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