Motivational Books

Biographies and memoirs: 7 books to rekindle your motivation

Nuggets of wisdom from stories based on the lives of ordinary people who went on to achieve extraordinary greatness can change your outlook towards life, especially during trying times.
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The sudden spike in Covid-19 cases during the second wave of the pandemic has brought the country to its knees. People are back within the confines of their homes, hoping and praying for the ordeal to end. In such a scenario, you may often find yourself lying awake at night looking for answers. During moments like these, you may wonder what you can do to rekindle your motivation in life. Well, a soul-stirring, motivational book may be just what you need.

Nuggets of wisdom from stories based on the lives of ordinary people who went on to achieve extraordinary greatness can change your outlook towards life, especially during trying times. Inspirational life stories fuel your imagination and enable you to break free from self-limiting beliefs. Such amazing stories can be found in almost any field—entrepreneurs, sportspersons, writers, artists, and politicians among others. Whatever you aspire to be, you can find an account of someone’s journey towards a similar goal.

So, if you’re looking for a source of inspiration and hope in the midst of uncertainty, here is a collection of motivational books in the form of biographies, autobiographies and memoirs of iconic individuals who have triumphed in the face of adversity and emerged victorious.

Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times, by Thomas Hauser

Amongst the greatest sportspersons of all time, Muhammad Ali’s journey remains a source of inspiration for people around the world. Thomas Hauser presents a detailed recreation of Ali’s professional career and personal struggles.  The biography captures and preserves a riveting depiction of Ali and the historical career that made him the most widely recognised athlete on the planet. The book proves to readers that when you have the strength and conviction to believe in your self-worth, you will achieve what you set out to do. Muhammad Ali’s biography teaches you that although it’s ok to lose, it’s very important to bounce back and make a resounding comeback every single time.

Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way, by Richard Branson

Founder of the Virgin Group, Richard Branson’s outrageous philosophy, “Oh, screw it, let’s do it,” allowed him to spawn many new ventures in areas as diverse as travel, entertainment, publishing, retail, media and financial services. This motivational book is Branson’s own take on his extraordinary life and is an awe-inspiring account of his personal and business survival. It also serves as an excellent business guide that reveals his unique viewpoints on business, success strategies and of course his epic life. This autobiography shows how everything is possible with hard work and perseverance. Branson’s life story will push you to try new things and help you get rid of the self-limiting beliefs that stop you from stepping up and taking on challenges in life.

Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business, by Barbara Corcoran

This autobiography is the inspiring story of self-made American businesswoman Barbara Corcoran, who quit her job as a diner waitress in her 20s to start a real estate brokerage business in New York with a $1,000 loan from her boyfriend. Using the lessons she learned from her mother, a homemaker, she gradually built her business into a $6 billion real-estate empire. Today, she is a celebrated speaker, investor, consultant, reality TV star and author who offers wisdom and business insights to upcoming entrepreneurs. This book is part memoir and part business lessons to those on the path of chasing their dreams. Corcoran’s humour and wisdom make this book an enjoyable read. She proves that all it takes is a little common sense and ingenuity to achieve one’s purpose in life.

Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson

Pulitzer Prize-nominated author Walter Issacson wrote this book after conducting more than 40 interviews with American business icon and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs over a period of two years, and more than 100 interviews with family members, friends, adversaries, colleagues and competitors. This biography tells the enthralling story of an intense personality whose passion for perfection and innovation changed the technology industry forever. This book shows us how Jobs took the future into his own hands and let his ideas guide him along the path to success. It renders priceless lessons on leadership, creativity and redefining success. It urges you to be bold, stick to what you love doing and seek inspiration from the environment and people around you.

Long Walk to Freedom, by Nelson Mandela

Compelling, emotive and uplifting, this autobiography takes us through the remarkable life of South African revolutionary, political leader and philanthropist Nelson Mandela. The book is a testament to his lifelong dedication to make the world a better place through racial equality and human rights. Mandela talks about his childhood struggles, his relentless fight against apartheid, the years spent in prison and his subsequent election as President of South Africa. This book is a fascinating chronicle of Mandela’s life through deep insights and personal anecdotes that not only inspire but also educate. Mandela’s unshakeable commitment to his cause no matter how degrading the conditions is what makes his autobiography a must-read.

Becoming, by Michelle Obama

In this reflective personal memoir, American attorney, author and former first lady of the United States Michelle Obama talks about her not-so-privileged upbringing, the highs and lows in her life, and how she finally found her voice. Obama beautifully narrates the experiences that shaped her to become the person she is today. This motivational book is an emotional read about a woman who defies expectations by holding on to her identity despite being married to the most powerful man in the world. Everyone is encouraged to read this book because the lessons it imparts are invaluable.

A Life in Parts, by Bryan Cranston

Actor Bryan Cranston is the acclaimed star of one of the most successful TV shows Breaking Bad. In his poignant, funny and inspiring memoir, the actor talks about his journey from being an abandoned son and struggling actor to becoming a Hollywood powerhouse. He regales readers with stories from the various real-life roles he has played—paperboy, dock loader, lover, husband and father among others. Describing his art in a way only a few actors can, he takes us through his personal and professional challenges and how he dealt with them. A truly gifted storyteller, Cranston offers practical wisdom on honing one’s craft and building one’s career through hard work and dedication.

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