20 of the Best Books For Finding Your Purpose

If you’re feeling stuck, reading some of these books for finding your purpose may give you new direction and inspiration.

One of the topics that gets brought up a lot in your twenties is this idea of “finding your life purpose.”

If you’re anything like I was, hearing that phrase either confuses you or maybe terrifies you a little. I’m here to put those confusing and scary thoughts to rest as we talk about what it means to find your life’s purpose.

I’m by no means an expert in this subject, so I’m bringing in help from those that are. I’ll be sharing with you a list of 20 books that have helped many people just like you.

Before we get into the list, let’s dive into what it means to find your life’s purpose.

Defining Your Purpose

The word purpose holds such a heavy weight to it. It’s like we are born for one purpose and one purpose only, no do-overs, no exchanges, it’s our job to find it and accept it. I don’t view purpose like this, and I encourage you not to view it in this way as well.

I do believe we have one main purpose, I connect that to my religion, but I also see purpose in smaller segments as well. That is the one I want to talk to you about today. There is no one purpose but individual ones with a deeper personal meaning.

The way I see it, in school we had a purpose – get good grades and discover what it was we were interested in that we would want to learn more about in college, vocational school, the workforce, etc… In college our purpose has been about the same just at a higher level, and now more career focused. You get the idea. 

Then there is the purpose that sets your soul on fire, the one that you know in your gut you were made to have. This is the one that trips everyone up. If I’m honest it has tripped me up a time or two.

When I think I have it figured out something in me changes and I start thinking maybe that wasn’t my purpose after all. I connect this purpose to my main religious one and spiritual well-being. Others connect it to a career, hobby, etc…

Wherever you seek answers about your purpose, I hope that one day you find it. Working within your life’s purpose can bring inner peace, though you don’t have to work a paid job to work your purpose. You can volunteer, pursue it as a hobby, etc… These books I’ve listed below should help frame your mindset about your purpose.

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Photo by Gift Habeshaw

20 Of The Best Books For Finding Your Purpose

This list has everything from biographies to fiction books. They have been known to be inspirational reads for people that have turned the pages or listened to the audiobooks.

A great book can change your life! Be prepared to challenge your thinking in new ways and increase your quality of life.

Life on Purpose: How Living for What Matters Most Changes Everything by: Victor J. Strecher

If you need more of a reason why it’s a good idea to find your purpose, read this book. It’s all about the connection between your purpose and your health and overall happiness.

Author Dr. Vic Strecher draws on research, personal experience, and more to dive deep into the correlation between the two in Life On Purpose. You can lead a happy, fulfilling life!

The Quarter-Life Breakthrough: Invent Your Own Path, Find Meaningful Work, and Build a Life That Matters by: Adam Smiley Poswolsky

If you feel like your purpose lies in your work, then you’ll want to read this. The Quarter-Life Breakthrough is all about finding meaning in your work. This book is filled with advice about how to find purpose in your career, without worrying about if you’ll be able to make rent this month.

Sometimes when your purpose is tied to a career move it can be scary. Your career controls so much when it comes to finances and your life in general. I’m excited to dive into this book and soak up the advice it has to offer on this topic.

Man’s Search for Meaning by: Viktor E. Frankl

This book was first published in 1946, but the impact it has left has been timeless. It’s a biography from Viktor Frankl’s about his time in the Nazi concentration camps. He writes about finding meaning and purpose in his life despite the horrible things he had to go through during that time of adversity as a young man.

A Man’s Search For Meaning has been translated in over 50 languages, and has inspired countless amounts of people to keep going and keep searching for the good, no matter the obstacles they may face.

You on Purpose: Discover Your Calling and Create the Life You Were Meant to Live by: Dr. Stephanie Shackelford and Bill Denzel

Do you ever wish there was a guide, roadmap, or north star to this whole finding your purpose thing? Well I think I’ve found it for you. In You On Purpose you are given a four-step process for discovering your calling/purpose and deepest desires.

Those four steps are define, discover, decide, and do. I’m excited to see what we can learn about ourselves and our purpose after reading this book. What about you?

Speak: Find Your Voice, Trust Your Gut, and Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by: Tunde Oyeneyin

If you own or have ever worked out on a Peloton bike you probably recognize the author of this one.

Speak is Tunde Oyeneyin’s memoir, manifesto, and guide to life.

In the book she breaks down each step of the SPEAK acronym—Surrender, Power, Empathy, Authenticity, and Knowledge, while also sharing her personal experiences.

Together her life experience and advice will help you start living “a life of purpose on purpose” and have a happy life.

Your Purpose Is Calling by Dr. Dharius Daniels

In Your Purpose Is Calling Dr. Dharius Daniels, founder of Change Church, challenges readers to discover their true identity. By doing that then you are able to find your unique purpose. It’s less about material success and more about man’s journey.

This book is perfect for anyone caught up in the comparison game in life and feels a little stuck trying to discover their purpose. There is no one right direction, but the right one for you. Find your right place and live your best life.

Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team by Simon Sinek, David Mead, and Peter Docker 

Find Your Why is actually part of a series. In part two in the Start With Why series, authors Simon Sinek, David Mead, and Peter Docker guide you in finding your why.

When you can find your why you’ve got something to hold on to on those hard days when all seems lost and impossible. While this series is more directed in a team/business direction you can apply the lessons in your personal life as well. 

The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by: Michael A. Singer

Sometimes finding your purpose takes more of an inward search. With so much noise in the world  it can be hard to get clear on what you truly want.

The Untethered Soul invites you on an inward journey. On this journey you’ll learn what has been blocking you and free yourself to live the life your innermost being desires. 

The Power of Writing It Down: A Simple Habit to Unlock Your Brain and Reimagine Your Life by: Allison Fallon

I may be a bit biased because I’m a writer, but I believe that there is an infinite amount of power you hold by writing out your thoughts, ideas, plans, dreams, etc…

In The Power of Writing It Down author, speaker, and writing coach, Allison Fallon shows readers how spending time writing each day can help change your life. Imagine how much a writing practice can help you on the journey to finding your purpose. I’m excited to read this and find out.

A Power of Your Own: How to Ignite Your Potential, Uncover Your Purpose, and Blaze Your Own Trail in Life and Business by: Nikki Groom

If you feel led to become an entrepreneur, this book is for you. Leaning into your purpose can be scary, especially in a world that hasn’t been kind to certain career choices for women.

Like the trailblazers that came before you, if you have a fire in your soul, then this is what you were meant to do. This book will help give you the push you need to go for it if you start doubting yourself.

You’ll hear stories from other powerful women, along with a few life lessons in this empowering book, A Power of Your Own.

The Alchemist, 25th Anniversary: A Fable About Following Your Dream by Paulo Coelho

A fiction book has entered the list. The Alchemist was first published in 1988, but the message is still important today.

This book about self-discovery starts with a boy on a journey to find treasure but ends with him realizing the real treasure was inside him all along. It’s a great example of how your purpose can change overtime.

The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life by: Chris Guillebeau

How are you making your life count? Reading The Happiness of Pursuit might help you answer that question. In this inspiring book author Chris Guillebeau shares what he learned from his quest to visit all of the countries in the world by age thirty-five.

He met many remarkable people on their own quests and discovered that they all had similarities, which is where this book comes in. If you are feeling stuck right now, this book should inspire you to take action again and find your meaning of life.

How to Get Sh*t Done: Why Women Need to Stop Doing Everything so They Can Achieve Anything by: Erin Falconer

One of the reasons why you may be struggling to find your purpose is because you are busy doing everything else. If this is you, you’ll want to read this book.

In How To Get Sh*t Done you’ll learn how to find what to zero in on where you want to excel, off-load, and outsource. The rest doesn’t matter.  This will give you a more clear mind, and the freedom to find out what your purpose and passions are.

Get Your Happy Back: 7 Principles to Get Unstuck and Take Back Your Power! by: Diamond Leone

I believe fear is a big block when it comes to finding your purpose. At least I know it is for me. Maybe you’ve never done anything like this before, or maybe you have and it failed, or you could even be facing pushback from family.

Whatever you’re facing, just know that you are not alone.

In Get Your Happy Back, author Diamond Leone will help us get rid of these fears and limiting beliefs by showing us how to create a powerful mental toolkit, form amazing new habits, level up and play bigger in life, and more. All with the goal of getting our happy back.

The Path Made Clear: Discovering Your Life’s Direction and Purpose by: Oprah Winfrey

I’ve always found Oprah to be inspirational, so when I found out she had a book about purpose I knew I had to add it to the list. She also believes that everyone has a purpose and can lead a purpose driven life.

In her book, The Path Made Clear, she shares what she sees as a guide for activating your deepest vision of yourself by offering a framework to living a life of significance.

She not only shares her story, but also advice from other big names in different fields like  Eckhart Tolle, Brene Brown, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Elizabeth Gilbert, Jay-Z, and Ellen DeGeneres.

Miracles Now: 108 Life-Changing Tools for Less Stress, More Flow, and Finding Your True Purpose by: Gabrielle Bernstein

Stress is another factor when it comes to why we can’t find our purpose. If you enjoy meditation, or if meditation is something you have been wanting to try, you’ll want to grab a copy of Miracles Now.

In this book you’ll find a ton of meditations  that fit your lifestyle. The author has handpicked 108 simple techniques to combat the most common problems—stress, burnout, frustration, jealousy, and resentment. So you are sure to find something to help you feel more free after the meditating is over.

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by: Eckhart Tolle

This powerful book is all about our attachment to our ego and the trouble that creates for us.

In a New Earth the author tells us how the ego can lead to anger, jealousy, and unhappiness while showing us that there is a better path. With lines like “The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it,” you know that you are about to learn a lot from this book.

Your Self-Discovery Journal: A Guided Journey to Identify and Actualize Your Passions, Purpose, and Whole Self by: Sara Katherine  

Next on the list is less of a book and more of a journal. In order to find your purpose you have to know yourself pretty well. The only way to know yourself is to spend time with yourself.

The best way to get to know yourself, in my opinion, is through journaling. By participating in the prompts, activities, and meditations in the Your Self-Discovery Journal, you’ll be well on your way to finding yourself and your purpose.

Finding Your Fire & Keeping It Hot: Discovering Your Why, Your Passion, Your Purpose in Life by: Diana Stout

Finding your purpose is half the battle. I know, I know, I hate to tell you that, but it’s true. You also have to hold on to that sense of purpose. That fire in your soul can go out if you don’t keep it burning.

The good news is, there are books like Finding Your Fire & Keeping It Hot that help you not only find your purpose, but also figure out how to hold on to that purpose you worked so hard for. 

A Year of Finding Your Callings: Daily Practices to Uncover Your Passion and Purpose by: Dr. Matthew V. Glowiak

We’ve reached the end of the list. I’m leaving you by setting you up into the new year. In A Year of Finding Your Callings you’ll get daily exercises, action-oriented prompts, and a year’s worth of inspiration to help you find your purpose.

Finding purpose takes hard work but you can do it!

In Summary: Best Books For Finding Your Purpose

These purpose-filled books have changed the trajectories of many people’s lives. Will it change yours? Let me know which ones you’ll be reading in the comments. Maybe you’ll have a few new favorite books.

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About the Author

Kelly Clark

Kelly graduated from Liberty University with a degree in Advertising and Public Relations and a minor in Journalism. Even though it took her a little while to find her career path, she was always meant to be in Communications. She remembers writing poems and songs when she was a little girl and pitching to my parents the reasons why I should have a cell phone when I was a teenager. She currently has a blog (budding-joy.com) where she talks about her weight-loss journey, mental health and personal development. Her hope is to encourage and inspire readers and let them know they are not alone. Reading blog posts like that are what helped her in tough times and she wants to pay it forward. She loves dance fitness, listening to music, and creating layouts in her bullet journal. She’s a big fan of planning, especially when cute notebooks and pens are involved.
Her dream job has changed so much over the years; right now she’d love to co-own a dance studio.

Website: budding-joy.com