Best Books on Finding Your Passion and Purpose in Life
Do you enjoy what you do?
Do you find yourself feeling unfulfilled at work?
Are you lost when it comes to finding your passion?
Passion and purpose are different but closely related. Passion is about loving what you do, while the purpose is about knowing why you do something. Both are critical for success.
If you want more passion and meaning in life, read the following books. They would inspire you to do work that you love.
Bonus: My Book on Pursuing Passion
Note: The way I look at my books will never be the same as the way I look at other books, so to be fair I rather keep them off the list.
Fearless Passion by Yong Kang Chan
For me, finding your passion is a self-discovery process. It’s not a linear process. It’s not something which you figure out and is stuck with it.
The only way to know whether your passion is your passion is to do it and test it out. Although this book depicts my journey from an accountant to an animator, I ended becoming a writer and a tutor instead. Know that if something doesn’t feel right to you, you always have the power to change it.
This book is suitable for anyone who needs inspirations and finds it difficult to act in spite of their fears.
Top 10 Books on Finding Your Passion and Purpose
Disclosure: Please note that the links below are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate and Bookshop Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase, but it will be at no additional cost to you.
1. The Happiness of Pursuit by Chris Guillebeau
“Quests bring meaning and fulfilment to our lives.”
Do you enjoy your job but still felt stale? You probably need some adventure.
This book encourages you to pursue your dreams by embarking on a quest. Chris is an avid traveler. He visited every country in the world (193 of them) before his 35th birthday.
If you love inspiring stories and travel, this book is for you. In this book, the author also interviewed many others like him including someone who walked across United States and someone who maintained a vow of silence for 17 years.
2. The Passion Test by Janet and Chris Attwood
There are actually not many books out there which is solely about finding your passion. This is one of those books.
Passion is a very personal affair. But Janet and Chris had created a simple system to discover your top 5 passions.
Don’t be deceived by the simplicity of the method. It works. When your heart is asked to choose between two things, it will. This book is especially helpful if you have too many passions or unsure what your passion is.
3. Finding Your Own North Star by Martha Beck
What does your inner compass tell you?
This book is about trusting your own internal navigation system. Martha believes that we all have our own path to follow. Each of us have to figure out what our North Star looks like and follow our inner compass.
If you are having a life transition and don’t know where to head, this book is for you. It is suitable for people who want to be more in touch with their true desires.
4. Follow Your Heart by Andrew Matthews
“Your mission in life is not to change the world. Your mission is to change yourself.“
This book is not just about finding your passion or purpose, it’s about life. Andrew believes that if you don’t like your work, you can either:
- change your attitude, or
- change your job.
In the book, Andrew shares other insights about beliefs, attachment and courage, which are all related to doing what you love. If you hate your job right now, read this book to gain a different perspective towards life and your job.
5. The Art of Work by Jeff Goins
“The search begins with passion but does not end there.”
Jeff believes that work is never done. To him, a calling is the thing that you cannot not do.
What are you born to do? This book reminds us that it’s not just about doing, it’s about who are we becoming. Sometimes, getting everything you want doesn’t always make you happy.
The journey to discovering your calling is different for everyone. But if you are looking for some inspirations from people who had succeed, the stories in each chapter will get you working on your own calling.
6. The Renaissance Soul by Margaret Lobenstine
Are you a person who says, “Please don’t make me choose one thing to do for the rest of my life!” ?
If you have too many passions and don’t know what to do about them, this book is for you. Renaissance soul is a person who has many different interests and passions.
In this book, Margaret would teach you how to focus and get paid for your passion. Most importantly, you will learn how to design a life of multiple passions.
7. Finding Your Element by Ken Robinson
In his first book, The Element, Ken tells us what is element and explains why we need to find our element. This book is a continuation of the first book. It is about how to find your element.
According to Ken, Element = Talents + Personal Passion. We need to find something which we are both good at and love to do.
A mixture of stories and pratical exercises. This book is a good starting point for those who aren’t aware of their strengths and passions.
8. Find Your Passion by Henri Junttila
What is the best way to find your passion? Ask yourself important questions.
Finding your passion is about self-inquiry and reflection. In this book, Henri presents the readers with important questions to get us thinking.
This book isn’t just about discovering your passion, it’s also about inner awareness. If you are stuck, use this book for self-reflection. You’ll have a better understanding of yourself.
9. It Starts With Passion by Keith Abraham
“When the WHY becomes clear, the HOW becomes easy.”
This is the premise of the book. Most of us don’t start with why; we start with what we want to do. But when we do something without knowing why we do so, the work becomes meaningless.
If you are feeling disengaged or something is missing from your life, this book helps you to reconnect and reignite your passion.
10. The Fred Factor by Mark Sanborn
“There are no unimportant jobs, just people who feel unimportant doing their jobs.”
This is not the typical “how to find your passion or purpose” book. In fact, it is a business and leadership book. However, this book is on the list because it shows that passion and purpose don’t have to be something grand. It can be something simple like delivering a mail.
The opening story is about a postman, Fred who the author met. Fred enjoys his job and took the effort to get to know his new customer. He did something more than he was paid for.
“Delivering a mail can be a calling!” If you have no passion in your work, read this book as it makes you rethink what you passion is.
Hey there, I’m Yong Kang, best known as Nerdy Creator. I’m an author of seven books. I write about spirituality, self-compassion, and mindfulness. I love reading books, especially non-fiction. The list above is a combination of what I have read and my research. Each year, I create a Top 10 list of my favorite books.