5 Books that Ignited My Personal Development Journey


5 years ago I embarked on a new journey… I was stepping into the land of personal development and I’ll be honest, I knew NOTHING about this land. I knew that I had goals, I knew that I was constantly trying to improve myself but I really had no idea that there were so many books, audios, and videos about personal development. There were so many options to choose from that I had no idea where to start.  Luckily, I had friends and leaders that I worked with that helped me figure it out. There were books I loved and books that I could barely get through…shoot there were even some that I didn’t finish. But each one of them taught me something new. Today I’m going to share the books that I couldn’t put down.  The books that I still go back to time and again.  The books that made me WANT to be better but mostly made me feel like it was possible too.

1. The Big Leap

The Big Leap was the first book that I really enjoyed reading when it came to personal development books. It’s a pretty quick read, not too lengthy at all. The author, Gay Hendricks speaks clearly and in a way that made his analogies and stories, easy to understand and apply to my life.

Fear is excitement without breath. Click To Tweet 

In this book, he talks about the ways we let fear take over and how we sabotage ourselves from achieving what we most desire in life.  He calls this our “Upper Limit” and shows us ways to get past this obstacle and move forward and get closer to our goals.

If you want more for your life, and you’re ready for it, then this book needs to get added to your reading list STAT.

2. Year of Yes

If you’re looking for a hilarious book then this is a must read! Shonda Rhimes is the creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. In this book, she shares about her struggles of being a single, working mom, and how she realized there was so much more to life than work.  She taught me that often, there are times when we say no out of fear, but instead, we just need to say yes. She taught me that it’s okay to ask for help and she also helped me realize just how much I want to be a positive influence in my children’s’ life.

 Everyone’s got some greatness in them...But in order to really mine it, you have to own it. You have to grab hold of it. You have to believe it. Click To Tweet 

I could NOT put this book down.  Literally.  I read it constantly and had it done quicker than any personal development book I have ever read.  I actually remember taking this book on a flight and laughing out loud. Trust me when I say that this book will be entertaining and uplifting, all in one shot.

3. The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity 

A couple years ago I received this book by attending Tiffany Petersen’s event called Elevation.  I started reading it in my hotel room that night, then I kept at it during my entire flight back home. I finished it in about three days, which for a personal development book, is pretty quick.  Edwene is a down to earth and authentic author who shares personal stories to help us realize that abundance is within our reach if we follow the 4 laws shared within.

What did you come to earth to do? Well whatever it is, it's time to start doing it. Click To Tweet 

This book helped me learn more about my divine purpose on this earth and it opened my eyes to the possibility of abundance…in all aspects of my life.  Not just financially, but emotionally, physically and spiritually as well. I realized that God wants this for us.  He doesn’t want us to ever lack, so if you’re looking for more abundance in your life, then this book is one you definitely need to pick up and read.

4. Essentialism

Now this book was an eye opener for me.  It made me realize that I had a REALLY hard time saying NO to people.

Come on…admit it, you have this issue too right? If not, then wow! Almost everyone I talk to has a hard time with this issue for one reason or another.

If you don't prioritize your life, someone else will. Click To Tweet 

What I LOVED about this book was the simple fact that it helped me realize when I needed to say no.  I didn’t want to say no to everyone and everything all the time, I just wanted to do what was truly necessary and important to me, and this book helped me realize how to do just that.  Now, I can say no to people and not feel bad because I know that I’m really just saying yes to something even more important. If you’re feeling stressed out and looking for a way to use your energy instead of having it scattered all over the place, unfocused, then this book is for you.

5. The Success Principles

Oh, my goodness!  This book is filled with so many golden nuggets.  Jack Canfield covers 67 different principles that we need to master, in order to have ultimate success in life.  Jack shares stories from his own life, of failure and success.  I enjoyed hearing his candid stories because it made his life relatable and like I wasn’t the only one struggling. I think what I love best about this book is the fact that this book can be read in any order.  He covers everything from mindset and goals to relationships and finances.

You only have control over three things in your life-the thoughts you think, the images you visualize and the actions you take. Click To Tweet 


I love that he has an index. You see, I’m constantly needing to work on different areas of my life, so I look up that topic in the index and I can instantly find advice on how to work on that subject.  I have not read this book from front to back, but I do believe I’ve read every principle now, and actually, I’ve read quite a few of them, numerous times. Yet, no matter how many times I read it, there’s always something that pops out to me that I need right then. I love his no bs, straight to the point advice. He doesn’t sugar coat anything but instead tells you exactly what you need to do, to create a life of success.  I own a paperback and audio version of this book because it’s full of such great content.  If you want to uplevel your life, and create real success, then this book is for you.

So there you have it. I’ve read so many personal development books (which I’ll share in future posts) but these 5 were the ones that got me going.  They lit the fire within me that helped me realized there was so much more to life and that the things I truly wanted to do in life, could actually happen. Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? If you haven’t read them, I highly suggest you do.  Trust me, you won’t regret it.


P.S. I’m always looking for new books to read, can you recommend any for me to add to my list??

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21 Responses to 5 Books that Ignited My Personal Development Journey

  1. Great selection of books. I can see why these profoundly touched you.

  2. Ciara says:

    Testing the comments.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you for this list. I will start looking for them in Amazon.

  3. I haven’t ready any of these. Will definately check them out. I read so many blogs that sometimes it’s great to go back to an old fashioned book.

    • Charlsye Miller says:

      I totally agree. A good ol’ book is refreshing! Hope you get one of them and enjoy it!

  4. Thanks very much for sharing these suggestions. I love reading inspirational books so I’ll have to check a few of these out.

    • Charlsye Miller says:

      You’re welcome! Let me know what you think of them 🙂

  5. Love the list. I am going to look into these.. Thanks for sharing!

    • Charlsye Miller says:

      You’re welcome! I hope you enjoy them! I sure did. 🙂

  6. GiGi Eats says:

    I’ve heard of the year of YES – and I think I need to do it! YES YES YES!

    • Charlsye Miller says:

      It’s helped me realized that I said no to way to many things that I really did want to do. A great read for sure!

  7. Shawna says:

    I haven’t read these, but they look great. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Thank you for these tips! 🙂

    Elisabet | http://www.fashionpoetry.eu

  9. Stacie says:

    This is such a great post! I am definitely going to check out some of these books because I need stuff like this 🙂

    • Charlsye Miller says:

      Great Stacie! I love to hear that you found value in the post! Happy reading to you!

  10. These 5 books sound like real winners in this topic area. I have heard of some of the titles, but, wow, I was not familiar with the one written by Shonda Rhimes. I’m definitely going to add that one to my summer reading list – she is an amazing person.

    • Charlsye Miller says:

      Oh man, Shonda’s was great! Obviously she has a knack for writing…her shows are awesome. But you really see her quirky personality in the book. It’s one I could red multiple times. Hope you enjoy it!

  11. Joseph says:

    My goodness. Someone certainly does have a love for reading. Thank you for your recommendations. It’s hard to find good books anymore, and it’s people like you who make that job a little more easy for scatterbrained people like me.

    • Charlsye Miller says:

      Thanks, Joseph! I’m glad to help! I really do love reading, but I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes personal development books can be hard to read. Some are long or don’t keep the reader very engaged since it’s not a “fun” story. These books were definitely worth reading!

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