This is a list of my favorite books about passion, purpose, health and happiness.
These books have helped me build meaningful relationships, develop lasting health, and create a fulfilling career in which I’m able to share what I love most with friends, family, and clients from all over the world.
I love reading and I’m a huge fan of Audiobooks because they allow me to learn while I’m walking, commuting, running errands, or doing anything that doesn’t require my full attention.
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In fact, Audible is giving away 2 Free Audiobooks when you register for a Free Trial Membership, so if you’re like me and don’t have time to open a hardcover on a regular basis, try Audible. I’ve always enjoyed reading but the convenience of audiobooks has changed my life forever.
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10 Books That You Should Read At Least Once In Your Life
These books aren’t listed in order of priority, so take a look around then select the ones that you think you’ll enjoy most based on your own needs and interests.
“Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life” Francesc Miralles & Hector Garcia
This book is about our endless search for meaning. Ikigai (生き甲斐), which translates to “reason for being,” explores several keys to living a long, healthy, and happy life, including regular exercise, a plant-based diet, finding purpose in all things, and being part of a supportive community with shared values.
“Principles: Life and Work” Ray Dalio
This book is for pragmatists and provides a framework for thinking through your principles related to decision making, then writing them down and applying them in real-time. Its guiding philosophy is that success in all things is achieved through honesty, trial and error, thoughtful disagreement, and intellectual humility.
“Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action” Simon Sinek
This book is for leaders and its guiding principle is that “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” The main idea is that everything starts with clarity of “why”, and great leaders become great by communicating their beliefs in a way that inspires others to work towards goals that are bigger than themselves.
“Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones” James Clear
This book is for everyone and illustrates the impressive power of marginal improvements over time. The main idea is that success is the product of small, daily habits instead of huge, once in a lifetime transformations. Belief in your ability to change is the first and most important step towards self-improvement.
“Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike” Phil Knight
This book is for dreamers and tells the story of a company born from passion and a man’s tireless commitment to sharing that passion with the world, eventually building the most successful athletic footwear company in history. The driving principle is that work is truly meaningful when it’s fueled by passion and play.
“Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ” Daniel Goleman
This book is for listeners and shows you that having two fundamentally different minds—one that thinks (IQ) and one that feels (EQ)—is ultimately better than having one. The assertion is that feeling is what makes us human and is just as important as rational thought with regards to decision making.
“Born To Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen” Christopher McDougall
This book is for every single person with a beating heart and tells the story of a group of indigeonous Americans who never forgot the joy of running, showing you exactly how and why “running was mankind’s first fine art” and asserting that whether or not you like to exercise, we were all born to run.
“Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience” Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
This book is for gamers and anyone who likes challenges. It explores the difference between pleasure (instant gratification) and enjoyment (attention mastery), showing you that true happiness exists in that magical state where the challenges we face perfectly match the skills we’ve developed.
“Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life” Marshall Rosenberg
This book is for parents, teachers, coaches, mentors, and anyone interested in genuine connection and compassionate giving. It demonstrates ways to clearly communicate your needs and how you’d like them met, as well as how to listen to the feelings and needs of others in order to connect and help them.
“High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way” Brendon Burchard
This book is for anyone who believes in system-driven success. It explains how high performers consistently succeed beyond standard norms and how as a result of developing the right habits anyone can dramatically increase results and become a high performer in almost any field or endeavor.
Additional Books to Read
These didn’t make the Top 10 list, but they’re excellent books full of valuable insight.
“Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” Robert M. Pirsig
This book is by far the most thought provoking piece of literature I have ever read. It examines pre- and post-intellectual experience, philosophy, religion, consciousness, art, science, technology, quality, excellence, education, society and, as the title would suggest, motorcycles.
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business” Charles Duhigg
This book dives deep into the science of habit formation and reformation, then introduces us to keystone habits, which create a chain reaction of changes to a variety of other habits and ultimately impact all aspects of our lives.
“Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” David Allen
This book is for busy people with lots of responsibilities. It teaches you how to create a system of lists, reminders and weekly reviews, in order to free your mind from remembering dozens of tasks and to-dos. The ultimate goal is to allow your mind to focus on having new ideas instead of trying to hold onto old ones.
“The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach To Living A Good Life” Mark Manson
This book is for those who take personal responsibility. It’s guiding premise is that you are always choosing how to view the events and circumstances around you, so the sooner you learn to embrace uncertainty, failure, rejection, and your own mortality, the sooner you can take responsibility for your life and turn your pain into power.
“Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow” Yuval Noah
This book is for futurists and forward thinkers. It explores how dataism is accelerating the human pursuit of health, happiness and power, because future systems will make better decisions for us than we can make for ourselves, as well as the limitless potential of artificial intelligence, which will do infinity more work, faster and more efficiently than humans ever could.
“The 4-hour Work Week: Escape 9–5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich” Tim Ferris
This book is for entrepreneurs. It dismisses the long-standing notion that retirement is the end goal of work and instead focuses on developing mastery in any industry of your choosing then creating wealth through automation, which ultimately allows you to do all of the things that excite you whenever you want, wherever you want.
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