Summer Reading: Meaning & Purpose

Summer Reading: Meaning & Purpose

May 30, 2012

In a tearful, very honest, very vulnerable moment, a friend recently admitted to me, “I don’t know my purpose in life.”  She was having a rough day, her blue mood brought on by a contemporary’s seeming boast about a project that she was working on that had received great accolades.  After thinking on our conversation which, I believe, ultimately led her down a more hopeful path, I recalled three little gems-of-books that may provide perfect sources of comfort, direction and self-discovery for others who find themselves in a similar situation.

What’s in Your Kubburd?: How to Use What You’ve Got to Make Meaning and Find Purpose in Your Life by Dr. Munro Richardson.  Whether at home, in the community or in our professional endeavors, we constantly seek to live rich, meaningful lives.  Sometimes, however, this can seem a daunting task and may feel out of reach.  In his well-articulated book, Richardson does a masterful job of outlining the essential ingredients necessary for finding purpose and making more meaning in our lives – each of which can be found within ourselves.  His easy to follow recipes and models help empower the reader to take action.  I was inspired by his words and now feel compelled to look within myself to ensure that I am taking full advantage of what’s in my own “kubburd.”  Richardson blogs from time to time at – his posts are compelling and worth the read.

Step Up Now:  21 Powerful Principles for People Who Influence Others by Susan S. Freeman.   This action-oriented tome encourages business leaders reimagine their approach to their work through a lens of wellness and personal fulfillment.  The reader, in each bite-sized chapter, is challenged to address, head on, topics such as listening, authenticity, accountability, asking questions and curiosity.  Freeman does not expect the reader to go it alone.  Instead, she provides a detailed, specific suggested course of action for each topic and even offers a free supplemental “Step Up Leader Action Guide” on her website,  While there, you should check out her “Leadership I.Q. Test” – it is a quick hit assessment and you will even receive a quick email with your results and their meaning.

Put Your Whole Self In!  Life and Leadership the Hokey Pokey Way by Kelly A. Tyler.  Through this adorable little book, Tyler reminds us that that we ought to get back to our more youthful selves by putting our whole selves in and shake all about!  She encourages the reader, with each part of us that we put in – from our skulls (holders of our brains) to our tears (reflections of our deep emotions) to our elbows (giving us room to move around) to our toes (to test the water) and every part in between – to consider how we behave in a meaningful, purposeful way and to be all in!  She even goes so far as to give examples of people we know – and don’t know – and how they go all in.  Honestly, made me want to dance a little hokey pokey jig.  Check out Tyler’s blog and other all-in resources at   There, you can learn more about the “All-In Movement” and go all-in for yourself.

Sure, there are certainly a plethora of other books – likely in the business and/or self-help section of whichever book store (brick and mortar or virtual) you frequent – but, I wanted to call your attention to these three self-published beauties.  Two reasons:  First, in the spirit of full disclosure, I know and consider each of these gifted authors to be friends and colleagues – I trust and respect their work and genuinely believe they will serve you well, too.  Second, as a soon-to-be-self-published author myself, I feel compelled to encourage others to check out those books that you may not typically find on the shelves of your local retailer (tell them that you want them to carry these!) but whose authors poured their hearts and souls into sharing wisdom and knowledge that can help each of us to achieve purpose and meaning in our lives.

Write to me and let me know how you like these books and be sure to share your recommendations of other great books.