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The best books to answer the question "What am I living for?"

I have had the pleasure of exploring many career paths and businesses as an attorney, CPA, minister, life coach, media company CEO, publisher, international motivational speaker, and author. Yet it was not until illness from stage 4 endometriosis almost took me out that I realized that life happiness and success were not synonymous. I took the time to 1) figure out the difference and 2) create a pathway to joy. Joy is the step beyond happiness, and it ensures life satisfaction and longevity. And this is the answer to my question – and the topic – what am I living for? I am living for joy, peace, and fulfillment.

The books I picked & why

Found My People: How Connecting To My Ancestral Roots Enriched My Life and Can Do The Same For You

By Richard Kweku Ezeagu Akinyemi

Walking with the author on his journey from successful African American businessman in Montgomery, Alabama to empowered and enriched Nigerian and Ghana American now living in Accra, Ghana brings the echoes of Dr. King's "dream" to life in the halls of our hearts: we realize that to walk equally with others first requires that we know ourselves, proclaiming proudly who we are and whose we are. Found My People gives us the tools, encouragement, and benefits to do so.

This book will challenge your concept of heritage, delight you with the serendipities of destiny, and inspire you to find your people! I was inspired to extend my DNA search and dig deeper into my heritage because of it.

Transforming Lives Through God's Word: A 14 Day Devotional To Support Parents, Educators, and Students Through Life Challenges

By Carol Rhoden

As a parent, I strive to create strong relationships with my daughter’s educational team, and this book is a wonderful tool to cultivate such relationships.

Transforming Lives has daily affirmations and scriptures that explore the challenges that your child and their teachers/administrators encounter in working to build students into strong leaders, responsible community members, and loving members of our families. The author also included a list of best practices and advice from experienced educators that can help you support your child through crises and everyday living.

It is a pocket-sized book, so it can go where ever you go, and there is ample room for journaling after every chapter. Also, it is a 14-day journal, but there is a bonus day included.

Management Mantras

By Sri Sri Rabi Shankar

I read this book on my way home from India about 9 years ago, after a women’s leadership conference in Bangalore at the Art of Living Foundation International Headquarters.

It was the perfect supplement to the theme of the conference – supporting leaders. Management Mantras had a list of strategies and tips that I still use today, and greatly credit to my success. One of the best pieces of advice was the vacation schedule: 3-day weekend every month; 1 week every quarter; 2 weeks every 6 months.

These breaks allow us to be rejuvenated and refreshed so we catch burnout before we burn up! It is an easy read, very well written, and a great resource no matter where you are in your professional journey or industry.

Purpose in Your Pain

By Stephanie Davenport, Lynita Mitchell-Blackwell (editor)

I have purchased and gifted this book through the years when I met someone in need of a reminder of how good life is and that pain is both part of the process of growing and a tool in becoming the strong person we were meant to be.

It has wonderful illustrations of life pain that includes losing loved ones, jobs, status and position, and relationships; and how that pain may be turned into fuel to become stronger, wiser, and more compassionate in our life journey.

The Happiness Track: How To Apply the Science of Happiness to Accelerate Your Success

By Emma Seppala

This book had me hooked in the introduction when the author discussed her personal experience realizing that the pursuit of happiness hamster wheel (my words) never ends unless we end it.

I took it everywhere, and everywhere people saw me reading it, they stopped so we could talk about it – even in Wendy’s over hamburgers during lunch one day! My dog-eared copy was happily gifted to my college-freshman niece, who saw it in my car, and I am delighted that she is implementing some of the advice in the book to get off the hamster wheel and enjoy her life.

While success is important, living a satisfying life trumps all, and this book does a great job illustrating how to do that.

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