The start of a new year brings a new flow of messages from the media encouraging us to lose weight, quit sugar, give up alcohol, exercise more, and the list goes on. Amongst this media noise, we like to take a different approach as we enter a new year with these inspiring books for a ‘content’ life – seeking satisfaction not in creating elaborate resolutions that will unlikely have follow through, but instead working towards being content with what we already have.
Join us in starting 2019 on a positive note with three of our favourite inspiring reads (some re-reads) for finding long-lasting joy and happiness, caring less about the things that don’t really matter, and taking an active role in making your life one that you are “content” with.
Inspiring Books for the Year Ahead
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k
This refreshing read cuts through the “let’s-all-feel-good” noise to show us how to stop trying to be positive all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.
For decades, we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. “F**k positivity,” Mark Manson says. “Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it.” He tells it like it is – a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. Manson makes the argument, backed both by academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited – “not everybody can be extraordinary, there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault.”
There are only so many things we can give a f**k about so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. This book is a much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real-talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humour to help you lead a contented, grounded life.
The Book of Joy
‘I want to wish all of you joy―because there is no better gift. Two spiritual masters, the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, share their wisdom in this uplifting book. I promise you, it’s the best $26 you can spend.’ – Oprah Winfrey
Nobel Peace Prize Laureates His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu have survived more than fifty years of exile and the soul-crushing violence of oppression. Despite their hardships – or, as they would say, because of them – they are two of the most joyful people on the planet.
In April 2015, Archbishop Tutu travelled to the Dalai Lama’s home in Dharamsala, India, to celebrate His Holiness’s eightieth birthday and to create this book as a gift for others. They looked back on their long lives to answer a single burning question: how do we find joy in the face of life’s inevitable suffering? They traded intimate stories, teased each other continually, and shared their spiritual practices. By the end of a week filled with laughter and punctuated with tears, these two global heroes had stared into the abyss and despair of our times and revealed how to live a life brimming with joy.
Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life
We all have an ikigai, even if we don’t know it yet. Ikigai translates as ‘a reason to live’ or ‘a reason to jump out of bed in the morning’. It’s the place where your needs, desires, ambitions, and satisfaction meet: a point of perfect balance, and perfect fulfilment.
On the Japanese island of Okinawa, people live longer than anywhere else in the world. There, finding your ikigai is considered the key to longevity – and to happiness. The Okinawans know that all lives are valuable; for them, your ikigai is the lens that will help bring your value into focus.
Authors, García and Miralles, deliver clear, succinct information about diet, exercise, stress, sleep, and meditation. They have skilfully compiled key ideas related to physical and mental wellbeing into an engaging, easily accessible format with lists, charts, and illustrations. They explain clearly why each recommended action is critical and make it easy for the reader to take immediate steps – the book persuasively shows that small changes can help readers find more joy and purpose in their lives.
Both inspiring and comforting, this book will help you uncover your own ikigai and equip you to change your life. Leave stress and urgency behind, and throw yourself into finding your purpose, nurturing your friendships and pursuing your passions. Make every day of your life joyful and meaningful with Ikigai.