Whether you are currently living your life on purpose, know what you want in life or you are still discovering your life’s work, this list will help you find clarity and build your ideal future.
These are some of the books I truly believe can help improve and change your future. Each in their own way brings across a powerful message that has the potential to change how you re-design your life.
Want to feel more satisfied with life in 2021? Spend more time on yourself by reading these life-changing books.
1. Life has questions. Bill and Dave have answers
Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans
“It doesn’t matter where you come from, where you think you are going, what job or career you have had or think you should have. You are not too late, and you’re not too early.”
“A well-designed life is a life that is generative — it is constantly creative, productive, changing, evolving, and there is always the possibility of surprise. You get out of it more than you put in. There is a lot more than “lather, rinse, repeat” in a well-designed life.”
2. Follow your inclinations
Mastery, by Robert Greene
“All of us have access to a higher form of intelligence, one that can allow us to see more of the world, to anticipate trends, to respond with speed and accuracy to any circumstance. This intelligence is cultivated by deeply immersing ourselves in a field of study and staying true to our inclinations, no matter how unconventional our approach might seem to others.
Through such intense immersion over many years we come to internalize and gain an intuitive feel with the rational processes, we expand our minds to the outer limits of our potential and are able to see into the secret core of life itself.”
3. Commit to your life’s purpose/work
“The truth of the matter is that there’s nothing you can’t accomplish if: 1) You clearly decide what it is that you’re absolutely committed to achieving, 2) You are willing to take massive action, 3) You notice what’s working or not, and 4) You continue to change your approach until you achieve what you want, using whatever life gives you along the way.”
4. Your journey has no defined beginnings
“You’re on a journey with no defined beginning, middle or end. There are no wrong twists and turns. There is just being. And your job is to be as you as you can be. This is why you’re here. To shy away from who you truly are would leave the world you-less. You are the only you there is and ever will be. I repeat, you are the only you there is and ever will be. Do not deny the world its one and only chance to bask in your brilliance.”
5. Take control of the direction of your life
How to Consciously Design Your Ideal Future, by Benjamin P. Hardy
“You are never pre-qualified to live your dreams. You qualify yourself by doing the work. By committing — even overcommitting — to what you believe you should do.”
“The fastest way to move forward in life is not doing more. It starts with stopping the behaviours holding you back.”
6. Master your craft
Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise, by K. Anders Ericsson
“The reason that most people don’t possess these extraordinary physical capabilities isn’t because they don’t have the capacity for them, but rather because they’re satisfied to live in the comfortable rut of homeostasis and never do the work that is required to get out of it. They live in the world of “good enough.” The same thing is true for all the mental activities we engage in,”
7. Don’t cling to everything comfortable
Toward a Psychology of Being, by Abraham H. Maslow
“Every human being has both sets of forces within him. One set clings to safety and defensiveness out of fear, tending to regress backward, hanging on to the past, afraid to grow away from the primitive communication with the mother’s uterus and breast, afraid to take chances, afraid to jeopardize what he already has, afraid of independence, freedom and separateness.
The other set of forces impels him forward toward wholeness of Self and uniqueness of Self, toward full functioning of all his capacities, toward confidence in the face of the external world at the same time that he can accept his deepest, real, unconscious Self.”
8. Break free… Move forward
“Do you ever notice your limiting beliefs? They’re what prevent you from stepping up to your Edge. They’re what keep you dreaming, but never doing. They’re what keep you doubting, worrying, stressing, feeling small and weak, stuck, procrastinating, unfulfilled, and unhappy. And slowly…as life speeds by…they’re that claustrophobic grip that keeps tightening around your heart.”
9. Feel the fear and do it anyway
Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, by Susan Jeffers
“Every time you encounter something that forces you to “handle it,” your self-esteem is raised considerably. You learn to trust that you will survive, no matter what happens. And in this way your fears are diminished immeasurably.”
“It’s a problem” is another deadening phrase. It’s heavy and negative. “It’s an opportunity” opens the door to growth. Each time you can see the gift in life’s obstacles, you can handle difficult situations in a rewarding way. Each time you have the opportunity to stretch your capacity to handle the world, the more powerful you become.”
10. Get comfortable with discomfort
Get Out of Your Own Way: Overcoming Self-Defeating Behavior, by Mark Goulston and Philip Goldberg
“Those who are comfortable taking chances know that the best way to grow is to reach beyond their grasp. Their sense of direction comes from the heart. They don’t shy away from surprise; they might even seek it out. And they seldom die with regrets. In the end we regret not what we have done but what we have not done.”
11. Persist in the face of failure
Emergence: Seven Steps for Radical Life Change, by Derek Rydall
“Don’t let past failures determine what your future success will be. Walt Disney went bankrupt — twice — before finally gaining lasting momentum. The Beatles were rejected from numerous record labels, as was Tom Petty. Thomas Edison failed at creating the light bulb ten thousand times before getting it right! If he used failure as an indicator of his true path, you might be reading this by candlelight.”
12. Focus on building your body of work
Body of Work: Finding the Thread that Ties Your Career Together, by Pamela Slim
“Your body of work is everything you create, contribute, affect, and impact. For individuals, it is the personal legacy you leave at the end of your life, including all the tangible and intangible things you have created. Individuals who structure their careers around autonomy, mastery, and purpose will have a powerful body of work.”
“We are made to create. We feel useful when we create. We release our ‘stuckness’ when we create. We reinvent our lives, tell new stories, and rebuild communities when we create. We reclaim our esteem, our muse, and our hope when we create.”
13. Conquer your biggest obstacles
Hustle: The Life Changing Effects of Constant Motion, by Jesse Tevelow
“Stop talking about creating something awesome. Instead, go and do it. Release it to the world. Didn’t go viral? Try again. You’ll get better. There is no silver bullet. Fear, inaction, and failing to try one more time are your biggest obstacles.”
This article first appeared on Medium.