According to the Japanese, everyone has an ikigai – a reason for living. And according to the residents of the Japanese village with the world’s longest-living people, finding it is the key to a happier and longer life. Having a strong sense of ikigai-where what you love, what you’re good at, what you can get paid for, and what the world needs all overlap—means that each day is infused with meaning. It’s the reason we get up in the morning. It’s also the reason many Japanese never really retire (in fact there’s no word in Japanese that means retire in the sense it does in English): They remain active and work at what they enjoy, because they’ve found a real purpose in life-the happiness of always being busy.
In researching this book, the authors interviewed the residents of the Japanese village with the highest percentage of 100-year-olds—one of the world’s Blue Zones. Ikigai reveals the secrets to their longevity and happiness: how they eat, how they move, how they work, how they foster collaboration and community, and—their best-kept secret-how they find the ikigai that brings satisfaction to their lives. And it provides practical tools to help you discover your own ikigai. Because who doesn’t want to find happiness in every day?
2. Man’s Search For Meaning
Man’s Search for Meaning is a 1946 book by Viktor Frankl chronicling his experiences as a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps during World War II, and describing his psychotherapeutic method, which involved identifying a purpose in life to feel positive about, and then immersively imagining that outcome.
3. The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*CK
In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger shows us that the key to being happier is to stop trying to be “positive” all the time and instead to become better at handling adversity.
For decades we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life.
But those days are over. “Fck positivity,” Mark Manson says. “Let’s be honest; sometimes things are fcked up and we have to live with it.” For the past few years, Manson–via his wildly popular blog–has been working on correcting our delusional expectations for ourselves and for the world. He now brings his hard-fought wisdom to this groundbreaking book.
4. The Alchemist
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho continues to change the lives of its readers forever. With more than two million copies sold around the world, The Alchemist has established itself as a modern classic, universally admired.
Paulo Coelho’s masterpiece tells the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found.
The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories can, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, above all, following our dreams.
5. Atomic Habits
No matter your goals, Atomic Habits offers a proven framework for improving–every day. James Clear, one of the world’s leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results.
If you’re having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn’t you. The problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves again and again not because you don’t want to change, but because you have the wrong system for change. You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. Here, you’ll get a proven system that can take you to new heights.
6. The Art of Thinking Clearly
A world-class thinker counts the 100 ways in which humans behave irrationally, showing us what we can do to recognize and minimize these “thinking errors” to make better decisions and have a better life
Despite the best of intentions, humans are notoriously bad—that is, irrational—when it comes to making decisions and assessing risks and tradeoffs. Psychologists and neuroscientists refer to these distinctly human foibles, biases, and thinking traps as “cognitive errors.” Cognitive errors are systematic deviances from rationality, from optimized, logical, rational thinking and behavior. We make these errors all the time, in all sorts of situations, for problems big and small: whether to choose the apple or the cupcake; whether to keep retirement funds in the stock market when the Dow tanks, or whether to take the advice of a friend over a stranger.
7. The Power Of Habit
Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed.
Distilling vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives that take us from the boardrooms of Procter & Gamble to sidelines of the NFL to the front lines of the civil rights movement, Duhigg presents a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential.
At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. As Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.