10 Philosophical Books That Will Stir Your Soul As You Stir Your Coffee

With all the rush that capitalism pushes on us, the strain of daily living, and the tension in carrying on with our everyday work, we all need to calm down sometimes.

We need a little more than just that routine rush. Our brains need to unwind and our hearts need a balm. Often, we need to just get off the radar and nurture ourselves, take a break, and get off the road.

Here are 10 books on philosophy that can stir your soul as you stir your morning coffee:

10. What Should I do with My life?, By Po Bronson

First Published: 2002

What It’s About:

We all have questions that nag us, that tear us down to our basic elements, and keep egging us to find the answers for.Po Bronson, in his book, What Should I Do With My Life? The True Story of People Who Answered the Ultimate Question provides us a collection of answers for the singular question: What should I do with my life?A list of remarkable individuals – young and old – managed to overcome fear, quell their own confusion, and forged ahead by finding out the truth about their own lives.

Why You Should Read It:

If you ever wondered what you are on earth for and if you ever felt an iota of self-doubt, frustration, or if you found yourself asking the ultimate question, get ready to find the answers through collective experience. Thanks to Po Bronson, you at least have an inkling of how others managed to find their way.

Best Quote:

“Interests evolve into hobbies or volunteer work, which grow into passions. It takes time, more time than anyone imagines.”

9. Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road to Self-love & Miracles, By Gabrielle Bernstein

First Published: 2011

What It’s About:

We often take ourselves too seriously. We subject ourselves to untold misery by doubting ourselves, doing things we shouldn’t, and chasing things we are better off without. For more time than that’s due, we are lost In our own misery.In the book Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road to Self-love & Miracles, Gabrielle Bernstein explains how she undergoes a spiritual journey that guides her on overcoming fear, change her perceptions, and create a life for yourself that you’d fall in love with.

Why You Should Read It:

Suffering from self-doubt? Do you believe that you deserve better? Is your life not on the path you wanted it to be on?Prepare to learn from Gabrielle’s own spiritual journey where she battles all of those things we all battle with but how she emerges after battling with her own issues, underlying securities, and her own undulating flow of life, with an addiction to her own life to boot.

Best Quote:

“I’ve learned that fear is simply an illusion based on past experiences that we project into the present and onto the future.”

8. The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul, BY Danielle LaPorte

First Published: 2014

What It’s About:

Most of us flounder with our goals. We set them up only to let them on the wayside. We chase them for a while and we give up on them. As a result, our goals almost always remain unfulfilled and we then begin to worry ourselves to death.As our goals remain unfulfilled and as we ache to meet the demands of the vigor of our daily lives, we call on stress, frustration, and unhappiness in general.It doesn’t have to be that way, and Danielle LaPorte now brings us a practical way to setup, manage, and work your way through your goals.

Why You Should Read It:

If you are even remotely ambitious (and more so if you are not ambitious and if you are just coasting along with your life), Danielle’s practical goal setting system helps you with holistic life-planning. She shows you the path to help you revolutionize your own path towards a life you deserve, and have always wanted.

Best Quote:

“Knowing how you actually want to feel is the most potent form clarity that you can have.”

7. Better than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives, By Gretchen Rubin

First Published: 2015

What It’s About:

Our habits determine who we are and where we’ll end up. Formative habits make you better and destructive habits, well, destroy you. Better Than Before is an old classic that delves into a concrete and solid framework to help you form better habits and change your existing habits for good.It provides you with the much-needed key to help transform yourself into a better version of you.

Why You Should Read It:

Habitually, most of us are off the charts. We struggle to get our habits in order so that we can live better, achieve the goals we set out for ourselves, and grow towards who we really deserve to be. Unfortunately, our own habits get in the way. Better Than Before is full of compelling research and easy humor making it both an easy read but also a valuable source to help transform your life with core principles of habit formation.

Best Quote:

“I should make one healthy choice, and then stop choosing.”

6. This I Know: Notes On Unraveling The Heart, By Susannah Conway

First Published: 2012

What It’s About:

Whoever said that a human life is simple? We have layers embedded in our own behavior, in our relationships, in our approach to work, and in the way we deal with people and circumstances. This I Know: Notes on Unravelling The Heart is all about unraveling those layers and exploring deep within. The book goes deep into how Susannah Conway uncovers these layers following her own resurrection after the sudden death of the man she loved.

Why You Should Read It:

Do you like comeback stories? How inspiring is it for you to find out how people get their wits – and circumstances — together to get back on life’s wagon? Pick up this book if you ever felt wounded after the loss of something or someone you love. It’s a soul-wrenching story that’d reveal how the author reshapes her life, makes peace with her past, and learns to appreciate herself.

Best Quote:

“If you live long enough, you’ll lose people you love.”

5. Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight In Our Busy Lives, By Wayne Muller

First Published: 2000

What It’s About:

Each morning we wake up, and we rush. We have work to go to, deadlines to meet, people who demand our time, things to do and we forever strive to strike a balance between work that helps us define ourselves and the life that we owe to ourselves. Somewhere along the way, we lose the rhythm of life. Sabbath: finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in our Busy Lives By Wayne Muller writes about Sabbath – an hour, a day, a week, a month, or even a year that helps you revive your lost rhythm and promises to get you back on track.

Why You Should Read It:

Caught up with work most of the time? Struggling to find work-life balance? Learn to make time for yourself, unwind, and pick up practical tips on how to refresh yourself periodically – including your mind, body, and soul to find your inner happiness.

Best Quote:

“Like a path through the forest, Sabbath creates a marker for ourselves so, if we are lost, we can find our way back to our center.”

4. Medidations, By Marcus Aurelius

First Published: 1909

What It’s About:

Meditations is one of the world’s most influential books, written by a Roman Emperor called Marcus Aurelius in 121 – 180 A.D. The emperor’s reign was beset with war and natural disasters and he sets down his private reflections revolving around code of conduct, honor, search for inner peace, happiness and more. While managing his empire in the midst of a stoic world, his private reflections or musings are almost relevant answers to even present day problems. The philosophy is a commitment to virtue, pleasure, and tranquility.

Why You Should Read It:

You might probably get the modernized version of the original verses but is now accessible to modern day readers. You get a practical and inspirational guide to face the challenges of everyday life, people, and circumstances. You’ll be introduced to some strong philosophical threads such as stoic detachment, personal conduct, will power, and perception.

Best Quote:

“From my mother, I learned piety and beneficence, and abstinence not only from evil deeds, but even from evil thoughts.”

3. The Moral Sayings of Publius Syrus: A Roman Slave, By Publius Syrus

First Published: 1856

What It’s About:

It is as old as it gets and you can’t have it better than this. Publius Syrus is a Syrian who was brought as a slave to Italy. His master, however, is impressed by his wit and talent and agrees to free him and educate him. What then follows in the book is a collection of moral maxims. The collection belongs to 2nd Century AD and while each of these maxims is only a single, pithy verses, they are full of mottos and insights that can be a refreshing way to look at things. It’s history, philosophy, and an old way of life – all rolled into one.

Why You Should Read It:

If you ever wondered how insightful, intelligent, and wise people in the 1st century BC were, here’s a book that tries to bring in some of that wisdom to you, right now. While the book is a little hard to read cover to cover, the philosophy you stand to gain is priceless.

Best Quote:

“The Judge is Condemned when the guilty is acquitted.”

2. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into values, By Robert M. Pirsig

First Published: 1974

What It’s About:

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig is one of the most influential books ever written that examines how we live, and exposes insights on how we can live better. Narrated in the format of a story, it follows a father and son duo’s on a motorcycle trip starting from America’s Northwestern region. It’s a story of love, fear, growth, self-discovery, acceptance, and adventure.

Why You Should Read It:

You’ll get a chance to not only enjoy a great story but also partake in the profound personal and philosophical odyssey that picks on life’s fundamental questions. It’ll ask, and it’ll seek. It’ll reveal and it’ll make you think. It’s not just a motorcycle trip; it’s a journey that packs in a punch with respect to self-reckoning, science, religion, and even humanism.

Best Quote:

“When one person suffers from illusion, it’s called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called Religion.”

1. Man’s Search for Meaning, By Viktor Frankl

First Published: 1946

What It’s About:

Something has to be said about the book Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. It’s a classic, a manual for motivation, and one of the best and the most impactful books ever written. The book is a chilling story of an eminent psychiatrist – Viktor Frankl – at Auschwitz and then a few other camps for three years during the second world war. The story is a full account of loss, suffering, brutality, and more. Viktor notices, in the middle of all this suffering, that some prisoners not only survive but also thrive. How is that possible? The question leads to Viktor’s ground-breaking theory called Logo therapy.

Why You Should Read It:

Get a glimpse of life before and during the brutal second world war. Go through the motions of a man held captive at concentration camps and feel your bones chill has he fills you up on the horrific tales he lived to see everyday.

Best Quote:

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

Conclusion

We owe it ourselves to help replenish our almost always depleting personal resources. Our energy, our live, and everything we do has a tendency to get to the law of diminishing returns.

By picking books such as those listed above, you have a chance to redeem your days and add some zing. Plus, you also get to expand your horizons and learn philosophies that can guide you well, for a long time to come.

Keeping sharing simple