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20 Must Read Mental Attitude Books

Jason Gay's column in The New York Times titled, "Stop Reading This Lousy Column, and Read a Book Instead", points out that, according to a December 2021 Gallup Poll, Americans are reading fewer books.

Surprising - given the stay at home pandemic restrictions of the past two years.

If Americans are reading less, that means even lesser mental attitude books are being read.

My journey into reading positive mental attitude books started well after my graduation from college. In my several years of college study in Architecture, City Planning and Business,

I was never aware of the importance of positive mental attitude books.

I may have accidentally read a few books like "How to win Friends and Influence People", or "Power of Positive Thinking". But I never had a systematic regimen of reading self help books.

I would have happily exchanged several courses in my curriculum to delve into PMA books.

It was only after I started my own businesses that I realized the need for reading and following the instructions in these books.

A couple of caveats.

First, Positive Mental Attitude books don't take the place of scriptural writings. They are in addition -and often as extensions- to the scriptures.

Second, Mental Attitude books are different from the normal Fiction and Non-fiction books.

While the latter are read and enjoyed, mental attitude books are meant to be read, studied and used for self improvement.

Everyone has a favorite list of "must read" self help books.

Here are my top 20 books, key excerpts from them, and some explanations.

1) As a Man Thinketh- James Allen

"Man is made or unmade by himself. By the right choice he ascends. As a being of power, intelligence, and love, and lord of his own thoughts, he holds the key to every situation."

2) Think and Grow Rich- Napoleon Hill

"Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve."

3) The Magic of Thinking Big- David J. Schwartz

Rid yourself of the three failure diseases, "Excuse-itis, Detail-itis and Procastination".

4) The Four Agreements- Don Miguel Ruiz

Be Impeccable with your word

Don't Take anything personally

Don't make assumptions

Always do your Best

5) The Power of Positive Thinking- Norman Vincent Peale

"Formulate and stamp indelibly on your mind a mental picture of yourself as succeeding. Hold this picture tenaciously. Never permit it to fade. Your mind will seek to develop the picture."

6) The Art of Living- Epictetus

"Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and somethings are not. It is only after you have faced up to this fundamental rule and learned to distinguish between what you can and cannot control that inner tranquility and outer effectiveness become possible."

7) Skill with People- Les Giblin

"Understanding people and human nature simply involves recognizing people for what they are - not what you think they are nor what you want them to be.

What are they?


8) The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People- Stephen R. Covey

Habit 1: Be Proactive

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind

Habit 3: Put First Things First

Habit 4: Think Win/Win

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood

Habit 6: Synergize

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

9) How to Win Friends and Influence People- Dale Carnegie

One of the best selling book of all time, this book will teach, among other things:

- Six ways to make people like you

- Twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking

- Nine ways to change people without arousing resentment

10) Rich Dad Poor Dad- Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter

This book advocates the importance of financial literacy, financial independence and building wealth through investing in assets, real estate, starting and owning businesses, as well as increasing financial intelligence.

11) Bringing out the Best in People- Alan Loy McGinnis

Expect the best from People you Influence

Make a Thorough Study of Other Person's Needs

Establish High Standards for Excellence

Create and Environment Where Failure is not Fatal

If They Going Anywhere Near Where you Want to Go, Climb on Their Bandwagon

Recognize and Applaud Achievement

Keep Your Own Motivation High

12) Personality Plus- Florence Littauer

"There is a need to focus on only one thing, try to understand yourself . This is a thing we need to work by understanding our self, we will be able to get to know about our domains. The same idea will work on others."

13) The Compound Effect- Darren Hardy

The compound effect is the strategy of reaping huge rewards from small, seemingly insignificant actions.

Small Choices+ Consistency+ Time = Significant Results

14) How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling- Frank Bettger

The Power of Enthusiasm

How to Conquer Fear

The Key Word for Turning a Skeptical Client into an Enthusiastic Buyer

The Quickest Way to Win Confidence

Seven Golden Rules for Closing a Sale

15) Psycho-Cybernetics- Maxwell Maltz

Psycho-Cybernetics focuses on how you can use your mind to steer yourself towards positive goals and success.

16) Acres Of Diamonds- Russell H. Conwell

"Your diamonds are not in far distant mountain or in yonder seas; they are in your own backyard, if you but dig for them."

17) Atomic Habits- James Clear

First Law: Make it Obvious

Second Law: Make it Attractive

Third Law: Make it Easy

Fourth Law: Make it Satisfying

18) The 5 Love Languages- Gary Chapman

1) Words of Affirmation

2) Quality Time

3) Giving Gifts

4) Acts of Service

5) Physical Touch

19) What Do You Say When You Talk to Yourself- Shad Helmstetter

A psychologist's guide to motivational self talk and positive thinking.

20) The Choice- Og Mandino

"Choice! The key is choice. You have options. You need not spend your life wallowing in failure, ignorance, grief, poverty, shame, and self pity."

I encourage readers to add comments and suggestions to this post


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