Life is full of ups and downs. Hopefully, at this point someone has explained that to you. You aren’t always going to get what you want. Life is not going to play out the way you plan it, or expect it to, every single time. Sometimes you are going to feel lost.
Even though it is obvious that obstacles and adversity are going to rear their seemingly ugly heads from time to time, it can still be challenging for you to face them. Perhaps they appear insurmountable and you just aren’t sure how to overcome them. Situations like this often leave people feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and lost. While it is not an enjoyable experience, there is always an exit strategy. Actually, in most cases there are multiple ways to dig yourself out of the funk you are stuck in.
I have found myself lost in more than one instance in my life. When I was younger, I would turn to my family and friends when I had the unenviable feeling of being lost. Usually, their advice would be enough to help me through the problems I was dealing with. As I grew older and became more independent, the advice from loved ones wasn’t enough. While my family and friends have offered me invaluable guidance through some troubling occurrences, it has been beneficial for me to engage in supplemental reading as well.
I have been fortunate enough to read some extremely influential novels over the past few years. It is important to understand that if you are feeling lost and lonely in life the onus of responsibility falls on you first. You need to seek knowledge that is going to benefit you. Then you must fully soak your soul into this knowledge. I know the following books will help you just as much as they helped me.
1. The Art of Happiness, Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler
Written in 1998, this book is essentially an interview in which Howard Cutler asks questions to the Dalai Lama. Cutler is a psychiatrist aiming to understand what the purpose of life is according to the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama in turn describes what he believes the purpose of life is: it is being happy. Most importantly though, he opines that this happiness doesn’t come from any other source than yourself.
It was very powerful to gain this comprehension of happiness because I always assumed someone or something was supposed to make me happy. The book also details the techniques and tools you can utilize in order to implement a more happy existence.
2. Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill, Matthieu Ricard
Written by a French Buddhist monk who also happens to be a doctor in molecular genetics, Dr. Ricard beautifully describes ways in which happiness can be manifested. He argues that happiness doesn’t just occur by chance or luck. Being consistently happy takes lots of practice. Just like any other skill, happiness requires lots of dedication and loads of persistence.
3. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, Eckhart Tolle
The present moment is the only moment you have control of at any time in your life. In this book, Echkart Tolle portrays the importance of being present despite the mind’s desire to be anywhere but now. There is a natural reluctance for people to completely realize the power the present moment has.
The books is formatted with real-life questions posed to Tolle, as well as his in-depth responses. Many of the questions raised have to do with the mind and why living in the present is such a challenge for many people. Tolle does a great job of weeding through the clutter that the mind can create, thoroughly detailing how each person has the ability to enjoy the present moment. This ability will lead to a much more fulfilling and meaningful life. Sometimes the simplest idea, such as living in the now, can lead to the most powerful results.
4. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
Coelho uses a fictional story to portray the underlying theme of this book. You have the power to create your own destiny. Only you have the capacity to create the kind of life you want for yourself. A popular quote from this book is, “When you really want something to happen, the whole universe conspires so that your wish comes true.” Obviously, you are required to work and dedicate yourself to achieving your goals, but the overall motif of this story is quite persuasive.
5. The Charge: Activating the 10 Human Drives That Make You Feel Alive, Brendan Burchard
I am a big Brendan Burchard fan so it was a no-brainer for me to purchase his book in the summer of 2014. It is an easy read that outlines simple action steps for infusing more spark into your life. It is easy to get stuck in a rut where you feel like a robot just taking care of the next menial task on your list. The good news is: your life doesn’t have to feel that way. This book is a great motivator for relocating your path in life.
6. The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book), Don Miguel Ruiz
Learn about four basic agreements that you can make every day that will change your life. These agreements are simple, and they will transform the way you live your life. They make you rethink all the previous agreements you have made with yourself.
7. The Mastery of Love: A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship (A Toltec Wisdom Book), Don Miguel Ruiz
Learning to love others is extremely difficult if you don’t first learn how to love yourself. This book will help your relationships improve and become more meaningful. If you take the time to strengthen your relationships you will have a tougher time feeling lost and isolated.
8. Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse
This is a classic novel about self-discovery. It accounts one man’s spiritual journey to enlightenment. Although many of the themes of this book are Buddhist in nature, the message is universal and very powerful for anyone who is trying to find themselves.
9. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
Learn about Miss Angelou’s coming-of-age story. She was lost and experienced much heartache at a young age. This book teaches you a lot about perseverance and overcoming adversity.
10. Be Quick, But Don’t Hurry: Finding Success in the Teachings of a Lifetime, Andrew Hill and John Wooden
Mr. Wooden is considered to be one of the greatest teachers of his generation. In this book he shares his simple wisdom and how it translated to all areas of his life, not merely as a coach on the basketball court. His former players offer their insight on how his teachings built a foundation of success for them to carry with them throughout their lives.
11. Sacred Hoops: Spiritual Lessons of a Hardwood Warrior, Phil Jackson and Hugh Delehanty
Get it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1401308813?tag=s7621-20
Often considered one of the greatest coaches of his generation, Phil Jackson is a spiritual teacher first and a basketball coach second. Whether or not you are a basketball fan, this book offers exceptional value for anyone who is trying to live more mindfully and skillfully.
12. The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch
Randy Pausch was a Carnegie Mellon professor who was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Before he died, he shared his last lecture with the public. In this book, he imparted the wisdom he accumulated because he knew it was the last chance for him to do so. His lecture focuses on striving for his childhood dreams, and how that lead him through his life.
13. The Fifth Agreement: A Practical Guide to Self-Mastery (A Toltec Wisdom Book), Don Miguel Ruiz and Don Jose Ruiz
This book focuses on another agreement that will help you master your own personal obstacles. Adhering to this agreement will help you become a master of your mind, as well as your soul.