self help books

9 Best Books to Find Purpose and Meaning in Life

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The books about purpose in life can help you make sense of your job in the world. Whether you're seeking a career path that aligns with your values or searching for deeper meaning and fulfilment, the best books on finding your purpose in life will inspire, challenge and guide you.

Here, I’ve compiled a list of books about finding purpose and meaning in life. These best books to find purpose are the most powerful and accessible way to guide on your quest for purpose.

Table of Contents

Think Like a Monk, by Jay Shetty

Think Like a Monk is considered among the top books on purpose of life. It draws on Jay’s experiences as a monk in the Vedic tradition to give us a practical guide for living a purposeful life. It focuses on mindfulness and self-reflection, to help identify your hidden abilities and help the world, making it one of the most effective books to find meaning in life. Through a blend of personal stories and ancient wisdom, Jay offers insights to help readers find greater clarity and focus in their lives.

Top 5 Lessons from the book:

Remember, saying whatever we want, whenever we want, however we want, is not freedom. Real freedom is not feeling the need to say these things.

Cancers of the mind: Comparing, Complaining, Criticizing.

The more we define ourselves in relation to the people around us, the more lost we are.

Our search is never for a thing, but for the feeling we think the thing will give us.

Actually, the greatest detachment is being close to everything and not letting it consume and own you. That’s real strength.

Also Read: 7 Best Books for Mindfulness

The Happiness of Pursuit, by Chris Guillebeau

The Happiness of Pursuit is a book to find purpose in life that explores the idea of finding purpose through pursuing a quest. It’s one of the popular books with deep meaning about life. Chris draws on his experiences, as well as other questers’ to show how important commitment and progressive accomplishment is to find and live a more fulfilling life. The book has practical advice on how to go about your quest and what mistakes to avoid. And it’s definitely among the best books on finding your purpose in life.

Top 5 Lessons from the book:

Not everyone needs to believe in your dream, but you do.

A good plan allows for plenty of spontaneity and room for change – but without a plan at all, it's difficult to work toward something significant over time.

The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure.

It’s better to be at the bottom of the ladder you want to climb than the top of one you don’t.

Your comfort zone may be more like a cage you can’t escape from than a safe place you can retreat to.

Also Read: 14 Best Books for Young Entrepreneurs

Man's Search for Meaning, by Viktor E. Frankl

Man's Search for Meaning is a classic book to understand how to find your purpose in life. This book about finding purpose is a story of how you can find meaning and purpose even in the most challenging and difficult circumstances. It’s the story of the author, and his struggle for survival in Auschwitz and other Nazi camps. Viktor tells that by finding meaning, one can live with greater purpose and fulfilment. It’s among the best books about finding your purpose.

Top 5 Lessons from the book:

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.

Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.

Don't aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it.

There was no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bore witness that a man had the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer.

Also Read: 31 Best Books to Read for Life and Transform It

Find Your Why, by Simon Sinek

Find Your Why book is a practical guide to discovering one's purpose and identifying one's “why.” It’s about the deep-seated motivations and values that drive you. It’s among the best books for finding your purpose in a professional setting, but can help otherwise, too. The book is filled with stories of different individuals. It also has instructions for readers to help readers find their purpose, making it one of the must-read books to find purpose in life.

Top 5 Lessons from the book:

The goal is not simply for you to cross the finish line, but to see how many people you can inspire to run with you.

The greatest contribution of a leader is to make other leaders.

There’s just one problem with feelings. They can be tremendously difficult to express in words. That’s the reason we so often resort to metaphors and analogies,

The opportunity is not to discover the perfect company for ourselves. The opportunity is to build the perfect company for each other.

There are two ways to build a career or a business. We can go through life hunting and pecking, looking for opportunities or customers, hoping that something connects. Or we can go through life with intention, knowing what our piece looks like, knowing our WHY, and going straight to the places we fit.

Life’s Amazing Secrets, by Gaur Gopal Das

Life's Amazing Secrets is an inspiring guide to finding one's purpose in life. Gaur Gopal offers insights and stories to help readers identify their values and overcome fear and self-doubt. It’s one of the best books on life to help you find your purpose and live a more fulfilling life. It’s a must-read book on life purpose. The book emphasizes on the importance of gratitude and compassion to discover your true potential and understand how to do well at life.

Top 5 Lessons from the book:

Anyone can find the dirt in someone. Be the one that finds the gold.

Watch your thoughts, they turn into words. Watch your words, they turn into actions. Watch your actions, they turn into habits. Watch your habits, they turn into character. Watch your character, it turns into your destiny. It all begins with a thought.

Live your life in such a way that those who know you but don’t know God, will come to know God because they know you.

It is strange that sword and words have the same letters.

To accept someone when everything is going right is easy. But when things are falling apart around you and you stick together, that’s the test of a relationship. Love is when we have every reason to break up but we do not.

Also Read: 9 Best Books for Overcoming Negative Thoughts

The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist is a novel telling the story of a young shepherd who embarks on a journey to discover a treasure, or life's purpose. Through his travels and encounters with a variety of characters, the protagonist learns to trust in the universe and follow his heart in pursuit of his dreams. Paulo emphasizes the importance of listening to one's inner voice and having the courage to pursue one's dreams.

Top 5 Lessons from the book:

And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.

It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.

When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.

One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.

There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.

Ikigai, by Hector Garcia

Ikigai book is another among the best books on meaning of life. It’s based on the Japanese concept, Ikigai, meaning “a reason to live.” And it puts emphasis on giving special attention to one's passions, skills, and values. Through interviews with residents of the Japanese island of Okinawa, Hector explores how finding one's ikigai can lead to a more purposeful and fulfilling life. It’s one of the best books to help you find your purpose and work out what your own ikigai really is. It might be a life-changing book on purpose for you.

Top 5 Lessons from the book:

It’s not what happens to you, but how you react that matters.

We don't create our feelings; they simply come to us, and we have to accept them. The trick is, to welcome them.

A happy man is too satisfied with the present to dwell on the future.

Stop regretting the past and fearing the future. Today is all you have. Make the most of it. Make it worth remembering.

Appreciate the beauty of imperfection as an opportunity for growth.

The Purpose Driven Life, by Rick Warren

The Purpose Driven Life is also considered among the valuable books to read to find your purpose. It’s a spiritual guide to finding one’s purpose in life. Rick refers to biblical teachings and stories and perspectives from his own life. It’s one of the best books on finding purpose, suggesting that to spend time knowing yourself to live your life to the fullest. It will give you a fresh perspective on your life and help you discover your unique gifts and talents.

Top 5 Lessons from the book:

True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.

We are products of our past, but we don't have to be prisoners of it.

Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it. You can make more money, but you can't make more time.

Forgiveness must be immediate, whether or not a person asks for it. Trust must be rebuilt over time. Trust requires a track record.

Resentment always hurts you more than it does the person you resent.

Also Read: 11 Best Books for Depression

Discover Your True North, by Bill George

Discover Your True North is the best book on life and leadership to finding one's purpose and direction in life. Bill shares his personal stories and his wisdom to help you become the leader you want to be. It includes stories and insights from other successful leaders, too, to show how finding one’s “true north” can lead to greater fulfilment and success. It helps you find the purpose of your leadership and the true leader inside you.

Top 5 Lessons from the book:

Failure is not the opposite of success. It's a stepping stone to success.

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

The hardest person you will ever have to lead is yourself.

You need to be who you are, not try to emulate somebody else.

Diversity of skills is an important element of any effective team.

Also Read: 6 Best Books for Leadership

OK, those were some of the best books to find purpose in life. These are the best books on finding your passion, your hidden talents, and living a more meaningful and peaceful life.

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