What books made you a better person

15 books that (can) change your life!

“Books that will change your life!”, Hui that sounds like a big headline. Can the books at all. No of course not. But they can very well serve as a source of inspiration on the path to change. If you want to take your life into your own hands right now, redesign it, shape it and break new ground, then I have some exciting inspirations for books that can change your life. What for? To go your personal path that leads to a beautiful and good life. The most important factor is to listen to yourself, to follow your inner voice. Only in this way can a self-determined life in the sense of the art of living succeed. I followed my inner voice and went my way, still go it. However, the change often requires some food for thought from outside.

I love books that keep providing me with new inspiration and then getting the best out of them for me.

I have now published a book about major changes myself. It says: "Beware of change: Overcome the fear of change and go new ways ”. This self-experiment is filled with inspiring stories, ideas and opportunities to quietly say goodbye to doubts, to overcome the fear of change and to tackle big changes. I have packed all of my knowledge and experience on this subject into this book. Perhaps you will find the momentum you need to start your process of transformation. Click here for the book.

But before that happened, I read many books that helped me to make changes in my life. In the following article I would like to present you the most formative books that inspired me and certainly many others the most on the path of the art of living.

Beware of self-help - books that change life

Before we start, I would like to send you a little warning. In my small collection there is also one or the other self-help book. I know, I know these don't have the best reputation. The only question is, what do you make of it? I took the essences out and made my own version of them. You can skip over some dogmatic advice and leave it alone.

For a better overview, I've divided the best self-help books into different categories. Depending on the area in which you want to turn your life upside down, I have divided my little best of list into different categories.

  • Mindset - books that change thinking
  • Self-empowerment - books that help get things done
  • Serenity - books for more relaxation
  • Glück - books for more happy moments
  • Philosophical books to think about

But let's go, here are the best books:

Mindset - books that change thinking

Siddhartha. An Indian seal | Herman Hesse *

This book is the deep and touching story of a young man who is on his way. Where to and what for? In order to free oneself from family and social heteronomy and to go in search of inner knowledge. I read this book almost four years ago when my life was about to change again. My son Matteo was about to be born. As I read this book, I became quite thoughtful. About my future and the imminent change that I was eagerly awaiting. At that time I was also looking for inner knowledge. But I couldn't hear my inner voice. It wasn't until two years later that I realized that I too should set out to lead a self-determined and independent life. At the time, this book sneaked into my subconscious in order to motivate me for a change at the right time. Even if my consciousness did not perceive this at the time. This book was also a very nice source of inspiration for my transition from career type to simplicity.

The Art of Being Free: A Guide to a Beautiful Life | Tom Hodgkinson *

What does freedom mean and how can it be achieved? In our time freedom is often associated with earning a lot of money. The author Tom Hodgkinson proves in a very entertaining way in his book that this does not have to be the case. With a sweeping look into the past, he tells his personal story of independence. He also shows many ideas and possibilities for a life in freedom. The author knows that freedom means something different for everyone and that everyone goes their own way. He decided to minimize his life with a cheap cottage in the country so that he would have to work less and have more time for the finer things in life. With his book he enables a glimpse of an alternative way of life in order to escape the hamster wheel capitalism trap.

... to say yes to life anyway: a psychologist experienced the concentration camp | Viktor E. Frankl *

This touching, poignant and also painful book contains many insights that seem important to me. In it, the author describes his very personal experiences in German concentration camps and tries to reproduce them from a psychological point of view. The book contains many very disturbing facts, but also a lot of helpful and instructive information. Among other things, it taught me or reinforced my opinion that everyone must give themselves the meaning of life and that we draw strength from it. And how is it possible to experience happiness even in difficult situations? How much suffering can a person take and how can it be dealt with? The book also gave conclusive answers to these questions. A book for thinking about life and its values. Even if this book is not easy fare, it is all the more intense. This book was certainly one of the most formative that I have read in recent years.

Self-empowerment - books that help get things done

The 4-hour week: more time, more money, more life | Timothy Ferriss *

There are few online entrepreneurs, I think, who haven't read this book. It has sold millions of times and inspired many people to start their own business. But not only future online entrepreneurs will find good approaches in it. There is a lot of food for thought in this book to help you use your time more effectively. Although a 4 hour week can be expected to be difficult to achieve. Nevertheless, I was able to cut my 60-hour working hours in the office by almost half. Then I had more time for the good life again. The author's free time fantasies are a little off the beaten track, but are very amusing to read. I have implemented my 3 most important food for thought to this day. Ok, every now and then I get a mess, but mostly it works. I only read e-mails twice a day, I block my work hours and summarize time-consuming work so that I can complete them faster, and I have put myself on an information diet. All of this has helped me to use my time optimally and to have enough time for the beautiful.

The art of living differently | Chris Guillebeau *

"Improve your own life and make the world more positive." The author Chris Guilebeau lives and writes according to this credo. In his book he tells the wonderful story of his unadjusted life. He lives a life according to his own rules with a lot of freedom and heart. In The book reveals practical tips and inspiring wisdom to achieve a fulfilled life. The book led to a wonderful aha moment for me. After this book, it means questioning the existing in order to realize your dreams. And doing it on the side make the world a better place with it, because in contrast to the “4 hour week”, the focus is not on making money.

A new life without money: Quickguide | Mike Lippoldt *

Mike is a personal friend of mine whom I got to know during my time in Spain. Mike is an adventurer who, at a young age, got on his socks with no money to emigrate to Spain. In his book he tells in a concise and entertaining way how he dared to jump into an unknown life without money. In his book you will not only find the right motivation to get started, but also enough inspiration to take the brave step. Mike reports first hand about his experiences and lets you immerse yourself in his gripping adventure journey. The wind of freedom can be felt in every sentence he writes. But it is not a romantic adventure trip, because Mike also speaks bluntly about the hard times during the trip. About the difficult phases, being burned out and the hurdles that await you on such an adventure. If you are passionate about change and want to feel the freedom, then this book is just the thing - written by an adventurer for adventurers.

Become a life artist! For a self-determined, relaxed and content life. | Karl Allmer *

Ok, you will think, now he's gone completely megalomaniac. But no, I don't want to put myself on the same level as great authors like Hermann Hesse or Viktor Frankl. Still, I put my book on this list because I owe a lot to my first work. Because you learn most when you write yourself. Becoming a life artist has helped me to collect all my thoughts and to bring my experiences and my varied life into order. This brought a lot of clarity into my life and another step on my lifelong path of the art of living was taken. Maybe you too would like to find out more about the art of living and my path, then just drop by!

Serenity - books for more relaxation

Search Inside Yourself: The slightly different happiness coaching | Chade-Meng Tan *

Everyone is talking about meditation. For many, daily meditation offers practical relief in everyday life and for some it is just esoteric. I too was a bit skeptical about meditation. And this book is for skeptics like me. Because it is written by a former Google employee and he takes a very unesoteric look at it. In a funny way, the author knows how to emphasize the positive aspects and to motivate the reader to simply participate. In his opinion, the greatest benefit of meditation is the increase in social intelligence. This enables us to better understand how to deal with our feelings and so we can respond more to other people. I also participated at the time and tried out the suggested meditations. And what can I say, after a few weeks more and more calm returned to my brain box. Even if I exchanged classic meditation for a helping of idleness today, this book has taken me a big step further on my way.

Now! The power of the present | Eckhart Tolle *

By the time this book came into my hands, I was stuck for some at the Hong Kong airport. The English version was called "The Power of Now". As I read the title, I thought to myself, "Hui, an Eso book." But I had nothing better to do, so I read it. And what can I say, the book really has a touch of esotericism. Nevertheless, it convinced me as an old logician. The power is in the moment. That is his statement. And the book helps enormously in keeping your constantly circling thoughts in check, so that mindfulness can return to everyday life. When I started reading this book, I immediately felt a sense of clarity and serenity. This book is for everyone who is struggling to live a little more in the present.

Guide to idleness | Tom Hodgkinson *

Yes, I like the author so much that I mention him twice on this list. With his wonderful British humor, he knows how to take his readers on a journey of idleness. Away from the hustle and bustle, everyday life and constant self-optimization, you immerse yourself in a kind of cosiness by the fireplace. Life is not all made up of appointments, duties and malays. The conscious time-outs are part of life. We can indulge in pleasure, turn off the cell phone and just do nothing. Without any dogmatic advice, with interesting background information and a lot of humor, this book offers enough inspiration to bring more serenity into everyday life - and without a guilty conscience. This book entertained me well and brought some inspiration for both my everyday life and this blog. An absolute must for future loafers.

Glück - books for more happy moments

The happiness project | Alexandra Reinwarth *

Trying is better than studying - this is the motto described in this humorous book. The main protagonist goes in search of a happy life and tries out a wide variety of tips from various advisors on the subject of happiness. Among other things, she visits a happiness coach, goes on a pilgrimage, starts exercising, sings in the shower, looks after her friends, buys a pet and much more. All in all a very funny and funny book that definitely makes you laugh. And by the way, you learn a few tricks on the big topic of luck. If you want to read a funny and entertaining book that was not written in the classic dogmatic advice style, this book is the right choice.

Flow: The Secret of Happiness | Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi *

You ask yourself: what is the flow? Flow is a state in which you get lost in doing, an activity that you pursue with passion, so that you forget time and space - beyond fear and boredom. The happiness researcher has scientifically researched the flow experience and, in a nutshell, has come to the following conclusion: It requires the following characteristics: a task that I am up to; a narrowing of attention - irrelevant perceptions are filtered out; a loss of self-awareness - e.g. tennis - full concentration on the ball; Willingness to respond to clear goals and feedback and a sense of control over the environment. If one or more factors are missing, flow is no longer possible or only with difficulty. This knowledge helped me to consciously control and promote this process. This has led to the fact that I can put myself into the flow even with unpleasant activities and thus bring more moments of happiness into everyday life.

Philosophical books to think about

Philosophy of the art of living: a foundation | Wilhelm Schmid *

Anyone interested in philosophy must read this book. Oh please forgive this dogmatic word must. But this book excited me. In this work Wilhelm Schmid illuminates all subjects of the art of living from self-friendship, to serenity to the meaning of life. This extensive book makes use of past theories of Aristotle, Epictetus or Epicurus. Despite the philosophical reference in the past, the author always manages to draw a bow to the present. For me this book was a great source of inspiration for my studies, for this blog and most importantly for my life. Without any dogmatics, Wilhelm Schmidt asks the right questions and provides exciting food for thought. Absolutely worth reading, even for non-philosophers.

From the desire to live | Epicurus *

Epicurus is one of the most misunderstood Greek philosophers. After all, his theories were often described as hedonistic. Reading this book will help you understand your theories better and indulge in helpful quotes for the good life. In contrast to other Epicurus books, this one is wonderfully sorted and consists almost exclusively of writings by Epicurus himself. His primary goal was to achieve pleasure. But the philosopher defined lust as follows: “It is the state in which I can enjoy tranquility, a natural calm. That I can enjoy the richness of nature and lead a modest life. ”If you want that and deal with questions and thoughts such as philosophy as a way of life, the path to happiness, lust and a happy life, the fear of Death or how one wants to deal with people in society, is exactly right with this book.

Tao te king: the book of meaning and life | Laotse *

As a friend of the art of living and western philosophy, I have not dealt with the theories of eastern philosophy for a long time. Until one day I came across Lao Tzu and discovered that his theories were very similar to those of the Stoics. These similarities can also be found in this book. By and large, both philosophies are about wholeness and wisdom. Both then lead to serenity and an unshakable trust in life. I was particularly impressed by a quote from Lao Tzu, because it fits so perfectly with the art of living:

Doing nothing is better than doing nothing with a lot of effort. Laotse

If you want to trust yourself and nature, you are in good hands with life in the Tao!

And how do you like my little potpourri “Books that will change your life”? Or do you know a book that you can warmly recommend? Then write me a comment!

Enjoy life

best regards

Karl