By Andrés Muñoz

The last time I felt lost was when my cellphone was stolen over the weekend. A pickpocket somewhere in the city would have grimly laughed if they could have seen me frantically looking for my phone. Suddenly, I felt stranded, without any means to contact my loved ones. At the same time, I was in a part of the city that I didn’t know so well, so my lack of bearings was both emotional and physical! 

The hours went by, and I was eventually able to get home. I also realised that objects come and go, and although recovering my phone’s information might be a hassle, I’m thankful that it was just a pickpocket and nothing else. 

Being lost is a blessing in disguise. Whether you can’t find the proper directions in a city or a clear path to be okay inside your head, you will eventually find the willpower and grit necessary to keep going. The following books will help you find yourself, whether it is in this physical world or somewhere in the vast and misty corners of your mind.

The Last Lecture By Randy Pausch

There’s nothing like some perspective to help you find yourself. 

Randy Pausch was a Carnegie Mellon University computer science professor diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. When the doctors told him that he had three to six months to live, Dr Pausch gave his students a lecture titled: “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”, which became his book, “The Last Lecture“.  

During the lecture, he is in high spirits and playful, talking about his childhood dreams, how he has achieved them, and how he strives to enable the dreams of others. The book expands on these subjects and subjects such as life and mortality. 

Lonely Planet’s “Experimental Travel”

There are some moments in life where we are meant to be lost, and this book is the perfect rabbit hole into which you should tumble down. All notions of ordinary travel are cast aside, and new forms of travel are suggested. 

It can be as odd as moving around in an outdated mode of transport like a hot air balloon or a carriage, or visiting different cities and capturing the same element of all of them… there is even an entire chapter that challenges you to stay 24 hours blindfolded on a new location (with a friend guiding you, of course!). 

This book is absolutely fascinating and has sparked my thrill for travel time and again.

Creative Quest By Questlove

Sometimes we lose our creativity and have a hard time finding that fire again. Co-frontman of the American hip hop band, The Roots, Ahmir Khalib Thompson, AKA Questlove, brings us Creative Quest. It’s a thought-provoking anthology of what creativity means to him and several of his successful friends in the world of music. Apart from performing with The Roots, Questlove has produced albums for Elvis Costello, Erykah Badu, Amy Winehouse and John Legend.

The book has him sharing the highs and lows of his career and those of famous artists and creatives. Expect to receive gems of wisdom from artists like Ava DuVernay, Bjork, David Lynch, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Prince, and Usher.

Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships By Tristan Taormino

You might be lost in a relationship or in your ability to conduct them in a way that is healthy for you and the people you care about. This book helps you navigate the interesting seas of open relationships. 

While you might initially think that this book is similar to Janet W. Hardy and Dossie Easton’s The Ethical Slut (shared in one of our articles almost a year ago), Taormino provides a more pragmatic approach to open relationships and dismisses the idea that polyamory can only be of a sexual nature. Fascinating stuff.

Greenlights By Matthew McConaughey

“What? Matthew McConaughey wrote a book?” you ask. You might be a little confused as to why it’s in here, but this memoir, which has the Academy-award winning actor looking back on 50 years of his life, is a stimulating read. He explores different stages, from before his time as a famous actor, all the way to becoming a megastar.

Yes, it has some conservative elements that you’ll naturally find in a fifty-something Texan man’s life story, which add richness to his tale. He says that the book is hopefully “like going to church without having to be born again, and laughing through the tears.”

I’ve strived to avoid the typical self-help titles like Who Moved My Cheese or The Alchemist because being lost is a different state. Just because you are lost doesn’t mean that you won’t enjoy it. And eventually, we all find what we are meant to find.