There are 24 hours in a day, yet we never seem to have enough time. Where do the hours go? We’re so busy and often distracted that we waste a lot of time, the same time we desperately say we need. After an instagram update which allows users to monitor how long they are spending on the app, I found out that I was spending two or more hours on Instagram a day. This was an eye-opener for me. I started to calculate the hours I would spend on social media in a day, a week, or even in a months time, if I kept doing the same thing day after day. I realized how much of my valuable time I was wasting mindlessly scrolling on my phone yet I always complained about not having enough time in a day. I temporarily deleted all of my social media apps. And suddenly I had free time—something I always complained about not having enough of beforehand. That break helped me to reset and if you’re “too busy” but feel like you need to make some positive changes in your life, these books helped me on my journey. The best part is they are short reads for people who struggle with not having enough time in a day. Maybe even short enough to read if you trade some time from social media and read instead.
1. The Power Of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment By Eckhart Tolle.
As the title suggests, this book is a guide to living life in the present. That might not seem groundbreaking, however, most of us are worried about our future or still living in the past. It’s a cycle that social media can make worse. After all, we’re scrolling through social media where people only share their highlights and their ups, often choosing not to share their struggles or setbacks. If you feel like you’re constantly worrying about your future or replaying moments in your head from your past, this book can help you break that cycle.
This book was the first on my journey to understanding the way I used to think and how it was having a negative affect on my life. It helped me to slow down and to actually make better decisions. Thinking about the present helped to improve my life. The author stresses living in the moment and enjoying what you have in front of you and not about the past which we cannot change and not living in an imaginary future that we are worrying about because we make up scenarios out of fear or anxiety.
2. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.
This book is extremely popular and you may have even seen quotes from it on social media. The book is broken down by these four important principles:
1. Be impeccable with your word.
2. Don’t take anything personally.
3. Don’t make assumptions.
4. Always do your best.
Although the above “agreements” may seem straightforward, I strongly suggest you dive deeper and give this book a read. This book is great for people who don’t get to read often or think they’re too busy to read because you can finish it in a day or two. It’s very short, simple, informative, and to the point. It’s a no-fuss guide to living a happier life. The Four Agreements instructs readers to live by these agreements in order to destress and make their lives less complicated. It has a very positive and upbeat message about how we should try to approach life. This guide helped me to let go of things I cannot control and to be proactive in the things that I can.
3: Siddhartha by Herman Hesse.
German author Hesse, tells an amazing tale about a fictional character named Siddhartha. Siddhartha is a prince from a Noble family who wishes to seek a different life. He wants to live a simpler life even if that means being less fortunate than he currently is. He leaves his home against his father’s wishes and seeks a life of abstinence, doesn’t indulge in food, new clothes, or anything unnecessary to his survival. This story takes many surprising turns as Siddhartha experiences poverty and wealth and the ending will blow you away.
I really connected with this book because it isn’t just a tale of living a more simple life, it’s more complicated than that. Although it’s fictional, the emotions and experiences that Siddhartha goes through are realistic. Changing isn’t always easy and often times comes with a lot of twists and turns. Hesse also gives you insight into both worlds: living lavishly and living a more simple life. And that one isn’t always better than the other. The author narrates a tale that teaches us all that we can find inner peace in different ways, one way will not work for everyone.
It’s important for all of us to unplug as often as possible. Reading is a great way to calm down, tune out the noise from our busy lives, and to give ourselves some clarity. Nowadays we are always multitasking—scrolling on social media while watching TV for instance. We rarely focus on one thing anymore. Reading helped me to stay grounded, work more efficiently, and helped with my mental health. I hope these books help you as much as they have helped me.