Reading as a child was a beautiful thing. I would take adventures to other worlds through The Magic Treehouse, nod off with my friend Artemis Fowl and cozy up before bed with my brothers, listening to the tales of a certain famous wizard who need not be named.
In my university years, reading became more of a chore than an adventure. I read to get readings done, to analyze peer reviewed text and to find sources for term papers. I was reading what I had to, not what I wanted to.
I decided to make 2016 different.
I had found ideas and authors outside of the collegiate reading realm who fascinated me, I found fiction I could enjoy and Non-Fiction I truly wanted to read. It is amazing what can happen when a life finds inspiration and passion and love.
Here is my year in review through the most important books and ideas I have bathed my brain in over the past 12 months.
Continue reading “10 books that made my year”
A book is a dream that you hold in your hand.
Each of us has a different relationship with reading. For some it conjures a romantic past of cuddling up in your bed listening to mom or dad narrate your favourite story. Others, it is trudging through english class staples like Silas Marner and To Kill a Mockingbird (which are fantastic reads).
One thing I have come to realize more and more is this: readers are leaders.
In high school and university, reading was a chore for me. A necessary evil to get to a desired grade and desired outcome (my degree). I had lost touch with the great stories of my childhood and hadn’t read a book for “fun” in years.
Then, things changed. I read a book and my world opened the door to the thoughts and ideas that had been waiting outside knocking to be let in for so long.
Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light.
I had found my tribe. Entrepreneurs, philosophers, leaders and poets. Once I found my tribe, groups of people who thought like I did and were experts at what interested me, reading became the way.
Are you stuck in a rut? Have you found your tribe? What are your true interests? For me, the answer to my questions was to read. To open my world to the great ideas and thoughts of those who came before me.
If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
Thanks so much for stopping by, if you are wondering what books got me started on my journey to success and mindfulness I have shared a few of them below.
Meditations – by Marcus Aurelius
Rich Dad, Poor Dad – by Robert T. Kiyosaki
The 4-Hour Workweek – by Tim Ferris
Psycho-Cybernetics – by Maxwell Maltz
There is a moment of turmoil between my alligator brain and my conscious brain each and every morning. I feel I am not alone.
The turmoil occurs at the precise moment my alarm clock begins to sound and I am to make the decision on whether to get up immediately, press snooze or spend 20+ secs thinking about how crazy my day is going to be and then press snooze.
I am fascinated by this moment. It is such a primal event, fight or flight in its most basic representation. This morning my dilemma was this:
fight: face the day, get up early and seize the opportunity before me.
flight: put off the suffering of vertical life and retire further into my warm, safe bed.
I think the application of this principal is huge. If I cannot control the simple decision to wake up early and have a more productive day, over sleeping in, how can I trust myself to make difficult decisions when more than sleep and sunken eyes are at stake.
Think about this the next time your alarm goes off, own your morning routine and become the master of your daily decisions.
When given the choice, will you fight or flight?
Marcus Aurelius says to be grateful when you rise each day.
“to think, to enjoy, to love.”
Seneca speaks of living each day like it is its own life.
“begin at once to live, and count each separate day as a separate life.
Trying to live full, honest and mindful every day seems daunting to me still. It has been the better part of a year since I made the conscious decision to wake up each day with a purpose, wake up each day wth presence and to wake up each day with as much gratitude as I could muster. Though it has been a great personal triumph these past few months living a more positive, stoic lifestyle, it is easy to be drawn back into the rat race. Negativity and barriers in thought are almost unavoidable.
How do you cut out the negativity? How do muffle your mind from the noise?
I think the answer is, you don’t. Not entirely at least. Negativity will always be there, the noise of society will always be there. To me, it is about taking steps each and every day towards recognizing these obstacles of negativity. When a car drives by as you wait to cross the street does that stop you from eventually crossing? No, that is, unless you go out to greet it. Let the car pass, let the thought pass, let the external negativity pass, and then cross the street.
Take steps each and every day towards your personal and professional goals. Wake each day and try to be more mindful and grateful for just a second more than you were yesterday. It is these steps that are the way. The journey is the destination.
I am always ‘here’.
What does it mean to have an original idea?
How do you cultivate originality?
Lately I feel my best thoughts and ideas are a patchwork of knowledge gained through reading, listening and questioning others and then repurposing that knowledge to my own liking. Using inputs to create my outputs.
Originality and creativity comes with my interpretation and repurposing of these inputs. If this is true, and quality original thoughts are the desired output, are quality thoughts and ideas required as input? OR can quality of thought be created?
I hypothesize that good inputs = good outputs.
It is for this reason I have made it a goal to read more (even more) and begin to think of learning as an occupational passion. The best ideas are the product of good inputs.
LIFE GOAL: Be in search of good inputs. This will not lead to a wasted life.
I write, poorly but purposely every morning and some evenings. I write down purposeful thoughts, ideas, goals and tough questions to help me have a more focused day, a more mindful day and a more grateful day.
With this inaugural blog post, I think it fitting to share my first ever morning journal entry from my now well used moleskin journal (because Hemmingway used one).
Not sure what this journal will become, but it will start as a collective of thoughts and goals and dreams. I will consistently remind myself of what I want to achieve and the steps I will take to reach those goals. So, today, June 25th, 2016 – my long-term goals
- own real estate
- $8,500 in passive income
- own a cottage/land
- travel EVERY year (even if it’s a mini-trip)
- be involved in charitable/hospice work, and that’s where it shall begin
*Also, read at least 25 books a year (CEO’s do it so it can’t hurt)
Quote I am pondering: ” Expecting is the greatest impediment to living. In anticipation of tomorrow, it loses today.” – Seneca