Books on Finding Your Purpose in Life and Work

Book Stack

This post will dive into how we can discover everything we are made to be, and by correctly interpreting what the finer things in life are, appreciate each day as it comes, by virtue of its indication of our continual attempt to transition from existing to living.

We will ascertain some knowledge on the matter of purpose and its relevance to life and work, while gleaning nuggets of wisdom from those who walked the walk before us, leaving trails of their shrewdness through their life’s work.

As we begin to pick up our map, magnifying glass and other essentials, take all findings with a grain of salt, for in the same way that our bodies are different when targeting the same muscle or muscle group despite doing the exact same exercise, that training routine works more favourably for one person than it does the other.

The same goes for diet, therefore, learn as much as possible from what will be uncovered along the way, experiment with each thing until all ingredients combine to produce the most sensational outcome.

Pizza Time
Which do you prefer, to eat out or meal delivery? If you travel, a restaurant or room service?

Most people love a good slice or a whole box of pizza, but the only way it really tastes great is having it one piece at a time.

Similarly to exploring your life, it is made up of one whole pizza box. You have your:

  • Business/Career
  • Relationship/Marital
  • Spiritual
  • Recreation/Fun Time
  • Social
  • Legacy
  • Community
  • Personal
  • Workout/Training

NB: Since this post is about books on finding your purpose in life and work, I will list the books I get some of my info from along the way.

The above list was taken from Jack Canfield’s Success Principles. I do recall a time when I listened to a man in an equivalent field by the name of Brian Tracy who mentioned that:

You can get anything you want in life as long as you want it badly enough, are willing to work long and hard enough and are willing to pay the price for it.

Cost of Success
I love noting how worthwhile things in life are worth fighting for with patience. That price is what most people are not willing to pay.

I love a post I read somewhere that said, “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary”. Sometimes success may require some measure of monetary capital but not always.

Now that we know what our lives are made of and what it takes to get there, let us explore the idea further.

The Breakdown
In the same way, we dealt with pizza slices for the portion of our lives, some components to the complete culmination of your purpose in life and work come into play as well. Namely, productivity and contentment.

How do these two fit together like hand in glove? It is my understanding that productivity deals with efficiency and performing multiple tasks in a short space of time while achieving optimum results.

Contentment focuses on being grateful for what you have, whether little or much both in good times and bad.

One may argue that it ultimately involves the combination of all those pizza pieces classified above.

If our lives are broken, it would be wise to consider what, out of the 9 segments, is missing.

Between the two principles, we will only concentrate on elaborating on one for now. Here is what Visually states on the value of productivity:

Productivity Lessons

Here is what the bottom caption for each image says:

  1. 5 completed small tasks are likely to bring you more satisfaction than one big task being 50% completed.
  2. Your brain is 60 000 times more productive when processing visuals. Why not visualize your plans?
  3. Studies prove that if you write down your goals, you are 33% more likely to achieve them.
  4. 41% of a knowledge worker’s daily tasks could be handled more competently if they were delegated.
  5. GTD methodology recommends: if a task takes less than 2 minutes, then tackle it without delay.
  6. Only 10.2% of early birds feel overworked vs 26.7% of night owls.
  7. Switching between multiple tasks decreases your productivity by 40% and lowers your IQ by 10 points.
  8. We retain 75% of what we learn by doing compared to 5% when just listening.
  9. 56.7% of people motivated by good mood, while a possible reward encourages efficiency in just 42.1% of employees.

As we bear these things in mind, many hours of trial and error must be endured in order to bloom in the beauty of each day as it comes.

To immerse yourself deeper in further study of the subject here are some recommendations:

a) Getting things done by David Allen,  communicates the necessity of doing as many assignments, programs and activities as quickly as possible so that your mind can be free to properly think about key things in your day, and execute them well.

b) The Power of Habit with Charles Duhigg whose book is said to be the most sought-after on productivity, as that finds its source in the way you diagnose and change your habits.

c) The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz centres on the wise use of your energy to get the most of what you need to complete.

d) Getting Results the Agile Way is where J.D. Meier, promotes the emphasis of a results-oriented plan that allows for short and long-term goals, while flexible enough to be integrated into your current time-management system.

If you do not have one, now you have found one!

e) Linchpin is Seth Godin’s amazing reminder to evaluate what you have been doing and rethink your patterns and work.

It draws forth the concept of being indispensable through taking calculated risks and breaking mental barriers.

f) The Happiness Adventure by way of Shawn Achor’s simple and straightforward thinking breaks down things you can do in everyday life to be happier.

It teaches this notion by changing the perspective of conventional wisdom.

g) Decisive is Chip and Dan Health’s encouragement to make superior choices, which is pivotal to gaining the discipline to lead an efficient life.

h) The 4-Hour Workweek with Timothy Ferris is the book that has created the biggest buzz. Most self-help coaches and courses endorse it as part of the development process.

Working smart and learning to outsource portions of your work is something that bears great value and much relevance today.

More Than Money
From what we have revealed thus far, finding purpose has to do with meaning in life, which cannot be obtained without some measure of contribution to society

This is how one describes as having found purpose in something, satisfaction acquired through putting your hands to work, as the saying goes: Idle hands are the devil’s workshop, however, the other part of the equation deals with your reason for work.

An article from Psychology Today beautifully clarifies the link between the two.

Let us take a look at the results of why most employees are unsatisfied at their workplace:

Job Dissatisfaction.png

Paying careful attention to this you find that the sections from the salary to the lack of employees being challenged,  there is a gradual decline because appeasement is usually closely related to receiving exactly those things.

When compared to what a company with happy employees looks like, observe the top reasons:

Job Satisfaction
Argo  Sight Blog

If you notice, Salary comes in much later after factors pertaining to staff appreciation has taken place., that is what contributes to career opportunities and a sense of significance.

The point here is if money is your goal then stress and delay may accompany you in the process, but if providing value is your target in both work and every other part of your life, you are bound to hit it at least 90% of the time.

Living Life On Purpose
There is an element of intentionality that comes from finding your purpose. Desire must be birthed together with the resolve to carry it through.

Robert Kiyosaki in his book Why A Students Work For C Students points out how the education system was created to raise employees, meaning without the training geared towards building a business or creating jobs, people are then forced to work in positions they are either overqualified for or is slightly out of their industry.

It is my belief that primary and secondary scholastic institutions need to embed in the system a mandatory career guidance course.

This then allows for clarity on the appropriate subjects for equipping the student for the chosen career path.

Tertiary institutions must devise a syllabus that incorporates vocational training so that students are able to apply for jobs with a decent amount of experience under their belt.

Finally, compulsory critical thinking classes to naturally infuse in students a problem-solving mindset will cause many new businesses to spring forth, a foundation or prerequisite, if you will, to the discovery of purpose.

Below are more suggestions for research on the subject of finding your purpose in life:

What On Earth Are We Doing Here– is a book that has K.W.C taking readers on a journey to uncovering their purpose from the perspective of human’s intrinsic need. Something to consider earnestly.

48 Days To The Work You Love is about Dan Miller guiding readers through the notion that the right job for you is the one that is powered by your calling.

Satisfaction in your work is determined by your God-given abilities, values and other components to creating a life filled with purpose.

The Big Leap is how Gay Hendricks leads you to a life of success by showing you how to tear down the obstacles along the way known as false fear and limiting beliefs.

Man’s Search For Meaning is how psychiatrist Viktor E Frankl ushers you into understanding that life is better viewed from the lens of longlasting value rather than immediate gratification.

It is about the pursuit and discovery of what we find meaningful.

Refuse To Choose is an in-depth versatile book that helps you take advantage of all your interests, as opposed to zoning in on just one thing.

With the craze of being pushed to one direction for your life, this book challenges that and suggests using all desires for the betterment and progression of your life.

Purpose Driven Life is where Rick Warren helps reveal God’s purpose for your life in the here and now. Once your purpose is understood, it aids in reducing stress and simplifying your life.

Final Thought
Our journey has brought us to the realization that our work is closely related to our purpose for it is how we see that what we do brings joy to both ourselves and to others.

Contentment permits balance in any situation, whether we have much or little, as this cultivates good discipline in everything we do.

We were created to become someone worthwhile to those around us in the three dominant places in our lives: home, work and church.



When we begin to see how our gifts, talents, knowledge, wisdom and insight ultimately impact those in our sphere of influence, we conduct ourselves differently due to the revelation of our being part of something so much greater than ourselves.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s