Discover The Power Of Motivation With These Must-Read Books

Medically reviewed by Andrea Brant, LMHC
Updated December 6, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team
Are You Ready To Transform Your Life And Unleash Your Potential?
The American Psychological Association defines motivation as “the impetus that gives purpose or direction to behavior and operates in humans at a conscious or unconscious level.” Motivation is often the driving force behind our actions and decisions, and it can have a significant impact on our lives when we learn to channel it effectively.

Below, we’ll explore several must-read motivational books that have the potential to transform your mindset and help you make significant strides to toward your goals.

The Power Of Habit, By Charles Duhigg

Charles Duhigg's book offers insight into how habits shape our lives, often dictating our choices and actions. With The Power of Habit, you can explore how habits work and how you might use them to your advantage. With this best-selling work, you may find that you:

  • Gain awareness of your habits and their effects
  • Learn how to change unwanted habits
  • Develop positive habits that lead to success

Charles Duhigg presents a blend of scientific research and real-life examples demonstrating the power of habit. Some key takeaways from this book include:

  • The role of willpower in habit formation
  • The Habit Loop: Cue, Routine, and Reward
  • The Golden Rule of Habit Change

Mindset: The New Psychology Of Success, By Carol S. Dweck

In Mindset, delves into the importance of mindset in determining success in life. By understanding the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset, you may be able to:

  • Foster a growth mindset in yourself and others
  • Improve your resilience and adaptability in the face of challenges
  • Maximize your potential for personal and professional growth

Dweck offers practical strategies for nurturing a growth mindset, including:

  • Embracing challenges and learning from failure
  • Valuing effort and persistence over talent and intelligence
  • Cultivating a love for learning and self-improvement

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, By Daniel H. Pink

Drive challenges conventional wisdom about motivation and offers a fresh perspective on what truly drives us. Pink proposes that we move away from a reliance on extrinsic rewards, such as money and status, and instead focus on intrinsic motivation. By doing so, you might experience the following benefits:

  • Enhanced creativity and innovation
  • Increased job satisfaction and personal fulfillment
  • Improved performance and productivity

There are three key elements of intrinsic motivation:

  • Autonomy: The desire for control over our own lives and choices
  • Mastery: The drive to continually improve and excel in our chosen fields
  • Purpose: The yearning to contribute to something larger than ourselves

Atomic Habits, By James Clear

Atomic Habits emphasizes the importance of making small, incremental changes to achieve significant results over time. By implementing the strategies in this book, you may find that you can:

  • Break the cycle of bad habits and replace them with good ones
  • Achieve your long-term goals through consistent daily actions
  • Transform your life through the compounding effect of habits

James Clear presents a practical framework for habit formation consisting of four laws:

  • Make It Obvious: Design your environment to support your desired habits.
  • Make It Attractive: Use temptation bundling and habit stacking to create appealing routines.
  • Make It Easy: Simplify the process and reduce barriers to entry.
  • Make It Satisfy: Reinforce good habits with immediate rewards and positive feedback.

Man's Search For Meaning, By Viktor E. Frankl

Man's Search for Meaning recounts the experiences of Viktor E. Frankl, a psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, as he grappled with the existential question of finding meaning in the face of pain and hardship. This book offers insights that may help you:

  • Discover your sense of purpose and meaning in life
  • Cultivate resilience and inner strength in challenging times
  • Embrace the power of choice and personal responsibility

Frankl introduces the concept of logotherapy, a therapeutic approach centered on the idea that the pursuit of meaning primarily drives humans. Some fundamental principles of logotherapy include:

  • Life has meaning under all circumstances, even in the most difficult ones.
  • We have the freedom to find meaning in our experiences, regardless of external circumstances. Our primary motivation is the discovery and pursuit of what we find meaningful.

These must-read motivational books may have a profound impact on you both personally and professionally. By understanding the power of motivation, developing a growth mindset, and cultivating positive habits, you may find that you unlock your full potential and achieve your goals.

Maximizing Motivation With Online Therapy

Getty/Xavier Lorenzo
Are You Ready To Transform Your Life And Unleash Your Potential?

In addition to using the above books, you might consider talking to a counselor to increase motivation. A licensed therapist may be able to give you personalized insight help you identify limiting beliefs or thought patterns, and foster self-awareness for personal growth. Therapists can introduce strategies to cultivate a growth mindset, such as reframing challenges as learning opportunities or embracing effort and persistence as key components of success. By developing a growth mindset through therapy, you may be better equipped to overcome obstacles, adapt to change, and ultimately achieve your goals. 

If you’re not interested in going to a therapist’s office, you might try online therapy, which numerous studies have shown to be effective. With an online therapy platform like BetterHelp, you can be matched with a licensed therapist with experience helping people enhance their motivation. BetterHelp has over 25,000 therapists, so you can choose someone with training and experience that are relevant to your personal needs. You can connect with them at a time that works for you via audio or video chat. You can also utilize in-app messaging, so you can contact them in between sessions if you have questions or concerns about staying motivated throughout the week. 


The books discussed above may help you cultivate a growth mindset and make progress toward your personal and professional goals. If you’re experiencing challenges with motivation or are curious about ways to increase your motivation, you might discuss this with a licensed counselor with experience in this area. By engaging in therapeutic practices like cognitive-behavioral therapy or logotherapy, you may gain insight into how to find purpose amid adversity and reach your goals faster. Take the first step to enhancing your motivation and reach out to BetterHelp today.

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