The best books on how to develop self-discipline

Patrik Edblad Author Of The Self-Discipline Blueprint: A Simple Guide to Beat Procrastination, Achieve Your Goals, and Get the Life You Want
By Patrik Edblad

The Books I Picked & Why

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

By Steven Pressfield

Book cover of The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

Why this book?

When I started writing, I struggled with being consistent. I used to wait for inspiration and rarely published anything. That completely changed after reading The War of Art. It taught me that everyone struggles with resistance. The only way to overcome it is to show up every day to do the work. So, I no longer wait for inspiration. I sit down every day and write — no matter if I feel like it or not.


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Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

By Angela Duckworth

Book cover of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

Why this book?

Grit is your ability to stick with long-term goals. It’s what makes you keep going when things get difficult. I’ve always assumed that grit plays a big part in your success. But it wasn’t until I read this book that I realized how crucial this ability truly is. It taught me that grit is the best predictor of success that researchers have found. And it provided fascinating insights into how to improve my own grit.


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Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard

By Dan Heath, Chip Heath

Book cover of Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard

Why this book?

This was one of the first books I read about behavior change, and to this day, it’s one of the best. The authors, Dan and Chip Heath, present a simple model consisting of a rider on top of an elephant traveling a path. The rider represents your rational side, the elephant is your emotional side, and the path is your environment. And by strategically influencing all three, you can create the behavior change you want much more effectively.


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Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything

By Bj Fogg

Book cover of Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything

Why this book?

BJ Fogg is one of the world’s leading experts on behavior change. If you pick up any book habits, you’ll likely find several references to his work. So, when he published his own book on the topic, I was very eager to read it. And it sure didn’t disappoint. I learned a ton from this book. But my biggest takeaway was that “tiny is mighty.” If you start with a super-simple habit, it will grow naturally over time.


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A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy

By William B Irvine

Book cover of A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy

Why this book?

This is perhaps my favorite book of all time. The author, William Irvine, does an excellent job distilling the wisdom of ancient Stoic philosophy and explaining why it’s still useful today. The most important idea in Stoicism is to focus on what’s within your control and let go of what’s not. But that’s far from everything I learned in this phenomenal book. It’s a treasure trove of timeless advice for taking control of your thoughts, emotions, and actions.


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