Book Notes: Understanding & Growth (Part 1)

This is the first half of the longest section of notes. What may happen with a quote or two is that they ended up in two sections. That is simply because it felt wrong to keep it restricted to only one category.

The Understanding & Growth category tries to collect information that helps to understand you, other people, culture/society, humans, etc. This search for understanding seems to be inspired by a desire to improve. Therefore, this section, that has notes on understanding the important agencies of our lives, is also related to growth.

The authors that are included in this section are (in order of appearance);

  • Sam Harris, Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion
  • Dr. Robert Cialdini, Influence
  • Josh Waitzkin, The Art of Learning
  • Dale Carnegie, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living
  • Carol Tavris & Elliot Aronson, Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me)
  • David Reynolds, Constructive Living
  • Timothy Wilson, Strangers to Ourselves
  • Sebastian Junger, Tribe
  • Meg Jay,  The Defining Decade
  • Jonathan Haidt, The Happiness Hypothesis
  • Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens
  • Atul Gawande, The Checkilst Manifesto
  • Jane McGonigal, Reality is Broken

Continue reading →

Bogert Trail to Murray Hill

Quiet hike out to Murray Hill, which is fairly prominent actually from Palm Canyon Drive. I ended up tracking it at 6.9 miles with a total of 2600 ft of ascent/descent. It seemed like a fairly well traveled hike, and was nice this morning with rain a little cloud coverage.

Picnic tables at the top? Really?

Picnic table at the top. Why not, ya?

San Jacinto Mountains covered in clouds and snow

Murray hill in the distant top right


(Quick Intro) Book Notes: Appreciation & Gratitude + Exercises

At the end of my college experience I began to read more. Along the way, I naturally felt that some of the things I was reading deserved to be written down. Sometimes it was one sentence from a whole book, but as I began to read more my notes became longer.

I have probably read upwards of forty books over the last two years. I would estimate 99% were nonfiction. Some of the titles include Thinking, Fast and Slow, The Heart of the Revolution, Emotional Contagion, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, TribeMating In Captivity, and Golf In the Kingdom.

There were books I didn’t take any notes on, like Chimpanzee Politics, but still had a useful impact on my life. Some I thought I would write down more more, and others I couldn’t stop quoting.

This is my attempt to categorize my notes into useful subjects so that I can revisit important parts. I may be inspired to revisit certain sections, or whole books, but the main idea was to have something that I can return to frequently to refill the glass of knowledge that I had previously found completely empty.

As for you, the reader, there may be some quick wisdom—or relatable fact—that you find enticing. However, my only hope is that (if you do parse through the categories) that there is one thought or quote from a book that you decide is worth exploring. And that little piece of information, that you came across in one of the blog posts, seemingly randomly, leads you to a book that you enjoy deeply.

The categories that were predetermined were Appreciation & Gratitude, Understanding & Growth, Love & Connection, Meaning, Perspective, Exercises, and I will probably be adding a Business section later. A few of the categories have next to nothing, and the categories Understanding & Growth and Love & Connection have multiple categories inside them. The largest is hands down Understanding & Growth.

I will be publishing the posts as I write them, so there will be gaps in the releases, but I combined the first two because they were small categories with very very little in them.

Continue reading →

Hatred & Love

I was listening to the recently released Tim Ferriss podcast with Jack Kornfield, and he told a powerful story that I heard before. I first read it in Heart of the Revolution by Noah Levine.

Long story short, a monk, in a time of hardship, began chanting

Hate cannot drive out hate

but by love alone it is conquered.

This is the ancient truth.

Like I mentioned, very powerful & quick story, and starts about at 1:03:00 in the podcast.

Jack Kornfield – Finding Freedom, Love, and Joy in the Present