Book Notes

April 18, 2021

The Six Pillars of Self Esteem

by Nathaniel Branden

This is the first book I read in my self development experiment and had a really big impact on my life.  

There are many takeaways from this book, but the one that really stuck with me is the concept of internal validation vs external validation.  

To face life with low self esteem is to be at a severe disadvantage so if you lack self worth and confidence then I recommend studying this excellent book.

Talent is Overrated

by Geoff Colvin

"Great performance is not reserved for a preordained few. It is available to you and to everyone"

This book offers a reassuring perspective that greatness doesn't come from experience, innate ability or general abilities like intelligence and memory. 

Instead, the author describes "a better idea" for high achievement - deliberate practice.  The book goes into great length to break down exactly what deliberate practice is, how it works and how you can apply it to your own life to achieve greatness.   

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

by Stephen Covey

"There is no excellence in this world that can be separated from right living"

This book is a classic.  The author goes into great detail about the 7 key habits that, if you adopt, lay a solid foundation for lasting happiness and success.

The principles are described as guidelines for human conduct that are proven to have enduring, permanent value.  Some of the principles outlined in this book had a great effect on me, especially "Begin with the end in mind", which is all about strategic thinking, and "sharpen the saw" which is about preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have....you.

So Good They Can’t Ignore You

by Cal Newport

The basic premise of this book is:- "Follow your passion" and "Do what you love" is flawed advice, and the book will explain why and what to do instead so that you achieve a more meaningful and engaging working life.

The author describes that often hard work and dedication comes before passion and then goes on to describe how to become exceptional at what you including going into detail about deliberate practice.

The Way of the Superior Man

by David Deida

"Most men make the error of thinking that one day it will be done. They think, 'If I can work enough, then one day I could rest' or 'I'm only doing this now so that one day I can do what I really want with my life'. The masculine error is to think that eventually things will be different in some fundamental way. They won't. It never ends. As long as life continues, the creative challenge is to tussle, play, and make love with the present moment while giving your unique gift."

This book teaches men to have a purpose and give meaning to life and includes 51 chapters of spiritual guidance for men.

Radical Honesty

by Brad Blanton

"We believe our interpretations of reality intensely, and we want other people to join us in our interpretations to make us feel secure. We believe our interpretations are reality and if we can get enough votes we will prove it."

As the title suggests, this is a book about being honest to yourself and to others.  Only by being honest can we escape the "jail of the mind" and build powerful and deep connections with others.  

"Radical Honesty" is an apt title for the philosophy - honesty with no exceptions.  The movement does come across as a little bit cultish, and one wonders if the benefits of radical honesty are a little less black and white than what's portrayed.  Yet it's a thought provoking and worthwhile read, especially if you want to live a more authentic life.

The Sedona Method

by Hale Dwoskin

"Even the impossible becomes completely possible when you are fully released on it"

The Sedona Method is a vastly accelerated way of letting go of feelings like anger, frustration, jealousy, anxiety, stress and even fear, as well as many other problems - even physical pain - with which almost everybody struggles at one time or another.  

It's a very practical method, consisting of five steps,  that helps you release from unwanted negative feelings.

Taming your Gremlin

by Rick Carson

"As you begin to simply notice your gremlin, you will become acutely sensitive to the fact that you are not your gremlin, but rather, his observer.  You will see clearly that your gremlin has no real hold on you.  As this awareness develops, you will begin to appreciate and enjoy your life more and more. It is for you, the observer, that this book is written."

This is a book about taming the inner gremlin negative self-talk that each of us have in our own minds.   You fight it by not fighting it.  Simply notice it.  Struggling against it is a fruitless endeavor; it will only grow stronger. 

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