However, I have recently soured on them because they’re mostly recycling the same messages and ideas.
Motivational books based on interviews with successful people tell virtually the same stories with the same life lessons.
Motivational books based on “science” are usually built around a single study that is not peer-reviewed and often custom-designed to match a foregone conclusion.
Motivational books based on personal anecdotes are usually puffy memoirs intended to promote a consultancy or a public-speaking career.
Motivational books that contain a fictional story are usually so trite or twee that they’re almost impossible to read.
Finally, many motivational books become best-sellers–even New York Times best-sellers, because their authors paid proxies to pre-purchase thousands of copies.
That being said, newly-published motivational books must be of some value or they wouldn’t get read and reviewed.
So, with that in mind, here are seven motivational books that were (apparently) widely purchased and read in 2017 and positively reviewed on Amazon.
Note: #7 is an outlier because it’s quite original and also rather brave, considering that its subject matter is controversial… which almost never the case with this genre.
Subtitle: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy
Authors: Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
30 Second Summary: “Combines Sheryl’s personal insights with Adam’s eye-opening research on finding strength in the face of adversity. Beginning with the gut-wrenching moment when she finds her husband, Dave Goldberg, collapsed on a gym floor, Sheryl opens up her heart–and her journal–to describe the acute grief and isolation she felt in the wake of his death. Option B then goes beyond Sheryl’s loss to explore how a broad range of people have overcome hardships including illness, job loss, sexual assault, natural disasters, and the violence of war. Their stories reveal the capacity of the human spirit to persevere and to rediscover joy.”
The 5 Second Rule
Subtitle: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage
Author: Mel Robbins
30 Second Summary: “Using the science of habits, riveting stories and surprising facts from some of the most famous moments in history, art and business, Mel Robbins will explain the power of a ‘push moment.’ Then, she’ll give you one simple tool you can use to become your greatest self. It takes just five seconds to use this tool, and every time you do you’ll be in great company. More than 8 million people have watched Mel’s TEDx Talk, and executives inside of the world’s largest brands are using the tool to increase productivity, collaboration, and engagement.”
Subtitle: Your Financial Freedom Playbook
Author: Tony Robbins
30 Second Summary: “After interviewing fifty of the world’s greatest financial minds and penning the #1 New YorkTimesbestseller Money: Master the Game, Tony Robbins returns with a step-by-step playbook, taking you on a journey to transform your financial life and accelerate your path to financial freedom. No matter your salary, your stage of life, or when you started, this book will provide the tools to help you achieve your financial goals more rapidly than you ever thought possible.”
You Are a Badass at Making Money
Subtitle: Master the Mindset of Wealth
Author: Jen Sincero
30 Second Summary: “You Are a Badass at Making Money will launch you past the fears and stumbling blocks that have kept financial success beyond your reach. Drawing on her own transformation–over just a few years–from a woman living in a converted garage with tumbleweeds blowing through her bank account to a woman who travels the world in style, Jen Sincero channels the inimitable sass and practicality that made You Are a Badass an indomitable bestseller. She combines hilarious personal essays with bite-size, aha concepts that unlock earning potential and get real results.”
Subtitle: The Science of Succeeding with People
Author: Vanessa Van Edwards
30 Second Summary: “As a human behavior hacker, Vanessa Van Edwards created a research lab to study the hidden forces that drive us. And she’s cracked the code. In Captivate, she shares shortcuts, systems, and secrets for taking charge of your interactions at work, at home, and in any social situation. These aren’t the people skills you learned in school. This is the first comprehensive, science backed, real life manual on how to captivate anyone–and a completely new approach to building connections.”
The Power of Positive Leadership
Subtitle: How and Why Positive Leaders Transform Teams and Organizations and Change the World
Author: Jon Gordon
30 Second Summary: “Jon Gordon has worked and consulted with leaders who have transformed their companies, organizations and schools, won national championships and are currently changing the world. He has also interviewed some of the greatest leaders of our time and researched many positive leaders throughout history and discovered their paths to success. In this pioneering book Jon Gordon shares what he has learned and provides a comprehensive framework on positive leadership filled with proven principles, compelling stories, practical ideas and practices that will help anyone become a positive leader.”
Subtitle: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t Matter
Author: Scott Adams
30 Second Summary: “Scott Adams was one of the earliest public figures to predict Trump’s win, doing so a week after Nate Silver put Trump’s odds at 2 percent in his FiveThirtyEight.com blog. The mainstream media regarded Trump as a novelty and a sideshow. But Adams recognized in Trump a level of persuasion you only see once in a generation. The point isn’t whether Trump was right or wrong, good or bad. Win Bigly goes beyond politics to look at persuasion tools that can work in any setting–the same ones Adams saw in Steve Jobs when he invested in Apple decades ago.”