This reading list is for those who are curious about different philosophies and are curious to discover the secrets of humanity.
This is not for those who find philosophy a boring pursuit. Personally I find Stoic teachings to be filled with absolute truths, and one of their biggest practices of philosophy is to journal. Some of the books I recommend are just that, journals of great thinkers, the others on the list bring to light other philosophies and practices. I hope you enjoy.
Written by Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor from 161 to 180 AD. The book was never meant to be published, Marcus actually wrote the book and titled it Τὰ εἰς ἑαυτόν, which means to himself. The book is literally the private thoughts of one of the most powerful men on Earth. It is about mundane thoughts and it is about Stoic teachings. It shows the struggle and self-reflection of the most powerful position in the Roman Empire. By reflecting on his writings, we are able to understand the inter-workings of philosophy and self-improvement.
Every college student taking American Literature will tell you how awful this book is. However, I disagree, perhaps I had the chance to read it without the view of an English Professor breathing down my back. Walden is the recollections and writing of Henry David Thoreau as he built a small log cabin on Walden Pond. In order to get the most out of Walden, you must look past the detailed descriptions of almost everything and look at the lessons that Thoreau was learning as he went through this experience. Look at his parallels of nature and of humanity.
Dale Carnegie looks at the relations between people and ways to capitalize on these relations. This book sounds egotistical, but its insights on the people around us are fundamental to being successful in a world full of networks. What I love about Dale Carnegie's book is that he is very plain and simple with the tools to be successful. I recommend this book to young professionals and college seniors, because it will give you the foundation to successfully use your networks to achieve your goals and dreams.
This is another stoic reading that is quite interesting. Epictetus was born into slavery, however he still became one of the most influential thinkers of his time. This books is sets of transcribed informal lectures given by Epictetus. It is rather direct and another great foundation about Stoicism and how to apply your own philosophies, even if you don't totally agree with Stoicism.
By just judging this book by the cover, you might think that is some old Chinese book about warfare. However, when you begin reading you will understand that these principles relate heavily to corporatism and the world we live in today. This one also has a free kindle version for digital users.
6. YOUR JOURNAL by You
This is the most fundamental practice to becoming a philosopher and understanding humanity and the world around you. This practice is encouraged by many different philosophies and is the way we still have some of our greatest thinker's thoughts. Listening, observing, and reflecting is the only way to true philosophy.