Reading and Quotes

 

 

2009

Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us
Great Expectations (Dover Thrift Editions)
Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth
How to Win Friends & Influence People
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
Pastoralia
Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time

2010

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated)
Cat’s Cradle: A Novel
The Alchemist
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values
Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals
Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel
A Clockwork Orange
Walden
Cape Cod
The Basic Writings of Sigmund Freud (Psychopathology of Everyday Life, the Interpretation of Dreams, and Three Contributions To the Theory of Sex)
Journey to Ixtlan: The Lessons of Don Juan

2011

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
Letters from a Stoic (Penguin Classics)
The 48 Laws of Power

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

“At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: ‘I have to go to work–as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for–the things which I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?’

Fight Club by Chuck Palahnick

Tyler lies back and asks, “If Marilyn Monroe was alive right now, what would she be doing?” I say, goodnight. The headliner hangs down in shreds from the ceiling, and Tyler says, “Clawing at the lid of her coffin.”

Moon Walking with Einstein by Joshua Foer
22 Immutable law of Marketing by Al Reis and Jack Trout
Labyrinths by Jorge Louis Borges
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
We Are All Weird by Seth Godin
The Art of Seducation by Robert Greene

2012

33 Strategies of War by Robert Greene

Influence by Cialdini

Authority – How to say no
1. Ask yourself, “is this authority truly an expert?’ – what’s the evidence?
Ask for a bigger request, then come down to make it seem more appealing.
Reciprocation – the rule says that we should try to repay what another person does for us. We feel obligated to do so.
Have people buy the expensive thing first so that the other little things seem less expensive.
British Philosopher Alfred North Whitehead: Civilization advances by extending the number of operations we can perform without thinking about them.
When asking people to do something for you, giving a reason makes them more likely to comply. “Because”

Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut
Confederacy of Dunces by John Keneddy Toole
Good to great by Jim Collins
The Art of War by Sun Tzu
Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson
War of Art by Steven Pressfield
Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield

Do the Work by Steven Pressfield

A professional does not take success or failure personally.

There is no way to be nice to the dragon, or to reason with it or negotiate with it or beam a white light around it and make it your friend.

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” Begin it now.

 
Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator by Ryan Holiday
On the Road by Jack Kerouac

The 50th Law by Robert Greene

Understand: you cannot disguise your attitude towards the public. If you feel superior at all , part of some chosen elite, then this seeps out in the work. It is conveyed in the tone and the mood. It feels patronizing. If you have little access to the public you are trying to reach but you feel that the ideas in your head cannot fail to be interesting, then it almost inevitably comes across as something too personal, the product of someone who is alienated. In either case, what is really dominating is the spirit of your is fear. To interact closely with the public and get its feedback might mean having to adjust your “brilliant” ideas, your preconceived notions. This might challenge your tidy vision vision of the world. You might disguise this with a snobbish veneer, but it is the age-old few or the OTHER.

What you really value in life os ownership, not money. If ever there is a choice–more money or more responsibility, always opt for the latter.

Look at your most recent actions as if they were the maneuvers of another person. Imagine how you could have done it all better–avoided unnecessary battles or confronted people who stood in your way, instead of running away from them. The goal here is not to bear up on yourself but to have the capacity to adapt and change your behavior by moving closer to reality

Think of reality in the following terms: the people around you are generally mysterious. You are never quite sure about their intentions. They present an appearance that is often deceptive–their manipulative actions do’t match there lofty words or promises. Seeing people as they are, instead of what you think they should be would mean having a greater sense of their motives. Your actions in life would be much more effective with this knowledge.

The greatest danger you face is the mind growing soft and eye growing dull
Supreme boldness, unconventionality, and a sense of urgency – qualities that allow you to shape your own reality.

Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk
Psychology: The Art of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini
Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky

All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin

People want to believe in stories they about things that make them feel better. People don’t gucci or whatever for the material, they it for the process, the way it makes them feel. Consumers covet things that will make them feel richer and prettier.
In order to be believed, you must present enough of a change that the consumer chooses t notice it. But then you have to tell a story, not give a lecture. You have to hint at the facts, not announce them. You cannot prove your way into a sale–you gain a customer when the customer proves to herself that you’re a good choice.
The process of discovery is more powerful than being told the right answer–because of course there is no right answer, and because even if there were, the consumer wouldn’t believe you.

Stories allow us to tell lie to ourselves. And those lies satisfy our desires. It’s the story, not the good or the service you actually sell, that pleases the customer.

Step 1: Their worldview ad frames got there before you did
Step 2: People only notice the new, then make a guess
Step 3: First impressions start the story
Step 4: Great marketers tell stories we believe
Step 5: Marketers with authenticity survive
Don’t try to change someone’s worldview, can’t be done.
Telling a great story
A great story is true. Not true because it’s factual, but true because it’s consistent and authentic. Consumers are sniffing out inconsistencies for a marketer to get away with a story that’s just slapped on.
Great stories promise fun or money, safety or a shortcut. The promise is bold and audacious
Great stories are trusted
Great stories agree with our worldview. The best stories don’t teach people nothing new. Instead, the best stories agree with what the audience already believes and makes members of the audience feel smart and secure when reminded how right they were in the first place.
People want to believe in stories they about things that make them feel better. People don’t gucci or whatever for the material, they it for the process, the way it makes them feel. Consumers covet things that will make them feel richer and prettier.

So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport

Giving people more control over what they do and how they do it increases their happiness, engagement, and sense of fulfillment.

The key is to force yourself through the work, force the skills to come; that’s the hardest phase
Compelling careers often have complex origins that reject the simple idea that all you ahem to do is follow your passion.

The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gwande

It’s okay if checklists have dumb stuff.
The first fallibility of human memory and attention, especially when it comes to the mundane, routine matters that are easily overlooked under the strain of more pressing events.
This has never been a problem before, until one day it is.
Need a team huddle before everything starts. Everyone needs to be able to speak.

Mastery by Robert Greene

In this diverse, cultural word, it is best that you learn to mingle and blend into all types of environments, giving yourself maximum flexibility. You must take pleasure in creating these personas-it will make a a better performer for the public stage.

7 deadly realities
Envy, Conformism, Rigidity, self-obsessives, laziness, flightiness, and passive aggression.
Envy
people wo try to get close to you too early are trying to hurt you. Display your weaknesses early. Display great interest in their work
Conformism
Watch how people display their beliefs.
Rigidity
people follow their routine without knowing why. Ease them in to change.
Self-Obsessiveness
People will only do what helps them out, talk up any cause, and when you ask for their help, if it doesn’t benefit them, they will not do anything.

 

What you want is a picture of the person’s character over time, which will give a far more accurate sense of their true character than any first impression would. SO restrain yourself from the natural tendency to judge people right away, and let passing months reveal more and more about what people are, as you get better at reading them.
Do not let your ideas about them harden. Constantly bring your readings up to date.
Take note of people’s decisions. Your goal is to figure out the hidden motives behind them. Take note when they express intense emotions under stress.
People often mask their opposite feelings. 
Reading People
Learn to pay less attention to words and more attention to tone of voice, the look in their eye, they body language–all signs that may reveal a nervousness or excitement not expressed verbally. If you can get people to become emotional, they will reveal a lot more. Cutting off your interior monologue and paying deep attention, you will pick up on cues from them that will register with you as feelings or sensations.  Trust these sensations-they are telling you something that is often easy to ignore because it is not easily verbalized. Later you can find a pattern to these signals and analyze what they mean.
On this nonverbal level, it is interesting to observe how people behave around those of authority or power.  They will tend to reveal an anxiety, resentment, or psychopathic falseness that betrays something essential about their psychological makeup, something that goes back to their childhood that can be read in their body language.
When you drop your defense mechanisms and pay deep attention to others, you will need to lower your guard and open yourself up to influence as well. But as long as your emotions and empathy are directed outward, you will be able to detach yourself when necessary and analyze what you have gleaned. Resist the temptation to interpret what people do as implicitly involving you–this will cause you to turn your thoughts inward and close off the immediacy of the connection.
It means moving past the tendency to idealize or demonize people, seeing and accepting them as they are. It is a way of thinking that must be cultivated as early as possible during the apprenticeship phase.
To be truly charming and effective, you must understand people, and to understand them you have to get out of your mind and immerse yourself in their world.
You must look at what qualities other people do or do not possess. observe before reacting.
First, there is the specie knowledge of human nature-namely the ability to read people, to get a feel for how they see the world, and to understand their individuality. Second, there is a general knowledge of human nature, which means gaining and understanding of the overall patterns of human nature that transcend us as individuals, including some of the darker qualities we often disregard.
First, you resist the temptation to be nice to yourself. You become your own worst critic; you see your works as if through the eyes of others. You recognize your weakness, preachily the elements you are not good it. Those are the aspects you give precedence to in your practice. You find a perverse pleasure in moving past the pain this might bring. Second, you resist the lure of easing up on your focus. You train yourself to concentrate and practice with double intensity, as if it were the real thing times two. In devising your own routines, you become as creative as possible. You invent exercises that work upon your weaknesses. You give yourself arbitrary deadlines to meet certain standards, constantly pushing yourself pas perceived limited. IN this way, you develop your own standards of excellent, generally much higher than that of others.
These include a sense of smugness and superiority whenever we encounter something alien to our ways, as well as rigid ideas about what is real or true, often indoctrinated i us by school or family. If we feel like we know something, our mind closes off to other possibilities. We see reflections of the truth we have already assumed. Such feelings of superiority are often unconscious and stem form a fear of what is different or unknown. We are rarely aware of this, and often imagine ourselves to be paragons of impartiality.
The future belongs to those who learn more skills and who combine them in creative ways. And the process of learning skills, no matter how virtual, remains the same.
First, it is essential that you start with a skill you can master, and that serves as a foundation for building others. You must avoid at all cost the idea that you can manage learning more than one skill at a time. You need to develop your powers of concentration and understand that trying to multitask will be the death of the process.
Any positive attention you receive is deceptive, it is not based on your skills or anything real, and it will turn against you. Instead, you will want to acknowledge that reality and submit to it, muting your colors and keeping int he background as much as possible, remaining passive and giving yourself space to observe. You will want to drop any misconceptions you have about this world you are entering into. If you impress people int he first months, it is because of your desire to learn, not because you are rising to the top before you are ready.
We think that was matters in the work world is gaining attention and making friends. These misconceptions are brutally exposed in the real world.
The goal of your apprenticeship is not money, a good position, a title, or a diploma, but rather the transformation of your mind and character-the first transformation on the way to mastery. You enter your career as an outsider. You are full of naiveté and misconceptions about this new world. Your head is full of dreams and fantasies about the future. Your knowledge of the world is subjective, based on emotions, insecurities, and limited experience. Slowly, you will ground yourself in reality, in the objective world represented by the knowledge and skills that make people successful in it. You will leaner how to work with others and handle criticism. In the process your will transform yourself from someone who is impatient and scattered toe ozone who is disciplined and focused, with a mind that can handle complexity. IN the end, you will master yourself and all your weaknesses.
Finding your life’s path in three steps
1. First, you must connect or reconnect with your inclinations, that sense of uniqueness. The first step is always inward.  You clear away the other voices that might confuse you–parents, and peers.  You look at your underlying pattern, a core to your character that you must understand as deeply as possible
2. Align work with career
3. Accept the twists and turns
Many of the greatest masters in history have confessed to experiencing some kind of force or voice of destiny that has guided them forward.
The counterforce can be powerful. You want to fit into a group. Unconsciously, you might feel that what makes you different is embarrassing or painful.

Rework by Jason Fried
Among the Thugs by Bill Buford
The Last Playboy by Shawn Levy

The Black Swan by Nassim Taleb

It is easy to see that life is the cumulative effect of a handful of significant shocks. It is not so hard to identify the role of Black Swans from your armchair.
Count the significant events, the technological changes, and inventions that have taken place in our environment since you were born, and compare them to what was expected before their advent. How many of them came on a schedule. How often do things work according to plan?
A Black Swan is rare, has an extreme impact, and has retrospective predictability (no prospective).

 

2013
Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky
The Tiger: A Story of Vengeance and Survival by John Valiant
The Tiger: A Story of Vengeance and Survival by John Valiant
Nothing’s Changed But My Change by Jeremy Schoemaker
To Sell is Human by Daniel Pink
Titan – The Life of John D Rockefeller by Ron Chernow

The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin

A transaction, even steven, pushes people apart. A gift creates an imbalance; it strengthens the tribe; it moves the game forward.

Understanding impermanence is the twin sister of understanding art.

Write like you talk. Often.

The fact that people are artists in only one part of their lives is more proof that art isn’t something you’re born with. Art is an effort, an opportunity to devote enormous emotion and energy in a specific direction. It means that you care, not that you’re a loner or a loon.

When the resistance shows up, I know that I’m winning. Not my fight against it, but my fight to make art.

Without kryptonite, Superman doesn’t matter, as he is without weakness, invulnerable and boring.

The worst sort of critic relies on a time-honored crutch, one that rarely works: “I didn’t like it; therefore no one will like it.”

All the rewards for creating art are not present at its creation.

Propaganda is a set of stories about what someone in power would like you to be.

Author Michael Schrage wants you to ask, “Who do you want your customers to become?” At first this seems like a ridiculous question. Your customers are your customers. Your coworkers are your coworkers. This isn’t true. Connection creates change. Unless you are selling a standard commodity, the interactions you have with the market change the market. Zappos turned its customers into people who demand a higher level of service to be satisfied. Amazon turned its customers into people who are restless with online stores that don’t work quite as well or quite as quickly. Henry Ford turned his customers from walkers into drivers.

If you become someone who is uncomfortable unless she is creating change, restless if things are standing still, and disappointed if you haven’t failed recently, you’ve figured out how to become comfortable with the behaviors most likely to make you safe going forward.

 

 

Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff

Eliminate your desires. It’s not necessary to want things. Sometimes you have to let them come to you. Be excellent in the presence of others. Show people one thing that you are very good at. Withdraw. At a crucial moment, when people are expecting you to come after them, pull away.

Economic forces. Briefly describe what has changed financially in the market for your big idea. For example, are customers wealthier, is credit more available, is financial optimism higher? Increases or decreases in interest rates, inflation, and the value of the dollar are considered as prime examples of forces that have significant impact on business opportunities.
Social forces. Highlight what emerging changes in people’s behavior patterns exist for your big idea. An obvious example in the market for automobiles, concern over the environment—a social force—is driving demand for electric vehicles. Technology forces.
Technological change can flatten existing business models and even entire industries because demand shifts from one product to another.
This idea introduction pattern goes like this: “For [target customers] Who are dissatisfied with [the current offerings in the market]. My idea/product is a [new idea or product category] That provides [key problem/solution features]. Unlike [the competing product]. My idea/product is [describe key features].”

Make the buyer qualify himself back to you. Do this by asking such questions as, “Why do I want to do business with you?” Protect your status. Don’t let the buyer change the agenda, the meeting time, or who will attend. Withdraw if the buyer wants to force this kind of change.

The Intrigue Story Your intrigue story needs the following elements: It must be brief, and the subject must be relevant to your pitch. You need to be at the center of the story. There should be risk, danger, and uncertainty. There should be time pressure—a clock is ticking somewhere, and there are ominous consequences if action is not taken quickly. There should be tension—you are trying to do something but are being blocked by some force. There should be serious consequences—failure will not be pretty.
The key to using an intrigue frame is to trust in its power to stop the analyst frame cold. Remember, the person using the analyst frame will break your pitch into pieces and ultimately crush it if unchecked. The analyst frame filters your deal like this: It focuses on hard facts only. It says that aesthetic or creative features have no value. It requires that everything must be supported by a number or statistic. It holds that ideas and human relationships have no value.
Intrigue frames, like all narratives, whether fiction or nonfiction, need structure. Without structure, a story wanders around without purpose and becomes boring. Here’s a pattern that will give any of your stories a dramatic arc that ends with intrigue: Put a man in the jungle. Have beasts attack him. Will he get to safety?
Things don’t always need to be told in terms of extreme events—but they always should be extreme in terms of the character’s emotional experience. This is what makes a good narrative.
Dealing with people who want details
Oh, for sure, audience members will ask for details. They believe that they need them. So what should you do if someone demands details? You respond with summary data that you have prepared for this specific purpose.
We generalize by saying, “Oh, they lost interest.” But what really happened is that they learned enough about our idea to feel secure that they understand it—and there is nothing more to be gained by continuing to pay attention. They determined that there was no more value to be had by engaging with us on any level.

 

A few things to do at the beginning of a meeting
When you approach an opposing power frame, your first and most important objective is to avoid falling into the other person’s frame by reacting to it. And make absolutely certain that you do nothing that strengthens the other person’s frame before your frames collide.
Observing power rituals in business situations—such as acting deferential, engaging in meaningless small talk, or letting yourself be told what to do—reinforces the alpha status of your target and confirms your subordinate position. Do not do this.
To instigate a power frame collision, use a mildly shocking but not unfriendly act to cause it. Use defiance and light humor. This captures attention and elevates your status by creating something called “local star power.”
TARGET: “Thanks for coming over. I only have 15 minutes this afternoon.” YOU: “That’s okay, I only have 12.” You smile. But you are serious, too.
You only think this way, of course. What you actually say is, “I can wait 15 minutes, but then I have to leave.” That’s enough to get the message through.
And then something awesome will happen. The people in the room will scramble, doing their best to prevent you from being offended, doing their best to keep you from leaving. They are worried about you.
“Can you tell me more about yourself? I’m picky about who I work with.” At a primal, croc brain level, you have just issued a challenge: Why do I want to do business with you?
Sound outrageous? It’s not, I promise you. When you rotate the circle of social power 180 degrees, it changes everything. The predator becomes the prey. In this instance, what your target is feeling is a kind of moral shame—they have wronged you—and they feel obligated to make things right.

 

A frame is the instrument you use to package your power, authority, strength, information, and status
If I know the person I’m meeting is a hard-charging, type A personality, I will go in with a power-busting frame.
If that person is an analytical, dollars-and-cents type, I will choose an intrigue frame.
If I’m outnumbered and outgunned and the deck is stacked against me, time frames and prize frames are essential
You have four major response frame types that you can use to meet these oncoming frames, win the initial collision, and control the agenda: 1. Power-busting frame 2. Time constraining frame 3. Intrigue frame 4. Prize frame
What these sales gurus are missing is this: When you fail to control the social frame, you probably have already lost. All you can do then is fight for survival by fast talking, spin selling, trial closing, and a myriad of equally ineffective and annoying tactics that signal to the customer that you are needy and desperate—and defeated.
By preaching the law of large numbers, the purveyors of sales techniques are asking you to work longer and harder, with no real competitive advantage. They are forcing you to compensate for your weak position with a Herculean effort to win new business, claiming that it’s just a numbers game. It’s rather rude of them to give away so much of your life this way, isn’t it? Frame-based business takes the opposite approach.

 

Create messages that are full of intrigue and novelty. To make this process easier to remember, I use the acronym STRONG: Setting the frame Telling the story Revealing the intrigue Offering the prize Nailing the hook point Getting a decision.

All The Kings Men b Robert Penn Warren

Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather he must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being himself.

What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal.

Life in a concentration camp tore open the human soul and exposed its depths. Is it surprising that in those depths we again found only human qualities which in their very nature were a mixture of good and evil.

Life in a concentration camp tore open the human soul and exposed its depths. Is it surprising that in those depths we again found only human qualities which in their very nature were a mixture of good and evil?

When a man finds that it is his destiny to suffer, he will have to accept his suffering as his task; his single and unique task. He will have to acknowledge the fact that even in suffering he is unique and alone in the universe. No one can relieve him of his suffering or suffer in his place. His unique opportunity lies in the way in which he bears his burden.

Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual. These tasks, and therefore the meaning of life, differ from man to man, and from moment to moment. Thus it is impossible to define the meaning of life in a general.

A creative life and a life of enjoyment are banned to him. But not only creativeness and enjoyment are meaningful. If there is a meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete.

A rich and mighty Persian once walked in his garden with one of his servants. The servant cried that he had just encountered Death, who had threatened him. He begged his master to give him his fastest horse so that he could make haste and flee to Teheran, which he could reach that same evening. The master consented and the servant galloped off on the horse. On returning to his house the master himself met Death, and questioned him, “Why did you terrify and threaten my servant?” “I did not threaten him; I only showed surprise in still finding him here when I planned to meet him tonight in Teheran.”

“Don’t aim at success—the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself.

Frankl saw three possible sources for meaning: in work (doing something significant), in love (caring for another person), and in courage during difficult times.

 
The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith
The E-Myth by Michael Gerber
Go-Givers Sell More by Bob Burg
Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner
Getting Past No by William Ury

Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday

Everything can be improved—that’s what we’ve got to remind ourselves. The reality is that your product is probably broken in at least one.

Just because you’ve achieved product market fit doesn’t mean that your idea is flawless, that there aren’t huge areas that still need to be tweaked.

Ask your customers questions, too: What is it that brought you to this product? What is holding you back from referring other people to it? What’s missing? What’s golden? Don’t ask random people or your friends—be scientific about it. Use tools like SurveyMonkey, Wufoo, or even Google Docs, which make it very easy to offer surveys to some or all of your customers.

 
Self Help; with illustrations of conduct and perseverance by Samuel Smiles

“It is excellent. To have a giant’s strength; but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant.”

There are many tests by which a gentleman may be known; but there is one that never fails—How does he exercise power over those subordinate to him?  How does he conduct himself towards women and children?

“Civility,” said Lady Montague, “costs nothing and buys everything.”  The cheapest of all things is kindness, its exercise requiring the least possible trouble and self-sacrifice.

Gentleness in society is like the silent influence of light, which gives colour to all nature; it is far more powerful than loudness or force, and far more fruitful.  It pushes its way quietly and persistently, like the tiniest daffodil in spring, which raises the clod and thrusts it aside by the simple persistency of growing.

Without the necessity of encountering difficulty, life might be easier, but men would be worth less.

Useful and instructive though good reading may be, it is yet only one mode of cultivating the mind; and is much less influential than practical experience and good example in the formation of character.

The reason why so little is done, is generally because so little is attempted.

The most profitable study is that which is conducted with a definite aim and object.  By thoroughly mastering any given branch of knowledge we render it more available for use at any moment.

It is not the quantity of study that one gets through, or the amount of reading, that makes a wise man; but the appositeness of the study to the purpose for which it is pursued; the concentration of the mind for the time being on the subject under consideration; and the habitual discipline by which the whole system of mental application is regulated.  Abernethy was even of opinion that there was a point of saturation in his own mind, and that if he took into it something more than it could hold, it only had the effect of pushing something else out.  Speaking of the study of medicine, he said, “If a man has a clear idea of what he desires to do, he will seldom fail in selecting the proper means of accomplishing it.”

“Punctuality,” said Louis XIV., “is the politeness of kings.

Lost wealth may be replaced by industry, lost knowledge by study, lost health by temperance or medicine, but lost time is gone for ever.

An hour wasted daily on trifles or in indolence, would, if devoted to self-improvement, make an ignorant man wise in a few years, and employed in good works, would make his life fruitful, and death a harvest of worthy deeds.  Fifteen minutes a day devoted to self-improvement, will be felt at the end of the year.  Good thoughts and carefully gathered experience take up no room, and may be carried about as our companions everywhere, without cost or incumbrance.  An economical use of time is the true mode of securing leisure: it enables us to get through business and carry it forward, instead of being driven by it.  On the other hand, the miscalculation of time involves us in perpetual hurry, confusion, and difficulties; and life becomes a mere shuffle of expedients, usually followed by disaster.  Nelson once said, “I owe all my success in life to having been always a quarter of an hour before my time.”

Beware of stumbling over a propensity which easily besets you from not having your time fully employed—I mean what the women call dawdling.  Your motto must be, Hoc age.  Do instantly whatever is to be done, and take the hours of recreation after business, never before it is done.

“The shortest way to do many things is to do only one thing at once;”

Attention, application, accuracy, method, punctuality, and despatch, are the principal qualities required for the efficient conduct of business of any sort.

The path of success in business is usually the path of common sense.

One of Napoleon’s favourite maxims was, “The truest wisdom is a resolute determination.”

Nothing that is of real worth can be achieved without courageous working.

This constant repetition is one of the main conditions of success in art, as in life itself.

Time is the only little fragment of Eternity that belongs to man; and, like life, it can never be recalled.

“But recollect that trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle.”

To wait patiently, however, men must work cheerfully.  Cheerfulness is an excellent working quality, imparting great elasticity to the character.

Those who look into practical life will find that fortune is usually on the side of the industrious.

It is not the man of the greatest natural vigor and capacity who achieves the highest results, but he who employs his powers with the greatest industry and the most carefully disciplined skill—the skill that comes by labour, application, and experience.

Labour is not only a necessity and a duty, but a blessing: only the idler feels it to be a curse.  The duty of work is written on the thews and muscles of the limbs, the mechanism of the hand, the nerves and lobes of the brain—the sum of whose healthy action is satisfaction and enjoyment.  In the school of labour is taught the best practical wisdom; nor is a life of manual employment, as we shall hereafter find, incompatible with high mental culture.

“There is no time of life at which one can wholly cease from action, for effort without one’s self, and still more effort within, is equally necessary, if not more so, when we grow old, as it is in youth.  I compare man in this world to a traveller journeying without ceasing towards a colder and colder region; the higher he goes, the faster he ought to walk.  The great malady of the soul is cold.  And in resisting this formidable evil, one needs not only to be sustained by the action of a mind employed, but also by contact with one’s fellows in the business of life.”

They have come alike from colleges, workshops, and farmhouses,—from the huts of poor men and the mansions of the rich.  Some of God’s greatest apostles have come from “the ranks.”

Great men of science, literature, and art—apostles of great thoughts and lords of the great heart—have belonged to no exclusive class nor rank in life.

 

 

 

Reality Check by Guy Kawasaki

The only method that works in the real world involves five steps: (1) Prepare for the negotiation by knowing your facts. (2) Figure out what you really want. (3) Figure out what you don’t care about. (4) Figure out what the other party really wants. (5) Create a win-win outcome to ensure that everyone is happy. You’ll be a negotiating maven if you do this.

Imagine how you would finish this sentence if you were having two beers with your best friend: “You know, the strangest thing about what we’re going through is . . .” What comes next is your best story idea. Even if the story isn’t about your company, you’ll be a part of the conversation. The rest will come naturally.

Enable test-drives. People are inherently smart. If you provide them with the right information, they are the best judges of the suitability of your product or service. You should not try to bludgeon them into becoming a customer. My recommendation is that you enable people to test-drive your product or service in order to make their own decision. Essentially, you are saying, “I think you’re smart. Because I think you’re smart, I’m going to enable you to try my product to see if it works for you. I hope that it does and that we can do business.” Therefore, do whatever it takes to enable people to download a trial version of your software, use your Web site, drive your car, eat at your restaurant, or attend your church service.

Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, “Make me feel important.” Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.   ~ MARY KAY ASH

Present solutions, not problems. The reason why you’re running the show is theoretically that you’re the best person for the job. Therefore, you should present solutions.

Start in the morning. I’ve been on boards that start in the morning, at midday, and in the afternoon. Without question, the most effective board meetings start at 8:00 A.M. or earlier. This is because people are fresh in the morning and not burdened by all the crises that pile up by the middle of the day. Plus, it makes you look better because you’re an early bird that gets a jump on the day as opposed to the slug that gets in at noon.

The Customer. This person is, or represents, the type of person or organization you hope will buy your product or service. You need this person as a reality check on features, pricing, and marketing practices.

Think in terms of per-unit profitability. It may be acceptable to lose money on every unit for a time, but at some point you have to make money on every unit. And don’t count on a big company buying you out, because “getting lucky” is not a viable strategy. Also, you need to know exactly how much you’re losing on every unit so that you can measure progress toward profitability.

Wherever I’ve worked, we’ve secretly felt just the opposite. We’re assailed by doubts, mortified by our own shortcomings, surrounded by freaks, testy over silly details.

 

 
Setting The Table by Danny Meyer

Island by Aldous Huxely

“Which is better—to be born stupid into an intelligent society or intelligent into an insane one?”

“More than enough. We eat better than any other country in Asia, and there’s a surplus for export. Lenin used to say that electricity plus socialism equals communism. Our equations are rather different. Electricity minus heavy industry plus birth control equals democracy and plenty. Electricity plus heavy industry minus birth control equals misery, totalitarianism and war.”

People, he was beginning to understand, are at once the beneficiaries and the victims of their culture. It brings them to flower; but it also nips them in the bud or plants a canker at the heart of the blossom. Might it not be possible, on this forbidden island, to avoid the cankers, minimize the nippings, and make the individual blooms more beautiful?

‘Food production increases arithmetically; population increases geometrically. Man has only two choices: he can either leave the matter to Nature, who will solve the population problem in the old familiar way, by famine, pestilence and war: or else (Malthus being a clergyman) he can keep down his numbers by moral restraint.’”

“But cure,” said Will, “is so much more dramatic than prevention. And for the doctors it’s also a lot more profitable.” “Maybe for your doctors,” said the little nurse. “Not for ours. Ours get paid for keeping people well.”

 

 

What I learned Losing A Million Dollars by Jim Paul

Secrets of Closing The Sale by Zig Ziglar

As a seller, the next time somebody comes in to see you and says he’s “just looking,” it should bring a smile instead of a frown. Careful-don’t overreact. Don’t grab and hug just smile. If the shopper seems to be shy and introverted, as you smile take a step backwards (you must come across as nonthreatening and nonpushy) and say, “We’re delighted to have you with us. Look as long as you like. My name is , and if you would like some help, it will be a pleasure for me. [And as an afterthought] Oh, and incidentally, if we don’t have exactly what you want, I could probably tell you where to find it. Is that fair enough?

“The very essence of all power to influence lies in getting the other person to participate. ” Get ’em involved-your chances of the sale dramatically improve.

“Mr. Prospect, it’s obvious you feel quite strongly about this issue, so you must have an excellent reason for feeling as you do. Would you mind sharing with me why you feel this way?”

“Incidentally, Mrs. Prospect, one of the things that pleases me about what you’re saying is this: I have found that most people who are as frank and open [don’t you dare say “angry” or “hostile”] as you are turn out to be more receptive. They are open and fair-minded when they have their questions answered, so I’m pleased you bring your concerns forward in such an open manner.”

People do not buy facts or even benefits unless they can see those benefits translated to their own personal use.

As sales pro Mike Frank says, “The professional acquires and maintains a `prospecting awareness.’ He seeks prospects from current and former clients as well as everyone he calls on, regardless of sales results. He cultivates them at the supermarket, the club, and restaurants, as well as other social contacts. He utilizes information gleaned from radio, TV, and newspapers as well as billboards and bus signs. He `sees’ a prospect behind every bush and tree and around every corner.”

He is far more inclined to use his spare time in sales-related tasks. For example, when things are slow he writes follow-up or thank-you notes to customers instead of killing time reading magazines, drinking coffee, or engaging in bull sessions.

When a salesman calls on a prospect and is granted an appointment, the prospect is really saying, “I buy you, so come on in and tell me the story.” When the prospect becomes a customer, he is saying to the salesman, “I trust you. I believe you’re telling me the truth, so go ahead and write the order.”

There are five basic reasons people will not buy from you. These are: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, and no trust.

You, too, need to be optimistic that your prospect can handle the purchase. It is an absolute fact that the salesman’s expectancy has a direct bearing on the prospect’s decision in many, many cases. Expect a sale on every interview.

 

 

2014

Play It Away by Charlie Hoehn
The Power Broker by Robert Caro
On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction
The Diary of Anne Frank
Libertarian Anarchism by Gerard Casey
Work The System by Sam Carpenter
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
It’s not all about me by Robin Dreeke
Smartest by Shane Snow
What Makes Sammy Run by Budd Schulberg
Open by Andre Agassi
The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum
The Bourne Supremacy by Robery Ludlum
The Painted Bird by Jerry Kosiński
The Way of Men by Jack Donovan
What They Teach You at Harvard Business School by Philip Delves Broughton

2015
Non-Zero by Robert Wright
Getting More by Stuart Diamond
The Sales Acceleration Formula by Mark Roberge
A Good Man by Robert Shriver
Captivology by Ben Parr

The Prince by Nicolo Machiavelli

And it has always been the opinion and judgment of wise men that nothing can be so uncertain or unstable as fame or power not founded on its own strength.

For injuries ought to be done all at one time, so that, being tasted less, they offend less; benefits ought to be given little by little, so that the flavour of them may last longer.

Things a little bird told me by Biz Stone

Martine’s Hand-book of Etiquette, and Guide to True Politeness by Arthur Martine

In private, watch your thoughts; in your family, watch your temper; in society, watch your tongue.

When I stop Talking, You’ll know I’m Dead by Jerry Weintraub
Social Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman
Status Anxiety by Alain de Botton
The Joshua Principle by Tony Hughes
What Do You Care What Other People Think by Richard Feynman
The Lean Startup by Eric Reis

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

The truth is a bully we pretend to like.

I suppose you could say we were close, Didier and I. But friends? Friendship is something that gets harder to understand every damn year of my life. Friendship is like a kind of algebra test that no one ever passes. In my worst moods, I think the best you can say is that a friend is anyone you don’t despise.

The first rule of black business everywhere is: never let anyone know what you’re thinking. Didier’s corollary to the rule was: always know what others think about you. The shabby clothes, the matted, curly hair pressed flat on places it had rested on a pillow the night before, even his fondness for alcohol, exaggerated into what seemed like a debilitating addiction – they were all expressions of an image he cultivated, and were as carefully nuanced as a professional actor’s. He made people think that he was harmless and helpless, because that was the precise opposite of the truth.

 

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

I have wrestled with death. It is the most unexciting contest you can imagine. It takes place in an impalpable grayness, with nothing underfoot, with nothing around, without spectators, without clamor, without glory, without the great desire of victory, without the great fear of defeat, in a sickly atmosphere of tepid skepticism without much believe in your own right, and still less i that of our adversary. If such is the form of ultimate wisdom, the life is a greater riddle than some of think it to be.

I was fascinated. It was as though a veil had been rent. I saw on that Ivory face the expression of somber price, of ruthless power, of craven terror – of an intense and hopeless despair. Did he live his life again in every detail of desire, temptation, and surrender during that supreme moment of complete knowledge? He cried in a whisper of some image, at some vision – he cried out twice a cry that was no more than a breath: The horror, the horror!

The pilgrims looked upon me with disfavor. I was , so to speak, numbered with the dead. It is strange how I accepted this unforeseen partnership, the choice of nightmares forced upon me in the tenebrous land invaded by these men and greedy phantoms.

And the village was deserted, the huts gaped black, rotting, all askew within the fallen enclosures. A calamity had come to it, sure enough. The people had vanished. Mad terror had scattered them, men, women, and children, through the bush, and they had never returned.

 

 

2017

The Gulag Archipelago by Alexander Solzhenitsyn

2018

The Years of Lyndon Johnson by Robert Caro

Means of Ascent by Robert Caro

Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins

 

 

2019

The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris

Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris

Colonel Roosevelt by Edmund Morris

The Strenuous Life by Theodore Roosevelt

I wish to preach not the doctrine of the ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life, the life of toil and effort, of labor and strife; to preach that highest form of success which comes not to the man who desires mere easy peace, but to the man who does not shrink from danger from hardship, or from bitter toil, and who out of these wins the splendid ultimate truth.

But in the long run, in the great battle of life, no brilliancy of intellect, no perfection of bodily development will count when weighed in the balance against the assemblage of virtues, active and passive, of mortal qualities, which we group together under the same name as character’s and if between any two contestants, even in college sport or in college work, the difference in character on the right side is as great as the difference of intellect or strength the other way, it’s the character side that will win – pg 53

Poverty is a bitter thing; but it is not as bitter as the existence of restless vacuity, and physical, mortal, and intellectual flabbishness, to which those doom themselves who elect to spend all their years int he vainest of all vain pursuits – the pursuit of mere pleasure as a sufficient end in itself. The willfully idle man, life the willfully barren women, has no place in a sane, healthy, vigorous community.

 

 

Born to Run

Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport

Deep Work by Cal Newport

On Writing by Stephen King

Fooled By Randomness by Nassim Taleb

Skin in the Game by Nassim Taleb

The Odyssey by Homer

The Illiad by Homer

Principles by Ray Dalio

 

Anti-fragile by Nassim Taleb

As a child of civil war, I disbelieve in structured learning – have a private library instead of a classroom, send time as an aimless flaneur benefitting from what randomness can give us inside and outside the library. Provided we have the right type of rigor, we need randomness, mess, adventure, uncertainty, self-discovery, near-traumatic episodes.
Select people by their ability to hang around.
But Fat Tony’s power in life is that he never lets the other person frame the question. He taught Nero than an answer is planted in every question. Never respond with a straight answer to a question that makes no sense to you.
2020
Once a Runner
Lead Yourself First by Erwin and Kethledge
Flip the Script by Oren Klaff
Why should I care? – What new threats and danger is there?
What’s in it for me? How can i get a better than average reward?
Why you? – How can I trust you to give me a fair deal?
“Good morning. Glad we could get time on each other’s calendars. There’s a lot of get to today and not much time, so lets begin.

1 thought on “Reading and Quotes

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