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The Effective Executive: they concentrate on one task, if at all possible. After picking what needs to be done, set priorities and stick to them.

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In Effective Executive, Peter Drucker shares some very great insight for becoming an effective executive such as organizing and managing your time, choosing your contribution to the organization, amplifying your strengths, setting the right priorities, and making effective decisions.

I highly recommend this Peter Drucker classic as it contains lots of anecdotes, insights, and practical examples on doing the right things effectively and making the right decisions daily. Here are my favourite takeaways from reading Effective Executive by Peter Drucker:

All you can do with regard to your own life is choose the best path that you believe in. On the other hand, what kind of judgment do other people pass on that choice? That is the task of other people, and is not a matter you can do anything about

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The Courage to Be Disliked follows a conversation between a young man and a philosopher as they discuss the tenets of Alfred Adler’s theories. Alder, a lesser-known twentieth-century psychologist whose work stands up to Freud and Jung, believes in a liberating approach to happiness in which each human being has the power and potential to live a happy and fulfilled life without worry about the past or future.

Their dialogue spans five nights, and the reader is invited to journey alongside the youth as he grapples with, fights against, and is ultimately moved by the profundity of Alder’s wisdom.

The Courage to be Disliked is inspired by Socratic dialogue, a literary genre derived from Plato’s dialogues in which Socrates is a main character who, through conversation, seeks to answer questions on the meaning of life.

When you’re 18, you worry about what everybody is thinking about you.
When you’re 40, you don’t give a darn what anybody thinks of you.
When you’re 60, you realize that nobody has been thinking about you at all!

Here are my favourite takeaways from reading The Courage to Be Disliked: The Japanese Phenomenon That Shows You How to Change Your Life and Achieve Real Happiness“. Some great insights such as your past does not determine your future, Happiness is a choice, how we fabricate anger, a competitive mindset can affect your mental health and the courage to be disliked leads to long-lasting happiness.

We can not rise strong when we are on the run.

In Rising Strong, Brené Brown, shares great insights on how acceptance of our struggles make us more whole in the long run than hiding them. The “Rising Strong” process requires courage, reckoning with our emotions, rumbling with our stories, and living the process, which is revolution and leads to wholeheartedness in our lives.

Walking into our stories of hurt can feel dangerous. But the process of regaining our footing in the midst of struggle is where our courage is tested and our values are forged. Our stories of struggle can be big ones, like the loss of a job or the end of a relationship, or smaller ones, like a conflict with a friend or colleague. Regardless of magnitude or circumstance, the rising strong process is the same: We reckon with our emotions and get curious about what we’re feeling; we rumble with our stories until we get to a place of truth; and we live this process, every day, until it becomes a practice and creates nothing short of a revolution in our lives. Rising strong after a fall is how we cultivate wholeheartedness.

Here are my favourite take aways from reading Rising Strong by Brené Brown:

I’ve never allowed my schooling to get in the way of my education.- Mark Twain

Dr. Rick Rigsby gave a very inspiring commencement speech at the California State University Maritime Academy in 2017. The lecture was titled: Lessons From a Third Grade Dropout. Rick wrote a book inspired by his dad: Lessons From a Third Grade Dropout: How the Timeless Wisdom of One Man Can Impact an Entire Generation.

Rigsby’s father, Roger Marion Rigsby, was the inspiration for his book, Lessons from a Third Grade Dropout. The senior Rigsby left school in the third grade to help out on the family farm and taught himself to read and write. Later, worked as a cook at Cal Maritime. 

Full Transcript of Dr. Rick Rigsby’s The Wisdom of a Third Grade Dropout Speech:

You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist. – Friedrich Nietzsche

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Wayne Dyer, in this book, takes the reader on an adventure of his life experiences, the aha moments, his growing up days, the insights gained, and all the things he wished knew, but he sees it clearly now. He shares significant events from his life and note lessons he ultimately learned and wisdom he garnered through introspection.

Wayne Dyer was an American self-help author and a motivational speaker. His first book, Your Erroneous Zones (1976), is one of the best-selling books of all time, with an estimated 100 million copies sold to date.

If we stop for a moment, it is possible to perceive a pattern in our lives; the motivators that have influenced us become more obvious. We are able to see life unfolding from both ends at once , coming into the present moment. But until we have got to a certain point of realization, this is not possible, because everything is still seen as a series of  apparent causes and effects— RESHAD FEILD

Here are my favourite take aways from reading, I Can See Clearly Now by Wayne Dyer:

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On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft is a memoir by American author Stephen King that describes his experiences as a writer and his advice for aspiring writers. Stephen’s books have sold more than 350 million, he writes horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, crime, science-fiction, and fantasy novels.

The On Writing book contains a lot of nuggets, insights, and strategies for becoming a great writer. In typical Stephen King fashion, the book is a straight to the point, no BS take on getting things done by writing great stories and using your imagination effectively.

Here are my favourite take ways from reading On Writing by Stephen King:

Writing is seduction. Good talk is part of seduction.

The bottom line is that we think we work to pay the bills—but we spend more than we make on more than we need, which sends us back to work to get the money to spend to get more stuff to . . .

Title: Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence
Author(s): Vicki Robin (Author), Joe Dominguez (Author), Mr. Money Mustache (Foreword)

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I have recently been fascinated by the Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) movement. I am on a quest to read and execute as much of the teachings as I can and in turn become financially independent and retire early. The Book: Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence, is a very great resource with lots of insights and action steps on becoming more Financial Intelligent.

Here are my Favourite Takeaways from reading Your money or Your Life:

 Leaders are encouraged to see themselves not as failures who who need to be fixed, but as successful people finding their potential to be even better.

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Lolly Daskal draws on her experience studying human behavior in the context of business, she created a unique methodology based on seven leadership archetypes—the rebel, the explorer, the truth-teller, the hero, the inventor, the navigator, and the knight.

The archetypes provide an accessible construct for deeper awareness and  personal growth. Understanding which role you embody—when and why—has tremendous value for a leader who seeks to optimize performance.

 Seeing yourself in each of these archetypes will help you leverage what you do brilliantly well and, by contrast, learn where and why you tend to fail. There are real “leadership gaps” that impede the success of even the most talented executives.

Here are my favourite take aways from reading, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness by Lolly Daskal:

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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