He's tiny. Almost invisible. But he has a HUGE mouth and he's constantly telling you why you can't win. That's Mr. Mediocrity. We need to silence him.
The Pain Paradox: Only doing the easy stuff today makes it more difficult later. Paradoxically, doing the hard stuff now makes things easier in the future. Think cows vs. buffalo! :)
Feeling anxious or bored? Here's a quick look at how you can get into flow!
Although, as per the sub-title, the book is ostensibly about “How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra),” it’s really about excelling at learning and at LIFE! Barbara Oakley is an award winning engineering teacher who used to struggle mightily with math and science. She walks us through the latest research in neuroscience and learning as she shares fascinating biographical sketches of scientific + mathematical luminaries along with wisdom from other world-class teachers. Great stuff.
If you’re looking for a smart, grounded, funny and well-written introduction to the Paleo movement, this is the perfect place to start. Big Ideas we explore include the five ages of our origins (Animal + Paleolithic + Agricultural + Industrial + Information), poisons vs. fountains of youth, the importance of meaning (and how to dial it in) and alarm clocks for bed time.
Stephen Cope is the director of the Kripalu Institute for Extraordinary Living—the largest yoga research institute in the Western world. In this great book, Stephen brings the Bhagavad Gita to life and helps us apply this ancient wisdom to our modern lives. Big Ideas include the four keys to living your dharma, creating the right conditions, dealing with difficulties, training elephants, and reducing yourself to zero!
Greg Krech is one of the world’s leading teachers of Japanese psychology. This book integrates three core facets of the work he has done for the last 25+ years: Morita Therapy + kaizen + Naikan. Big Ideas we explore include understanding what is within our control and what is not (hint: thoughts and feelings are not; behaviors are), how to create momentum in your life and the importance of constant incremental improvement.
You ever struggle with perfectionism? If so, it’s time to learn how to be an imperfectionist! Stephen Guise (author of Mini Habits), shows us the way. Big Ideas include being a poser, living within floors and ceilings, thinking vs. doing, pulling the lever, and cultivating result apathy.
Bernard Roth has been a Professor of Engineering at Stanford for over FIFTY (!!) years. A pioneer in the field of robotics, Bernie is one of the founders of the famed d.school at Stanford. In this great book, he brings the concepts of design thinking to life in the context of our most important design project: designing our optimal lives. Big Ideas we explore include the 5 elements of design thinking, doing vs. trying, ignoring odds, and being the cause.
This is a fantastic, old school psychology classic. Written in 1975, Albert Ellis (see Notes on A Guide to Rational Living) says it’s “One of the best self help books ever written.” Lazarus and Fay walk us through 20 of the most common mistakes that can ruin our lives and, of course, how to correct them. Big Ideas include myths about change, the 2 things we need to do to change, and optimizing our locus of control.
How do you want to die? With a calm serenity knowing you gave your best or with deep regret that you never took the risks and cultivated the discipline to show up with urgency and diligence each day to create a life of deep meaning? The answer is obvious. Big Ideas we explore on how to die empty include optimism vs. wishing, the root of mediocrity, the 3 S’s of goal setting and dealing with The Lag.
What do you say when you talk to yourself? Is it empowering? Or not so much? Shad Helmstetter tells us nothing matters quite as much as that. Big Ideas include why and how we need to upgrade our programming, the 5 levels of Self-Talk, and conquering our greatest challenge.
Ready to 10X your thinking and your action? Fantastic. Grant Cardone is your man. In this high intensity, LET'S DO THIS! book you'll get fired up to go out and crush it. Big Ideas we explore include how to create goals, why MASSIVE ACTION is so important, how to starve fear, why obsession is a gift not a disease and how Smokey would smoke the tortoise and the hare.
How’s your habit-building process working for you? If you’ve stalled a few (hundred?) times, Stephen Guise tells us that Mini Habits might be just the thing you’re looking for! In the Note we look at what a Mini Habit is and how to go about rockin’ it exploring Big Ideas like making habits stupid small (aka “too small to fail”), embracing Newton’s 1st law, and being aware of ego depletion as you create your chain!
Dr. Michelle Segar is the world’s leading authority on what motivates people to choose and maintain healthy behaviors. As you’d imagine, Dr. Segar has some *really* powerful ideas on, as the sub-title suggests, “How the simple science of motivation can bring you a lifetime of fitness.” Big Ideas we explore include the importance of meaning, moving exercise from a chore to a gift and embracing a learning mindset.
Why do we get fat? It’s a surprisingly simple question that surprisingly few nutrition experts answer with attention to scientific rigor. Enter: Gary Taubes, a brilliant, award-winning science journalist. In this Note we’ll explore some Big Ideas on the importance of the hormone insulin, why carbs are kinda like cigarettes and the Stanford A TO Z Study that showed low-carb diets outperforming others.
Toughness. Jim Loehr tells us that cultivating our toughness is the essence of creating healthier, happier and more productive lives. And, in this great, old-school book (written in 1993), he shows us how to go about doing that. Big Ideas we explore in the Note include how toughening happens (key: adaptive stress!!), the importance of training recovery, ultradian rhythms and emotional phones ringing.
Rory Vaden tells us we can choose one of three options: 1. We can manage our time. 2. We can prioritize our time. 3. We can multiply our time. The most successful among us learn how to MULTIPLY their time and that’s what this book is all about. Big Ideas explored include the 5 Permissions (Eliminate + Automate + Delegate + Procrastinate + Concentrate) with a focus on the most important: Eliminate!!
Ready to go wild?! John Ratey, MD, and Richard Manning are here to give us the guidebook on how to make that happen! In the Note, we explore Big Ideas ranging from wild nutrition to getting out of bad moods, getting adequate sleep and pulling levers that will change our lives!
When you appraoch a set of stairs and an escalator what do you do? If you're like 95% of the world, you hop on the escalator but Rory Vaden tells us if we want true success in our lives we need to quit looking for shortcuts and Take the Stairs! In the Note we'll look at how to quit being a Should-head, embrace the Pain Paradox and get our Visioneering on.
Steven Pressfield created a trilogy on mastering the creative process and winning our battle with Resistance. The War of Art kicked it off, this is the second installment with the final Turning Pro. In the book, Pressfield walks us thru a specific project and shows us how to deal with Resistance at each stage. Big Ideas we explore incude starting before you're ready, keep working (!), and SHIP!!
Jeff Olson is a down-to-earth, super practical (and successful) guy who believes in the power of turning simple disciplines into massive success. He calls that power “The Slight Edge.” In the Note, we’ll explore Big Ideas ranging from the anti-quantum leap and making course corrections to the habits of a slight edge master and how to create optimal plans.
Jim Loehr is one of the world’s leading sports psychologists and peak performance experts. In this great book, he tells us how all champions are able to access their Ideal Performance States, why we want to lean into challenges, how to make waves throughout out day and the first rule of toughness.
Orison Swett Marden is a brilliant old-school writer who mixed a passionate optimism in our potential with an equally passionate commitment to integrity, grit, perseverance and all things good. I like him. In this book he shows us how to make our life a masterpiece by becoming the captain of our own ships, doing first-class work, and finding an hour a day to optimize as we achieving true success.
A Vietnamese Buddhist Zen master, Thich Nhat Hanh is, essentially, a living saint. In this great little book, Nhat Hanh delivers his essential wisdom on how to navigate the storms of life with more grace and poise as we cultivate fearlessness/nonfear. Big Ideas range from breathing in the moment, reflecting on interbeingness (= huge), and enhancing our energy of mindfulness and concentration.