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In a year full of ugly politics, natural disasters and an ongoing pandemic, maintaining a positive outlook can seem like a fool’s errand. While the world may not be all sunshine and roses at the moment, that doesn’t mean you have to get dragged down with it. Even during the most difficult times, it’s still possible to maximize your life satisfaction.
Reading is one of the best ways out of a rut of negativity. By drawing from the perspectives of others, you can start to develop a philosophy that will help get you where you want to be. Here are some of the best books to help you do just that.
1. An Extraordinarily Ordinary Life: Lessons Learned by Tim Carlin
Leading a satisfying life doesn’t necessarily mean upending the world. Sometimes the greatest satisfaction is found in the simplest of things. An Extraordinarily Ordinary Life is an empowering look into how we can achieve meaning from some of the most seemingly mundane aspects of living. Tim Carlin uses this book to impart the wisdom of the small change, showing that not every step towards happiness needs to be a leap.
The workweek may only be 40 hours for most, but everyone knows that your career defines so much more of your life than that. Doug Foley interviewed more than 150 of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs and found that they only seemed to have one thing in common: They built themselves the careers they wanted to have. Breakout Blueprint is a how-to guide for doing just the same; reading it can give you the tools you need to make the job you want to have.
3. Build What Matters: Delivering Key Outcomes with Vision-Led Product Management by Ben Foster and Rajesh Nerlikar
It doesn’t matter how good you are at what you do. If you’re not doing something that makes life better for other people, it’s not going to satisfy you. Build What Matters focuses on putting customer needs back in the center of product management, but all readers should follow the command of its title. Use your expertise to benefit others, and the results will be increased happiness for yourself, your coworkers, your customers and society at large.
4. Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor
Breathing is perhaps the single most fundamental component of human life, and yet it is also one of the most under-considered. Living a satisfying life doesn’t just mean getting the job you want — it also means refining your daily habits to make you happier and healthier too. Breath is James Nestor’s deep dive into what breathing does for us and how we can do it better. It may sound simple, but the results of a more intentional breathing pattern can be profound.
5. Loving Your Business: Rethink Your Relationship with Your Company and Make It Work for You by Debbie King
Making headway as an entrepreneur is never easy, and sometimes the journey can cause you to lose sight of what made you start it in the first place. If you don’t love your business, no one else will. With Debbie King’s guidance, entrepreneurs can transform their relationship with their businesses while they scale. Loving Your Business outlines the mindset shift many business owners need to form healthier relationships with customers, employees and, most importantly, their companies.
6. Becoming a Leader of Impact: How Your Influence Can Change the World by Braden Douglas
While it’s entirely possible to find satisfaction in a normal life, many entrepreneurs are hungry for something greater. Becoming a Leader of Impact is a look at how business leaders can turn their positions of power into conduits for positive change, making the world a better place at the same time. Braden Douglas has distilled a career’s worth of insight into one short book, making it a must-read for those looking to become the best kind of leader.
7. An Introvert’s Guide to World Domination: Become a High Level Networker and Upgrade Your Life by Nick Shelton
For the shyest among us, networking can seem like an impossible task. An Introvert’s Guide to World Domination may not live up to the hyperbole of its title, but it’s still a great framework for understanding how real, personal connections in business can be made without Hollywood levels of charm.
Now more than ever, finding satisfaction in daily life is key. While doing so is easier said than done, learning how others before you have done so can make the process that much simpler. Why not do so with a book?