In his career as a performance coach, Robbins has worked with a wide range of powerful people, including President Bill Clinton, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, and legendary investor Paul Tudor Jones.
We asked Robbins which books he recommends to anyone, regardless of where they are in their career.
Below, find several of his favorites, from our conversation and from his Twitter feed.
“Man’s Search For Meaning” by Viktor Frankl
Viktor Frankl was an Austrian neuroscientist and psychiatrist who survived three years in concentration camps during the Holocaust. In 1959, he published his meditation on what separated those who were able to find the meaning that helped them survive from those who gave up. “Man’s Search for Meaning” has gone on to sell over 12 million copies around the world.
“I don’t give a damn how rich you are financially or how abundant you are with your family or love. We all experience extreme stress in our life at some point,” Robbins said. “It’s the ultimate equalizer. If it’s not you, it will be someone in your family, and so the ability to find meaning in the most difficult times, I think, is one of the most important skills of life, and there’s probably not a greater example than that book.”
“As A Man Thinketh” by James Allen
The British author James Allen predates Napoleon Hill (“Think and Grow Rich“) and Dale Carnegie (“How to Win Friends and Influence People“) as a pioneer of the self-help movement. His most influential work is “As a Man Thinketh,” published in 1908.
Robbins said he’s read it more than a dozen times and often gives the book as a gift because it’s concise, easy to read, and profound. “It’s the whole concept of understanding that your thoughts really, truly shape everything in your life that you feel and experience,” he said.
“Linchpin” by Seth Godin
Seth Godin is a serial entrepreneur, marketing expert, and the successful author of 22 books. His 2010 book, “Linchpin,” was his fastest-selling book yet. It’s a guide to becoming a linchpin at your company — that is, how to differentiate yourself from other “cogs in the machine” to become truly indispensable.
In a video to his Twitter followers, Robbins recommended “Linchpin” as a quick, invaluable career resource from a great writer. “He’s very poetic and brilliant,” he said. “He takes complex things and makes them very simple, and writes them in a very inspiring way.”