Overall impressions and thoughts when finishing the book:
- A lot of the interviews give advice about concepts that they seem to have internalised. There is a big difference about reading about something and living that something. I saw this with mental models as well. Just reading about mental models was not enough. You had to try and live them in your life to really get them to stick.
- I saw a huge selection bias in the people that Tim sent interviews to. There were many interviews of people who wrote things – bloggers, screenwriters, novelists, authors. Poker players, entrepreneurs, actors, investors, comedians, athletes, meditation gurus all featured prominently. There were few interviews of artists, of data scientists, of professors, of engineers – perhaps the more technical side of things. A lot of the advice from creative people could be bad advice in other fields.
- Meditation was everywhere. I don’t think this is a result of any selection bias, there were just too many cases where it was brought up. This was a huge insight across so many different people.
- Gratitude journalling seemed to help a lot of people as well.
I don’t know if it was this book, or other stuff I’ve been reading, but I feel more acutely aware of wasting time now. You are your daily habits.
Gary Vanderchuk had a line something like “Slow macro, optimise micro” which basically says to be patient on large scale decisions and to really optimise your individual days.
There was another quote saying something like “Waste as little ten-minute chunks of your life as possible”.
Another useful one in this vein was something like “Imagine your life as a jar which you fill with rocks, pebbles and sand. Rocks are your most important things, pebbles less important, and sand the crap. If you fill the jar with pebbles and sand, your rocks won’t fit. If you make sure to fill the jar with rocks first, and do it consistently, then things will work out great.” I guess you need to identify now what are rocks, what are pebbles, and what are sand.
On that topic, habits look more and more important. They don’t have to be daily, but on a fixed time frame.
This is the kind of book that you could reread like 100 times and get something new out of it every time. It is quite a shallow book though, so the things you get out of it really have to come from research into other topics.
There are so many book and product recommendations to come out of this book. Here are the ones that stood out:
- An Invitation to the Great Game
- Rissa Kergvelen
- Black box thinking – matthew syed
- Scarcity: why having too little means too much
- The passion trap – dean c delis
- Five minute journal (product)
- Devserband Original (product)
- Invisible man – Ralph Ellison
- What I talk about when I talk about running
- City of thieves
- Finite / infinite games
- A field guide to getting lost
- The price of the ticket
- passages – gail sheely
- mastery – george leonard
- mind gym – gary mack
- Wooden: a lifetime of observations
- The champions mind – jim afremow
- philips wake up light (product)
- The rise of superman
- poor charlie’s almanack
- A pattern language
- The second tree from the corner (short stories)
- The fantasy bond – firestone
- the paleo solution – Robb wolf
- wherever you go, there you are
- Wait but why – week chart (it’s a blog)
- Hobonichi techo (notebook)
- aburdism (a topic)
- mentral training toughness for sports
- the art of feer – kristen ulmer
- The double helix – james watson
- The master key system
- The back buddy (product)
- The 15 commitments of conscious leadership
- liking what you see – ted chiang (short story)
- A little life – hanya (fiction)
- Leadership on the line