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In his Autobiography, Steel Magnate and Philanthropist Andrew Carnegie writes a glowing tribute about Colonel James Anderson, the man who opened his library to young boys in the community and in the process encouraged young Andrew to become a life long learner.

“As the twig is bent the tree’s inclined.” The treasures of the world which books contain were opened to me at the right moment. The fundamental advantage of a library is that it gives nothing for nothing. Youths must acquire knowledge themselves. There is no escape from this.


With all their pleasures the messenger boys were hard worked. Every other evening they were required to be on duty until the office closed, and on these nights it was seldom that I reached home before eleven o’clock. On the alternating nights we were relieved at six. This did not leave much time for self-improvement, nor did the wants of the family leave any money to spend on books. There came, however, like a blessing from above, a means by which the treasures of literature were unfolded to me.

Colonel James Anderson–I bless his name as I write–announced that he would open his library of four hundred volumes to boys, so that any young man could take out, each Saturday afternoon, a book which could be exchanged for another on the succeeding Saturday. My friend, Mr. Thomas N. Miller, reminded me recently that Colonel Anderson’s books were first opened to “working boys,” and the question arose whether messenger boys, clerks, and others, who did not work with their hands, were entitled to books. My first communication to the press was a note, written to the “Pittsburgh Dispatch,” urging that we should not be excluded; that although we did not now work with our hands, some of us had done so, and that we were really working boys.  Dear Colonel Anderson promptly enlarged the classification. So my first appearance as a public writer was a success.

My dear friend, Tom Miller, one of the inner circle, lived near Colonel Anderson and introduced me to him, and in this way the windows were opened in the walls of my dungeon through which the light of knowledge streamed in. Every day’s toil and even the long hours of night service were lightened by the book which I carried about with me and read in the intervals that could be snatched from duty. And the future was made bright by the thought that when Saturday came a new volume could be obtained. In this way I became familiar with Macaulay’s essays and his history, and with Bancroft’s “History of the United States,” which I studied with more care than any other book I had then read. Lamb’s essays were my special delight, but I had at this time no knowledge of the great master of all, Shakespeare, beyond the selected pieces in the school books. My taste for him I acquired a little later at the old Pittsburgh Theater.

John Phipps, James R. Wilson, Thomas N. Miller, William Cowley–members of our circle–shared with me the invaluable privilege of the use of Colonel Anderson’s library. Books which it would have been impossible for me to obtain elsewhere were, by his wise generosity, placed within my reach; and to him I owe a taste for literature which I would not exchange for all the millions that were ever amassed by man. Life would be quite intolerable without it. Nothing contributed so much to keep my companions and myself clear of low fellowship and bad habits as the beneficence of the good Colonel. Later, when fortune smiled upon me, one of my first duties was the erection of a monument to my benefactor. It stands in front of the Hall and Library in Diamond Square, which I presented to Allegheny, and bears this inscription:

To Colonel James Anderson, Founder of Free Libraries in Western Pennsylvania. He opened his Library to working boys and upon Saturday afternoons acted as librarian, thus dedicating not only his books but himself to the noble work. This monument is erected in grateful remembrance by Andrew Carnegie, one of the “working boys” to whom were thus opened the precious treasures of knowledge and imagination through which youth may ascend.

This is but a slight tribute and gives only a faint idea of the depth of gratitude which I feel for what he did for me and my companions. It was from my own early experience that I decided there was no use to which money could be applied so productive of good to boys and girls who have good within them and ability and ambition to develop it, as the founding of a public library in a community which is willing to support it as a municipal institution. I am sure that the future of those libraries I have been privileged to found will prove the correctness of this opinion. For if one boy in each library district, by having access to one of these libraries, is half as much benefited as I was by having access to Colonel Anderson’s four hundred well-worn volumes, I shall consider they have not been established in vain.

 Source: The Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie, 1920.

Barack Obama is one of my favorite people of all time; his story profoundly inspires me. On his 2008 Election victory night and inauguration, I remember how teary I was to see the first Black American President get inaugurated. His campaign slogan “Yes we can” was so moving and apt for that moment with the turmoil in the world back in 2008. Barack’s message of Hope keeps me going during the tough times, and when the chips are down, I usually ask what would Barack do? That I admire Barack is an understatement, I adore and look up to him.

Michelle and Barack are also my favorite couple in the world; I love what they are building, their resilience, and their message of hope for a brighter future. I miss hearing him speak as the president of the United States of America; even though he is not perfect like all of us, he radiated hope for a brighter day with the way he carried himself.

I don’t remember anticipating a book the way have expected this book: A Promised Land: The Presidential Memoirs, Volume 1, set to be released on November, 17th 2020. You can pre-order the memoir from the official website: Obama Book.

A riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making—from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy

In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency—a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.


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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:

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

“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

“A fractured team is just like a broken arm or leg; fixing it is always painful, and sometimes you have to rebreak it to make it heal correctly. And the rebreak hurts a lot more than the initial break, because you have to do it on purpose.”

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The Five Dysfunctions of a Team book explores the fundamental causes of organizational politics, cohesion, and team failure. The book details many pitfalls that teams face as they seek to “grow together.”

According to the book, organizations fail to achieve teamwork because they unknowingly fall prey to five natural but dangerous pitfalls, called the Five Dysfunctions:

In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing – Theodore Roosevelt

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In Unfu*k Yourself, Bishop explains the concept of Getting out of your head with a series of seven assertions:

I am willing.
I am wired to win.
I got this.
I embrace the uncertainty.
I am not my thoughts; I am what I do.
I am relentless.
I expect nothing and accept everything.

Assertion One: I am Willing

Willingness is a state in which we can engage with life and see a situation from a new perspective. It starts with you and ends with you.

I first explored the idea of reading 100 books in a year in 2016. It was part of my new year resolution and have tried to do it yearly ever since: a

2016

Goal: Read 100 Hardcover Books
Outcome: Read 50+ Books by December 31st 2016

2017:

Goal: Read 100 Books from my Amazon Kindle.
Outcome: Read 80+ Books by December 31st 2017

2018:

Goal: Read 100 Books from my Amazon Kindle
Outcome: Read 10+ but stopped to make & execute some life decisions (Relocation et al)

2019:

I did not set the goal to read 100 Books but read some books: was not counting but I guess I read 20+ books all year round.

I am presently committed to reading 100 books in 2020 through my 100 Books reading Challenge, You might be wondering how do I intend to read 100 books in 365 days? Here are the strategies that would enable Me (you) achieve it:

  1. Start with Why

I would be reading 100 books in 2020 and this post is for public pressure and documentation. I tried reading 100 books for the first time in 2016 and also tried it in 2017, also started in 2018 but had to stop in February 2018 because I was making some life changing decisions.

Here is the scorecard for the previous Book Challenges:

2016

Goal: Read 100 Hardcover Books
Outcome: Read 50+ Books by December 31st 2016

2017:

Goal: Read 100 Books from my Amazon Kindle.
Outcome: Read 80+ Books by December 31st 2017

2018:

Goal: Read 100 Books from my Amazon Kindle
Outcome: Read 10+ but stopped to make & execute some life decisions (Relocation et al)

2019:

Did not set the goal to read 100 Books but read some books : was not counting but I guess I read 20+ books all year round.

2020

Goal: Read 100 Books by December 31st, 2020
Strategy: Borrow the books from the Public Library.