Best self-help books for men with ambition

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We all want to become better versions of ourselves. Whether your goal is to earn more money, get in shape, leave a terrible job, marry that dream girl, or jump feet first into a new adventure β€” all of it begins with an internal shift.

Something in your mind and heart has to believe it is possible before you'll take any real action towards what you want. I know this because it was true for me. Every vital turning point in my life was preceded by a mental and emotional shift; an awakening of self-belief. And I know I wouldn't be where I am today without them.

So, if you're looking to change something major about your life, this article is the perfect place to start. Each of the 5 books below offers a unique take on the self-help genre, with specific lessons geared towards men. If you're open to a new chapter, keep reading.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

You can't win if you don't play. β€” Mark Manson

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

A counterintuitive approach to living a good life.

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Mark Manson, the legendary writer behind our first title, is not one to mince words. What you'll find in his book is a hard-hitting take on what's required to rewrite your story.

Some of the most memorable tales from this work are those borrowed from Mark's own traumatic experiences of loss. These tend to act as wake-up calls that hurry us towards our true callings.

The Sublte Art is a colorfully worded argument for caring more about what really matters (i.e., our relationships, health, and mental wellbeing) and less about the stuff the world tells us to prioritize (i.e., job titles, toys, appearances).

If you've felt lost or aimless about your next steps, this title may be just what you need.

Awaken the Giant Within

Any time you sincerely want to make a change, the first thing you must do is to raise your standards. β€” Tony Robbins

Awaken the Giant Within

How to take immediate control of your mental, emotional, physical and financial destiny. 

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Arguably the father of modern self-help, Tony Robbins is an author who needs no introduction. This title is a masterpiece of motivation (if you can find the audiobook version, do yourself a favor and get it!).

The book starts with an autobiographical tone as Robbins explains the strategy and tactics that enabled him to leave his dysfunctional roots and launch one of the most successful speaking careers in history.

From there, readers get a step-by-step instructional manual on how to level up their own confidence, skills, and opportunities. Aside from a few outdated examples, the advice has stood the test of time and is a must-read for any ambitious man.

Atomic Habits

You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. β€” James Clear

Atomic Habits

An easy and proven way to build good habits and break bad ones.

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Now, not everyone benefits from high energy or deeply emotional reads like the first two books on our list. Some people want to skip over the theoretical and dive right into the practical. For those types, Atomic Habits is a solid recommendation.

Penned by the infamous blogger James Clear, this book is essentially an everyman's dissertation on what it takes to be productive, and therefore successful, in our modern digital world.

An intensely practical read, you'll want to have your notebook ready (or download the digital PDFs the author mentions along the way). This is the perfect text for those who already have the motivation to make the changes they want, but need better tools to (A) make them happen and (B) stick to those beneficial actions over the long term.

Unf*ck Yourself

You have the life you’re willing to put up with. β€” Gary John Bishop

Unf*ck Yourself

Get out of your head and into your life.

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As mentioned at the beginning of this post, self-help has a huge amount to do with self-belief. Or more plainly, your thought patterns and self-talk. The premise of this book is simple yet powerful: if you can get your head on your side, anything is possible.

The author, Gary John Bishop, feels like a mix between a catholic priest and an angry Irish bar owner. All of the titles on this list are interesting to read, but this one, in particular, feels as though it has an authority behind it, so that it reads not just as a collection of advice, but as a commission to hold yourself to a higher standard.

If you've ever felt like your head has talked you out of going after what you want most in life, it's time to pick up this book and take back control.

You are a Badass

Never apologize for who you are. It lets the whole world down. β€” Jen Sincero

You Are a Badass

How to stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life.

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Last but not least is a book not exclusively written for men, but one I believe every male should add to their library. Badassery isn't just for the wonderful women we love and support. It can be for us too.

Jen Sincero is a master storyteller who invites you into some of her lowest points and shines a light on the shifts that catapulted her not only into a better station of life but into the existence of her dreams. Β 

By the end of this title, you'll not only believe that your desires are possible, but that they're inevitable and you're on your way to living the life you were made for.

Get uncomfortable

Self-help can feel weird, uncomfortable, and even a bit selfish at times. As men, we're expected to have it all together while shunning asking for help, or showing our weak spots.

Thankfully, that cultural inconsistency is changing and more people, like you and me, are getting the chance to be honest about who we want to be and the goals we want to pursue β€” no matter how extraordinary they may be or contrary to the path we've been on before.

This is your life. Don't waste it playing by somebody else's rules.

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