Posts Tagged ‘book’

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by @anarchyroll
7/11/2014

Robert Green is never afraid to tackle the subjects that are so big and ubiquitous that they are more often worried about than talked about.

Mastery like The 48 Laws of Power that came before it, can fall under the category of practical life instruction manual. If you want to know how to get from where you are to where you want to be, in regards to what you dedicate your life to.

Using mini biographies of multiple historical figures from hundreds of years ago, to a hundred years ago, to modern-day masters of their craft(s), Greene uses his storytelling ability to show how anyone can be the next Albert Einstein or Freddie Roach.

The beauty of the book is the same place where the devil is, in the details. The book does it’s part to kill the concept of the magic pill (the mythical thing that will shortcut us to where we want to be without any of the hard work or sacrifice).

Although natural gives, talent, charisma, etc is acknowledged it takes a distant backseat to the hard work, time, and sacrifice each figure of study committed to becoming the legends they are known as. The book teaches many lessons of life that should be mandatory in public schools, especially for adolescents. But, there are more than the lions share of adults living their life in a waking daze, who would benefit immensely from reading this book.

Applying sweat equity to natural gifts and desire is the way to success. Patience, perseverance, and personal boundaries must be exercised along the way. Learning from those who came before you, as well as those who are considered better than you by your peers is a valuable resource, as long as you use the knowledge to improve yourself, and evolve that which you wish to do with your life. There are no shortcuts, but you must seize opportunities of fortune that come your way and maximize the potential of the moment to maximize your personal potential.

Mastery like all of Greene’s work is not a quick or easy read, which is appropriate. Because to attain knowledge and mastery (no pun intended) of the subjects he writes about, quickness and easiness have no place near attaining the information Greene writes about and shares with the world.

No matter what your passion in life is, reading Mastery will help you become better at it. The information in the book is principle based as opposed to tactic/technique based. Consuming then applying the information in this book can help make you not just a better worker or a better person, but can bring you vastly closer to being your best self, and not just doing what you want with your life, but it can lead you down the path of being the best at it.

I recommend reading Mastery or in my case, listening to the audio book, wholeheartedly because it is everything that is right about the personal development/self-help movement, mindset, and book genre.

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by @anarchyroll
6/18/2014

Personal development and self-help books by their nature tend to be happy, optimistic, and positive. If people wanted something to make them feel bad, scared, or hopeless they could simply turn on local evening news.

I have personally read/listened to around 200 non fiction books/audio books with more than half being personal development books. Many of them have overlapping principles, paradigms, tactics, advice, themes, and tones. The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene is by far the most unique personal development book I have ever read. If personal development books are pop music, then The 48 Laws of Power is Nirvana and Robert Greene is Kurt Cobain.

A summary of the 48 Laws can be found here.

Looking over just the first few laws, you’ll notice a striking difference between the advice offered and the content of books by the likes of Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle, and Stephen Covey. I would say that it is the opposite which is a good thing. Variety is the spice of life. Human beings, especially those living in urban environments, need to be aware of the concepts that The 48 Laws of Power presents.

Positive thinking is important. Treating other people the way you want to be treated is worthy of being called the golden rule. Honesty is the best policy.

Over reliance on rah-rah self-help material can lead to naïvety. It did for me. We must know how the world, outside of our circle of influence, operates. We must see the best in people but also be aware of and prepared for dealing with the worst in and worst kind of people. The 48 Laws of Power will prepare its reader for the types of people, situations, and aspects of life we wish didn’t exist and choose not to acknowledge, but are there, and affecting our lives nonetheless.

As someone who actively studies/reads up on politics, economics, and environmental news, I see those in power utilizing concepts in The 48 Laws of Power in order to get what they want at the expense of those beneath them on the social, political, and economics pyramids of society. One need not put anything from The 48 Laws of Power into practice, but all the concepts are important to be aware of.

Awareness is one of the key concepts of personal development and self-help. Often, personal development books for all the right reasons, want us to be hyper aware of the positive, the light, and beauty of life. Those are all good things to be aware of, happy, and grateful for in every present moment of every day of one’s life. At the same time, on the opposite end of the spectrum, we must also be aware of the negative, darkness, and ugliness of the world we live in. Maybe keep the awareness of the latter towards the back of your mind, with awareness of the good things at the forefront.

Naivety is the fuel for manipulation. I recommend every adult human being read The 48 Laws of Power because it will make you less naïve and less prone to being manipulated. In a world of Ponzi schemes and political scandals, con artists and corruption, wolves and takers; one need not become a bitter, distrusting, paranoid, zealot simply by reading a book about methods of manipulation used by those in power to maintain and expand it. But awareness of the principles to balance with the power of positive thinking can help a person become more well-rounded and more capable of navigating the outside world that is full of things outside of their ability to control or influence. That is at the heart of what personal development literature is all about and that is why The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene is a personal development book, just an alt rock version.

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by @anarchyroll
2/6/2014

Making good decisions is a basic part of life, but certainly not an easy one. If everyone made the decisions that are best for them consistently, well the world would certainly be a different place.  Decisive by Chip and Dan Heath seeks to help people make better decisions in life and business.  It is a personal development book based upon science rather than spirituality. I recommend Decisive, for the same reason I recommend Willpower and The Power of Habit.  All three are personal development/ self help books for people who don’t like self help books.  All three are based completely on empirical, peer reviewed, scientific research and kill the idea that self help books are new age, rah rah, think positive and you’ll become rich that has stigmatized the genre since the 1980s.

The key concept in Decisive is the W.R.A.P Method which stands for;

  1. Widen your options
  2. Reality test your assumptions
  3. Attain some distance
  4. Prepare to be wrong

The other concepts of the book that are very useful are confirmation bias, pre mortem, trip wires, and loss aversion. Each of which can go a long way to helping a person think more independently, separated from pride one’s pride, ego, and personal bias.

The book encourages a person to always look for at least one alternative to their original idea. In a business setting, the following three questions are encouraged to be asked;

  1. What would I tell my best friend to do?
  2. If I got fired, what would my successor do?
  3. What would have to be true for each option to be right?

As with every book, the devil is in the details. The seven things I have listed above alone can provide a baseline of help. Though the credibility as to why they are helpful are explained in detail by citing research and studies over the course of many years.

This book will help you. The processes the book gives can be plugged into the space between stimulus and response to help any person utilize the space after the stimulus, in order to produce a response of dignity, maturity, and with the end in mind.

Definitely recommended for the anti personal development person we all know. Or anyone who can admit to themselves that we all need help making better decisions in our personal and professional lives.

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by @anarchyroll
1/24/2013

You’ve probably heard of the Law of Attraction by now.  The Secret by Rhonda Byrne as publicized by Oprah has made it almost impossible to not know what the Law of Attraction is.

Think of The Secret as Tumblr of self help/personal development books. The is essentially reblogging of material that is hundreds if not thousands of years old. However, she mostly just reblogged (in book and movie form) the works of Charles Haanel.

To me, personally, The Secret came off as naive, pretentious, and new age selfish.  Another famous Law of Attraction book by Jerry and Ester Hicks came across as to me as borderline deranged.  Tapping the Source is put in plain language. It is explained thoroughly and simply. The main points are repeated throughout the book to hammer them home.  It is one of the few books I recommend to every human being to read.

The main points of the book involve thinking positively, visualizing specific goals as if they have been achieved, AND feeling positive emotions while thinking/visualizing the positive thoughts.  Attaching the feeling(s) to the thought(s) is what most people miss/forget about the Law of Attraction. Without the specific visualization and physical emotional state attached to it, thinking positive is essentially useless.

The other principle the book is centered upon is saying specific “focus phrases” while meditating.  A person should get into a meditative/prayer state (which is more than just sitting down with your eyes closed) and say each of the following in order:

  1. I choose to focus enjoyably inward
  2. My mind is quiet, I am now in the silence
  3. I am open to receive guidance from my source
  4. I know what I want
  5. I feel connected with creative power
  6. My vision is right now perfect and complete
  7. Each new moment is manifesting my dream

The book offers very detailed and specific guidance for why each focus phrase individually and collectively are important to say.  Tapping the Source is essentially an update of Haanel’s own 1912 book The Master Key System.  If you are looking to turn your life around or fine tune your success this book is what you’re looking for. It is a great starting point because it has been a starting point for every self help author for the last century.  Napoleon Hill, Stephen Covey, Tony Robbins, etc all use Haanel’s work as primary source material. That is what initially attracted me to the book. I wanted to know what the self help guru’s were reading and using to create their material.  If it is good enough for them, it’s good enough for you and me. This book will help to create a solid foundation for which you can build a palace of personal development upon.