(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.

Other posts in Book Notes Series


Appreciation & Gratitude


“The game is meant for walkin’… for if ye can enjoy the walkin’, ye can probably enjoy the other times in yer life when ye’re in-between. And that’s most er the time; wouldn’t ye say?”

Michael Murphy, Golf In the Kingdom




What am I worrying about?

What can I do about it? (List 3-4 items)

What will I do about it? (List the most sensible items)

When will I begin to do something about it? (Make moves at a specific time)

Dale Carnegie, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living

This is the outline for an anxiety relief exercise. Random events or important decisions can leave a person feeling anxious about the future, as well as scared. Hesitating, or doing nothing, can increase the stress of that situation. I have found this to be an incredibly helpful exercise. The second question in the exercise usually elicits the verb ‘ask’.


“For the next three days I would like for you to write about your very deepest thoughts and feelings about an extremely important emotional issue that has affected you and your life. In your writing , I’d like you to really let go and explore your very deepest emotions and thoughts.

Benefits; (as time goes by) those who write about emotional experiences report better moods, better grades in college, miss fewer days of work, show improved immune system functioning, and are less likely to visit clinician.”

Timothy Wilson, Strangers to Ourselves


Offering veterans the use of town hall, every Veterans Day to vets to talk about their experiences. Some will say war was the best, some will be angry, some will be crying so hard. A community ceremony like that can give the experience of war to the nation instead of just leaving it to the ones who fought. “I support the troops” means showing up to this to hear the troops out.

Sebatian Junger, Tribe

This relates to a bigger function that Sebastian describes. The idea is hosting a town hall meeting on Veterans Day where veterans talk about their war experiences. Only veterans are allowed to speak. They are allowed to say what they want. It’s more of a community exercise.


“A story is about significant events and memorable moments, not about time passing.”

At the end of the vacation, all pictures and videos will be destroyed. Furthermore, you will swallow a potion that will wipe out all your memories of the vacation

How would this prospect affect your vacation plans? How much would you be willing to pay for it, relative to a normally memorable vacation..

Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow

This was merely an interesting question posed. I have not personally tried to answer it in relation to a vacation, but I liked the thought.


This ends the first two sections. Crazy, right? There were other exercises in books that I tried, but never wrote down in my book notes. In the future, adding to this small list will be enjoyable.


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