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25 Inspiring Books Every Student Must Read Before They Graduate

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Motivation is the key to achieving anything. Proper motivation energises students and steers them towards noteworthy and laudable accomplishments- academically, personally and career-wise!

Through proper motivation, students get renewed self-confidence not towards a singular construct but a myriad of crucial constructs such as self-belief, the value of tasks, goal-setting and motives behind accomplishments. 

Appropriately motivated students display goal-oriented thinking and behaviour more than learners lacking proper impetus. 

Their drive and zeal towards attaining their goal (whether becoming a class-topper or attaining perfect scores throughout college/university) propels them towards their impending academic success. 

Motivational books for students are an endless source of knowledge and motivation and can empower and inspire learners to overcome their hurdles and attain their true potential. 

Such books offer real-time insights into how the world around us works and how its inhabitants think, communicate and respond to various circumstances. It reveals tales of far-off lands and unlocks the mysteries of the cosmos. 

Besides Science and knowledge about the way of the world, motivational books also teach students about morality, principles and biographies of noteworthy individuals who overcame their shortcomings and sculpted themselves into something inspiring. 

Above all, motivational books in English (or any other language) are your true best friend who will always offer some value in exchange for nothing. Therefore, every student must develop and entertain the habit of reading good books for their self-growth and development.

If you cannot decide what should be in your TBR list, this post will highlight a curated list of 25 must-read motivational books for students before graduating.

Overcoming Obstacles and Developing Resilience through Inspiring Books for Students

Life is not all about sunshine and rainbows. It also contains thorns in the form of obstacles and difficulties that often knock you down. 

However, your inner strength, resilience, and the choices you inevitably make whenever faced with such obstacles define you as an individual.

Your reaction to situations determines the subsequent outcome. For example, if you fail your assignment and wallow in grief, disappointment and negativity, you will never accomplish anything (besides wasted time).

Alternatively, if you have a positive outcome, even if you fail your assignment, you can bounce back strongly and re-try your efforts for a better outcome. 

Studying motivational books provides the knowledge to become resilient and tackle various life hurdles (even if the odds don’t favour you). Moreover, reading motivational novels also teaches students to accept pain as something real, learn from it and vow never to feel the same way again. 

Above all, motivational books for students teach Bravery, Mental Clarity, Compassion (towards self and others) and Heaps of Inspiration. 

25 Best Motivational Books for Students to Read before Graduating

8 Best Motivational Novels for Students in English

(For achieving perspective, self-transformation, overcoming hurdles and resolving conflicts, being resilient and accomplishing appreciative changes in almost all facets of their lives)

Rhonda Byrne’s “THE SECRET”

‘The Secret’ reveals the hidden mysteries of our universe and how it works from various perspectives. 

The book is incredibly self-transforming and discusses every facet of normal life – happiness, health, money, relationships cultivated, etc.

The Outcome – By reading this, students will learn how to tap into their latent potential, use it to their advantage, and achieve joy and happiness in all vital aspects of their life. 

It focuses on the pseudoscientific law of attraction – meaning positive thinking can transform a person’s life and alleges energy to guarantee efficacy. 

Teachings – The book is the perfect guide featuring life lessons from modern-day tutors for students who undergo numerous life hurdles- health, money, education, making connections with others, etc. It teaches students always to harbour optimistic viewpoints and hold their own in various adversities. 


It reveals ‘The Four Agreements – 

  • Not to gossip.
  • Not to take things personally.
  • Not to make assumptions without getting the facts straight.
  • And doing your best by starting from a rational stance by comprehending the issue without letting adding any negative baggage 

The Outcome – Through his inspiring book, Ruiz states that one must be resilient towards society’s oppressors who follow agreements by making people quake with fear and demeaning their worth. 

Moreover, he also shares that one must have a big heart and courage to challenge their beliefs and change agreements for their betterment.

Teachings – The author explains these agreements help people learn how to behave and what is feasible and impossible. Self-limiting agreements beget futile sufferings. And to live a life of contentment, one must be brave to shatter those self-restricting agreements. 


The book by APJ Abdul Kalam envisages data and communication technology to mine rural raw talents. He presents his dream of future schools as symbiotic nerve centres that link tutors, the community and its students.

The Outcome – Through this book, DR. Kalam’s outcome is various contributions of Indian-bred artists and scientists prove age is not a parameter to blossom and advocate a supportive environment that fosters diverse talents. 

Teachings – For young students, he uses the metaphor of a tree to explain the process of gaining knowledge that bears prosperity is acquiring different learning at various phases of life. 

Readers can draw inspiration from this book, shape their system, and take meaningful actions to blossom without worrying about societal age barriers. 


The book states that everyone must have some elderly figure (a senior professor, grandfather/mother) that helps us grasp the true meaning of life and share advice to get through it. 

After discovering his former professor has ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), Mitch visited Morrie (his elderly advisor) every Tuesday (much like their college days). And their reunion triggers one final teaching session on lessons to live life to the fullest.  

The Outcome –Through the book, students learn that wisdom from those who came before them is invaluable. 

Perseverance through resilience without harbouring any ill will against anyone is the way to live a prosperous and happy life. The book’s outcome enlightens students seeking answers about how to advance academically and career-wise. 

Teachings – It teaches students to do everything by heart or else they won’t experience satisfaction. And at times when we may not get to do things we love, or things may not always go our way, don’t lose hope and view things positively. 

Caroline Arnold’s “SMALL MOVE, BIG CHANGE”

Caroline Arnold pokes the question- ‘Why do so many fail to stick to their new resolution?’ and concludes that most fail at keeping their resolutions as it’s too big or too vague. 

The Outcome – The novel’s transformative and impactful message proves pivotal for students to do things correctly, manage time properly and not leave it to the 11th hour (something that countless students tend to do)!

The book states that one must incorporate micro-resolutions and minor behavioural adjustments within their regular habits. 

The Teachings – The book teaches its readers that one must learn about their habits (good and bad) and discover external clues linking minor resolutions that stick and are simpler to accomplish. 

Countless students wish to change their habits and become more proficient in academic learning. Fortunately, this book is perfect for learning how to alter their habits for better outcomes. 

Randy Pausch’s “THE LAST LECTURE”

The book depicts Randy Pausch’s end times when he had a month to survive after being diagnosed with terminal cancer and focuses on the iconic lecture ‘Really Achieving your Childhood Dreams’. 

The Outcome – The book challenges its fellow readers (especially students) to reflect on their childhood reveries, desires, hopes and aspirations, then!          

The Teachings – The biggest lesson for students is never to give up their primary dreams and aspirations and always be resilient and confident in trying to achieve them despite the odds and hurdles.

Moreover, it teaches students never to inhibit themselves from society’s shackles and always press forward with determination and a will of fire.


Rubin’s best seller is an apt read for students seeking the most crucial thing in their lives – HAPPINESS! 

But does prioritising one’s happiness seem selfish in the current world? The book answers this question and, in doing so, creates an apt blueprint for readers to create and enjoy their happiness. 

The Outcome – The book explores 12 facets of Rubin’s life and tracks behaviour and habits that beget happiness. Of course, the book also clearly states that everyone’s Happiness project will vary, and it’s up to the individual to discover it themselves. 

The Teachings – The book teaches students the crucial lesson of being happy and how to always improve oneself in life (academically, personally or career-wise) per one’s happiness values.  

John C Maxwell’s “FALLING FORWARD – Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success”

John C Maxwell expresses we’re all instructed to avoid mistakes and failures. Despite that, many fail in their endeavours at some point. The book explains how we (mainly students reading) can deal with failure. 

The Outcome – The focal outcome of this book is that failing is a natural part of achieving success. Those who’ve never failed can never know how success feels. 

‘Failure is a momentary setback, not some unceasing epidemic one can’t overcome!’

Teachings – John C Maxwell’s inspiring piece serves as a knowledge base for students struggling with academic studies and assignments. The book teaches how to stay resilient and positive even when unfavourable things happen. It teaches how to use failure as stepping stones to evolve, adapt and improvise. 

8 Motivational Books for Students

(On goal setting, planning, time management, finding passion and purpose, overcoming obstacles and developing optimum self-esteem)

Michael Hyatt’s “YOUR BEST YEAR EVER: A 5-Step Plan for Achieving Your Most Important Goals.”

Michael Hyatt’s influential novel discusses finding true purpose, boosting self-esteem and establishing purposeful goals!

The book states – ‘often when trying to accomplish the impossible, we eventually end up doing something better than expected.’

The Outcome – The book is a life mantra (or sorts) that help readers overcome daily challenges- goal setting, planning, managing time for their affairs or having sufficient self-esteem to pull off challenging tasks. 

It shares life wisdom on all facets – relationships, monetary goals, personal/academic/career objectives, etc. 

The Teachings – Readers can learn all about getting unstuck, quit-proofing goals, discovering their purpose and overcoming every obstacle standing in their way with confidence and surety.

For students, it teaches them proper planning, time management and how to reach optimum potential in academics and other areas of their life. 


Halvorson’s inspiring novel is about goal setting, planning and boosting self-esteem. It highlights 9 crucial things all successful folks do differently. 

The Outcome – The riveting novel are the 9 outcomes for achieving goals and long-term focus.

  • Getting specific
  • Seizing the moment to act on your objectives
  • Knowing precisely where the goal line exists 
  • Being a realistic optimist 
  • Emphasising getting better instead of good 
  • Willing to commit to long-term goals with grit
  • Building willpower (with self-esteem)
  • Not tempting fate 
  • Focussing on what you’ll do 

The Teachings – The novel teaches students all about managing goals, keeping them alive and achieving them slowly with utmost focus, gumption and determination. Furthermore, it helps students avoid distractions, focus on what they’re willing to do, and get back on track to accomplishing that set goal confidently. 

Danielle La Porte’s “THE DESIRE MAP: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul”

The novel highlights a goal-setting program that emphasises connecting with one’s feelings and enabling the exterior objective’s achievements to grow from within. 

Simply put, it’s what the book title indicates – ‘creating goals with your soul.’

The Outcome – The book dives into setting clear priorities that steer you towards the life you’ve always wanted and not focus excessively on anytime else. 

The Teachings – Students will learn that work is the life focus for goal setting, allowing purpose to have a role in motivation. The book explores many deeper facets of goal setting, thus proving to be fascinating. 

Mark Murphy’s “HARD GOALS – The Secret to Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be”

Murphy explores the concept of goal setting and highlights one’s goals should be more than ‘ho-hum’ goals.

Murphy’s take on goal-setting is fascinating, especially for students wanting to know more about setting long-term and meaningful goals. 

The Outcome – The knowledge outcome entails that one must possess an inner desire to reach their potential goals. If one wishes to transform the world or make a significant change, their aspirations must be set accordingly. 

The Teachings – The novel teaches students that expressing intense emotions often results in better outcomes than showing emotional detachment. 

And challenging goals that push one to their limits are more satisfying. 


Since its launch in 1936, this inspiring novel has aided countless folks in planning their goals and achieving them in today’s tech-centric world. 

The Outcome – The book teaches you ‘It’s not about what you have, who and where you are and what you’re doing that determines happiness and disappointment. It’s about WHAT YOU THINK about it that counts!’ 

The Teachings – The principles shared proves invaluable for students wanting to master planning and achieving their goals with proper time management skills, confidence, determination and resilience to overcome all hurdles.


The novel focuses on the power of optimistic thinking and assisting people in living happily and peacefully while endeavouring to accomplish their target. 

‘Keep your heart free from hate and your mind from worries. Live, expect little and try to give back as much as feasible to the world.’ 

The Outcome – The knowledge outcome provides readers tips on developing a positive mindset that has influenced several noteworthy folks (including previous presidents).

The Teachings – Students who read this motivational novel will learn about the value of optimistic thinking. It also teaches people that positivity alone is not the only determinant of happiness. But, with a positive mind, one can make it slightly easier. Also, staying positive allows one to avert stress, fear and obstacles. 


Marku’s novel endorses Change in habit as crucial for setting goals and accomplishing success.

The novel is a how-to guide that offers step-wise actions for one’s pursuits. 

The Outcome – The knowledge outcome for readers is they learn about SMART goal concepts – a strong framework for setting, planning and achieving any specific objective. 

The Teachings – Students reading this novel will get heaps of motivation and wisdom on setting winning goals, aptly planning for them with proper time management and achieving them with utmost confidence. Moreover, it imparts lessons to have a successful life and live it with happiness and satisfaction. 

Caroline Adams & Michael B. Frisch’s “CREATING YOUR BEST LIFE: The Ultimate Life List Guide”

The book weaves enriching stories of achievements and happiness with useful goal-setting exercises.  

Its famous line embodies the book’s essence -‘ Life is a sacred journey, and it’s about change, discovery, and continual expansion of one’s vision of what’s feasible.’

The Outcome –The main outcome is readers will learn about various goal-setting exercises and ways to see life’s goals and accomplishments. The knowledge outcome will prove very useful for students struggling to find their right path and purpose in life. 

The Teachings – Readers will learn to see clearly, listen deeply to their intuitions, and courageously march forward despite numerous challenges. And once on that path, they can create their legacy of triumph, wisdom, change, growth and transformation. 

9 Motivational Book Names

(For Leadership, strategy assessment & Personal Development)

Sun Tzu’s “THE ART OF WAR”

It is perhaps one of the best motivational books for all types of people – men, women, politicians, business executives and even students wanting to learn about personal development leadership. 

The book focuses on dispute resolution and strategy assessment. 

The Outcome – The knowledge outcome entails preparing, strategising, and taking advantage of opportunities to overcome conflict and succeed. 

The Teachings – Students who struggle to manage their academic affairs learn the keys to strategising for accomplishing goals. Along with deeper insights into leadership and self-development, the book teaches students the value of planning beforehand and having a contingency plan. 

Frances Frei and Anne Morriss’s “UNLEASHED – The Unapologetic Leader’s Guide to Empowering Everyone around You”

The book reveals that leadership is crucial, and to become a successful leader, one must have foresight, courage and determination to assess things on the darkest days – personal, academic or professional!

The Outcome – The authors present various worldly viewpoints on leadership and personal development and share wisdom on the essential things to do as a leader – motivate and build others around them. 

The Teachings – Readers (especially students) learn about the makings of a competent, strong leader. Inspiring leaders must come to other folks’ needs and respond promptly and strategically to trigger personality growth in others around them. 

Jim Kwik’s “LIMITLESS – Upgrade Your Brain, Learn Anything Faster & Unlock Your Exceptional Life”

The book focuses on mental expansion and fitness of the brain. Being limitless presents people with the ability to achieve more productivity, transformation, business success and personal achievements. Changing the mindset is all one takes to achieve such transformations. 

The Outcome – The knowledge outcome denotes highlighting the 3 M’s that assist in unlocking the superpowers of one’s brain and modifying their habits. Moreover, it expresses that the human brain is a supercomputer capable of many marvels and miracles. 

The Teachings – Students learn how to identify what they want in each facet of their lives and about the author’s unique approach inspired by neuro-scientific research for speedy learning. 

It also teaches readers ways to identify habits, procrastination, and assumptions hindering their mindset and creating negative thinking.

Adam Grant’s “THINK AGAIN – The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know”

The book presents information about the human mind and the power of knowledge. The author further establishes – if Power comes from knowledge, Wisdom comes from what we don’t know!

The Outcome – The knowledge outcome of this novel is embracing the delight of not knowing. He further states conviction is often comfortable, while doubt begets distress. And why such mind-sets make it difficult for humans to change courses. 

The Teachings – Students reading this novel will learn about the importance of learning, being open to accepting what they don’t know and learning to question their opinions. The knowledge from this novel proves paramount for students seeking self-improvement and a proper mindset to become competent leaders for those needing guidance and empowerment.

Walter Isaacson’s “STEVE JOBS”

The inspirational novel focuses on the complete life and times of Steve Jobs. It draws upon previous interviews with Jobs and even refers to opinions from his colleagues, friends, competitors, etc. 

The Outcome – The outcome of this motivational novel is hard work, grit, confidence and courage to face and overcome all obstacles. Furthermore, it also shares Job’s drive to become a perfectionist, never give up and stand firm even when the challenges are overpowering, and obstacles are relentless. 

The Teachings – The novel teaches students the value of having an open mind and the guts to manifest those changes in actuality. Moreover, it instructs struggling students never to lose sight of perspective and their true goal and put 200% effort into accomplishing it.

Tim. S Grover’s “Relentless – From Good to Great to Unstoppable”

In this motivational book, Grover breaks down the steps to become relentless and unstoppable. It reveals what one requires to produce positive results and that everyone stops, they let go of the possibility of doing more. 

The Outcome – Grover’s novel expresses what it takes to be relentless and accomplish whatever one desires. It expresses that one must never let emotions become their weakness, persevere (even if others don’t), and do whatever it takes to reach the goal. 

The Teachings – This novel is the ideal read for students who crumble under pressure to get inspiration and learn to become relentless- no matter what.

It is an important lesson for students as they constantly find themselves under the pump to perform well academically- regardless of tight deadlines or intricate curriculums.

Jen Sincero’s “YOU ARE A BADASS – How to stop doubting your greatness & start living an awesome life”

Sincero’s best seller reveals how one strives to identify and alter their self-destructive notions and behaviour that obscure clear perspectives and prevent them from getting what they desire. 

Sincero’s book aims to understand how and why people are, how to change what they don’t love and how to love what they cannot change. 

The Outcome – The knowledge outcome of this book is to convince readers to stop doubting their skills, abilities, knowledge and potential greatness within them! 

The Teachings – Readers (especially students) can learn plenty from Sincero’s book. It teaches them to find a way if they are serious about self-transforming rather than hide behind pointless excuses. 

William H McRaven’s “MAKE YOUR BED – Little Things That Can Change Your Life & Maybe the World”

The book covers simple words of encouragement and practical wisdom to aid individuals in accomplishing their aimed success in life. 

The Outcome – McRaven’s motivational novel imparts fundamental wisdom about the little things that can potentially alter our life, even our world. 

It expresses that everyone experiences hardships in life and that one cannot do everything alone. Strength is unity, and making friends will help you find success more easily than striving for it alone. 

The Teachings – Students reading this book will find such words of wisdom and encouragement beneficial for personal development and academic success. They will even become strong leaders sharing the same beliefs to others under their guidance. 

Stephen R Covey’s “THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE – Powerful Lessons in Personal Change”

Covey’s motivational novel is a best seller and reveals compelling wisdom to manifest positive personality change and development.

The Outcome – The knowledge outcome includes insights from highly successful people who have made a mark on the world through their choices, behaviour, intellect and resilience against obstacles. 

The Teachings –Students reading the book learn the importance of listening to understand and not simply to reply. It teaches them to accept all their previous choices (good and bad) and not hold regrets. 

They also learn that letting go is an important facet of moving on. And one cannot achieve self-development if they keep dredging on all their past choices!


Recap of Motivational Books for UG Students to Read

  1. Rhonda Byrne’s “THE SECRET”
  2. Miguel Ruiz’s “THE FOUR AGREEMENTS”
  3. DR. APJ Abdul Kalam’s “YOU ARE BORN TO BLOSSOM”
  4. Mitch Albom’s “TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE”
  5. Caroline Arnold’s “SMALL MOVE, BIG CHANGE”
  6. Randy Pausch’s “THE LAST LECTURE”
  7. Gretchen Rubin’s “THE HAPPINESS PROJECT”
  8. John C Maxwell’s “FALLING FORWARD –Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success”
  9. Michael Hyatt’s “YOUR BEST YEAR EVER: A 5-Step Plan for Achieving Your Most Important Goals.”
  11. Danielle LA Porte’s “THE DESIRE MAP: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul”
  12. Mark Murphy’s “HARD GOALS – The Secret to Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be”
  14. Norman Vincent Peale’s “THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING”
  16. Caroline Adams & Michael B. Frisch’s “CREATING YOUR BEST LIFE: The Ultimate Life List Guide”
  17. Sun Tzu’s “THE ART OF WAR”
  18. Frances Frei and Anne Morriss’s “UNLEASHED – The Unapologetic Leader’s Guide to Empowering Everyone Around You
  19. Jim Kwik’s “LIMITLESS – Upgrade Your Brain, Learn Anything Faster & Unlock Your Exceptional Life”
  20. Adam Grant’s “THINK AGAIN – The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know”
  21. Walter Isaacson’s “STEVE JOBS”
  22. Tim. S Grover’s “Relentless – From Good to Great to Unstoppable”
  23. Jen Sincero’s “YOU ARE A BADASS – How to stop doubting your greatness & start living an awesome life.”
  24. William H McRaven’s “MAKE YOUR BED – Little Things That Can Change Your Life & Maybe the World”
  25. Stephen R Covey’s “THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE – Powerful Lessons in Personal Change”

(Note – International students searching for these motivational books can easily purchase them from

All these books for study motivation are best sellers and impart key lessons of inspiration, overcoming hurdles, self-improvement, leadership, finding passion and purpose, and mantras to academic success. 

Reading them will present valuable insights and motivation for students to overcome their academic and life hurdles and find deserving success. 

Above all, students must remember they possess everything needed to accomplish their set goals. They need to develop a positive mindset and find impetus from whatever means necessary to leave their mark on their academic performance and later on in their career and personal life. 

Hi, I am Mark, a Literature writer by profession. Fueled by a lifelong passion for Literature, story, and creative expression, I went on to get a PhD in creative writing. Over all these years, my passion has helped me manage a publication of my write ups in prominent websites and e-magazines. I have also been working part-time as a writing expert for for 5+ years now. It’s fun to guide students on academic write ups and bag those top grades like a pro. Apart from my professional life, I am a big-time foodie and travel enthusiast in my personal life. So, when I am not working, I am probably travelling places to try regional delicacies and sharing my experiences with people through my blog. 

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