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

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(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.

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What is the “Sublime Abiding”?

My public display name for my WordPress profile is The Sublime Abiding (although few probably noticed), and this post gives that term some context.

I first came across the term ‘the sublime abiding’ in the book The Heart of the Revolution by Noah Levine. I have a little more written about the book in my favorite books tab here.

Traditionally the meaning is Buddhist.

The Brahmavihara’s are the four sublime states. The states are called the ‘sublime abodes’. There are four different passages to recite that are supposed to put you in the states. The states are;
  1. loving-kindess (metta)
  2. compassion (karuna)
  3. empathetic joy (mudita)
  4. equanimity (upekkha)

However, I preferred to base it off the definition from the book.

It is explained as the happiest place to be, an enlightened way of being, a cool place to hang out, or an internal place of ease.. 

I want my website to feel like this when I’m engaged in writing posts or working on the site.

For me, the site would be a place where I approach my life in a peaceful way.


The 25th Year.

The follow up to My 24th Year.

I don’t want to ramble about the actual goals, or reasons why I chose certain goals (or recycled one or two). I will state them in their entirety and a few ways I brainstormed how I will achieve them. Another important aspect is how I am intertwining the goals into the social fabric of my life. Some may have a timeline or two tied to them.

If I achieve what I wnat to this year, based on realistic projections, by Oct. 7, 2018, I will have;

  • Completed my PGA Level 2 Portfolio and passed my PGA Level 2 Test
  • Scored an even par 72 (or even par 71) on a golf course playing with others
  • Saved $4,000
    • for PGA Levels and plane ticket (see goal below)
  • Given a golf lesson in Spanish & passed three different proficiency tests
    • find YouTube lessons in Spanish, take notes on new vocab, try to emulate.
  • Written 51 letters of appreciation to people in my life
  • Completed the next Gymnastics Strength Training level
    • I believe it will be the Foundation course
  • Swam One Mile Nonstop
    • Taking tips from Total Immersion Swimming off the Tim Ferriss Show
  • Advanced beyond just a white belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
    • Naturally, this would be a blue belt. However, depending on how this work out the second part of the year it may just be a white belt with some stripes.
  • Bought a plane ticket to leave country
    • This is a carry over goal from last year. I have plans to travel out of the country with a friend next winter. However, at the moment it is still up in the air.

I have a few smaller intentions that I will be using the app Way of Life to keep track of daily. Those include;

  • meditation
  • journaling
  • sugar consumption
  • reviewing goals


This post is about a month behind due to a trip to Florida and moving down the California. However, I have already started working on some of the bullet points.

My 24th Year.

This is post that includes a record of my last year. My goals and how I went about trying to achieve them. There’s some humble bragging, maybe even some actual bragging, but I wouldn’t have written it if I didn’t think there was value here.
No two situations are the same, but many life situations are similar. My goal is to grow my life in different areas. I wanted a life I felt better about. I think many people share this interest. The story of my last year and certain tools, or processes, I used to achieve it are written about here.

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Fast Times in Stand Up Comedy

Why not?! Before I moved to Spokane I wanted to try standup comedy. “Oh so you think you’re funny?” I think this thought is inherit with the idea that you want to go in front of a mic and try to make people laugh. Moment-to-moment I don’t think I’m very funny, but I thought that I could craft some jokes with practice.

A better purpose for why I wanted to try this is that it’s a daunting activity. You REALLY are putting your ego and pride out there. It takes courage to give it a shot. Another positive thing that I heard was that comedians look at the world differently. Having an ability to laugh at myself, surroundings, and make jokes about how society (or the world) is sounded beneficial.

I moved to Spokane, looked up an open mic, wrote some jokes, and tried something new.

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The Happiness Checklists

I read The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande, and it inspired me to try something new. As can be seen from the title, I made checklists for various lengths of time throughout my day.

The purpose of these checklists was to remind me (and force me) to do the things that I knew will probably increase the bliss in my life. Many of these things are simple, and if I were to tell someone that it is a good idea to try, they would most likely say, “Of course.. duh.” However, many times these actions do not get done. I forget. I rationalize with myself, and let it slide.

I made five checklists;

  • Hourly
  • Daily
  • Weekly
  • Monthly
  • Annually

I set alarms on my phone, with labels, for each corresponding time period. This would remind me of things that I had not completed. It also reminded of things that I could do at that moment. It was a lot of alarms..

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