The Truth Behind Reading Personal Development Books

The Truth Behind Reading Personal Development Books
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Whenever I set foot in a bookstore, I always head straight to the Self-Help/Personal Development Books section. I just love reading personal development books. Because of these books, I learned how to make people feel important; write down goals, and even manage my time. But after reading tons of personal development books, I realized the truth behind this genre…

Here’s What I Realized After Reading Countless of Personal Development Books

1. Personal development books have the same ideas, but they are packaged differently.

I listen to the Atomic Habits audiobook, and I thought the concepts were similar to The Compound Effect. I still continued to listen to it while doing my household chores, but I knew I would never read the book… not until it became the book of the month for our Entrepreneurs Book Club. I had no choice but to read Atomic Habits. As I read though, it was indeed the same as Darren Hardy’s The Compound Effect but with James Clear’s own twist. He added the Four Laws of Habit Change. And you know what? I don’t regret reading it at all!

2. Joining a book club makes it more fun.

Most of my reader friends prefer fiction, and I only have a few friends who appreciate non-fiction books. Last year, for work, I became one of the group moderators of the Entrepreneurs Book Club. I wasn’t required to join the virtual discussions, but since I didn’t have any other non-fiction reader friends, I decided to participate. If you want to join the club, click here!

3. Authors sometimes rewrite their content.

I like Brian Tracy. He’s a great motivational speaker and writer. I’ve read four of his books, and for me, they all have the same message:

If you want to achieve your goals, write them down and manage your time well.

I came to the point that I told myself I’d never read another Brian Tracy book again, but then again, I read Get Smart. However, I stopped in Chapter 1 because the book proved that it’s similar to the other ones.

Don’t get me wrong though, he’s still one of the best motivational leaders out there. His Goals book is one of my all-time faves!

4. No matter how many self-help books you read, nothing will happen if you just read them.

Reading personal development books is one thing, but applying them is another.

5. Personal development books are not rulebooks, they’re guide books.

You don’t have to follow all the concepts presented. Some concepts may work for other readers but not for you, and it’s okay.

6. Some self-help books are worth rereading.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a good book, but it’s a one-time read for me. The books worth giving a second/third/fourth read (for me) are the following:

Goals by Brian Tracy: I read this every time I need to plan out my life, usually every year.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie: I got the idea of rereading books from Dale Carnegie. He recommends that you read the said book every month to familiarize and memorize the concepts by heart. I don’t read every month though.

Follow Your Heart by Andrew Matthews: I read this book whenever I feel lost and discouraged. My friend who recommended this does the same thing–he reads it whenever he needs motivation.

7. There are books that you may not like (and it’s okay to stop reading them).

If there are books worth rereading, there are also books that’s hard to finish. For me, it’s Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. I tried reading it thrice and listening to the audiobook once, but I can’t get past Chapter 4.

I think Malcolm Gladwell explained success in a logical manner as if people who have advantages are more prone to succeed compared to the less fortunate.

A friend who finished the book said that it seemed that way, but once you finish it (which I can’t really do), it’s different. But… I still can’t bring myself to read it. If you want to read it, you can check it out on Amazon.

8. People think perceive you as smart when you read these self-help books.

My friends tell me I’m smart. And that’s because I read these kinds of books! Let’s get it straight, readers regardless of whatever genre they prefer, are smart.

9. Reading too many personal development books can be confusing.

I temporarily stopped reading self-help books at one point because I was overloaded with conflicting information. But I’m back at it, and I believe I’m a smarter reader now. I now read a variety of non-fiction books. If I’m not reading personal development books, I read financial literacy books.


Reading personal development books can help you big time in life! But don’t think that you have to follow the concepts to the letter. Learn to filter the books that you should read and the concepts you should follow.

PS. If you’re interested to read the books mentioned in this post, just click the title.

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The Truth Behind Reading Personal Development Books

9 thoughts on “The Truth Behind Reading Personal Development Books

  1. This made so much sense and was super helpful. I don’t know why I have never thought to read a personal development book. I have been doing a lot of personal development recently and a lot of personal growth and any advice and help is certainly appreciated. Thanks for the advice

  2. I am not a big reader, but I think that some self-help books can be very eye opening. Although, like you said, it is essential to apply those ideas and not just simply read the book. Action is key! Thank you for sharing your insight!

  3. It seems to me you are quite experienced in the field. Have you ever thought of writing something that avoids the clichées you list here? Maybe it’s worth trying. I would love to hear if you decide to give it a try. Please tag me anytime, Thanks for sharing these thoughts!

  4. So true! I think it’s ok that many say similar things in different ways for two reasons: different people learn through different examples and styles, and most of us need to hear something more than once for it to sink in and actually start making changes. And I liked the one Brian Tracy book I read. I did like listening to Outliers, but am not so sure I’d even call it personal development — I don’t remember feeling it had actionable advice or conclusions.

  5. Yes, so true! Especially number four… I am often guilty of that myself. Reading a great book, feeling inspired and motivated… but just continuing as usual. Change is hard, lol. Nice blog post, thanks for sharing!

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