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Life Lessons From 50 Self Development Books I Read Over the Past Few Years.

Nuggets of wisdom you can absorb within minutes and apply to your life.


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Teronie Donaldson

2 years ago | 9 min read

Nuggets of wisdom you can absorb within minutes and apply to your life.

Excellent Collection of Books
Brevity is Power.

This quote serves me well in many forms of communication as our attention spans get shorter. Wisdom is essential; some of the best gems hide within books; however, many people don’t have the time to read.

The next viable option is learning from others’ discoveries; I benefitted generously from the tiny bits of wisdom collected over the years from reading many self-development books. Through doubts and indecisions, the quick nuggets were highlight reels motivating me when I needed them most.

As they have helped me, I am confident they will benefit you.


Here are life lessons from 50 self-development books I read over the past few years.

  1. “The thinking that guides your intelligence is more important than how much intelligence you have.” — The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz
  2. “Experiment. Do things just for the fun of it. When you’re unknown, there’s nothing to distract you from getting better. Enjoy your obscurity while it lasts. Use it.” — Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon.
  3. “You will fall, remain or rise with your thoughts, your Vision, your Ideal. You will become as small as your controlling desire; as great as your dominant aspiration. Change your thoughts. Master your mind. And you’ll transform your life and results.” — As A Man Thinketh by James Allen
  4. “Be impeccable with your word. Speak with integrity and say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.” — The 4 Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
  5. “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — as you are the easiest person to fool.” — Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday.
  6. “Forget about goals; focus on the system instead. Motivation is overrated; you must design your environment to support your habits.” — Atomic Habits by James Clear.
  7. “Become genuinely interested in other people. In two months, you can make more friends by being interested in them than in two years by making them interested in you.” — How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  8. “Make a habit of going the extra mile.” — The Law of Success by Napoleon Hill.
  9. “A mastermind is the coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony. Develop a mastermind alliance and meet with them often.” — Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
  10. “Mornings are essential. To have a miracle morning you will need to practice these 6 habits called Life S.A.V.E.R.S. —  Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, and Scribing(Journaling) each will have a specific purpose in improving your life.” — The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod.
  11. “The immature mind hops from one thing to another; the mature mind seeks to follow through. Switching from task to task can cost you up to 40% efficiency.” -How Successful People Think by John C. Maxwell
  12. “The Only way to discover your strength is through feedback analysis. Whenever you make a key decision or take a key action, write down what you expect will happen. Nine or twelve months later compare the actual results with your expectations.” — Managing Oneself by Peter Drucker.
  13. “The only difference between failure and success lies in a difference of good habits.” — The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino.
  14. “Bottom line, if you want success of any kind, you have to be comfortable being uncomfortable. Stop thinking and stop waiting. You already know what to do.” — Relentless by Tim Grover.
  15. “What you do today matters” — The Slight Edge by Jeff Olsen.
  16. “Small choices + consistency + time = significant results.” — The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy.
  17. “Being dependent on only one person or one solution for success is your fault.” — The 10x Rule by Grant Cardone.
  18. “Most of us give up when we’ve only given around 40 percent of our maximum effort. Even when we feel like we’ve reached our absolute limit, we still have 60 percent more to give! Once you know that to be true, it’s simply a matter of stretching your pain tolerance, letting go of your identity and all your self-limiting stories, so you can get to 60 percent, then 80 percent, and beyond without giving up. I call this The 40% Rule” — Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins.
  19. “If you can, you must. If you can do it, then why not? Success is your responsibility not because of you but because your family and others depend on you. Your spouse, children, and friends all deserve to have the best possible version of you in their lives, both in financial and any other terms.” — Be Obsessed or Be Average by Grant Cardone.
  20. “Take the chance and start your business. Have fun while doing business. If it’s not fun for you or you dont enjoy it, don’t do it.” — Screw it Let's Do it; Lessons in Life and Business by Richard Branson.
  21. “Change is always present, be ready to adapt to it.” — Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson M.D.
  22. “We tend to believe in the ironic notion of wasting time; we don’t want to waste time pursuing something that might not work. but we’re more than happy to waste time doing things that will either keep us stagnant or move us backward.” — Real Help by Ayodeji Awosika
  23. “Write down ten ideas every day. It could be about anything; it doesn’t matter if they’re your business ideas, book ideas, etc. The purpose is to develop your idea muscle.” — Choose Yourself by James Altucher.
  24. “Two different mindsets lead to different sets of thoughts and actions and two different paths. They dictate people’s aspirations, how they see success, failure, and effort, and what that means in school, sports, work, and relationships. Success is about proving to yourself and others that you’re smart and talented in the fixed mindset world. In the growth mindset world where you can change, success is about stretching yourself, learning, and improving.” — Mindset by Carol S. Dweck.
  25. “Networking is vital to life.” — Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi.
  26. “Comparison is the thief of happiness.” — The Power of Vulnerability by Brene Brown.
  27. “Stomping” on your ANTs or Automatic Negative Thoughts as they come up is essential in strengthening your mindset. Also, surrounding yourself with a positive peer group will help your anti-negative attitude stick.” — Limitless by Jim Kwik.
  28. “Keep in mind the following: what you really value in life is ownership, not money. If ever there is a choice — more money or more responsibility — you must always choose the latter. A lower-paying position that offers more room to make decisions and carve out little empires is infinitely preferable to something that pays well but constricts your movements.” — The 50th Law by Robert Greene and 50 Cent.
  29. “Treat your most important relationships like a bank account. The more deposits you make in your core relationships bank account, the stronger these associations become. In the process, you become more valuable to these people.” — The Power of Focus by Jack Canfield, Les Hewitt, and Mark Victor Hansen.
  30. “If you think your problems are permanent and all-pervasive: you are inviting pessimism. If you believe your problems are temporary and limited in scope: this is learned optimism.” — Learned Optimism by Martin D Seligman.
  31. (Winners Mentality) “I never went to a competition to compete. I went to win, even though I didn’t win every time; that was my mindset. I became a total animal.” — Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story by Arnold Schwartzenegger.
  32. “On our artist’s journey, we move past resistance and past self-sabotage. We discover our true selves and our authentic calling, and we produce the works we were born to create.” — The Artists Journey by Steven Pressfield.
  33. “Get the right people to say the right things about you — that’s marketing in a nutshell.” — Bluefishing by Steve Sims.
  34. “Start with the end in mind. You can only complete a goal if you get started. Break your goal down into small achievable tasks and do something towards those goals every day. Stop making excuses and do the hard and dirty work to achieve your goals.” — Abundance Now by Lisa Nichols.
  35. “Opportunity always takes no for an answer. Always be ready to act on your opportunities now.” — Success One Day at a Time by John C. Maxwell.
  36. “The interesting paradox is that to put others first and give yourself in meaningful ways; you have to know how to put yourself first and be a little selfish where it counts. By making time for yourself and taking care of your health first, you are putting yourself in the best position to continue being there for the people around you when they most need it.” — Stop People Pleasing by Patrick King.
  37. (On entrepreneurship) “I believe living on the edge, living in and through your fear is the summit of life; and people who refuse to take that dare condemn themselves to a life of living death.” — Succeeding Against the Odds: The Autobiography of a Great American Businessman By John H. Johnson
  38. “Having more control over your time and options is becoming one of the most valuable currencies in the world.” — The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed and Happiness by Morgen Housel.
  39. “For your mindset — you can’t settle for less. And let bad habits ruin your life. You cannot let doubt, fear, arrogance, or laziness get you. You must take action. For your skillset — you must be willing to upgrade. Everything is learnable. Especially financial, sales, management, negotiating skills — to name a few. The biggest factor is that you will have to be committed to lifelong learning for your whole mindset and skillset to improve.” — Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
  40. “Deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. If you can work for at least 3 hours straight on a task, you will be amazed at the results.” — Deep Work by Cal Newport
  41. “Start With the End in Mind. If your ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step you take gets you to the wrong place faster.” — The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey.
  42. “We tend to live in the past and the future. One moment we’re reminiscing or regretting; the next, we’re planning or worrying. Meanwhile, we neglect the one moment that is fully available to us: the present. The present is important because nothing ever occurs in the past or future; things happen only in a continuous stream of present moments.” — The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.
  43. “If your to-do list contains everything, then it’s probably taking you everywhere but where you really want to go; What’s the ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” — The One Thing by Gary Keller.
  44. “At some point, you have to recognize what world it is that you belong to; what power rules it and from what source you spring; that there is a limit to the time assigned you, and if you don’t use it to free yourself it will be gone and will never return.” — Meditations by Marcus Aurelius.
  45. “If you’re not doing as well as you’d like, all that means is there’s something you don’t know.” — The Secrets of The Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker
  46. “Conventional self-help advice focuses on what you’re Not. Further, it zeros in on what you perceive your personal shortcomings and failures to be already and highlights them for you.” — The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*CK by Mark Manson.
  47. “One of the most powerful of our survival mechanisms is to be part of a tribe, to contribute to (and take from) a group of like-minded people. We are drawn to leaders and their ideas, and we can’t resist the rush of belonging and the thrill of the new.” — Tribes by Seth Godin.
  48. “To master internal triggers, learn how to deal with discomfort, observe urges and allow them to dissolve, and reimagine the bigger task.” — Indestractible by Nir Eyal.
  49. “To build an effective new habit, you need five essential components: a reason, a trigger, a micro-habit, effective practice, and a plan.” — The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier.
  50. “The 80/20 rule says that 80% of your positive results (happiness, sales, etc.) come from 20% of your time (effort, work, etc.) Take a close look at how you spend your time and remove the activities that have the smallest impact on success or happiness.” The 80/20 Rule by Richard Koch.
Even more Great Books

There were many more lessons from various books I read, but these 50 were the ones I implemented the most. I hope they will help you as well.

If you decided to read the books I mentioned or take my snippet of them, remember none of it works unless you work.


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Teronie Donaldson

Writer | Motivator | Reading Habits Coach | Content Creator. Around Me, Everyone Wins!


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