Finding Purpose

The following is a list of books that help us find meaning in suffering and move towards finding purpose in our recovery. 

Man's Search for Meaning

“Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor E. Frankl is a timeless testament to the power of the human spirit.

A Holocaust survivor himself, Frankl explores the psychological implications of life in Nazi death camps and formulates his theory known as logotherapy.

This book underscores the idea that meaning can be found in life regardless of the circumstances, encouraging us to seek purpose even in the face of adversity.

Frankl’s philosophies empower us to strive for fulfillment and meaning in our lives, offering a powerful tool to cultivate resilience and navigate life’s hardships.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”


  • Original Date of Publication: 1946
  • Author: Viktor E. Frankl
  • Number of Pages: 184

The Alchemist

“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho is an enchanting novel that follows the journey of a young Andalusian shepherd, Santiago, in his quest to realize his personal legend and find his purpose.

Santiago’s odyssey across continents, filled with symbolic encounters and transformative experiences, acts as a metaphor for people seeking their own path in life.

Coelho’s storytelling encourages us to pursue our dreams and listen to our hearts, emphasizing that true happiness and fulfillment lie in understanding one’s unique purpose in the world.

“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”


  • Original Date of Publication: 1988
  • Author: Paulo Coelho
  • Number of Pages: 208

No Mud, No lOtus

Thich Nhat Hanh highlights the idea that challenges and pain can lead to growth and happiness in “No Mud, No Lotus.”

This book gently reminds us that the mud (our struggles) is essential for the lotus (our happiness and fulfillment) to bloom.

A guide for all who seek purpose and joy, even amid life’s most difficult times.

“Without suffering, there’s no happiness. So we shouldn’t discriminate against the mud. We have to learn how to embrace and cradle our own suffering and the suffering of the world, with a lot of tenderness.”

  • Original Date of Publication: 2014
  • Author: Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Number of Pages: 128



“Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life” by Héctor García and Francesc Miralles brings readers on a journey through the ancient Japanese philosophy of Ikigai.

This philosophy asserts that the intersection of what you love, what the world needs, what you can be paid for, and what you are good at, is the path to personal fulfillment and purpose.

With inspiring stories from the inhabitants of Okinawa, known for their longevity, this book provides practical insights on how to discover and pursue your own Ikigai, opening doors to a more purposeful life.

“Only staying active will make you want to live a hundred years.”


  • Original Date of Publication: August 29, 2017
  • Authors: Héctor García, Francesc Miralles
  • Number of Pages: 208

Tuesdays with Morrie

“Tuesdays with Morrie” by Mitch Albom is a heartfelt memoir that captures the conversations between Albom and his old college professor, Morrie Schwartz, during the final weeks of Morrie’s life.

As Morrie battles with the debilitating symptoms of ALS, he imparts lessons of love, regret, death, and, above all, the meaning of life.

Albom’s narration, through his reconnection with his mentor, brings forth the importance of seeking purpose and understanding in our fleeting lives.

“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.”


  • Original Date of Publication: August 18, 1997
  • Author: Mitch Albom
  • Number of Pages: 192



Hermann Hesse’s “Siddhartha” narrates the journey of a young man as he seeks enlightenment and self-discovery.

Through various experiences and encounters, Siddhartha comes to understand that true fulfillment and purpose often lie beyond external achievements and material possessions.

A great book for anyone on a path of inner exploration.

“Wisdom cannot be imparted. Wisdom that a wise man attempts to impart always sounds like foolishness to someone else … Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom.”


  • Original Date of Publication: 1922
  • Author: Hermann Hesse
  • Number of Pages: 152

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