Book Summaries


Your regrets are only part of your story. They don’t have to be the story. Your past should remind you. It doesn’t have to define you.

In Better Decisions, Fewer Regrets: 5 Questions to Help You Determine Your Next Move, author and pastor Andy Stanley describes five game-changing questions to ask every time you make a decision—questions that will help you in your finances, relationships, career, and more. Stanley argues that well-timed and appropriate thought provoking questions lead to better decisions and fewer regrets.

Developing the discipline to pause and ask these five questions will result in better decisions and fewer regrets.

1. The Integrity Question

Am I being honest with myself, really?

Decision #1: I will not lie to myself even the truth makes me feel bad about myself.

2. The Legacy Question

What story do I want to tell?

Decision #2: I will write a story I’m proud to tell one decision at a time.

3. The Conscience Question

Is there a tension that needs my attention?

Decision #3: I will explore rather than ignore my conscience.

4. The Maturity Question

What is the wise thing to do?

Decision #4: I will take the past, present, and future into consideration

5. The Relationship Question

What does love require of me?

Decision #5: I will decide with the interests of others in mind.

Good questions lead to better decisions. And better decisions lead to fewer regrets.

Your decisions determine the direction and quality of your life. And while nobody plans to complicate their life with bad decisions, far too many people have no plan to make good decisions.

In Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking, Artists David Bayles  & Ted Orland explores the way art gets made, the reasons it often doesn’t get made, and the nature of the difficulties that cause so many artists to give up along the way. Art & Fear is a book written by artists, for artists – it’s about what it feels like when artists sit down at their easel or keyboard, in their studio or performance space, trying to do the work they need to do. Their insights and observations, drawn from personal experience, provide an incisive view into the world of art as it is experienced by artmakers themselves.

 In Fear of Missing Out: Practical Decision-Making in a World of Overwhelming Choice, venture capitalist, and writer Patrick J. McGinnis describe one of the greatest scourge of our time: The Fear of Missing Out and how we can become more strategic with our decision making in the age of social media.

“We make more than 35,000 decisions a day. Some impulsive, some logical, and some complex and paralyzing. Compounded with our “always-on” society, the pressures and stresses wrought by endless access to yet another option or possibility can create an endless loop of indecision and unease.”

Tim coined the term FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), as well as the related term FOBO (Fear of a Better Option) in a 2004 article titled ” Social Theory at HBS: McGinnis’ Two FOs” in The Harbus, the student newspaper of Harvard Business School(HBS). FOMO has since appeared all over pop culture and it’s even been added to a host of authoritative dictionaries, including the Oxford English Dictionary and Merriam-Webster.

it’s easy to do the little things, every day. It’s also easy not to do them.

In Leading an Inspired Life, author, and motivational speaker Jim Rohn shares timeless insight on living an inspired. Rohn distills some of the finest teachings from his mentor John Earl Shoaff and his own life philosophies such as seasons of life, law of averages, ant philosophy, visual chain thinking, snowball effect among others.

In The Gaslight Effect: How to Spot and Survive the Hidden Manipulation Others Use to Control Your Life, licensed psychoanalyst, and Co-founder and Associate Director for the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence Robin Stern, Ph.D. shows how the Gaslight Effect works and tells you how to: Turn up your Gaslight Radar, so you know when a relationship is headed for trouble.

Gaslighting is an insidious form of emotional abuse and manipulation that is difficult to recognize and even harder to break free from. That’s because it plays into one of our worst fears — of being abandoned — and many of our deepest needs: to be understood, appreciated, and loved.

You can’t call something a “distraction,” unless you know what it is distracting you from.

In Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life, author, former Stanford lecturer, and behavioral design expert, Nir Eyal argues that in the future: There will be two kinds of people in the world-those who let their attention and lives be controlled and coerced by others and those who proudly call themselves “indistractable”.

Being indistractable isn’t about being a Luddite. It’s about understanding the real reasons why we do things against our best interests.

 Lean Startup: the application of lean thinking to the process of innovation.

In The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses, Entrepreneur and Author Eric Ries proposes a methodology for developing businesses and products that aims to shorten product development cycles and rapidly discover if a proposed business model is viable; this is achieved by adopting a combination of business-hypothesis-driven experimentation, iterative product releases, and validated learning.

Inspired by lessons from lean manufacturing. Lean Startup relies on “validated learning,” rapid scientific experimentation, as well as a number of counter-intuitive practices that shorten product development cycles, measure actual progress without resorting to vanity metrics, and learn what customers really want.

The book is divided into three parts: “Vision,” “Steer,” and “Accelerate.”

  • Vision makes the case for a new discipline of entrepreneurial management.
  • Steer dives into the Lean Startup method in detail, showing one major turn through the core Build-Measure-Learn feedback loop.
  • Accelerate, explore techniques that enable Lean Startups to speed through the Build-Measure-Learn feedback loop as quickly as possible, even as they scale.

“Live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now!”

In Man’s Search for Meaning, Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist,  author, and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl chronicles his experience as a prisoner and survivor of four Nazi concentration camps during World War II, and he also describes his psychotherapeutic method which he called Logotherapy (meaning-centered psychotherapy). The book tries to answer this question: How was everyday life in a concentration camp reflected in the mind of the average prisoner?

“‘He who has a why to live for can bear almost anyhow.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice.”

In Running Lean, Entrepreneur and creator of the one-page business modeling tool “Lean Canvas“, Ash Maurya provides a step-by-step blueprint for practicing entrepreneurs who want to increase their odds of success. A business plan rests on a series of leap-of-faith assumptions, each of which can be tested empirically. Running Lean lays out Ash’s approach to breaking these assumptions down so that they can become the subjects of rigorous experiments.

“Running Lean is a systematic process for iterating from Plan A to a plan that works, before running out of resources.”

Great is the art of the beginning, but greater is the art of the ending — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

In Necessary Endings: The Employees, Businesses, and Relationships That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Move Forward, Clinical Psychologist and New York Times bestselling author Dr. Henry Cloud shares mindset-altering methods for proactively correcting the bad and the brokenness in our businesses and our lives. Cloud challenges readers to achieve the personal and professional growth they both desire and deserve—and gives crucial insight on how to make those tough decisions that are standing in the way of a more successful business and, ultimately, a better life.

The characters appearing in the book are a philosopher engaged in the study of Greek philosophy alongside Adlerian psychology and a youth who is pessimistic about his life. In the previous work, The Courage to be Disliked, the youth questioned the philosopher on the true meaning of his assertion, based on Adler’s ideas, that ‘People can change. And not only that, they can find happiness.’ The philosopher offered the following statements in response:

“There is no such thing as an internal problem. All problems are interpersonal relationship problems.’ ‘One must not be afraid of being disliked. Freedom is being disliked by other people.’ ‘It isn’t that you lack competence. You just lack “courage”.’ ‘Neither the past nor the future exist. There is only “here and now”.”

In It Didn’t Start with You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle, author and Director of The Family Constellation Institute, Mark Wolynn builds on the work of leading experts in post-traumatic stress, including Mount Sinai School of Medicine neuroscientist Rachel Yehuda and psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk, author of The Body Keeps the Score.

It Didn’t Start with You offers a pragmatic and prescriptive guide to his method, the Core Language Approach. Diagnostic self-inventories provide a way to uncover the fears and anxieties conveyed through everyday words, behaviors, and physical symptoms. Techniques for developing a genogram or extended family tree create a map of experiences going back through the generations. And visualization, active imagination, and direct dialogue create pathways to reconnection, integration, and reclaiming life and health.

Unconsciously, we relive our mother’s anxiety. We repeat our father’s disappointments. We replicate the failed relationships of our parents and grandparents. Just as we inherit our eye color and blood type, we also inherit the residue from traumatic events that have taken place in our family. Illness, depression, anxiety, unhappy relationships, and financial challenges can all be forms of this unconscious inheritance.

“Good fences make good neighbors. – Robert Frost”

 In Boundaries: Where You End and I Begin, author and retired therapist Anne Katherine explain what healthy boundaries are, how to recognize if your personal boundaries are being violated, and what you can do to protect yourself.

Healthy boundaries protect without isolating, contain without imprisoning, and preserve identity while permitting external connections. Good boundaries make good neighbors.”

In You Do You: How to Be Who You Are and Use What You’ve Got to Get What You Want, anti-guru and author of Get Your Sh*t Together, Sarah Knight shares strategies on how to stand up for who you are and what you really want, need, and deserve — showing when it’s okay to be selfish, why it’s pointless to be perfect, and how to be “difficult.

“Stand up for who you are and what you want.”

You DO You—is about accepting your strengths and your flaws, whether those flaws are self-identified or just things that you’re perfectly happy about but that other people seem to have a problem with.