This birthday is my first without Daddy.
And so this post today, because I want these words out of my head and heart, before they overwhelm me.
Dad & I have birthdays immediately following each other (the 25th & 26th.)
All my birthday memories are inextricably linked with him.
Him being indulgent with his firstborn.
Him holding me close and sharing his cake with me as I grew.
Him taking care of me and letting me crawl into his lap to say our prayers on cold mornings in our small drafty house.
Him being patient with me during my crazy headed years.
And always waiting for me, for our shared birthday cake.
Me loving the fact that I could share my cake with him as I grew.
That I could take care of him, like he did me.
That I was a sterner dad to him, than he ever was to me.
And now for the first time, in 40 years, I do not have a hand holding mine and I feel utterly bereft.
While the Bible and the Stoics remind me that dust indeed I am, I’ll forever be indebted to God, that my father was my rock.
The new table goes on for miles and miles :)
Thank you mummy! From me and my broken back :)
Mothers yielding Bibles, contemplating smearing the blood of lamb chops over her doorway.
Anything to keep her son alive another day.
There is absolutely nothing I can say about the Personal MBA that hasn’t been said.
I cheat and present Derek Sivers’ notes on the book.
But here’s his point about the book …
Wow. A masterpiece. This is now the one “START HERE” book I'll be recommending to everybody interested in business. An amazing overview of everything you need to know. Covers all the basics, minus buzz-words and fluff. Look at my notes for an example, but read the whole book. One of the most inspiring things I've read in years.
Want proof? I asked the author to be my coach/mentor afterwards. It's that good.
My main regret? That the book was on my shelf nearly three years before I picked it up. Talk about lost time.
And as someone who’s helped friends with their MBAs and helped his wife with her DBA, I can absolutely attest that the Personal MBA, does what it claims to do.
It’s world class education for less than 500 bucks.
I’m also a bit jealous and awed. Josh read and synthesised and made notes on so many books and created a smashingly amazing syntopical work. Which is what I do so agonisingly slowly here :P
Short, pithy notes and chapters, keep you engrossed and the book is pretty fast paced and engaging for the enormous breadth of knowledge it seeks to distill within its 500 pages.
But the whole book is awesome!
It’s my new quake book.
I learnt so much and I know I will learn much more as I revisit it again and again.
I’ll close with two things. The short B. C. Forbes passage (all emphases, mine) that Josh closes the book with, and a short audio introduction below.
Your success depends on you.
Your happiness depends on you.
You have to steer your own course.
You have to shape your own fortune.
You have to educate yourself.
You have to do your own thinking.
You have to live with your own conscience.
Your mind is yours and can be used only by you.
You come into this world alone.
You go to the grave alone.
You are alone with your inner thoughts during the journey between.
You make your own decisions.
You must abide by the consequences of your acts …
You alone can regulate your habits and make or unmake your health. You alone can assimilate things mental and things material …
You have to do your own assimilation all through life.
You can be taught by a teacher, but you have to imbibe the knowledge. He cannot transfuse it into your brain.
You alone can control your mind cells and your brain cells.
You may have spread before you the wisdom of the ages, but unless you assimilate it you derive no benefit from it; no one can force it into your cranium.
You alone can move your own legs.
You alone can move your own arms
You alone can control your own muscles.
You must stand on your feet, physically and metaphorically.
You must take your own steps.
Your parents cannot enter into your skin, take control of your mental and physical machinery, and make something of you.
You cannot fight your son’s battles; that he must do for himself.
You have to be captain of your own destiny.
You have to see through your own eyes.
You have to use your own ears.
You have to master your own faculties.
You have to solve your own problems.
You have to form your own ideals.
You have to create your own ideas.
You must choose your own speech.
You must govern your own tongue.
Your real life is your thoughts.
Your thoughts are your own making.
Your character is your own handiwork.
You alone can select the materials that go into it.
You alone can reject what is not fit to go into it.
You are the creator of your own personality.
You can be disgraced by no man’s hand but your own.
You can be elevated and sustained by no man but yourself.
You have to write your own record.
You have to build your own monument—or dig your own pit. Which are you doing?
In geometry, a cupola is a solid formed by joining two polygons, one (the base) with twice as many edges as the other, by an alternating band of isosceles triangles and rectangles.
Well … sod that.
In real life, a cupola is sheer poetry!