15 Life-Changing Books That Will Empower You

life changing books wisdom quotes
There are 129 864 880 books in the world.

But 99% of people don’t know which are THE best to improve their lives.

Check out those 15 life-changing books that will empower you if you want to change your life.

Those are the books that shaped, and still shape, my life and who I am today.


Table of Contents

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
The ONE Thing by Gary Keller
The Book Of Life by Krishnamurti
Quiet by Susan Cain
4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
A Calendar Of Wisdom by Leo Tolstoy
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
Atomic Habits by James Clear
Drive by Dan Pink
As A Man Thinketh by James Allen
Mastery by Robert Greene
Brain Rules by John Medina
Influence by Robert B. Cialdina
Made To Stick by Dan and Chip Heath
Deep Work by Cal Newport

Meditations: A New Translation by Marcus Aurelius

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life changing books meditations marcus aurelius
What you’ll like about this book

  • It’s a practical book: you can use the quotes and apply them in your own life
  • It was written by the stoic philosopher and Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius
  • You can open the book on any page, read a few quotes, find inspiration, and close it back

Top 5 Quotes

To live a good life: We have the potential for it. If we learn to be indifferent to what makes no difference. Marcus Aurelius

Perfection of character: to live your last day, every day, without frenzy, or sloth, or pretense. Marcus Aurelius

External things are not the problem. It’s your assessment of them. Which you can erase right now. Marcus Aurelius

Be satisfied with even the smallest progress, and treat the outcome of it all as unimportant. Marcus Aurelius

To love only what happens, what was destined. No greater harmony. Marcus Aurelius

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The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

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life changing books the one thing gary keller
What you’ll like about this book

  • It shows you the value of the Pareto principle: 80% of your results come from 20% of your actions
  • It’s easy to read and contains beautiful graphics that illustrate the points clearly
  • It shows you the power of focus, prioritizing, and questions: What’s the ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?

Top 5 Quotes

Extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus. Gary Keller

Your work life is divided into two distinct areas – what matters most and everything else. You will have to take what matters to the extremes and be okay with what happens to the rest. Professional success requires it. Gary Keller

To ignite your life you must focus on ONE Thing long enough for it to catch fire. Gary Keller

You need to be doing fewer things for more effect instead of doing more things with side effects. Gary Keller

Until my ONE thing is done, everything else is a distraction. Gary Keller

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The Book of Life: Daily Meditations with Krishnamurti

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life changing books the book of life jiddu krishnamurti
What you’ll like about this book

  • It’s a shocking book, in a positive way. After reading it, the perspective I had on myself changed drastically
  • It makes you realize your conditioning and how your mind truly operates
  • It makes you realize how fear controls everything in our lives and why living totally in the present is so hard

Top 5 Quotes

For the discovery of truth there is no path. Jiddu Krishnamurti

Wisdom comes when there is the maturity of self-knowing. Without knowing oneself, order is not possible, and therefore there is no virtue. Jiddu Krishnamurti

When the individual is in conflict within himself he must inevitably create conflict without, and only he can bring about peace within himself and so in the world, for he is the world. Jiddu Krishnamurti

Have you ever sat very silently, not with your attention fixed on anything, not making an effort to concentrate, but with the mind very quiet, really still? Jiddu Krishnamurti

Love comes only when the mind is very quiet, disinterested, not self-centered. Jiddu Krishnamurti

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Quiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking

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life changing books quiet susan cain
What you’ll like about this book

  • It makes you realize that being an introvert is not something to fix
  • It makes you realize that being an introvert is awesome!
  • You will feel “connected” to the author (Susan Cain) since she’s an introvert herself

Top 5 Quotes

There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas. Susan Cain

The next generation of quiet kids can and must be raised to know their own strengths. Susan Cain

Don’t think of introversion as something that needs to be cured… Spend your free the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to. Susan Cain

The secret to life is to put yourself in the right lighting. For some, it’s a Broadway spotlight; for others, a lamplit desk. Susan Cain

Introverts need to trust their gut and share their ideas as powerfully as they can. Susan Cain

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The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

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life changing books 4 hour workweek tim ferriss
What you’ll like about this book

  • This book by Tim Ferriss is about prioritizing your time (and not working 4 hours per week). The title was simply chosen because it was catchy
  • It shows you the power of working and focusing on the right things and delegating low-value tasks
  • It shows you that living on your terms is possible

Top 5 Quotes

Focus on being productive instead of busy. Tim Ferriss

What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do. Tim Ferriss

People will choose unhappiness over uncertainty. Tim Ferriss

To enjoy life, you don’t need fancy nonsense, but you do need to control your time and realize that most things just aren’t as serious as you make them out to be. Tim Ferriss

There is less competition for bigger goals. Tim Ferriss

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Steve Jobs: A Biography by Walter Isaacson

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life changing books steve jobs walter isaacson
What you’ll like about this book

  • It’s a biography of one of the most influential business leaders of our time
  • It’s well-written and you feel like an insider
  • It’s super inspiring and you want to change the world!

Top 5 Quotes

One way to remember who you are is to remember who your heroes are. Steve Jobs

My job is to say when something sucks rather than sugarcoat it. Steve Jobs

I think most creative people want to express appreciation for being able to take advantage of the work that’s been done by others before us. Steve Jobs

A great carpenter isn’t going to use lousy wood for the back of a cabinet, even though nobody’s going to see it. Steve Jobs

I like to think that something survives after you die. It’s strange to think that you accumulate all this experience, and maybe a little wisdom, and it just goes away. So I really want to believe that something survives, that maybe your consciousness endures. But on the other hand, perhaps it’s like an on-off switch. “Click! And you’re gone. Maybe that’s why I never liked to put on-off switches on Apple devices. Steve Jobs

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A Calendar of Wisdom: Daily Thoughts to Nourish the Soul, Written and Selected from the World’s Sacred Texts

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life changing books calendar of wisdom leo tolstoy
What you’ll like about this book

  • It’s one of the best quotation books I’ve ever read
  • You have a collection of 4-6 quotes for each day of the year
  • Most of the topics are interesting (life, love, wisdom, spirituality, friendship, etc.)
  • You can find quotes by Leo Tolstoy but lots more from the best minds that ever lived (Thoreau, Cicero, Rousseau, Socrates, Voltaire, Seneca, Plutarch, Montaigne, Luther, Lao Tzu, Erasmus, Epictetus, Emerson, Buddha, Marcus Aurelius, Kant, Confucius, etc.)

Top 7 Quotes

How to live your life is the only real knowledge. Leo Tolstoy

Life is constant movement, and therefore goodness in life is not a certain state, but the direction of movement. Leo Tolstoy

He who sees his life as a process of spiritual perfection does not fear external events. Leo Tolstoy

A person cannot have complete understanding of the meaning of life. A person can only know its direction. Leo Tolstoy

Life is the constant approach to death; therefore, life can be bliss only when death does not seem to be an evil. Leo Tolstoy

Your understanding of your inner self holds the meaning of your life, and it makes you free. Leo Tolstoy

Grow spiritually and help others to do so; it is the meaning of life. Leo Tolstoy

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Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

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life changing books sapiens yuval noah harari
What you’ll like about this book

  • It tells the story of us (Homo sapiens) in 400 pages
  • You learn many things about evolution and why you are the way you are today
  • It’s a history book but a fascinating one: it’s our story!

Top 5 Quotes

A meaningful life can be extremely satisfying even in the midst of hardship, whereas a meaningless life is a terrible ordeal no matter how comfortable it is. Yuval Noah Harari

According to Buddhism, the root of suffering is neither the feeling of pain nor of sadness nor even of meaninglessness. Rather, the real root of suffering is this never-ending and pointless pursuit of ephemeral feelings, which causes us to be in a constant state of tension, restlessness and dissatisfaction. Yuval Noah Harari

People are liberated from suffering not when they experience this or that fleeting pleasure, but rather when they understand the impermanent nature of all their feelings, and stop craving them. Yuval Noah Harari

As far as we can tell from a purely scientific viewpoint, human life has absolutely no meaning. Humans are the outcome of blind evolutionary processes that operate without goal or purpose. Our actions are not part of some divine cosmic plan, and if planet earth were to blow up tomorrow morning, the universe would probably keep going about its business as usual. As far as we can tell at this point, human subjectivity would not be missed. Hence any meaning that people inscribe to their lives is just a delusion. Yuval Noah Harari

Large numbers of strangers can cooperate successfully by believing in common myths. Any large-scale human cooperation – whether a modern state, a medieval church, an ancient city or an archaic tribe – is rooted in common myths that exist only in people’s collective imagination. Yuval Noah Harari

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Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

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life changing books atomic habits james clear
What you’ll like about this book

  • Atomic Habits is easy to read and comprehend yet it contains powerful anecdotes and examples to help you remember the lessons
  • The subject (habits) is vital in our daily lives and James Clear provides a simple framework on how to build good habits and break bad ones
  • It shows you clearly how consistency is more important than intensity to succeed in life

Top 5 Quotes

Every action you take is a vote for the person you wish to become. James Clear

Professionals stick to the schedule; amateurs let life get in the way. James Clear

You do not rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your systems. James Clear

You should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current results. James Clear

Success is the product of daily habits, not once-in-a-lifetime transformation. James Clear

Related: 73 Atomic Habits Quotes And Summary (Book by James Clear)

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Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

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life changing books drive dan pink
What you’ll like about this book

  • It explains clearly that most businesses rely on “carrots and stick” to motivate their employees but it’s the wrong approach
  • It relies on science to show you that Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose (AMP) are what truly drive people
  • It helps you understand yourself a little more (on why you’re motivated for certain things and not for others)

Top 5 Quotes

We leave lucrative jobs to take low-paying ones that provide a clearer sense of purpose. Dan Pink

Carrots and sticks are so last century. Drive says for 21st century work, we need to upgrade to autonomy, mastery and purpose. Dan Pink

Greatness and nearsightedness are incompatible. Meaningful achievement depends on lifting one’s sights and pushing toward the horizon. Dan Pink

We have three innate psychological needs — competence, autonomy, and relatedness. When those needs are satisfied, we’re motivated, productive, and happy. Dan Pink

When the reward is the activity itself – deepening learning, delighting customers, doing one’s best – there are no shortcuts. Dan Pink

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As a Man Thinketh: 21st Century Edition

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life changing books as a man tinketh james allen
What you’ll like about this book

  • It’s a beautiful tiny book you can read in one sitting
  • You can pick the book, read a page or two, find inspiration, and put it back
  • It was one of the first books I’ve read on the power of our thoughts and our minds

Top 5 Quotes

As a man thinketh in his heart, so shall he be. James Allen

They themselves are makers of themselves. James Allen

The outer conditions of a person’s life will always be found to be harmoniously related to his inner state. Men do not attract that which they want, but that which they are. James Allen

He who would accomplish little need sacrifice little; he who would achieve much must sacrifice much. He who would attain highly must sacrifice greatly. James Allen

The alteration in your circumstances will be in exact ratio with your altered mental condition. James Allen

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Mastery by Robert Greene

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life changing books mastery robert greene
What you’ll like about this book

  • This book is packed with examples and anecdotes from historical and lesser-known figures too
  • It’s a long book but you can feel that the author put a lot of research and effort into it
  • It shows you that mastering something is possible when you are truly committed (and perhaps a little bit obsessed)

Top 5 Quotes

Be relentless in your pursuit for expansion. Robert Greene

The first move toward mastery is always inward — learning who you really are and reconnecting with that innate force. Robert Greene

The time that leads to mastery is dependent on the intensity of our focus. Robert Greene

It is in fact the height of selfishness to merely consume what others create and to retreat into a shell of limited goals and immediate pleasures. Robert Greene

The need for certainty is the greatest disease the mind faces. Robert Greene

Get the book HERE

Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School

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life changing books brain rules john medina
What you’ll like about this book

  • It’s a book about health which is a topic I particularly love (there’s nothing more important than that in life, right?)
  • It’s based on science and talks about exercise, stress, our brain, focus, memory, sleep, etc.
  • It’s easy and fun to read and contains nice summaries and reminders at the end of each chapter

Top 5 Quotes

We must do a better job of encouraging lifelong curiosity. John Medina

If you wanted to create a business environment that was directly opposed to what the brain was good at doing, you probably would design something like a cubicle. John Medina

Studies show that a person who is interrupted takes 50 percent longer to accomplish a task. Not only that, he or she makes up to 50 percent more errors. John Medina

Research shows that we can’t multitask. We are biologically incapable of processing attention-rich inputs simultaneously. John Medina

What you do and learn in life physically changes what your brain looks like — it literally rewires it. John Medina

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Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Revised Edition by Robert B. Cialdini

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life changing books influence robert cialdini
What you’ll like about this book

  • I’ve always been interested in psychology, marketing, and persuasion and this book tells us 6 timeless principles on how to influence others
  • The author Robert Cialdini knows what he’s talking about. He is a psychologist, Ph.D., and has worked with Barack Obama in 2012 and companies like Google, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Bayer, Coca-Cola, IBM, etc.
  • The book is organized simply: it has a chapter for each principle. Reciprocity, commitment, consistency, social proof, authority, liking, scarcity. All timeless principles

Top 5 Quotes

Attractiveness, similarity, compliments, contact and cooperation can make a person more influential. Robert B. Cialdini

Since 95 percent of the people are imitators and only 5 percent initiators, people are persuaded more by the actions of others than by any proof we can offer. Robert B. Cialdini

Frequently the crowd is mistaken because they are not acting on the basis of any superior information but are reacting, themselves, to the principle of social proof. Robert B. Cialdini

Apparently we have such an automatically positive reaction to compliments that we can fall victim to someone who uses them in an obvious attempt to win our favor. Robert B. Cialdini

People seem to be more motivated by the thought of losing something than by the thought of gaining something of equal value. Robert B. Cialdini

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Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

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life changing books made to stick chip dan heath
What you’ll like about this book

  • Today, when I want to write clear messages, blog posts, and emails, I still rely on what I’ve learned in this book
  • The authors, Chip and Dan Heath, give clear examples of their SUCCES framework (Simple, Unexpected, Credible, Concrete, Emotional, Stories)
  • Their ideas are easy to apply and based on research

Top 5 Quotes

The most basic way to get someone’s attention is this: Break a pattern. Chip and Dan Heath

For creating a successful idea: a Simple Unexpected Concrete Credentialed Emotional Story. (SUCCEs) Chip and Dan Heath

Rather than speculate about whether people will care, we should ask, “Is it emotional?” Chip and Dan Heath

The stars of stickiness are the students who made their case by telling stories, or by tapping into emotion, or by stressing a single point rather than ten. Chip and Dan Heath

One reliable way of making people care is by invoking self-interest. Chip and Dan Heath

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Deep Work (Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World)

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life changing books deep work cal newport
What you’ll like about this book

  • It shows you the value and importance of being able to focus
  • It shows you the unimportance of social media, emails, and smartphones if you want to achieve extraordinary results and thrive in the modern world
  • It shows you actionable advice on how to focus and that being bored is more awesome than you think

Top 7 Quotes

Deep work helps you produce at an elite level. Cal Newport

Focus on the wildly important. Cal Newport

To succeed with deep work you must rewire your brain to be comfortable resisting distracting stimuli. Cal Newport

To build your working life around the experience of flow produced by deep work is a proven path to deep satisfaction. Cal Newport

The Deep Work Hypothesis: The ability to perform deep work is becoming increasingly rare at exactly the same time it is becoming increasingly valuable in our economy. As a consequence, the few who cultivate this skill, and then make it the core of their working life, will thrive. Cal Newport

What we choose to focus on and what we choose to ignore – plays in defining the quality of our life. Cal Newport

When you work, work hard. When you’re done, be done. Cal Newport

Get the book HERE


I hope you discovered a few interesting life-changing books.

Don’t hesitate to grab a copy, or simply read a few quotes before buying one of them.

Sometimes, a simple quote can make a lasting impact on your life perspective.

Further Readings

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life changing books empoyer you wisdom