The 3 best books to help you live a happier, more successful life

Read Time:2 Minute, 42 Second

A good book can turn hours into minutes, or transport you to another world – but a great book can inspire you to change your life.

Chris Bailey, an author and productivity expert, tells CNBC Make It that he has pored over “countless” books on productivity throughout his career to find the titles with the best advice for getting organized and, as a result, thriving at and outside of work .

Below, Bailey shares three books he considers “essential reading” for anyone interested in becoming more productive, and living happier, more successful lives:

‘Mindset: The New Psychology of Success’

By Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.

In this book, Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck explains how to cultivate a “growth mindset” – a pattern of thinking where you believe your talents can be developed and that failure can be a springboard for success.

“It’s important to have a mindset that you can grow, change and improve as a human being before investing in productivity,” Bailey notes.

Dweck also presents a convincing argument for how our success in personal and professional endeavors can be dramatically influenced by how we think about ourselves and our abilities. “It’s a great read that can change how you think for the better,'” Bailey adds.

‘Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity’

By David Allen

This 2001 classic, which Bailey calls “the productivity bible,” offers practical tips for organizing your life as well as overcoming feelings of stress, anxiety and overwhelm.

There’s chapters on improving your focus, tackling difficult projects, cleaning up your email inbox and more.

“‘Getting Things Done’ is the first, and best productivity book I’ve ever read,” Bailey says. “After reading it, I felt as though my mind had been cleared of tasks, commitments and everything else for the first time in a long time – I can’t recommend this book highly enough.”

‘The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work’

By Shawn Achor

The path to self-improvement is often paved with negative self-talk – as Bailey points out, “wanting to become more productive, for example, implies that you’re not happy with how you’re spending your time, attention and energy in the first place.”

Achor’s book is an antidote for such fears and doubts – he writes about how happiness fuels success, drawing from his work with Fortune 500 executives to explain how to reprogram your brain to be more positive and, ultimately, more successful at work.

He outlines seven principles to achieve ‘the happiness advantage,’ including focusing on small, manageable goals and building a strong social support network. Adds Bailey: “Becoming happier doesn’t just put a spring in your step – it’ll make you more productive too.”

Check out:

This 100-year-old man just broke a record for working at the same company for 84 years—here’s his best career advice

Successful people do these 3 things on Sunday for a happier, stress-free week, according to a productivity expert

Do these 4 things every day to be happier and more resilient, according to mental health experts

Sign up now: Get smarter about your money and career with our weekly newsletter

If you want to know more about business please go to

0 %
0 %
0 %
0 %
0 %
0 %
We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. View more
Cookies settings
Privacy & Cookie policy
Privacy & Cookies policy
Cookie name Active

Who we are

Suggested text: Our website address is:


Suggested text: When visitors leave comments on the site we collect the data shown in the comments form, and also the visitor’s IP address and browser user agent string to help spam detection. An anonymized string created from your email address (also called a hash) may be provided to the Gravatar service to see if you are using it. The Gravatar service privacy policy is available here: After approval of your comment, your profile picture is visible to the public in the context of your comment.


Suggested text: If you upload images to the website, you should avoid uploading images with embedded location data (EXIF GPS) included. Visitors to the website can download and extract any location data from images on the website.


Suggested text: If you leave a comment on our site you may opt-in to saving your name, email address and website in cookies. These are for your convenience so that you do not have to fill in your details again when you leave another comment. These cookies will last for one year. If you visit our login page, we will set a temporary cookie to determine if your browser accepts cookies. This cookie contains no personal data and is discarded when you close your browser. When you log in, we will also set up several cookies to save your login information and your screen display choices. Login cookies last for two days, and screen options cookies last for a year. If you select "Remember Me", your login will persist for two weeks. If you log out of your account, the login cookies will be removed. If you edit or publish an article, an additional cookie will be saved in your browser. This cookie includes no personal data and simply indicates the post ID of the article you just edited. It expires after 1 day.

Embedded content from other websites

Suggested text: Articles on this site may include embedded content (e.g. videos, images, articles, etc.). Embedded content from other websites behaves in the exact same way as if the visitor has visited the other website. These websites may collect data about you, use cookies, embed additional third-party tracking, and monitor your interaction with that embedded content, including tracking your interaction with the embedded content if you have an account and are logged in to that website.

Who we share your data with

Suggested text: If you request a password reset, your IP address will be included in the reset email.

How long we retain your data

Suggested text: If you leave a comment, the comment and its metadata are retained indefinitely. This is so we can recognize and approve any follow-up comments automatically instead of holding them in a moderation queue. For users that register on our website (if any), we also store the personal information they provide in their user profile. All users can see, edit, or delete their personal information at any time (except they cannot change their username). Website administrators can also see and edit that information.

What rights you have over your data

Suggested text: If you have an account on this site, or have left comments, you can request to receive an exported file of the personal data we hold about you, including any data you have provided to us. You can also request that we erase any personal data we hold about you. This does not include any data we are obliged to keep for administrative, legal, or security purposes.

Where we send your data

Suggested text: Visitor comments may be checked through an automated spam detection service.
Save settings
Cookies settings