Readers of this blog know that my first post in January is usually the list of books I’ve read last year. So without much ado: my favorite three books with notes, and the rest as a list in no particular order.
Brief Answers to the Big Questions by Stephen Hawking
(1) Is there a God? No. (2) How did it all begin? By accident. (3) Is there other intelligent life in the universe? Maybe. (4) Can we predict the future? No. (5) What is inside a black hole? Particles. (6) Is time travel possible? Maybe later. (7) Will we survive on Earth? Yes. (8) Should we colonize space? Yes. (9) Will AI outsmart us? Yes. (10) How do we shape the future? With education.
Catching the Big Fish by David Lynch
“Ideas are like fish. If you want to catch little fish, you can stay in the shallow water. But if you want to catch the big fish, you’ve got to go deeper.”
About listening to critics: if you thought about how [your movie] going to hit people, or if it’s going to hurt someone, or if it’s going to do this or do that, then you would have to stop making films. You just do these things that you fall in love with, and you never know what’s going to happen. […] A painter paints a painting. No one comes in and says, “You’ve got to change that blue.” It’s a joke to think that a film is going to mean anything if somebody else fiddles with it.
The ONE Thing by Gary Keller
Do your most important work (your ONE Thing) before your willpower is drawn down. Work on what matters most. Instead of a to-do list, you need a success list – a list that is purposefully created around extraordinary results. If you know what your ONE thing is, it’s easier to say no: say no to everything that doesn’t help your ONE thing.
About thinking big: success is built sequentially, one thing at a time. Think big and bold: don’t let small thinking cut your life down to size. Once the ONE thing is set, it’s easier to make it to be a habit, and it’s easier to find the lead domino that starts the chain of ever-bigger dominoes.
About relationships: imagine life is a game in which you are juggling five balls, but work’s ball is made of rubber. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls–family, health, friends, integrity–are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered.
…and the rest of the list:
- The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
- Also sprach Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche
- Waking Up by Sam Harris
- Deep Work by Cal Newport
- Reframing by Richard Bandler & John Grinder
- The Storytellers Secret by Sejal Badan
- The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
- Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
- Bold by Peter Diamandis
- Deep Thinking by Garry Kasparov
- Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh
- Hocus Pocus by Kurt Vonnegut
- Seriously… I’m Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres
- The Innovators Dilemma by Clayton Christensen
- The Inevitable by Kevin Kelly
- Factfulness by Hans Rosling
- Slapstick by Kurt Vonnegut
- Essentialism by Greg McKeown
- Buffett, The Making of an American Capitalist by Roger Lowenstein
- The Wisdom of Psychopaths by Kevin Dutton
- The Richest Man in Babylon by George Samuel Clason
- Herr Lehmann by Sven Regener
- Behind the Cloud by Marc Benioff
- Think Small by Owain Service
- Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller
- Principles by Ray Dalio