The Top 10 Must-Read Books About Finding Yourself

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What does it mean to “find yourself”? Is there such a thing as a true, immutable self? 

As your life unfolds, you remain the same person, yet you also change in response to your life experiences. Therefore, the journey of finding yourself is lifelong. 

To help you navigate this journey, we’ve compiled a roundup of the top 10 must-read books about finding yourself. 

Who Are You, Really?

Many people lead fragmented and empty lives full of suffering and confusion because they lack a deep understanding of who they really are. But fortunately, there’s an infallible expert on the subject of who you are: you. You’re the only one with firsthand knowledge of what it’s like to be yourself.

So, how do you figure out who you really are—at your very core? The following books about finding yourself offer perspectives worth exploring.

The Untethered Soul

In The Untethered Soul, spiritual teacher Michael A. Singer, founder of the Temple of the Universe meditation center and a pioneering figure in the world of medical software, teaches you how to use your direct self-knowledge as an intuitive tool for spiritual awakening. Combining powerful principles with practical techniques, he shows you how to free yourself from false identities and live an enlightened life of peace, joy, creativity, and divine love.

The Seat of the Soul

The Seat of the Soul is Gary Zukav’s best-selling exploration into the soul’s purpose and how to align your life with it by developing your intuition and tapping into your heart’s knowledge. Zukav argues that humans are primarily spiritual beings living in the material world. Our souls have incarnated in order to learn lessons and fulfill a mission, and ultimately to evolve. Therefore, Zukav says, our true life’s purpose is to become fully aligned with our souls in order to help them evolve. However, humans have become disconnected from our spiritual nature, and this causes much sorrow and suffering in the world. Zukav says we need to tune into our souls and to messages from the universe and our spirit guides, so we can fulfill our soul’s mission and aid in its evolution.

The Alchemist

The Alchemist is a story of transformation. But rather than transforming lead into gold, Paulo Coelho teaches us, through the story of a shepherd boy who has the courage to follow his dreams, the power of transformation for our lives.

Coelho is a Brazilian novelist who has published over 30 literary works, from the 1980s to the present. In 1986 he walked the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage road and had a spiritual awakening that inspired the direction of his work going forward. To date, The Alchemist, published in 1988, is Coelho’s best-known work, and it was an international bestseller.

12 Rules for Life

Author Jordan Peterson argues that modern secularism and reliance on science has left a void in answers to important existential questions: What is the point of living? Why do bad things happen to good people? What am I supposed to do to make myself happier? 12 Rules for Life addresses these questions and gives a set of life principles to live by. Learn why you should stop telling lies to others and yourself, why you should stop doing things you know are bad for you, and how to pursue what is truly meaningful for you.

Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad Gita is a conversation between Prince Arjuna and Krishna, a mortal incarnation of the god Vishnu. Arjuna is worried about an upcoming battle for succession, since he will be fighting against his kinsmen. In explaining why Arjuna should fight, Krishna goes over a wide variety of spiritual and religious topics relating to dharma, karma, spirituality, and the cycle of reincarnation.

The Fifth Agreement

In The Fifth Agreement, don Miguel Ruiz and don Jose Ruiz describe five “agreements” to make with yourself that adjust the way you see the world and your place in it. According to the authors, these agreements are a series of intuitively common-sense principles we are all aware of, but which few of us actually practice. Those who have mastered the five agreements, the authors say, completely accept themselves as they are, and accept everyone else as they are—and the result is eternal happiness.

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari is a parable centered on Julian, a hotshot-lawyer-turned-monk, and his former colleague John. Julian shares with John what he’s learned from studying with a near-mythological group of monks in India who know the secrets to enlightenment. His lessons teach how to live a simple, fulfilling, and happy life.

Eat Pray Love

Elizabeth Gilbert’s life imploded after she filed for divorce from her husband when she was 30 years old. She was still reeling from their contentious separation when she fell in love with someone else. But when this love ended, she fell into a deep depression. She knew something drastic needed to happen to save her life. She decided to embark on a year-long journey to Italy, India, and Indonesia to find pleasure, spiritual guidance, and harmony in her soul. Eat Pray Love depicts Gilbert’s journey of reinventing herself. It is the story of her learning to move out of the darkness and into the light.

The Way of Integrity

Does something in your life feel “off?” If so, you may not be living in alignment with your true self. In The Way of Integrity, Martha Beck seeks to connect readers with their inner truths and lead them to a life of happiness, well-being, and spiritual growth. She argues that each of us has a deep, personal nature that tells us who we want to be and how we want to live. However, we lose touch with this nature as we internalize messages from our culture that tell us to chase things we don’t really want.

Final Words

If you don’t understand yourself at a deep level—what drives you, what scares you, and what you ultimately want out of life—you’re doomed to live in conflict with yourself. Unfortunately, this is how many people live out their lives—pulled in different directions because they lack a deep understanding of who they are at their core. 

These books about finding yourself are full of thoughtful ideas that will help you reflect and answer the most important question you can ask yourself: Who am I, really?

The Top 10 Must-Read Books About Finding Yourself

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Darya Sinusoid

Darya’s love for reading started with fantasy novels (The LOTR trilogy is still her all-time-favorite). Growing up, however, she found herself transitioning to non-fiction, psychological, and self-help books. She has a degree in Psychology and a deep passion for the subject. She likes reading research-informed books that distill the workings of the human brain/mind/consciousness and thinking of ways to apply the insights to her own life. Some of her favorites include Thinking, Fast and Slow, How We Decide, and The Wisdom of the Enneagram.

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