Audible books have been around for a while now, and they’ve been increasingly growing in popularity. It’s a product I’ve used for a long time and something I would recommend to anyone who loves reading or listening to audiobooks.
Amazon has a massive selection of the best Audible books on the market. From mystery to thriller, they truly have something that can cater to the interests of anyone.
Today we’ll be outlining the best audible books on Amazon that can give you an instant motivation boost. So pick one of these for your next purchase and get ready to crush your goals! If you want to check some of them out, head over to Audible.com.
1. Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk
Crush It! provides just as much great life advice as it does the strategy for entrepreneurial success. Gary Vaynerchuk energetically narrates his work, encouraging the listener not to seek out a career that fits their passions, but to find a way to turn their passions into a career. This is how you identify the line of work you have enough drive to pursue aggressively to achieve success.
Hearing the author tell his own success story—ups and downs included—is as inspiring as it is helpful, and his passion for his project is the perfect companion to yours. This is one of the best Audible books for aspiring entrepreneurs.
2. Getting Things Done by David Allen
Getting Things Done has expanded Allen’s already foolproof method to account for more modern challenges that the era of technology presents. Allen claims that productivity is simply about properly organizing your to-dos so you don’t overwhelm your brain.
Once you’ve done that, it’s possible to reach the ever-elusive inbox zero—both in your literal email server and the rest of your life. Listening to Allen’s anecdotes about how he developed his method is truly worth your while.
3. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
The Secret is a classic in the motivation category and has been recommended by some of the most impressive celebrity tastemakers in the world (like Oprah!). Byrne performs her text, which focuses on our internal power to manifest change with mindfulness and intentionality, making for the perfect guide on the journey to self-empowerment.
Throughout the novel, she includes many examples, research, and testimonials to support the legitimacy of the Law of Attraction. One of the best books on Audible, period.
4. The Obstacle Is the Way by Ryan Holiday
In The Obstacle Is the Way, Holiday claims that successful figures throughout history were not successful despite their obstacles, but rather because they engaged with those obstacles and impossibilities in a specific way. The principles and stories Holiday lays out in support of these claims are truly fascinating. Through exploring an ancient formula for success, you will no doubt be rethinking the way you approach every roadblock along your journey.
5. You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero
In this audiobook, Sincero convinces you how awesome you already are. Sincero approaches New Age wellness topics with frankness and open-heartedness to help the listener cut through the haze that prevents you from being your best self.
This audiobook is centered on attitude and confidence. Listening to her advice is a lot like having a heart-to-heart with the most honest and hilarious friend in your life. If you need a little bit of tough love and some good laughs, this will be one of the best Audible books for you.
6. Living with a SEAL by Jesse Itzler
You might think having a Navy SEAL as your roommate would bring about an attitude of stoicism—but instead, it caused a boatload of unexpected shenanigans. From Navy Seal David Goggins’s scheduling a snowy run in the middle of the night to a series of unfortunate walk-ins, Itzler narrates his housemate’s antics in a way that brings some much-needed humor to the motivational genre.
This audiobook provides a healthy dose of serious motivation. In the end, what you get is a much-needed attitude adjustment: what we think we’re capable of is nowhere near our full potential.
7. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
You’re probably familiar with Marie Kondo by now, as well as her passion for turning messes into opportunities for growth and reflection. In The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Kondo’s trademark zeal for taming one’s space is exactly what listeners can expect to hear. Though much of Kondo’s advice is practical, Emily Woo Zeller’s excellent performance helps the author’s words about treating your space, your items, and yourself with dignity feel both informational and inspirational.
8. Drive by Daniel H. Pink
Pink opts for a scientific focus towards changing our minds and behaviors in his audiobook. Decades of work come together and provides a deep dive into the science of what motivates human beings. This listen is short and consumable, something topical and easy to listen to on the job or on your commute that will offer insight into the motivational framework in many parts of your life, both professional and personal.
9. Super Attractor by Gabrielle Bernstein
Bernstein dives deep into the spirituality of her teachings on the law of attraction. Super Attractor is an Audible Editors Pick and an engaging, motivating look at how being in alignment with higher forces at work in our lives can bring us the things we’ve always wanted.
Bernstein provides listeners with personal anecdotes about her manifestation practices, practical mental exercises for encouraging mental alignment, and advice for being realistic with yourself while also radically ambitious about what good things you can attract. So do yourself a favor and pick this book up.
10. The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone
The 10x Rule forces you to take a good hard look at your limits and whether you’re pushing yourself to achieve all that’s possible in life. This audiobook packs a motivational punch and refuses to beat around the bush. You’ll learn how to wake up and do the work necessary to get what you want.
Cardone lays out his 31 tenets of success, most of which hinge on the notion that being successful takes high rates of activity (10x our normal rate, to be specific). Pushing ourselves into overdrive, Cardone says, gives you the ability to reach for bigger and better in all areas of your life. So, if you’re looking to achieve more in your life, this will be one of the best Audible books for you.
11. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
Positivity can only take you so far. At some point, we all experience circumstances or emotions that require more than just an upbeat attitude to deal with. In The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, Mark Manson speaks directly and honestly to listeners about how to deal with the f*cked up world around them without losing their motivation to do great things.
Manson is not your everyday motivational guru. This audiobook presents a no-nonsense guide for muscling through the tougher parts of life. This is an excellent choice for anyone, but an especially great choice for self-help skeptics who may otherwise reject the optimistic “woo-woo” approach regularly adopted by motivators.
12. The Antidote by Oliver Burkeman
Oliver Burkeman writes for exactly the type of listener who needs motivation but doesn’t have the desire to digest it in its characteristically optimistic format. He delivers his thesis that positivity doesn’t always work; therefore, sometimes only the negative path can help us.
Burkeman tells us, in his own words and voice, that it’s okay (and even powerful) to embrace every inescapable, ugly fact in our lives and that it can even be an incredibly powerful experience. This is unlike that of any other audiobook in the genre. The Antidote encourages the listener to move radically toward truth, no matter how painful, making it a standout among its peers.
13. The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt
This ambitious audiobook sees best-selling author Jonathan Haidt’s study individual ideas that have endured through centuries and permeated different cultures, examining the source of their staying power. Listeners are encouraged to find comfort in how blockers to happiness, though they may feel unique, have been universally felt by millions across times and cultures.
With Haidt’s diligent, thoughtful examination brought to life by the skillful narration of Ryan Vincent Anderson, the listening experience is simultaneously like an enthralling lecture series and an excavation of the wisdom of past ages.
14. How Successful People Think by John C. Maxwell
Sometimes, looking to others as role models is the best way to learn and implement effective practices in our own lives. This is exactly what Maxwell does as he provides 11 different models in How Successful People Think. Maxwell lays out each type with specific details and practical applications that make his advice easy to tangibly apply to our lives.
This selection is an almost effortless listen—it’s digestible, straightforward, well-structured, and actionable, making it easy to follow along. Narration by award-winning audiobook veteran Chris Sorenson only furthers the directness of the core message, ensuring that you’ll be thinking more effectively and holistically than ever. If you are looking to learn how to think like the experts in your field, this is one of the best Audible books that you could pick up.
15. The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz
Millions of people have engaged with Schwartz’s classic (originally published in 1959), and millions have come away inspired and changed. Today, the wisdom within is just as resonant—and actor Jason Culp’s narration ensures every word has an impact.
Schwartz’s message is simple: to get the big results we all dream about, we have to think big first. Once we start thinking big, we can act big and then, finally, achieve big. The best part of this audiobook is how easy the advice is to follow and implement—after each chapter, Schwartz recaps the most important points and practical takeaways so the message never fails to stick. I feel confident when I say this book can change your life.
16. How to Own Your Own Mind by Napoleon Hill
How to Own Your Own Mind is a unique opportunity to hear motivational advice from one of the most revered and successful people in history: Andrew Carnegie. Napoleon Hill’s original interview provides the structure for each of the three (yes, only three) chapters of this audiobook in which Hill explores the most important steps to having a mind that works with your ambitions instead of against them.
17. See You at the Top (25th Anniversary) by Zig Ziglar
Zig Ziglar continually motivates many people around the world. The 25th anniversary edition of his smash-hit motivational program is a great place to either listen to his teachings for the first time or to re-experience his inspiring methods for a self-development top-up.
The lessons are comprehensive, insightful, and incredibly applicable to everyday life. Ziglar’s energy is unmatched and undeniable, so listening to the live recording of the seminar where he presents his program provides an unforgettable experience. It’s one of the best Audible books for those looking for motivation boosts.
18. Poke the Box by Seth Godin
Seth Godin thinks that achieving success in the world should never become our main focus; it should be the last thing we do. Instead, his focus is on breaking the mold and forging our path—creating a new reality for ourselves instead of just trying to find our place in the reality that was forced on us.
Poke the Box is the culmination of Godin’s ideas about counter-cultural thinking and change. Assembled here, they form a cohesive guide to using subversion of the norm to accomplish one’s goals. This audiobook can break open old thought patterns in a short amount of time.
19. Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy
If everything we wanted to do matched what we needed to do, imagine how easy it would be to stay motivated. Unfortunately, that’s not the case—which is something author-narrator Brian Tracy knows all too well. Eat That Frog! is his advice for maximizing our task-doing impact on those items you put off, making you not only happier when they’re complete, but making you much more efficient as well.
This audiobook is the perfect choice for any listener looking to beat the endless cycle of procrastination, boost productivity, and adopt a better system of time management.
20. Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life by Wayne Dyer
Not all motivational wisdom that applies to modern life is from the modern era. Dr. Wayne Dyer takes the wisdom of the Tao Te Ching—Ancient Chinese verses—and applies them to 21st-century circumstances. Dyer includes all 81 verses of the Tao, as well as 81 essays in which he interprets the lessons each verse contains and makes the ideas accessible for the modern listener. If you love ancient wisdom, chances are you’ll love this Audible book as well.
More Books to Get You Motivated
Motivation is one of the main reasons we do things — take an action, go to work (and sometimes overwork ourselves), create goals, exercise our willpower. There are two main, universally agreed upon types of motivation — intrinsic motivation (also known as internal motivation) and extrinsic motivation (external motivation).
The intrinsic kind is, by inference, when you do something because it’s internally fulfilling, interesting or enjoyable — without an expectation of a reward or recognition from others. Extrinsic motivation is driven by exactly the opposite — externalities, such as the promise of more money, a good grade, positive feedback, or a promotion.
And of course, we all know about the big debate about money. It’s surely an external driver, but is it possible that it can sometimes make us enjoy what we do more? A meta-analysis that reviewed 120 years of research found a weak link between job satisfaction and money.
And what’s more — there is some evidence to suggest that more money can actually have an adverse effect on your intrinsic motivation.
Regardless of its type, motivation is still important to get you moving, to improve, excel, and put that extra effort when you feel like you don’t have a single drop of energy left to keep going.
So, let’s see some of the best things you can do to keep the fire going, even when you’d rather just indulge in pleasant idleness.
Table of Contents
Why Intrinsic Motivation Tops Extrinsic Motivation
“To be motivated means to be moved to do something.”
Generally speaking, we all need motivation.
An avalanche of research, though, shows that when it comes to finding the lasting drive to “do something,” internal incentives are much more powerful than extrinsic rewards.
Why? It’s simple.
There is a great difference when you engage in something because “I want to,” as opposed to “I must.” Just think about the most obvious example there is: work.
If you go to work every day, dragging your feet and dreading the day ahead of you, how much enjoyment will you get from your job? What about productivity and results? Quality of work?
Yep, that’s right, you definitely won’t be topping the Employee of the Month list anytime soon.
The thing with external motivation is that it doesn’t last. It’s susceptible to something psychologists call Hedonic Adaptation. It’s a fancy way of saying that external rewards are not a sustainable source of happiness and satisfaction.
When you put in 100-hour weeks in order to get promoted, and you finally are, how long does your “high” last? The walking-on-a-cloud feelings wear off quickly, research tells us, making you want more. Therefore, you are stuck on a never-ending “hedonic treadmill,” i.e. you can progressively only become motivated by bigger and shinier things, just to find out that they don’t bring you the satisfaction you hoped for, when you finally get them.
Or, as the journalist and author Oliver Burkeman wonderfully puts it:
“Write every day” won’t work unless you want to write. And no exercise regime will last long if you don’t at least slightly enjoy what you’re doing.
If you want to find out more about the different types of motivation, take a look at this article: 9 Types of Motivation That Make It Possible to Reach Your Dreams
Benefits of Intrinsic Motivation
If you are still unconvinced that doing things solely for kudos and brownie points is not going to keep you going forever, nor make you like what you do, here is some additional proof:
Studies tell us that intrinsic motivation is a generally stronger predictor of job performance over the long run than extrinsic motivation.
One reason is that when we are internally driven to do something, we do it simply for the enjoyment of the activity. So, we keep going, day in and out, because we feel inspired, driven, happy, and satisfied with ourselves.
Another reason has to do with the fact that increasing intrinsic motivation is intertwined with things such as higher purpose, contributing to a cause, or doing things for the sake of something bigger than ourselves or our own benefit. A famous study done by the organizational psychologist Adam Grant is case in point.
By showing university fundraisers how the money donated by alumni can help financially struggling students to graduate from college, their productivity increased by 400% a week! The callers also showed an average increase of 142% in time spent on the phone and 171% increase in money raised.
Internal motivation has been found to be very helpful when it comes to academia, too. Research confirms that the use of external motivators, such as praise, undermine students’ internal motivation, and, in the long-run, it results in “slower acquisition of skills and more errors in the learning process.”
In contrast, when children are internally driven, they are more involved in the task at hand, enjoy it more, and intentionally seek out challenges.
Therefore, all the research seems to allude to one major revelation: intrinsic motivation is a must-have if you want to save yourself the drudgery we all sometimes feel when contemplating the things we should do or must do.
6 Ways to Enhance Your Intrinsic Motivation
So, how does one get more of the good stuff — that is, how do you become internally motivated?
There are many things you can do to become more driven. Here are the ones that top the list.
The theory of self-efficacy was developed by the American-Canadian psychologist Albert Bandura in 1982. Efficacy is our own belief in whether we can achieve the goals we set for ourselves. In other words, it’s whether we think we “got what it takes” to be successful at what we do.
It’s not hard to see the link of self-efficacy to higher self-esteem, better performance, and, of course, enhanced motivation. People with high self-efficacy are more likely to put extra effort in what they do, to self-set more challenging goals, and be more driven to improve their skills.
Therefore, the belief that we can accomplish something serves as a self-fulfilling prophecy — it motivates us to try harder to prove to ourselves that we can do it.
You can learn more about self-efficacy in this article: What Is Self Efficacy and How to Improve Yours
2. Link Your Actions to a Greater Purpose
Finding your “why” in life is incredibly important. This means that you need to be clear with yourself on why you do what you do and what drives you. What is intrinsically rewarding for you?
And no matter how mundane a task may be, it can always be linked to something bigger and better. Psychologists call this “reframing your narrative.”
Remember the famous story of John F. Kennedy visiting NASA in 1961? As it goes, he met a janitor there and asked him what he did at NASA. The answer was:
“I’m helping to put a man on the Moon.”
Inspirational, isn’t it?
Re-phrasing how your actions can help others and leave a mark in the universe can be a powerful driver and a meaning-creator.
Volunteering is a great way to give back to the world. It can also help boost your internal motivation by making you feel important in supporting the less fortunate, learning new skills, feeling good about yourself, or linking to some of your inner values, such as kindness and humanitarianism.
When you remove any external reward expectations and do something for the pure joy and fulfilment of improving others’ lives, then you are truly intrinsically motivated.
4. Don’t Wait Until You “Feel Like It” to Do Something
A great piece in the Harvard Business Review points out that when we say things as “I can’t make myself go to the gym” or “I can’t get up early,” what we actually mean is that we don’t feel like it. There is nothing that psychically prevents us from doing those things, apart from our laziness.
But here’s the thing: You don’t have to “feel like it” in order to take action.
Sometimes, it so happens that you may not want to do something in the beginning, but once you start, you get into the flow and find your intrinsic motivation.
For instance, you don’t feel like going to the gym after a long day at work. Rather than debating in your head for hours “for and against” it, just go. Tell yourself that you will think about it later. Once in the gym, surrounded by similar souls, you suddenly won’t fee that tired or uninspired.
Another way to overcome procrastination is to create routines and follow them. Once the habit sets in, suddenly getting up at 6 am for work or writing for an hour every day won’t be so dreadful.
5. Self-Determination, or the CAR Model (As I Call It)
The Self-Determination theory was created by two professors of psychology from the University of Rochester in the mid-80s—Richard Ryan and Edward Deci. The theory is one of the most popular ones in the field of motivation. It focuses on the different drivers behind our behavior—i.e. the intrinsic and extrinsic motivators.
There are three main needs, the theory further states, that can help us meet our need for growth. These are also the things which Profs. Deci and Ryan believed to be the main ways to enhance our intrinsic motivation—Competence, Autonomy, and Relatedness (CAR).
If our jobs allow us to learn and grow, and if we have enough autonomy to do things our way and be creative, then we will be more driven to give our best, and our performance will soar. In addition, as humans are social beings, we also need to feel connected to others and respected.
All of these sources of intrinsic motivation, separately and in combination, can become powerful instigators to keep us thriving, even when we feel uninspired and unmotivated .
6. Tap Into a Deeper Reason
Some interesting research done in 2016 sought answers to how high-performing employees remain driven when their company can’t or won’t engage in ways to motivate them—intrinsically or extrinsically.
The study tracked workers in a Mexican factory, where they did exactly the same tasks every day, with virtually zero chances for learning new skills, developing professionally, or being promoted. Everyone was paid the same, regardless of performance. So there was no extrinsic motivation at all, other than keeping one’s job.
A third kind of motivation was then discovered, which scientists called “family motivation.” Workers who agreed more with statements such as “I care about supporting my family” or “It is important for me to do good for my family” were more energized and performed better, although they didn’t have any additional external or internal incentive to do so.
The great thing about this kind of driver is that it’s independent of the company one works for or the situation. It taps into something even deeper—if you don’t want to do something for your own sake, then do it for the people you care for.
And this is a powerful motive, as many can probably attest to this.
Frederick Herzberg, the American psychologist who developed what’s perhaps still today the most famous theory of motivation, in his renowned article from 1968 (which sold a modest 1.2 million reprints and it the most requested article from Harvard Business Review One More Time, How Do You Motivate Employees? wrote:
“If I kick my dog, he will move. And when I want him to move again, what must I do? I must kick him again. Similarly, I can charge a person’s battery, and then recharge it, and recharge it again. But it is only when one has a generator of one’s own that we can talk about motivation. One then needs no outside stimulation. One wants to do it.”
Herzberg further explains that the so-called “hygiene factors” (salary, job security, benefits, vacation time, work conditions) don’t lead to fulfillment, nor motivation. What does, though, are the “motivators”—challenging work, opportunities for growth, achievement, greater responsibility, recognition, the work itself.
Herzberg realized it long ago…intrinsic motivation tips the scales when it comes to finding long-term happiness and satisfaction in everything we do, and to improving our overall well-being.
In the end, the next time when you need to give yourself a bit of a kick to get something done, remember to link it to a goal bigger than yourself, and preferably one that has non-material benefit.
And no, don’t say that you tried but it’s just impossible to find internal motivation. Remember the janitor at NASA?
Because once you find your internal generator, you will be truly unstoppable.