No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance. - Confucius
At the beginning of 2018, I made it a goal to read 52 books. That’s around 1 a week. I read some really good books that will change the way I think and act in the next few years. Here’s my entire list. Most are non-fiction as I tend to like those better, but I did try to include one or two fiction every few weeks. I have my top 3 recommendations for the following categories: Health, Personal Finance, Environment, Minimalism and Other Topics. Read More
"Men are forced to labour now because they are a slave to their own wants."
It took me some time to finish this book, but after several renewals from the library, I finally finished Empire of Things: How We Became a World of Consumers by Frank Trentmann. It's a fascinating read! It reads a little bit like a history textbook. It runs through a range of histories of multiple countries to see show how goods traveled from one place to another. It should be noted that consumption isn't a new idea, but it has rapidly grown thanks to the Industrial Age and post Second World War. Read More
In our current system, the worker's life belong not only to the commodity he or she makes, but also increasingly to the garbage graveyard. When manufactured goods are trashed, so too is the labor that went into making them. What other productive, scientific, creative pursuits could we have invested in the time we were making cheap things? Garbage is not just nature, but human labor thrown away in the interest of the circulation of commodities and the extraction of profit.
I just finished reading Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage and I can't help thinking about the above quote. It makes me sad. I'm also struggling to reconcile my Economics and Sustainability brain. As someone who studied Economics in undergrad, economic growth was paramount, but the only way to have economic growth was to produce more. On the other hand, my Sustainability brain is screaming, we can't keep producing more. We don't have enough resources and we are not even recycling resources properly. Read More
I've been doing a lot of mulling regarding over our ever connected world. A few months ago, when I reset my phone, I purposely did not install Facebook because I felt I was constantly checking it. Not in a productive way, but in a way that was there to pass the time. I installed Instagram though and found myself using that more often anyways. The constant pull of the latest updates, the stories, the need to post was getting to me.
I recently picked up Solitude: In Pursuit of a Singular Life in a Crowded World and can definitely relate to the author and I agree with many of his points. Partly for me, I've been struggling to find this balance of Minimalism and Mindfulness. Read More
Here are the final list books that I've read this year. Have you read any of these? Read More
Too many choices can actually paralyze us and lead to doubt, regret, lots of social comparison and unhappiness. How do we then overcome too many choices? Paradox of Choice offers some insight. Read More
"Not giving a fuck does not mean being indifferent; it means being comfortable with being different." Read More
Further reading of The Zero Waste Solution provided more alternative solutions to our ever growing waste production. Incinerators are not the answer. Zero-waste to landfill is different from zero-waste. In the book, the author goes on to cite many cities and countries already doing their part to reduce the amount of garbage that it is sent to the landfill. I was not aware that cities like San Francisco are at the cutting edge of reducing waste. I recommend picking up this book to see how other places are doing their part despite many challenges. There isn't necessarily a right way to do it, but from the many examples given, here are the ideal steps to ensure zero waste initiatives are successful. Read More
It seems that modern medicine, the rise of antibiotics use in our food and as prescribed have destroyed good microbes and bacteria causing many of us to get allergies, become obese and get sick often. More good microbes and probiotics may be the answer we need to improve our health. SXSW 2017 has a few panels scheduled on microbes and gut biomes. Read More
I recently just finished Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending by Elizabeth Dunn & Michael Norton. I recommend picking it up at your local library. Buying it won’t increase your happiness, but here’s it is on Amazon (affiliate) if you are inclined.
We’ve all heard the saying “Money Can’t Buy Happiness” and based on Happy Money, it actually can as long as you spend it in 5 key areas. Read More
Cliff notes version of the Intention Experiment. Our thoughts matter. Here are some key supporting statements from the book about the importance of a positive mindset and a targeted intention. The text book definition of intention is "purposeful plan to perform an action, which will lead to a desired outcome" unlike a desire which means simply focusing on an outcome without a purposeful plan to achieve it. Read More
Buyology by Martin Lindstrom. A look into why we buy what we buy. What marketing and branding methods do companies use to sell us stuff. What advertising tactics work and don't work. A great branding book. Read More
Seven reasons why you should read "Turn Right at Machu Picchu" by Mark Adams before embarking on the Inca Trail. Unlike a guidebook, this offers a history lesson and a glimpse into the journey that you will be undertaking. Read More
For this month, I will be breaking down the Principles of "The Energy of Money" by Maria Nemeth. It is from 1997, but I find its content still relevant. Starting next week, I will break down 3 Principles from the book. Each Principle will ask that you take some action in order to fully harness the "energy of money." Whether we realize it or not, money is prevalent in the 16-20 hours that we are all awake. Money is a very powerful energy that dictates how we live our lives. If we do not acknowledge its power, we are left suffering in its wake. Read More
Individuals work hard mostly because they want to show off to others.
I've been reading a lot about consumerism and materialism and the book Spent by Geoffrey Miller brings up many good points about why we buy.
...basic survival goods are cheap, whereas narcissistic self-stimulation and social display products are expensive. Living doesn't cost much, but showing off does
Ruiz speaks of the many beliefs and agreements that we learn or are imposed on us as we navigate the world. Many of these beliefs become what we know and sometimes limit our happiness and success. For example, as a child if your parents negatively criticized your drawings, you may have this internal believe that you are not a good artist and thus never pursue improving your craft. There are many people earlier in our lives that may have imposed limiting beliefs without us or them realizing. It's one word or one sentence that we unconsciously tacked on to. Ruiz calls us to take a look internally and review how we interact with ourselves and others to find these limiting beliefs or personal agreements. Read More