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Books

How Will You Measure Your Life by Clayton Christensen, James Allworth and Karen Dillon

The Rabbit Hole is written by Blas Moros. To support, sign up for the newsletter, become a patron, and/or join The Latticework. Original Design by Thilo Konzok.

Summary
  1. Christensen is clear that he will not provide any important answers but he does promise to help the reader ask the important questions in order to get them on the path to be happy in their relationships and their careers.
Key Takeaways
  1. Asks the reader to ask – how will be happy in my career and relationships, how do live a life of integrity
  2. Does not promise to offer any answers, simply prompt you to figure out what is important to you and how you will measure your life
  3. Love what you do every single day – Determine your priorities and have a plan and be deliberate but also open to new opportunities
  4. The journey (learning/accomplishment) a bigger motivator than the destination
  5. Must balance deliberate strategy with unanticipated opportunities
  6. If not in a perfect situation, experiment and iterate
  7. For any big decision, ask what has to prove true to be happy and successful
  8. Strategy is irrelevant if not allocating resources properly
  9. Create proper incentives to achieve what you want
  10. Sacrifice strengthens commitment
  11. Self-esteem comes from achieving something important when it is hard to do
  12. Sometimes what parents don’t do more important than what they do do
  13. In parenting and career, think of what skills you want to build and reverse engineer to get those experiences
  14. Culture will form regardless. Make sure it is one you like and support. Be extremely explicit – write culture down, have a motto
  15. Small, everyday decisions shape our lives, our careers, families, etc.
  16. Following any principle 100% of the time is easier than doing it 98% of the time
  17. Absolutely critical to articulate your purpose. Purpose can’t be left to chance, it must be deliberate and it is often emergent. Take opportunities as they arise, it is a process, not an event
  18. Figuring out your purpose is one of the toughest but most rewarding journeys a person can take
What I got out of it
  1. Two main things, whenever a big decision arises, ask yourself what has to happen in order for you to be happy and successful. If realistic and you think it is likely, proceed but if not, reevaluate. The second is the concept of having a concrete and deliberate goal and finding ways to reverse engineer your experience (jobs) in order to gain the skills necessary to attain that goal. Highly recommend this book – brief, easy to read with a powerful/actionable message
Categories
Books

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and Andrew Carnegie

The Rabbit Hole is written by Blas Moros. To support, sign up for the newsletter, become a patron, and/or join The Latticework. Original Design by Thilo Konzok.

Summary
  1. One of the all-time leading books on creating and maintaining wealth. However, in many ways it is also a practical guide on how to live and conduct yourself to achieve a quality and happy life.
Key Takeaways
  1. Must have a Definite Chief Aim (DCA) and focus on it intently. Can have no doubt and must have a burning desire to achieve your DCA
  2. Thoughts are manifested into reality so must have a very clear picture of what you want and make sure no negative thoughts creep in. Figuring out your DCA is often one of the more difficult things you’ll have to do
  3. Habitualize positive acts and emotions as much as possible. Habits require less willpower and will allow you to achieve more
  4. Having a mastermind group is vital
What I got out of it
  1. In many ways this book, although centered around wealth and investing, preceded many of the same sentiments found in “self-help” type books such as Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret. You must have a very clear goal that you think of often before you can make it happen.
Categories
Books

Letters from a Self-Made Merchant to His Son by John Graham and George Horace Lorimer

The Rabbit Hole is written by Blas Moros. To support, sign up for the newsletter, become a patron, and/or join The Latticework. Original Design by Thilo Konzok.

Summary

  1. John Graham, the owner of a pork-packaging business in Chicago in the 1890’s, writes his son letters from the time he is in college until he starts working and moving up within the family business. The letters are full of life lessons in the form of examples and past experiences. Nothing revolutionary but it shows what care the father takes in imparting proper wisdom to his son.
Key Takeaways
  1. You’ll find that education is about the only thing lying around loose in this world, and that it’s about the only thing a fellow can have as much of as he’s willing to haul away. Everything else is screwed down tight and the screw-driver lost
  2. …the fact that it isn’t so much knowing a whole lot, as knowing a little and how to use it that counts
  3. I’ve always made it a rule to buy brains and I’ve learned that the better trained they are the faster they find reasons for getting their salaries raised
  4. Putting off an easy thing makes it hard and putting off a hard thing makes it impossible
  5. …habits rule a man’s life
  6. A business man’s conversation should be regulated by fewer and simpler rules than any other function of the human animal. They are: Have something to say; say it; stop talking.
    1. Note: reminds me of Charlie Munger…
  7. Give fools the first and women the last word
  8. Remember, too, that it’s easier to look wise than to talk wisdom. Say less than the other fellow and listen more than you talk; for when a man’s listening he isn’t telling on himself and he’s flattering the fellow who is
  9. They [common laws of business] are so simple that a fool can’t learn them; so hard that a lazy man won’t
  10. Loyalty – It is the one commodity that hasn’t any market value and it’s the one that you can’t pay too much for
  11. I don’t know anything that a young businessman ought to keep more entirely to himself than his dislikes, unless it is his likes. It’s generally expensive to have either, but it’s bankruptcy to tell about them
  12. …I would feel a good deal happier over your showing if you would make a downright failure or a clean-cut success once in a while, instead of always just skinning through this way
  13. The poorest men on earth are the relations of millionaires
  14. Consider carefully before you say a hard word to a man, but never let a chance to say a good one go by. Praise judiciously bestowed is money invested
  15. Never learn anything about your men except from themselves
  16. Never threaten, because a threat is a promise to pay that isn’t always convenient to meet, but if you don’t make it good it hurts your credit. Save a threat until you’re ready to act, and then you won’t need it
  17. …a man who is feared to his face is hated behind his back
  18. There’s still plenty of room at the top, but there isn’t much anywhere else
  19. A man who does big things is too busy to talk about them
  20. Worrying is the one game in which, if you guess right, you don’t get any satisfaction out of your smartness. A busy man has no time to bother with it
What I got out of it
  1. John Graham bestows nuggets of wisdom – in both business and life – for his son who at times goes through some growing pains and makes questionable decisions. Graham is often very black and white and sometimes harsh but knows exactly what he stands for and what he values. These letters offer many great thoughts on what to value and strive for in life.
Categories
Books Worth Re-reading

On the Shortness of Life by Lucius Annaeus Seneca

The Rabbit Hole is written by Blas Moros. To support, sign up for the newsletter, become a patron, and/or join The Latticework. Original Design by Thilo Konzok.

Key Takeaways

  1. Men may live to be old but may not live at all. Do not be distracted by pointless actions, jobs, thoughts, people, etc. Live passionately and you will live a long life no matter how young you die
  2. The man who lives correctly is never worried about dying
  3. Everyone hurries his life on and suffers from a yearning for the future and a weariness of the present. But he who bestows all of his time on his own needs, who plans out every day as if it were his last, neither longs for nor fears the morrow. For what new pleasure is there that any hour can now bring? They are all known, all have been enjoyed to the full.
  4. And so there is no reason for you to think that any man has lived long because he has grey hairs or wrinkles; he has not lived long—he has existed long.
  5. But no one sets a value on time; all use it lavishly as if it cost nothing. But see how these same people clasp the knees of physicians if they fall ill and the danger of death draws nearer, see how ready they are, if threatened with capital punishment, to spend all their possessions in order to live! So great is the inconsistency of their feelings.
  6. Life is divided into three periods—that which has been, that which is, that which will be. Of these the present time is short, the future is doubtful, the past is certain. For the last is the one over which Fortune has lost control, is the one which cannot be brought back under any man’s power. But men who are engrossed lose this; for they have no time to look back upon the past, and even if they should have, it is not pleasant to recall something they must view with regret.
  7. Of all men they alone are at leisure who take time for philosophy, they alone really live; for they are not content to be good guardians of their own lifetime only. They annex every age to their own; all the years that have gone ore them are an addition to their store.
  8. Honours, monuments, all that ambition has commanded by decrees or reared in works of stone, quickly sink to ruin; there is nothing that the lapse of time does not tear down and remove. But the works which philosophy has consecrated cannot be harmed; no age will destroy them, no age reduce them; the following and each succeeding age will but increase the reverence for them, since envy works upon what is close at hand, and things that are far off we are more free to admire. The life of the philosopher, therefore, has wide range, and he is not confined by the same bounds that shut others in. He alone is freed from the limitations of the human race; all ages serve him as if a god.  He makes his life long by combining all times into one.
  9. But those who forget the past, neglect the present, and fear for the future have a life that is very brief and troubled; when they have reached the end of it, the poor wretches perceive too late that for such a long while they have been busied in doing nothing.
  10. They lose the day in expectation of the night, and the night in fear of the dawn.
  11. Reasons for anxiety will never be lacking, whether born of prosperity or of wretchedness; life pushes on in a succession of engrossments. We shall always pray for leisure, but never enjoy it.
  12. Meantime, while they rob and are being robbed, while they break up each other’s repose, while they make each other wretched, their life is without profit, without pleasure, without any improvement of the mind. No one keeps death in view, no one refrains from far-reaching hopes;

What I got out of it

  1. Seneca offers powerful insights into how to live in the moment without worrying about the past or future. Live fully in the now and realize that if you take advantage of this, you will live a full (albeit not necessarily long) and fruitful life.
Categories
Books Worth Re-reading

Letters from a Stoic by Seneca

The Rabbit Hole is written by Blas Moros. To support, sign up for the newsletter, become a patron, and/or join The Latticework. Original Design by Thilo Konzok.

Key Takeaways
  1. The primary indication of a well-ordered mind is a man’s ability to remain in one place and linger in his own company
  2. Contented poverty is not poverty at all
  3. It is not the man who has little, but the man who craves more, who is poor
  4. Seneca was born 4BC and was forced commit suicide in 65AD by Emperor Nero.
  5. Spent the last years of his life writing letters to Lucilius, a very close friend and this book is a collection of those letters
  6. Advocates equality of sexes, scientific innovation, retirement, plain living, love of nature, elimination of gladiator games and better treatment of slaves. All novel or at least unusual points of view during this time
  7. Two elements must be rooted out once and for all – the fear of future suffering and the recollection of past suffering – the latter no longer concerns me and the former concerns me not yet
What I got out of it
  1. Incredibly interesting book with many quotable lines and great axioms to live bye. There is too much gold to try to summarize. Do yourself a favor and just read it
Categories
Books

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

The Rabbit Hole is written by Blas Moros. To support, sign up for the newsletter, become a patron, and/or join The Latticework. Original Design by Thilo Konzok.

Summary
 
  1. Marcus Aurelius was the Roman Emperor from 161 to 180 and Meditations is a collection of axioms to live by that he never intended anybody else to see, forget being published and one of the most read books of all time. It offers incredible insights into his mind and how he perceived the world and wanted to live in it.

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You can also find more of my articles in audio version at Listle

Key Takeaways

  1. Focused on the three “disciplines”: the disciplines of perception, of actions and of the will
    1. Perception – absolute objectivity of thought
    2. Action – humans are social animals and must act as nature intended us to
    3. Will – discipline of will governs attitude of things not in our control
  2. At every instant the objects and events in the world around us bombard us with impressions. As they do so they produce a phantasia, a mental impression. From this the mind generates a perception (hypolepsis), which might best be compared to a print made from a photogenic negative. Ideally this print will be an accurate and faithful representation of the original. But it may not be. It may be blurred, or it may include shadow images that distort or obscure the original. Chief among these are inappropriate value judgments: the designation as “good” or “evil” of things that in fact are neither good nor evil. It is, in other words, not objects and events but the interpretations we place on them that are the problem
  3. Aim for “Gravity without airs”
  4. To be free of passion and yet full of love
  5. You need to avoid certain things in your train of thought: everything random, everything irrelevant
  6. “…if you find there’s nothing more important or valuable…then don’t make room for anything but it – for anything that might lead you astray, tempt you off the road, and leave you unable to devote yourself completely to achieving the goodness that is uniquely yours.”
  7. “No random actions, none not based on underlying principles”
  8. “Do less, better”
  9. “Things have no hold on the soul”
  10. “Things ordinary people are impressed by fall into the categories of things that are held together by simple physics…Those admired by more advanced minds are held together by a living soul…Still more sophisticated people admire what is guided by a rational mind…But those who revere that other mind – the one we all share, as humans and as citizens – aren’t interested in other things. Their focus is on the state of their own minds – to avoid all selfishness and illogic, and to work with others to achieve that goal”
  11. “You take things you don’t control and define them as “good” or “bad.” And so of course when the “bad” things happen, or the “good” ones don’t, you blame the gods and feel hatred for the people responsible – or those you decide to make responsible. Much of our bad behavior stems from trying to apply those criteria. If we limited “good” and “bad” to our own actions, we’d have no call to challenge God, or to treat other people as enemies.”
  12. “The only thing that isn’t worthless: to live this life out truthfully and rightly. And be patient with those who don’t.”
  13. “Things can’t shape our decisions by themselves”
  14. “Straight, not straightened”
  15. Helping them isn’t yet its own reward. You’re still seeing it only as The Right Thing To Do. You don’t yet realize who you’re really helping
  16. “External things are not the problem. It’s your assessment of them. Which you can erase right now.”
  17. “What doesn’t transmit light creates its own darkness”
  18. “To stop talking about what the good man is like, and just be one.”
  19. “That no one can say truthfully that you are not a straightforward or honest person. That anyone who thinks that believes a falsehood. The responsibility is all yours; no one can stop you from being honest or straightforward. Simply resolve not to go on living if you aren’t. It would be contrary to the logos”
  20. “I am released from those around me. Not dragged against my will, but unresisting”
  21. “It never ceases to amaze me: we all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own”

  What I got out of it  

  1. The principles that Marcus Aurelius lays out here are just as relevant, if not more so, today than they were almost 2000 years ago. Dozens of powerful yet succinct messages that I believe can help anybody in any walk or stage of life. Highly recommend

Read Meditations

Categories
Books

Walden by Henry David Thoreau

The Rabbit Hole is written by Blas Moros. To support, sign up for the newsletter, become a patron, and/or join The Latticework. Original Design by Thilo Konzok.

Summary
  1. Henry David Thoreau went to live in the woods for two years and two months in order to live deliberately and to distance himself from society. The ultimate book on self-sufficiency and simplicity
Key Takeaways
  1. “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion. For most men, it appears to me, are in a strange uncertainty about it, whether it is of the devil or of God, and have somewhat hastily concluded that it is the chief end of man here to “glorify God and enjoy him forever.”
  2. Men have become the tools of their tools.” 
  3. “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.”
  4. Key points – Less is better, the civilized man is a more experienced and wiser savage, live life fully, self reliance is key, simplicity, anti-consumerism
What I got out of it
  1. While there is controversy over how true Thoreau was to this lifestyle (some say he visited friends, dined and lived luxuriously for short spurts), it is nonetheless a fascinating book about living minimally, efficiently and naturally. We really need so little to be content and this book is the epitome of that notion. Slow at times but well worth it to get the overall lessons and great quotes.

Buy Walden

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Books

Vagabonding by Rolf Potts

The Rabbit Hole is written by Blas Moros. To support, sign up for the newsletter, become a patron, and/or join The Latticework. Original Design by Thilo Konzok.

Summary

  1. In the most simplistic sense, Vagabonding shows you how to travel for extended periods of time with minimal gear and plans. The uncertainties and simplicity are part of what will make your travels so memorable.
Key Takeaways
  1. Vagabonding– Deliberate and mindful extended travel on your own terms
  2. People get too caught up in their social standing and making money that travel becomes part of your lifestyle, something else you buy
  3. Simplifying life takes 3 steps – stopping expansion, reigning in routine and declutter
  4. Do pre-trip homework but never assume anything and don’t plan too much
  5. Bring as little as possible. A couple changes, one nice outfit, sandals, sunglasses, ear plugs and eye covers, some small gifts, toiletries and some medicines
  6. Slow down and don’t rush. Be deliberate and aware of everything around you
  7. People you meet are what make or break your trips. Be trusting and things will work out
  8. Do things which push your limits and get you out of your comfort zone
  9. Be cautious but open to new experiences. Take the good with the bad and accept it all as part of your story
  10. Always travel for personally inspired reasons
What I got out of it
  1. So many good tips and tricks for those looking to take extended travel trips. And if you’re not looking to take these kind of trips, maybe you should. It is much easier and cheaper than most people realize and the life changing experiences you’ll have will stay with you forever. More than a vacation, vagabonding is a way of life

Buy Vagabonding

Categories
Books

The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale

The Rabbit Hole is written by Blas Moros. To support, sign up for the newsletter, become a patron, and/or join The Latticework. Original Design by Thilo Konzok.

Summary
  1. Norman Vincent Peale shows us how to live a happy life with a faith-based inspiration behind his examples. Believe in yourself, take care of the little things, thoughts have a self-fulfilling prophecy and send love to yourself and those around you.
Key Takeaways
  1. Don’t ever be defeated, aim for peace of mind, improved health and endless energy
    1. These characteristics help achieve a happy and self-fulfilling life
  2. Attitudes are more important than facts
  3. Body is designed to give us all the energy we will ever need if we take care of it
  4. It is a well-defined and authentic principle that what the mind profoundly expects it tends to receive
    1. But remember that your subconscious mind in a sense is one of the greatest liars in existence
  5. Anxiety is the great modern plague
  6. The little things matter – cut out the small fears/worries/anxieties and this will quickly get rid of your big problems
  7. Give everything your best and do things right and let the results take care of themselves. it will be the right thing even if you don’t immediately recognize it

What I got out of it

  1. Peale details many faith-based practices which are pragmatic and immediately implementable. Nothing he discusses is revolutionary, but if you can actually put into action a handful of these practices, it is sure to make a noticeable difference in your relationships and general happiness.
Categories
Books

The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho

The Rabbit Hole is written by Blas Moros. To support, sign up for the newsletter, become a patron, and/or join The Latticework. Original Design by Thilo Konzok.

Summary
  1. By following your heart, you will find treasures along the way and do what you are meant to do on this earth. A beautiful book with a powerful message
 
Key Takeaways:
  1. World’s greatest lie – people believe at some point they lose control of their lives to fate. He ended up telling him things that Santi had never told anyone. He told Santi that he had discovered his personal legend – what he was meant to do.
  2. World’s truth – when you really want something it is right because it began in the soul in the universe. Old man tells of same treasure by pyramids and demands 1/10 of his flock.
  3. Truth to happiness – see all the marvels of the world but do not lose what your personal focus is
  4. Forget about the future. Each day in itself brings an eternity
  5. Fear of suffering is worse than suffering itself
  6. Your eyes show the strength of your soul
  7. Do not ever mess with another person or thing’s personal legend
  8. Fear of failure is the one thing that can keep you from achieving your dream
  9. As something improves itself, it improves everything around it as well. Love is the force that transforms and improves the world
  10. Life is generous to those who pursue their personal legend
 
What I got out of it:
  1. A beautiful book. Follow your heart and the world will reward you. So simple but often so difficult to implement (if you choose to make it that way…)