At the end of 2019, the global personal development market was valued at $38.28 billion, with an projected compound annual growth rate of 5.1% from 2020 to 2027. That works out to just under $57 billion at the end of the seven-year period. The growth will likely be fuelled by companies’ expectation. These include employees develop soft skills such as communication, problem-solving and stress management. This, paired with an even more competitive job market, is posited to lead to a surge in the usage of e-platforms and books for personal development.
If you’re looking to get ahead of the curve with some titles that will assist both professional and personal growth, we’ve got four books that will serve as a great starting point.
1. How to Win Friends and Influence People
Since it was first published in 1936, Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People has sold more than 30 million copies. With that kind of staying power, it should come as no surprise that this book has the ability to completely change your relationships for the better. The book is divided into six sections. These sections deal with everything. From how to get people to like you, bring others round to your way of thinking, to rules for making your home life happier. This is a true one-stop-shop for self-improvement.
2. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
The laboriously titled The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life is anything but a slog to read. Author Mark Mason has long been doling our useful advice via his blog and weekly newsletter. He takes his quintessential pull-no-punches style to help readers see that life’s struggles are what give it meaning. And that immersing oneself in the mindless positivity encouraged by many self-help books of the past is likely more counterproductive than it is profitable for growth. A definite must-read.
Probably one of Malcolm Gradwell’s better-known titles, Outliers: The Story of Success!. The book looks at how success can be attributed everything. From the month in which someone is born to where their parents come from or their ancestors’ farming practices. With an accessible style and easy approach to complex topics, Gladwell easily makes readers feel like they’re the geniuses in the equation. Outliers is a great starter read for anyone who’s not really ‘into’ the personal development genre.
4. Make Your Bed
On 17 May 2014, US Naval Admiral William McRaven made a commencement speech at the University of Texas in Austin. The premise of the speech was simple. “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.” So impactful were his words that the speech went viral. Moreover, the original video has been viewed more than 12 million times. McRaven also landed a book deal which saw him publish Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life … And Maybe the World. The book provides simple wisdoms about overcoming hardships. While making touch decisions and living with compassion and honour – all through simple yet impactful actions.
How to choose books for personal development
There are so many books out there focusing on personal development. It can be tough to pick a title that really resonates with you. And that task can be made even tougher if self-help is a section of the bookshop you don’t usually frequent.
A great idea to find books that might suit you is to ask friends and family members for their recommendations. They’ll likely best be able to tell you whether a book will ‘speak’ to you. Also consider exactly what areas of your life you’re looking to work on. Then, align this with books that cover the topic.
Whether you need the personal development basics or are looking for a laugh-a-minute manifesto on how to improve your life, these four books can help you to get that personal growth you’ve been looking for.