Well, it’s the start of the new year, and if you aren’t freaking out about something, then… well, then I’m freaking out that you’re not freaking out. It is the year of self-improvement and the easiest way to improve your life is to READ. Yes, read. I promise the anxiety that just shot through your body after reading the word read in all caps is normal. I use to get it all the time, trust me.
I hated reading. It’s monotonous, boring, and daunting. When I would look at a page filled with words, two things would happen: I would not know half the words on the page and then the other half of words I would know… I would forget. It fuckings sucks. Eventually, it would turn into a merry-go-round of rereading what I just read and I would become disheartened and pissed that I just wasted a part of my day. However, there is a secret sauce you can use to begin the process of becoming a more avid reader. It is called, “Secret Sause: Read a book that you enjoy and that relates to your life”. I know it’s a long analogy just to tell you to read more but stick with me.
Your vocabulary will actually improve. Trust me, I can give you the definition of words that look as if the alphabet shit its pants and left a scrambled up mess. You will turn into a walking Webster Dictionary and its awesome.
Let’s just jump into the meat and potatoes of things and chow down four books that don’t suck and will actually change your perspective on life.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck
Dinner Table Summary
Mark Manson gives you the no-bullshit approach to life. The dude is a beast. He traveled to a shit ton of countries and is a reservoir of culture and knowledge about relationships, purpose, and being an all-around good guy. His approach to life is not all that happy, but he somehow finds meaning and becomes centered on the true purpose of himself. He analyzes well-known philosophers and psychologist that will give you the gist of human behavior and thought. He explains in depth your values and if they are worth having, how to keep improving, and how trying to fulfill your legacy might ruin your life. Not to be the bearer of bad news, but if you are not reading this book, you are missing out on an opportunity to stop living the same old life filled with the missionary position.
“I wanted the reward and not the struggle. I wanted the result and not the process. I was in love with not the fight but only the victory. And life doesn’t work that way. Who you are is defined by what you’re willing to struggle for.”
“The vast majority of your life will be boring and not noteworthy, and that’s okay.”
“Accepting responsibility for our problems is thus the first step to solving them”
Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World
Dinner Table Summary
Imagine taking all of the most successful people in the world in their respective fields, put them in a room, and then walk in and ask them all the same set of questions. Now take what you just imagined and put that in a book. Timothy Ferriss interviewed about 100+ successful and “wipe your ass with money” rich mentors and developed this masterpiece for us small folk, who don’t have those kinds of connections, to implement their ideas in our lives. Ferriss constructed this book by asking 100+ successful people in different fields the same set of questions. The mentors that are available to analyze range from Ben Stiller to Jimmy Fallon. Hell, even Ashton Kutcher is in this book, but I promise you’re not being Punk’d.
“Overwhelmed and unfocused seem like two different problems. I’m thinking that overwhelm is about mentally managing what’s coming from outside yourself, while unfocused is about mentally managing what’s going on inside.”
“My advice is to take risks, now. The advantages that college students and new grads have are their youth, drive, lack of significant responsibilities, and importantly, lack of the creature comforts one acquires with time.”
“Suffering is a moment of clarity when you can no longer deny the truth of a situation and are forced into uncomfortable change. I’m lucky that I didn’t get everything I wanted in my life, or I’d be happy with my first good job, my college sweetheart, my college town. Being poor when young led to making money when old. Losing faith in my bosses and elders made me independent and an adult. Almost getting into the wrong marriage helped me recognize and enter the right one. Falling sick made me focus on my health. It goes on and on. Inside suffering is the seed of change.”
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
Dinner Table Summary
You’re a creature of habit. I am a creature of habit. I can tell you the exact time of day when I am going to take my daily deuce (7:30 am). Our habits have deep roots in the quality of our lives. Bad habits, bad life. Good habits, good life. The cool thing is Charles explains why habits are at the core of everything you do throughout the day, how to change them, and what impact a change of habit will have on your life, both in business and society. Charles uses this fancy thing called science, research, and real-life stories to explain practical techniques and strategies to apply new habits at any level of society ranging from the individual to an organization.
“Change might not be fast and it isn’t always easy. But with time and effort, almost any habit can be reshaped.”
“Champions don’t do extraordinary things. They do ordinary things, but they do them without thinking, too fast for the other team to react. They follow the habits they’ve learned.”
“This process within our brains is a three-step loop. First, there is a cue, a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which habit to use. Then there is the routine, which can be physical or mental or emotional. Finally, there is a reward, which helps your brain figure out if this particular loop is worth remembering for the future: THE HABIT LOOP”
Philosophical Writing of Peirce
Dinner Table Summary
This book is for you intellectual types because for me this was a monster to read. The words are complex and I had to keep a dictionary on deck whenever I touched this book. But… if you can digest this knowledge sandwich, you will be able to have those deep conversations that every partner wishes and they won’t know what the fuck you were talking about. Peirce provides originality and power. Although Peirce was not recognized as a writer until after his death, the dude still revolutionized the thought process of human beings. He covers essential ideas, reveals epistemology, phenomenology, cosmology, and scientific method. If you come out of this literary gauntlet alive, you will be a different person. Like dead ass, you will most likely have to change your friend group to nothing but Pulitzer Prize winners.
“Upon this first, and in one sense this sole, rule of reason, that in order to learn you must desire to learn, and in so desiring not to be satisfied with what you already incline to think, there follows one corollary which itself deserves to be inscribed upon every wall of the city of philosophy: Do not block the way of inquiry.”
“All human affairs rest upon probabilities, and the same thing is true everywhere. If man were immortal he could be perfectly sure of seeing the day when everything in which he had trusted would betray his trust, and, in short, of coming eventually to hopeless misery. He would break down, at last, as every great fortune, as every dynasty, as every civilization does. In place of this we have death.”
“To know what we think, to be masters of our own meaning, will make a solid foundation for great and weighty thought.”
No bullshit and all jokes aside these books will change your life. They provide the insight you need to conquer your everyday life to succeed on all levels, ranging from how the hippocampus functions to why your relationship is a shithole (don’t shoot the messenger, I’m not saying it’s you). Read these books and I give you the Austin Guarantee that you will implement these books into your everyday life or your money back. Not really though, because I am broke. However, speaking of broke, these books are honestly pretty cheap so check out my reading list in Books To Read in 2019 at the top of the menu or just click the link and purchase them to change your life.
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