Tag Archives: Philosophy

How to Own Your Own Mind by Napoleon Hill

Summary

  1. The problem most of us face isn’t that our goals are too audacious, but that we aren’t using our mind properly. Carnegie classified his approach into three broad principles: Creative Vision, Organized Thought, Controlled Attention

Key Takeaways

  1. Creative Vision – the ability to spot opportunities and act upon them
    1. Focus your mind intently on one or a few problems and your subconscious mind will reward you with solutions. It also prepares you to recognize the solution once you see it or stumble upon it. Persistence and obsession is vital
    2. Must have a definite purpose, an obsessive mission, plans to follow, make use of the mastermind principle (learning from other greats), using the power of applied faith
    3. The man who helps the greatest number to succeed is himself the greatest success
    4. The road to riches is well known, but long. You cannot get something for nothing
    5. Focus more on the services rendered than the riches you shall receive
    6. The most important skill needed is the ability to negotiate with others with the least amount of friction so as to get the maximum of friendly cooperation. In other words, win/win human relations
    7. Man of vision recognize that sound ideal oh best investments one can make
    8. 10 principles of creative vision
      1. Recognizes opportunities favorable to his own advancement.
      2. Moves with definiteness of purpose in embracing opportunities.
      3. Plans every move he makes….
      4. Provides himself with….the knowledge of others.
      5. Removes limitations from his own mind.
      6. Adopts and follows the habit of Going the Extra Mile.
      7. Keeps his mind….attuned to the circumstances and conditions of those around him.
      8. Moves on his own personal initiative, without being urged to do so.
      9. Assumes full responsibility for his own deeds and depends upon the soundness of his own judgement.
      10. Develops and uses….the faculties of imagination.
    9. Those with creative vision make their work look effortless. They achieve what they want with the minimum amount of effort
  2. Organized Thought – self-discipline, perseverance, definitiveness of purpose
    1. You must make your mind and willpower the master over emotions
    2. The mind comes to believe any idea which it is repeatedly presented, whether sound or on sound. Make sure you feed your mind with as accurate and foundational facts as possible. Habit and social heredity and mimicry play an incredibly important role. Be aware of each of their effects on your life and thinking
    3. Remove procrastination, stimulate the subconscious mind, become self-reliant, learn from others
  3. Controlled Attention – With Creative Vision and Organized Thought, you’re able to pinpoint your attention fiercely onto any goal you set
    1. Controlled attention magnetized the brain with the nature of one’s dominating thoughts, aims, and purposes, thus causing one to be always in search of every necessary thing that is related to one’s dominating thoughts.

What I got out of it

  1. “New Age” thinking but from 1908. Interesting to see how Carnegie outlines why and how he succeeded – setting ambitious goals (creative vision), setting a definiteness of purpose (organized thought), and then having the perseverance and focus to follow through (controlled attention).

The 48 Ways to Wisdom by Noah Weinberg

Summary

  1. Rabbi Noah Weinberg distills his wisdom into 48 deep principles

Key Takeaways

  1. Be Aware of Every Moment – To achieve significant results in life, the effort must be constant. Don’t waste a minute.
  2. Listen Effectively – When the media hits you with another message, don’t take it for granted. Analyze and question.
  3. Say it out loud – Articulate your beliefs out loud, and find out if you really believe what you say.
  4. Introduce yourself to yourself – Don’t go through life making assumptions about who you are. Take time now before a crisis comes along and forces the issue.
  5. The power of awe – In the face of the Grand Canyon or a hurricane, we feel exhilaratingly small. It’s the power of awe.
  6. Mastering fear – Roller coasters and horror movies… we pay good money to be scared out of our wits. Harness the energy of “fear” for positive purposes.
  7. The true charisma – Humility is not an inferiority complex. It’s doing the right thing and not being dependent on the opinion of others.
  8. Constant joy – Joy gives you the power, motivation and confidence to achieve things that otherwise seem too difficult to attempt. Better than a granola bar – joy is pure energy.
  9. Total concentration – Don’t read about wisdom in a book. Find an expert and watch how he works.
  10. Honor the wise person – Don’t read about wisdom in a book. Find an expert and watch how he works.
  11. Work it through friends – Companies test-market new products. To know the value of your ideas, find friends to give you straight, honest feedback.
  12. Growth through teaching – Don’t let your idea remain a hazy notion in your imagination. Transmit it to others and make it a reality.
  13. Think about it – We make snap decisions or may mull over decisions for too long. Become skilled at a happy medium of decision-making.
  14. Written instructions for living – Torah is not an arcane text of the ancient world. It is the essence of Judaism, which is the essence of ourselves.
  15. Oral instructions for living – Judaism is not a reference work sitting on the shelf. It’s to be lived and internalized.
  16. Apply business acumen to living – A business has to function at maximum efficiency. Apply those same core principles to your pursuit of a great personal and spiritual life.
  17. Marriage power – Intimacy is a powerful drive, second only to survival itself. Use it wisely.
  18. The use of physical pleasure – The physical world is for our pleasure. Spiritual growth comes through elevating the mundane world.
  19. Wake up and live – Minimize sleep – because on a deeper level, it’s about “waking up” to life.
  20. The art of conversation – People today are busier than ever, “conversation time” is diminishing. Is anyone out there listening?
  21. Laughter is serious business – Laughter is a deeply spiritual emotion. Understand the dynamics of laughter and use it wisely.
  22. Conquer frustration – It’s a tough world and we have to be persistent. Accept the frustration as a challenge – and love it!
  23. The good heart – Be aware of your inner struggle between the two conflicting inclinations – to do the right thing, or to be selfish.
  24. Search for wisdom – Wisdom makes the wheels of life spin forward. Pursue it.
  25. No pain, no gain – Pain is the price we pay for real, lasting pleasure.
  26. Know your place – Every person has a unique contribution to make in this world. Figure out your role in the grand scheme.
  27. Happiness – You can be rich and miserable. Happiness is a state of mind. Develop tools for how to get it.
  28. Protect what is precious – A fence keeps a safe distance from danger. If you find a “hole” in your life, take precautions to avoid stumbling into errors.
  29. Subtle traps of arrogance – Distinguish between pride (“I’m better than others”) and pleasure (“I’m fortunate”).
  30. Be loved by others – The human desire to be loved is deep and natural. If you give warmth, you’ll attract warmth.
  31. Seek the ultimate pleasure – Even with lots of money and power, no human being is truly satisfied without the transcendent dimension.
  32. Love humanity – Imagine having never seen a human being before. What a fantastic gadget!
  33. Fulfill your obligations – Don’t grumble about obligations. They actualize potential and are the basis of self esteem.
  34. Use your inner guide – Buried within the subconscious lies the knowledge of everything we need to know about living.
  35. Love Criticism – Criticism is not a personal attack, but a way to reach your Olympic-level potential
  36. Handling social pressure – Don’t spend your life trying to impress others. Be true to your own convictions.
  37. Never be bored – Don’t take life for granted. Look for fresh insights. Reawaken the mystery.
  38. Responsible decisions – Every conscious moment is another decision. The most important decision is “What am I living for?”
  39. Share the burden – Sensitizing yourself to the pain of others will give you renewed awareness for living.
  40. Make others meritorious – We all recognize the need to take responsibility when someone is in physical danger. We’re just as obligated when it’s a spiritual danger.
  41. Getting into reality – Life is breathtaking. Wouldn’t you rather experience love than watch it in a movie? Get out of the illusion and into reality
  42. Peace of mind – Even with the world in turmoil, we can be at inner peace. To attain that equilibrium, focus on the needs of your soul.
  43. Fascination with living – Children live in a natural state of awe. To reclaim that energy, pursue your goals with relentless fascination.
  44. Analyze the issues – The best defense against abuse is to question what you see. Use your intellect to uncover inconsistencies and rationalizations.
  45. Expand your ideas – Whenever you learn a piece of wisdom, extract what’s relevant to your life. Rake it to its ultimate conclusion and live with it.
  46. Learn in order to teach – If you know something worthwhile, share it. By reaching others, you will reach yourself.
  47. Learn in order to do – The power of wisdom is to make life better. There is no greater waste than to have great ideas and then not to use them.
  48. Educate the educators – Don’t swallow wholesale what others say. Check out whether it make sense.
  49. Bonus
    1. Organize your mind – The human brain is a sophisticated filing cabinet. Organize in order to access that information.
    2. Reward of gratitude – Acknowledge your gifts and be grateful to the source. Because if you know from whom you’re receiving, you can always go back for more.

What I got out of it

  1. A profoundly deep book that likely needs several reads and several years to truly absorb it

The Five Temptations of a CEO: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni

Summary

  1. Many CEOs put the success of their organization in jeopardy as they’re unwilling to face themselves and the 5 temptations of a CEO

Key Takeaways

  1. Temptation 1 – placing ego over achievement.
    1. Running a company is simple, but people make it complicated as they’re not willing to face their own issues, revealing their temptations for others to see and help with. Don’t trade the lack of short term pain for long term success
  2. Temptation 2 – popularity over accountability
    1. Have to hold people accountable or they won’t know how seriously to take you and you won’t be consistent
  3. Temptation 3 – certainty over clarity
    1. Have to set vision and expectations for yourself and entire team. Can’t hold people accountable if they don’t have clarity on their expectations
    2. Clear and timely decisions are so important. Nearly any decision is better than no decision
  4. Temptation 4 – harmony over conflict
    1. Healthy dialogue and conflict is necessary to grow
    2. Must benefit from all the ideas and feedback from your team
  5. Temptation 5 – invulnerability over trust 

What I got out of it

  1. A fun, short read that highlights the importance of an achievement oriented mentality, accountability, clarity, healthy conflict, and trust

From Poverty to Power – OR, The Realization of Prosperity and Peace

Summary

  1. James Allen discusses good and evil, the power of presence and self-mastery, truth, spiritual lessons, and more

Key Takeaways

  1. Evil is the direct result of ignorance and passing through ignorance resolves evil and leads to wisdom
  2. What you are, so is your world. The world is a reflex of you
  3. External circumstances impact you as much as you let them
  4. The cause of all power and all weakness comes from within
  5. Truth seems barren at its commencement it is only error and delusion that are inviting and enticing from the start
  6. To achieve true wealth start with becoming virtuous. And for self perfection and it shall flow from there. The truly rich see themselves as stewards and not as owners
  7. With self mastery comes mastery of the universe
  8. All the wisdom in the universe lies in self mastery and treating your enemies as thyself
  9. Salvation lies in the supreme belief in good. For, why fear or worry or doubt, if you have supreme faith?
  10. Be in supreme control of your thoughts, your mind. Daily go into the silence to find calm and gratitude. Only by controlling and channeling your thoughts will you come to make any inward progress
  11. The disbelievers wish and grumble while the believers work and wait. They know their good thoughts and hard work will eventually be rewarded. Above all, have a single aim. Let nothing distract you or pull you aside
  12. Self seeking is self destruction. He is rich who is content with what he has. He is richer who is generous with it
  13. There are two masters in this world – self and truth. Only by renouncing your self, your desires, can you hope to attain truth. Humility distinguishes the man of truth from the man of self
  14. To be in the world but not of the world is the highest victory
  15. The final test of wisdom is this: how does one live
  16. Seek continuously to give up yourself and lose yourself to the greater whole
  17. True and lasting happiness can only be found in the eternal and selfless, so give up the ephemeral and selfish wants
  18. The strongest of chains are self-forged

What I got out of it

  1. The author ties together many of the key lessons from various spiritual teachings. Great reminders and reinforcements, especially about the importance of self-mastery

Richer, Wiser, Happier: How the World’s Greatest Investors Win in Markets and Life by William Green

Summary

  1. The best investors are worth studying as they are practical philosophers, those seeking worldly wisdom. Their influence and practices can help us become better thinkers and decision makers. The purpose of this book is to share ideas worth cloning

Key Takeaways

  1. Studying investing is not only about learning how to make money, but learning how to think and make decisions
  2. Learning how to think by probability will do you more good than any book on investing. A dispassionate analysis of the facts and probabilities is one of the best mental habits you could build. They key lies in understanding how to optimize the odds for success
  3. Game selection is key. If you don’t have an edge, don’t play. There are many ways to make money, but they all require an edge
  4. Pabrai – clone the best ideas and habits of the giants
    1. People have a bug in their DNA where they feel shameful stealing the best ideas of others. DON’T!
    2. Clone the best ideas but be open to personalizing it to your personality and context
    3. Whenever you come across a principle that is correct but that most of humanity doesn’t understand or isn’t willing to follow, make the most of it! It’s an enormous competitive advantage
  5. Templeton – to get different results, you must act differently than the crowd
    1. You have to have the inner calm, willingness, and disregard of what other people think. You have to be ok with being lonely, different, and misunderstood for long periods of time. These investors favor winning and being right than sticking with the crowd
    2. Beware your own emotions and aim to take advantage of others’
    3. Beware your own ignorance, diversify broadly, have great patience, study the abysmally performing companies and industries, don’t chase fads, focus on value and not outlook
    4. Mastering yourself is of supreme importance
  6. Howard Marks
    1. The future is ever changing and it is your job as an investor to prepare as well as you can, knowing what you and do not know, making the best decision possible. Be humble and know that you are never immune from forces greater than you
    2. Marks is a master in risk, cyclicality, probabilities, playing the odds, seeking ideas in unloved areas
    3. Understand how big of a role luck plays in your success
    4. The question to ask is “how cheap is this asset given what I think it’s value is?” Don’t worry if it’s sexy or not, just look at value
    5. Everything that is important about investing is counterintuitive and everything that is obvious is wrong
    6. Beware the pendulum of history. Know your history but don’t expect it to exactly repeat. Never rely on things that cannot last. Be ready for change, for it will come
    7. Structure your life, portfolio, and relationships to be robust. Don’t maximize. Be ready for change. Adapt and evolve
    8. See reality as it is and adapt to it. Don’t fight it. If things are frothy, pare back. When there is opportunity, seize it
  7. Jean Marie Eveillard
    1. Eveillard was equipped to outperform over the long haul, avoiding all tech stocks in the late ‘90s. He underperformed for years, lost most of his investors, but didn’t budge. He was eventually proved right, seen as a sage, and funds rushed back. This takes great fortitude and the right temperament to go against the crowd. However, he was structurally fragile. Investors redeemed at horrible times, forcing him to sell when he least wanted to. He was also pressured by internal stakeholders at his mutual fund
    2. Don’t be in a rush to get rich. The key is safety, capping your losses. The gains will take care of themselves. This is resilient wealth creation
    3. It is all about surviving the dips. That’s the first step, even better is the ability to take advantage of them
  8. Joel Greenblatt – simplicity is the master key
    1. Figure out what it is worth, and pay less for it
    2. Stocks follow earnings (eventually)
    3. Take a simple idea and take it seriously
    4. Seek to reduce the complex to its essence. Only true understanding allows for this to happen
    5. Don’t make your biggest investments in the companies that can make the most, but in those you are most confident to not lose
    6. Cheap + good business is the holy grail
    7. For most people, the ideal strategy is not the one day of the highest returns, but the one you are most likely to stick with in bad times
  9. Nick Sleep and Qais Zakaria
    1. These two ran Nomad for 13 years and had wildly successful returns in a very concentrated portfolio
    2. They used what they call destination analysis, aiming to understand where a company is, where it can go in 10 years, and what would help it get there or veer it off course. This type of inversion or reverse engineering is wildly helpful in all areas of life. Where do you want to be at the end of your life and what can you do today to help you get there?
    3. They also took a simple idea seriously. They intensively researched companies they thought would do well over 5-10 years and spent all their time reading annual reports and talking to companies
    4. They came up with the model of “scale economics shared.” Amazon and Costco perfectly follow this playbook. As they get bigger, they use their scale to get lower prices and pass those savings onto consumers, fueling the cycle even further.
    5. Make quality the pursuit – in your investing, decision making, and life. Nomad wasn’t about raking in money, but a metaphysical experiment to see if pursuing quality would work. It did.
    6. Focus on the things with the longest shelf life, not the ephemeral
    7. Must look long term and have the capacity to suffer. This is another principle that applies far beyond investing. Sacrifice today so that you can have more tomorrow
  10. Tom Gaynor – The best investors build habits that compound over time
    1. Seek small marginal gains that are relentlessly followed. Time is the enemy of bad habits, the friend of the good
    2. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good. A good enough habit you follow is far superior than the perfect habit you don’t
    3. Directionally correct, moderate efforts demonstrably work
    4. Find good things that last and stay the course. Don’t be caught up in the frenzy and fads
    5. The name of the game is longevity, not perfect maximization
    6. You don’t have to be extreme to get extreme results
    7. Gaynor considers himself a node in a massive neural network. He cultivated relationships and has many people helping him and rooting for him to succeed – the compounding of goodwill
    8. Forget about perfection, instead focus on continuous improvement that can compound over time. This is the aggregation of marginal gains
    9. Write down good habits as well as a list of things to not do
  11. Charlie Munger – aim to be consistently not stupid
    1. Inversion is a really powerful thinking habit. Before trying to help, first ask how you might harm. Must have great clarity on what not to do
    2. Collect stupidities and learn vicariously through the mistakes of others
    3. Rub your nose in your mistakes and learn from them
    4. Rely on first principles, don’t try to be perfect, be patient, adopt some guidelines and restraints to handicap massive mistakes
    5. Gain self awareness and beware psychological biases, hubris, the desire to get rich quick
    6. Learn to destroy your best loved ideas
    7. Pre-mortems and devils advocate reviews are excellent ways to mitigate your biases
    8. Be aware of your emotions and physical state before making a decision. A question as simple as “are you hungry or tired?” Can help your decision making
    9. Expect your portfolio to hit 50% drawdowns at some point. The point is to be ready and to be able to act rationally on the hard times. You have to instill good habits before you need them
    10. Be proud not only of your results, but also how you’ve attained them
    11. Life is a series of opportunities to learn how to behave well in difficult circumstances
    12. Nothing is more essential than simply surviving
    13. Build up wealth to be independent, to live the life you want without having to compromise or answer to others
  12. Arnold Van Den Berg – survived the holocaust as a child and this had a tremendous impact on his view on life
    1. Being rich consists of money, happiness, and peace of mind. Use your wealth to help and serve others

What I got out of it

  1. Really enjoyable book with some tangible takeaways for your life, investing, and relationships. Love his approach of highlighting eminent investors he admires and helping the reader understand how it can apply outside of the field of finance

Maps of Meaning by Jordan Peterson

Summary

  1. Peterson explores why people from different cultures and eras have created myths and stories with very similar structures. He discusses into why this matters, what it tells us about human nature and our psyche and morality. This deep dive helps make approachable why myths matter and what they can teach us about ourselves.

Key Takeaways

  1. We need to know what things mean – not merely what they are – as this has profound impacts on how we act. We need to know what things are so that we can keep track of what they mean and how that influences our behavior. It is not effective to separate what things are from what they mean. They are inextricably intertwined. Meaning provides a useful guide for how to behave
  2. Morals and symbols and meaning are not “matter” that science so effectively deals with, but this does not make them less real. Our existence is so complex that we often don’t even know exactly what we’re saying in our mythology. We can express more than we know and stories help us work through this and communicate this. Myth can be thought of ways to understand what the world signifies and how that impacts our actions. A place to act and not to perceive or measure.
  3. We need an equivalent moral lens as our scientific and descriptive lens. A universal comparative study of the world religions, myths, and epics can help us derive a valuable guide to how to successfully live, helping us move to the ought from the is
  4. Myths help us define the known and unknown, chaos and order. Through this, we can derive meaning and it helps mitigate disputes and increase trust
  5. We can say that everything contains two final sources of information: sensory and affective. It is not enough to know when something is but we must also know what it means, the emotional meaning. It is useful to map objective reality, but we MUST model what it means or else we would quickly die. This mapping of meaning of current state, ideal future state, and behavior and actions we need to bridge the gap, help us navigate the world. Constantly compare where we are with our ideal future state and this helps determine our behavior and emotional state. If we are progressing nicely he’ll future state we are happy and satisfied and if not if they chaos and the unknown are too great and taking us off our path we get stressed and unhappy
  6. We have the pattern way of dealing with everything that is unknown – in other words chaos – as these are best dealt with their narrative form which is where our mythologies an epic stories have deep value and meaning
  7. Things do not have an absolute and objective value. They depend upon our goals and personal preferences. If our goals and preferences change, the meaning which we derive from things and situations also changes
  8. It is the exploration of the unknown, the unpredictable of chaos, that leads to all learning, growth, and wisdom. It pushes the boundaries and allows us to see a little bit more and a little bit more clearly than we were able to before. Successful exploration of the unknown needs to be expected and desired. Increasingly accurate maps bring confidence and help us more accurately navigate the world. This shows us that fear is in the and that security is learned overtime through successful exploration and the turning of the unpredictable into the predictable
  9. A story is a map of meaning that helps us understand how to act, helping us keep, transfer, mimic, and iterate upon what was learned and passed on before. This is to say we acquire wisdom for the proper way to act far before we can effectively communicate it or understand what it is we are doing. Myth and culture are the intermediaries between knowing what and knowing how they help us move from unconscious acting out to conscious understanding. Our actions beliefs and behaviors get coded into characters admits that are told and retold and refined overtime so that we get every closer to a deep understanding of what it is we are doing. In this way, story contains meta-truths and meta-skills – the synthesized truths and skills across thousands of years and millions of people. This can allow for the ability of each to become the capability for all
  10. Action requires exclusion of all things but ONE
  11. Good stories can be read at multiple levels at the same time, all holding true depending on your level of analysis. A helpful question is to ask at what level are these things the same and at what level are they different. The best stories provide clues on how to behave in the widest possible territory
  12. A good theory is beautiful. Efficient. It lets you use things for desirable ends, even things that you thought were useless before
  13. We come to understand the unknown, the unexplored by how we react to it. This is how we can define and categorize things. When I see a dog, I pet it and play with it. When I see a chair, I sit, etc. we observe our behavior and come to understand more than we did. This moves the promise and threat of the unknown into the potentially useful predictable and noun expanding our horizons and understanding only through coming into contact and playing with the unknown
  14. The beginning of wisdom is the seeking of instruction. Wisdom should be the highest good we seek to serve above money status or wealth for with it all other things come
  15. The threat or potential of the unknown depends a lot on how you approach it. If approached voluntarily that is to say you you believe it to be beneficial it’s positive manifestation is more likely to present itself. Those things that appear to us suddenly and unpredictably are more likely to be seen as a threat if we reject them they become negative but if embraced they can be greatly beneficial
  16. We are more complex than we can understand, so the best we can do is react to the situation at hand, observe our actions, try to understand that after the fact, and then learn and adjust in order to more effectively and consistently reach your aims. Stories are so effective at helping us do this because they amalgamate and generalize behaviors and beliefs over the eons, aiming to make useful patterns of behavior and meaning universal and valuable across time and context. 
  17. The Enuma Elis is the oldest mythical story in our possession and it tells of the annual ritual where the king would step outside his kingdom once a year get naked in the high priest speaking for the gods would ask him what he’s send. His voluntary subordination it’s common for every religion across the world that is the basis of a successful marriage for each person volleyball voluntarily subordinates some of their individual goals to the idea of marriage
  18. Culture is the accumulation of beneficial behaviors and actions that are passed down through the generations. Culture binds nature by limiting the scope of behavior that is acceptable in your community and by laying the groundwork and providing stories that help people live successful and long lives
  19. A common moral is to beware arrogance for if you do not know where you are going you should not presume you know how to get there. In this state you don’t know who or what is important so you need to be humble enough and kind enough and open enough to people and things that might just help you in your journey
  20. An integrated state or person’s imagination and explicit verbal descriptions are isomorphic – they match at various levels of analysis.
  21. Change and chaos, if embraced, understood, and integrated helps us move forward. This is where progress comes from and rests on the belief that perfection is attainable
  22. The revolutionary band plays outside the rules of the game. This threaten the stability of individuals in that game as well as the nation itself. This means the revolutionary man face is not only total chaos but the wrath of his citizens. This is a difficult quest but is vital for the progress and deeper understanding of the human race
  23. Wisdom alone is not enough. It must be taught and integrated into the whole community. Salvation for one does not exist if there is still suffering in others
  24. It is a scary destructive yet desirable part of maturation to meet chaos. Without it, we cannot truly grow nor learn and this is part of the human condition
  25. Lucifer is portrayed as the angel of reason, the angel closest to God before he gets thrown into hell. The idea is that reason can be dangerous and can lead you to hell
  26. Must transcend the group or risk stagnation and dogma, similar to how you must transcend childhood if you are to become an adult
  27. Integrating the complete unknown is what  Christ did. Must fully embrace and run toward the unknown, make it work for you and strengthen you. If you runaway, the ambivalent unknown becomes the terrifying and unconquerable unknown
  28. The good is anything that allows for moral progress across various dimensions and context. Evil  is anything that stands in the way of that creative progress and the hatred for the good and courageous
  29. Failure to understand and control the nature of evil leads to it’s eventual success. This has been known since the Egyptian times but thousands of years later we still fail to understand this
  30. Alchemy deals with turning the unknown – matter – into something useful. Today’s equivalent could be termed “information.” Alchemy is the heroes journey – a voluntary search, discovery and integration of the unknown. This is the purpose and meaning of life – an integrated and subjective person who actively manipulates the nature of the unknown for their benefit. Alchemy is an active myth, the idea of the individual man as redeemer. It is not enough to worship the divine, but to identify with it. These idea must be voluntarily incorporated and acted out, not simply believed in. This is exactly what we all want to hear. Perfect yourself, follow hour heart and what makes you you and you will benefit all of humanity if the aims are noble and good
  31. It is often easier to know what not to do but as you transcend it becomes increasingly important to define what to do


What I got out of it

  1. A really deep book that helped me better understand Jordan’s other book, 12 Rules for Life. A deep dive into religion, philosophy, psychology, wisdom, and more. “A story is a map of meaning that helps us understand how to act, helping us keep, transfer, mimic, and iterate upon what was learned and passed on before. This is to say we acquire wisdom for the proper way to act far before we can effectively communicate it or understand what it is we are doing. Myth and culture are the intermediaries between knowing what and knowing how they help us move from unconscious acting out to conscious understanding. Our actions beliefs and behaviors get coded into characters admits that are told and retold and refined overtime so that we get every closer to a deep understanding of what it is we are doing. In this way, story contains meta-truths and meta-skills – the synthesized truths and skills across thousands of years and millions of people. This can allow for the ability of each to become the capability for all”

Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson

Summary

  1. Peterson follows up his phenomenally successful first book – 12 Rules for Life – with 12 More Rules for Life

Key Takeaways

  1. Peterson’s 12 rules
    1. Do not carelessly denigrate social institutions or creative achievement 
      1. Understand and follow the rules, but break them when necessary to follow its spirit
      2. The balance between conservatism and liberalism is paramount
    2. Imagine who you could be and then aim single mindedly at that
    3. Do not hide unwanted things in the fog
      1. Speak up if something makes you unhappy, especially if it happens everyday. Have the fight. It’s worth it in the long run. Life is what repeats and it’s worth Etting what repeats right
      2. Willful blindness is very real and causes a big portion of our problems
      3. You must intimately know what you want and stand up for that
      4. The fog is your refusal either internally or externally to confront what you want or bothers you
    4. Notice that the opportunity lurks where responsibility has been abdicated
      1. This is difficult, challenging and this makes it meaningful. It provides purpose and aim
      2. Seek to play generative, iterative games
      3. The highest good is that which is good for you and others across time. Never neglect time and the fact that you need others to want to work and play with you. Happiness should not be what you optimize for, but value, meaning, purpose across time. People feel positive emotion in the pursuit of a meaningful goal, not the attainment of it. The meaning of your life is proportional to the amount of responsibility you voluntarily take on
      4. When you’re in a situation that you can’t escape, the right attitude is to confront it voluntarily
      5. The goal is to find strategies and tactics that work across multiple times, people, and places
    5. Do not do what you hate
    6. Abandon ideology
    7. Work as hard as you possibly can on just one thing and see what happens
      1. Heat and pressure turn coal into diamond, the same can be said of people too
    8. Make one room in your house as beautiful as possible
      1. Beauty is a window into what’s possible; it is part of what makes life worth living
    9. If old memories still upset you, write them down carefully and completely
      1. Traumatic memories cannot be forgotten and integrated if they are not first understood
      2. We must know where we are and where we are going, and this includes an accurate recall and integration of painful memories. This gives us an accurate a map as possible to effectively navigate life
      3. We must recollect our experiences and derive from them our morals 
    10. Plan and work diligently to maintain the romance in your relationship
      1. Have consistent dates to build intimacy and trust and keep the spark alive
      2. Must know what you yourself want and then verbalize it to your partner. This can be scary but you must trust your partner if the relationship is to grow
      3. You do not find – as much as make and deserve – a perfect partner
      4. There are 3 iterations of relationship: tyrant/slave, slave/tyrant, negotiation. Negotiation is difficult but the best option all things considering. It creates for difficult arguments and awkward talks, but also contains the greatest potential
    11. Do not allow yourself to become resentful, deceitful or arrogant 
    12. Be grateful in spite of your suffering
      1. It takes genuine courage and work to be grateful. Naïveté can bring it too but it is fragile. It takes courage to work through difficult situations and act nobly in the da e of struggle, but this hardens you and makes life less difficult than it otherwise would be
      2. You love people not only in spite of their imperfections but because of their imperfections. This is worth pondering deeply for a long time
      3. Genie – genius – is the combination of potential, possibility, and extreme constraint

What I got out of it

  1. A powerful, meaningful book. To me, the idea of confronting and having the difficult conversations openly and transparently rings most true. In addition, the rule that opportunity lies where responsibility has been abdicated is a master key to learning, growing, and gaining trust in your ecosystem

Theory of Everything by Ken Wilber

Summary

  1. The author aims to provide an integrated, unified view of the cosmos – matter, mind, body, soul, art, and everything else. Not reducing things down unnecessarily to matter alone. This endeavor is surely to fail and overgeneralize, but it is a worthwhile journey because a little bit of wholeness is better than a whole bunch of slices that are never integrated or unified

Key Takeaways

  1. Spiral dynamics – 8 levels of consciousness
    1. Beige – survival instincts
    2. Purple – clan instinct
    3. Red – egocentric
    4. Blue – finding purpose in life
    5. Orange – autonomy and independence
    6. Green – community and unity
    7. Yellow – integration, living in paradox
    8. Turquoise – holism, all part of same living whole
    9. First tier thinking – every level thinks that every other level is wrong, only their way is right.
    1. Second tier thinking, understands that all those games are necessary parts of human evolution of consciousness and people to reach this level are able to think vertically and horizontally seeing the bigger picture seeing things holistic Lee and not as black and white. This is a massive mental and consciously that is necessary to move from silos or integralism
    2. Understanding first year and second-tier situation is important because it is often a subjective and personal experience. People move from first tier to second-tier and no amount of arguing or explaining will do the trick. When the student is ready the teacher appears
    3. Evolution from one spiral to the next is natural and necessary. No one tier gets preferential treatment or is more important. The most effective thing we could do is help the billions of people move up a tier, not getting a select few to the second tier
  2. Human consciousness project – served as the roadmap for our theory of everything
  3. One definition of development could be viewed as a continual decline of ego centrism towards ethno-centrism to world centrism (I, we, it)
  4. High minded social activism can often come from low minded egocentric views and beliefs
  5. It can be helpful to think of hierarchies in terms of dominance hierarchy and actualization hierarchies. The latter is in towards status quo and power the second towards grow confidence and unity

What I got out of it

  1. A bit too out there for me, but the framework of consciousness progressing up a spiral is one I’ll remember

What Owen Didn’t Know by Laurence Endersen

Summary

  1. A short, beautiful book reminding us what is truly important

Key Takeaways

  1. Owen and Rose spoke for no more than a few minutes, but a lot can happen in a few minutes. Life is funny that way. 
  2. The Danes have two words for play: spille for structured play, like soccer or board games, and lege for open-ended, imaginative play with no specific goal. Rose saw learning to play as a prerequisite for any balanced life. As an only child she appreciated how much joy she got from playing with the other children on her road
  3. Life is paradox and contrast. More constructively, Owen also recalled his dad advising that if you wanted to get the best from people you should build on their strengths, rather than try to correct weakness. Weakness can be coached to average, but strength can be leveraged to the moon. People are highly motivated by achievement and recognition. Give them a reputation to live up to. When staff presented their work to Owen, he always had one question for them: Is this your best work? He asked nicely, and invariably they would come back with something far better. This created a virtuous cycle, and the partners at NT soon saw that practically everything that came out of Owen’s team was first-class. Everyone in his team was now working to protect and promote the reputation of the team.
  4. The first default setting relates to conversation. Are you a listener or a talker? In our conversations,w e can default to a lecturing lens or a listening lens. The rooster can crow at 142 decibels, which is like being within 100 meters of a roaring jet engine. That’s almost deafening. So why doesn’t the rooster deafen itself? Because when it opens its beak, it shuts off its ear canals. Sound familiar? Too many of us are roosters. Or crocodiles – all mouth, no ears.
  5. Stress is wrestling with reality
  6. Tiny improvements forever
  7. Rose had read numerous psychology books. She had studied the Stoics. But there is a deep chasm between understanding something intellectually and knowing it viscerally. That’s the gap between the label and experience. She wasn’t going to magically forge advantage from adversity simply by reading about how others had done it. No amount of reading, philosophizing, or indeed writing could have protected her from such an unexpected loss. Loss of friendship. Loss of love. Loss of even caring about loss.

What I got out of it

  1. A beautiful story to remind us all to be here now and focus on the things that truly matter

Anything You Want: 40 lessons for new kind of Entrepreneur by Derek Sivers

Summary

  1. “I hope you find these ideas useful in your own life or business. I also hope you disagree with some of them. Then I hope you email me to tell me about your different point of view, because that’s my favorite part of all. (I’m a student, not a guru.)”

Key Takeaways

  1. What’s Your Compass?
    1. Business is not about money. It’s about making dreams come true for others and for yourself
    2. Making a company is a great way to improve the world while improving yourself
    3. When you make a company, you make a utopia. It’s where you design your perfect world
    4. Never do anything just for the money
    5. Don’t pursue business just for your own gain. Only answer the calls for help
    6. Success comes from persistently improving and inventing, not from persistently promoting what’s not working
    7. Your business plan is moot. You don’t know what people really want until you start doing it.
    8. Starting with no money is an advantage. You don’t need money to start helping people
    9. You can’t please everyone, so proudly exclude people
    10. Make yourself unnecessary to the running of your busienss
    11. The real point of doing anything is to be happy, so do only what makes you happy
  2. If it’s not a hit, switch
    1. We’ve all heard about the importance of persistence. But I think had misunderstood. Success comes from persistently improving and inventing, not from persistently doing what’s not working. When you present one to the world and it’s not a hit, don’t keep pushing it as is. Instead, get back to improving and inventing
  3. No “yes.” Either “Hell yeah!” or “no.”
  4. The advantage of no funding
    1. Never forget that absolutely everything you do is for your customers. Make every decision – even decisions about whether to expand the business, raise money, or promote someone – according to what’s best for your customers. If you’re ever unsure what to prioritize, just ask your customers the open-ended question, “How can I best help you now?” Then focus on satisfying those requests. None of your customers will ask you to turn your attention to expanding. They want you to keep your attention focused on them. It’s counter-intuitive, but the way to grow your business is to focus entirely on your existing customers. Just thrill them, and they’ll tell everyone. 
  5. Proudly exclude people
  6. This is just one of many options
    1. You can’t pretend there’s only one way to do it. Your first idea is just one of many options. No business goes as planned, so make ten radically different plans. Same thing with your current path in life
  7. How do you grade yourself?
    1. Knowing what you’re keeping track of determines how you play the game
  8. Care more about your customers than you do yourself. 
    1. That’s the Tao of Business: care about customers more than about yourself, and you’ll do well
  9. Act like you don’t need the money
    1. It’s another Tao of business: set up your business like you don’t need the money, and it’ll likely come your way
  10. The most successful email I ever wrote
    1. Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow. A team of 50 employees inspected your CD and polished it to make sure it was in the best possible condition before mailing. Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CD into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy. We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved “Bon Voyage!” to your package, on its way to you, in our private CD Baby jet on this day, Friday, June 6th. I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. We sure did. Your picture is on our wall as “Customer of the Year.” We’re all exhausted but can’t wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!!
    2. When you’re thinking of how to make your business bigger, it’s tempting to try to think all the big thoughts and come up with world-changing massive-action plans. But please know that it’s often the tiny details that really thrill people enough to make them tell all their friends about you
  11. Delegate or Die: The self-employment trap
    1. Always do whatever would make the customer happiest, as long as it’s not outrageous. Little gestures like these go a long way toward him telling his friends we’re a great company
  12. Make it anything you want
    1. Never forget that you can make your role anything you want it to be. Anything you hate to do, someone else loves. So find that person and let her do it. 
  13. Delegate, but don’t abidcate

What I got out of it

  1. A great, quick book which is fun and has a lot of worthwhile lessons. While all 40 lessons are key, I’ve only included the ones that seem most relevant/differentiated. Make yourself unnecessary, build a business for the love of it