Sha-En Yeo, Founder of Positive Education School, on the Books That Helped Her Succeed

Sha-En Yeo is a coach, trainer and author, founder of Positive Education School.

She believes that “education is for life” and, over the last seven years, impacted more than 10,000 people in Singapore and beyond.

Sha-En is the first Singaporean graduate of the Master of Applied Positive Psychology program at the University of Pennsylvania.

Using the science of positive psychology and positive education, she empowers teachers, parents and schools, equipping them with tools and skills that are necessary to support children in their journey of growth.

Academic excellence is insufficient – children also need to be surrounded with positive emotions, engagement, meaning and know that their achievements go far beyond the classroom.

We reached out to Sha-En, curious to find out more about the books that shaped and inspired her journey. Keep on reading to see what books she recommends!

Estimated reading time for this interview is 6 minutes. If you'd rather listen to it, you can do it on iTunes, Google Play or Stitcher.

What’s your favorite book and why? Business and non-business, if possible.

Business book – The E-Myth, because it explains clearly how to start a business the right way.

Non-business – Rising Strong, because it is so real, vulnerable AND full of wise nuggets which inspire me to be resilient in my life.


Was there a moment, specifically, when something you read in a book helped you? Can you tell me about it?

In the book Talk like TED, there were a few suggestions on how to make my speech better. I tweaked the way I speak using the advice and produced a speech like never before. I had many people coming up to shake my hands and offer me name cards!


What books had the biggest impact on you? (perhaps changed the way you see things, dramatically changed your career path)

The Success Principles by Jack Canfield. Distilling the principles into bite-sized pieces showed me that anyone could succeed. It wasn’t that people got lucky or that success is only for the deserving few, but that we could all share a piece of the pie if we believed in it and took action.

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What books would you recommend to youngsters interested in your professional path? Why? (no number limit here)

Learned Optimism by Martin Seligman because it was the turning point in psychology: a focus on the positive and human potential to flourish. As a speaker in this field, I would say this book is really inspiring material.

Celebrating Failure (can’t recall the author) because as a speaker/trainer & business person, failure is almost certain. You will make mistakes when you push & try. What makes the difference is being able to celebrate your mistakes, learn from them and come back stronger than before.


I’m interested in finding out more about your reading habits. How often do you read? In what format?

I read little snippets everyday. I find this more sustainable. Occasionally though, I do sit down to read a whole book, especially if its well written/captivating. I prefer my books hard copy.


How do you make time for reading?

By making it a part of my routine or when I’m on public transport. That way I can be productive with my time.


Do you take notes or have any other technique for conquering the torrent of information?

Breaking it down into a little a day helps me retain the information. Sometimes if it’s really good I will re-read it so I can commit it to memory.


How do you choose what books to read next?

I have borrowed “The Monk who sold his Ferrari“. I can’t believe I have not gotten down to reading this book. I believe I will have lots to learn from it!


Do you prioritize those recommended by certain people? Is there anyone that you consider a book-recommendations guru?

My coach offers me many books to read depending on which stage of business I am in. Otherwise I do borrow from friends who have commented about the book, or find books that are in the general genre I enjoy.


Last question: what book are you currently reading and what are you expecting to gain from it?

Not reading anything right now, but plan to start on the book I mentioned in no.8 🙂



Links where you can follow Sha-En Yeo or find out more about her projects:

  • PositiveEdu.com
  • Positive Education on Facebook
  • Sha-En on LinkedIn | Instagram | Facebook


  • All books mentioned by Sha-En Yeo in this interview:

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