Written goals that create a focused and definite aim, life purpose, and vision is one of the first steps to success. Achieving what you want for your life requires working both smart and hard with a concentration of effort toward what you want.

Too many people divide their energies over several paths never choosing their priorities and fail to be master any pursuit. A double-minded person achieves little as their thoughts, energy, and actions are divided.

“The world does not demand that you be a lawyer, minister, doctor, farmer, scientist, or merchant; it does not dictate what you shall do, but it does require that you be a master in whatever you undertake.” – Orison Swett Marden

Here is the basic recipe for success:

  • Willingness to work
  • Discipline
  • An integrated mind
  • Prolific reading and learning
  • Risk taking
  • Realizing the power of expectations
  • Mastery
  • Well-roundedness
  • Motivation
  • Fulfilling your potential
  • Leadership

Here is a list of the best books on success that were identified by Tom Butler-Bowdon in his book 50 Success Classics Second Edition: Winning Wisdom For Work & Life. 

The following books contain formulas for success, some real life stories, and the mindset needed to achieve your goals.

1 John Whitmore – Coaching for Performance (1992)
2 Warren Bennis – On Becoming a Leader (1989)
3 Frank Bettger – How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling (1947)
4 Kenneth Blanchard & Spencer Johnson – The One Minute Manager (1981)
5 Edward Bok – The Americanization of Edward Bok: The Autobiography of a Dutch Boy Fifty Years After (1921)
6 Claude M. Bristol – The Magic of Believing (1948)
7 Warren Buffett (by Roger Lowenstein) – Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist (1995)
8 Andrew Carnegie – The Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie (1920)
9 Chin-Ning Chu – Thick Face, Black Heart: The Asian Path to Thriving, Winning and Succeeding (1992)
10 George S. Clason – The Richest Man in Babylon (1926)
11 Jim Collins – Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … and Others Don’t (2001)
12 Russell H. Conwell – Acres of Diamonds (1921)
13 Stephen R. Covey – The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (1989)
14 Angela Duckworth – Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance (2016)
15 Henry Ford – My Life and Work (1922)
16 Benjamin Franklin – The Way to Wealth (1758)
17 W. Timothy Gallwey – The Inner Game of Tennis (1974)
18 James Wallace & Jim Erickson – Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire (1992)
19 John Paul Getty – How to Be Rich (1961)
20 Les Giblin – How to Have Confidence and Power in Dealing with People (1956)
21 Malcolm Gladwell – Outliers: The Story of Success (2008)
22 Baltasar Gracian – The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1647)
23 Adam Grant – Give and Take (2013)
24 Earl G. Graves – How to Succeed in Business without Being White: Straight Talk on Making It in America (1997)
25 Darren Hardy – The Compound Effect (2010)
26 Napoleon Hill – Think and Grow Rich (1937)
27 Muriel James & Dorothy Jongeward – Born to Win: Transactional Analysis with Gestalt Experiments (1971)
28 Brent Schlender & Rick Tetzeli – Becoming Steve Jobs (2015)
29 Spencer Johnson – Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life (1998)
30 Gary Keller – The One Thing (2013)
31 Robert Kiyosaki – Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids about Money … that the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! (1997)
32 Ray Kroc – Grinding It Out (1977)
33 David S. Landes – The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor (1998)
34 Donald T. Phillips – Lincoln on Leadership: Executive Strategies for Tough Times (1992)
35 Nelson Mandela – Long Walk to Freedom (1994)
36 Orison Swett Marden – Pushing to the Front, or Success under Difficulties (1894)
37 J. W. Marriott Jr. – The Spirit to Serve: Marriott’s Way (1997)
38 Catherine Ponder – The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity (1962)
39 Cheryl Richardson – Take Time for Your Life: A Seven-Step Program for Creating the Life You Want (1998)
40 Anthony Robbins – Unlimited Power: The New Science of Personal Achievement (1986)
41 Robin Gerber – Leadership the Eleanor Roosevelt Way: Timeless Strategies from the First Lady of Courage (2002)
42 David J. Schwartz – The Magic of Thinking Big (1959)
43 Florence Scovel Shinn – The Secret Door to Success (1940)
44 Margot Morrell & Stephanie Capparell – Shackleton’s Way: Leadership Lessons from the Great Antarctic Explorer (2001)
45 Thomas J. Stanley – The Millionaire Mind (2000)
46 Brian Tracy – Maximum Achievement: Strategies and Skills that Will Unlock Your Hidden Powers to Succeed (1993)
47 Sun Tzu – The Art of War (4th century BCE)
48 Sam Walton – Made in America: My Story (1992)
49 Wallace D. Wattles – The Science of Getting Rich (1910)
50 Horatio Alger – Ragged Dick, or Street Life in New York with the Boot-Blacks (1867)

best books on success
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