The Stuff of Life by Asif Zaidi is a “simple” collection of thoughts and maybe essays from the author. It’s non-fiction “self-help,” but mostly it is meant to be a spiritual guide/philosophy on how to live life and find meaning in it.

The layout of this book is pretty simple. The concepts in this book are probably not earth shattering by any accord. The author lays down commandments a lot of people should already know. Forgiving easily, living in the moment, seeking to look inside ones’ self, seeking to find ones’ self in nature, being cognizant of our egos and how they often seek to perpetuate toxic states of mind, and how sometimes technology gains control of us instead of vice versa.

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The author references previous authors and poets who have come before him pretty frequently throughout to support his points, and the over arcing theme of these essays seems to be obvious though it’s a genuinely pleasant read. It’s a good over view of authors and poets whom readers might be avoiding because they find them too difficult or confusing (like Nietzsche, Shakespeare, and Wilde), as the author gives the bullet points of their philosophies infused with his own thoughts and feelings. While the author sort of seems to demonize the Internet and maybe the over-freedom of expression in the new age, most of these ideals and goals can be easily met just by being more present in ones’ life.

There is one theme in this that everyone can hopefully agree on and it’s that if we are more introspective and individualized, we can find contentment and peace in our lives. Through this, we can also hopefully be more kind to each other – and this book sets up a good and earnest path to take when we’re endeavoring to get there. It’s worth a read if a stepping stone to building a better life is something readers want to look into.

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