Motivational Books

With so many books out there, what are the best books you should read to improve your life. I can tell you 10 books that have greatly improved my life. In my opinion, every UPSC Aspirants must read one of these 10 books daily for at least 30 minutes. It will help her/him to get continuous motivation during IAS Exam preparation. Motivation is essential in every one’s life.

They are two kinds of motivation:

  • Intrinsic Motivation (comes within in the form of honour infront of great dignataries).
  • Extrinsic Motivation (it comes from reading motivational books,through role model).

The top 5 Motivational books to my experience are:

1. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma

A renowned inspirational fiction, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari is a revealing story that offers the readers a simple yet profound way to live life. The plot of this story revolves around Julian Mantle, a lawyer who has made his fortune and name in the profession. A sudden heart-attack creates havoc in the successful lawyer’s life. Jolted by the sudden onset of the illness, his practice comes to a standstill. He ponders over material success being worth it all, renounces all of it and leaves for India.

A visit to India about a spiritual awakening that opens up new vistas and Julian begins to view life in a different perspective. He decides to live his life once again but in a way that is much more fulfilling and meaningful than before.

In the book, the reader goes through a spiritual journey and into a very old culture that has gathered much wisdom over the millennia. The book advocates about how to live happily, think deep and rightly, value time and relationships, be more disciplined, follow the heart’s call and live every moment of the life.

2. The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale

To imbibe shaken confidence, The Power of Positive Thinking is a book written to help men and women who are haunted with living in a inferiority complex and have lost faith in themselves. Sharing his life experiences, Norman Peale speaks about faith in yourself being the ultimate key to happiness and that will bring back all good things into the believers life. The only matter of concern is to restore the lost faith. This classic guide is meant to regain self-esteem and faith, which does lead to success.

The book describes the power positive thinking has and how a firm belief in something, does actually help in achieving it. In order to live a successful and constructive life, one needs to know about the secrets of positive thinking says the author for it is the most important ingredient for a better and blissful life.

To remain and think positive, Peale also cautions about sinking into negativity and suggests ways by which one can prevent oneself from being engulfed by negative thoughts. The book teaches that one should never accept defeat over small things and never get affected by changes, no matter how big or small, in ones life. Simple techniques of elevating low moods and energy levels by positive thinking also improve ones overall mental and physical health says the clergyman.

3. Who will cry when you die? by Robin Sharma

Do You Feel that life is slipping by so fast that you might never get the chance to live with the meaning, happiness and joy you know you deserve? If so, then this book will be the guiding light that leads you to a brilliant new way of living.

In this easy-to-read yet wisdom-rich manual, the author offers 101 simple solutions to life’s most complex problems, ranging from a little-known method for beating stress and worry to a powerful way to enjoy the journey while you create a legacy that lasts.

“When You Were Born, You Cried While The World Rejoiced. Live Your Life In Such A Way That When You Die, The World Cries While You Rejoice.”
Ancient Sanskrit Saying

4. Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson

Who Moved My Cheese? is a simple parable that reveals profound truths. It is the amusing and enlightening story of four characters who live in a maze and look for cheese to nourish them and make them happy. Cheese is a metaphor for what you want to have in life, for example a good job, a loving relationship, money or possessions, health or spiritual peace of mind. The maze is where you look for what you want, perhaps the organisation you work in, or the family or community you live in. The problem is that the cheese keeps moving.

In the story, the characters are faced with unexpected change in their search for the cheese. One of them eventually deals with change successfully and writes what he has learned on the maze walls for you to discover. You’ll learn how to anticipate, adapt to and enjoy change and be ready to change quickly whenever you need to.

Discover the secret of the writing on the wall for yourself and enjoy less stress and more success in your work and life. Written for all ages, this story takes less than an hour to read, but its unique insights will last a lifetime.

5. How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

How to Win Friends and Influence People by best-selling author Dale Carnegie gives you time-tested advice and simple techniques on how to deal with people, understand them and get along with them. This book tells you how to: 

  •  Improve your conversation skills 
  • Avoid arguments and win people over
  • Make friends easily 
  • Become a people person 

A phenomenal success that has sold millions of copies worldwide, this book will change the way you approach relationships and better equip you to handle life’s situations.  

My Favorite Inspirational books:

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho 

This is my all time favourite book and it is more special to read at the age of 21 because, it’s the story of a young boy who followed his dreams. You will feel that this journey is yours and no other books can give you the courage to follow your dreams like this one.

Paulo Coelho’s enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and inspiring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids.

Wings of Fire by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam 

This book will teach you how to stay focused in your life and how to persist inspite of all failures. this book awaken my soul to see new possibilities.

Every common man who by his sheer grit and hard work achieves success should share his story with the rest for they may find inspiration and strength to go on, in his story. The ‘Wings of Fire’ is one such autobiography by visionary scientist Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, who from very humble beginnings rose to be the President of India. The book is full of insights, personal moments and life experiences of Dr. Kalam. It gives us an understanding on his journey of success.

Dr. Kalam by narrating his life journey evokes the reader to identify with one’s inner fire and potential, for he was of the firm belief that each one of us was born with the strength and potential to make a tangible change in the world. How he inspired himself to achieve dreams and how he went about accomplishing so much is what the book captures nicely.

The book recollects many anecdotes and stories from childhood, his time at school and college. The time spent at the Langley Research Center, NASA and Wallops Flight Facility gets a lot of attention.

Personal tragedies have not been left out. The time when he lost his father and how he felt when conferred with many awards like the Padma Bhushan have been written in much detail.

The second half of the book deals with Dr Kalam, the scientist who made a significant contribution in developing the countries guided missile program, a pioneering effort for the security of the nation. It’s not with reason that he was nicknamed as the ‘Missile Man of India’. The book also contains 24 photographs at various stages of his life.

Authored by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and Mr. Arun Tiwari, the 180 page book ‘The Wings of Fire’ was first published in the year 2000. Mr Tiwari is a well-known missile scientist who has worked with Dr. Kalam. Having become a bestseller, the book has even been translated into thirteen languages, which includes Chinese and French.About the Author

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam from 2002 to 2007 served as the 11th President of India. Greatly admired all over India, he was a scientist by profession, who played a leading role in developing the country’s missile program. From humble roots in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, Dr Kalam in an inspirational autobiography ‘The Wings of Fire’ traces the rise and the mark he made in life.

Ignited Minds by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam 

This book is specially for young students on how to look at life, how to see the big picture and how to have a burning desire to do something great for your nation and the world and for yourself.

Authored by the most influential Indian President yet, this book delves into the obstacles that are preventing India from rising up to the challenge of development. India has unmatched talent and ambition with an inherent tendency to work hard, then what is it that keeps India from overtaking the world. Why does India as a nation settle for the ordinary when the extraordinary is well within the reach?

Dr. Kalam shares his dream of a nation that is unrivaled, he discusses how he has, from his experience, met such skilled people whose visions can transform the nation. It is imperative that one searches for own solutions and find role-models in countrymen instead of looking towards the other nations. India must not strive to be the next America or Japan but has to be the strong nation that she is capable of becoming. For this, all the trapped energies and initiatives need to be freed instead of suppressing them.

In the book, we are introduced to numerous role models that are hiding amongst us. Words of wisdom from saints and seers that the author encountered through his life have been quoted. The book proceeds to address the issues at hand and mentions some reforms that have to be incorporated in politics and policies. The policy making procedure of the nation requires major reforms. The youth has to be given a stage and the reins of the nation need to be passed on. The book motivates the young minds and forces the positive auras together to build the face of a new nation.

Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Dr Joseph Murphy 

This is a must read book because this will help you understand the infinite power within you.

The Power of Your Subconscious Mind’ has been a bestseller since its first publication in 1963, selling many millions of copies since its original publication. It is one of the most brilliant and beloved spiritual self-help works of all time which can help you heal yourself, banish your fears, sleep better, enjoy better relationships and just feel happier. The techniques are simple and results come quickly. You can improve your relationships, your finances, your physical well-being.

Dr Joseph Murphy explains that life events are actually the result of the workings of your conscious and subconscious minds. He suggests practical techniques through which one can change one’s destiny, principally by focusing and redirecting this miraculous energy. Years of research studying the world’s major religions convinced him that some Great Power lay behind all spiritual life and that this power is within each of us.’The Power of Your Subconscious Mind’ will open a world of success, happiness, prosperity, and peace for you.

MANY MILES TO GO (by Brian Tracy)

This book consists a lesson after every story. Brian Tracy explains all his experiences and the teaches us a lesson that he has learnt.

A Modern Parable for Business

Business, like any adventure, begins with a leap into the unknown

Every great achievement begins with a vision – a dream of something exciting or different. Many Miles to Go combines Brian Tracy’s personal journey of false starts, long days and narrow escapes with lessons on how to become unstoppable in his personal and professional life.

The aim of this book is simple: project forward five years and imagine that your life is now perfect in every way. What does it look like? What are you doing? Who is there with you? This book teaches you that once you’ve decided where you’re going, the only question you have to ask yourself is “How do I get there?”

OK, I’ve provided you with 10 incredibly motivating books, any one of which could literally change your life.

Now it’s your turn.

What book ought to be on this list? What book has motivated you? What motivational book do you recommend to your friends?

Leave a comment!

By Dr. Aman Bishla, IRS

Recommended Inspirational Videos:

Biography of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Narrated By Gulzar Saab

Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address

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