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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

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                            The Gentle Art of Saying No

                            The Gentle Art of Saying No

                            No!

                            It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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                            But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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                            What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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                            But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

                            1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
                            2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
                            3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
                            4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
                            5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
                            6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
                            7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
                            8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
                            9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
                            10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

                            Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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