I read When Breath Becomes Air and following Paul's path through his diagnosis, fight, and eventual passing away was a lesson in focus for me. He takes his readers, although it doesn't feel like he's speaking to an audience but rather to himself, into his mind as he works through his experience.
The book was thought-provoking as I was reading it but was even more transformative afterwards. It left me thinking for a long time after about not only my own life but the lives of those around me.
Some favorite quotes:
Most ambitions are either achieved or abandoned; either way, they belong to the past.
Science may provide the most useful way to organize empirical, reproducible data, but its power to do so is predicated on its inability to grasp the most central aspects of human life: hope, fear, love, hate, beauty, envy, honor, weakness, striving, suffering, virtue.
You that seek what life is in death, Now find it air that once was breath. -Baron Brooke Fulke GrevilleThe last quote on there, from which the title of the book comes, has been hitting me hard recently. I've believed in eternity and souls and God for quite a while. But it's now making me question the purpose of pursuits, trying, and effort in earth life. But those are much too heavy of thoughts for such a light, short post.
This is probably a book I'll read every once in a while to get me thinking. I would 9/10 recommend the writing and 10/10 recommend that you read it regardless of form, just for the content. Here is a link to buy the book on Amazon.