Best Inspirational Books: For When You Need to Get Inspired

There have been many moments in my life when I reached a crossroads, and I felt like the entire world was caving in around me. Where do you go when you aren’t sure that there is a reason to keep moving at all?

Finding inspiration in those dark hours can be very difficult, and everyone comes to these moments in their life when they feel like they cannot move forward ever again. I’ve wasted a lot of time in these time traps, remaining stagnant and learning nothing.

Inspirational books cover a vast array of topics, and there’s nearly always a book that I can pick up to help me when I’m feeling trapped, overwhelmed, sad, or just simply lost. Inspiration isn’t always about becoming some popular or huge figure in the world; often, it’s about just finding and becoming yourself again.

Reading inspirational books more frequently brings lots of benefits in your life, including:

  • Re-learn that hard work pays off, but you have to do the work.
  • It’s easier to remember that you’re not alone when you find an inspiring story that connects with your own story.
  • You can learn not only from your own mistakes but from someone else’s as well.
  • You can more easily cope with failure and use each failure as a fresh place to grow from.
  • You have a better outlook on life and your purpose in general.

Are you interested in bringing some of those benefits into your life just as I brought them into mine?

Start by reading some of the best inspirational books! The following books are all recommended as great sources of inspiration when you need something more.

Best Inspirational Books

Cutting Edge Advertising: How to Create the World's Best for Brands in the 21st Century

Cutting Edge Advertising: How to Create the World’s Best for Brands in the 21st Century

I thought I might put my money where my mouth is. I keep whining that young people are not in touch with some essential books on advertising that have helped me shape the way I practise my trade today, but I never did anything about it. So I am starting here the ultimate books to read list. I will add to it as I get suggestions and as more good books get written.
Bogdana Butnar
Head of Strategy/Poke
Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality

Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality

I still use some of the methods this book teaches around productivity. It also teaches some very important lessons around how to break out of 'analysis paralysis' and actually execute on ideas.
Andreas Zhou
Co-Founder/Askable
Never Give Up: Jack Ma In His Own Words

Never Give Up: Jack Ma In His Own Words

I was completely moved and impressed by him and his team. The fact that they were adamant in overcoming all obstacles and negativities despite all odds were against them. They were relentless. I was facing many problems during my first startup. Reading up on the book allowed me to understand that my problems were not good enough to make me fail but giving up was.
Jose He
Chief Performance Officer/Bountie.io
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

I read a bunch of books on writing before I wrote my first book and the two that stuck with me were Stephen King’s book and “On Writing Well” by Zinsser (which is a bit on the technical side). I was also surprised by how much I enjoyed Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Big Magic.”
Mark Manson
Founder/MarkManson.net
On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft

On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft

My professional path – copywriting – somehow intertwines with my unprofessional (hahaha) path – writing so I would recommend reading literature for both. Somehow reading and writing are two ways of doing the same thing: storytelling (even when you read you tell yourself a story in your own voice, bringing your personal emotion and empathy to the story you’re reading). The only difference is that when I’m reading, panic is far away from me, in a safe place. Nevertheless, the words below helped me rewrite and think twice before adding an exclamation point: On Writing by Stephen King.
Alina Varlanuta
Creator/The Hole in Your Head
The Art Of Racing In The Rain

The Art Of Racing In The Rain

Audrey Niffenegger's "The Time Traveler's Wife" and Garth Stein's "The Art Of Racing In The Rain" made me cry.
Gabriel Coarna
Founder/Readable
The Richest Man in Babylon

The Richest Man in Babylon

This book was recommended by Daymond John on page 324 of "Tools of Titans".
Daymond John
Founder/FUBU
Poster Graphics

Poster Graphics

Posters are mostly used to present information. This book showcases experimental poster design. The works are very free form, very abstract and shows how information can be presented in a very unique manner. This book will show how graphic design can translate information in a very fun and expressive manner​ -​ Information can be translated into pictograms and patterns​; ​Texts can be expressive and unique. Loosen up and let your senses take charge.
Ella Zheng
Partner & Art Director/The Workbench
Walk in Their Shoes: Can One Person Change the World?

Walk in Their Shoes: Can One Person Change the World?

For decades. Jacqueline Novogratz and her classic book, The Blue Sweater continue to change lives. As does Jim Ziolkowski's amazing true story. This is what happens when people step up, keep their promises and make things happen.
Seth Godin
Author & Entrepreneur
Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose

I chose this book because it taught me how important it is that your business represents you and that you passionately believe in it. I also learned from it the importance of organizational culture, and that the endpoint of a sale should always be customer's happiness, not the money-product/service exchange.
Robert Hajnal
Founder/Trail Running Academy
Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur

Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur

I would recommend any biographies of business people, but definitely I would have on the list any of Richard Branson's books. That should cover a better business and mentality understanding.
Mădălina Uceanu
Managing Partner/CareerAdvisor
Rework

Rework

If given a choice between investing in someone who has read Rework or has an MBA, I'm investing in Rework every time. This is a must read for every entrepreneur.
Mark Cuban
Co-founder/HDNet & Broadcast.com
Property Magic: How to Buy Property Using Other People's Time, Money and Experience

Property Magic: How to Buy Property Using Other People’s Time, Money and Experience

Question: What five books would you recommend to young people interested in your career path & why?

Answer: "The Property Apprentice" and "Property Magic" by Simon Zutschi

Jochen Siepmann
Property Investing Mentor & Author
Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung?: Inspiring Stories for Welcoming Life's Difficulties

Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung?: Inspiring Stories for Welcoming Life’s Difficulties

For spirituality, I’ve really enjoyed reading Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung?. The title of the book sounds a bit odd, but it is a book full of short stories and lessons by a renowned monk named Ajahn Brahm.
Gunhee Park
Co-Founder/Populum
Mastermind Dinners: Build Lifelong Relationships by Connecting Experts, Influencers, and Linchpins

Mastermind Dinners: Build Lifelong Relationships by Connecting Experts, Influencers, and Linchpins

Mastermind Dinners by Jayson Gaignard. I’m always looking for ways to make my mastermind groups and community better and better.
Vincent Pugliese
Author & Professional Photographer
Self Belief: The Vision

Self Belief: The Vision

Today is World Book Day, a wonderful opportunity to address this #ChallengeRichard sent in by Mike Gonzalez of New Jersey: Make a list of your top 65 books to read in a lifetime.
Richard Branson
Founder/Virgin Group
The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt and the Golden Age of Journalism

The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt and the Golden Age of Journalism

I’m especially interested in the central question that Doris Kearns Goodwin raises in The Bully Pulpit. How does social change happen? Can it be driven by a single inspirational leader, or do other factors have to lay the groundwork first? Sometimes a single leader can make a big difference: In the field of global health, Jim Grant almost single-handedly created a global constituency for children, sparking a movement to double vaccination rates and save millions of lives. But Roosevelt’s case was different. Although he tried to push through a number of political reforms earlier in his career, he wasn’t really successful until journalists at McClure’s and other publications had rallied public support for change.
Bill Gates
CEO/Microsoft
Founders At Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days

Founders At Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days

Now this one is certainly a little less historical than the others, if only because most of the profiles are about companies founded in the last ten years. Written by Jessica Livingston, a founder of YCombinator, the book profiles some of the hottest and most successful startups in Silicon Valley history. It shows how the founders manage to create massive growth, usually with very few resources. Now I’m not saying that companies like Hot or Not compare with the accomplishments of Pericles or Da Vinci, but you can certainly see how this book captures a moment in time—and its leading men and women—and what that means. This is the most current book on the list (besides mine) but I think many of you will like it. Plus you can learn a lot about the tech scene in one swoop.
Ryan Holiday
Founder/Brass Check
Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill

Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill

The author of this book has sometimes been called the "happiest man in the world". He is a French Biochemist turned Buddhist monk and has been in a unique position to merge science with mindfulness and meditation.

The underlying theme of the book is that happiness is indeed within our control, and is much more a skill than something that simply happens to us.

One of the biggest revelations for me in this book was the way that it linked happiness with altruism, asserting that there is an undeniable correlation and that helping others can provide a much more lasting satisfaction and happiness than pleasure activities such as watching a movie or enjoying a banana split. This was something I had intuitively when I got into helping early stage founders, and reading it in this book made me recommit to helping others as a way of life, which in turn makes me very happy.

Joel Gascoigne
Co-founder/Buffer
Revolution of the Soul: Awaken to Love Through Raw Truth, Radical Healing, and Conscious Action

Revolution of the Soul: Awaken to Love Through Raw Truth, Radical Healing, and Conscious Action

Love this book. Like Seane herself, the message is direct, honest, funny, heartfelt, and filled with wisdom that can help all of us, except me, do better, be better, and work toward creating a healthier and more peaceful planet for all.
Larry David
Actor, writer, director, producer/Seinfeld

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