The 20 Best Books For Finding Your Purpose
Living a purpose driven life is one of the keys to a life of happiness and wellness. That’s why we have put together this list of the 20 best books for finding your purpose!
Purpose is something that we all end up searching for at some point in our lives. But without purpose, life lacks personal meaning.
In short, your life purpose will be a combination of all the things that you find meaningful in your life. Once you have found your life’s purpose, engaging in it will feel as though you are having a lasting impact on the community around you. And what a fulfilling life it would be to feel like you are making a difference in the world!
There are plenty of interesting books that you can read to help you find your true purpose. But life is short! So we have put together this list of the 20 best books for finding your purpose!
#1. Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankl
In Man’’s Search for Meaning, Frankl details his dreadful experiences as a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps. Frankl’s story is truly horrific, yet he explains how he somehow still managed to find purpose and meaning despite his suffering.
Frankl explains that when faced with suffering, we can either work to overcome our experiences or be defeated by them. He explains that we can’t change the circumstances of our lives, but we are always in control of our attitude toward them.
#2. The Art of Work: A Proven Path To Discovering What You Were Meant To Do – Jeff Goins
As someone who quit what I thought was my dream job,The Art of Work is one of my favorite books on this list.
Many people misunderstand the process of finding your purpose through your life’s work. The advice that is often given is that your work should be something that you are passionate about. While this is true, Goins redefines the concept of work by explaining that a sense of purpose in work comes from passion combined with a connection to the needs of the world and our community.
This is commonly referred to as the concept of the ikigai. Those who are fortunate to have found their ikigai know how truly amazing it is work and live a life that is centred around purpose.
#3. The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
Unlike most of the best books for finding your purpose on this list, The Alchemist is a work of fiction. However, this great book still has its lessons for finding your life’s purpose.
In the book, the main character sets out on a journey to discover an unknown treasure that has been appearing to him in reoccurring dreams. At its core, The Alchemist is a story about discovering and maintaining your purpose despite life’s challenges. This book serves as a reminder that just beginning the journey is all it takes to start finding purpose.
#4. The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life – Chris Guillebeau
In one of the best books for finding your purpose, The Happiness of Pursuit explains that having something to pursue is what gives us purpose. In short, “challenge is the essence of adventure”.
We all think that we want our lives to be easy and carefree. But if we had no challenges or obstacles in our lives, we would have no purpose or meaning to attach to our actions.
This book is a powerful reminder that it isn’t just about reaching your goals. Instead, the very act of having big dreams and goals that you are always working toward will bring purpose to your life.
#5. The Gifts of Imperfection – Brené Brown
In one of our favorite books on this list, Brené Brown explains that we need courage, compassion, and connection to help us live our lives from a place of worthiness. You can check out our full summary of The Gifts of Imperfection to learn more about how this book helps you embrace the imperfect person you truly are and your individual purpose.
#6. A New Earth: Awakening To Your Life’s Purpose – Eckhart Tolle
The struggle to find inner peace is something we can all relate to. A big part of that is the battle we fight against our ego.
In A New Earth, Tolle challenges the reader to confront and set aside their ego in order to connect with their purpose in life. Putting in this hard work will help you move forward in the right direction with your purpose in mind.
#7. To Be Told: Know Your Story, Shape Your Future – Dan Allender
When it comes to your spiritual well-being, the best place to look is inside. This is the key idea behind To Be Told – looking inward and listening to the story of our lives.
The idea is that when we look inward, we find clues toward our purpose in life. When we have an understanding of the story that has come before in our lives, we are able to control how we add to that story in new ways.
#8. The War Of Art – Steven Pressfield
We all struggle with an internal resistance that keeps us from pursuing our true calling. This resistance shows up as the excuses that we make to avoid working toward our deepest desires for our lives.
Pressfield helps the reader identify how this resistance shows up in their lives and arms them with the tools to defeat it. This is the only way to live a life of purpose focused on your true calling.
#9. The Path Made Clear: Discovering Your Life’s Direction and Purpose – Oprah Winfrey
Oprah’s inspirational The Path Made Clear provides actionable steps and insights from many purpose driven individuals to find the vision you have for yourself and your life. After discovering this vision, you will begin to find a deeper connection to your life’s purpose.
#10. Dream Year: Make the Leap from a Job You Hate to a Life You Love – Ben Arment
When it comes to the best books for finding your purpose, Dream Year is your go-to guide for making a job change. Your work takes up a large percentage of your life, so it is important to find work that you are passionate about and that makes a difference in the world.
Arment explains how to find, plan for, and start the career of your dreams so that you can connect with a sense of purpose in your work.
#11. The Artist’s Way – Julia Cameron
The Artist’s Way may not be one of the new books on this list of best books for finding your purpose, but it has stood the test of time.
While this book may seem targeted toward creatives, there are lessons about rediscovering purpose for anyone. Using a variety of exercises and activities, Julia Cameron helps the reader uncover their own personal restrictions on their creativity. And when you are unrestricted in your creativity, your life’s purpose becomes clear!
#12. Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation – Parker Palmer
Parker Palmer shares his personal experiences searching for a life of purpose in this short but powerful book. One key takeaway is that it is easy for us to end up imitating others who live a life of purpose, rather than listening to “the life that lives inside us”.
#13. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success – Carol Dweck
One of the reasons we don’t find our purpose is because we limit ourselves to facing only the obstacles we know we can overcome.
But with a growth mindset, obstacles can provide new opportunities and feedback when faced with failure. And when that happens, we can end up discovering new passions and new purpose.
Check out our top 5 key takeaways from Carol Dweck’s Mindset for more on how this great book can help you with finding your purpose!
#14. The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg
Our lives are made up of different ‘habit loops’ that cause us to react a certain way to different events. The Power of Habit explains how you can take advantage of these loops to make big changes in your life. After reading this book, try making a new pattern out of intentionally pursuing your purpose!
#15. The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself – Michael Singer
Singer walks you through the steps you can take to free yourself from the things that place limits on what you are capable of doing with your life. Understanding how to free yourself from these limitations will help you find a sense of inner peace to pursue your life’s purpose!
#16. Getting Grit: The Evidence-Based Approach to Cultivating Passion, Perseverance, and Purpose – Caroline Adams Miller
Having ‘grit’ means that you are so passionate about a goal that your persevere toward it regardless of the obstacles that get in your way. In Getting Grit, Miller explains how cultivating this trait can help you develop a sense of purpose. This will in turn keep you focused on your goal – at all costs!
#17. The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything – Ken Robinson with Lou Aronica
The ‘element’ is something that people have when their talent that comes naturally meets their own passions. Robinson explains that when we find this intersection, we are free to be ourselves and live the purpose driven life of our greatest dreams.
#18. The Life You Were Born To Live: A Guide to Finding Your Life Purpose – Dan Millman
While The Life You Were Born to Live is also not one of the new books on this list of best books for finding your purpose, it remains a powerful resource! Millman shares the Life-Purpose System and 37 paths of life to help you understand the various factors that contribute to your life’s purpose.
#19. Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team – Simon Sinek
As the title suggests, Find Your Why is one of the best books for finding your purpose. Sinek explains that it isn’t about what you are doing, but why you do it.
Understanding your why is the key to having a vision and mission for your life. It transforms your goals from things that you want to accomplish to value-driven reasons for living a purpose driven life.
#20. The Last Lecture – Randy Pausch
After being told that he has only 6 months to live, Pausch set out to write what would become his last lecture as a professor. This great book will prompt you to reflect on the obstacles you are tasked with overcoming in your life. Most importantly, it will challenge you to make the most of the time you have on this Earth by living a purpose driven life.
Using The Best Books For Finding Your Purpose
We all feel stuck in life at some point. But it is possible to beat this feeling with a sense of purpose and meaning!
Each of the books on this list has its own powerful life lessons to help you start living a purpose driven life. The best thing you can do is pick one that sounds like it will resonate with your life experience and where you are at in your personal growth journey.
You may have to read a few before you start to feel like you are heading in the right direction. Just remember, your purpose changes throughout your life. Be flexible and listen to your own heart!
Don’t forget to share this post with your friends and family on social media! If you know someone who could use some help finding their life’s purpose, this post could be what they need to help them with their search!