10 best self-help books of all time

From Benjamin Franklin to Norman Vincent Pearle to Stephen Covey, here are 10 of the best self-help books ever written.

8. 'The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,' by Stephen R. Covey

Stephen R. Covey was a professor at Brigham Young University in 1989 when he published "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," a book today regarded as one of the giants of the contemporary self-help movement. In this book, Covey spells out the importance of character and ethics. He sees success in life as directly related to a willingness to align one's life with certain core universal principles. He also preaches the importance of "win-win" thinking, in which individuals strive for solutions that satisfy all parties involved, rather than concerning themselves only with their own needs and goals. Some readers have also praised Covey's ideas about time management. These relate to his ideas about living a life built on a central core of principles. He has said, “The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

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