Hello world and welcome back!
In further efforts to open this up, I have attached a form at the bottom with a simple prompt: ‘What book(s) did you most recently complete?’ I also added a few follow-ups, and if I receive enough responses I will sort and post them anonymously next week (unless you provide a name). Keep this in mind as you read, and please do take 1 minute to fill it out! If this is successful, my hope is to continue with weekly prompts to share and track.
My most recent read was 'Essentialism’ by Greg McKeown. This had been on my list for a while, but a friend’s recommendation (thank you Andrew) urged me to push it up. During a fairly decisive time in which I am determining longer-term goals as well as cultivating a lifestyle to help get me there, finding a focus with meaning and enjoyment has been on my mind. The core concept of simplifying our lives is usually agreed upon, but the execution usually gets clouded by external factors.
3 Biggest takeaways:
- Essentialists choose. They are not subject to the noise of the outside world but know how and when to act on opportunities.
- Essentialists consolidate (after exploration): “Essentialists spend as much time as possible exploring, listening, debating, questioning, and thinking. But their exploration is not an end in itself. The purpose of the exploration is to discern the vital few from the trivial many.” Love this line.
- Essentialists leverage momentum: I’ve already realized the compounding effects of feedback loops and momentum, especially for longer-term projects. Small successes quickly can amount to much more.
I don’t think the book is for everyone, and the title should tell you whether or not it is a fit for you. I do think my free time was often getting disrupted by inessential noise, so this was a nice way of validating my feelings and presenting methods to overcome them.
I know many folks have negative biases towards 'self-help’ books with the issue of how little actionable information is presented. I agree to an extent, but my method for choosing is usually first internalizing the pieces that I need improvement on and working backward to find content that might solve that need. Some do get a bit repetitive, but the marginal time spent reinforcing a concept with examples is personally not a waste.
My current read is 'The Four’, another recommendation (thank you Steve) that touches on the hidden factors and strategies used by the 'Four Horsemen’: God (Google), Love (Facebook), Sex (Apple), Consumption (Amazon). I just started reading but will provide my thoughts once I finish.
If you’re interested in some of the other books I’ve been reading this year, can check out my post here.
What I Watched
Shawshank Redemption for the third time. This movie is up there for one of my favorites, though there are a number of great movies/classics I still haven’t seen. I
that it was released to the public on the same day as Pulp Fiction (which I’ll be watching this weekend), shooting it to the bottom of the charts for the year. Other movies in theaters during that month (Oct 1994): Forest Gump, Jurassic Park, and Lion King
The Highlight of the Year
In what might be the most exciting news this year, my sister and fiancé added a new 9-week-old puppy to the family, and I got to meet our whopping 4.6 lb Kulfi for the first time this past weekend.
Thank you all for reading!