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8 Books You can Read for Personal Development

The BBC Books series of personal development books for life-change, self-discovery and fulfilment.

  • BBC Books is one of the most trusted publishers in the world. The organisation produces high-quality, reasonably priced, excellent learning and development books, and this 'essential steps' series is very good indeed.
  • Some of these books are also available in audio format which makes them extremely useful as training aids.

In a world more demanding than ever, you'll face new challenges every day. To take on this life with confidence, creativity, and enthusiasm. 

You'll also probably be expected to understand figures, negotiate and manage change. All this, while still maintaining a healthy balance of work and play. It is becoming apparent that personal skills, in addition to our knowledge, are vital to have more choice in our personal and professional life. This excellent series of personal development books covers a host of issues to guide you through the obstacles you must overcome to achieve success and fulfilment.

Who are the Authors of these Books?

The BBC Personal Development books are written by a range of professional and lifestyle experts, renowned in their fields. Aimed at those without the time or the inclination to pour over jargon-filled analysis, the books are clear, concise and accessible. 

  •  All the books are paperback, competitively priced and available to buy online from various booksellers - including - and many good bookshops.

Rather than offering quick fixes, the books are packed with sound and simple advice. By working through common examples, the authors reveal solutions and conclusions in a style that you'll be able to adapt to your own circumstances and ambitions. The books demonstrate how a little preparation can make an enormous difference in achieving a happy and balanced life at work and at home.

Please note that Businessballs does not receive a commission for recommending these books.

1. Make Your Own Good Fortune: How To Seize Life's Opportunities - Douglas Miller

This is an excellent book for personal development. 

  • Miller extends his positive-thinking ideas into useful techniques for understanding, spotting and acting on opportunities to make the most of your life. 
  • Very practical, well written, no-nonsense. 
  •  Published April 2006.

2. Positive Thinking, Positive Action - Douglas Miller

Great positive-thinking techniques for modern life - full of excellent ideas and exercises, written in a no-nonsense practical style. 

  • Published in 2005.

3. Starting Out: Essential Steps To Your Dream Career - Philippa Lamb and Nigel Cassidy

starting out book - inspirational books

"Find a job you enjoy, and you'll never work a day in your life." (Confucius) 

  • Whatever job you go for, work is going to take up a huge amount of your time and energy, and you will want to get more out of it than just money. Perhaps you are finding it hard to make choices or the opportunities that seem to be available fall short of your ideal. 
  • With quizzes to help you learn more about yourself, and sound advice about the realities of work in the 21st century, Philippa Lamb and Nigel Cassidy offer a helping hand towards discovering which career, or careers might be best for you.

4.The Confidence Plan: Essential Steps To A New You - Sarah Litvinoff

the confidence plan book - inspirational books

  • Confidence is a sought after but sometimes elusive quality. If self-doubt creeps in, confidence gets eroded and we can start to question every aspect of ourselves, losing touch with our instincts and our true self-worth. 
  • Personal coach Sarah Litvinoff shows you in clear steps how to build up to success - how to overcome setbacks, deal with fear, access a positive frame of mind, raise your energy levels and develop powerful, well-placed self-confidence. 

"…a helpful and practical book…"  The Guardian

5. Get Up and Do It! Essential Steps to Achieve Your Goals - Beechy and Josephine Colclough

get up and do it book - inspirational books

  • Sometimes our goals seem like unobtainable fantasies, but the key to success lies in bringing them sharply into focus, clarifying them and working out a plan to achieve them. 
  • If it's in your nature to dream, it's probably in your nature to do it. 
  • As you learn the essentials, you will develop your understanding, practise vital skills and make motivational techniques a feature of your life. 
  • The authors show you how to reach your goals in this workbook of practical, positive and upbeat techniques.

6. Be Creative: Essential Steps To Revitalize Your Work and Life - Guy Claxton and Bill Lucas

be creative book - inspirational books

Creativity is a major economic force of the 21st century - and a vital part of everyday life. To achieve harmony, balance and personal success in our lives we need to think more creatively, become self-aware and respond to changing circumstances in a flexible and effective way. 

  • With practical exercises and inspiring examples, Guy Claxton and Bill Lucas demonstrate how to break away from old habits and free up your mind. 
  • They show you how to appreciate uncertainty, entertain outrageous opposites and stay open to possibility. Inklings, hunches, imaginations, humour and even dreams can all play their part in liberating your creativity. 
"The concise and clear text provides a practical and common-sense view of creativity interspersed by exercises, quizzes and case studies that are guaranteed to get creative thoughts flowing…" Times Educational Supplement 

7. Find The Balance: Essential Steps to Fulfilment in Your Work and Life - Deborah Tom

find the balance book - inspirational books

Balancing the needs of a career with finding time for personal or family commitments can be a challenge, and working long hours can result in decreased performance and stress-related illness.

  •  With extensive experience working with multi-national companies and organisations,  Deborah Tom offers business skills and strategies that she regularly uses with individuals at all levels in organisations to help us understand these issues and to find balance and fulfilment in our social, professional and personal lives.

8. Agree To Win: Essential Steps to Negotiate in Your Work and Life - Hugh Willbourn

agree to win book - inspirational books

Negotiation is an essential part of life. At work, at home and throughout our lives, negotiation solves problems, creates opportunities, and enhances jobs and relationships

  • In Agree to Win you learn how to hold your own in business, grasp the practical basics of trading and establish and improve your reputation. 
  • Hugh Willbourn shows you in easy steps, what to do, when to do it and, most important of all, how to create in yourself the instincts and confidence to achieve success. 

"A goldmine of communication and negotiation skills that make it easy for everyone to get a better deal Paul McKenna