What kind of relationship do you have with books? Is it a daily meetup, or a causal talk, or a once in a blue moon hello. Whatever the frequency maybe, each date brings a chance to gain immensely from your friend, the book.
I have a pretty strong friendship with books. A half an hour daily catchup is mandatory, though they graciously forgive me a few times.
There has always been a plethora of these gems available, and with different personalities as thriller, biography, drama, poetry, the list is endless. While each has great value to add to your life, a few of my meetups with them have tuned into relationships of a lifetime.
Here are my five best friends, who have been there through thick and thin & are ready to be there for you too.
1. The Art of Happiness
What is the goal of your life? Power, money, companionship? In the end, these means are helpful as long as they lead to the achievement of the ultimate state: Being happy! If you ask me, the sole goal of my life is to be happy.
If I get a promotion this year, I will be happy; If I travel to more than 10 countries this year, I will be happy; for many of us, our happiness is bound by external stimuli. The Art of Happiness breaks this gap between the outer and the inner world and shows a path towards happiness.
The fundamentals are simple.
- Be compassionate and kind to others.
- Focus on inner contentment instead of chasing the Ferrari. This may seem tricky, for how do we let go of the love for Ferrari. The answer is to focus on what we have and appreciate that.
- Before making any decisions, check out, “Will it bring happiness to me?”. Maybe not in a short term.
- If you are trying to build a lasting relationship with someone, know the true nature of the person.
- Stop overthinking & overacting to minor things.
- Before making an attempt to understand others, know yourself.
Do set up a date with this friend of my mine to find your path to happiness.
2. The Fountainhead
Let us have a cliché discussion on money/ fame versus passion. “Follow your passion, and the money follows you” we have heard this quite often. But are you ready to bear the thorns of the path to follow your heart?
In a utopian world, righteousness takes you through a flowery path. In the real world, there are numerous twists and turns that you may have to go through. Still, the outcome may not be what you desired. Are you ready to face what it takes is the question we need to ask. A perfect portrayal of such a journey has been done by my beloved friend, The Fountainhead. This friend of my mine has been my go-to in times of confusion for years. If you are caught up in a conflict between heart and head, do reach out to our advisor friend, The Fountainhead.
3. Man’s Search for Meaning
Who am I?
Where did I come from?
Where am I heading to?
Questions like these have been popping up for years. While these might have been left unanswered, there have been extensive attempts to find meaning in our existence. If we can not find out answers to the questions of who and where, finding a reason to keep going in life is much needed. I know, the discussion is getting complex! A friend of mine is ready to make it easier for you.
Taking you through a roller coaster ride story of people who experienced extreme physical and mental torture in concentration camps in Nazi Germany, Man’s Search for Meaning is here for you.
It sheds light on the most overused yet ignored term, “Life’s purpose”. If the phrase appears superficial, let my friend share examples of the drastic impact of having a purpose had on the prisoners in a concentration camp decades back. Having something to look up to made some of them bear the tough daily life and, the ones who lost the sense of an end goal lost themselves.
Confused about your life’s purpose? Check out what my friend has to say.
4. Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long & Happy Life
Japan, the epitome of transformation, is also the home of some of the fittest and healthiest communities in the world. The lifestyle, individual practices, and the mindset of people in these communities contribute to a long, contented, and healthy life. To help you turn your life around to a happy and fit one, my lifestyle consultant friend, Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life, is here.
It spills the secret of Ikigai, which means your reason for being. While you would have discovered your purpose with the help of Man’s Search for Meaning. Ikigai lays down some tips to change your health, mindset, and lifestyle. The most important gift from Ikigai is the learning to create a flow in each and every task that you do.
The learnings from Ikigai are immense, which I have poured down in another blog post: Ikigai: The pathway to a better life
5. The Five People You Meet in Heaven
What will happen to you after death? Well, there exist diverse beliefs trying to answer this question, but there is no fixed answer for now. While we do not know about life in hell or heaven, we surely can do something about our lives on earth.
Let me introduce you to my next friend, The Five People You Meet in Heaven. Our roller-coaster lives, filled with unrelated coincidental events and people, are actually connected. So, here my friend provides you five life lessons to make you understand the chaotic world.
- All people who cross paths with you and incidents that occur once in a blue moon are connected in some way. Remember the shop where you bought a book yesterday? The seller has used the money to send her young sister to school, who turns up to be your daughter’s best friend and saves her life. Pure fiction? Yes, but an example of how people who cross paths with you are unknowingly connected to you.
- Sacrifice, whether small or big has significant importance.
- Hatred does more harm to self than others.
- Love is never lost, it just changes form.
- Your life and actions are never meaningless.
These generous friends of mine are gaily waiting to connect with you and share their stories and learn yours. Do hangout with them and share your experience with me. And yes, do not forget to say a little hello from my side.