As a rule, I tend to read several books in a single subject area. I almost create my own syllabus and reading list when learning about or enhancing my knowledge. For the past few weeks I’ve been all (or mostly) business.
Since Gorilla Mindset is coming out soon, I must raise my own standards. The launch has to be perfect. In fact, the launch is going to be pretty amazing, and it will lay out a blueprint you will be able to use yourselves. (I’m not going to bundle my knowledge up into a $1,999 course to sell you on. I’ll tell you exactly what I did and why. But until then…)
How can you raise your standards unless you humble yourself, recognize there are others above you, and look up to them for guidance?
To raise your standards it helps to find others who are above you, emulate and learn from them, and then apply their principles to your own life and work.
A book is sort of a highlight reel of a person’s thoughts. Each word was carefully considered and edited.
Find books by masters, study them, and learn and grow.
Or at least that’s my approach.
Here’s what I’ve been reading (and why).
Writing is an art. Publishing is a business.
Write. Publish. Repeat. by Sean Platt. This will go down as the best book I read in 2015. While are helpful practice tips throughout the book, which is why it’s a must-read for those of you new to writing for a living, most if it was stuff I knew. Yet I came up with idea after idea while reading this book.
Oftentimes the real value of reading a book isn’t the raw information. Rather, the value comes from forcing you to focus on a subject you are interested in. Your unconscious mind seems to take over, and you have a-ha moment after a-ha moment.
If you apply the principles in How to Stop Worrying, you will start living.
How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. This is the best self-development book ever written. I read it almost 20 years ago. Today I’m reading it to analyze the structure. Why is the book so amazing? Dale Carnegie (who most of you know from How to Win Friends and Influence People) was the original list maker. Every piece of advice he gives is actionable.
Muscle is the best anti-aging “drug” on the market, and cardio is the best nootropic.
Get Serious by Dr. Brett Osborn. Dr. Osborn is actually a consultant on a project I’m working on, so of course I read his book. The book was really cool for a couple of reasons. One is much of the health-related information I posted in Gorilla Mindset is actually in Dr. Osborn’s book, thus validating my own research.
For example, in Gorilla Mindset that I observe, “Exercise is the best nootropic.” Exercise, and other activities that boost your blood flow and improve cardiovascular function, also improve cognitive function as well.
I even wrote about the connection between stroke, poor cardiovascular function, and age-related cognitive decline. Dr. Obsborn covered those subjects as well.
Second, I learned a lot about the underlying physiology of the damages of glucose and how to mitigate the damage caused by glucose.
I also related to the book as I’ve gotten much less “bro” over the years. I don’t train to look good, although that’s a nice byproduct of exercise. I train to feel good and live long.
If you’re looking for a life-extension/anti-aging look on training with weights, then Get Serious is the book for you.
Never buy brand awareness. Brand awareness should result from your measurable direct marketing campaigns.
The Ultimate No Holds Barred Kick Butt Take No Prisoners Direct Marketing for Non-Direct Marketing Businesses by Dan Kennedy. Again, I know most of what’s in this book. I have an email list, blog platform, media platforms like a podcast, and email opt-ins. I know to target my message to you (law of attraction) and not be afraid of offending others (law of rejection).
You know your message is targeted when the wrong sorts of people find it offensive. Cry babies don’t belong on Danger & Play. I don’t want them here, and we all do a good job of keeping them away.
As with Write. Publish. Repeat, this book helped improved my mindset. It reminded me how important measurements are.
I know my open rate, click rate, and engagement rates on social media. I know what works and what doesn’t. But there is always more work to do.
We must stop fighting new wars with old tactics.
On War: The Collected Essays of William S. Lind 2003-2009 by William S. Lind. If you’re wondering why the West, despite our trillion-dollar defense budgets and massive armies, can’t accomplish much in Iraq and the rest of the Middle East, this is the book for you.
This is a fascinating discussion of 4th generation war. What is 4th generation warfare? It’s warfare used by non-state actors.
For example, in old wars British soldiers would line up against American revolutionaries. Soldiers wore uniforms. If you wanted to end a war, you negotiated with generals. Generals Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee met at the Appomattox Court House to end the American Civil War.
But what if Robert E. Lee hadn’t wanted the Civil War to end? What if his soldiers wanted to keep fighting? What if they had retreated into the wilderness, blended in with the general public, and raised hell? The Civil War would have continued indefinitely had it been a 4th generation war.
The new (4th generation) wars are being fought by random pockets of resistance. How can we win a war when killing a nation’s president (as with Iraq) means little to nothing to the people fighting the war?
On War is a fascinating collection of essays. Each essay is thought-provoking, and the collection of work is massive.
There are several more book recommendations at Danger & Play.
Previous posts about books:
- 10 Books Everyone Should Read
- Why do you recommend so many books?
- Are you reading too many books by straight white men?
(Unrelated confession. I’m an Amazon fan boy.)
Amazon is the only aspect of living in the United States I miss, as Amazon does not ship to Saigon. I have the Kindle Paperwhite and even the handsome Amazon-branded traveling case.
(There’s no glare on the Kindle Paperwhite, which makes it easier to read in sunny areas.)
The Paperwhite v. iPhone/iPad Kindle App.
I use the iPhone app and also own an actual Kindle, in this case the Kindle Paperwhite.
The Paperwhite 6″ (Amzn) really cool. It doesn’t have “blue light,” unlike the iPhone and iPad, and thus does not disrupt your circadian rhythms. The downside of the Paperwhite is images do not render well. If you’re looking to read books without images, the Paperwhite is superior. If a book contains a lot of images, then stick with the Kindle app.
Also, it’s harder to highlight and make notes on the Kindle Paperwhite. Apple’s touchscreen technology is superior to Amazon’s Kindle technology.
Pros and cons of the Kindle Paperwhite aside, I don’t really see the Kindle app and Paperwhite 6″ as an either-or decision. I have both. Then again, I travel a lot, read a lot, and go nuts if I don’t have something to read.
I also got sick of hauling around paper books travel as light as possible.
(Heading out of Saigon for Manilla to watch UFC Fight Night: Edgar v. Faber.)
In fact, Gorilla Mindset will have an upgraded e-junkie version, as the hundreds of posture pics I wanted to include simply will not show up in the Kindle version.
(Kindle Paperwhite in a handsome carrying case. Yes, I buy just about whatever Amazon sells, and unfortunately I couldn’t find this case on Amazon, so you may be out of luck.)
Buy your books here:
- Write. Publish. Repeat. by Sean Platt (Amzn)
- Get Serious by Dr. Brett Osborn (Amzn)
- The Ultimate No Holds Barred Kick Butt Take No Prisoners Direct Marketing for Non-Direct Marketing Businesses by Dan Kennedy (Amzn)
- On War: The Collected Essays of William S. Lind 2003-2009 by William S. Lind (Amzn).
- (I read my books on the iPhone Kindle app and also use the Kindle Paperwhite, which is sold here.)