We all have room to improve, and you know this otherwise you wouldn’t have clicked through to this article. But the tricky part about self improvement is that it requires insight that comes from outside ourselves.
Just as you know things that others don’t, others know things that you don’t. Filling that gap in knowledge is an important step in personal development — and what better way to take in that knowledge than by reading some freely-available ebooks?
1. What Matters Now
In the realms of marketing and entrepreneurship, few names are as highly or widely regarded as Seth Godin. He can write a blog post under 100 words long and have it shared around the web thousands of times. When he speaks, people listen.
What Matters Now is a compiled-by-Godin collection of thoughts from influential thinkers, divided into dozens of one-page sections that each deal with specific areas in life. Generosity, vision, excellence, momentum, compassion — these are just some of the topics you’ll find in this 82-page booklet.
Download — What Matters Now (PDF)
2. How to Get More From Life
Scott H. Young maintains a blog that explores all kinds of topics that stem from this question: what’s the best way to learn? But his blog is a bit tough to wade through given that it has hundreds of articles in its archives.
This free ebooks, How to Get More From Life, is a compilation and distillation of his best posts. In his words, getting more from life means “a philosophy that is always geared towards improvement” — and this ebook aims to get you thinking in that way.
Download — How to Get More From Life (PDF)
3. 7 Keys to Discovering Your Passion
If you know what you want to do with your life, then consider yourself lucky! Some people don’t figure that out until well into their 40s, 50s, or even 60s. And while it’s never too late to find your passion, it’s definitely better to find it now rather than later.
7 Keys to Discovering Your Passion won’t tell you what your passions are, but it will give you the mindset that you need to go out and find it. Your passion might be some kind of creative hobby, or it might not. You won’t know until you earnestly start looking.
Supplement it with this site that’ll help you find a job you’ll enjoy, or at least point you in the right direction.
Download — 7 Keys to Discovering Your Passion (PDF)
4. Career Satisfaction From Within
Are you unhappy with your job or career? The job itself could very well be the problem — but it’s also possible that the problem stems from an issue deeper within. What if you could learn to be satisfied with any job or career?
You definitely can. But it won’t necessarily be easy. Career Satisfaction From Within is a quick but insightful look at some of the main reasons why we find ourselves dissatisfied with our positions in life, and what we can do to move beyond that.
Download — Career Satisfaction From Within (PDF)
5. 279 Days to Overnight Success
If you want to start a blog, you should. There are so many kinds that you can write, and even if you never build an audience, it’s a great way to practice writing and articulating your thoughts. But if you want to take your blog to the next level, then 279 Days to Overnight Success is the ebook for you.
While it has a lot of great business-related tips, I found it most helpful for the overall mentality that’s proposed and encouraged within. In short, there are no shortcuts in life and “overnight success” is really built on time, effort, and grit.
These are the same kinds of lessons that are shared by successful entrepreneurs. Growing is not easy, but it’s certainly worth the pain.
Download — 279 Days to Overnight Success (PDF)
6. How to Practice the Art of Life Balance
With people working longer and harder hours, many of us have lost sight of work-life balance. We pour everything into our professional endeavors at the expense of our personal lives, and this can lead to anxiety, poor health, and unhappiness.
How to Practice the Art of Life Balance is a 107-page collection of stories and resources that will show you that you aren’t alone in this struggle and how to right the off-kilter ship that is your life. Even if your balance is on point, this ebook is a good refresher on how to maintain that balance.
Download — How to Practice the Art of Life Balance (PDF)
7. 101 Things to Do Before You Die
If you knew you were leaving this world tomorrow, what would you do today? It’s a tough question, one that I don’t really like to think about myself. But it’s important to accept that tomorrow is never promised, and that we ought to make the best of our time.
101 Things to Do Before You Die is nothing more than a starting point — a generic but thought-provoking bucket list that may help you kick your life back into gear. Instead of wasting away in front of Netflix, maybe you’ll plant a tree, bake a cake, or travel the globe.
What would you regret if you passed away right now? Go and do those things while you still can!
Download — 101 Things to Do Before You Die (Web, PDF)
8. Beautiful Calm
Meditation is surprisingly helpful — and it doesn’t have to be spiritual or religious, though it certainly can be that too. Some are calling it “mindfulness” these days, but whatever its name, the concept is the same: quiet self-reflection.
Beautiful Calm is a quick read (only 26 pages) but can help you take back control of your life. With meditation, you may finally be able to say goodbye to anxiety, insecurity, and stress. Use these calming mobile apps to help you settle into your meditative state.
Download — Beautiful Calm (PDF)
9. The One Skill
Are you bogged down by demons like stress, procrastination, fear, anger, or insecurity? You probably know in your head that you’d be happier if you could just let those things go, but that’s much easier said than done. I know because I’ve been there myself!
The One Skill is an ebook all about letting go — of your fears, your hindrances, your reluctance, and even your pain. If there’s one mental skill that everyone in the world can benefit from, this is it. Being able to let go will unlock a whole new level of peace in your life.
Download — The One Skill (PDF, EPUB, MOBI)
10. 92 Life Lessons
This quick read is only 11 pages long, but it will leave you with a lot to think about. It’s essentially a collection of quotes from the Tiny Buddha community, and even though you won’t benefit from every single piece of advice, at least one will resonate with you.
Topics covered include Love, Meaning, Happiness, Possibilities, Peace, Mindfulness, Struggle/Growth, and Personal Power. Enter with an open mind and you may be surprised by how much growth you find therein.
Download — 92 Life Lessons (PDF)
What Are You Working On Right Now?
In addition to these ebooks, we recommend a few other methods that may prove useful depending on how you learn best:
- These 30-day life challenges are great if you have a lot of ambition but never seem to actually start any projects or endeavors.
- These online personal development courses are great if you need a bit more structure and instruction — more than what ebooks usually provide.
- These personal growth Reddit communities are great if you want a more community-based approach to self improvement.
We all have room to improve, but our vices and shortcomings are all different. My biggest struggle is work-life balance. What about you? Share with us down below!