Two Books That Have Changed my Perspective on Life

It probably is not going to come as a surprise to many people when I say books you read can have a huge impact on who you are, and the way you think. I have read quite a few books over the years (disclaimer, not nearly as many as I would like to have because I read very slowly) and there have been some that have really stuck with me.

The first book I ever remember reading by myself was Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo (published in 2000) and I attribute this book to being one of the reasons I am such an avid reader today. This was the first book that changed my perspective on life, and since then there have been a few others.

Here are two that I’ve read fairly recently.

The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well and The Little Book of Lykke: The Danish Search for the World’s Happiest People by Meik Wiking.

Both these books changed my perspective on life because they both made me realize how fast-paced I was living, and how much I was missing out on as a result. In the morning (I still do this sometimes, but I am trying to break the habit) I was typically on my phone scrolling on social media – not really consuming anything of value, when I could have been reflecting, talking to my parents if they were home, reading … you get the point.

Another incredible point discussed, in the Little Book of Lykke specifically, is the importance of work-life balance. When living in a seemingly go-go world it becomes apparent that work should also be the same. That is not always the case. Working fast, although sometimes needed when working on a deadline, is not always the most efficient. It can lead to mistakes, and in some cases, an absence of passion about the work one may be doing when it was once there.

Both books also reminded me about the importance of spending time alone but also making quality time for family and friends (true quality time talking, and doing things you love), along with the importance of meaningful travel – seeing new places and truly experiencing their culture, meeting new people, trying new things, etc.

Overall, these two books reminded me to slow down more often, take the time to do things I truly enjoy, and look up (literally) to experience life. These are not robust or new concepts to me; however, it took reading them in a book for them to finally click.

The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking

The Little Book of Hygge book cover.

From GoodReads:

“Denmark is often said to be the happiest country in the world. That’s down to one thing: hygge.

‘Hygge has been translated as everything from the art of creating intimacy to cosiness of the soul to taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things. My personal favourite is cocoa by candlelight…’

You know hygge when you feel it. It is when you are cuddled up on a sofa with a loved one, or sharing comfort food with your closest friends. It is those crisp blue mornings when the light through your window is just right.

Who better than Meik Wiking to be your guide to all things hygge? Meik is CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen and has spent years studying the magic of Danish life. In this beautiful, inspiring book he will help you be more hygge: from picking the right lighting and planning a dinner party through to creating an emergency hygge kit and even how to dress.”

The Little Book of Lykke: The Danish Search for the World’s Happiest People by Meik Wiking

The Little Book of Lykke book cover.

From GoodReads:

“Lykke (Luu-kah) (n): Happiness

It’s easy to see why Denmark is often called the world’s happiest country. Not only do they have equal parental leave for men and women, free higher education and trains that run on time, but they burn more candles per household than anywhere else.

So nobody knows more about happiness – what the Danes call lykke – than Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen and author of the bestselling sensation The Little Book of Hygge. But he believes that, whilst we can certainly learn a lot from the Danes about finding fulfilment, the keys to happiness are actually buried all around the globe.

In this captivating book, he takes us on a treasure hunt to unlock the doors to inner fulfilment. From how we spend our precious time, to how we relate to our neighbours and cook dinner, he gathers evidence, stories and tips from the very happiest corners of the planet. This is the ultimate guide to how we can all find a little more lykke in our lives.”

Book cover photos are courtesy of GoodReads.


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