Just like you, I have been to hell and back. It is right to say that we all go through it and I am glad that the following life-changing books helped me get my life back on track.

If you want to know how they actually helped me, let me give you a brief idea of my ‘before & afters’.

  • I went from being born with aquaphobia to becoming a waterman;
  • Got back on my surfboard six months after suffering a major surfing accident and broke my neck;
  • Born with asthma to freediving and open water swimming;
  • High level of dislexia to chartered accountant;
  • And most importantly being chronically lazy to achieving all the goals I wished to have achieved!

In order to go through those life-changing processes, you need to have a high level of motivation, yet motivation was nowhere on my list. I can say that I was born a great thinker, but just thinking doesn’t bring you anywhere. The worst of all is that my greatest question of all time has allows been: ‘what’s the point?’.

Here are the 10 books that were essential to my success and I am sure will be for you for that amazing life change.

** Disclaimer: We’ve added affiliate links to this post for you to easily find the right products for you. Using the links below comes at no cost to you and helps us run OceanVibration through affiliate commissions. We only suggest products that we use and love ourselves! **

1. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Life-changing book, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
A fable about following your dreams

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is one of those books where every step of the journey teaches you a lesson that will be life-changing. That’s what I love with this book. A lot of the books that you will read are blunt and very prescriptive. The Alchemist on the other side inspires you through the character’s life-changing journey. One that inspires you and marks you forever. It will change your way of taking decisions, and your way of visualizing your dreams.

I read The Alchemist when I was in my late teens and the amazing thing is that its wisdom stayed with me throughout my own journey. It does more than change your life; it shapes it!

Why you should read it?

The Alchemist is easy to read and that’s where the magic of the book lies. The book will change your life for sure, in such a deep and meaningful way that you may never even realize.

My favorite line from the book

No way! If I tell you that one it will spoil the whole book for you!

2. The Art of War by Sun Tzu

Change your life at every step with The Art of War by Sun Tzu
Your first enemy is the one in the mirror, and this is war!

The Art of War by Sun Tzu is not a book that can be described in a few words. This amazing ‘guide’ was written by the Chinese general, Sun Tzu, around the 5th century BC. The philosophy behind every military strategy is just mind-blowing and will change your life in every single decision you will make.

If like me you are a fan of Bruce Lee, you will know his great motivational quotes such as ‘be like water’. You will be surprised to know that most of his motivational quotes are actually inspired by Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. And if that book was the source of Bruce Lee’s motivation, it will definitely be inspirational to you.

Of course, don’t be fooled by the word ‘war’. This military guide has been applied to pretty much everything where you want to come out on top, from Esports to politics. Most importantly for me, I believe that our greatest enemy is ourselves, and we have a war to wage against that which is on our way to success.

Why you should read it?

You should read The Art of War purely for its wisdom. Yes, it is life-changing in many ways as well, but I just love the pure genius and philosophy behind every tactic. Apply those guidelines to every aspect of your life and you will be changed forever.

My favorite quote from the book

There are so many! Don’t forget to write yours down! My favorite is:

“…water shapes its course according to the nature of the ground over which it flows…just as water retains no constant shape, so in warfare, there are no constant conditions.” That is the one that Bruce Lee’s famously quoted as: “Empty your mind. Be formless, shapeless – like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle… now water can flow or it can crash… Be water my friend.”

3. The Pearl by John Steinbeck

The Pearl is a real pearl in the palm of your hands that will change your vision of success in life
The reality of success.

I was really lucky to read The Pearl by John Steinbeck at a very young age. This book is an essential pillar to how I view success and especially when it comes to wealth. It gives you an unparalleled point of view of the steps that lead to success and the meaning of a better life.

Why you should read it?

A change of life comes with many consequential changes, and unwantedly not the most expected ones. The Pearl by John Steinbeck is a reminder that everything comes at a cost and prepares you for that. It is in my opinion the best companion book to all the others on your way to success.

My favorite line from the book

“Luck, you see, brings bitter friends.”

4. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

7 Habits of Highly Effective People will help you turn your life into a successful business
Turn your life into a successful business.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has been a life-changing book for me as it made me realize that you can ‘run’ your life as you would run a successful business. This book really nails what it takes to build powerful habits towards a successful life.

I have read since then a lot of scientific research on habits and how powerful they are. My special interest is in how to remove or change actual bad habits and replace them with good ones. This book is the bible of good habits that you should put in place in your life to achieve the greatest of changes.

Why should you read it?

First of all, compared to all the ‘how to’ books out there, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, is one that is easy to read and explained in a way that is applicable to everyone’s life. You can apply it as you read it to your daily routine, your way of seeing things, and your way of living. It really englobes your life’s success as a whole.

My favorite line from the book

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”

5. The Prophet by Khalil Gibran

The Prophet teaches you the rythm of life
The Prophet teaches you the rhythm.

I never stopped reading The Prophet by Khalil Gibran. Again and again, after however many years, reading it strikes me to the very core of my being.

Its wisdom is timeless and it teaches you the rhythm of life which for me is essential to a successful lifestyle. It is a book that is savored slowly for its words will be imbibed in your soul forever.

Why you should read it?

Read it as a must for a life-changing experience! because it will round the corners of your success by teaching you a simple yet beautiful way of living. It will teach you values that are timeless and humility that will shape you from a good person to a great one.

My favorite quote form the book

When you part from your friend, you grieve not;
For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as
the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.”

6. The Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad Gita teaches all we need to understand about actions
Knowledge in the midst of the battlefield.

The Bhagavad Gita is yet another book on my list revolving around war. You may think that it is my favorite theme but far from that. It just seems that some of the greatest lessons are to be learned in the midst of chaos.

This book delivers one of the greatest timeless lessons in the midst of the battlefield; the one about the war within. It clarifies essential life-changing ideas such as the concept of right and wrong but most importantly it defines the importance and consequences of actions.

Why should you read it?

First of all, The Bhagavat Gita is part of The Mahabharata which to date remains the longest poem ever written, roughly ten times the length of the Iliad and the Odyssey combined. Also, it has been composed somewhere between the 9th and 8th century BCE, which is just mind-blowing as it remains relevant in this day and age.

Taking the historical awesomeness aside, The Bhagavat Gita is the greatest book you can read about the only real war you will ever fight; the one within. It is the greatest guide to the meaning of right action.

My favorite quote from the book

“Let not the fruit of action be your motive to action. Your business is with action alone, not with the fruit of action.”


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7. 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson

12 Rules For Life is a simple and through guide to a successful life overall

I discovered Jordan Peterson a few years ago through his YouTube channel which I highly recommend. I love his way of explaining and going through most of the questions that I have been asking myself. And I found that his approach to life and ideologies are very similar to mine. He has been an invaluable help in giving sense to my own thoughts.

His book is in my opinion one of the best guides to a successful life you can find nowadays. He writes in a simple and accessible way that will resonate with the youngest to the eldest of readers.

Why you should read it?

It is an easy yet thorough read that is worth keeping by your bedside to skim over after a hard day. It is the ultimate blueprint for a good life!

My favorite quote from the book

“To suffer terribly and to know yourself as the cause: that is Hell.”

8. Wisdom of the Ancient Seers by David Frawley

Wisdom of The Ancient Seers is an inspirational and timeless work
Undying wisdom.

What can I say? Ancient wisdom remains the greatest wisdom of all. I have to admit that Wisdom of the Ancient Seers is not the most straightforward book to read. It requires a fair bit of attentiveness as its hymns can get quite complex. But I believe that this is one of the reasons why this book is so amazing. It is the game of deciphering the truth behind the words that will leave the wisdom engraved in your mind forever.

Why should you read it?

Wisdom of the Ancient Seers is a great book as it makes you pause and think. The complexity of the simple truth is as such that pondering over it shapes it into an ultimate weapon to carry with you for life.

My favorite quote from the book

“Our beings lie in the primal essence of life, in the raw energy, not the silkscreen of good thoughts and positive thinking. – The realization of truth is not the perfection of good thoughts, nice emotions, and well-organized discipline. – This primal being of the essence must be released, not the ego-based on thought which, however, refined, remains unauthentic, a conditioned and artificial entity empty inside and lacking any real power or decisiveness. – All action based on thought, choice, and motivation is wrong action. – True action is a spontaneous effusion from the perception of the essence in the raw moment of living.”

9. Siddhartha by Herman Hesse


As I said, one of my biggest questions of all time has been ‘what’s the point?’. Siddhartha by Herman Hesse is about an inspirational journey that helps you find the answer to that question. Nothing is more motivating than a beautiful journey through self-discovery. And this one not only will motivate you to achieve whatever you believe is the right thing to do, but it will also give you a sense of meaningfulness on this planet.

Why you should read it?

Siddhartha is an easy and beautiful read that will inspire you to become a better version of yourself with every step that you take. It will enlighten you in the deepest and most meaningful way.

My favorite quote from the book

“What could I say to you that would be of value, except that perhaps you seek too much, that as a result of your seeking you cannot find.”

10. Easy Way to Quit Smoking Without Willpower by Allen Carr

Easy Way to Quit Smoking Without Willpower is the first step to a success
The first step to change your life!

OK, this one is obviously for smokers but it is also great to read if someone you care about smokes. If you are a smoker like I was for a while, none of the above books, however motivational or inspirational, will change anything in your life!

Like I said, I have been there too and know what it’s like. Feeling tired, lazy, and having a body and soul that cannot follow the path set by your dreams. Quitting that bloody weed is your first step to a change in your life. If you are a smoker and 100% real about changing your life for the better, this is your first and most important read.

Why you should read it?

This is no marketing clever catch. I read this book and stopped smoking. It works and it is easy; just read it. No questions asked.

My favorite quote from the book

Forget about quotes! Click the link, buy it, read it, and that’s it!

I really hope at least one of those books will resonate with you as it did for me! Your success is the most important stepping stone in changing the world we live in. As I always said, which became a motto at OceanVibration, ‘do not try to change the world; change your world’.

Inspired by life, the ocean, and those books, I also enjoy writing down and sharing my thoughts. Check out:

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