Discover in this article, 22 of the best positive thinking books so that you can change your mind and take more advantage of the splendors of life.
Positive thinking is not a theoretical philosophy, but a way of life.
It can sound a bit disheartening that we must learn how to think positive because it’s not an innate skill. However, the good news is, you can learn the skill of positive thinking fast and easy.
How come positive thinking is not an innate skill? If you think about it, the early humans didn’t have the luxury to put their best foot forward. They had to pay attention to many possible dangers and use their safe foot first.
We came a long way. Tigers, lions, and snakes don’t constitute a life-threatening danger to almost anyone in this world. Yet, we have inherited the fear and the tendency to analyze in minute details all the things that could go wrong, or that are not perfect.
If there is a place in your life for pessimistic thoughts, there is no place for negative thinking.
Being optimistic and positive thinking are not the same thing.
Optimism means to project into the future your wishes for a positive outcome. In other words, optimism is hope.
Positive thinking means to keep your mind in the present moment and choose to notice the beautiful things that surround you, giving them more importance.
Combining optimism with positive thinking can improve the level of your happiness, mental toughness, well-being, and self-reliance.
Positive thoughts and positive attitude lead to a beautiful life, self-acceptance, and peace of mind.
Learn how to think positively inspired by the following 22 of the best books on positive thinking.
Table of Contents
- 1. How to Stop Worrying and Start Living – Dale Carnegie
- 2. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success – Carol S. Dweck
- 3. Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor E. Frankl
- 4. The Undefeated Mind: On the Science of Constructing an Indestructible Self – Alex Lickerman
- 5. The Magic of Believing – Claude M Bristol
- 6. Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude – Napoleon Hill
- 7. The Power of Your Subconscious Mind – Joseph Murphy
- 8. Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking – S.J. Scott, Barrie Davenport
- 9. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and It’s All Small Stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life (Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff Series) – Richard Carlson
- 10. Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life – Gary John Bishop
- 11. How Proust Can Change Your Life – Alain De Botton
- 12. The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom – Jonathan Haidt
- 13. Excuses Begone!: How to Change Lifelong, Self-Defeating Thinking Habits – Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
- 14. Who Moved My Cheese?: An A-Mazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life – Spencer Johnson
- 15. Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life – Martin E. P. Seligman
- 16. The Power of Positive Thinking – Dr. Norman Vincent Peale
- 17. Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind – V. S. Ramachandran, Sandra Blakeslee, Oliver Sacks
- 18. The Happiness Advantage: How a Positive Brain Fuels Success in Work and Life – Shawn Achor
- 19. The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
- 20. As a Man Thinketh – James Allen
- 21. Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
- 22. The Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle
Do you know people that never worry about anything? Don’t they seem irresponsible?
That’s the secret of worrying – it gives you the false impression that if you worry you’re in control of what may happen. Therefore, worrying can make you feel responsible and reliable. Is it not?
Don’t you get annoyed when people say “Don’t worry; it will be fine“? Because you cannot let go of that (somewhat) comforting feeling of security and control that worrying gives you.
Dale Carnegie teaches you in this book (“How to stop worrying and start living”), where is the thin line between worrying responsibly and worrying excessively:
- Take every day when it comes (“take care of today; tomorrow, it’s taking care of itself“)
- How to solve worry situations
- The negative consequences of worrying excessively
- Think positively, analyze, and find simple solutions to complicated worries
- Fight battles leading with the truth, not erroneous ideas (imaginary problems)
- Words that can change your life for the better
- Free your mind of vanity and make room for positive relationships
- Celebrate your uniqueness, accept and love yourself as you are
This book can help you break down worries and stress understanding why these two (seemingly) proactive behaviors are, actually, unhealthy for your mind and your body.
This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to learn how to think positively and live a fantastic life.
“Remember, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.” Dale Carnegie
Discover in this book how you can overcome a defeatist attitude and change your mindset on positive.
Yes, thinking positive can be learned fast and easy. However, a defeatist attitude can overturn all your learning at the first hurdle you encounter.
As an example, let’s say someone learns to notice (mainly) what’s good about themselves and put the unsatisfying things under the umbrella “not yet!” Is that all it takes to have a positive thinking mind?
Unfortunately, it’s not. Because (you see?) what follows (the positive thought “not yet!”) counts a lot in determining what’s the next step that person takes; What’s the next thought, sentence, and action? “Not yet, but I can improve” or the defeated “Not yet, and probably never…“?
Many people are holding on to a defeatist attitude as if that’s protecting them from the grief and pain of failure. Yet, surrendering and submitting to “I can’t do more” it’s hindering your progress. It makes you feel more pessimistic by the day, never seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
“No matter what your ability is, effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment.” Carol S. Dweck
“Man’s Search for Meaning” is one of the best books ever written.
Do you know anyone that doesn’t think about “what’s my purpose in life“?
Some of us are searching that purpose endlessly and never feel satisfied with what we find.
Discover in this book how you can find your purpose; a purpose that gives meaning to your life; a purpose that helps you live your life to the fullest; a purpose that allows you to see yourself (and most things) in a positive light.
If there is something in this world that can teach you how to think more positive, that something is this book.
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” Viktor Frankl
Two of the most positive thoughts you can have are these:
“I can deal with whatever life put in front of me;”
“I’ll always find my way no matter what happens.“
If you want to summarise what self-confidence means, you can use those two thoughts. That’s all it takes to believe in yourself, think positively about the future, find strength and desire to move forward.
It’s been said that a human is, always, a work in progress. However, building your mental toughness is a purpose that once you reach it, you only have to maintain it and add to it.
Would you like to think more positively about yourself, life and others? Then, this book is for you.
“[…] But our determination is what creates the path—our determination to make use of adversity rather than escape it.” Alex Lickerman
Unhappy people are unhappy, first and foremost, because they allow others to live rent-free in their thoughts dictating how they feel and behave.
Read this book and become the master of your thoughts and self-beliefs.
Many people tell you “just believe in yourself, and you can do it“; but not too many understand what that (actually) means or how to put it in practice.
Do you believe in yourself? Do you have the firm belief you can face no matter what life put in front of you? How often do you count what’s amazing about you?
Positive thinking is directly linked to self-belief. Believing in yourself makes almost everything else rosy and easy. Is it not?
Listen, one of the primary directives of your unconscious mind is never to allow you to be a liar. Because of that fact, what you believe about yourself becomes a reality. If you say you can, your unconscious mind does its best to prove your right.
Discover in this book how to build your positive self-belief.
“Thought is the original source of all wealth, all success, all material gain, all great discoveries and inventions, and of all achievement.” Claude M Bristol
For many individuals, success means only getting wealthy. However, the majority of us, understand that success is not limited to your bank account.
We are often pushed and driven to follow a path in life that brings money and not much else.
Do you believe, as I do, that happiness is a success in itself? Having a successful marriage, is it an accomplishment? Successfully parenting your children to become outstanding members of society and happy?
Discover in this book how to change your attitude on positive and become successful at whatever you’re doing in life.
“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” Napoleon Hill
Not too long ago we used to believe that we are using only 10 to 20% of our mind. Now we know, that in fact, we use it all… 80 to 90% being ‘occupied’ by your unconscious mind.
We don’t know (yet) all the things our unconscious mind does. For some, that’s a scary thought “who knows what’s lurking in there, and I don’t know“.
Discover in this book what’s the power of your subconscious mind and how to use it to its full capacity.
“The only path by which another person can upset you is through your own thought.” Joseph Murphy
8. Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking – S.J. Scott, Barrie Davenport
Can you work at a messy desk? Can you cook a delicious dinner if you can’t see what’s in the fridge? Can you take the car out of the garage if it’s full of junk?
Most probably, the answer to all those questions is No. Imagine then how hard your mind must work to come up with brilliant ideas (if all your thoughts are directed towards useless things):
- Feeling anxious
- Scenarios of revenge
- Being too self-conscious
- Feeling unworthy
Discover in this book how you can declutter your mind of all those useless and treacherous things that keep you up at night, and make room for positive thoughts.
“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it’s all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” – Marcus Aurelius Ever” S.J. Scott
9. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and It’s All Small Stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life (Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff Series) – Richard Carlson
“What tomorrow brings?” is one question that most of us have in our mind. However, for some people, that is not a simple question but a torture device.
Yes, you can predict many things; you can avoid many disasters; you can, sometimes, draw positive solutions out of worrying. Yet, living ‘comfortably numb’ into the state of surrendering to your worries it’s only deepening your frustration and fear.
Discover in this book how you can pay less attention to trivial things and bring peace and harmony in(to) your mind.
Can you think positively staying with your eyes glued to a ticking bomb?… maybe, if you’re overly optimistic…
Life is full of explosions. Some you can prevent, some not. But, at the end of the day, what counts the most for your happiness and well-being is where you direct your thoughts, what you focus on.
“Choose to be kind over being right and you’ll be right every time.” Richard Carlson
Did you notice there are many people who seem to have everything?…except happiness? Could you ever feel stuck when everything seems to go well for you? Could you not believe in yourself when you have plenty of evidence that you should?
This book is challenging the way you think about yourself and others; how you see and think about the future; motivates and inspires you to march forward with confidence and get the things you want out of life.
So, could you ever feel stuck when everything seems to go well for you? Yes, you could if you allow negative thinking to be your primary way of thinking. The opposite is true as well. Positive thinking can make you feel you have it all even when you don’t have too much.
”The language you use to describe your circumstances determines how you see, experience, and participate in them and dramatically affect how you deal with your life and confront problems both big and small.” Gary John Bishop
What could be more appropriate to say about this book other than giving you a small sample of the philosophy of Marcel Proust?
Check out the following 9 (Marcel Proust) quotes about positive thinking so you can decide if this book (“How Proust Can Change Your Life“) it’s worth your time:
- ”The facts of life do not penetrate to the sphere in which our beliefs are cherished.“
- ”The truth is that men can have several sorts of pleasure. The true pleasure is the one for which they abandon the other.”
- ”We do not succeed in changing things according to our desire, but gradually our desire changes.”
- ”The particulars of life do not matter to the artist; they merely provide him with the opportunity to lay bare his genius.”
- ”Why, what in the world should we care for if it’s not our lives, the only gift the Lord never offers us a second time?”
- ”We ought at least, from prudence, never to speak of ourselves, because that is a subject on which we may be sure that other people’s views are never in accordance with our own.”
- “Always try to keep a patch of sky above your life.“
- “We must never be afraid to go too far, for truth lies beyond.“
- “A change in the weather is sufficient to recreate the world and ourselves.“
Would you like to have a weak, moderate, or strong ego?
Did you know that the word ‘ego’ comes from a Latin word (with the same spelling) which means “I am“?
So, when we say that someone has a big ego, what we intend to say, in fact, it’s that the person is vain. Truth to be told, vanity is one of the shortest ways to:
- Lose the opportunity to reach your goal
- Alienate friends and family
- Be disliked by your coworkers
On the other hand, having a strong ego is one of the fastest ways to:
- Know yourself better
- Accept and love yourself as you are
- Attract positive people in your life
- Overcome obstacles and the vicissitudes of life
- Build up a positive mindset
… and much more.
Would you like to discover how you can build a strong, positive ego, feel happier and fulfilled? Then, this book is for you.
“The human mind is a story processor, not a logic processor.” Jonathan Haidt
Are you a positive thinker?
One of the most revealing traits of positive thinkers is to find excuses really; not because they don’t have imagination, but because they choose to find ways of dealing with the issues they must face.
When you search for excuses instead of searching for solutions, you’re giving your power to external forces. You no longer have any control over the outcome.
Another revealing trait of positive thinkers is to have the courage and desire to improve. Positive thinkers understand that having a willingness to progress doesn’t mean they are not already good enough; they want to advance simply because they can.
Positive thinkers take charge of their life; don’t fear commitment; value their word and honor above feeling free to do whatever they want.
If you’re reading this article, most probably, you already have many traits of a positive thinker. Yet, at the same time, you see the usefulness of improvement. If that’s so, this book might be what you were waiting for to get inspired and progress even further.
“When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.” Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
14. Who Moved My Cheese?: An A-Mazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life – Spencer Johnson
Accepting change doesn’t come easy almost to anyone. And change is that one bothering thing that challenges your positive thinking the most.
(Almost) whenever you think you finished something, change comes along and provokes you to go even further (or go back a few steps to make some modifications…so annoying!).
Many people say they fear failure. However, from my experience of working with people, I noticed that is not the failure in itself that scares people. Most of us are afraid of losing valuable time by trying and trying and trying again even if the outcome is a guaranteed success.
Discover in this book how you can keep and improve your positive thinking no matter what changes come along; how to embrace and accept change as the natural progression of things.
“Life moves on and so should we” Spencer Johnson
With a bit of training, you can choose what you think and how you think.
Whatever makes you say “I can’t help it; I can’t change it” makes you become a slave to human conditioning. Whatever you learn (in life) you can unlearn; whatever you don’t know (yet), you can learn.
Being a slave to self-defeating thoughts can kill your self-discipline, lower your self-esteem, and ultimately doubt yourself at every step you make.
Discover in this book how you can learn to be more optimistic, think positively, and become the best version of you.
“The genius of evolution lies in the dynamic tension between optimism and pessimism continually correcting each other.” Martin E.P. Seligman
When you think, in fact, you’re having a dialogue with yourself. If your mindset is positive, that dialogue is pleasant and productive.
At the opposite side, if you tend to think negatively, that dialogue transform itself into a monologue. A monologue is void of new ideas, compassion, and self-reassurance.
Would you like to believe in yourself? Build a strong positive ego so that you can determine the course of your life? Achieve your goals and dreams with ease? Stop worrying and feel more relaxed about the future? Learn how to be compassionate to yourself? Then, this book is for you.
“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” Norman Vincent Peale
17. Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind – V. S. Ramachandran, Sandra Blakeslee, Oliver Sacks
Did you ever think about the fact that, until recently, the only doctors who have never seen the organ they treat were psychiatrists and psychologists? Yet, then as now, they told us with confidence their opinion about what’s wrong with our brains.
Luckily for us, medicine has progressed, and now we have many investigative tools that can accurately tell us what lurks in our brains. Ok, we don’t fully understand everything yet, but we are getting there… So exciting!
… And here it comes an Indian doctor, curious by nature, imposing by stature, compassionate by nurture…
If you too want to be amazed by the breakthroughs and discoveries Dr.V.S. Ramachandran has made, read this book.
“Any ape can reach for a banana, but only humans can reach for the stars.” V.S. Ramachandran
No amount of desire and work to overcome sadness can’t make you happy. The absence of something doesn’t automatically means that space is filled with something else.
For years and years, the field of psychology made countless studies about people that are not in the best point in their life, ignoring completely those who achieve great things and feel happy.
From that perspective, this book is a breath of fresh air.
Discover in “The happiness advantage” how a positive thinking mind can nourish your success in your personal and professional life.
- If you want to become happier, you must study happy people and model what they do.
- If you want to become more successful, you must study successful people and model what they do.
- If you want to improve your marriage, you must study healthy and successful marriages and model how is done.
“Happiness is not the belief that we don’t need to change; it’s the realization that we can.” Shawn Achor
Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist Quotes:
“No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn’t know it.”
“When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.”
It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”
“And, when you can’t go back, you have to worry only about the best way of moving forward.”
“People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.”
“One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.”
“I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can always concentrate on the present, you’ll be a happy man. Life will be a party for you ( a grand festival) because life is the moment we’re living now.”
“The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.”
“Every blessing ignored becomes a curse.”
“Everyone on earth has a treasure that awaits him.”
“The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.”
If you like the quotes, you have just read, imagine how inspiring this book can be. Positive thinking is a skill that you can learn. Make that learning enjoyable and comfortable by reading the Alchemist.
Related: Best Paulo Coelho Books Ranked
This masterpiece follows the simple yet profound premise that our thoughts shape our life (law of attraction/manifestation). Therefore, we attract whatever it is that we are thinking.
It tells us that the choice is ours alone.
We either master our thoughts and create the life we badly want or get stuck in the endless loop of negative thoughts and pessimism.
As A Man Thinketh will teach you to take control of your destiny and transform your life for the better.
This gem is one of the top-rated and bestseller books of all time. It contains knowledge and wisdom that can still be applied in today’s age despite being initially printed in 1937.
This book about positivity and success will teach you how to achieve your dreams, as well as the techniques that could bring you lasting success.
The Power of Now is much more than mere principles and clichés. This bestseller self-help book will take you to a spiritual journey of finding your true and deepest self.
Through this masterpiece, Tolle shows you how to:
- Live in the Now
- Deal with unpleasant emotions
- Become aware of your thoughts
- Be free from your preconditioned self
It’s no wonder this book is considered one of the best self help books by a lot of people.