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10 Books That Will Change Your Life and Expand Your Thinking

Rich Schaus, Lead Contributor
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Books are like mentors.

They can guide, inspire, and motivate us to try new things.

Below is a list of books that will change your life.

These are some of the books that have helped me to go from a drunken pool of vomit on my bathroom floor, to a CEO of a growing non-profit.

10 Best Books That Will Change Your Life

1. Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend

Books That Will Change Your Life

Too often, our lives are sliding because we are allowing people (including those whom we love) to pull us down.

We fear disappointing everyone but ourselves.

While it is a struggle, setting healthy boundaries with your children, your boss, and your significant other, can actually enhance those relationships.

When you set boundaries, you will live with less resentment and more joy.

2. Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

Books That Will Change Your Life

This book is a classic.

But too many people are living for the temporary, superficial levels of success.

This can be seen in crash diets, instant fixes, and so many other things that we all want instantly.

Consider what is really more satisfying: a Thanksgiving turkey dinner with all the fixings, or a burger from your favorite fast food joint? 

Seven Habits focuses on principles that have been around as long as man and are as effective today as back when they were written.

While the first 60 pages or so might be a bit bland, they are critical for understanding the concepts and are worth reading.

Apply the lessons of this book day after day and you will see success.

3. Natural Born Heroes by Christopher McDougall

Books That Will Change Your Life

Amateurs befuddled the elite of Hitler’s Nazi Germany for months, and may very well have kept the Soviet Union in World War II.

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When you wake up and feel like a nobody, it is good to remember that the best often can be defeated by those who really don’t know what they are doing.

You as a nobody can change the future of the world.

I love that thought.

For many years, I have believed that the solutions to most of our world’s problems are sitting on the back dock, or standing behind the grill of a fast food joint, just waiting to be discovered.

4. Fearless by Eric Blehm

Books That Will Change Your Life

The story of Adam Brown overcoming an intense addiction and rising to be an elite warrior has got to be one of the most motivating stories I have read in years.

Sometimes, it feels like your failures are so big that there is no hope for your future.

Adam had sunk about as low as a man can during a season of chasing after drugs.

He lost the belief of his family and friends.

Many did not believe that he could change – but he did.

One by one, he overcame obstacles and difficulties to become a member of Seal Team 6.

While there, he continued to overcome multiple challenges.

As a former addict, I am deeply motivated by his story.

Recovery is NOT for wimps.

5. In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson

Books That Will Change Your Life

There is definitely a lack of courage in our world today.

Who is willing to stand up for the oppressed and the downtrodden anymore?

Why risk losing a job or getting injured when the pay-off may simply not be there? 

Doing the right thing comes with a cost.

But when you know the right thing to say and do, it is time to take action.

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Find your courage and take on the lions of your life.

These might be small things like attending a recovery program meeting, or something large like speaking in front of congress.

This book made me feel as though I could take on a lion, regardless of the weather.

More books that will change your life

6. Unbeatable Mind by Mark Divine

Books That Will Change Your Life

Do you want to BE MORE? Maybe 20x better at being a person than you currently are?

Mark Divine inspires and motivates you to take action in your life.

All true battles begin in the mind, so you need to develop there first.

You can never get healthy from simply thinking about it.

You can never get that promotion from simply dreaming of it.

When I read this book the first time, I felt like I had hit a plateau and my life was as good as it was going to get.

But using this book as a guide, I have been able to progress and expand my whole being to be the best version of myself that I have ever been – at least until tomorrow when I will be even better.

7. Wild at Heart by John Eldredge

Books That Will Change Your Life

While this is focused on men, it can also help women understand the men in their lives.

It surely helped me move from living life as a grown up little boy, to becoming a real man.

There is a concept that people stop growing emotionally after they start using drugs, experience abuse, or go to jail.

For many of the people I work with, I see this as truth.

Growing up is optional.

Everyday, it seems like I see a child in a grown-up bodies trying to figure out how to live life.

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John’s wife, Staci, wrote the book, Captivating, that can do the same thing for women.

If you are ready to begin living life as an adult, this is one of the books that will change your life.

8. Procrastinate on Purpose by Rory Vaden

Books That Will Change Your Life

I consider this book a great companion to the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.

It would fit in very nicely as a part of Habit 3, Putting First Things First.

We are a busy bunch of people.

But we need to figure out how to make better use of our limited time.

Rory’s book came along at a time when I was seeing my world expand and was dealing with more responsibilities than I could handle.

I found myself using the principles in this book to make me more efficient and effective.

9. Leadership Secrets of the Rogue Warrior by Richard Marcinko


Uncommon leadership is needed to address the challenges of our era.

The Rogue Warrior tells war stories that may or not be true, but effectively illustrating how to become the uncommon leader that our world needs today.

10. David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell

Books That Will Change Your Life

Thinking outside of the box is much talked about in leadership circles – but little is actually done.

Malcolm Gladwell looks at multiple situations and stories that we might be familiar with, but with a fresh pair of glasses.

Great research and storytelling make this an insightful and life-changing book.

Today is a new day.

Grab one of these books that will change your life and start to turn things around.

Victory is waiting for you.

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  1. Alex Brown

    June 19, 2020 at 11:35 AM

    Thank you for the summer reading ideas. I read some of these books and found them useful. I think the rest of the list will be good and inspire me, too.

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