The Only 10 Books You Need to Read to Succeed

Personal development is a multi-billion dollar industry. That industry publishes literally thousands of books every year on the topic of success and how to achieve it. From the practical to the new age, there is a different flavor of book for every taste.

So, which books should you read – which books will actually help you on your quest – and which books should you toss to the side? People are busy, so this is a vital question.

This is the list of the only ten books you need to read in order to fully understand the philosophy of success. From positive thinking and the law of attraction to goals and enlightenment, these books hit all the topics.

Get them. Read them. Study them. When you’ve digested the contents of these books, you will be more than ready to get to the important part of your success journey – getting into action.

10. The Magic of Believing – Claude M. Bristol

This book is a classic. Mr. Bristol explains in great detail how to tap into the powers of your subconscious mind. While that may make it sound like it’s new age woo, it’s not. Bristol provides great techniques for auto-suggestion and how to actually think about the problems that may face us. You will get a lot from this book – guaranteed.

9. No-Nonsense Guide to Enlightenment – Blair Warren

Blair Warren is one of the smartest people I know and this book (e-book, actually) showcases that. His premise? That while many of us quest for enlightenment, the fact is that all of us have actually experienced enlightenment at one time or another – and probably even multiple times. I’ve read this book a few times and every time I read it I get something new from it. Want to know the best thing? Mr. Warren provides it as a free download. Get enlightened – get Mr. Warren’s book.

8. Psycho-Cybernetics – Maxwell Maltz

Do you want to know how your brain works? Do you want to improve your golf swing without physically practicing? Do you want to be like a guided missile when it comes to achieving your goals? Then this is the book for you. This is one of the most powerful books you will ever read. This books is such a classic that there is a decent chance that you have read it. If that is the case, then read it again. The concepts in this book bear repeating.

7. Think & Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill

What list of books about the philosophy of success would be complete without this book? It’s a classic that deserves repeated readings. I can’t write much that isn’t already written about this book. If you already have it on your shelf, get it and read it again. If you don’t have it, then get it and read it. The proof is in the pudding with Think & Grow Rich: many, many successful people cite this book as a major influence on their success.

6. SHAM – Steve Salerno

The sub-title for this book is How the Self-Help Movement Made America Helpless. So, what is what one would consider to be an anti-self-help book doing on a list of the best self-help books? In order to separate the wheat from the chaff, not only does one have to know what the wheat looks like, one has to be familiar with what the chaffs looks like as well. Mr. Salerno does an excellent job of illustrating where self-help and personal development have gone awry – and how in some circumstances it is actually hurting people. Like any other human endeavor, the personal development field has its share of charlatans and scammers. The better prepared you are to notice them before they lead you astray, the better are your chances for becoming the success you want to be.

5. How to Get Rich – Felix Dennis

This is not new age fluff. Not at all. This book is not like any book on this list. Mr. Dennis, the multi-millionaire publisher and founder of Maxim Magazine among others, actually calls his little tome an “anti-self-help book”. So, what will you garner from this book? You’ll get Mr. Dennis’ perspective on what it takes to really become rich. And not just six-figures-a-year rich, but multi-millionaire, never-have-to-worry-about-money-ever-again rich. Do you think that you have what it takes to get that far? Read this book and find out. Trust me – it will open your eyes.

4. You Were Born Rich – Bob Proctor

Before he jumped the shark and became “Scientist” Bob the quantum physics “expert”, Bob Proctor actually wrote books and delivered seminars that made sense. As much as I dislike what he’s become, I cannot deny that You Were Born Rich is one of the best personal development books ever written. Not only do I have the book, but I also have the unabridged audio version, which I have played countless times. I know it might be tempting to get some of his other works, but you really don’t need to do that. This is the only book that he’s written that actually has any merit and that will actually help you on your path to success.

3. The Master Key Workbook – Anthony R. Michalski

Yes, I wrote this book. Yes, I really do think that it is that good. And, no, I am not tooting my own horn. As I researched the success philosophy and as I talked with countless people, I discovered one of the main reasons people do not achieve a notable level of success. It is not because they don’t try hard enough; it’s not because they don’t understand the philosophy of success; it’s often not even because they’re not talented or skilled in some way. The main reason many people do not succeed is because they don’t know what they actually want! That’s where the Workbook comes into play. The Workbook is chock full of concepts, mental exercises, and written exercises that will help you hone what your idea of success is. This book will help you to decide what you truly want. Once you have the goal, then attaining it becomes that much easier. You will love this book. And since it’s a workbook and you will be writing in it, you will return to it again and again as you journey toward success.

2. The Master Key System – Charles F. Haanel

What more needs to be said? The Master Key System is “the only clear, concise, comprehensive, definitive, distinctive, and scientific presentation of the creative power of thought ever formulated.” As you read though the 24 weeks of the book and as you practice the exercises, you will be training your brain to focus and to visualize. You will learn how to look at a problem or situation or opportunity and to solve it or see it for what it really is or take advantage of it. This is truly a powerful book and the people who study it get a lot from it.

1. Prometheus Rising – Robert Anton Wilson

If you read only one book on this list, then make it this one. I read it at least once per year – and every time that I do I get something new out of it. In Prometheus Rising, Mr. Wilson takes the reader on a journey through the seven “circuits” of consciousness as delineated by Timothy Leary. What will you learn? A lot. Too much to get into here. I can only say that I have found this book to be one of the most important books that I’ve ever read. I am highly confident that you will agree with me once you’ve read it.

And there you have it. The only ten books you need to read to succeed.

You may be asking, Why only ten?

I know that it is a common claim in the personal development arena that you should be constantly reading every personal development book that you can get your hands on. Some seminar speakers say that you are “investing in your education” while others claim that reading all the books should be like “combing your hair” – you do that every day, so you should read personal development books everyday, lest you backslide into your unsuccessful ways.

I don’t agree with that line of reasoning. In my experience, one of two things happens if a person reads too many personal development books.

  1. The person becomes confused because they are exposed to far too many ideas and techniques, thus they never tap into their ultimate potential.
  2. The person becomes a “self-help junkie” looking for the “silver bullet” that will make them successful.

Both are equally debilitating and both are only caused by reading too many of what I refer to as softcore self-help books.

There are two classifications of self-help/personal development books: softcore and hardcore.

Softcore books refer to those books that espouse ideas and techniques related to the philosophy of success. They are books that are about the Law of Attraction, how to make friends, how your mind works. Things of that nature. This list is a collection of softcore self-help books.

Hardcore books are those books that actually tell you how to do something, such as how to start a business, step-by-step guides to learning a skill, how to invest your money. A good example of a hardcore self-help book is David Portney’s 129 Seminar Speaking Success Tips.

Once you have read and studied the books on this list, you should be good to go with regards to softcore self-help books. Sure, you can read a new one once in a while, but you should be quite familiar with the philosophy, if not practicing it somewhat fluently. If you don’t understand something, re-read one or all of these books. In most cases, it’s not a matter of requiring another book; it’s just a matter of understanding what you already have!

When you understand the philosophy, that is when you move to the hardcore self-help books so that you can learn the actual skills you need to learn in order to become competent at whatever you aim to do.

You see, it is important that you learn that you can do it; then it is important to learn how to do it; and then you must go out and actually do it.

With these ten books, you will learn everything you need to know about the philosophy of success. You will learn that you can do just about anything to which you set your mind. Speaking of your mind, you will learn how to properly use it.

Read these books and succeed. Or, as Haanel would say –

You must first have the knowledge of your power; second, the courage to dare; third, the faith to do.

These ten book will give you that knowledge of your power. By honing your skills, you will develop the courage to dare. After that, it’s all up to you. And I have faith that you can do it!

Pun In Sanskrit Literature – A New Approach

The book under review titled Pun In Sanskrit Literature – A New Approach is a fantastic book.

All Sanskrit lovers and pun lovers should read this book without fail.

The book was first published by Mysore University, India in 1982. The author Gurupad K Hegde is a great scholar and has written this book after intense study of Sanskrit literature for many years.

The book has nine chapters.

The first chapter deals with the pun as alankara in Sanskrit literature.

The origin of pun starts with the first kavya (adi kavya) of the world written by the world’s first poet, sage Valmiki.

The origin of Ramayana is from a sloka of pun! The verse starts with ‘ma nisada’ is a curse on the hunter that he should never attain salvation for he killed the beautiful krauncha bird which was absorbed in love. And wonderfully, the verse also means that the great Lord Vishnu may attain a position for ever as he killed the demon Ravana and Valin.

The author describes in detail the root cause of the concept of fun, the nature of the words in pun and objects of the pun in the second chapter.

The author gives numerous examples to explain the figurative combinations in the great and beautiful language Sanskrit in chapter three.

Chapter four of the book deals with the role of pun in classical Sanskrit literature.The author indicates Shakespeare’s lines in Othello (III-2) The word ‘lies’ in the conversation of Desdemona and Clown is a witty use of pun to mean ‘lodging’ as well as telling a lie!

The great poets Sri Harsha, Bhavaputi,Asvaghosa,Bharavi,Magha,Dandin have used Slesha or pun in their works.

And it is to be noted that the only language which has kavyas where two or more stories are narrated throughout the full length of a poem is Sanskrit. Thus we have kavyas which describes Ramayana and Mahabharata in the same verse!

Needless to say that the author has dealt the Mahabharata kuta slokas which means the slokas with knots!

While the fifth chapter deals with functional pun and the sixth chapter deals with perceptional pun and the seventh with situational pun! The eighth chapter of the book deals with the impact of pun in iconography.

The author concludes in his concluding chapter that pun is everywhere starting from vedic literature to the modern literature which gives the experiences of day to day business of life.

Over three hundred selected verses are given as examples to understand the pun in Sanskrit literature.

On completing the book we are wonderstruck with the author’s deep reading as well as with the vastness of the wonderful t Sanskrit literature!

Index of subject and index of 300 verses will be useful to the readers.

Finally, we may pray that more such books should come to enlighten us!

Making Your Purpose Your Business Step #2- Getting From Point A to Point B

In my previous article, Step 1, your challenge for the month was to research where your passion lies. Based on your research you might have discovered that self investigation can lead us to two places; either we find out our answer or we realize we need to ask more questions to get that answer.

Finding your purpose takes great effort, but can be effortless all at the same time. It seems that once we begin pursuing that in which we were intended, everything falls into place. But the matter we have to realize is that time plays a great role.

Sometimes people are over night successes and others have to nurture their purpose for years to come. Keep in mind though, as long as you enjoy what it is you are pursuing and the motivation you have is strong, than that alone will sustain your ambition and provide your passion longevity.

Remember you are making a commitment to yourself. You should treat that commitment the same way you would treat a marriage or devoted friendship. The key is to value yourself the way you value others. Having a good attitude from the very beginning can make the difference and not only affect your career, but the people around you. Self dedication does show and the commitment will be reflected in your professional life and relationships.

Assuming you now have a general idea of what you would like to do, now you need to visualize how to get from Point A, where you are now, to Point B, where you would like to be. Sometimes it is easier to set up a structure for your business if you look at the large picture of your purpose and where you intend to be in the future. Granted your ideas and goals change as you change, but your general purpose will usually remain the same, it just branches out.

Now that you have researched what you want to do, take the time to research what others in your area of interest have already done. Conducting market research will allow you to get a feel for the industry you are entering. It’s important to see what is out there. Look up trade journals and magazines. Really put some effort into getting involved with your career and learning about it. Every career has an abundant amount of resources available and a lot of that information is free. If you see a trade journal or magazine that you like, sign up for their newsletter. This will help keep you updated on industry events and trends.

Reading and researching can be one sided tasks. Sometimes it is easier to learn about your career by actually interacting with others in the field. This can be done on your own time instead of regular business hours thanks to the internet. Now you can find chat groups, users groups, and forums and you are not limited by time zones or borders.

One of my favorite resources is Yahoo Groups at You can look up any particular subject and find a group where you can discuss some of your career objections. This is an excellent way to network with your peers and experts in the field. It is not uncommon to find a lot of other “newbies” in these groups as well as professionals. The most important thing is to not be afraid to ask questions. If you don’t know what questions to ask then reading over the archives of a group is a great place to start. Groups vary in size and subject so what I suggest is to join a couple to see which ones fit your personal needs.

Another resource you can use is ListServ lists Typically you subscribe through your email client to a discussion group within your field of interest. You can also do a search for “listserves” or “user groups” on the internet to pull up a vast amount of sites that list an array of groups. Not all lists are treated equal so again use your own judgment when joining.

I also personally like forum communities. You can often search for “forums” online to find one in your career field. It’s a great opportunity to share your discoveries as well as learn from others. Not to mention you can do several searches within a forum and read old posts. This is a great way to see other member profiles which often reference their personal or business websites. Some forums even have a ‘members’ section that lists all their members profiles. Any profile with a “www” by their name usually has a live link to their site. Be sure to take the time and visit these sites for reference.

When you are visiting other people’s websites in your field, I advise you to check and see if they have a links page. I have found so many great resources through other people’s links pages. Also it helps you get an idea of what sites you can possibly request link exchanges from in the future.

By networking with others and conducting your own market research, you will gain a better sense of direction and get an idea where it is you want to be in the future with your career. If you see a website that you like, bookmark it. Then once you have collected enough information, go back and review your favorites once more. Ask yourself what do you like about it? What information was useful to you? Was the site visually appealing? Was the site easy to navigate? If not, what would you change? What information would you add? Take notes, write your thoughts down and remember… patience plus perseverance, equals purpose.