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5 Books to Read When You’re Soul-Searching

5 Books to Read When You're Soul Searching

When you want to make a big change in your career, you usually undergo a period of soul-searching as well.

You feel lost. You wonder who you are, why you’re doing what you’re doing, and how you’ll ever get to the next place. At times like this, it really helps to have a community, but it’s also nice to have helpful books to read when you’re soul-searching. Here are some of my favorites.

5 Books to Read When You’re Soul-Searching

1 | The Four Agreements

Every human should read this book. The idea is that we “agree” with all of our beliefs, even the ones that are damaging. The path to freedom is to break the harmful agreements and make new, healthy ones. Four of them. If you feel like nothing is going your way, people are horrible, or you still don’t get what you deserve even though you try really hard, start with this book.

“That is why we need a great deal of courage to challenge our own beliefs. Because even if we know we didn’t choose all these beliefs, it is also true that we agreed to all of them. ”

— Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements

2 | The Art of Possibility

Feel stuck? Trapped by circumstance? This book is for you. Don’t worry; this book will not just tell you to change your mind and think happy thoughts (‘cause no one feeling stuck wants to hear that). But it will tell you amazing stories and give you mind-bending challenges that will allow you to see past your perceived limitations. Read. Underline. Reread. Hug. Reread.

“In the measurement world, you set a goal and strive for it. In the universe of possibility, you set the context and let life unfold.”

— Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander, The Art of Possibility

3 | Man’s Search For Meaning

Written by Holocaust survivor and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl, this book is about finding meaning in life, even in the worst of circumstances. Perfect if you need a healthy dose of perspective and are searching for meaning, yourself.

“We needed to stop asking ourselves the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life—daily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct.”

— Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

4 | The Crossroads of Should and Must

There are things you should do, and there are things you feel you must do. At that crossroads, which do you choose? This is a delightful book filled with personal storied, illustrations, and short exercises. Good if you’ve got a bad case of the “shoulds” and are looking to shake things up.

“She said, ‘Have you ever tried to look for your dream in real life?’ […] I refused to consider it, but her question lingered, and eventually, I began to wonder…When you decide to look for your dreams in real life, where do you go? Craigslist, I thought.”

— Elle Luna, The Crossroads of Should and Must

5 | The Alchemist

Could any list of soul-searching books be complete without The Alchemist? Pick this one up if you’d rather read a story instead of non-fiction. Learn about your own epic journey as you follow the story of Santiago, a young shepherd.

“When I have been truly searching for my treasure, I’ve discovered things along the way that I never would have seen had I not had the courage to try things that seemed impossible for a shepherd to achieve.”

— Paulo Coehlo, The Alchemist

Have a favorite book to read when you’re soul-searching that I missed? I’d love for you to share it in the comments.

  1. melissaanderson2003@hotmail.com says:

    I love being introduced to new books so thank you! I’ve read The Alchemist & The Four Agreements which are both beautiful. Man’s Search for Meaning has popped up quite a few times in the past few months so maybe that’s a sign a need to read it… I haven’t heard of the other 2 so will be looking them up today. 🙂

  2. aishwarya.dg@gmail.com says:

    Oh i wouldn’t leave out Martha Beck’s "Finding Your Own North Star" 🙂 🙂
    I will definitely go read Victor Frankl and Elle Luna. Thank you for the suggestions 🙂 🙂

  3. Stephanie Woodward says:

    The Big Leap is one of my favourites when it comes to soul searching. I re-read it whenever I feel myself on the cusp of change, or when I’m stepping into a new chapter (or, ahem, contemplating a new chapter and am feeling quite chicken sh** about the whole thing)

  4. Samruddhi Bhagat says:

    sophie’s choice

  5. Tracy says:

    It’s a Christian author, so may not appeal to some, but I really enjoyed ‘The Best Yes’ by Lysa Terkheurst. Really puts into perspective how to use your time wisely, as there are many things in our lives vying for attention, many that are good, but saying ‘yes’ too much is unhealthy.

  6. Sarah says:

    Thank you for these. Two of them were already on my list and I’ve read one. Getting to the other two soon. Man’s search for meaning truly has answers 🙌🏽

  7. Winnifred says:

    The Holy Bible is also a great read for soul searching, especially if you are a Christian. 🖒

  8. Amey says:

    Extremely catchy content…Read Alchemist which was delightful experience. Up for other three books.
    Thanks

  9. Tisha says:

    Are these only good for career choices or would they be helpful on a personal level too?

    • Laura Simms says:

      Hi Tisha! These books are not career specific, so they’re great on a personal level. Hope you find something here that speaks to you.

  10. Anja says:

    Okay I love this post. Gotta save this and search for books. Thank you.

  11. Margaret E. Owens says:

    ” The Road Less Traveled”, Scott Peck. Classic reread too.

  12. Shilpa Kulkarni says:

    Illusions by Richard Bach is a book I would suggest.

  13. Carol says:

    Man’s search for meaning is truly soul searching!

  14. Kalpana says:

    For me “End the struggle and dance with life ” by Susan Jeffers was the book that started my journey of searching for meaning ., up I’ve found that the underlying themes of most soul searching books are principles taught by the Bhagawat Gita which are universal and applicabale to all mankind.

  15. Up says:

    Thanks for the list … Reading Coran with an open mind is also great for soul searching

  16. Jeri says:

    Each book sounds interesting and helpful for my newly found soul searching. I have no idea who I really am. I hoping for a miracle and lots of work, to totally overcome this issue. Am looking forward to all it will offer.
    Jeri.

  17. Rita Singh says:

    Seat of the soul by Gary zukav………… There is something beyond the senses…… Which is multi dimensional…. Worth a read…

  18. Maheshwari HariKumar says:

    Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach is a really good read. Thanks for the post.

  19. Edna Rios says:

    Return to Love, by Marianne Williamson. Its a life changing book.

  20. Vicki Wedge says:

    The Traveler’s Gift. Iys a wonderful book that changed my life.
    vwedge60@gmail.com

  21. Nice says:

    You should also include in the list, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F$ck” by Mark Manson.

  22. Gayle Lewallen says:

    May 9, 2020
    Hines Feet on High Places is one of my favorites! Thanks for all of the suggestions!
    Gayle Lewallen

  23. Smita says:

    I ve read some of them, which have been highlighted here.They are really good. But one thing that I keep on coming back to is, the Bhagwat Gita. I read the latter after reading some of these and other books on the same lines, before reading Gita. As it’s generally recognised as a religious text, I dint think that would interest me. But as I read it, one thing I realised is that one should never make assumptions on others opinions, for it was very much like a manual to guide our journeys than anything else. And even after reading other books, I keep coming back to it, because in nut shell all of these books are based on the same premise, the difference being that , it puts all the conclusions together and connects them too, so that it can guide us every time we are in a delimna. One other book that impacted me a lot was- The New Earth by Eckheart Tolle. Actually it seems to be the perfect read in these difficult times and it helps make a lot of sense of the current situation, giving answers to the riddles of the universe and also to an extent helps in accepting the situation.

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