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10 Books to Read If You Are Looking For Your Purpose

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10 Books to Read If You Are Looking For Your Purpose

Are you feeling unsatisfied or meaningless lately?  Do you feel there is something you are supposed to be doing, but you just can’t quite figure it out?  The books below are filled with stories to inspire you and spark the idea you’ve been searching for.  If your schedule is too full to fit in another thing, you don’t have to, just load them up on audio and listen during your commute to work, in the shower, or while folding laundry.

1. Big Magic

By Elizabeth Gilbert

You’ll be able to really enjoy this latest book by Elizabeth Gilbert if you feel you’ve hit a road block in your path to express yourself. Whether you are feeling bitter that the world hasn’t rewarded your creativity or you feel trapped in mundane tasks with no room for self-expression, the author will motivate you with inspiration and creativity promoted by her years of thinking about and observing them in herself and others. It enchantingly draws in all readers and reassures that there is truly enough room, reason and value for us all to create.  Since you are contemplating this list, you are already on the right path to open the floodgates of your unique expression.

2. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

By Jenny Lawson

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Known by her fans first as “The Bloggess,” Jenny tells her life story in this, her first novel.  It will have you laughing out loud at the truth. It’s so good you know she can’t make up the tales she shares.  Her sense of humor shines through as an anchor in her anxiety prone waters.  Her stories include her uniquely eccentric father, her job as a snow cone creator, a human resources worker, and a Texan.  Full of charm, awe and creativity she literally wrote the book about how to handle life when it seems to be throwing lemons, or in her case, raccoon carcass puppets, at you.

3. It’s Hard Not to Hate You

By Valerie Frankel

Valerie’s years spent trying to accept herself, put on a smile when she felt bad, and generally ‘flip her egg to sunny side up’ get turned on their head when she decides to own her actual feelings. This is packed full of dry wit and humor with deep golden insights about accepting all your emotions and making them work for you.  Some of her chapters titles include, Hate Your Way To Happiness, Why I Have No Friends Part I and II and I Hate Your Kids.  If books like The Secret were not your thing, check this out for a different kind of understanding.

4. F*ck Feelings

By Michael Bennett MD & Sarah Bennett

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This is also definitely not your mama’s self-help book. It was written by a father/daughter pair, he’s a psychiatrist, she’s a comedian. It is packed with advice from years of the Dr.’s work with patients in psychiatry in the lingo of a straight talking comedian. You’ll especially want to read this if you are dealing with chronic negative habits. The book will guide you about how to set standards to live by, regardless of your feelings.

5. Tuesdays with Morrie

By Mitch Abloom

This is a classic and warms your heart whether you are reading it for the first time or again, with a few more years of perspective. It is one of those timeless volumes that offers a dose of insight, touchingly delivered in a quick read. Like the main character in the book, you will have no choice but to expand your consciousness while listening to a mentor and his student navigating life and appreciating those who guide us.

6. Year of Yes

By Shonda Rhimes

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For Shonda Rhimes it is clear that telling a story is her thing.  She has been the Queen of Thursday night television, with hits like Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, for some time.  This novel tells the other side of her life, the personal side, which is just as interesting as the tales she weaves!  The look at her personal life, including struggles to live both in and out of the basic life script we all have written in our heads, leaves you feeling very connected. The glimpse at her genius fills you with hope and motivation.

7. Breakfast with Buddha

By Roland Merullo

The is the story of an unlikely pair of men that take a road trip and toy with life’s big questions. The author enjoys his life and yet has an empty feeling that creeps up on him often.  The writing is a perfect blend of humor and wit, with just enough suspense and wisdom to help you get back on track. While it is fiction, you will find the characters so charming and believable you’ll be googling them on-line, just to be sure.  While this is not a heavy read, it does provoke a wide range of emotions.  You will defiantly laugh out loud, possibly tear up, and definitely reflect on the true meaning of life as this book evokes a feeling that you are discussing your world view with a wise teacher.

8. Uganda Be Kidding Me

By Chelsea Handler

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Chelsea’s style is definitely crude and unconcerned about political correctness, or correctness in general.  This is one of her many books and has a highly relatable base line theme of travel between friends as a show of support and adventure after some romantic relationship struggles, yet it is handled Chelsea style which is one few of us could relate to or ever pull off.  She will make you laugh, of course, but she will also inspire you to be true to yourself.

9. 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess

By Jen Hat maker

Is your material stuff or the daily scramble up the ladder getting you down? If you are feeling overwhelmed by the literal stuff of life, this book will offer you a plan to find a solution.  While the author’s scale of commitment to clearing her life of clutter (in multiple arenas) is admirable you could easily try a smaller scale mutiny to test the waters of this idea yourself.  Sometimes a little rebellion will shake up your perspective enough to get you back on track.  This book will make you consider possibilities and be worth the read.

10. The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

By Tom Angleberger

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If you are thinking that you’d like to actively look for and remind yourself of purpose, why not share a read with your favorite children.  Beyond an entertaining read for all ages, this is a heartwarming reminder about staying open to positive possibility and accepting the gifts you have to offer, even if you sometimes aren’t sure what they are.  In the cadence of the wise paper Jedi, “Master this also you shall.”   If you go the audio route for this book, you’ll have a cast of characters that create added depth, and on paper you’d get a graphic novel with great teen type sketches.

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Last Updated on November 18, 2021

10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

  • honest
  • reliable
  • competent
  • kind and compassionate
  • capable of taking the blame
  • able to persevere
  • modest and humble
  • pacific and can control anger.

The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

Abigail Van Buren

3. How does this person take the blame?

Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

5. Read their emails.

Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

  • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
  • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
  • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
  • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
  • Too many question marks can show anger
  • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

6. Watch out for the show offs.

Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

8. Their empathy score is high.

Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

Stendhal

 10. Avoid toxic people.

These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

  • Envy or jealousy
  • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
  • Complaining about their own lack of success
  • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
  • Obsession with themselves and their problems

Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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