5 Self-Help Books That Make Business Professionals Happy

In today’s $10 billion per year industry of self-help and prescribed inspiration, it’s evident that aspiring entrepreneurs are hungry for books, podcasts, seminars, webinars and workshops that offer simple success formulas for wealth, health and happiness.

TED Talks, for example, with more than two thousand online presentations by charismatic subject matter experts, dole out bite-sized chunks of educational content – everything from business and tech tips, to entertainment and social revelations – to the masses. And we swallow it like candy.

When it comes to business, today’s authors are especially keen to those in the workforce who are tired of the daily humdrum or have hit career stagnation. It’s the promise of change – of something more fulfilling – in just a couple of hours that compels many to pick up a self-help book and try to ‘find their happy.’ This can mean more enlightenment, more empowerment or at least more inspiration to become, well, better than they are today.

Here are 5 worthwhile self-improvement books that can make any business professional a bit happier.

1.   Powered by Happy: How to Get and Stay Happy at Work, by Beth Thomas

With more than 20 years of experience helping companies thrive through mergers, acquisitions and organizational change while building positive corporate culture, Beth Thomas has found the quintessential remedy for rediscovering one’s joy – both in the workplace and at home. Ideal for anybody who wants a professional pick-me-up, this book’s 10 ‘Happiness Tips’ and application exercises will walk you step-by-step from creating your own definition of happiness, to purposely choosing joy, to yielding a high investment return…all in the name of happy. You’ll enjoy the book’s fresh outlook on life, the practical advice, its profound simplicity and fun flair for making you feel more upbeat at work (and everywhere in life). Cheers to that!

2.   The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work and Confidence with Everyday Courage, by Mel Robbins

It takes just five seconds to change your life, according to Mel Robbins, an on-air news commentator, life coach and motivational speaker. The premise: The moment you have an instinct or thought that can change your life, you have only five seconds to move before your brain kills it. We know what to do, she writes, but many of us don’t do it, hence the difference between thinking and doing. Robbins introduces the power of ‘push moments’ that will help you break habits of procrastination and fear to instead build patterns of courage and progress. Readers will learn why the ‘5 Second Rule’ works and how it has transformed lives – from business executives to the author’s own. Opt for the audiobook; you’ll enjoy Robbins’ conversational tone.

3.   How to Have a Good Day, by Caroline Webb

This isn’t your typical ‘feel good’ book with a plethora of motivational ‘isms and hypothetical vignettes; it’s backed by behavioral economics, psychology and neuroscience intertwined with real-world evidence and practical advice for improving nearly every aspect of your day – from mastering priorities, tasks and interactions, to creative thinking, decision-making, overcoming obstacles while keeping your cool and boosting your energy. Sounds like a pretty good day to me! Don’t dismiss the Appendix; Webb, a management consultant and executive coach, shares insightful tips and tricks for becoming exceptionally good at meetings and emails – because face it, we can all be a little better with that.

4.   Turn the Ship Around: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders, by L. David Marquet (Retired Captain U.S. Navy)

You might not have been on board the nuclear-powered submarine USS Santa Fe that Marquet commanded, but you’ll definitely learn how to turn your own metaphorical ship around after reading his book. Challenging the traditional Leader-Follower approach, Marquet transformed his ship from worst to first in the fleet by releasing control, breaking down hierarchical organization and turning followers into leaders. If you manage disengaged or uncommitted employees, you’ll especially appreciate Marquet’s clear blueprint of methods and lessons for leveraging the Leader-Leader approach to develop highly productive and passionate leaders who pay it forward.

5.   The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, by Gary Keller

The professional overachievers and proud multi-taskers will likely experience a surprising sense of peace if they accept the author’s notion that it’s better to be great at a few things (well, ONE thing) then good at a lot of things. The challenge: identifying and then focusing on that one thing. Keller strips away complexity and ambitious to-do lists to expose the raw simplicity of just leveraging the one thing you’re good at or passionate about. Be prepared to change your perspective on age-hold beliefs that multitasking, discipline, willpower and work-life balance drive success. They’re lies that will mislead and derail you, according to the author, because extraordinary results are less about being busy and more about being productive. This easy read will show you how to live with purpose, live by priority and live for productivity – just by putting that ONE thing to work.


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