A good book can brighten a person’s mood, inspire creativity, encourage positive change, and bring a spark of happiness. Here are several books that can help lift the soul.
The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown
In her book “The Gifts of Imperfection,” American author, scholar and public speaker Brene Brown helps the reader find self-worth in an environment that dictates who, what, and how we should be.
The author shares, “Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
Media bombards people with stories and images that influence our perceptions. These messages somehow stress our imperfections and make us feel inadequate. As a result, we become blinded about what’s really important in life. We strive for that mental image of perfection and forget the essence of true happiness.
The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Miguel Ruiz
In his bestselling book “The Four Agreements,” the author Miguel Ruiz shares four principles that can invoke love and happiness. These simple rules have the ability to change people’s lives.
1. Be Impeccable with your Word. The author reminds readers to keep in mind that words can be very powerful. Words have the ability to lift or bring down a person’s spirit. They can encourage, inspire or give someone hope. On the other hand, callous words can hurt, put down or destroy an individual. Choose your words carefully. Be honest and mean what you say. Do not use words to spread rumors about other people. Focus on words that reflect truth and kindness.
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally. Ruiz shares, “Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally… Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own dream, in their own mind; they are in a completely different world from the one we live in. When we take something personally, we make the assumption that they know what is in our world, and we try to impose our world on their world.”
3. Don’t Make Assumptions. The author encourages every individual to ask questions and express his/her opinions and beliefs. Jumping into conclusions and putting blame on others can bring pain and create drama. A simple miscommunication can hurt feelings and affect relationships. People should avoid making assumptions in order to prevent misunderstandings.
4. Always Do Your Best. Ruiz explains, “Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.”
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Paulo Coelho is a Brazilian lyricist and novelist. His famous novel, “The Alchemist” sold over 200 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 80 languages.
“The Alchemist” inspires readers to find their destiny and pursue their dreams. The story revolves around a young and adventurous shepherd from the south of Spain named Santiago. He has a recurring dream about discovering a treasure. Convinced that he is predestined to find this treasure , he leaves his home and begins a quest to fulfill his destiny.
Here are some beautiful quotes from “The Alchemist”:
- “It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”
- “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
- “When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”
- “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
- “The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.”
- “Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”
- “This is what we call love. When you are loved, you can do anything in creation. When you are loved, there’s no need at all to understand what’s happening, because everything happens within you.”
- “We are travelers on a cosmic journey,stardust,swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share.This is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.”
A Better Way to Live by Og Mandino
Og Mandino, the late American author wrote several bestselling books including “The Greatest Salesman in the World”. His books have sold over 50 million copies around the globe and have been translated into more than twenty-five different languages.
In his book “A Better Way to Live,” the inspirational author describes how alcohol ruled his life and how he almost drowned in despair. Mandino shares how the works of Aristotle, Emerson, Ben Franklin, and Plato led to his spiritual awakening and freed him from misery.
Mandino enumerates the following seventeen rules in his book to encourage others not to lose hope and find a way to live better. These simple and easy-to-follow rules can help people to overcome feelings of failure, grief, desperation, and self-pity.
- Count your blessings.
- Deliver more than what you are getting paid to do.
- Do not dwell on your past mistakes.
- Surround yourself with your family especially if you spend long hours away from them.
- Build this day on a foundation of pleasant thoughts.
- Let your action speak louder than your words. But be careful of conceit and pride.
- Look at each day as a gift from God.
- Do not spend your days on unnecessary clutter but on productive tasks.
- Live each day as though it was your last.
- Treat everyone you know or meet as though you will be dead by midnight.
- Laugh at yourself and at life.
- Never neglect the little things.
- Welcome every morning with a smile.
- Set your goals on a daily basis.
- Never allow anyone or anything to rain on your parade.
- Search for the seed of good in every adversity.
- Realize that true happiness lies within you.