Good books can completely change the way we see the world. Here, I will share 10 of my top pick philosophy books that will change your life forever through deepening your mind and the way you see the world. There are so many more incredible reads, I'm sure, to chose from but I am sharing my 10 favourite selects that I have personally read.
1. Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
“We had to learn ourselves and, furthermore, we had to teach the despairing men, that it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us.”
“The author is a holocaust survivor who used his experience to find his purpose in life. We are taught from a young age that we should make big plans and work our way toward realising our goals and dreams. We expect certain things from life. While this is a reasonable way to look at life, it isn't the reality of it: Life doesn’t always turn out the way we want it to, and many spirits are broken. In such times, we should remember that life also expects something from us. It will challenge us; and we can find as much meaning during times of struggle as we can in our successes.”
2. Meditations by Markus Aurelius
“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”
“It is a great book for how to live a good life. It is especially helpful for entrepreneurs and business people. It requires some amount of patience and commitment from the reader but it's definitely worth it.” Stick with it and you will not regret it, I promise!
3. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo
“We should be choosing what we want to keep, not what we want to get rid of.”
“Organizing your home isn’t just about making it look good. As Marie Kondo explains in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, it can have a huge effect on your productivity, your self-esteem, and all aspects of your life. This book is a step by step how-to guide for anyone having difficulties with a clutter problem, whether it’s physical clutter, mental clutter, or both. It’s a very practical philosophy book that’s easy to read and easy to apply to your own life.”
4. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k by Mark Manson
“Because once we become comfortable with the fact of our own death—the root terror, the underlying anxiety motivating all of life’s frivolous ambitions—we can then choose our values more freely, unrestrained by the illogical quest for immortality, and freed from dangerous dogmatic views.”
A super engaging and philosophical read. Author Mark Manson provides a philosophical and candid approach on how we can live a better life.
5. Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday
“Your potential, the absolute best you’re capable of—that’s the metric to measure yourself against. Your standards are. Winning is not enough. People can get lucky and win. People can be assholes and win. Anyone can win. But not everyone is the best possible version of themselves.”
“You will learn deep insights into the egoistic nature, master powerful emotions and how to recognize them, the importance of humility, and how to always stay a student. It explains how if the ego is not controlled it can destroy a person. He also mentions great philosophers like Howard Hughes, Genghis Khan, Socrates, and what we can learn from them. Must read for someone who wants to understand and discover ones’ self.”
6. Golf and Philosophy: Lessons from the Links by Andy Wible
“Just like the actual journey of a round of golf from hole 1 to hole 18, this book takes you on a journey through many philosophical questions and tries to look at them through the lens of a golfer. Once you get a deep understanding of anything you love, you will be able to recognise a lot of crucial questions reflected in this hobby and/or profession. This book might not be for everyone but I certainly loved it. If you have a deep interest in golf and philosophy, then this book will help you tackle some of the most human questions from a totally different perspective and with new impulses.”
7. The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu
“It is not happiness that makes us grateful, it’s gratefulness that makes us happy.”
“Although the truths and philosophies in this book are of great depth, it's an easy and enjoyable read. The 14th Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu have each have gone through significant hardship and loss and yet each has found true joy throughout. This book is about their week spent together in their later years and even though their experiences are very different, they both, together, have found the answer to and inspiration for experiencing joy.”
8. The Obstacle is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph by Ryan Holiday
“The Greeks had a word for this: apatheia. It’s the kind of calm equanimity that comes with the absence of irrational or extreme emotions. Not the loss of feeling altogether, just the loss of the harmful, unhelpful kind. Don’t let the negativity in, don’t let those emotions even get started. Just say: No, thank you. I can’t afford to panic.”
“Inspired by the Stoic philosophy of the ancient world, Ryan Holiday introduces readers to this philosophy in an open and easy to read manner. The book focuses on overcoming disappointments and problems therefore the timing is perfect for the current climate we are in. We have all had plenty of struggles due to the pandemic crisis in 2020. This book gives you practical examples and stories to regain perspective and find a way to preserve in the face of problems.”
9. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
“What makes his world so hard to see clearly is not its strangeness but its usualness). Familiarity can blind you too.”
“This book is a great first read for Philosophy lovers. The book follows the journey of a father and son across America. The story is classified by philosophical ideas which go from easy to challenging to understand. Certainly, this book makes you challenge your thought process and how the way you percieve yourself will affect the outcomes of your life and the world around you.”
10. A New Eartth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle
“Whenever you feel superior or inferior to anyone, that’s the ego in you.”
Why it’s Great: Spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle is a master of exploring difficult spiritual and philosophical topics like the ego, presence, and consciousness. In this enriching and uplighting guide to awakening your life's purpose, he explores how we can all let go of the toxic grip of the ego and enter a fulfilling state of full presence. I also highly recommend his book 'The Power of Now'