Reading has helped me grow in every aspect of life—from getting comfortable with vulnerability to discovering inner peace, addressing childhood traumas, and even sharpening professional skills. I’ve found answers to many questions within the pages of books. It’s no wonder the world’s most successful people read at least 30 minutes per day.
If you’re searching for solutions to problems or help with personal challenges, there’s a book for that. Here’s an excellent read for various situational needs:
Love, Freedom, Aloneness by Osho is great for when you’re struggling with feelings of loneliness. This book reconciles the need for freedom with our desire for intimacy and relationships.
I found Love, Freedom, Aloneness especially insightful. As someone who enjoys alone time even when in a relationship, reading this helped support the idea that balance is critical. It dissects how being alone can be beneficial to your love life, stating:
Often, when feeling lonely, we don’t make this connection. Such understanding can help you be more comfortable with the state—because you see it as a necessary step toward healthy romantic partnership.
I’d say it’s not what happens to you but how you respond to it that steals your joy, but I believe that’s only partially true. For instance, it’s difficult to feel happy when a loved one dies. No amount of meditation or positive thinking can make that reality not hurt.
Aside from extremes, however, life is mostly about how you respond to it. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz is a phenomenal resource for doing so in a manner that best serves you. It’s short and to the point.
The premise of the book is exactly as its title suggests. You make four agreements with yourself that have an exponential effect on your sense of peace and well-being. These are two significant components of cultivating happiness.
Rejection is a part of life. Failing is a stop on the way to winning. The greatest athletes, entertainers, and business people have failed at something. We’ve all fallen short of a goal and worked to build something that fell apart. You’re not unique in that regard.
Yet, failure still hurts. It can be defeating. So, the key is to change the way you view disappointment and develop a more effective approach toward achievement. That’s where Deepak Chopra’s The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success comes in with guidance.
This book aims to give you the secrets to making your dreams come true. It doesn’t act as a magic wand, however. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success are rooted in tangible behaviors. They only work if applied with dedicated effort.
My favorite principle covered is The Law of Detachment. It stresses the importance of relinquishing your connection to outcomes. Just focus on the work. The rest will take care of itself.
I think the best thing to do when feeling completely overwhelmed and stressed out by a situation is to give yourself a temporary break from dealing with it. Escapism practiced responsibly can help you maintain your sanity. Whatever the problem is, it will still be there when you come back to face it. Just make sure you come back!
One of the best ways to escape for a bit is to read something light and entertaining. Fiction is great for this purpose. I prefer true stories. So, a fiction book has to be really good to hold my attention.
What it Means When a Man Falls From the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah had me excited to read it every day. It’s a book of superbly written short stories, making it easy to pick up and put down as needed.
The stories are diverse in subject matter. Some are set in the future, some in the past, but all are unique and thought-provoking. This book will take you away from the cares of this world for a few moments.
Disappointing Love Life
If your love life has left you unfulfilled, Thich Nhat Hanh has a few recommendations for you. His book, True Love: A Practice for Awakening the Heart, focuses on overcoming barriers to authentic connection.
Thich Nhat Hanh believes that training is needed in order to love properly. To serve this purpose, he offers specific Buddhist principles to help guide you toward the gratifying love you desire. Chapters on The Four Aspects of Love and The Principle of Nonduality are especially enlightening.
The book I’m about to suggest here may seem unrelated to this subject, but that’s precisely why you should read it. The Emotionally Absent Mother dissects how your maternal parent affects your love life. Often, struggles in this area on our end can trace back to this relationship. That’s where we learned to love, for better or worse.
The author, Jasmine Lee Cori, MS LPC, makes profound connections between behavior in relationships and childhood nuances. For instance, if you’re always afraid your partner will leave you, it doesn’t mean you’re simply insecure. Chances are, your mother was gone often, left you at other people’s houses, etc.
Learning your attachment style will help you and potential partners understand why you do what you do when dating or in a romantic partnership. Most importantly, recognizing the behavior allows you the opportunity to make adjustments. Like the last book referenced, The Emotionally Absent Mother will help you remove subconscious barriers to healthy, secure relationships.
Self-awareness is the key to just about everything.
Building a Business
I have a professional background in marketing communications. So, I’ve read a ton of books on the topic. Contagious: Why Things Catch On is one of the best. The author, Jonah Berger, is a Wharton professor who’s studied virality and social influence for the past decade.
Through his studies, Berger pinpointed six common elements of nearly every wildly successful concept. He determines precisely why some ideas catch on, and others don’t. Contagious is a practical guide to effectively marketing any product, service, or piece of content.
If you’re a creator or business owner, this book is a MUST-READ.
We face many more challenging situations. These are just a few that are universal. Each respective book helped me—perhaps it can also help you.
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