10 Fiction (one true!) stories written to illustrate the benefits of hard work and perseverance
1. The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream by Paulo Coelho
Mostly about having the courage to take the next step into the unknown and having that guide you.
2. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
I read this first when I was about 22 years old. That is a good time in one's life to get exposed to this type of worldview: that the railroads and iPhones didn't just show up by themselves but were built by people with vision and determination. The Fountainhead (also by Ayn Rand) is also a good one. Movies have been made of both of these books but the books are better. They are pretty long.
3. The Odyssey by Homer
4. Acres of Diamonds by Russell H. Conwell
5. The Book of Mistakes: 9 Secrets to Creating a Successful Future by Skip Prichard
6. The Little Engine That Could (Original Classic Edition) by Watty Piper
"I think I can, I think I can...." classic children's book.
7. The Tortoise and the Hare
One of the more famous Aesop's Fables.
8. South: The Story of Shackleton's 1914-1917 Expedition by Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton
This reads like fiction, but it is an incredible true story. Shackleton's journey is frequently referenced in the "guru" sphere these days. Learn about it in a few minutes here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Shackleton
9. John Henry: An American Legend by Ezra Jack Keats
Children's book about hard work and perseverance: man vs. machine.
10. The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu M. Goldratt
A business book written as a novel.