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13 Great Books That Can Help You Adopt a Growth Mindset

Everyone can benefit from a growth mindset. Start developing your own and achieve success with the help of the best non-fiction personal development books.

A growth mindset and personal development are two essential aspects of a fulfilling life. With the right mindset and attitude, you can achieve success, overcome challenges, and become the best version of yourself.

This article will introduce you to 13 great books that can help you build a growth mindset. From inspiring stories to practical tips, these books are packed with valuable lessons and insights that will aid in your personal growth journey.

For easy access to growth mindset books, check out the Headway app. We have made it possible to learn the core principle teachings of these books in bite-sized 15-minute text and audio summaries. Download the Headway app and kickstart your personal development today. 

Key points:

  • A growth mindset is a frame of thought individuals utilize to achieve success.

  • Many great books can give you an understanding of a growth mindset.

  • Some growth mindset books go into detail and explain the science behind it, while others tell stories of people who have achieved great things through resilience.

  • Many famous figures and celebrities have written growth-related books, including Kamala Harris and Elton John.

What is a growth mindset?

A growth mindset is a theory that you can develop your abilities and intelligence through effort, hard work, and resilience. It is the idea that you can always strive for improvement regardless of your current skills or abilities. 

People with a growth mindset focus on learning and developing rather than striving for perfection. They understand that failure is a part of growth and don’t become discouraged when they experience setbacks. The concept of a growth mindset has become increasingly popular in recent years, with many educators and leaders touting its benefits for student achievement and personal development.

13 books about building a growth mindset

Many fantastic books directly explain or allude to the concept of a growth mindset. Here are 13 great titles that can be found on Headway if you’re interested in learning more:

1. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams and Reaching Your Destiny by Robin Sharma

While this book’s title is very telling, it isn’t just about selling a Ferrari or becoming a monk. Instead, it’s about the various lessons one can learn by living a life with integrity and purpose. Through the story of Julian Mantle, readers learn how to design a dream life filled with success. They experience the character’s fictional journey of self-discovery and learn to replace limiting beliefs with unshakeable faith.

Sharma’s book is a great reminder that even when faced with difficult challenges and obstacles, there is always something we can do to make our lives better. It is an excellent resource for those looking to cultivate a growth mindset and become successful in their own right.

2. Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin

While people may try different ways to achieve it, growth always involves one goal: being better than before. It’s a concept that Gretchen Rubin explores brilliantly in her book of the same title, which walks you through the psychological, social, and behavioral aspects of habit formation.

Better Than Before draws upon the author’s years of experience and research in psychology, sociology, and anthropology to provide readers with a comprehensive understanding of how our habits shape us. Rubin dives deep into the concept of habit looping, discussing its various components and how to use it to your advantage. She also provides readers with helpful tips on how to break bad habits and form good ones, making this book invaluable for anyone looking to adopt — and make the most of — a growth mindset.

3. Is It Just Me? by Miranda Hart

Miranda Hart is a world-renowned writer, comedian, and actor. Like the rest of us, she has gone through life without an instruction manual and struggled to find her place in the world. In this book, she draws upon her own experiences to provide readers with an intimate understanding of relationships and life as a whole. It’s a very lighthearted and entertaining read, but it will ultimately leave you with a feeling of empowerment after putting it down.

Hart’s real-world anecdotes and embarrassing stories make the process of growth appear a lot more relatable than it’s usually made to be and can be helpful if you’re struggling with challenges of perfectionism or self-doubt. Is It Just Me? has sold over 700,00 copies worldwide and is a Sunday Times number one bestseller.

4. Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Dan Heath and Chip Heath

Life can be many things, but one characteristic that most people would agree on is that it’s full of change. We often face the challenge of changing our lifestyles, habits, and careers. While change might sound like a positive experience, many people find it difficult (if not impossible) to go through the process.

Switch by Dan Heath provides readers with a comprehensive guide on how to make changes in their lives. It’s an informative and inspiring book that helps you understand why change can be so hard and offers practical advice on addressing various obstacles. From learning to recognize the good in life to actively planning your ambitions, Heath’s book is a great resource for anyone looking to take on change in their life and ultimately achieve success.

5. Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life… And Maybe the World by William H. McRaven

What’s the first thing you do in the morning? You should read this book if the answer isn’t making your bed. Written by retired Admiral and Navy SEAL William H. McRaven, Make Your Bed is a motivational guide on how simple acts like making your bed can help you achieve success.

The book follows McRaven’s life story from his days as a child to his time as a Navy SEAL. With each anecdote, McRaven highlights the power of small acts and how they can lead to positive change. He also gives readers useful tips on remaining focused and disciplined in life, no matter the circumstances. Make Your Bed is an inspiring, uplifting read and a great book to add to any self-improvement arsenal. It reached the New York Times’ number-one spot and has sold hundreds of thousands of copies worldwide.

6. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Adopting a growth mindset, or taking on any challenge of personal growth in your life, requires understanding how our thoughts and behaviors work. The Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman brings this understanding to light in his book Thinking, Fast and Slow.

In the book, he breaks down how our minds work and processes information. He dives into topics such as cognitive biases, decision-making, and the differences between our conscious and unconscious thinking. Thinking, Fast and Slow is a great book for anyone looking to understand their own thought processes. Reading it can give you a blueprint when engineering your habits and behaviors, helping you make more informed decisions and ultimately be successful.

7. 12 Rules For Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson

Life can be confusing and chaotic, leading many of us to feel lost or stuck in our own lives. 12 Rules For Life offers readers an insightful guide on how to live with meaning and purpose. Written by Jordan B. Peterson, this book combines moral philosophy and psychology to give readers practical advice on how to lead a successful and meaningful life.

In his book, Peterson discusses taking ownership of your life, responsibility, and personal growth. The book provides readers with an easy-to-follow framework you can apply to any situation.

8. How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie

Doubt is one of the biggest things that can stand in the way of personal growth, and for many of us, it can be difficult to overcome. How To Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie is a great read for anyone looking to tackle their anxieties and lead a more positive life.

The book teaches readers how to focus on the present instead of worrying about the future. Carnegie offers practical advice on how to break free from worry and develop healthier habits. His guidance includes techniques for developing empathy, practicing optimism, and taking control of your own life. This book, and the insights within it, are essential for anyone looking to make lasting changes in their lives and start on the path to success.

9. The Greatest You: Face Reality, Release Negativity, and Live Your Purpose by Trent Shelton and Lou Aronica

Sometimes, growing can be hard. That’s especially true when you’ve suffered from a loss or setback. Trent Shelton’s journey is a great example — once a college football standout, unfortunate circumstances found him without a job or prospects. He faced several upheaving challenges that seemed to come all at once, and it felt like his entire world had fallen apart.

Thankfully, Trent discovered the secret to finding promise in the darkest of times — and he shares it with you in this book. The Greatest You details his story of resilience and provides actionable advice to help you become your best self. It creates a powerful foundation to build a growth mindset and develop yourself into a happier, healthier person.

10. The Truths We Hold: An American Journey by Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris broke barriers in 2020 when she became the first-ever female Vice President of the United States. The Truths We Hold delves into her story up until 2019. It explores how the values she was raised with got her to where she is today.

It strikes a very encouraging, optimistic tone and is the perfect example of a growth mindset. Anyone interested in personal growth or learning more about Kamala’s groundbreaking journey would be wise to pick up this book.

11. Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance

While slightly controversial, there’s no doubt that Elon Musk has achieved some pretty impressive things in life. The entrepreneur has founded some of the most successful companies in history, not to mention pioneered groundbreaking innovations in the aerospace, energy, and automotive industries.

This book details his journey, from an upbringing in South Africa to his eventual move to the U.S. and the creation of Tesla, SpaceX, and other companies. It’s an inspiring story that reflects Musk’s unique character and mindset — perfect for anyone who wants to emulate the successful things we recognize Elon for.

12. Me: Elton John by Elton John

Elton John is an interesting figure in many respects. Some people know him as the artist behind masterpieces like Rocketman, Grey Seal, and Cold Heart, while others recognize his groundbreaking work on Broadway shows Billy Elliot and The Lion King. The singer-composer has ruled the world charts for much of his career — from the 1970s to his recent retirement.

But what is maybe most remarkable about Elton John is that he has always managed to combine his success as an artist with a commitment to activism, philanthropy, and advocacy. He’s also endured some serious personal challenges, such as his battle with drug addiction and his public coming out in the ‘80s.

At over 800 pages, this biography is one of the most extensive accounts of Elton John’s life and career. Although the stories are varied and many, one persistent theme is endurance and resilience. It’s a great read for anyone interested in getting an idea of what a growth mindset looks like straight from someone who has built one from the ground up.

13. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Steve Jobs is the poster child of ambition. His creations at Apple and within the tech industry were groundbreaking, shaping the world as we know it today. So what better person to learn from when it comes to a growth-oriented mindset?

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson is an intimate portrait of the man we credit many of the twenty-first century’s innovations with. The book explores the Apple founder’s storied life, from the company’s inception to the many lessons he experienced in realizing its potential.

The great thing is that it’s based on real experience; author Walter Isaacson sat down for more than 40 interviews with Steve Jobs and can give readers a view into his life unlike anything else. The bestseller truly pulls the curtains back to detail who Steve was, his view on life, and the ingredients that propelled his meteoric growth on the world stage.


Growth is something we all yearn for in our professional lives and in the way we view ourselves. But it’s not something that just happens overnight — it takes a lot of effort and dedication. The books on this list have been chosen because they all contain stories of people who have achieved great things through a combination of passion, hard work, and resilience. They provide the perfect source of inspiration and encouragement in our own growth-focused journeys. From Elon Musk’s incredible drive to Steve Jobs’ pioneering genius, it’s never been easier to learn about and emulate the mindset of a growth-oriented individual. So grab one of these books and get started!

Interested in spurring your personal growth? Headway is the answer. Its comprehensive library contains fun, bite-sized lessons from the world’s best self-help books. Download the Headway app, pick a title, and learn how to kickstart your own journey toward success.


How can I adopt a growth mindset?

Adopting a growth mindset involves taking the time to evaluate your beliefs and behaviors. It means being open to learning new things, embracing failure as an opportunity for growth, and challenging yourself to be the best version of yourself. Reading books about inspirational people can also be a great way to get motivated and inspired.

What books should I read for personal development?

There are tons of amazing books out there to help you grow. Here are some great suggestions to get you started: The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and Ross Cornwell, Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. and Elton John: The Biography by Elizabeth Rosenthal. For a full list of suggestions, check out our blog post on 7 Best Books About Habits That Will Help You Change Your Life.

Can a book change your life?

Yes! A book can change your life. Reading can be incredibly powerful, whether it’s inspiring you to take action or providing life-changing advice. The right book has the potential to shift your perspective and open up a world of possibilities. It can provide you with the knowledge and motivation to take control of your life, cultivate positive thinking and reach your goals. So if you’re looking for a breakthrough, try picking up a book and see what it can do for you!

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