

Book cover of First Things First

Why did I love this book?

Too often we don’t know what’s important to us, so we spend our time on what isn’t. That’s a root cause of much of the frustration and unhappiness in our lives. If you’re willing to get to know yourself well enough to understand what’s really important to you—and how to focus on it—this wonderful book is the place to start.

By Stephen R. Covey, A. Roger Merrill, Rebecca R. Merrill

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked First Things First as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The authors of this book apply insights from their previous book, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People", to the daily problems of people who must struggle with the demands of work and home life. Rather than focusing on time and change, the book emphasizes relationships and results.

Book cover of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Why did I love this book?

If we are ever to truly know ourselves as human beings, we need to understand where human beings came from. This eye-opening book takes you on a journey from the very beginnings of human culture to the challenges and opportunities of today, in a 30,000-foot view of what we do, why we do it, and how we can do it better.

By Yuval Noah Harari,

Why should I read it?

19 authors picked Sapiens as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism? And what will our world be like in the millennia to come?

In Sapiens, Dr Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the…

Book cover of On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction

Why did I love this book?

From the title you might think this book is about writing, and it is. But it's much more than that. Mr. Zinsser makes the point from the beginning that writing clearly is about thinking clearly, and thinking clearly is about knowing who you are and what you want to say.

By William Zinsser,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked On Writing Well as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On Writing Well has been praised for its sound advice, its clarity and the warmth of its style. It is a book for everybody who wants to learn how to write or who needs to do some writing to get through the day, as almost everybody does in the age of e-mail and the Internet.

Whether you want to write about people or places, science and technology, business, sports, the arts or about yourself in the increasingly popular memoir genre, On Writing Well offers you fundamental priciples as well as the insights of a distinguished writer and teacher. With more…

Book cover of Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

Why did I love this book?

To know ourselves, we need to understand that we are our habits. If we hope to change our lives for the better, then we need to change our habits. This book helps you understand what that means and how to go about it.

By James Clear,

Why should I read it?

19 authors picked Atomic Habits as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The #1 New York Times bestseller. Over 4 million copies sold!

Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results

No matter your goals, Atomic Habits offers a proven framework for improving--every day. James Clear, one of the world's leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results.

If you're having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn't you. The problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves again and again not because you don't want to change, but because you have the…

Influence: Science and Practice

By Robert B. Cialdini,

Book cover of Influence: Science and Practice

Why did I love this book?

Entire industries exist to manipulate us based on characteristics of human psychology that nature has programmed into us. An important part of knowing ourselves is to know these characteristics and understand how to use them for our benefit, instead of the benefit of those who would use our human nature against us.

By Robert B. Cialdini,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Influence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Influence: Science and Practice is an examination of the psychology of compliance (i.e. uncovering which factors cause a person to say "yes" to another's request).

Written in a narrative style combined with scholarly research, Cialdini combines evidence from experimental work with the techniques and strategies he gathered while working as a salesperson, fundraiser, advertiser, and in other positions inside organizations that commonly use compliance tactics to get us to say "yes." Widely used in classes, as well as sold to people operating successfully in the business world, the eagerly awaited revision of Influence reminds the reader of the power of…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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