The basics of motivational books

English: Motivational speaker Tony Robbins at ...

Tony Robbins at a Twitter conference in 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since I started this blog, people love giving me motivational books. They are packed with great advice on how to achieve one’s dreams and how to overcome obstacles, but after you’ve read one you’ve read them all. From Tony Robbins to  The Secret, the same rules apply because they are truths that really work. So, I’ve decided to save you time and share the key tips they all have in common.

  1. The easiest way to make money is to tell people how to make money. Most of these motivational books start off with the author describing how they were down in the dumps but then they learned a few things, made millions of dollars, and now they’re going to share those few things with you so that you too can make millions of dollars. But first, give them $29.99 so that they can share those tips. Success begets success.
  2. You cannot control the timeline of your success – all you can do is prepare for it. You don’t know when you’re going to meet a crazy inventor who loves your idea and wants to give you $50k to get started, but don’t you think that investor will be more likely to give you money if you’ve already built a prototype and written a business plan? “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” – Seneca
  3. You can’t get what you want until you know what you want.You know those times when you walk into the kitchen and then realize you forgot what you wanted? You stand there like an idiot scanning every surface, hoping it will trigger your memory. When you do finally remember what it was you wanted, you see it immediately. It’s usually in the most obvious place. The thing that you wanted was always there, but you won’t find it until you know what it is. Start writing down what you want out of your life, and reread those lists constantly. What you want should always be on the tip of your tongue.
  4. Create a community of support. Find mentors who inspire you and do what they have done. Find colleagues who challenge and motivate you and give them the amount of help that you would like in return. Cherish your friends who are positive, and weed out the people who stomp on dreams or fill your life with unnecessary, distracting drama.

If you would like further reading on this matter, here is a wide variety of motivational books I’d recommend. Each of the books have an amazon link, so if you buy from the link, I’ll make money and then I can achieve the first point in this post 🙂



  1. Good basics, and you’re right– probably the common theme of most motivational books. My favorite books also have a spiritual element to them reminding me I’m part of a larger plan and vision. I know that’s not part of everyone’s personal paradigm, but it clicks with me.


  2. The amount of motivational and self help books out there can be overwhelming! This is a refreshing breakdown of core principles.


  3. If you feel this way you probably need to read some more of them.
    You actually mentioned Tony Robbins and The Secret in the same sentence.
    Disappointing. I’ve read most of the books you are talking about and I’m mystified. Did you work out that The Secret is a marketing ploy and comes from a book that went nowhere when it was first published because it was a rip off of Napoleon Hill’s ‘Think and Grow Rich’.


    1. The Secret has gotten a lot of criticism for being superficial and unoriginal, but I think it’s an accessible introduction to positive thinking that highlights a wide range of philosophers and thinkers that its readers might not have known about if not for the slick marketing.
      Which books would you recommend?


      1. I guess it depends on what people are looking for. I ‘discovered’ Think and Grow Rich in 1992 and it is the best book I have read on the subject but there are a few other excellent books out there……….. depends on what you need.


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