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Posts about book-notes (old posts, page 3)

Stillness is the Key, Ryan Holiday

Stillness is the Key, Ryan Holiday

This is the fitting conclusion to Ryan’s Stoic trilogy. (The Obstacle is the Way and Ego is the Enemy, being the other two)
Must read! Quick Read.
Stillness, intention, doing the work with deliberation, and focus; the book delves through it all in a beautiful manner.
Passages I loved …

“Wrestle with big questions. Wrestle with big ideas. Treat your brain like the muscle that it is. Get stronger through resistance and exposure and training.”

and

“Always think about what you’re really being asked to give. Because the answer is often a piece of your life, usually in exchange for something you don’t even want. Remember, that’s what time is. It’s your life, it’s your flesh and blood, that you can never get back.
In every situation ask:
What is it?
Why does it matter?
Do I need it?
Do I want it?
What are the hidden costs?
Will I look back from the distant future and be glad I did it?
If I never knew about it at all—if the request was lost in the mail, if they hadn’t been able to pin me down to ask me—would I even notice that I missed out?

When we know what to say no to, we can say yes to the things that matter.”


A Life in Parts, Bryan Cranston

A Life in Parts, Bryan Cranston

fun read
when a working actor, tells their story, it’s always a treat.
when a working actor, who struck it big, tells their story, it’s a roller coaster :)
Bryan has fun with the book; there are tales that appear so real, until he yanks the rug, telling you it wasn’t. And there are passages that are unbelievable, but true.
Loved this passage in the book …

Early in my career, I was always hustling. Doing commercials, guest-starring, auditioning like crazy. I was making a decent living, but I confided to Robin that I felt I was stuck in junior varsity. I wondered if I had plateaued. Ever thoughtful, my wife gave me the gift of private sessions with a self-help guy named Breck Costin, who was really wonderful with actors and other creative people.

Breck suggested that I focus on process rather than outcome. I wasn’t going to the audition to get anything: a job or money or validation. I wasn’t going to compete with the other guys.

I was going to give something.

I wasn’t there to get a job. I was there to do a job. Simple as that. I was there to give a performance. If I attached to the outcome, I was setting myself up to expect, and thus to fail. My job was to focus on character. My job was to be interesting. My job was to be compelling. Take some chances. Serve the text. Enjoy the process.

The Final Word on Building Habits – Atomic Habits

If you want to build a habit, this is the definitive book on the topic. 1 You could read about habits in other books, to learn more, but if you actually want to be building them, look no further.

This was the first book in a long time that moved me to actually take action. Succint, pithy and packed with advice, there isn’t a wasted word in its 300 odd pages. And unlike other, it does not feel like three-hundred-pages. Moving from introduction to positing its arguments to tactical advice to conclusion, this feels more like a fast paced novel.

On we go to the things that moved me.

Read more…

Looking for Something to Read in the New Year?

As the year draws to an end, here’s what the folks I follow read this year.

Vishal Khandelwal, has a couple of short, sweet posts on “The Books That Made Me.” Here’s Part 1 and here’s Part 2.

If you’ve already read (and reread) Taleb’s books, here’s a list of books he loves (and hates).

Here is Ryan Holiday’s evergreen list and here’s what he was unto in 2018.

Patrick Collison has a whole antilbrary. (via this ttfs episode).

James Clear wins most organised list.

I follow this not a blog and this tumblr, because these giants who I have grown up on, always have something to recommend.

Not an annual list per se, but Brett McKay’s recommendations have always been awesome!

And finally the big daddy of them all, the annual Farnam Street reading list. While Shane Parrish changed my life in more ways than one, by teaching me how to read and focus, it was his opinions on the books he read that made me follow him all those years ago.

My own eccentric list of books is here.

And there you have it. My little gift to you.

I have about a hundred of you awesome folk on this list. And no matter how infrequent or erratic I am, more than half of you always read every mail I send.
And you always have an encouraging word for me.

For your time, and your attention, and your little acts of kindness, I am truly humbled and thankful.

Merry Christmas to you all! And a Happy New Year!

Gratefully, Jason

P.S. And if you haven’t already, you can always subscribe here.


A Simple Marketing Worksheet

A Simple Marketing Worksheet

  • Who’s it for?
  • What’s it for?
  • What is the worldview of the audience you’re seeking to reach?
  • What are they afraid of?
  • What story will you tell? Is it true?
  • What change are you seeking to make?
  • How will it change their status?
  • How will you reach the early adopters and neophiliacs?
  • Why will they tell their friends?
  • What will they tell their friends?
  • Where’s the network effect that will propel this forward?
  • What asset are you building?
  • Are you proud of it?

“This Is Marketing”, Seth Godin


The Personal MBA

tpmba

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 as a whole …

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.

Personally biased, I loved the chapters on antifragility, optionality and tinkering. Those are Taleb terms. Josh calls them Resilience, Fail Safes and The Experimental Mindset.

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?