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This blog is an experiment on writing well, hence I am always on the lookout for ways to improve my writing skills. My quest to develop my writing skills lead to reading this insightful book: On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser.

The Book contains lots of insights and time tested advice for aspiring writers and students of the game.

Here are my favourite take aways and action steps from reading On Writing well:

The professional writer must establish a daily schedule and stick to it… writing is a craft, not an art, and… the man who runs away from his craft because he lacks inspiration is fooling himself. He is also going broke… if your job is to write every day, you learn to do it like any other job. – William Zinsser, On Writing Well

Writers Write

Complaining keeps our focus on the problem at hand rather than the resolution sought

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I particularly like books likeA complaint free world” by Will Bowen as you can tie the book to a core theme or goal. I felt the same paradigm shit after reading “A complaint free world” as I did have with the following books:

After reading the book, I committed to starting a 21 Days complaint free challenge and also ordered the bracelet to help with achieving the goal from the Complaint Free Website.

If we had no faults of our own, we would not take so much pleasure in noticing those of others.—FRANÇOIS DE LA ROCHEFOUCAULD

Here are my favourite takeaways from reading: A complaint free world by Will Bowen:

Complaint Free Philosophy

Becoming Complaint Free means beginning to practice healthy communication skills. It is not complaining to speak directly and only to the person “who can resolve an issue.”

Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter by Curtis Jackson (50 Cent) is a very great read as the rapper shares his success secrets on how he has managed to stay relevant in the past twenty years. He has transitioned from peddling drugs on the streets to Rapping then Executive Producing hit TV Shows such as Power and For Life, he has also written two great books – 50th Law with Robert Greene and now Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter.

50 Cent is one of my favorite entertainers, although he can be controversial there is a method to his madness. He is relentless and always gets things done and that is what matters in the end: RESULTS.

People like to say I’m a bully, but I have zero problem poking fun at myself if it helps build buzz. An actual bully doesn’t possess that sort of self-awareness. Their skins are way too thin to post those sorts of pictures of themselves. But I’m not moving off emotion. My skin is tough enough to do whatever it takes to keep my brand poppin!

If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.

THE WISDOM OF LIFE CONSISTS IN THE ELIMINATION OF NON-ESSENTIALS. —Lin Yutang

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Essentialism by Greg McKeown is a very great book about living by design, not by default. The book goes in depth on how to relentlessly pursue less and concentrate on what really matters. As an Essentialist, you need to focus on the few things that are really essential, think of the trade-offs, say no more often and EXECUTE.

Here are my favourite take aways from reading – Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less:

The way of the Essentialist is the relentless pursuit of less but better. It doesn’t mean occasionally giving a nod to the principle. It means pursuing it in a disciplined way. The way of the Essentialist isn’t about setting New Year’s resolutions to say “no” more, or about pruning your in-box, or about mastering some new strategy in time management. It is about pausing constantly to ask, “Am I investing in the right activities?

Am I investing in the right activities?

Essentialism is not about how to get more things done; it’s about how to get the right things done. It doesn’t mean just doing less for the sake of less either. It is about making the wisest possible investment of your time and energy in order to operate at our highest point of contribution by doing only what is essential.

That is why humans resist life. To be alive is the biggest fear humans have. Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive — the risk to be alive and express what we really are. Just being ourselves is the biggest fear of humans. We have learned to live our lives trying to satisfy other people’s demands. We have learned to live by other people’s points of view because of the fear of not being accepted and of not being good enough for someone else.

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One of the most impactful and thought-provoking books I have ever read is the Four Agreement: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz. The principles in the book is deceptively simple but very hard to practice. I try to read and listen to the book often as I need constant reminder of these simple principles.

Here are the four agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz:

Agreement 1: Be Impeccable with your Word

  • Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean.
  • Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others.
  • Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and Love

Agreement 2: Don’t take anything personally

  • Nothing others do is because of you.
  • What others say and do is a projection of their own reality.
  • When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others., you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

Leadership Challenge—the challenge of taking people and organizations to places they have never been before.

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Author John C. Maxwell, in his book, Put Your Dream to the Test called The Leadership Challenge, one of the best Leadership books he has ever read. I had to read the book too as John C. Maxwell is one of my Leadership Mentors and the book did not disappoint. The Leadership Challenge book was very insightful has it contained lots of  Personal-Best Leadership Experiences of Leaders, Managers, and change agents.

Here are some of my favorite takeaways from reading: The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations by James Kouzes and Barry Posner:

Deep Work: Professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate.

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Deep Work by Cal Newport is one of the most impactful books have ever read. I have since read it more than two times and with each reading, I get more perspective on focus and concentration in a hyper-connected we live in. Deep Work is a very important skill in our hyper-connected world and the major differentiator in the future would be producers of high-value work.

Here are my favourite takeaways from read Deep Work by Cal Newport:

The Need for Deep Work Knowledge Workers:

As intelligent machines improve, and the gap between machine and human abilities shrinks, employers are becoming increasingly likely to hire “new machines” instead of “new people.” And when only a human will do, improvements in communications and collaboration technology are making remote work easier than ever before, motivating companies to outsource key roles to stars—leaving the local talent pool underemployed.

 Deep work is not some nostalgic affectation of writers and early-twentieth-century philosophers. It’s instead a skill that has great value today.

There are two reasons for this value.

  •  The first has to do with learning. We have an information economy that’s dependent on complex systems that change rapidly. Some of the computer languages for example, didn’t exist ten years ago and will likely be outdated ten years from now. Similarly, someone coming up in the field of marketing in the 1990s probably had no idea that today they’d need to master digital analytics

If the first half was a quest for success, the second half is a journey to significance

Book Title: Halftime: Moving from Success to Significance
Author:  Bob Buford  (Author), Jim Collins (Foreword) 

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Halftime by Bob Buford is a great book as it contains a lot of thought-provoking questions on transitioning from success to significance.

Here are my favourite take aways from reading Halftime by Bob Buford:

Halftime : Two halves Sport analogy of Life:

During the first half of your life, you probably did not have time to think about how you would spend the rest of your life. You probably rushed through college, fell in love, married, embarked on a career, climbed upward, and acquired a few things to help make the journey comfortable.

You played a hard-fought first half. You even may have been winning. But sooner or later you begin to wonder if this really is as good as it gets. Somehow, keeping score does not offer the thrill it once did. You may have taken some vicious hits. A good share of men and women never make it to halftime without pain. Serious pain. Divorce. Too much alcohol. Not enough time for your kids. Guilt. Loneliness. Like many good players, you started the half with good intentions but got blindsided along the way.

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Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.

Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets: “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” Begin it now. – William Hutchison Murray

Do the Work is one of 3 short books written by Steve Pressfield on the challenges faced by artists/entrepreneurs on their path to creating great work. The Steve Pressfield Trilogy Includes:

Do the Work shares insights on how to begin doing the work, after navigating Resistance which he expounded on in the War of Art.

Here are some of my favourite TakeAways from reading Do the Work by Steve Pressfield:


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In The Ride of a Lifetime, Bob Iger shares the lessons he learned while running Disney and leading its 220,000-plus employees, and he explores the principles that are necessary for true leadership,

The ride of a lifetime book is about the relentless curiosity that has driven Iger for forty-five years, since the day he started as the lowliest studio grunt at ABC. It’s also about thoughtfulness and respect, and a decency-over-dollars approach that has become the bedrock of every project and partnership Iger pursues, from a deep friendship with Steve Jobs in his final years to an abiding love of the Star Wars mythology.

Managing your own time and respecting others’ time is one of the most vital things to do as a manager

Bob Iger is one of my favourite business executive of all time and the Walt Disney Company, a paragon of excellence. In the book, Bob shares a lot of insights such as: fostering curiosity, pursuit of excellence, integrity, taking full responsibility for your actions, decisiveness and candor, I find the Ride of a lifetime by Bob Iger to be a very good read and I would highly recommend it.

Innovate or die, and there’s no innovation if you operate out of fear of the new or untested.

Here are some of my favourite take-aways from reading the Ride of a lifetime by Bob Iger:

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What’s the ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?

The ONE Thing by Gary Keller is one of the most important books have ever read. I keep going back to it because it contains lots of gems, anecdotes, insights and strategies on living a more productive life by focusing on ONE thing.

Here are my favourite take aways from Reading the ONE Thing by Gary Keller:

Going Small

“Going small” is ignoring all the things you could do and doing what you should do. It’s recognizing that not all things matter equally and finding the things that matter most. It’s a tighter way to connect what you do with what you want. It’s realizing that extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus.

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You don’t have to be great to startbut you have to start to be great– Zig Ziglar

I first read the Art of the Start 1.0 by Guy Kawasaki around 2008 and it left a great impression on me. The Art of the Start 2.0 is the revised version which according to Guy is 64 percent longer than the original Art of the Start. The Book is one of my all time favourite book on Entrepreneurship as it distill insights and practical advice on Entrepreneurship, Fund Raising, Boot Strapping, Pitching, Social Media and many other topics.

Here are my Favourite Take Aways from Reading: Art of the Start 2.0: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything.

If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.—Reid Hoffman

  • The first version of a product is always flawed, but how it evolves is as important as how it begins. The fortunate startups are the ones who are still around because they eventually got the product and business model right, so give yourself a break.
  • Entrepreneurship is at its best when it alters the future, and it alters the future when it jumps curves.

The idea that it’s valuable to maintain vast numbers of weak-tie social connections is largely an invention of the past decade or so—the detritus of overexuberant network scientists spilling inappropriately into the social sphere. Humans have maintained rich and fulfilling social lives for our entire history without needing the ability to send a few bits of information each month to people we knew briefly during high school. Nothing about your life will notably diminish when you return to this steady state.

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The Digital Minimalism book by Cal Newport is by far one of the most influential books I have ever read because it contained lots of insights and suggestions on dealing with the social media pandemic/addiction.

After reading the book, I took some very tough decision which have been experimenting with for some couple of years (Since February 10, 2018) such as among other things:

  • Deactivated my Personal Facebook, Twitter and Instagram Accounts.
  • I go directly to the pages I want to view instead of going to the homepage of the platforms directly for example:
    www.linkedin.com/in/lanredahunsi instead of www.linkedin.com
  • I only install whatsapp, 1-3 times per week to respond to messages and make some international calls. I have found that whatsapp is one of the hardest platforms to leave and one of the major time wasters as people always have your attention all the time.
  • I use tools such as Rescue Time and Freedom to help me stay focused, block distracting websites and stay locked in with major goals I want to achieve.
  • Remove all notifications on my phone
  • Digital Declutter: Deleted all apps on my phones and only have In and Out apps such as Google Map, Podcast App, Screentime, Google Authenticator,
  • Have high quality activity to replace the always on the internet habits. I replaced the digital maximalism with Reading Books (100 Books Reading Challenge), Ran Multiple Marathons, Run my Blog(s), Exercise More, Dedicate more time to writing IT Certifications, Listen to more Audiobooks.

Think about this: If you use social Media/stare at your screen all day:

  • Social Media – 2 hrs /day – 730 Hours /Year = 1 Month/year = Every 12 years = 1 year on Social Media
  • TV/Laptop/Entertainment : 2 hrs/Day =730 Hours /Year = 1 Month/year = Every 12 years = 1 year on Social Media

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Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.― Carl Jung

In the book, Atomic Habits by Author James Clear shares the step-by-step plan for building better habits, why tiny atomic changes can make a big difference in forming good and breaking bad habits. The book is rich with insights, examples, anecdotes and real life scenarios which is easy to connect with.

The book expands on the concepts earlier shared by Charles Duhigg, in his book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. Atomic Habits are tiny changes with marginal gains, 1% improvement, tiny incremental changes which if sustained to for a long period of time leads to significant changes.

Habits are like the atoms of our lives. Each one is a fundamental unit that contributes to your overall improvement. At first, these tiny routines seem insignificant, but soon they build on each other and fuel bigger wins that multiply to a degree that far outweighs the cost of their initial investment.

The basic premise of the book is that small incremental changes lead to long term result. Here are some the ways have been using the atomic habits to enhance my productivity:

“Loss, grief, and disappointment are profoundly personal. We all have unique circumstances and reactions to them.”

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Losing my mum is by far the toughest thing have had to Endure thus far and in healing/grieving, so many lessons have been learnt in the process.

The Book Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant made me teary a lot while reading it as I could totally relate with most of the stories, anecdotes, pain and experiences she shared on losing her husband Dave Goldberg.

The book explores the psychology of recovery and the challenges of regaining confidence and rediscovering joy. Option B shares Insights on facing adversity, building resilience, and finding joy.

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.- Psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl