Self Developments Greatest Books For Free

Self development books have had an amazingly positive effect on me and my life. I’m pretty sure without them I wouldn’t be a Professional Life Coach, or at least not a very effective one!

Since I started blogging back in 2006 I have written lots of reviews and more than a few list posts such as The Greatest Self Development Books Ever Written and The Best Self Development Books Of 2011.

On a couple of occasions I have given some of my books away, or like last year, let people bid on them for charity.

Today though I want to do something completely different.

Rather than just give away books that I’m either not that bothered about or simply know I’ll never read/listen to again, I want to give away some of the best self development books ever written.

If you would like the books and audios below that I roughly calculate to be worth close on $500, here’s what you have to do:

  • Leave a comment recognizing just one book that has had the most positive influence on you in your life
  • Yes I said one book. No bleating it’s too tough, I know it’s tough!
  • Feel free to tell others why it was so important to you, but it’s not a necessity
  • Then either tweet this post or link to your Facebook account ( I will be checking the winner has done this)
  • Closing date is 9.00am EST on Monday 16th January when I will also close comments
  • I will throw all the names into a random name generator to ascertain a winner
  • The winner will be announced in the comments section, so it’s down to you to check back
  • The books can be gifted, but are not to be resold

My only other stipulation is that you must either live in the US, or be prepared to pay shipping (which will be a fortune if you are overseas). I will pay media mail shipping within the US (not Canada).

By the way. h = hardback and p = paperback. The * means the book is a publishers uncorrected proof, i.e. a review copy and somewhat rare.

Even if you live outside the US or only read books on Kindle, I still hope you’ll share your most influential book in the comments.

I’m sure you’re wondering what classic goodies are on offer, so without further ado, here they are:

1. Mans Search For Meaning by Victor Frankl (h)

I had this at #1 in my list of all time greatest self development books.

Need I say more about such an absolute classic?

Required reading for anybody with a victim mindset or who thinks their life is tough.

2. Your Brain At Work by David Rock (h)

This was my number 2 of all time and also my favorite self development book of 2010 that wasn’t called How To Be Rich and Happy.

To be honest if I didn’t have the audio version also, I wouldn’t be letting this beauty go because I regularly dig back into it and it has inspired numerous posts.

If you are a Life Coach and haven’t read this book you’re selling yourself short.

3. 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey (p)

This actually made my list of most overrated self development books of all time.

However, that was probably a tad unfair (like I was with some of the other books in retrospect) and more a reflection that Covey could have delivered the ideas in about half the space than the quality of the advice.

If you have heard of the 4 quadrants, starting with the end in mind and sharpening the saw, then this is the book that all that good stuff came from.

4. The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge (p)

If you want to know why change is always possible and how you can facilitate it, this book will help you and it’s also an accessible read.

Made my top 20 self development books of all time and is the book that brought the expression “neurons that fire together, wire together” into the public domain.

Not for members of PETA or people with an unnatural love of monkey’s because some of the research it refers to makes for unpleasant reading.

5. The Four Hour Workweek – Tim Ferriss (audio)

I absolutely loved the first half of this book and was thinking it was a classic at that stage.

But then it seemed to hit a bit of a wall and Ferriss seemed to be resorting to padding it out to meet the publishers word count

Still worth a listen to though, especially if you fancy leaving corporate America and need a kick up the arse to do so.

This is the unabridged 7 x CD version.

6. Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill (audio)

It could be argued that this book kicked off the self development industry and is without doubt one of the most influential ever written.

Some of the material sounds a little bit dated now, but it is still an amazing resource

This is another unabridged audio that runs to a mind blowing 12 x CDs including a workbook and cost me a bloody fortune!

7. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff – Richard Carlson (p)

Another book that made my all-time top 20 and an outstandingly good read.

Simple wisdom that’s easy to read and implement. What more do you need to know?

Note: The layout for DSTSS inspired me with my first published book, Don’t Ask Stupid Questions so I may as well throw a copy of that in too.

8. Supercoach by Michael Neill (p)

If you want to hire me to be your Life Coach you will get plenty of change out of $1,000.

However, if you want to hire Michael Neill you’re probably going to need to take out a small mortgage.

This is the cheaper option and it’s also a very good book.

9. Awaken The Giant Within – Tony Robbins (p)

Probably the book that has had the most influence on me.

A tour de force of self development that repackaged NLP and delivered it to the masses.

Speaking of which…

10. The Rainbow Machine by Andy Austin (p)

In my opinion this is the greatest book on NLP ever written.

Austin is funny, highly intelligent and very, very, close to the edge a lot of the time.

Best read if possible with a little knowledge of NLP, but that’s ok because if you know nothing of NLP, you simply listen to this…

11. NLP: The New Technology of Achievement (audio)

This is the book (or in this case, the audio version) I have been recommending for years to people wanting to take a look at NLP because it is very easy to follow and understand.

This 6 x CD series cost me about $70 many years ago, but it was well worth it.

12. The Art Of Exceptional Living by Jim Rohn (audio)

The late great Jim Rohn was the man who Tony Robbins credits with inspiring him to get his shit together when unemployed, overweight and broke.

A 6 x CD audio program from Nightingale Conant of live material that demonstrates why so many people, me included, consider Jim Rohn to be the true Godfather of self development.

13. Life Is What You Make It by Peter Buffett (h)

One of the best self development books of 2011 and I have a tremendous amount of respect for Peter Buffet.

Buffett didn’t settle for a life living of his fathers name, rather he got off his arse and made his own name!

Apologies that there are some highlight marks and comments from yours truly.

14. Situations Matter by Sam Sommers (p)*

I only just finished this and it’s a brilliant book and will almost certainly make it into my top 3 books of 2012.

I’m sure Sam would want to kick my arse for saying it’s a self development book, but any book that helps me to think differently is self development as far as I’m concerned, so let the ass kicking commence!

Check out my interview with Sam Sommers to learn more.

Update: Sorry people I screwed up, I was reminded last night that I’d promised a friend that I’d give him my copy of Situations Matter by Sam Sommers.

Awkward dilemma time, so what I’ll do it stick to my promise to him, but I’ll replace it with Og Mandino’s The Greatest Salesman in the World which has already made the list as one persons favorite.

Hope that’s ok, and it is isn’t please e-mail me your complaint to [email protected] :-)

15. 168 Hours – Laura Vanderkam (h)

Did I ever tell you about the time a woman called me and when I answered said, “I’m looking for somebody that’s good at time management”

“Yeh so am I” I replied “Do you know anybody?

Needless to say she didn’t hire me.

Laura Vanderkam knows about time management and this is the best book on the subject I’ve ever read.

One of my best self development books of 2010 and if you want to know why a time management expert has 30,000 e-mails in her inbox, this book will tell you.

16. Uncertainty by Jonathan Fields (p)*

And yet another of my favorite books of 2011 from one of my favorite bloggers.

A must for entrepreneurs and solopreneurs with a splash of self development.

17. Drive by Daniel Pink (audio)

I thought that ‘A Whole New Mind’ by Dan Pink was the second most overrated and over-hyped book of the last 5 years.

‘Drive’ however is much, much, better.

I’m not sure that it’s paradigm shattering as the blurb on the back claims, but it is an interesting insight into what motivates people and how to tap into your own motivation more easily,

5 x CD unabridged version

18. Project Happily Ever After by Alisa Bowman (p)*

Another book that made my list of top self development books of 2011.

If you have a rocky relationship, this book can help.

19. Aligning With Your Core Values  by Tim Brownson

I couldn’t finish without throwing my own offerings into the pot including my latest book, Aligning With Your Core Values.

This retails for $35 and you get access to the PDF, the Kindle version, the audio book and all the forms.

So if you have been wondering what I’m incessantly wittering on about values since the dawn of time, now’s your chance to find out

20. How To Be Rich and Happy by Tim Brownson and John P Strelecky (p)

Recently published in France and Netherlands and soon to come out in China and Germany.

It really is quite good and I’ll even throw in a copy of Johns book ‘Life Safari’ in hardback

That’s your lot, and a very nice lot it is too.

Now it’s your turn to tell me the one book that has had the most positive influence on you, and no, it doesn’t have to be a self development book if you don’t want. No porn though!

The Winner

I just threw the names at and here’s how they came out. Apparently UTC is the same as Greenwich Mean Time, so that’s why it says 16.30, I do not have a time machine.