Three Good Books On Life

Three Good Books On Life

Excellent Advice for Living: Wisdom I Wish I’d Known Earlier

Kevin Kelly is the founding editor of Wired magazine. On his 68th birthday, Mr Kelly started to compile things he had learned about life for his adult children. Things that he wished he had known sooner himself. The final result is this short book filled with nuggets of wisdom and I really enjoyed this page-turner. Below is a glimpse of what you can expect:

“Don’t take it personally when someone turns you down. Assume they are like you: busy, occupied, distracted. Try again later. It’s amazing how often a second try works.”

“Following your bliss is a recipe for paralysis if you don’t know what you are passionate about. A better path for most youth is “master something.” Through mastery of one thing you’ll command a viewpoint to steadily find where your bliss is.”

“The consistency of your endeavors (exercise, companionship, work) is more important than the quantity. Nothing beats small things done every day which is way more important than what you do occasionally.”

“The real test of your character is not how you deal with adversity— although that will teach you much. The real test is how you deal with power.
The only cure for power is humility and the admission that your power comes from luck. The small person believes they are superior; the superior person knows they are lucky.”

Those Bastards: 69 essays on life, creativity, & meaning

A writer, blogger and investor, Jared Dillian is the author of Street Freak: Money and Madness at Lehman Brothers. As the title indicates, “Those Bastards” is a collection of 69 short essays, each of which draws heavily from the author’s personal experience and carries valuable insights on an aspect of life. Some chapters are lighter and funnier than others, but overall, I enjoyed the honest storytelling, brutally honest if I may add, and wittiness that Mr Dillian brought to the pages.

I say that worrying is praying for a bad outcome. And like I said, all fear is about the future—and why are we living in the future? We should be living in the present, in the moment, right now. And in the present, everything is fine. If there is something that will happen a month from now that you are worried about, are you going to make yourself miserable for an entire month until it happens? That doesn’t make any sense. I frequently tell myself: “I don’t have to decide this today.” I wait until the last possible minute to make decisions, which eliminates fear and anxiety.

Everything is going to be okay. And even if it’s not okay, it’s still going to be okay. I don’t stress about much. And the reason is that I only stress about things that are within my control, and when you think about it, there is very little that is within your control. It cracks me up that people stress about politics. I know some people who get consumed by politics, and pour out their rage on social media. They are profoundly unhappy about things that are completely out of their control.

You do the work, you put on the trade, and the result is not up to you. You have to get out of the results business. Instead, focus on the process. If the process is good, and repeatable, everything will work out in the long run. And if it doesn’t? That’s fine, too!

Get Smarter: Life and Business Lessons

Born in 1940, Seymour Schulich is a successful businessman, investor, philanthropist and author. He co-founded and led Euro-Nevada and Franco-Nevada, two of the largest royalty resource companies in the world. In 2007, he published Get Smarter to educate aspiring young Canadians. The book contains conventional wisdom that’s often talked about in other self-help books. There is no ground-breaking insight, but the content is a valuable reminder for those well-versed with the genre and a great introduction for newcomers. The straightforwardness and brevity that Mr Schulich brings to the pages are refreshing. No long winded back stories. Just straight to the point that he wants to make.