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5 Must-Read Books That Will Uplift Your Soul

October 15, 2016

“Way of The Peaceful Warrior” by Dan Millman

Recommended by Marc Dass, cofounder of SOULSCAPE

Way of the peaceful warrior

“I was at a point in my life where I was looking for change and direction when I started reading this book. This is a novel about a young college boy who meets an unusual old man at a gas station. The latter becomes the young man’s mentor and shows him the path to living life to the fullest.

Personally, I’ve always preferred reading self-help or business books but this one came heavily recommended and I kept hearing about it, so I knew I had to read it.

One of the things I stated to do after reading the book was meditation. In the book I learnt that ‘sitting meditation’ was the warrior’s path and this was something I wanted to try. I became calmer and more inward-looking, and began to seek happiness from inside me. A peaceful warrior is strong and calm. I’m generally confident but the book’s many awesome one-liners pop up every now and then like a reminder, and the story made me more rooted, grounded. It really is about mindfulness, and when I have to make choices concerning others, a bad day, a tough client, relationships and money, I’m reminded to take a peaceful, mindful moment, then act.”


“How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big” by Scott Adams

Recommended by Anna Vanessa Haotanto, founder of The New Savvy

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big

“I was lost and frustrated in my old banking job – I didn’t know what I wanted or what I was looking for. I was also suffering from a case of ‘imposter syndrome’ – being plagued by the fear that I didn’t really deserve any of the achievements and awards I won, and that one day, someone will expose me as someone who was just lucky, not capable.

I booked myself for a wellness retreat. On top of exercising and eating healthily, I also started to read ‘How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big’. The book is an entertaining compilation of Adams’ practical career advice.

Adams is very candid about his failures, successes, and his illness. I found the book funny, sincere, and because of how different it is from the usual motivation books, it struck a chord with me. I used to think that I have to give my 110 percent in order to succeed. However, after reading this book, I began to focus on making myself happy and contented. I re-read the book when I was working on launching The New Savvy because it really helps me focus on maximising my potential.”


“Full Catastrophe Living” by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Recommended by Helen Clare Rozario, founder of Nirvana Mind

Image result for full catastrophe living

“This book found me at a time when I was looking for a change in career. I was looking for something that would provide me with a sense of purpose, where I’d be of service to people. At that point, my life had hit rock bottom and I had just lost my best friend.

There was always this nagging feeling that I would probably be more efficient if I could quiet my mind and be more present. I already had a meditation practice but I was looking for a place where I could learn more about the scientific foundation, tools, techniques and delivery of meditation.

After reading the book, it seemed like the search was over. I found these ‘practical techniques’ that were entirely secular and made perfect sense physiologically and mentally.

Furthermore, what I got from the book was an instructional manual of hope.
I learnt how to reduce and regulate the symptoms and effects of stress, anxiety, depression and pain. The book also introduced me to tools that enabled me to be more mindfully aware, to be less judgmental, to maintain meaningful relationships, to communicate mindfully, to remember to have loving kindness towards others and to be more forgiving towards myself and my shortcomings.”


“The Pilgrimage” by Paulo Coelho

Recommended by Kelvin Lim, founder of Executive Coach International

The Pilgrimage

“I felt like I was floundering in a business that I’d just started and was struggling to figure out the right way to do things. This book spoke to me because it is about the writer embarking on a pilgrimage to gain acceptance into a mysterious, ancient Catholic order.

By walking the Camino de Santiago, Coelho cast away what was unnecessary and focused on gaining insight into the simplicity of life. Reading the book, I took a good hard look at myself and realised I was seeking personal power because I had a left a highly coveted job and was feeling at a loss.

I understood how I had to move on from my past to embrace the greater possibility that I now saw before me. It would be another 10 years before I reached a point where I felt stable enough to put all my worldly affairs aside to undertake walking the Camino de Santiago in 2013.

There I walked 500 miles to experience what Paulo wrote about. It made me appreciate all the different journeys we take individually and how I can better support others in their journey in my new role as a master coach.”


“Tuesdays with Morrie” by Mitch Albom

Recommended by Cheryl Ou, founder of The Nail Social

Image result for tuesdays with morrie

“I was going through an extremely tough time three years ago when I found this book lying around my house and decided to read it. At that time, I was kicked out of my own company and facing the possibility of getting involved in a lawsuit.

The book – it belonged to my brother – was pretty intense. I was depressed and cynical, yet somehow it spoke to me. It talks a lot about regret, forgiveness, being positive, and most importantly, to appreciate the life you have now. I’ve always been quite the perfectionist and, admittedly, a sore loser when things don’t go the way I plan. The book taught me to let go of the things that I have no control over and to make time for things in my life that really matter.

Everything I read in the book was not new to me. I had read and heard this kind of advice all the time, but I liked that it was packaged as a story and it did not come across like some self-help book. The timing was also perfect as it made me realise that life is short and wasting the next couple of years embroiled in a lawsuit is not a good way to spend my life. I’ve also been thinking about starting a social enterprise for quite a while now, and the book also made me realise that there’s no better time than now to start. So, I started The Nail Social with another partner to work with underprivileged women and empower them with a vocational skill and a stable job, thereby paving the way for self-sufficiency and better life opportunities.”