I am a huge advocate for reading. I think it is a lost art, and yet when we find a book we love, we advocate for it and tell everyone about it because of the impact it has had on our lives.
The truth is, we don't read enough anymore.
No matter what your goals are in life, or what you are striving to achieve, it's important to remember that the true beauty of it all is already happening right here, right now. And sometimes the best way to remember that is to sit down, take a deep breath, and get lost in a good book.
1. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma
This story puts a modern twist on Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist.
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari is a simple tale of how a lawyer obsessed with success decided to embark on a personal journey to find purpose and inner contentment.
It's a quick read, but enjoyable nonetheless--and does a fine job showing the difference of worlds between grinding toward a reward and enjoying the journey.
2. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
A cult classic, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is a beautifully told story that can't help but raise all the right questions in the reader's mind. Although its topics extend far beyond the world of business and even personal fulfillment, and delve further into science, religion, and human nature, the story speaks volumes in terms of what is truly important in life.
Reading this book, if nothing else, will remind you to take the time to contemplate things a bit deeper than your to-do list.
3. The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
Probably the most popular book when it comes to work-life balance, Ferriss has built a massive following off his approach to life.
In short, he walks readers through tactical ways to increase earnings without increasing the amount of time you spend slaving away at your desk. His belief, however, is that it all begins with frame of mind. Life is yours to design, so take the time to design it right.
4. Enough: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life by John C. Bogle
Bogle, the founder of the Vanguard Mutual Fund Group, is in a position to give a voice to the way investors make money--and how sometimes the original intention can get lost in the noise. He speaks to the reality of wealth chasing, and how a simple action of investing and wanting to accumulate wealth can suddenly become a destructive obsession.
Extreme cases or not, sometimes these first-hand accounts are the best reminders to keep things in check and remember that "value" means much more than the number of zeros in your bank account.
5. Off Balance by Matthew Kelly
And finally, a great read in this category is Off Balance. Kelly's belief is that work-life balance, and our attempt to achieve it, is doomed before we've even begun.
He suggest it's not balance we want, but "satisfaction."
Off Balance is essentially a step-by-step guide on how to be "satisfied," which is a very different way of approaching this thing we would otherwise call "balance." It's a helpful read, it's full of tactical solutions, and most of all, it's another subtle reminder that how much money we make is not what's important.
What's important is that it satisfies us.