5 Books to Make Life Better

If you do not read, then you are losing out on the opportunity to live hundreds of lives though books. Life is too short to live through the myriad experiences it has to offer. That’s why we have books. They take us through shots of adventures and learnings that we may, otherwise, never come across. Reading encourages imagination, improves analytical thinking, ability to express oneself, and what not.

If you always wanted to read books, but could never put your finger on what to read, here is a list of ten books which are among the best teachers that you will ever find. These are in no particular order. Take a dive and enjoy.

The Alchemist

Published in 1988, the original version of the book is in Portuguese. This is a story of self-discovery, a small book with a big message. This masterpiece by Paulo Coelho will inspire you to take risks to pursue your dreams. The book is simple to read, but it speaks a lot to anyone who is ready to listen. It has inspired me in the darkest of days and I am pretty sure it will do the same for you as well.

Conversations with God

Irrespective of your religious beliefs or the lack of it, this book is worth your time. Written by Neil Donald Walsch and published in 1995, this book follows the conversations between a mortal and God. As you may have anticipated, it covers many topics that range from spirituality, love, to even politics and education. This book will make you question your environment, your world and even your very existence. Take this soul-searching journey today and get to know yourself better.

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

Interesting name, huh! Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the author of the book, has condensed his two long years’ worth of study in this interesting read. What you can find in this book is probably the answer to one of the most asked questions – How to make life more meaningful? ‘Flow’, as the author calls it, is the deep sense of absorption, which makes the life’s experiences more satisfying. Read this research based and interesting book on happiness to find your own recipe for a good life. It is a must read.

Sophie’s World

Another gem of a book, Sophie’s World, takes you on a journey with a teenage girl, Sophie Amundsen, and her rendezvous with a philosopher, who introduces her to the world of philosophy. As the book progressed, I got engrossed in it even more and more. It touched upon some of the most fundamental questions that we ask ourselves daily, such as who we are, about the world around us. It actually made me think about all this and much more. The book came out in 1991 and has been authored by Jostein Gaarder.

The Road Less Travelled

Written by M.Scott Peck in 1978, this is a non-fiction book. It analyzes the complex human emotions and concepts and puts forth the path to spiritual development. It took me a little more time to read this book, as it is more of a guide for having a fulfilled life, rather than a novel. However, the time spent on it was well worth it.

There are many more books out there that will make you think and take a harder look at your life. Some other titles that I would suggest are Life of Pi, The Giving Tree, The Red Tent, The Time Traveler’s Wife, The Power of One, and Into the Wild. Do let me know how you liked them and your thoughts on them.

Finding time to read these books can be challenging too.  What I suggest is carving out “Me” time.  That’s when you have an non-interrupted period where you can go and dive right into them.  I try to do it at least every or every other day for 30-60 minutes.  I’ll sit out on my back patio and look out at the gorgeous scenery, maybe dip my toes in my hot tub and soak in the pleasure.

10 Tips To Make Travel Less Stressful

oye vey!

Doesn’t that go perfectly with how travel has become?  I used to toss stuff in a bag and hop on a plane.  No stress.  No worry.

Now everyone and their grandma has to deal with crap in getting from here to there.  Seriously, I saw an old old lady being pat down during my last trip.  They even wanted to confiscate her cane, saying it was a weapon. That caused quite a stir.

She ended up winning that argument.

Anyway, you’re wanting to know how to take the stress out of your travels.  Well, let me be of some assistance.

I have travelled all over the world.  And depending on the kind of travel you are embarking upon, there are some tips and tools that you’ll want to employ and some that won’t make sense.

Tip #1  Let your vacation commence as you lock your front door.  That moment you leave the house don’t walk to your car to drive to the airport.  Seriously.  Make getting to the airport easy.  If it’s just me, usually something like a Lincoln Town Car or Mercedes Sedan and if it’s my family we take something larger like an Cadillac Escalade or Limousine.  There’s nothing like letting someone else handle your bags from the get go, sit back and enjoy a ride without worrying about traffic.  And also avoiding Parking Lot C or D or E or whatever the way far away lot is that is for long term parking.

Tip #2  If you can fly first class.  DO IT!  Especially if you’re going overseas or major distances.  There’s more room, it’s better service and the chairs more often then not fold into complete beds or you are in your own pod.  Domestically it’s still great, but not quite as spectacular.  Also, when it comes to your bags, they allow a greater weight limit and the airlines that I’ve flown on don’t charge for the bags.  I do not know if that is the case with all carriers.

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