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Top 10 Motivational Books to Ignite Your Creative Fire

Top 10 Motivational Books to Ignite Your Creative Fire

Life's journey is filled with twists and turns, challenges and triumphs. We all desire inspiration to keep us moving forward on our path. This is where motivational literature provides insight that lights our inner fire. The written word has immense power to transform mindsets and open our eyes to new possibilities. For creative professionals and dreamers alike, motivational books can be invaluable roadmaps that push us outside our comfort zones toward achieving our highest ambitions.

In this article, we will explore ten motivational books that have resonated with countless individuals across the globe. These are not just self-help books but guides into the depths of the human spirit. Their poetic prose sings of hope, purpose, and limitless potential. Whether you feel lost in your work, relationship, or problems or need inspiration, these motivational books will reignite your creative passions.

The authors of these literary gems draw from their own experiences and perspectives to share universal truths that uplift humanity. Their words will elicit deep reflection, shift your perspective, and imprint your heart. From tried-and-true classics to contemporary works, this collection of the top motivational books spans different eras and worldviews.

As you dive into these pages, prepare to laugh, cry, and emerge with a renewed vision. Let them spark your imagination, restore your faith in what's possible, and lead you down the bright path toward your goals. If you're ready to transform your life, join us on this journey of the ten most motivational books ever written. The treasures waiting inside will illuminate your true potential.

Top 10 Motivational Books of All-Time

The War Of Art Motivational Book Review

1 – “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield

In his thought-provoking book “The War of Art,” author Steven Pressfield illuminates the nefarious force that threatens creativity and achievement – resistance. This invisible adversary manifests as procrastination, self-doubt, fear, and other insidious guises to thwart artists, writers, entrepreneurs, and anyone endeavouring to bring a vision to fruition. Pressfield delves into the root causes and myriad disguises of resistance, bringing awareness to this stealthy foe.

Through insightful observations and personal anecdotes, Pressfield helps readers identify their unique flavour of resistance. He explores how resistance saps our motivation, distracts our focus, and triggers bouts of perfectionism. Pressfield reveals that resistance aims to keep us in our comfort zones, settling for mediocrity rather than risking failure or criticism. The more critical the project, the more potent resistance becomes.

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
  • Profoundly inspiring guide to overcoming
  • Creative blocks of every kind.
  • It ensures you get the best usage for a longer period
  • Pressfield, Steven (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

However, “The War of Art” does not simply diagnose the disease of resistance. Pressfield equips readers with philosophical strategies and tactical tools to overcome this nemesis. He advocates embracing struggle as a path to growth, committing to a practice rather than a specific result, and focusing on the overall war, not individual battles. Pressfield empowers us to view resistance as an integral part of the creative process, not a sign of weakness or lack of discipline.

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With wit and wisdom, Pressfield inspires artists, writers, and anyone pursuing a calling to accept resistance as part of the journey. His rallying cry empowers readers to show up daily to do their work and fulfil their potential. For anyone feeling blocked by internal obstacles, “The War of Art” provides insight, inspiration, and an arsenal of weapons against resistance, our most cunning foe.

2 – “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert

In her inspirational book “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear,” bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert explores how to lead a creative life filled with curiosity, courage, and joy. Known for memoirs like “Eat Pray Love” that chronicle her journey of self-discovery, Gilbert shifts her focus to “Big Magic” to examine the mysterious nature of inspiration and the many myths and misconceptions that hold people back from pursuing their creative passions.

Gilbert advocates that rather than viewing creativity as a rare gift bestowed upon a select few, we should see it as a universal human trait, an innate part of living a whole life. She encourages readers to let go of ideas like “I'm not creative” or fears that their work must be original and perfect immediately. Instead, Gilbert suggests embracing creativity with a childlike sense of openness, exploration, and delight. This means following inspiration wherever it leads, letting ideas germinate slowly, and allowing yourself to make mistakes and learn through experimentation.

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
  • Hardcover
  • Gilbert, Elizabeth (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 304 Pages – 09/27/2016 (Publication Date) – Riverhead Books (Publisher)

In her warm, candid voice, Gilbert draws upon her experiences as a writer to offer wisdom about overcoming creative blocks. For instance, she suggests imagining ideas as separate entities with their own will rather than struggling to control them. If you hit an impasse on a project, she advises putting it aside for a while to let it re-inspire you later. Gilbert also stresses the importance of courage, tenacity and showing up daily to do the work – in the face of rejection and self-doubt – as the natural pathway to meaningful accomplishment.

Infused with humour and vulnerability about her creative highs and lows, “Big Magic” celebrates creativity as an elusive, enchanted force that enriches our lives. Gilbert inspires readers to have the confidence to let their passions take flight and approach their craft with more fun. She argues that any creative expression, however imperfect or small, is an act of courage and magic.

3 – “The Creative Habit” by Twyla Tharp

In her revelatory book “The Creative Habit,” legendary choreographer Twyla Tharp offers readers an intimate look into the rituals and routines that sustain her creative flow. Tharp debunks the myth of creativity as merely a flash of inspiration, arguing instead that it is a skill to be honed through dedicated practice. Tharp outlines a practical framework for cultivating creativity as an enduring habit by sharing her habits and hard-won wisdom from her prolific career.

At the heart of Tharp's approach is establishing non-negotiable daily rituals from the moment she rises until she retires in the evening. These rituals—such as an early morning workout followed by hours of uninterrupted work—provide structure and repetition, the foundation upon which creative breakthroughs can emerge. Tharp stresses the importance of mining one's memory and environment for creative stimuli, collecting these sparks in a daily “scratch diary.” She also counsels the virtue of routine physical motion to get the creative juices flowing, whether hiking, driving or simply stretching on the floor.

The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life (Learn In and Use It for Life)
  • The Creative Habit: Learn It And Use It For Life
  • Twyla Tharp (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 256 Pages – 01/06/2006 (Publication Date) – Simon & Schuster (Publisher)

While Tharp advocates adherence to these daily practices, she also emphasises the need for flexibility, daring, and openness to change. Rigidity stifles creativity, she warns. The creative habit requires balancing focused effort with spontaneity and discipline with play. By alternately moving between intense work and detached reflection, one can achieve the fluidity of mind that invites epiphanies.

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Above all, Tharp's book demystifies the creative process, transforming it from the domain of capricious muses into something infinitely more accessible. Creativity is not about waiting for inspiration to strike; it is about actively engaging in the consistent rituals that make moments of inspiration possible. With wisdom and wit, Tharp's “The Creative Habit” empowers readers to bring more originality and passion to their lives and work.

4 – “Mindset” by Carol S. Dweck

In her seminal book “Mindset,” Stanford psychologist Carol S. Dweck illuminates how our beliefs and attitudes profoundly shape our capacity to learn, grow, and thrive. Dweck puts forth a robust framework that distinguishes between two core mindsets: fixed and growth mindsets.

Those with a fixed mindset believe talents and abilities are set in stone. They view intelligence and skill as fixed traits, avoiding challenges and easily discouraged by setbacks. Conversely, individuals with a growth mindset embrace challenges and view failure as an opportunity for growth. They believe abilities can be developed through dedicated effort, strategy, and mentorship.

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Dweck, Carol S. S. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 320 Pages – 12/26/2007 (Publication Date) – Random House Publishing Group (Publisher)

Dweck compellingly demonstrates through decades of research how mindset drives resilience, achievement, and success. Growth-oriented thinkers learn more, achieve more, and find greater fulfilment. The book explores the differences between the two mindsets across various domains like sports, business, relationships, and child-rearing.

Dweck equips readers with practical strategies to cultivate a growth mindset, the key ingredient for continuously developing new skills and reaching one's potential. In our rapidly evolving world, a growth mindset allows people to lean into change as an opportunity for innovation and invention rather than resisting it out of fear.

Widely acclaimed and meticulously researched, “Mindset” provides a paradigm-shifting understanding of the psychology of success. Dweck ignites a passion for lifelong learning and an appetite for challenges, enabling people to unlock their talents and creativity.

5 – “Steal Like an Artist” by Austin Kleon

Steal Like An Artist Austin Kleon

In his book “Steal Like an Artist,” Austin Kleon puts forth a liberating approach to creativity that embraces influence and remixing as vital parts of the artistic process. Kleon argues against the notion that true creativity requires complete originality, contending that all creative work builds on what came before it.

To support this view, Kleon points out that even the most innovative artists and thinkers stand on the shoulders of their influences and predecessors. Picasso studied and incorporated elements from Cézanne, Matisse, and African tribal masks. Woody Guthrie and the blues singers of the Mississippi Delta inspired Bob Dylan. The Beatles started out playing covers of Chuck Berry and Motown hits. As Kleon memorably states, “Nothing is completely original.”

Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative
  • By artist and writer Austin Kleon
  • A collection of positive messages and exercises to realize your artistic side
  • A New York Times Best-seller
  • 10 Things nobody told you about being creative!
  • ERROR:#N/A

Rather than being discouraged by a lack of complete originality, Kleon advises creatives to enthusiastically borrow, remix, and reinvent the work of their influences. He uses the metaphors of a DJ mixing songs or a mosaic artist arranging fragments into a new whole to describe this process of creative synthesis. Artists can find fresh combinations and forge their unique style by taking bits and pieces from multiple sources.

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Kleon stresses the importance of maintaining a personal voice and “standing on your own two feet” even when drawing heavily from source material. He champions additive approaches in which the artist contributes something new while weaving together existing threads. This distinguishes productive borrowing from mere copying.

To fuel this additive process, Kleon recommends exploring widely and identifying artists across various disciplines to serve as “mentors.” He advises reading voraciously, keeping an “idea notebook,” and cataloguing interesting creative work in swipe files. Such activities provide raw materials to rework.

Sharing and contributing to the creative commons is equally crucial to gathering influence. Kleon positions today's creators as “re-mixers” participating in an ongoing exchange of ideas. He advocates openly crediting sources and giving back to the culture that shaped you.

With its affirming message that originality comes from synthesis, “Steal Like an Artist” offers both validation and sage guidance for creative souls. Kleon provides an actionable framework for making heavily influenced yet still personal work. His insights free artists from unrealistic expectations of novelty while honouring the unique perspectives they bring.

6 – “Grit” by Angela Duckworth

In her book “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance,” psychologist Angela Duckworth delves into the psychological traits that drive achievement and success. Through extensive research and interviews with high achievers in various fields, Duckworth makes the case that raw talent alone is not sufficient for reaching the pinnacle of excellence. Instead, the combination of passion and perseverance, which she terms “grit,” is the critical differentiator that allows individuals to push through obstacles and sustain effort over the long haul.

Duckworth begins by examining the common perception that those who attain great success do so primarily because of innate natural ability. However, she cites numerous examples that undermine this assumption. For instance, she points out that spelling bee champions accumulate tens of thousands of hours of deliberate practice in preparation, far more than their peers. Similarly, elite musicians and athletes devote vast amounts of time to honing their craft from a young age. According to Duckworth's research, gritty individuals not only practice more, but they practice more effectively by maintaining intense focus, analysing errors, and correcting weaknesses.

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
  • Duckworth, Angela (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 368 Pages – 08/21/2018 (Publication Date) – Scribner (Publisher)

Throughout the book, Duckworth highlights the stories of paragons of grit, like chess prodigy Josh Waitzkin and teaching innovator Rafe Esquith. Despite not being considered the most innately talented in their fields, their sheer tenacity, purposeful practice routines, and resolute mindsets allowed them to rise to the top of their professions. Duckworth also notes that grit is neither fixed nor innate; it can be consciously fostered by orienting toward a higher purpose, avoiding temptations that distract from deliberate skill-building, and viewing challenges as opportunities for growth.

Ultimately, Duckworth presents a compelling case that passion and perseverance are the cornerstones for turning natural gifts into world-class performance. Far from just an empty platitude, grit represents a distinct psychological trait that enables individuals to sustain effort, maintain motivation, and push past obstacles on the unrelenting path toward excellence. By cultivating grit, people can unlock reserves of tenacity that allow them to start the journey toward greatness and, more critically, finish it.

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7 – “Awaken the Giant Within” by Tony Robbins

In his bestselling book “Awaken the Giant Within,” world-renowned motivational speaker Tony Robbins takes readers on an empowering journey of self-mastery and personal growth. Published in 1991, this classic self-help book has sold over 30 million copies worldwide, cementing Robbins' status as one of the most influential thinkers in the personal development space.

The core message of “Awaken the Giant Within” is that we all hold immense untapped potential and can unleash this potential by taking control of our minds. Robbins provides practical techniques and strategies to reshape limiting beliefs, boost motivation, improve relationships, increase productivity, and create lasting positive change.

Awaken the Giant Within : How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!
  • Great product!
  • Robbins, Tony (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 544 Pages – 11/01/1992 (Publication Date) – Simon & Schuster (Publisher)

At over 500 pages, the book covers many topics, including neuro-linguistic programming, visualisation, anchoring, building rapport, modelling successful people, and more. Robbins' enthusiastic writing style makes complex psychological concepts accessible to the everyday reader. He uses compelling stories and examples from his own life. He works to illustrate critical lessons on taking charge of one's emotional state, overcoming fears, breaking bad habits, setting goals, and tapping into inner resources.

The book is structured as a journey, taking readers step-by-step through personal transformation. Robbins begins by emphasising the power of decisions and declaring that we must awaken the giant within us to take active control of our lives. Next, he delves into belief systems and emotional mastery, highlighting the need to reshape limiting beliefs and gain control over emotions. Subsequent sections provide tactics to enhance relationships, improve financial conditions, foster creativity, and achieve career success.

At its heart, “Awaken the Giant Within” is about realising our ability to take the helm of our lives and steer ourselves to a better destiny. Thirty years after its original publication, its messages of empowerment and unlimited human potential resonate with people seeking to maximise their effectiveness and live more fulfilling lives.

8 – “Drive” by Daniel H. Pink

In his thought-provoking book “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us,” bestselling author Daniel H. Pink upends traditional notions of what truly drives human motivation and satisfaction. Pink draws on decades of scientific research on human motivation to prove that classic rewards-and-punishment approaches often backfire in the workplace and in life. Instead, he argues, the deep human needs for autonomy, mastery, and purpose truly motivate us.

Pink explains that giving people autonomy over completing tasks enhances creativity, productivity, and engagement. Mastery – the desire to continually improve skills and abilities – is a powerful intrinsic motivator that taps into our natural drive to get better at things that matter to us. And doing work serving a larger purpose infuses meaning into our lives and inspires us to transcend self-interest.

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
  • Great product!
  • Pink, Daniel H. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 288 Pages – 04/05/2011 (Publication Date) – Riverhead Books (Publisher)

“Drive” is full of fascinating studies and real-world examples that reveal flaws in carrot-and-stick thinking. Pink details how cash bonuses often led to poorer task performance requiring creativity. He discusses how giving workers 20% time for self-directed projects results in innovation. Through insightful interviews, he shows how top athletes, artists, and entrepreneurs are driven by autonomy, mastery, and purpose – not simply money or fame.

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Pink's conclusions have potent implications for managers building motivated, productive teams. Rather than control people through rewards and punishments, Pink advocates giving workers as much autonomy as possible and supporting their drive for mastery. Helping employees see how their work contributes to a larger purpose also boosts meaning and drive. By taking these research-backed approaches, organisations can foster the intrinsic motivation that unlocks people's best thinking and work.

For anyone seeking fresh perspectives on what drives human behaviour, “Drive” delivers an engaging, thought-provoking tour through the science of motivation. Pink's insights will resonate with creatives and knowledge workers seeking to maximise productivity and fulfilment. Individuals and organisations can tap into the deep internal wells of motivation that propel the most innovative work by focusing on the critical motivators of autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

9 – “Daring Greatly” by Brené Brown

In her groundbreaking book “Daring Greatly,” renowned research professor Brené Brown delves into the counterintuitive power of vulnerability. Through extensive research into human emotion, creativity, and connection, Brown makes the compelling case that vulnerability is not a weakness, as many believe, but rather a wellspring of courage from which creativity, harmony, and growth emerge.

Far from being passive or powerless, Brown argues that vulnerability involves uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. When we dare greatly to be vulnerable, we summon the courage to show up, engage, and let ourselves be seen – gifts, imperfections and all. The reward is greater authenticity in our relationships, more creativity in our self-expression, and more profound resilience to face life's inevitable obstacles.

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
  • Brown, Brené (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 320 Pages – 04/07/2015 (Publication Date) – Avery (Publisher)

Vulnerability fuels the emotional, psychological, and spiritual growth that allows us to become our fullest selves. Brown encourages us to embrace vulnerability as individuals, communities, organisations, and societies. Creating space for honest sharing, empathetic listening, and wholehearted engagement builds trust, fosters inclusivity, and catalyses creativity.

Through vulnerable storytelling and cutting-edge research, Brown makes the science behind emotions relatable and actionable. She shares how cultivating courage, compassion, and connection has allowed her to become a more creative individual, engaged community member, and passionate advocate for vulnerability. By Barbering ourselves and each other with empathy, we can lift shame and encourage mutually supportive environments where creativity and belonging can thrive.

Daring Greatly is a book about the transformative power we all hold when we are brave enough to drop our armour, reject cynicism, and love intensely. Brown's insights on vulnerability provide inspiration and practical guidance to deepen our relationships and unlock our creative potential.

10 – “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg

In his bestselling book “The Power of Habit”, Charles Duhigg provides fascinating insights into the science behind habit formation and change. Though not exclusively focused on creativity, many concepts he explores can be applied to developing consistent creative practices.

One of the critical ideas Duhigg introduces is the habit loop – the cue, routine, and reward cycle that encodes habits into our brains. Understanding this neurological process allows us to be more intentional about the habits we form. For creatives, deliberately designing habit loops supporting artistic endeavours can improve productivity and career longevity.

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
  • Life changing novel
  • Duhigg, Charles (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 416 Pages – 01/07/2014 (Publication Date) – Random House Publishing Group (Publisher)

Duhigg examines how keystone habits can spur changes across multiple aspects of life. Establishing just one positive new routine often creates a chain reaction of improved behaviours. Aspiring artists and writers could leverage this effect by adding a daily art-making practice. Over time, this habit could increase motivation, focus, and feelings of fulfilment.

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Additionally, the book delves into strategies for altering existing habits. Duhigg stresses the importance of keeping parts of the cue and reward consistent while modifying the routine. Artists hoping to change unproductive patterns in their work may find this a helpful technique.

While the core topics of “The Power of Habit” extend beyond creativity, there are many applicable insights. By understanding the science of habits and implementing Duhigg's advice, creatives can craft routines that maximise productivity, inspiration, and career success over the long term. This book holds tremendous value for those seeking to establish artistic practices that withstand the test of time.


The creative journey is often filled with peaks, valleys, triumph, and struggle. When inspiration falters, and discouragement sets in, it can be tempting to abandon your passions and give up on your dreams. Yet the most successful creatives persevere through the hard times and find the drive to keep going within themselves. Motivational books can be a powerful tool to reignite your inner fire and propel you forward again.

The books on this list offer more than empty platitudes or fleeting bursts of motivation. They provide tried and true wisdom from those who have walked the path before you. These authors illuminate the way forward by drawing on stories, insights, and actionable advice. Whether you need help overcoming self-doubt, enhancing your creative process, or achieving personal growth, you will find inspiration within these pages.

As you read, reflect on how the lessons apply to your experiences. Allow the words to resonate with you deeply and awaken your untapped potential. Be willing to sit with discomfort as you work through core issues holding you back. Have faith that implementing even small changes can set you on a new trajectory.

The creative life requires courage, resilience and self-belief. When you feel depleted, let these books rekindle your inner fire. Their guidance will renew your sense of possibility and equip you with the tools to stay the course. Your dreams are waiting to be realised. With newfound clarity and motivation, you can bring them to fruition step by step.

The journey belongs to you alone, but you don't have to walk alone. Turn to these books when you need direction, comfort or inspiration. Let them be the light that brightens your path so you can keep moving forward with passion and purpose. Your most fabulous creations are still ahead.

Last update on 2023-09-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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