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14 Books That You Should Read When You Feel Lost In Life

14 Books That You Should Read When You Feel Lost In Life

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

Get it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0743506308?tag=s7621-20

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.

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    2. Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill, Matthieu Ricard

    Get it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0316167258?tag=s7621-20

    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.

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      3. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, Eckhart Tolle

      Get it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1577314808?tag=s7621-20

      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.

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        4. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

        Get it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0061122416?tag=s7621-20

        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.

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          5. The Charge: Activating the 10 Human Drives That Make You Feel Alive, Brendan Burchard

          Get it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1451667531?tag=s7621-20

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          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.

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            6. The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book), Don Miguel Ruiz

            Get it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1878424319?tag=s7621-20

            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.

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              7. The Mastery of Love: A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship (A Toltec Wisdom Book), Don Miguel Ruiz

              Get it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1878424424?tag=s7621-20

              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.

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                8. Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse

                Get it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0553208845?tag=s7621-20

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                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.

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                  9. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou

                  Get it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0345514408?tag=s7621-20

                  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.

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                    10. Be Quick, But Don’t Hurry: Finding Success in the Teachings of a Lifetime, Andrew Hill and John Wooden

                    Get it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0743213882?tag=s7621-20

                    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.

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                      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.

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                        12. The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch

                        Get it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1401391443?tag=s7621-20

                        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.

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                          13. The Fifth Agreement: A Practical Guide to Self-Mastery (A Toltec Wisdom Book), Don Miguel Ruiz and Don Jose Ruiz

                          Get it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1878424610?tag=s7621-20

                          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.

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                            14. Take Responsibility For Your Life, Mike Oppland

                            Get it here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Take-Responsibility-For-Your-Life-ebook/dp/B00Y2SJYGW

                            This is a short ebook that I wrote about taking responsibility for the events that transpire in your life. The book concentrates on ten action steps and situations in your life that you need to take responsibility for in order to feel completely fulfilled. I peppered the book with many personal anecdotes. I was someone who was lost and unable to take full responsibility for how my life was going. It is once I took responsibility that I began experiencing more contentment. Learn from my experiences and Take Responsibility for yourself.

                            Featured photo credit: PicJumbo via picjumbo.com

                            More by this author

                            Mike Oppland

                            Mike is the Creator of Carpe Diem Motivation. He aspires to inspire individuals who are seeking a little extra boost in their lives.

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                            Last Updated on March 25, 2020

                            How to Crush Your Lack of Motivation and Always Stay Motivated

                            How to Crush Your Lack of Motivation and Always Stay Motivated

                            How many times have you not achieved your goals and let yourself down due to your lack of motivation? When you’re not wallowing in sadness and self-pity, you are too busy procrastinating till you can’t anymore and before you know it, you are part of vicious cycle of anxiety and stress.

                            Whether it’s losing weight or bringing your business to fruition – motivation is essential for growth and success in every sphere of our lives.

                            That said, it is not easy staying motivated. In order to constantly stay motivated, you need to take ownership of your life and consciously make efforts in that direction.

                            Well, it’s never too late to take matters in your hands and change the course of your life. Here are 11 effective ways to crush your lack of motivation and always stay motivated:

                            1. Write Your Goals

                            The power of writing goals down has always been underestimated. Why write when you can remember, right? Wrong.

                            Our thoughts are all over the place and the first step to achieve your goals is to organize your thoughts. So, write your goals down, however big or small they might be. Make them as specific as possible and assign deadlines to each of them.

                            As you write them down and revisit them regularly, they get further drilled in your head, taking you closer to your goals. Doing this small exercise helps you to remain focused, motivated and lets you track your progress with ease.

                            Start today – take to your laptop or a diary and get down to writing what you wish to achieve in life.

                            2. Beat Procrastination

                            Your lack of motivation and procrastination go hand in hand. Every time you procrastinate, your motivation levels take a greater hit. The only way to bring an end to this loop is to stop procrastinating.

                            Next time you find yourself putting off something for ‘later’, stop and assess the reasons behind it. Get to the root of the cause and eliminate it in order to overcome this poor habit of procrastinating which is sabotaging your life and mental health.

                            Take a look at this guide and learn how to beat procrastination:

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                            What Is Procrastination (And the Complete Guide to Stop Procrastinating)

                            When you finally overcome procrastination, you will realize the positive impact it has on your mood and motivation levels.

                            3. Celebrate Small Wins

                            In the quest to achieve the bigger goals in life, we often forget to celebrate the smaller wins along the way. An achievement is an achievement – be it big or small, it deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated.

                            Finished a project on time? Reward yourself. Managed to run on the treadmill for a good one hour? Pat yourself on the back. Found time to meditate? Celebrate it.

                            It is these small achievements that reinstate that we are on the right path and take us one step closer to the bigger goals.

                            So, get into the habit of recognizing and appreciating small wins. You will be surprised to see how this practice helps you stay motivated.

                            4. Practice Gratitude

                            It’s easier to whine about what we don’t have rather than counting our blessings. Isn’t it?

                            Making gratefulness a part of your life is a very important step to retain high motivational levels. It revitalizes our spirits and renews our enthusiasm for life.

                            So, how do you practice gratitude? For starters, keep a gratitude journal to jot down what you are grateful for, express your gratitude to people you love and spread positivity wherever you go. If you need some inspiration to be thankful for, here it is:

                            60 Things To Be Thankful For In Life

                            By doing so, you begin to focus more on what you have rather than what you don’t and that is a great start to stay motivated.

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                            5. Be Optimistic

                            Life is not always hunky dory. There will be bad days when things aren’t going in your favor, when you feel lost and all you want to do is give up.

                            At such times, instead of letting negativity take over your life, adopt an optimistic approach to life. Quit overthinking, ask the right questions and focus on finding solutions.

                            Yes, there will be hurdles along the way but if you hang on to positive affirmations and hopes, the journey will be a lot smoother. So, with every passing day, sow the seeds of positivity and you are sure to build a positive environment around you.

                            6. Don’t Dwell on the Past

                            A lot of times, our lack of motivation stems from the habit of dwelling on the past. This gives rise to fear and regrets, preventing us from making progress in the present day.

                            Dwelling on the past is nothing but a waste of time. Understand that the past is long gone, and you cannot do anything to change that.

                            What you can do is make your present day worthwhile. Instead of looking back and having regrets, learn from your mistakes, forgive yourself and move on.

                            So, the next time you find your mind wandering off to the past, be determined to change the way you think and consciously concentrate on living in the present. This guide can help you:

                            10 Simple Steps To Let Go Of The Past

                            7. Face your Fears

                            You can never find motivation where there is fear. Identify the fear that is pulling you back and tackle it.

                            If you don’t face your fear head on, you cannot expect to conquer it and renew your motivation.

                            Ask yourself: What is stopping you? What are you scared of?

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                            Once you accept your fear, you can work on an action plan and think of solutions to overcome it. This article will give you some effective tips on conquering your fears:

                            How to Overcome Your Irrational Fears (That Stop You from Succeeding)

                            Seek external help if required but don’t choose to turn a blind eye over your fears – it will only aggravate matters.

                            8. Visualize your Success

                            You must have heard the famous quote, ‘see it to believe it’. That is exactly what visualization is about.

                            One of the most effective self-motivation techniques, visualizing the process to your desired outcome helps you move in a positive direction and achieve your goal.

                            Close your eyes and focus all your energies on the minutest of details that will take you where you want to reach. Doing this exercise everyday inspires you to keep going and not lose hope. The vision of attaining success will drive you to do better while instilling belief and confidence.

                            9. Find Inspiration

                            Can’t seem to find inspiration inwards? Don’t panic. There are plenty of external sources to gain inspiration from.

                            From motivational books and quotes to speeches, films and apps – it is a good idea to take help from motivational material to rekindle your spirits and regain your motivation.

                            Everyone is wired differently. For instance, a self-help book might work for your friend, but it might do nothing to move you. So, find what inspires you and turn to it when you are in desperate need for motivation.

                            Finding inspiration externally fills you with hope and sometimes that is all you need.

                            10. Enjoy Downtime

                            You are clearly exhausted with all the running you’re doing in life. So much, that you don’t even have time to stop and think what’s causing you so much unhappiness. All you know is that you are lacking motivation and everyday seems to have become a struggle.

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                            Now, that’s certainly not how you should live the rest of your life.

                            You need to schedule downtime for yourself, relax and give your mind and body some rest. Take a vacation, indulge in hobbies, meet some friends, put your hair down and stop with all the overthinking. It is important to do things that make you happy in order to think clearly and stay motivated.

                            11. Meditate Regularly

                            Meditation lets you take control of your mind. It improves focus and concentration while helping you relax.

                            Whenever you have had a tough day or find your thoughts going places, the best way to calm yourself down is by closing your eyes and meditating. It helps you to remove all the unnecessary frills in life and keeps you on the right track.

                            Include meditation in your daily schedule and you are sure to see an improvement in your productivity and motivation.

                            The Bottom Line

                            Practicing these simple exercises isn’t the tough part, what’s tough is religiously doing them every day.

                            However, don’t expect to get rid of your lack of motivation overnight. There will still be days when you will be low on energy but by making these conscious efforts to stay motivated, you are sure to see a vast change in your perspective and your response to bad days.

                            So, start today and be committed to making a positive change in your life.

                            More Tips About Staying Motivated

                            Featured photo credit: Sonnie Hiles via unsplash.com

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