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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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                            1 How to Stop Being a Perfectionist (Step-by-Step Guide) 2 8 Things to Remember When You’re Saying “I Can’t Do It” 3 10 Principles for Success to Start Living Your Dream Life 4 10 Ways to Keep Going When the Going Gets Tough 5 10 Strategies to Keep Moving Forward When Feeling Stuck

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                            Last Updated on October 20, 2020

                            10 Principles for Success to Start Living Your Dream Life

                            10 Principles for Success to Start Living Your Dream Life

                            Are you stressed out and overwhelmed, wishing you had more time to do the things that really matter? Are you ready to do something better, something special in your life or your career? If you’re ready to take responsibility for your life, then you need to tap into some principles for success.

                            Many people—maybe you—stopped following their passion and purpose way too early in life because their talents were ignored, minimized, or shamed. They didn’t have the chops to win an American Idol competition or nab an Olympic gold medal, so they stopped expressing their inborn gifts altogether.

                            You don’t need to be an award winner to rock your life. Living your dream life is about discovering your superpowers and feeling vibrant and joyful when you use them. It’s about owning what makes you unique and finding like-minded people to support you.

                            Here are 10 success principles to help you reach your goals and live a rich life on your terms.

                            1. Get a Hobby to Move Closer to Your Dreams

                            If you never became a professional dancer or a world-renowned author, it does NOT mean you should stop dancing or writing! These activities make you come alive, even if you “only” do them as favorite pastimes.

                            Engaging in a hobby is one of the most important success principles you can follow to move closer to your dreams.

                            When you try something creative for the first time or in a long while, you begin to see opportunities at work and in life that you were unaware of before. You also feel happier and more energized, according to a recent study from New Zealand[1].

                            Some of my most burned-out executive clients reinvigorated their careers by discovering a creative outlet that refueled them after the workday ended. Research at San Francisco State University shows that having a hobby lowers stress and helps you succeed at work[2].

                            Give yourself permission to try new things and revisit old passions you gave up long ago. Setting aside just one hour a week for personal exploration can significantly change your life and help you focus on goal setting.

                            2. Focus on Your Strengths

                            Did you know that you are more likely to succeed when you develop your natural strengths rather than work on your weaknesses? The problem is that you probably don’t know where your true talents lie.

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                            Once you understand what makes you tick, you can use these skills at work and your personal life to get more done in less time. If you boost your unique abilities through practice and study, you can accelerate your career and become a leader in a field that matters to you. It’s worth investing in yourself this way.

                            3. Jumping off a Cliff is NOT Required

                            Here’s the deal: most people are too afraid to change. When participants first come to my workshops, they tell me they have mouths to feed, bills to pay, and fear that if they follow their dreams, someone will get hurt.

                            The old saying “leap and the net shall appear” does not comfort them. Because they are hesitant to plunge into the unknown, they believe their only option is to stay put where they are in life. Can you relate?

                            You do not have to sacrifice the life you have now to start a new one. I was a psychology professor by day and singer by night for years before I transitioned into a full-time music career.

                            To use this principle for success, take a little time out each week to do what enlivens you through a hobby, volunteer work, etc. Get a feel for it. Is it what you really want? If it’s what you really want to be doing, increase the time you spend doing it and make the transition when the time feels right.

                            4. Give Your Inner Critic Some Love

                            The main culprit that keeps you from stepping outside your comfort zone and getting the life of your dreams is KCRP or K-CRAP, the radio station that plays 24/7 in your head. The moment you try to do something interesting with your life, it slaps you down with such chart-topping killer hooks as “Who do you think you are?” and “You’ll never be good enough!”.

                            Have you ever noticed that KCRP’s mean-spirited DJ sounds like your parents, teachers, bosses, and other authority figures who shut you down creatively? These folks don’t need to stifle you any longer (although they often still do) because your inner critic does it for them. That keeps you stuck in a rut[3].

                            Silencing your inner critic is one of the best principles for success.

                              To break free, try thinking of this DJ as a gruff old grandfather who gives you crap to keep you safe. Remember, this grumpy grandpa is woefully out of touch with the times. Give him a pat on the back for his good intentions, and put your focus back on what makes you come alive.

                              This is one of the principles for success that will give you the courage to venture into the unknown where you can dance to the beat of your own drummer.

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                              5. Embrace Your Inner Self

                              Many of us don’t go after our dreams because we’re afraid people will find out how odd or strange we are. However, our little eccentricities often turn out to be our greatest strengths.

                              Odds are that you lost track of your true passions and talents before you were even old enough to know you were getting off-track. You became slowly “adulterated” by learning to:

                              • Take on family roles that don’t match who you really are.
                              • Spit back what teachers taught you in school rather than risk getting bad grades for being original.
                              • Hide parts of yourself that don’t seem acceptable to certain social groups.

                              The price for fitting in is that you may wind up leading a life that doesn’t fit you all that well. Your true calling becomes clear when you embrace what makes you different from others and allow yourself to stand out from the crowd, even if it feels awkward. Often, the very qualities you view as your flaws are your greatest gifts.

                              Here’s How to Listen to Your Inner Voice for Greater Fulfillment.

                              6. See the Bigger Picture to Find Your True Calling

                              I cannot stress the importance of this success principle enough. Your true calling is right in front of you, but you may miss it because you’re looking for it in the wrong place.

                              To “see” it clearly, try widening your point of view.

                              Case in point: Maria felt she needed to retire early from being a police detective, so she could travel abroad. I encouraged Maria to think of ways that she could continue to serve as a law enforcer (a career she loved) and travel overseas at the same time.

                              A few months later, Maria landed a job with the United Nations in Bosnia training the local police force to understand and embrace human rights procedures.

                              Like Maria, you are an everyday rock star capable of accomplishing greater things than you can imagine. Is what you’re looking for right in front of you, too? Do you have an inkling of what it may be?

                              Look beyond your day-to-day activities, your current job, and even the town you live in. View your life from an eagle’s perspective and be open to new possibilities.

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                              7. Try a Little Wish-List Magic

                              Pretend I’m your fairy godmother, and I give you permission right now to be your most magnificent self. What kind of life would be music to your ears? It doesn’t matter whether it seems unattainable or even downright crazy. Write it down on a wish list.

                              What would you like your career, your relationships, your health, your finances, and your spiritual life to be like? Jot down enough details so that your wishes seem tangible to you. Then, look at this list every morning before you start your day and every night before you go to sleep.

                              8. Take Breaks to Get Clues About Your Ideal Future

                              Did you know that working straight through to a deadline leads to diminishing returns? Research shows that taking a break for 15 minutes every 75 to 90 minutes can help you recharge, refresh your focus, and get more done in less time[4].

                              Furthermore, a Stanford study shows that walking increases your creative output by 60 percent. Doing repetitive activities such as walking, running, riding your bike, swimming, and sweeping allow solutions to problems to pop into your mind out of nowhere[5].

                              What does this success principle have to do with creating your dream life?

                              These mini-breaks allow you to get vital clues for what to do next to attain your ideal future. Plus, you won’t waste precious time and energy getting lost in other people’s agendas.

                              9. Take Action on Your Inspired Ideas

                              Once an inspired thought pops into your mind, take action.

                              This is one of the most powerful principles for success for turning your dreams into reality; the sooner the better. Whatever it is—from calling an old friend to taking a new route home—be sure to do it!

                              Pay attention to your oddball hunches. You need to go after what you want, not just dream about it. As comedian Jim Carrey warns,

                              “You can’t just visualize and go eat a sandwich.”

                              To learn more about how to get off autopilot and take specific actions towards your goals, check out this video:

                              10. Count Your Rockstar Moments

                              Still not sure you have what it takes to get your dream life? This final success principle is guaranteed to help.

                              Make a list of everything you’ve ever accomplished. As you read back through it, put a star next to each item, and let it sink in.

                              You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how good you’ll feel about yourself afterward. You’ll also see how effective you’ve been in the past at getting what you want. You’ve succeeded before, and you can succeed again.

                              Final Thoughts

                              Eleanor Roosevelt said,

                              “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

                              Following these principles for success will help you find the time and energy to achieve your goals and live with clear intention.

                              Stand still, get quiet, and listen. Your life is constantly telling you what you need to do to realize your own rock star potential in life and business. It may be just a whisper now, but the more you pay attention to it, the louder it will get, and the easier it will be to follow.

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                              Featured photo credit: Rahul Dey via unsplash.com

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