Essentialism by Greg McKeown is a very great book about living by design, not by default. The book goes in depth on how to relentlessly pursue less and concentrate on what really matters. As an Essentialist, you need to focus on the few things that are really essential, think of the trade-offs, say no more often and EXECUTE.
Here are my favourite take aways from reading – Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less:
The way of the Essentialist is the relentless pursuit of less but better. It doesn’t mean occasionally giving a nod to the principle. It means pursuing it in a disciplined way. The way of the Essentialist isn’t about setting New Year’s resolutions to say “no” more, or about pruning your in-box, or about mastering some new strategy in time management. It is about pausing constantly to ask, “Am I investing in the right activities?“
Am I investing in the right activities?
Essentialism is not about how to get more things done; it’s about how to get the right things done. It doesn’t mean just doing less for the sake of less either. It is about making the wisest possible investment of your time and energy in order to operate at our highest point of contribution by doing only what is essential.
That is why humans resist life. To be alive is the biggest fear humans have. Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive — the risk to be alive and express what we really are. Just being ourselves is the biggest fear of humans. We have learned to live our lives trying to satisfy other people’s demands. We have learned to live by other people’s points of view because of the fear of not being accepted and of not being good enough for someone else.
Paul Krugman won the 2008 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his groundbreaking work on international trade and economic geography. He is the author or editor of 20 books and more than 200 papers in professional journals and edited volumes. Paul is a Professor of Economics and Distinguished Scholar at the Graduate Center’s Stone Center at City University of New York (CUNY).
Paul is one of the founders of the “new trade theory,” a major rethinking of the theory of international trade, for which he also received the John Bates Clark Medal in 1991 from the American Economic Association, a prize given every two years to “that economist under forty who is adjudged to have made a significant contribution to economic knowledge.
It’s never been more important to educate yourself.
In his Masterclass.com session, paul teaches economics and society. He shares insights on the financial crises, health care, taxes, international trade, urbanization, and globalization.
Author John C. Maxwell, in his book, Put Your Dream to the Test called The Leadership Challenge, one of the best Leadership books he has ever read. I had to read the book too as John C. Maxwell is one of my Leadership Mentors and the book did not disappoint. The Leadership Challenge book was very insightful as it contained lots of Personal-Best Leadership Experiences of Leaders, Managers, and change agents.
Here are some of my favorite takeaways from reading: The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizationsby James Kouzes and Barry Posner:
Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.― C.G. Jung
There is a story about a man who was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.
He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.
Man can live 40 days without food, three days without water, eight minutes without air, but only one second without hope.
When the world around you gets tough like they often do, hope is what we hang on to. Here are top inspiring quotes to help you stay motivated in trying times.
They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.― Tom Bodett.
Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.– Helen Keller
We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope. – Martin Luther King
Youth is not entirely a time of life; it is a state of mind. Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old by deserting their ideals.… You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.– General Douglas MacArthur
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting -your hearts longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals, or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it. I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being human.
Deep Work: Professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate.
Deep Work by Cal Newport is one of the most impactful books I have ever read. I have since read it more than two times, and with each reading, I get more perspective on focus and concentration in the hyper-connected we live in. Deep Work is an essential skill in our hyper-connected world, and the major differentiator in the future would be producers of high-value work.
Here are my favourite takeaways from read Deep Work by Cal Newport:
The Need for Deep Work Knowledge Workers:
As intelligent machines improve, and the gap between machine and human abilities shrinks, employers are becoming increasingly likely to hire “new machines” instead of “new people.” And when only a human will do, improvements in communications and collaboration technology are making remote work easier than ever before, motivating companies to outsource key roles to stars—leaving the local talent pool underemployed.
Deep work is not some nostalgic affectation of writers and early-twentieth-century philosophers. It’s instead a skill that has great value today.
There are two reasons for this value.
The first has to do with learning. We have an information economy that’s dependent on complex systems that change rapidly. Some of the computer languages for example, didn’t exist ten years ago and will likely be outdated ten years from now. Similarly, someone coming up in the field of marketing in the 1990s probably had no idea that today they’d need to master digital analytics
Don’t take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering. —Don Miguel Ruiz
On your path to greatness, there will always be detractors, doubters and naysayers. The distractions come from everywhere and every form you can imagine: Family Members, Friends, Monitoring Spirits, Online Tolls. As Mahatma Gandhi once said “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win“. When these distractions come, you have to see the end in mind, ignore the naysayers, focus on your goals, and EXECUTE
Your Results would cancel the Insults.
When these detractors come around like they often do, remember the words of Theodore Roosevelt’s Man in the Arena:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
Dan Brown is the author of numerous notable novels, including The Da Vinci Code, which has become one of the bestselling novels of all time as well as the subject of intellectual debate among readers and scholars. Brown’s novels are published in 56 languages around the world with over 200 million copies in print.
The son of a mathematics teacher and a church organist, Brown was raised on a prep school campus where he developed a fascination with the paradoxical interplay between science and religion. These themes eventually formed the backdrop for his books.
Halftime by Bob Buford is a great book as it contains a lot of thought-provoking questions on transitioning from success to significance.
Here are my favourite take aways from reading Halftime by Bob Buford:
Halftime : Two halves Sport analogy of Life:
During the first half of your life, you probably did not have time to think about how you would spend the rest of your life. You probably rushed through college, fell in love, married, embarked on a career, climbed upward, and acquired a few things to help make the journey comfortable.
You played a hard-fought first half. You even may have been winning. But sooner or later you begin to wonder if this really is as good as it gets. Somehow, keeping score does not offer the thrill it once did. You may have taken some vicious hits. A good share of men and women never make it to halftime without pain. Serious pain. Divorce. Too much alcohol. Not enough time for your kids. Guilt. Loneliness. Like many good players, you started the half with good intentions but got blindsided along the way.
The Pencil Maker took the pencil aside, just before putting him into the box. There are 5 things you need to know, he told the pencil, before I send you out into the world. Always remember them and never forget, and you will become the best pencil you can be.
One: You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in Someone’s hand.
Two: You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, but you’ll need it to become a better pencil.
Three: You will be able to correct mistakes you will make.
Four: The most important part of you will always be what’s inside.
And Five: On every surface you are used on, you must leave your mark. No matter what the condition, you must continue to write.
I have followed IBM Think religiously for the past 3 years and I am always excited to follow the event. IBM is a 100+ year corporation that has seen it all. I admire IBM because of its longevity, resilience, and ability to adapt to the season.
Event: IBM Think Digital Event Experience Theme: Accelerate recovery with open tech When: May 5 – 6, 2020 Where: Online
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