Thursday, September 18, 2014

September 16: 2 Books

59. Walden by Henry David Thoreau


"To be awake is to be alive."

I read this book in high school, and I remember wondering if Thoreau might not have frozen his brain while living off the land at the pond for the time that he wrote Walden. In retrospect, this is actually a very well-conceived rumination on the individual's place in society and manifested by Thoreau's own basket weaving, house building, and farming efforts -- as expressed via the medium of journalling...something I have personally experienced at a very deep level (journalling -- not basket weaving, house building, and farming).

I dogeared 7 pages in my copy; it seems I will want to reread this book at a later date. If nothing else, Walden is the source of quote that my musician friend George Wurzbach paraphrased to start one of his songs: "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation."

60. Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur's Soul: Advice & Inspiration on Fulfilling Dreams by Jack Canfield et. al.

I had to take my cat Stinkie to the vet this morning to learn how to give him vitamin B12 shots once a week from now on. They really kept me waiting a long time. So long that I literally read this entire 300 page book of short essays of entrepreneurial wisdom and inspiration during my bus rides to and from the vet combined with my wait time of an hour and a half or so. Very fast reading. Very inspirational stuff.

My favorite chapter was the one written by Jack Canfield in which he discusses his 10 step process for achieving success:
  1. Decide what you want. Be clear. this is something I am really, REALLY struggling with right now in my own life. What do I really want to accomplish in the next year, 3 years, 5 years, my life?
  2. Unleash the power of goal setting. Written goal setting with accountability.
  3. Visualize accomplishing these goals. See what you want, get what you see.
  4. Take action. On a daily basis.
  5. Use feedback to adjust goals and outcomes.
  6. Commit to constant, never-ending improvement. This one I have down.
  7. Exceed expectations. Oh, how I would love to exceed my own expectations!
  8. Stay motivated by reading, listening to, and speaking with masters, mentors, authors who have traveled this road before you.
  9. Hire a personal coach.
  10. Create a Napoleon Hill-style Mastermind (something that, thanks to my good friend Asim Khan, I am about to become a part of on my own road to self-improvement and success).
Great book if, like me, you are looking to inspire yourself regarding some entrepreneurial pursuit or life change. My overall experience of reading this book was very positive, and it was truly a page-turner. This one flew by!

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