17 Books That Will Help You Discover Yourself

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We live in an age of inventions and discoveries. The scientific field has made much progress. We’re at a stage where we are on to finding life on other planets. But the more we are getting engrossed in discovering new things, the less aware we are becoming about ourselves. Self-discovery and self-awareness are equally, even more important than discovering things in the outside world. So, Here I am presenting you some awesome books that will help you discover yourself.

Whenever I read a self-discovery book or any other self-help book for that matter, I often find myself asking this to my heart and head: What is it that I want? Where am I going with this particular thing I’m doing in my life? What do I truly desire, fear, adore, or admire? Surprisingly enough, I usually can’t answer these, and I’m pretty sure if you all do this drill, you won’t be able to answer yourself as well. This is just how everything is with us all these days. But it can be helped.

Self-discovery means getting into the core of yourself to discover your true self, your true feelings, and your true thoughts by self-questioning and self-examining. It isn’t as simple as people take it for. Even though you claim to know everything about yourself, there still might be some questions that would get you to doubt your claim. Even the biggest personalities of the world, when asked, fail to answer some deep stuff about themselves.

We know that self-discovery isn’t an easy job but is very important for one’s meaningful existence. To live a meaningful life, one must know their aim in life. For helping you master the science of self-discovery, I have got quite a few motivational books lined up that you all can (and should) go through.

17 Self-Discovery Books That One Needs in Life

Without delaying any further, let’s just get into what I promised you: such books that can help you master self-discovery.

1. Educated

educated book cover | Books That Will Help You Discover Yourself

Full Title: Educated

Author: Tara Westover

Genre: Memoir

Publishing Date: 2018


This book presents a memoir of the author’s life and how she was born in Idaho to a survivalist family that neither favored public education nor of hospitals, doctors, and nurses. She lacked any formal education, so she started self-learning.

At the age of 17, the first time she stepped into a classroom and couldn’t think of anything else since. She struggled, went far, and succeeded in gaining an education. This book presents an inspiring example of self-invention.

2. Quiet

quiet book cover

Full Title: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Author: Susan Cain

Genre: Self-help book

Publishing Date: 2012


We live in a world where introvert people are considered less-skilled and not-so-useful. In today’s scenario, it is thought that one needs to be at least an ambivert, if not a full extrovert. But this book will change the way the world perceives introverts and how they perceive themselves.

In this book, the author introduces us to some highly successful introverts who didn’t like working in teams and created history independently.

3. The Body

the body book cover

Full Title: The Body: A Guide for Occupants

Author: Bill Bryson

Genre: Non-fiction

Publishing Date: 2019


Self-discovery means getting to know yourself to the core, both inside and outside. Many books and reference material are available that’ll brief you about the inside, but this one is one of the few books that’ll speak about the outside.

This book is divided into several chapters that explain the human body, its working, and its diseases. Knowing your body is the first step to loving your body. One must be aware of the changes inside one’s body and the reasons behind them.

4. Becoming

becoming book cover

Full Title: Becoming

Author: Michelle Obama

Genre: Memoir

Publishing Date: 2018


Who in this world doesn’t know Michelle Obama? The first African-American to serve as the first lady of the USA, she emerged as one of the most iconic female figures of her era.

This book is the memoir of and by this amazing woman that describes her experiences, triumphs, disappointments, and struggles that shaped her into the way she is today. I feel that one must read this inspirational book at least once in their life.

5. Relentless

relentless book cover

Full Title: Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable

Author: Tim Grover

Genre: Self-help book

Publishing Date: 2013


I feel like everyone would desire this book as it contains something everyone wants to know about: unstoppable. To be ahead of your peers or be extraordinary, one must control one’s emotions.

And this is possible if you know exactly what you’re feeling at the moment. Only then can you regulate it in a way that favors you. Believe it or not but to become relentless, one must control their feelings and thoughts.

6. It All Begins With ‘I’

it all begins with i book cover

Full Title: It All Begins With “I”: The New Rules of Thinking and the Simple Secrets to Living a Rich, Joyous, and Fulfilled Life

Author: Stuart K. Robinson

Genre: Self-help book

Publishing Date: 2015


No one around us doesn’t want to live a productive, joyous, and fulfilling life. But not everyone can lead one. This book will help us eliminate all the non-productive and destructive thoughts that cause hindrances in us leading a satisfying life.

All the aspects that become obstacles in our way to a fulfilling life can be overcome just by thinking straight, is what this book emphasizes.

7. Forgiveness

forgiveness book cover

Full Title: Forgiveness: How to Make Peace With Your Past and Get on With Your Life

Author: Sidney B. Simon and Suzanne Simon

Genre: Self-help book

Publishing Date: 1990


Each of us has at least one such thing in the past that still haunts us. Something we regret, something we can’t forget. But it’s something we can’t do anything about. We all try to forget our past, but that is not possible.

Instead of forgetting, we need to forgive and make peace with it. This is what this book is about. It’s about forgiving, not forgetting, all the past pain to move on with our lives.

8. The Big Leap

the big leap book cover

Full Title: The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level

Author:  Gay Hendricks

Genre: Self-help book

Publishing Date: 2009


We all have some goals set in our respective lives but how many of us actually reach those goals? The count is not much. Cost of it is because of some common and genuine fears or simply because of some false or negative beliefs.

This book will help you overcome such fears and beliefs, and help you take your “big leap” in life. It is all about becoming successful by breaking down the walls to a better life.

9. Altered Traits

altered traits book cover

Full Title: Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body

Author: Daniel Goleman and Richard Davidson

Genre: Science & Nature

Publishing Date: 2017


The concept of meditation has become the new trend of the time. Whatever the problem a person might be facing, they find way and peace in meditation.

This book will tell us what meditation can do physically, mentally, and emotionally. It can heal and make us better while bursting the common misconceptions regarding the concept and opening our eyes to enlightenment.

10. Type ‘R’

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Full Title: Type ‘R’: Transformative Resilience for Thriving in a Turbulent World

Author:  Ama Marston and Stephanie Marston

Genre: Self-help book

Publishing Date: 2018


Who doesn’t have problems in their life? We all do, in our ways. But it is important to overcome them. This book gives examples of great and inspiring personalities who thrived even during world crises and earned triumphs by coping with the situations.

This book put forward an optimistic point of view upon how we can deal with “situations” with calmness and even turn challenges in our favour.

11. The Alchemist

the alchemist book cover

Full Title: The Alchemist

Author: Paulo Coelho

Genre: Fantasy Fiction

Publishing Date: 1998


This book follows a cliché plot that says “find the treasure within you”, but the storyline is not-so-usual. This book is full of simplicity, ease, and meaning that anyone who reads it with interest can find out the moral that hides in it.

This fictional book is about a shepherd boy who travels a long way to find the hidden treasure within the Egyptian pyramids but in the journey finds out an even more precious treasure, the one that is stored inside of him.

12. Sweet Sorrow

sweet sorrow book cover

Full Title: Sweet Sorrow: Finding Enduring Wholeness After Loss and Grief

Author: L. Sherilyn Cormier and Sherry Cormier

Genre: Self-help book

Publishing Date: 2018


Starting over is hard after bearing a great loss, be it a physical, financial, or social loss. But as hard as it might be, it is equally necessary to get over the trauma of the loss and move on. This is exactly what this book will help us with. By sharing a series of his great losses in life, the author describes the necessity of getting over and moving on to build a new, successful life filled with joy as we all deserve it.

13. Year of Yes

year of yes book cover

Full Title: Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person

Author: Shonda Rhimes

Genre: Biography

Publishing Date: 2015


Many people have a problem with saying “no”. No matter how much they want to, they can’t deny anyone or anything. The case with Shonda, the author, was the opposite. She never said yes to any social gathering or event.

Being the highly introverted person she is, saying no meant nothing new to fear about. But in this biography of hers, she describes how taking the chance and saying “yes” positively changed her life.

14. Big Magic

big magic book cover

Full Title: Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Author: Elizabeth Gilbert

Genre: Self-help book

Publishing Date: 2015


Predicting by the writing style, it seems to be a challenge from the author to the readers. The author challenges us with everything we have. Giving examples from her own life and that of the people around her, she wants us to face off with our fears, tackle with what we love the most, and embrace our curiosity to experience wonderful and unexpected joys that life has to offer.

15. Eat, Pray, Love

eat pray love book cover

Full Title: Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia

Author: Elizabeth Gilbert

Genre: Memoir

Publishing Date: 2006


Elizabeth Gilbert is one of the most inspirational and celebrated authors, so obviously, her memoir should be amazing. In this book, all the major events in her life after thirty are mentioned. She had everything that an uneducated American woman could ask for, but that didn’t last long. Everything seemed to be going south, but she refused to give up and set out to discover who she really was and what she wanted.

16. Travels With Charley

travels with charley book cover

Full Title: Travels with Charley: In Search of America

Author: John Steinbeck

Genre: Travel literature

Publishing Date: 1962


America, the place John has been writing about for years, sets out to travel through the place, along with his poodle dog, Charley. At the age of 58, when he started the journey, he aimed to smell the grass of America, feel the atmosphere there, to hear the real American were his aims.

Upon reaching there, he reflected upon several things, like the American character, American loneliness, and the unexpected kindness he got from strangers.

17. The Icarus Deception

the icarus deception book cover

Full Title: The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly?

Author:  Seth Godin

Genre: Self-help book

Publishing Date: 2012


If you’re aware of Christian mythology, in brief, you would be aware of Icarus and his fate. His father made him wings and warned him not to fly too close to the sun as it would ruin his wings. He ignored the warning and met his doom. The same is the problem with us and our ambitions.

Doing something brave seems too dangerous and, in some cases, lets us meet our doom too, but Icarus was also warned not to fly too low as the rift of the sea would wither his wings, and that’s more dangerous than flying too high as it feels more comfortable and deceptive. This is the central idea of this book.

Final Words

Discovering oneself is not selfish or self-centred, and it’s never too late for that. It is a way of becoming more considerate as you can only help others if you can help yourself first, and for that, you need to know yourself first, to the core. These books would help you in your journey towards self-discovery in different aspects.

Also, you might want to have a look at the following:

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