Whether you’re looking to meet a New Year’s resolution or simply trying to improve your life, self-improvement audiobooks can help. But there are so many out there that it can be difficult to pick one.
That’s why we’ve scoured the internet for the best self-improvement books that you can listen to. From cleaning out clutter to reducing stress, these inspirational audiobooks will help you get your life on track.
Audiobooks for a Simpler Life
Clearing out clutter and refocusing your mind can have a profound effect on your life. These three books will help you simplify in different areas of your life.
1. Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism by Fumio Sasaki
Fumio Sasaki isn’t a self-help guru, and he’s not an organizational expert. He’s also not an ultra-hip startup founder in Silicon Valley. He’s just a regular guy who decided that he didn’t need to own so many things.
Goodbye, Things includes practical advice on how you can reduce the amount of stuff that you own. This book is about his journey and the remarkable ways his life changed after embracing minimalism.
2. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
Once you’ve decluttered your space, you can start decluttering your mind. McKeown encourages readers to stop pursuing everything and start pursuing just the right things. It’s a method for developing the discipline to understand what’s important and where you should spend your time.
By focusing on tasks, projects, and priorities, instead of possessions, McKeown helps readers clear their minds. And that results in better focus, more discipline, and more effectiveness. While the book is often discussed as a good one for businesspeople, the ideas are applicable to everyone’s lives.
3. The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller
Keller’s idea is simple: find the one thing that you’re working toward, and pursue it relentlessly. Doing that, however, isn’t as simple as it sounds. This book will help you do it.
When you’re focused in on what’s important, you ignore the things that are unnecessary and spend your time working on the tasks that will get you closer to your ultimate goal.
Audiobooks for More Productivity
We’re all looking for ways to get more done. These audiobooks take you beyond to-do lists and productivity systems, and address the deeper systems underlying productivity.
4. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
While our conscious minds are capable of some pretty amazing things, it’s our underlying habits that drive much of who we are and what we do. And changing our habits is the key to success.
Duhigg walks readers through some fascinating science in his search for the power of habits. He shares stories from some of the most successful people of our time, from Howard Schultz to Michael Phelps. And he shows how “keystone” habits form the foundation of success.
5. Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy
Procrastination is a productivity killer. If you’re wasting time when you could be working, you’re sabotaging your own success. Eat That Frog! gives you actionable strategies for defeating procrastination so you can get more done in less time.
The title comes from the saying, “If you start your day by eating a live frog, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you’re done with the worst thing you’ll do all day.” Yes, it’s weird. But when Tracy applies it to modern life, you’ll see that it’s an apt metaphor and can transform your productivity. Which is why this is one of the best motivational audiobooks of all time.
6. Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport
Technology has made it harder to focus on what we’re doing. We’re constantly bombarded with notifications, tempted by addictive social media, and thrown off track by relentless email. In this book, Newport discusses the importance of “deep work,” a state of distraction-free focus on a cognitively demanding task.
With a mix of practical strategies and reflections on modern culture, you’ll learn to understand the nature of deep work. And you’ll have to come to terms with some alarming suggestions: like the idea that serious professionals should quit social media.
7. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
If you’ve ever felt extremely in tune with what you’re doing, and a profound sense of enjoyment, you’ve experienced what Csikszentmihalyi calls “optimal experience,” or a flow state. In Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, he outlines the idea that consciously ordering the information that enters our subconscious can engage us in a flow state.
If you’re interested in psychology, this is a great self-help book. It backs up its claims with scientific results and explains why optimal experience is so important with research. It will help you conquer chronic inattention to your life and become more deeply involved in both your work and your leisure time.
Audiobooks for a Better Life
Many popular self-improvement audiobooks are widely focused, taking on a variety of issues. These two, however, are more specific, by can be applied to almost any area in your life.
8. Unwind!: 7 Principles for a Stress-Free Life by Michael Olpin and Sam Bracken
Stress permeates every corner of our lives. It affects our work, our relationships, even our health. If you can reduce your stress levels, you’ll see all manner of improvements. Unwind! is focused on seven “paradigm shifts” that will help you think and act differently in all areas of your life.
It’s not like any other stress-reduction book you’ve read, and the changes that it makes in how you view the world and your relationship with it may very well change your life. It’s a short book, but a powerful one. (If you find that your stress causes anxiety, be sure to check out Rewire Your Anxious Brain!)
9. The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr
You won’t find this on many lists of self-improvement audiobooks. But Carr’s exploration of the changes caused by constant connectivity might make you think differently about your life. When you see just how big the effect is, you can’t help but change how you do things.
Carr argues that every information technology carries an ethic; and that the ethic carried by the internet isn’t doing us any favors. It’s a difficult look in the mirror, and even though you might not call it a self-help audiobook, it deserves a spot on this list.
Audiobooks About Wealth Management
Money, or the lack of it in your life, is a common topic addressed in self-help audiobooks. And there are tons of them out there — but there’s one that stands above the rest.
10. Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! by Robert Kiyosaki
Despite the title, this isn’t all about teaching your children personal finance lessons. It’s about how wealthy people think differently about money than non-wealthy people. And how those distinctions can help you from the latter group to the former.
It’s not a new book — it’s over 20 years old at the time of writing — but the advice is timeless. Kiyosaki helps you rethink assets and liabilities, one of the foundations of personal finance. And with that rethinking, you’ll see how you can become wealthy without making a ton of money.
What Are Your Favorite Self-Improvement Audiobooks?
These 10 audiobooks will help you make positive changes in your life. But they’re certainly not the only options out there. Everyone responds to different types of self-improvement advice. The important thing is to just get started.
Do you listen to self-improvement audiobooks? If so, what are your favorites? Are there other self-improvement audiobooks you would include? Please share your recommendations in the comments below!
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