The following is a list of books that I have found meaningful, inspirational, or simply enjoyable. I will add to this list as I continue to work through my own “to read” list. Take a browse and pick up or download any of these titles today.
The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler
The Dalai Lama discusses how to shape ones attitude and mind so as to create and experience the greatest possible level of happiness in life. Dr. Howard Cutler, a psychologist, helps us understand how to adopt the Buddhist way of thinking into our modern Western Culture. This book single handedly picked me up from one of the most depressive parts of my life by changing how I view the world and myself.
The Book of Joy by the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu and Douglas Abrams
Written by two of the foremost authorities on Christianity and Buddhism, this book discusses the essence of life and how to live a life of happiness. “After much consideration, I believe that the purpose of life is to find happiness,” – the Dalai Lama.
The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman
This book was my introduction to Stoic Philosophy which has heavily influenced my outlook. Distilled into 366 miniature chapters (one for each day), this book provides the best and most important lessons and living as discussed by the stoics. I have read this book 4 times since picking it up several years ago. It is a near constant part of my morning routine as the lessons in here will guide you through whatever the day may bring.
Daring Greatly – by Brene Brown
The perfect foil to Jocko’s tough, no – BS approach, Brene Brown is that nurturing and understanding presence that understands what we are going through and wants the best for us. Her warmer approach is no less inspirational. Dr. Brown has made her living discussing vulnerability – which she believes (and I agree) is what holds most of us back from our happiest selves. Daring greatly is about having the courage to be seen as who we are, of being vulnerable, and of not chasing perfection but the most perfect version of ourselves.
Discipline Equals Freedom – by Jocko Willink
Often times it is our own lack of willpower, commitment, or discipline that hold us back from becoming the best version of ourselves. This is a no nonsense guide for how to approach roadblocks and get shit done from one of the toughest guys on the planet. If you need a kick in the ass to get your shit together, this is the book.
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
Viktor Frankl was a Jewish clinical Psychologist who endured several years in unimaginably horrible conditions as a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps. Frankl documents his own experiences and discusses the idea that those who are able to turn suffering into meaning, and to find a purpose for living can endure anything. Frankl believes that what gave him strength through hardships the likes none of us will ever face was that he viewed his suffering as an opportunity and in finding his purpose to share his work and experiences with the world. Find your purpose.
Tools of Titans – by Tim Ferriss
Tim Ferriss is one of the world’s most well known podcasters, having interviewed hundreds of the world healthiest, wealthiest, wisest, and happiest individuals. Each chapter of this book is from Tim’s conversations with the world’s most successful people – where their strategies, habits, attitudes, and ideas for success and happiness are shared for us all to utilize. This book gives us the ability to carry on the wisdom and knowledge of some of the world’s most impressive individuals, creating a blueprint for us to build our own success.