It’s that time of the year where everyone and their mother is posting their New Years Resolutions, writing about the last year and summing up what they learned and publicly announcing/shaming themselves into doing things in 2012. Well I decided to go a different route and follow the lead of Jon Goodman at thePTDC.com and go through what books had the biggest impact on me this past year. I wish I could say exactly how many books I was able to get through in the year, but I honestly have no clue. What I can say is that my kindle was the best purchase I made last winter and easily helped me expand my horizons and want to read from more genres. In no particular order I give you the 11 most awesomest books I read in 2011…
If you can’t eat it, wear it, wield it or carry it, leave it behind.
Plan before hunting, discuss after hunting, hunt while hunting.
Honestly I couldn’t pick a choice quote from this book because I was way too into it to be bothered with getting a highlighter. Incredible story and a very quick and easy read.
Thinking about thinking—this is the key. In the struggle between should versus want, some people have figured out something crucial: Want never goes away. Procrastination is all about choosing want over should because you don’t have a plan for those times when you can expect to be tempted. You are really bad at predicting your future mental states. In addition, you are terrible at choosing between now and later. Later is a murky place where anything could go wrong.
Dan gets fired up about this. He talks about the four-minute mile – how the journalist of the day were convinced the four-minute mile was the limit of human speed. In 1954, Roger Bannister crashed that wall and ran under four minutes because he believed overtraining to be a myth. Bannister said, “The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win”. The following year, a few dozen athletes broke the barrier, the barrier that had previously been though of as scientifically impossible. It reminds me of what the monks in Thailand had said, that the longer you meditate the more you realize pain is just an illusion.
Investing in loss = studying your defeat without ego. Let defeats happen in practice without reverting to your old habits, and then grow from it.
Be honest and humble enough to learn from everybody.
“As guys get in better shape, they get mentally stronger, and as they get mentally stronger their bodies get tougher. It’s a leap frog effect.” -Pat Milatech
There is, biologically speaking, no substitute for attentive repetition. Nothing you can do—talking, thinking, reading, imagining—is more effective in building skill than executing the action, firing the impulse down the nerve fiber, fixing errors, honing the circuit.
Losing a parent is a primal cue: you are not safe. You don’t have to be a psychologist to appreciate the massive outpouring of energy that can be created by a lack of safety; nor do you have to be a Darwinian theorist to appreciate how such a response might have evolved. This signal can alter the child’s relationship to the world, redefine his identity, and energize and orient his mind to address the dangers and possibilities of life—a response Eisenstadt summed up as “a springboard of immense compensatory energy.”
Your performance in the gym, not the pain, soreness, or fatigue that can result from that performance, is what determines the quality of your results.
Middle-class values are essentially the stuff of the employee mind-set, the precise values that have led so many young people to be completely fucked in our current economy: follow orders, get all the checkmarks that parents and teachers and society and politicians tell you to get, stick with the herd, don’t stick your neck out too much, don’t try anything too bold, just do as you’re told and there will be a nice cushy job with government and company-sponsored benefits aplenty waiting for you to guide you through your safe life and your comfortable, secure retirement.
The notion that college is learning, and if you don’t go to college you’re not learning, is very silly. It’s all about learning, all the time.
If you whine to my family about your job, you will get the amount of sympathy that you surely deserve—absolutely none. Life is tough, unfair, and you have to work much harder than the person next to you if you want to succeed.
Growth comes at the point of resistance. We learn by pushing ourselves and finding what really lies at the outer reaches of our abilities.
Incremental theorists, who have picked up a different modality of learning — let’s call them learning theorists — are more prone to describe their results with sentences like “I got it because I worked very hard at it” or “I should have tried harder.” A child with a learning theory of intelligence tends to sense that with hard work, difficult material can be grasped — step by step, incrementally, the novice can become the master.
Übermensch: an exemplary, transcendent figure who is the polar opposite of “the last man” or “men without chests.” The Übermensch is virtuous, loyal, ambitious and outspoken, disdainful of religious dogma and suspicious of received wisdom, intensely engaged in the hurly-burly of the real world. Above all he is passionate—a connoisseur of both “the highest joys” and “the deepest sorrows.” He believes in the moral imperative to defend (with his life, if necessary) ideals such as truth, beauty, honor, and justice. He is self-assured. He is a risk taker. He regards suffering as salutary, and scorns the path of least resistance
Like learning to tie your shoes or dress yourself, learning to be responsible for yourself is one of the things kids are supposed to do while they are still kids.
What I’ve been remind of from all of these books and the quotes I’ve selected is something my Grandpa taught me when I was a kid. That is basically as an individual you are nothing special, just another person that was born with the ability to become great if YOU CHOOSE too. It won’t come easy and most likely it won’t be fun, but you have that oppurtunity and nobody is going to do anything about it except for you. Cheers to a new year, make a habit of making it better than the last.