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See What Over 1000 Quora Users Around The World Would Recommend If You Can Only Read Once In Your Life

See What Over 1000 Quora Users Around The World Would Recommend If You Can Only Read Once In Your Life

When asked to pick only one book to recommend to someone, most people would agree that it is quite a difficult task. Firstly, because there are so many great pieces that it seems unfair to pick just one. Secondly, definition of a great book varies from person to person. Yet, when asked what would be the one they would recommend if someone could only read once in their life, most Quora users opted for books that greatly influenced their thinking and ideas about life. Go through the list and see if you agree and maybe pick one or two for your personal library.

1. Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas R. Hofstadter

The book explores lives, works and ideas of logician Kurt Gödel, artist M.C. Escher, and composer Jonathan Sebastian Bach. Using puns, metaphors and puzzles to connect concepts of mathematics, symmetry and intelligence, the book actually explores the notion of human cognition and consciousness. The value of the book is in its ability to take you on a journey of exploring your abilities to self-reflect, and it doesn’t require a scientist or artist of any sort to realize the universality of laws of our consciousness and perception.

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2. Best of Quora (2010 – 2012)

Great book that covers 18 sections of creative, funny, practical and intelligent answers to all sorts of questions. A book about everything for everyone. “It’s less about the “right answer” and more about perceptions and experiences.” Says one of the reviewers.

3. Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz

Written as a means to fix the emotional scars that surgeon Maxwell Maltz couldn’t help his patients with by surgical procedure, Psycho-Cybernetics is one of the corner-stones of self-help programs. Even though the original was published in 1960, many readers still consider it the best at its niche due to its practical value that relies on science.

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4. The Tirukkural

Written 2000 years ago in Tamil and since then, translated into 82 languages, The Tirukkural (Sacred Couplets) is a book of 1330 couplets that explores truths about universal topics of love, righteousness and material life. Readers consider it as a religiously neutral and universal guide for any life situation.

5. The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

The Prophet consists of 26 prose poetry fables, which, written in 1923 can still be applied today. Rich in metaphor, the stories are abundant with lessons that don’t seem like lessons, on life’s most important aspects such as love, marriage, children, joy, sorrow, beauty, religion, and death.

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6. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

First published in 1955, American literature classic, Lolita, was, and probably still is, one of the most controversial novels of all time, due to the appalling subject of pedophilia it explores. Captivating, yet unreliable narration of Humbert Humbert, full of word play and puns, with ironic observations about American culture, tells the story of his love for 12-year old Dolores, a nymphet he called Lolita.

7. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Set in WWII Germany, The Book Thief is another great novel that speaks of universal values in a beautiful and captivating way. It tells a story of a young girl Liesel Meminger who loses her family and struggles to preserve her own life and innocence during a cruel time. Narrated by Death, the novel explores themes such as mortality, the power of storytelling, and love.

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8. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery

One of the most translated and best-selling books of all time, The Little Prince, is a novella that, disguised as a children’s book, tells a more mature and universal story of human nature. First published in 1943, the book has stood the test of time making people of all age question their perspective on life and universe they are a part of.

9. Mahabharata

The longest poem ever written, Mahabharata is an epic poem written in Sanskrit in ancient India. Through the story of Kurukshetra War and the fates of the Kaurava and the Pandava princes, the poem illustrates life aspects and stories that are timeless and universal.

10. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

One of the most quoted books of our time, The Alchemist, is the book that changed the lives of so many people. Following a boy shepherd Santiago through his adventures in the quest for treasure, it tells the story of human quest for purpose, meaning and destiny.

Featured photo credit: Intellectual Takeout via intellectualtakeout.org

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Ana Erkic

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

Why Is Goal Setting Important to a Truly Fulfilling Life?

Why Is Goal Setting Important to a Truly Fulfilling Life?

In Personal Development-speak, we are always talking about goals, outcomes, success, desires and dreams. In other words, all the stuff we want to do, achieve and create in our world.

And while it’s important for us to know what we want to achieve (our goal), it’s also important for us to understand why we want to achieve it; the reason behind the goal or some would say, our real goal.

Why is goal setting important?

1. Your needs and desire will be fulfilled.

Sometimes when we explore our “why”, (why we want to achieve a certain thing) we realize that our “what” (our goal) might not actually deliver us the thing (feeling, emotion, internal state) we’re really seeking.

For example, the person who has a goal to lose weight in the belief that weight loss will bring them happiness, security, fulfillment, attention, popularity and the partner of their dreams. In this instance, their “what” is weight-loss and their “why” is happiness (etc.) and a partner.

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Six months later, they have lost the weight (achieved their goal) but as is often the case, they’re not happier, not more secure, not more confident, not more fulfilled and in keeping with their miserable state, they have failed to attract their dream partner.

After all, who wants to be with someone who’s miserable? They achieved their practical goal but still failed to have their needs met.

So they set a goal to lose another ten pounds. And then another. And maybe just ten more. With the destructive and erroneous belief that if they can get thin enough, they’ll find their own personal nirvana. And we all know how that story ends.

2. You’ll find out what truly motivates you

The important thing in the process of constructing our best life is not necessarily what goals we set (what we think we want) but what motivates us towards those goals (what we really want).

The sooner we begin to explore, identify and understand what motivates us towards certain achievements, acquisitions or outcomes (that is, we begin moving towards greater consciousness and self awareness), the sooner we will make better decisions for our life, set more intelligent (and dare I say, enlightened) goals and experience more fulfilment and less frustration.

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We all know people who have achieved what they set out to, only to end up in the same place or worse (emotionally, psychologically, sociologically) because what they were chasing wasn’t really what they were needing.

What we think we want will rarely provide us with what we actually need.

3. Your state of mind will be a lot healthier

We all set specific goals to achieve/acquire certain things (a job, a car, a partner, a better body, a bank balance, a title, a victory) because at some level, most of us believe (consciously or not) that the achievement of those goals will bring us what we really seek; joy, fulfilment, happiness, safety, peace, recognition, love, acceptance, respect, connection.

Of course, setting practical, material and financial goals is an intelligent thing to do considering the world we live in and how that world works.

But setting goals with an expectation that the achievement of certain things in our external, physical world will automatically create an internal state of peace, contentment, joy and total happiness is an unhealthy and unrealistic mindset to inhabit.

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What you truly want and need

Sometimes we need to look beyond the obvious (superficial) goals to discover and secure what we really want.

Sadly, we live in a collective mindset which teaches that the prettiest and the wealthiest are the most successful.

Some self-help frauds even teach this message. If you’re rich or pretty, you’re happy. If you’re both, you’re very happy. Pretty isn’t what we really want; it’s what we believe pretty will bring us. Same goes with money.

When we cut through the hype, the jargon and the self-help mumbo jumbo, we all have the same basic goals, desires and needs:

Joy, fulfilment, happiness, safety, peace, recognition, love, acceptance, respect, connection.

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Nobody needs a mansion or a sport’s car but we all need love.

Nobody needs massive pecs, six percent body-fat, a face lift or bigger breasts but we all need connection, acceptance and understanding.

Nobody needs to be famous but we all need peace, calm, balance and happiness.

The problem is, we live in a culture which teaches that one equals the other. If only we lived in a culture which taught that real success is far more about what’s happening in our internal environment, than our external one.

It’s a commonly-held belief that we’re all very different and we all have different goals — whether short term or long term goals. But in many ways we’re not, and we don’t; we all want essentially the same things.

Now all you have to do is see past the fraud and deception and find the right path.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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