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21 Life Changing Autobiographies From Around The World

21 Life Changing Autobiographies From Around The World

Some of the greatest humans have chronicled extremely important events in their life. Reading into how they handle these experiences and how they overcome challenges can be both illuminating and rewarding. These 20 autobiographies will motivate, inspire, and amaze you. Read them, and they will surely change the way you look at life.

1. The Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie – Andrew Carnegie

Andrew Carnegie

    Andrew Carnegie lived to be one of the greatest businessmen of his generation. His autobiography details his ascent from living on the streets to founding an amazingly successful company. You’ll gain great insights from Carnegie throughout the book.

    2. The Autobiography of Malcolm X –  Malcolm X

    malcolm x

      Malcolm X represents one of the most significant figures in the civil rights movement. His autobiography, published in 1965, allows readers to understand his philosophy on black pride, black nationalism, and pan-Africanism.

      3. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin – Benjamin Franklin

      benjamin franklin

        This autobiography from one of the United States’ founding fathers is a must read by both historical and self-improvement standards. The book reveals the formation of Franklin’s ideas, his youth, and his rise from poverty to riches. Benjamin Franklin represents one of the first true examples of the American dream – the idea that a man can rise to financial independence through plain-old hardwork.

        4. Up From Slavery – Booker T. Washington

        booker t washington

          Booker T. Washington represents an important figure in the struggle for equal rights in America. He firmly believed in education as a path to equality. Take a look into his childhood immersed in a world of slavery and the founding of the ideas that would make him recognized world wide.

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          5. The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank

          anne frank

            The Diary of a Young Girl details Anne Frank’s life as a fugitive during World War II. The book reveals the experiences of a teenager in the worst of the Holocaust. Her insights, compassion, and spiritual depth serve to deliver a diary beyond her years.

            6. Long Walk To Freedom – Nelson Mandela

            nelson mandela

              Nelson Mandela grew to be a notable South African president. Much of his memoir was written during his 27 years spent unjustly in prison. Long Walk To Freedom puts words to his ideas and deserves a place on your shelf.

              7. A Moveable Feast – Ernest Hemingway

              a moveable feast

                Hemingway remains a creative to be rivaled. Published after his death, A Moveable Feast combines his papers into a work that illustrates his youth in Paris in the 1920s.

                8. Homage To Catalonia – George Orwell

                homage to catalonia

                  In Homage To Catalonia, George Orwell tells the tale of his role in the Spanish war in 1936 where he took up arms against the fascists.

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

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                  i know why the caged bird sings

                    In I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou vividly accounts her life growing up in the depression as a black woman. The story is both moving and eye-opening.

                    10. Angela’s Ashes – Frank McCourt

                    angela's ashes

                      Frank McCourt grew up in Brooklyn during the Depression poverty struck. In Angela’s Ashes he tells his powerful story of a drunken father, a loving mother, and a life under extreme poverty.

                      11. A Child Called It – Dave Pelzer

                      dave pelzer

                        In both a horrifying and gripping manner, Dave Pelzer reveals the shadows of a childhood haunted by abuse. The book can be hard to read at times, but ultimately opens one’s eyes to the terrible tragedy that is child abuse.

                        12. All Creatures Great and Small – James Herriot

                        james herriot

                          All Creatures Great and Small is a lighthearted collection of James Herriot’s stories as a veterinarian in Yorkshire Dales. The book is satisfying and easy to pick up. Great for when you’re looking for some light reading.

                          13. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft – Stephen King

                          stephen king

                            Stephen King, one of the bestselling authors of all time, gives a class on writing through a memoir of his life. It’s entertaining for casual readers and illuminating for those looking to improve their writing skills.

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                            14. The Hiding Place – Corrie ten Bloom

                            corrie ten bloom

                              The Hiding Place explains the amazing story of Corrie ten Bloom and her family. Together, they became leaders in the Dutch underground during World War II, hiding Jewish refugees from the Nazis.

                              15. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption – Laura Hillenbrand

                              unbroken

                                Okay I cheated. This is actually an account of Louis Zamperini by Laura Hillenbrand, so technically it’s not an autobiography. Either way, you need to check it out. The book puts you into the shoes of a man pushed to the limit in the middle of the ocean after a plane crash in World War II. It will both inspire and astound you.

                                16. Night – Elie Weisel

                                elie weisel

                                  In Night, Elie Weisel writes of his experience with his father in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany. He discusses his disgust in humanity as his father descends into a helpless state where he, as a teenager, must pick up the slack to take care of him.

                                  17. The Last Lecture – Randy Pausch

                                  the last lecture

                                    In August 2007, the doctors gave Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, a terminal diagnosis for his cancer. He gave his final lecture on September of the same year titled: ‘Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.’ In his book he expands on his ideas of the lecture in a written form. Definitely worth checking out.

                                    18. The Glass Castle – Jeanette Walls

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                                    jeannette walls

                                      The Glass Castle tells the story of Jeanette Walls and her childhood. With an uncommitted mother, and a father who loses himself to alcohol, the Walls children are forced to learn to take care of themselves. A great story.

                                      19. Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankl

                                      man's search

                                        Viktor Frankl lived to tell the tale of his life in four different concentration camps in Germany during World War II. Man’s Search for Meaning guides readers through these experiences and brings them lessons on spiritual survival. This book has some great takeaways and should definitely have a place on your shelf.

                                        20. The Story of My Life – Helen Keller

                                        the story of my life

                                          Helen Keller, a name recognized by nearly everyone in American culture, grew up both blind and deaf. The Story of My Life is her autobiography about overcoming such great obstacles through pain and hardwork.

                                          21. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood – Marjane Satrapi

                                          marjane satrapi

                                            In Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi talks of her life as young girl during the Islamic Revolution. Don’t let the idea that the book is a graphic novel stop you – it remains quite as moving as any other memoir on this list.

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                                            Last Updated on September 12, 2019

                                            12 Things You Should Remember When Feeling Lost in Life

                                            12 Things You Should Remember When Feeling Lost in Life

                                            Even the most charismatic people you know, whether in person or celebrities of some sort, experience days where they feel lost in life and isolated from everyone else.

                                            While it’s good to know we aren’t alone in this feeling, the question still remains:

                                            What should we do when we feel lost and lonely?

                                            Here are 12 things to remember:

                                            1. Recognize That It’s Okay!

                                            The truth is, there are times you need to be alone. If you’ve always been accustomed to being in contact with people, this may prove difficult.

                                            However, learning how to be alone and comfortable in your own skin will give you confidence and a sense of self reliance.

                                            We cheat ourselves out of the opportunity to become self reliant when we look for constant companionship.

                                            Learn how to embrace your me time: What Your Fear of Being Alone Is Really About and How to Get over It

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                                            2. Use Your Lost and Loneliness as a Self-Directing Guide

                                            You’ve most likely heard the expression: “You have to know where you’ve been to know where you’re going.”

                                            Loneliness also serves as a life signal to indicate you’re in search of something. It’s when we’re in the midst of solitude that answers come from true soul searching.

                                            Remember, there is more to life than what you’re feeling.

                                            3. Realize Loneliness Helps You Face the Truth

                                            Being in the constant company of others, although comforting sometimes, can often serve as a distraction when we need to face the reality of a situation.

                                            Solitude cuts straight to the chase and forces you to deal with the problem at hand. See it as a blessing that can serve as a catalyst to set things right!

                                            4. Be Aware That You Have More Control Than You Think

                                            Typically, when we see ourselves as being lost or lonely, it gives us an excuse to view everything we come in contact with in a negative light. It lends itself to putting ourselves in the victim mode, when the truth of the matter is that you choose your attitude in every situation.

                                            No one can force a feeling upon you! It is YOU who has the ultimate say as to how you choose to react.

                                            5. Embrace the Freedom That the Feeling of Being Alone Can Offer

                                            Instead of wallowing in self pity, which many are prone to do because of loneliness, try looking at your circumstance as a new-found freedom.

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                                            Most people are in constant need of approval of their viewpoints. Try enjoying the fact that  you don’t need everyone you care about to support your decisions.

                                            6. Acknowledge the Person You Are Now

                                            Perhaps you feel a sense of loneliness and confusion because your life circumstances have taken you away from the persona that others know to be you.

                                            Perhaps the new you differs radically from the old. Realize that life is about change and how we react to that change. It’s okay that you’re not who you used to be.

                                            Take a look at this article and learn to accept your imperfect self: Accept Yourself (Flaws and All): 7 Benefits of Being Vulnerable

                                            7. Keep Striving to Do Your Best

                                            Often those who are feeling isolated and unto themselves will develop a defeatist attitude. They’ll do substandard work because their self esteem is low and they don’t care.

                                            Never let this feeling take away your sense of worth! Do your best always and when you come through this dark time, others will admire how you stayed determined in spite of the obstacles you had to overcome.

                                            And to live your best life, you must do this ONE thing: step out of your comfort zone.

                                            8. Don’t Forget That Time Is Precious

                                            When we’re lost in a sea of loneliness and depression, it’s all too easy to reflect on regrets of past life events. This does nothing but feed negativity and perpetuate the situation.

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                                            Instead of falling prey to this common pitfall, put one foot in front of the other and acknowledge every positive step you take. By doing this, you can celebrate the struggles you overcome at the end of the day.

                                            9. Remember, Things Happen for a Reason

                                            Every circumstance we encounter in our life is designed to teach us and that lesson is in turn passed on to others.

                                            Sometimes we’re fortunate enough to figure out the lesson to be learned, while other times, we simply need to have faith that if the lesson wasn’t meant directly for us to learn from, how we handled it was observed by someone who needed to learn.

                                            Your solitude and feeling of lost, in this instance, although painful possibly, may be teaching someone else.

                                            10. Journal During This Time

                                            Record your thoughts when you’re at the height of loneliness and feeling lost. You’ll be amazed when you reflect back at how you viewed things at the time and how far you’ve come later.

                                            This time (if recorded) can give you a keen insight into who you are and what makes you feel the way you feel.

                                            11. Remember You Aren’t the First to Feel This Way

                                            It’s quite common to feel as if we’re alone and no one else has ever felt this way before. We think this because at the time of our distress, we’re silently observing others around us who are seemingly fine in every way.

                                            The truth is, we can’t possibly know the struggles of those around us unless they elect to share them. We ALL have known this pain!

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                                            Try confiding in someone you trust and ask them how they deal with these feelings when they experienced it. You may be surprised at what you learn.

                                            12. Ask for Help If the Problem Persists

                                            The feeling of being lost and lonely is common to everyone, but typically it will last for a relatively short period of time.

                                            Most people will confess to, at one time or another, being in a “funk.” But if the problem persists longer than you feel it should, don’t ignore it.

                                            When your ability to reason and consider things rationally becomes impaired, do not poo poo the problem away and think it isn’t worthy of attention. Seek medical help.

                                            Afraid to ask for help? Here’s how to change your outlook to aim high!

                                            Final Thoughts

                                            Loneliness and a sense of feeling lost can in many ways be extremely painful and difficult to deal with at best. However, these feelings can also serve as a catalyst for change in our lives if we acknowledge them and act.

                                            Above anything, cherish your mental well being and don’t underestimate its worth. Seek professional guidance if you’re unable to distinguish between a sense of freedom for yourself and a sense of despair.

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                                            Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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