We have read countless books on discernment, way-finding, and listening for calling in our search for the best resources for purpose-finding. Many of these were great books leveraging insights from top thinkers. But they didn’t help us get to the crux of who we are.
We built 40Form as a way to take an empirical and data-driven approach to getting to know yourself. We help you capture your actual lived experience so you can analyze it and come to conclusions about who you really are.
If you’re looking to dig deeper into vocation after finishing your 40Form journey, here are a couple of our favorite purpose-finding books.
Full disclosure, if you make a purchase from Bookshop using these links, 40Form will receive a commission.
Let Your Life Speak
Parker J. Palmer
Parker Palmer’s Let Your Life Speak will challenge how you think about purpose and your life’s work. Palmer reverses the traditional question “what will I do with my life?”, instead asking readers to consider “what is your life asking of you?” Coming from a Quaker tradition, Palmer will shift the way you think about calling and purpose. He offers great insight into burnout and obligations. A short and powerful read for anyone asking these deep questions.
Bill Burnett and Dave Evans
Designing Your Life applies design thinking methodologies to creating a fulfilling life. The book walks you through a step-by-step process of imagining your possible futures and testing them out. We highly recommend pairing this reading with 40Form/CORE to make sure your images of your future match your deepest self.
Wright’s Lifework focuses on helping you find a career that aligns the many facets of your life. A beautifully designed workbook, this resource may have the best selection of questions we have seen. Lifework is an excellent pairing with our 40Form/CORE program to go deeper into questions about who you are and what is significant in your life.
The Rocket Years
Liz Segran’s The Rocket Years dives headfirst into the data to share how the decisions we make in our twenties have downstream impacts on our future. Covering everything from career choices, to relationship decisions, to hobbies, to faith questions, Liz’s smart analysis will have you thinking more clearly about your decisions and their impact.
Essentialism by Greg McKeown is a must-read, but only after you’ve done enough self-reflection to really pare down your life to your most purposeful activities. McKeown invites his readers to consider all their activities and obligations and refine them down to the essentials. The process of limiting and refinement can be very helpful in revealing our purpose.
Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Rubin is the first of two empirically oriented books we recommend. Rubin provides a helpful way of reflecting on your money to understand your habits, with the ultimate goal of helping you determine how to free yourself from financial obligation and live the life you are called to. Her book will help you explore your relationship with money, and her chapter on purpose finding augments a 40Form/CORE journey well.
The Life Changing Art of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo is the second empirically oriented book on this list. Kondo notes that the process of asking yourself over and over again whether things bring you joy helps you to determine what exactly you care about. This can be a step in finding your purpose. Using Kondo’s methodology as an input into 40Form could be transformative.