Archive for the ‘Books’ Category


In my quest to explore new media, I have downloaded and posted to Anchor. Anchor is a social audio service that acts as a radio. It will even take what you’ve posted as audio and automatically create a podcast for you.

The audio length is 5 minutes, which is plenty for a radio format. I am going to post daily and my theme is ten ideas per day. That’s it. It’s based on the book Become an Idea Machine by Claudia Azula Altucher.

If you can come up with ten ideas per day, every day, you will strengthen your “idea muscle” making it possible for you to accomplish anything you want, get out of or into any circumstances you can think of. Read On…

Activation Energy

With a long to-do list, it can seem daunting to begin working on any one task. We often make our to-do lists known by posting them on our family whiteboard in the kitchen. Sometimes I overestimate what I can physically accomplish in one day. But what really helps me is to know that each task comes with a resistance to get started.

In chemistry, it is the activation energy required to begin a chemical reaction. It’s usually a spike in energy required at the beginning, and then the reaction carries on itself with little or no added energy. Just beginning your day requires activation energy – getting out of bed (higher energy) vs hitting snooze (low energy).  Read On…

5 Second Rule

I just started Mel Robbin’s book 5 Second Rule and I am enjoying it. It teaches the impossibly simple, but weirdly effective 5 Second Rule, where you count backwards from 5 whenever you want to begin doing something you don’t have the motivation to do. The most common example being to get out of bed when the alarm rings and not hit the snooze button.

When I tell other people about this, it seems like, how can that be an entire book? It’s true – I feel like it might have a bit of fluff. It might have sufficed as a really solid article. But, it might not carry as much weight as an article. People may tend to shrug it off if it had just been 1000 words on a blog somewhere.  Read On…

80,000 Hours

After writing yesterday about how to quantify changing the world, by a weird twist of fate, I stumbled upon Tim Ferriss’s interview with Will MacAskill. He started a non-profit called 80,000 hours. The premise is that each us has 80,000 hours to give in the duration of our careers – 40 years x 50 weeks x 40 hours = 80,000 hours. What are you going to do with yours? What kind of impact will you have?

I bought the kindle book and read it immediately. There is a ton of good information inside, including how you can do a ton of good by just ‘earning to give’, which means, stay in your job and just donate to the most effective, life-changing charities you can find (he helps with that too).

You can also switch careers or build career capital. The book was really interesting. I’m really glad someone is thinking about how to research how every person can do the most good in the world. Read On…


Parenting has brought up many new emotions in me, especially since we’ve had two kids. The one that stands out most is angry frustration. I always thought of myself as a calm, collected person, but I find I get triggered relatively easily with kids around.

The biggest thing for me is to notice it myself before reacting. I know what would feel good in the moment is to yell or worse. But if I do yell, I immediately feel bad and nobody learns anything.

Jess and I both started reading a book on this subject and it has helped quite a bit. It’s called The Awakened Family. One of the first points in the book is that we are the ones causing the issues, not the kids. The kids are living life, living in the moment. We, however, have expectations and schedules and plans that they don’t know about.

It’s been a great learning experience so far and I already can notice improvements.

Consistent Daily Actions

For losing weight, for increasing income, for learning any skill or achieving anything you want to accomplish, consistent daily action is the key. 

I have noticed that if I stick to something consistently, follow-up with it, and not let it out of my sight, so much good can happen. I’ve lost over 70 lb, gotten jobs I wanted, gotten clients I wanted, learned to play the violin, trumpet and euphonium, improved my strength through weight lifting, and built up my writing portfolio. All this with daily practice, constant and consistent.

It doesn’t stop on weekends. It’s daily. It’s better in the morning because you’re fresher and you can set that time aside easier. If you have trouble establishing a daily morning routine, read The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod.

Flip the Gratitude Switch

I’m reading a book by Kevin Clayson about gratitude. It’s really cool because it is not the regular Gratitude advice. It’s more practical and it works.

His key shift is to not just be grateful for things that are already good, but to be grateful for things that you find frustrating throughout your day. This makes it so you reframe everything that might make you mad into something that brings you joy.  Read On…

The Go-Giver

I read a great book awhile back called the Go-Giver. It’s a book about how to achieve stratospheric success. The storyline is an on-going relationship between a hard-working employee, Joe and his mentor, The Chairman.

The laws are: Read On…

The Most Important Skill

The ability the change your mind is one of the most important skills you can acquire. Most people cannot or are slow to change their minds.

The problem is that the world is constantly changing, new information is coming to light, new regimes are coming to power, new research is being conducted, new controversies are being exposed.

Things change, that’s the one constant of life. Without the ability to adapt, you quickly get left behind.

One major obstacle for the masses is their ego. Admitting you’ve been wrong all this time is hard – it means your ego has to take a hit (that’s why Ryan Holiday says the Ego is the Enemy, great book). Read On…

Become an Idea Machine

One practice I’ve done now for 174 days in a row is called Flexing Your Idea Muscle. I got this idea from the book Become an Idea Machine by Claudia Azula Altucher. It goes something like this.

The idea that ideas are ‘a dime a dozen’ is broken. Ideas are the currency of our lives. Anytime you embark on something worth doing, having an idea about your next step is automatic. What Claudia proposes is that we can exercise and improve that ‘muscle’ that gives out ideas.

The book is largely comprised of writing prompts, ideas to have ideas for. I began to incorporate this into my morning routine, writing 10 ideas for one of her prompts, right before I get into journaling. After awhile, I used up all of her prompts and began to write my own. In fact, one of my idea generating practices is to generate ten more ideas to generate ideas for! Meta! Read On…