By Ken Honda | Published April 14, 2023
Years before I even received the life-changing vision to become an author, and well before my career started over 20 years ago, I knew that I loved books and that they can be a door to powerful teachings and inspiration. I’ve published over 150 books in Japanese just on my own, so imagine how hard it is to narrow down a list of 10 books that have influenced me most throughout my life. There are indeed far more than just the ones listed here, but these are a few of the books that inspired me down my life path as someone who teaches about both money and happiness through finding your vision and lifework.
My 10 Best (in no particular order)
Momo by Michael Ende
I first read this book when I was in college and I was deeply inspired by the story. College life is similar in some ways between Japan and English-speaking countries, which means that like most other students looking towards their future after graduation, I was busy looking for what kind of work I would do after graduation. I felt depressed because I knew I was about to go into the workforce as an adult where I would no longer have as much time or freedom.
Reading Momo inspired me to go for the kind of life that was free from all the illusory obligations that society places on us. It taught me that I had the freedom to choose my own path. Momo touches on the topics of time and efficiency in the modern world that trap us into paths in life that don’t really make us happy, and so I wanted to break away from that so I could focus on all the actual possibilities for my life that I hadn’t even realized existed before. I received the message that following my heart is more important than making money and being “productive” as a business person.
Creating Money by Sanaya Roman
This book actually inspired me to write Happy Money. It really influenced me in my 20s when I was doing the logical kind of “Money IQ” type of work in running accounting businesses of my own. It gave me the spiritual insight that money is actually energy, and that money touches our emotions in unexpected ways. It opened the door to a new world where we can become a magnet to money.
After reading this book I started seeing things from a spiritual perspective and not just a logical or business perspective which is what most books on money teach about. I started to see money as an energy that flows through our lives and transmits the emotions we pour into it consciously or unconsciously.
Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield
I read this famous spiritual book in my 20s as well. I was excited to go along with the main character of the book on his journey as the story unfolded. The book introduced me to very inspiring and new ideas about connecting with energy, nature, your intuition, and being guided by synchronicity to help you find the true essence of life. I took inspiration from the story-telling style in this book when I later wrote my own book in Japanese called “9 Letters from a Millionaire Grandfather” which took the main character across the world on a journey of synchronicities from Japan to Bhutan, Bangkok, Egypt, and more.
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
I read this book when I was semi-retired at the age of 29, contemplating how I wanted to live the next several decades of my life as I raised my newborn daughter at the time. It was during this period when I realized my vision of becoming an author and truly exploring the relationship between money and happiness. I was inspired by Robert Kiyosaki’s story, and all of a sudden, everything I had learned from my mentors just clicked, and I suddenly understood what I should be teaching. It inspired me to share my own wisdom on topics like how to make money in a way that you are doing something you love, and that you have the freedom to break free and choose your life style, and not feel stuck and blame your unfortunate circumstances.
Divine Intuition by Lynn A. Robinson
I read this book when I moved to Boston from Japan I think in 2006 back when I was in my late 30s. I got very excited by the book because by that time I had learned that intuition was a very important element in attracting your best possible life and in making decisions that follow my heart. I never thought about meeting an author myself but I wanted to have a session with the author, Lynn Robinson in person. She was an intuitive consultant, so I made up my mind to sign up for an appointment and go meet her in person, not knowing or caring where she was in the world. I was ready to buy a plane ticket and fly anywhere, so imagine my surprise when I found out she lived a quick 15 minutes away from me at the time. Despite me dressing down in extremely silly and casual clothing with long “unprofessional” hair, she saw right through me and knew through her intuitive vision that I would one day be a bestselling author in Japan and eventually the international world, too. Looking back, she was right, and so I have always loved this book that connected me to her and teaches that everyone has the power to tap into their own inner source of intuition.
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
I think this book is probably inspirational to many people as it really helped popularize the idea of the Law of Attraction, and it excited and inspired me, too. All the stories in the book just made sense and I knew deep inside that what they were saying was exactly how the universe works, and that I could do it, too. One day I had a dream about meeting some of the authors from the book, and I got the feeling that I really would someday. 11 years later, I met many of them as a member of the Transformational Leadership Council where many of the book’s collaborators actually come together to create inspiring works like this to begin with! My dream finally came true.
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
This is a book I read in my sophomore year of college. I wanted to do an experiment to find out if what we think will actually become reality, just as the book describes. I conducted this experiment by spending a whole year thinking about what should be the most unlikely and impossible things for a 22-year old to do, and what I came up with was meeting a member of the royal family of Japan. I didn’t stop there though – I made the challenge even harder by aiming to have dinner with a royal prince. A year later, I found myself having dinner with one of the royal family members in Japan – Prince Takamado himself.
Love is Letting Go of Fear by Gerald G. Jampolsky
This is my favorite book of all because it was a condensed version of Dr Jampolsky’s work, and it also led me to learn about A Course in Miracles. This book is so simple and yet hits on deep lessons of love and life, so it’s the perfect length to read a little bit of each day to remind myself of the way I wanted to carry myself throughout life and in my relationships with others. The concepts in the book helped me heal my past childhood wounds and also helped me go through a difficult and painful divorce in my late 20s. Many years later, I was so thrilled to become the translator of this book into my native language, which became a national bestseller in Japan.
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
Again, this is one of the major books that gave me the I could be an artist in the form of becoming a writer. Before reading this book, I thought I really would end up being a boring accountant for the rest of my life. But while reading the weekly guidance and doing the morning pages exercise, I started thinking “I may be an artist, too…” As I kept going and healing my ideas around what being an artist truly means, I realized it was true and that I really COULD become an artist, and years later I found myself writing and expressing myself creatively in my lifework. These days, even when things are slow, I publish from 3 to 6 books a year, and at my busiest I published 18 books in a single year. I forever appreciate this book because it helped me change my life, and I always recommend it to people who haven’t yet realized that they are artists, too.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
In my 20s I spent several years having fun traveling around the world, meeting people, and enjoying a lot of synchronistic moments and connections. In my own way, I realize that I was searching for the meaning of my life back then. This book is one of the most impactful and well-known for a reason, and it’s one of my ultimate favorites, too. It inspired me to travel more because while meeting new people during the search for life purpose, interesting synchronicities also led me back to my hometown, Kobe, to find my true purpose in life.
Read the article here: https://www.sedgbeer.com/ken-hondas-10-best-spiritual-books/