Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work by Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal
“The foolish man conceives the idea of ‘self.’ The wise man sees there is no ground on which to build the idea of ‘self;’ thus, he has a right conception of the world and well concludes that all compounds amassed by sorrow will be dissolved again, but the truth will remain.” Buddha
This is a very fascinating read about the art and science behind humans chase for creating higher levels of consciousness, not only to achieve more but to live richer lives.
Ecstasis is what the Greeks defined as the act of stepping beyond oneself. It is the state of consciousness above what is normal in daily life that allows us to move into a state of flow. A state that is characterised by Selflessness, Timelessness, Effortlessness and Information Richness (STER). In this book the authors Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal expose the principles behind Ecstasis and the practices and techniques people are using to reach such states. (more…)
Ambition: Leading with Gratitude by Seth Buechley
“Great ambition is the passion of a great character. Those endowed with it may perform very good or very bad acts. All depends on the principles which direct them.” Napoleon Bonaparte
Seth Buechley is a serial entrepreneur and found ambition very early in life, in his own unique way. Having grown up in a commune he learnt the art of work early on in life. While there are certain negatives of such an upbringing, as he explains, life in the commune developed within him a strong work ethic.
When it comes to ambition and self-motivation I believe that those who are grow up with a solid work ethic benefit greatly. When the reward of the work we do does not directly benefit us it can sometimes be more difficult to take action. (more…)
“We live so much of our lives pushed forward by these “if only” thoughts, and yet the itch remains. The pursuit of happiness becomes the source of our unhappiness.”
Dan Harris is a mindful correspondent for ABC and co-anchor for the weekend edition of Good Morning America. His mindfulness nature has not always been present. After having a serious panic attack on national TV he realised that change was necessary and began his search.
This book is his story and journey into how developing a mindfulness practice in life has allowed him to become 10% happier. It is a journalist’s approach to finding the truth to the spiritual world of America, the science behind meditation and many Buddhist insights into living a more deeply satisfying life. (more…)
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
I first read this book in my early adult years. I think my parents purchased for me perhaps because they saw my obsession in money and creating riches. At that time the content struck me as new and very abstract. It was insightful and inspiring yet at times a little over my head. Life moved on and in most part so did the teachings of this book.
Think and Grow Rich is an all-time best seller and the principles it teaches about success in this book are in most part timeless. For those seeking riches in life this is a powerful read with practices that I believe will bring results if followed consistently and correctly. However, it is not only about money creation. I believe it can bring riches to all aspects of life. (more…)
The Road to Character by David Brooks
“wisdom isn’t a body of information. It’s the moral quality of knowing what you don’t know and figuring out a way to handle your ignorance, uncertainty, and limitation.” David Brooks
This books studies and shares insights into what builds solid character. As David suggests this book is less about creating resume virtues and more so about creating eulogy virtues. The legacy of one’s life will be praised and remembered not for their successes but more so for their character. This book is not written to inspire and highlight success strategies, it is written for the fundamental purpose to inspire and highlight why character is paramount.
Brooks views on the modern age is that many of us are driven by individualistic pursuits characterised by a desire for success. This nature he refers to is the Adam 1 that exists within all of us, some more predominantly so than others. The other nature is that of Adam 2, driven with desire to obtain and embody greater moral qualities. (more…)
Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Wilink and Leif Babin.
“Implementing Extreme Ownership requires checking your ego and operating with a high degree of humility. Admitting mistakes, taking ownership, and developing a plan to overcome challenges are integral to any successful team.” Jocko Willink
We are all leaders in life and while some of us may have been trained more extensively than others we can all become effective leaders. It is a matter of learning leadership principles and then constantly putting them into practice. Day by day in every way you will get better. (more…)
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
“none of these things exists outside the stories that people invent and tell one another. There are no gods in the universe, no nations, no money, no human rights, no laws and no justice outside the common imagination of human beings.” Yuval Noah Harari
This is perhaps the most inspiring, thought provoking read of my life. Yuval Noah Harari is a historian specialising in world history, military history and medieval history. In this book he combines biology and history to give interesting perspective as to who we are.
He highlights where we’ve been using history, why as it relates to our biology and to where we are heading. The meaning of life and happiness. Thoughts that could be considered controversial, bold and on the edge but certainly will get you thinking in new ways. I loved it! (more…)
Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life by Ryan Nicodemus and Joshua Fields Milburn
“Real happiness is cheap enough, yet how dearly we pay for its counterfeit.” Hosea Ballou.
I like these guys and I love the message they share. Creating a minimalist lifestyle. A life that removes the clutter and chaos and in doing so allowing us to act and exist more purposefully as we wish in life.
The concept when understood will chip away the edges of complexity, remove the boundaries and limitations placed on us by overwhelm and clutter, and allow us to navigate a more beautiful journey in life – one of freedom, fulfilment and happiness. (more…)
“The only thing that isn’t worthless: to live this life out truthfully and rightly. And be patient with those who don’t.” Marcus Aurelius
Stoicism, an ancient Greek school of philosophy, a beautiful operating system for life. Philosophy is an attitude and a guiding principle of behaviour in life. In many ways philosophy is about asking questions, seeking truth so to live as best we can with greater ease. Principles that can improve wisdom, perseverance and the art of living.
I believe that life is simple yet complex. I say this because there is not one formula nor is there one discipline of study that should be the basis of how we live our life. (more…)
“With mindfulness, we can be with the experience in more immediate way. When we find ourselves flooded with an emotion that’s come after the judgement, we’ve often missed the very judgment that triggered the emotion.” Mark Coleman
More mindfulness anyone? It plagues books these days and for that I am a big fan. I don’t think we can get enough. Either we control the mind or it controls us. The one place we have full control yet I wonder how well do we exercise that control. The mind becomes what it sees and believes. The mind sets our reality. An unobserved mind that runs wild and free may be less conducive to creating the reality we truly desire.
Mark Coleman is a mindfulness teacher and wilderness guide. In an interview I did with him he shared a practice that he calls the meandering meditation. (more…)