7 best self help books to read in 2020

7 Best self help books to read in 2020

We hope you enjoy this guide of must reads for your development. There are so many self help books out there.

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1. New Power

Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans

Even 4 years on, some of us are still wondering how Trump won the election right? Well, this book may just hold the answer to that question and so much more. New Power will turn what you think you know about power, influence and change upside down.

There’s a reason new businesses such as Airbnb have risen to the top of the game. It’s the same for powerful campaigns like #MeToo taking centre stage to tackle inequality across our communities. New power is the modern force to drive economies, start movements and change the way society operates.

You may be wondering if this really is a self help book. However, for anyone who has wanted to make a difference in the world, then this is the place to start.

It all boils down to how effective you can be at channeling ‘participatory energy’. While this can be devastatingly bad for some, it can also be harnessed for immense good. All we have to do first, is understand it.

With powerful endorsements from the likes of Richard Branson, this was always going to be a book that needed attention. It was the validation of Allicia Garza (Co-founder of Black Lives Matter) that made us revisit New Power. The relevance of this book in our eyes has risen in 2020.

2. Radical Contentment: The Power Of Enough

Alan Cohen

Now Alan Cohen has written so many self help books (27 to be exact!). Anyone who has been featured on, plus USA Today and The Washington Post gets our attention!

Radical Contentment is a personal favourite for Rob. It was the first book he picked up after his mum passed away. The way Alan Cohen explains the steps we can all take to be at peace with only those things before us has been an influential mindset since the first time we read it.

During the lockdown of 2020, we revisited the book to help us turn our current situation into an opportunity. Through applying the principles within the book we were able to develop our own wisdom and happiness and it may be just the next book to read for you too.

Ultimately, Radical Contentment is for those who seek success, however it isn’t a golden ticket. It will give you a front row seat to the questions you need to answer about yourself, before looking outside for answers.

Finding satisfaction from what we take for granted was our first take home from the book. Secondly, we learnt to take action and change those things only we had control of. The hardest part to harness was increasing our patience for those opportunities not yet in our grasp and putting our faith back into the universe.

3. Hooked: How To Build Habit-Forming Products

Nir Eyal

If customer engagement is your number one priority (and it should be!), then we can’t recommend this book enough. Nir Eyal completely revised and updated the 2020 edition, which helped him to sell over 200,000 copies worldwide.

Jen has a passion for capturing the attention of people in what she writes. This is why she loved this book. Hooked concentrates on solving customer problems with one product that really does the job. This is achieved through a four-step process (The Hooked Model) for encourages customers to change their behaviour and come back to you naturally.

We all know the products we’re taking about here – Nir mentions them through his book. Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and many others have dramatically changed the way we communicate, but more than this, Hooked takes us through the reasons why we keep using them.

By understanding things like the triggers, motivations and rewards that drive people to return, Nir Eyal’s words are an essential tool for anyone who wants to build a business, charity campaign or product that others will return to time and time again. This self help book will help anyone connect with clients or people better.

4. First We Make The Beast Beautiful

Sarah Wilson

This beautiful book is a must-read for anyone trying to overcome anxiety, delivered from the perspective of someone who continues to suffer from it today. If we are honest with ourselves, anxiety hits the majority of us and at different times of our lives (Sarah acknowledges this early in the book). There are also a million books on the shelves for us to read on this subject and Sarah is no medical professional.

However, it’s the honest approach and reflections of anxiety in the book that really resonated with us. The whole layout, style and use of language felt refreshing and peculiar from a start. Usually, a book has chapters, sentences and structure that we have become accustomed. This was different – Yes there’s still chapters and order, but it reads more like a logbook of thoughts, feelings and observations from the mind of someone who really has gone out of their way to truly understand what is happening.

First We Make The Beast Beautiful is a journey into the history, development and future possibilities for anxiety to be transformed from medicated to celebrated. There’s a quirkiness about Sarah’s words that keeps the most sensitive subject grounded in humour and reality – Also be warned, the language can get fruity!

The best thing about this book is the non-prescriptive approach to helping others find new, simple ways to improve. We’ve tried some of these ourselves, such as the family investment bucket and leaving our phones at home to shut out potential stress or distractions.

5. Rebel Ideas

Matthew Syed

Rob is addicted to reading books about rebels, innovators, disrupters and misfits… Rebel Ideas inspires us all to exploit diversity for success.

Matthew Syed follows up his previous book Black Box Thinking, which dealt specifically with learning from failure (Another great read!) with this inspirational read all about tackling the biggest problems in society through breaking free from traditional thinking.

Chapter 4 on innovation was unsurprisingly Rob’s favourite, which delves into the the world of creativity. How do we increase innovation in organisations? Who has done it best and why is it so hard for some to grasp? These are just some of the questions dealt with by Syed.

The book is full of real case studies from history and examples of how diverse thought increases the potential for real change in society. In our view, this book will help three types of people…

  1. Creative thinkers looking for some evidence that you’re not just weird, this book is perfect for you.
  2. Similarly, if you struggle with ‘creative types’, this book will really help you understand how radical ideas can transform an organisation.
  3. Rebel Ideas will help anyone seeking new ways to change their lives by ditching traditional beliefs on how things are done.

6. The Confidence Code

Katty Kay & Claire Shipman

A self help book will often help improve confidence. This book was a personal favourite of Jen’s, and is aimed at giving women a blueprint for confidence. The Confidence Code is described by the authors as a “travel to the frontiers of neuroscience” to find if the confidence gene exists and the role it plays in our own brains.

With input from psychologists, world leaders and professional athletes, this book is a much less difficult read than you may imagine. A New York Times Bestseller, the Confidence Code comes from two successful authors who have really honed their skills in writing books for inspiring women seeking self improvement.

Supporting the academic research, scientific evidence and case studies of overcoming self recrimination, this book had a down to earth approach for explaining how to boost confidence.

There’s often a common theme when you talk about innovation, confidence or success – Failure. This book deals with it well and supports the notion that failing fast is something to embrace if you want to build confidence.

“Confidence is about action” and this book will help you in your quest to improve. If you achieve confidence, you can achieve authenticity, which helps with success. The blueprint is set out in this book – All you have to do is implement it into your life.

7. Zero To One

Peter Thiel

We saved the best till last in our opinion, because this is no ordinary self help book. Zero To One was written by someone who has been there, done it and got every tee shirt going where new business models are concerned.

Paypal, Space X and LinkedIn are just a few of the companies Peter Thiel has founded or been an early investor in over the last decade and now the new ways of thinking for creating something new are bright to life in this book.

Forget what you think you know about business, politics and money. This book takes a look at traditional thinking and makes you question every decision you have been making until now. From the very beginning, we were hooked on the examples where old thinking equals bad decisions for a modern world. If you ever want to create something for yourself or others and think you’ve got a plan, stop. Peter Thiel will convince you that you’re approaching it from the wrong angle.

Zero to One takes us on a journey through the modern world. There is a common connection to other books, such as “The Infinite Game” by Simon Sinek, but the message remains the same – The way we build a future is not how we got to this point. With a nod to philosopher Nick Bostrom, Peter Thiel concludes that the future could take a path we are yet to realise. It is now our choice to decide how we will create new things, see new opportunities and make them sustainable for our future generations.

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