Hopefully you're keeping yourself busy during this quarantine break. There hasn't been much opportunity for excursion outside, and it looks like it is going to continue. I have found reading on audible to be very relaxing and a means to pass the time. I've been diving into some new books, some old classics, and everything in between. This blog post is going to provide a brief summary of some of my recent favorites.
Lets get started!
1. Never Split the Difference - Chris Voss
I initially read this almost one year ago for the first time. Since that point I have done my very best to implement the strategies depicted in this book. What makes this book so special is just how easy it is to integrate into your life. You won't recognize just how many negotiations you have on a day to day basis until you read this book.
Chris Voss is an ex FBI terrorist negotiator and had an edge that scholars didn't. His system for negotiation is simple: breakdown their position, define an emotional connotation, and recognize that you're working with the other person for a solution, not against them.
One of the most important takeaways for me was identifying that negotiations happen beyond just the world of business. Having these skills is crucial for success in all aspects of your life.
2. You Can't Hurt Me - David Goggins
This is the story of one bad ass mother fucker David Goggins. From morbid obesity and spraying insects to the top honors in the Navy Seal Academy to the US Rangers. This man has done it all! It is this wide array of experience that makes this book feel relatable and encourages self reflection.. what are you truly capable of?
One key concept from this book is the idea that the body has limitless power, but the brain bottleneck's its ability. Goggins has learnt how to make mental callouses, and build that intrinsic motivation to not only win, but to dominate.
There are also great episodes of the Joe Rogan Experience which feature long format podcast episodes with David. Although very masculine and macho, these interviews provide even more insight into his mindset for complete domination.
3. Extreme Ownership - Jocko and Leif
This is another mindset motivational book from US Navy Seals. Although, this one has a very different approach to how it teaches the important lessons of personal accountability. Based mostly with combat stories, this book stresses one key idea: Extreme Ownership of all outcomes.
One section that I particularly loved was talking about the importance of teamwork and leadership within the context of team success/failure. There are no bad teams, only bad leaders. The leader must take full accountability for everything under his or her control, it is nobodies to bear but their own.
The team is only as strong as their leader, and this idea of massive personal accountability when in leadership positions is a perspective I love! I recommend this book at anyone in a business/corporate atmosphere where you must lead in a concise and efficient manner.
4. Homo Deus - Yuval Noah Harari
Are humans creating an existence devoid of meaning? Is our rapid intellectual expansion with AI creating realities where human intelligence represents a very small proportion of total intelligence.
Are humans evolving from organic to inorganic intelligence? Are we the same species if this occurs? These are just some of the important questions that this book explores and seeks to enlighten the reader upon. Great read!
These are questions which don't necessarily have clear cut answers. Its this philosophical approach that makes this such an intriguing book. Although, I do recommend listening in on audible because the jargon and vernacular makes for a tough read. Maybe I'm lazy, but would rather use my ears to engage deeply then get tired eyes! Great read!
5. Outliers - Malcom Gladwell
Maybe the stories of uber successful aren't what they are cut out to be? Sometimes its just an abstract chance of probability, or so to speak, "the stars aligned". Gladwell takes a case study approach to break down different stories of success. How it was achieved, what was required, why it happened this way, and how we can learn from it.
Identifying these "outliers" in society is the first step to determining in what makes us different from them, and how we can change that. Why is Bill Gates rich? Why are Asians good at math? How are Beatles the best band on earth? Every single person has their own story, but not everyone understands it. Great read!
Don't Stop Reading!
The more we seek to expand our perspective the more we can perceive from our environment. The outlook you have on the world is a result of your reflective "inlook". Reading is a bridge to facilitate this transition and expand your reality. Challenge what you think to be true and seek growth wherever possible.
During these uncertain times, reading can be your light in the dark. Its easy to get sucked into the news and overall negativity. I encourage you to stay away from that, and leave this quarantine with a new skill, perspective or outlook. We have an opportunity here, and pursing change is the first step towards growth.