life changing books

Change the way you live: 8 books on living life with meaning and purpose

Books can help you come out of your slumber, inspire you to do what you love, and help you discover life’s purpose.

When you have a purpose in life, you have a reason to get out of your bed in the morning. Your purpose guides your decisions, shapes your goals, influences your behaviour, and gives you a sense of direction. Your life becomes meaningful as you find a sense of contentment in everything you do. Unfortunately, not everyone is fortunate to know what they want from life. Even with a well paying job, they feel as if something is missing. This is what the absence of purpose and meaning does to a person.

So, how can one find their purpose and add meaning to their lives? Well, there are quite a few ways to discover your reason to wake up in the morning. One of them is through books. They have stories, anecdotes, ideas, and suggestions that can inspire you to do what you love and help you discover your life’s purpose. Here, we have compiled a list of books that can teach you to live life with meaning and purpose.

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, by Eckhart Tolle

A New Earth is a follow-up to the bestseller The Power of Now, wherein author, Eckhart Tolle highlights the importance of living in the present and shows how it is the truest path to happiness and enlightenment. In his new book, Tolle expands on these ideas and explains why it is important to overcome our ego-based state of consciousness, which he believes to be the primary reason behind our feelings of unhappiness, anger and jealousy. He writes, “In the eyes of the ego, self-esteem and humility are contradictory. In truth, they are one and the same.” Readers will learn how to let go of their ego and follow the new path, which can add meaning and purpose to their lives.

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, by Jordan B. Peterson

In this book, renowned psychologist Jordan B. Peterson talks about the 12 rules of life that can help you live with meaning and purpose. Peterson developed these rules after conducting years of research on various subjects including religion, mythology, neuroscience and psychology. According to Peterson, individuals can use these rules as an antidote to chaos and find direction and fulfilment in their lives. He writes, “Don’t underestimate the power of vision and direction. These are irresistible forces, able to transform what might appear to be unconquerable obstacles into traversable pathways and expanding opportunities.”

The Art of Life: How to Live A Happy And Meaningful Life, by Minghao Huang

Everyone is looking for ways to find their purpose and make their lives worth living. But only a few can achieve that. Why? Because challenges in life are getting increasingly difficult to overcome. We are facing obstacles at every juncture in this constantly changing world. We are so busy that we can’t make time for ourselves, let alone for others. To deal with these difficulties, we need wisdom that can help us embrace such challenges.

In this guide, author Minghao Huang has combined the wisdom of the Bible and Tao Te Ching, two of the most influential books ever, to help readers understand the meaning of life. It talks about the five states of existence—Being, Seeing, Doing, Routinising and Transforming—the five components, if understood, can help you lead a happy and meaningful life.

The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, by Jonathan Haidt

In this book, psychologist Jonathan Haidt uses philosophical wisdom and scientific research to show how close we are to living a meaningful life. Haidt shares 10 ideas, each discovered by different civilisations. The author questions them based on what we know from the scientific point of view and extracts important lessons that people can apply to their lives to find happiness. He writes, “Happiness is not something that you can find, acquire, or achieve directly. You have to get the conditions right and then wait. Some of those conditions are within you, such as coherence among the parts and levels of your personality.” Readers will find inputs and advice in this book that can help transform their lives.

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, by Brene Brown

Life is full of uncertainty, risks, and challenges. One day you are on top of the world, the very next moment, you can find yourself at the bottom of the heap. These struggles can make you question your ability and weaken you from the inside. In this book, thought leader Brene Brown encourages you to embrace the vulnerable side of you—the part that you feel is imperfect. Based on her 12 years of research, she explains that vulnerability is not a weakness, but a way of building meaningful connections in life. This book will help readers trust their abilities, take chances in life and pursue the things that give them meaning and purpose.

Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life, by Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica

This book serves as a practical guide to finding happiness, personal transformation and self-improvement. Bestselling author, Ken Robinson suggests activities that can help you discover your hidden talents and passions. You will be able to find answers to fundamental questions such as What do you love? What makes you happy? Where are you now? In short, you will find your Element. He writes, “Finding your Element is vital to understanding who you are and what you’re capable of being and doing with your life.”

The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do, by Jeff Goins

In this book, author Jeff Goins explains how to live a life that matters. A life that has meaning and purpose. Goins writes, “It is a book about finding your calling, about how to discover what you were born to do.” He tries to recapture the ancient understanding of vocation, which is something more than a job. He talks about his personal experiences, shares case studies and the latest research on motivation and talent. Readers searching for meaning and purpose in their lives will move an inch closer to finding them after reading this one.

Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation, by Parker J. Palmer

In this book, author Parker J Palmer shares his life story to help you find your own true calling. He writes, “Before you tell your life what you intend to do with it, listen to what it intends to do with you. Before you tell your life what truths and values you have decided to live up to, let life tell you what truth you embody, what values you represent.” Palmer reveals all the discomfort, pain, darkness and failures that he faced in his life and shows the readers how to walk on a path that is easier and less daunting.


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