Book Notes: Act Accordingly by Colin Wright

You know that feeling where you’re listening to music or reading a book and you think, “ARRRGH I should have written that!” It’s like someone snuck in with telekinesis and jacked your idea straight from your soggy brain.

For example: I wrote a song called “Rich Kid Blues.” It wasn’t finished of course because I’ve got a 100% success rate at writing songs halfway and never touching them again. Anyways, I had “Rich Kid Blues” half written and was procrastinating when some guy name Jack White came out and wrote it.

Blah! Jack White sneaks out and beats me to the punch.

Alas, it’s happened again.

Colin Wright nailed a philosophical framework that I might have considered my own. Even better, I think he did it in a way than I had it in my head.

It’s a short read, you could bang it out in an afternoon.

He was the third guest on the Love Affair Travel podcast and you can listen to us talk about travel lifestyle and his philosophical framework for free.

If you want to pick up the book, you can get it here (he’s included an audio version for those of us who prefer to listen.)

By the way, the Act Accordingly mindset is going to have me finish a song one of these days.

May 2013 Media Suggestions: Feynman, Carlin, Godin & Pressfield

Audio Books:

Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman – Richard Feynman

Screw the government. I believe people should treat people like people.

Richard-Feynman

The first time that I encountered Richard Feynman was when I saw the video embedded below. I was taken aback with his passion for the natural world. I think there is tremendous power in appreciating the little things in life.

In his book he writes about a discovery he had as a child. On a microbiological scale, ants have the capacity to lift droplets of water. Feynman describes a time when he “watched an ant consume a drop of water” with a little microscope. It was “terribly exciting” as he put it. His book is full of little gems like this.

He even provides lots of tips on how to pick locks, party, meet girls, play in a Brazilian samba band, how to become a commissioned writer, deal with Las Vegas gangsters and how to parry the government institutions that make no sense. The practical lessons alone in this book are good enough to warrant my recommendation. The most powerful lesson was to foster a deep appreciation for the natural world. I feel like a much better person for having gone through his life story. I can’t recommend it enough.

Here is a link if the embedded video doesn’t play.

The War of Art – Steven Pressfield

Casting yourself as a victim is the antithesis of doing your work. Don’t do it, if you’re doing it, stop.

Steven-PressfieldPressfield quotes Socrates, “the truly free individual is free only to the extent of his own self mastery. While  those who will not govern themselves are condemned to find masters to govern over them.” If you can internalize this and believe it, the rest of The War of Art is a boot to the ass in the effort to get the reader to create their self mastery.

One of my favorite delineation is between the fundamentalist and the artist:

  • Artist – One whose culture provides for affluence, independence, a core of self confidence & hope for the future. One who believes human kind is moving in a good direction.
  • Fundamentalist – One whose philosophy is that of the displaced and dispossessed; believes we have fallen from a higher level; cannot stand freedom, and returns in imagination to the glory days of his race.

The most relentless enemy to the artist is the resistance. Pressfield describes this resistance in a hundred ways because it is everywhere and is probably the most subversive force in the land. The key to fighting it is to go pro and he describes how to do it in great detail.

To be honest, this book scared me. I know there are hundreds of things I want to do, and I know the resistance has had me under it’s gnarly boot heel for far too long. I feel like learning about it is a strong step in improving my position against it. That is why I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s fantastic and easy to read.

Finally, if you’re a Tim Ferriss fan, you’ve got to read this book. Many of the roots of Tim’s ideas clearly have developed from The War of Art.

Purple Cow – Seth Godin

Almost everything you don’t do has no good reason for it. Almost everything you don’t do is the result of fear inertia or the lack of someone else asking, “why not?”

Seth-GodinAgain, I’m working my way through Seth’s back-catalogue. “Digital cameras are well on their way to replacing film cameras” – goes to show the age of this book. Yet aside from bits like this, the book is still full of valuable lessons for today.

For example, I’m trying to build a company now and I’m learning as I go. Seth brings up the point that one big reason for business failure is that the owner is busy running the company rather than marketing a product. I’m spending most of my time now running a business and I know I need to transition to marketing the product.

So aside from the marginal age of the book, his points are almost all useful today. He discusses idea viruses, what it means to be remarkable, how safe is risky, why going to the edges is a strategy for success, otaku and much more. Finally he lists some tips for success in the abundance economy.

Slogans:

  1. Don’t be boring
  2. Safe is risky
  3. Design rules now
  4. Very good is bad

By the way, don’t miss your opportunity to work with Seth

Thats it for the Books

I’m working my way through The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich which is proving to be just as depressing and fascinating as one could dream. I think everyone knows Adolf Hitler was the spawn of Satan, but sitting down and studying how he ran his operation is just a dumbfounding experience. I’m about halfway through so I’ll tell you more about it next month.

After that, I’ll be reading Work the System by Sam Carpenter too. You can get a free copy of it here. If it’s good, I’ll throw it up here next month and give a little review.

Podcasts:

Prophets of Doom – Hardcore History Show 48 – Dan Carlin

Priests spoke Latin. The bible was only understood in Latin. Therefore, the priests had the key to something that the commoners couldn’t understand. Luther translates the bible from New Testament Greek to contemporary German (of the time.) This turns the “knowing of what god wants” over to the people. THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING!

Dan-CarlinEvery-time a Hardcore History episode comes out I get giddy like a school girl who just found out Justin Bieber will be in her town. This is hands down my favorite podcast and this episode supports my passion for the show.

It’s all about that stuff you learned in history class. How the collapse of the Roman Empire left a vacum of power that the Catholic Church filled. The Chruch was corrupt and awash with money from selling indulgences and so Martin Luther banged the 99 Thesis to a wall and the birth of the protestant reformation was eminent.

I had some fantastic history teachers, but Dan Carlin is probably the most fantastic history teacher you could imagine. He tells this story with so many bloody details that it’s simply impossible to turn off. Carlin uses descriptions like, “imagine this guy to be on the cover of a Led Zeppelin album.” This just makes the whole thing far more interesting.

At the end of the day, it’s entertaining as all hell but best of all; you learn how crazy lucky we are to be alive in times like these, rather than times like those. Check it out people. It’s free after all.

I absolutely recommend donating to Dan Carlin. I do.

School of Greatness – Lewis Howes

lewis_podcast_largeAnother month and another mention for Lewis because I really appreciate what he’s doing with The School of Greatness. This month I recommend his interviews with:

  1. Kyle Maynard – Probably the most inspirational story I’ve ever heard. If you have to choose one from this list, listen to this one.
  2. Ben Nemtin – It’s all about chasing dreams and making things happen. I think Ben and Lewis really demystify what has made The Buried Life so successful.
  3. Don Yaeger – Though I’m not really into sports, Don does an excellent job of describing what makes great people great.
  4. Adam Grant – We’re in a giving economy and Adam’s got science on his side.

You might say, “Ian you’re recommending all of the School of Greatness podcasts. Aren’t you just promoting the podcasts you work on?”

These shows are awesome. Listen to them. If you feel like you wasted an hour of your time, I don’t know what to tell you.

Good Life Project – Jonathan Fields

Good Life Project Podcast Art

  1. Christian Howes – What. An. Amazing. Story (the podcast will be on iTunes in July)
  2. Chris Guillebeau – Another amazing story. He just recently traveled to every country in the world.
  3. Seth Godin – You know I’ve got a love for Seth-O – By the way, don’t miss your opportunity to work with Seth.

That’s It for May

Thanks for reading. I really appreciate you all who take the time to sit down and care about what I’m writing.

The process of writing this once a month is incredibly helpful in keeping me studying and working hard to improve myself. If you’re interested in doing it too, I’d love to hear from you. This life is short and it’s important that we do as much of this intensive, reflective study work as possible.

I wish the best for you.

With Love,

Ian-out

April 2013 Media Suggestions: Carnegie, Howes, Andrews, Chandor and Branson

Books:

Losing My Virginity – Richard Branson

This Guy RocksI’ve been on a Richard Branson kick this month. Check him out on Steven Colbert’s show too (sorry I can’t link because in Australia we can’t watch ComedyCentral.com.)

Did you know Branson spent most of his life fighting to stay afloat financially? Did you know his little Virgin Airline was almost put out of business over and over again by a hostile British Airways? Did you know Branson played a pivotal role in saving the lives of refugees under Saddam Hussein?  Even to this day he is doing really interesting work with groups like The Elders and  Virgin Unite.

This book is fantastic. Branson’s passion for life seems to come through here. He starts the story with a wild tale of his hot air ballooning over the oceans. Whether it was business or breaking records, it always seems like Branson is pushing his limits. I can’t recommend this one enough.

It’s beautiful the way he finishes the story too. At the end of the book, I gained a beautiful insight that really impressed me with the whole direction of the book. If you want to discuss this, I’d love to hear from you.

Einstein: His Life and Universe – Walter Isaacson

Reviewing EinsteinI definitely recommend this one. It reads easily and actually provides a digestible understanding of Einstein’s theory of relativity.

I found Joe Rogan’s podcast with Neil Degrass Tyson and Amit Goswami to be supplemental in developing a vague understanding for quantum mechanics and relativity theory. Like Amit Goswami says, “if you think you understand quantum mechanics, you probably don’t understand quantum mechanics.”

Issacson’s portrayal of Einstein tells the story of a very likable person. I especially appreciate how Einstein valued creativity and playing with children. His life was indispensable to how we see the universe today. I feel incredibly blessed to have a better understanding of Einstein’s universe.

Also, Einstein was a supporter of the rights of the individual which I’ve always been a big fan of. During these modern times of increasingly tightening “security” nonsense; it’s nice to learn that the man who changed the way we see the universe, was of the opinion that the individual should be protected from the state.

Finally, I found it odd that he married his cousin… but come on… uh…

Permission Marketing – Seth Godin

Reviewing Permission MarketingThis one is great for describing the way things are these days. The book has aged somewhat as Seth uses examples like AOL’s loss of power and predicting that Amazon will fair well in the future. These predictions of course, came true.

It’s very readable and should be considered an essential part of your studying if you’re seeking to become a part of the new connection economy.  All his predictions in the book seem to have materialized.

In Permission Marketing, Seth gives lots of actionable tips on growing an audience and transforming strangers to supporters and supporters to customers.

How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie

Win Friends and Influence PeopleWhen I started this book, I thought it was written by Andrew Carnegie. I’m studying all the magnates of history and I felt a bit duped. None-the-less, I already got my hands on this one so I figured I might as well finish it up. In the end, I feel better for having read it.

There are lots of examples in this book of turning around challenging situations into effective relationship building opportunities. It seems to me that Mr. Carnegie is a bit over confident at times. Perhaps this is just my “resistance” keeping me down, but I feel like its a little over confident.

That being said, I feel like the attitude towards human reaction in this book is the best way to deal with people. It is effective to treat people the way they would like to be treated. He isn’t saying anything that Jesus didn’t say, but he is reinforcing it for a more modern time.

There are power mongers and evil bastards out there that need to be given the cold shoulder at times. I guess combining this book with Linchpin and 48 Laws of Power would be an effective way to quickly study how to interact with the other humanoid meat bodies on this beautiful ball of water spinning around the great nuclear reactor.

Thats it for the Books

I’m almost done with The War of Art by Steven Pressfield and The Lean Startup by Eric Reis. Unfortunately, “almost” doesn’t cut it for this month.

Next month I expect to finish the above books as well as The $50 Startup by Chris Guillebeau and Mastering the Rockefeller Habits by  Verne Harnish

Podcasts:

Again not a big month for podcasts.

School of Greatness – Lewis Howes

I’m a big fan of the School of Greatness. This month I’d like to specially note a few episodes:

1. Lissa Rankin – The science behind using brain power to heal yourself. Powerful stuff.

2. Alex Day – Alex Day is the modern version of the rock star in the movie, Love Actually. Only instedad of being a dreadbeat washed out rock n roller, he is a young gun with a YouTube account. It was great. To add to it, check out this post titled: Become a Pop Star with Zero Experience

3. Rich Roll – Going from alcoholic cubicle slave to a ultra marathon champion. Loved the story of him running the Ultra Marathon in Hawaii and crashing his bike. He’s pretty awesome.

Tropical Talk Radio – Dan Andrews

Dan Andrews speaks my language. It’s all big picture thinking, location independent entrepreneurship from building businesses and just living the good life.

He and Ian do the Lifestyle Business Podcast which I also appreciate immensely. This one is a bit more rough around the edges and more disorganized. I like that.

Movies:

Margin Call – Directed by J.C. Chandor

Kevin Spacey and Paul Bettany are two of my favorite actors. Ever since The Life of David GaleAmerican Beauty, Se7en & Usual Suspects and  and A Knight’s Tale (respectively) these two actors have been two of my favorites.

Margin call is all about the financial collapse of 2008 when all the quant jocks in NYC realized they had gone down a long and harrowing bad direction. I wish I had been onto it back then.

John Tuld the Man in Charge of it All Watching this movie, I think about how foolish these people are. They spend all their time hustling their minds out and working brutal hours so they can make heaps of money and blow it all on junk. I don’t get it. Movies like this reinforce my belief that money doesn’t make people happy. But hell. This is just a movie right? Maybe in real life they live fantastic lives.

By the way, if I had to be one of the guys in the movie, I’d want to be Jeremy Irons character (pictured above.)

That’s It for April

Thanks for reading. I really appreciate you all who take the time to sit down and care about what I’m writing.

The process of writing this once a month is incredibly helpful in keeping me studying and working hard to improve myself. If you’re interested in doing it too, I’d love to hear from you. This life is short and it’s important that we do as much of this intensive, reflective study work as possible.

I wish the best for you.

With Love,

Ian-out

March 2013 Media Suggestions: Taleb and Sivers

Books:

Antifragile – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Nassim Nicolas Taleb wrote a harrowing book that has changed the way I see the world. It was harrowing in that it is so dense that my note taking interrupted me so greatly that I required nearly 3 weeks to finish the book. At times he comes off as a rude contrarian, but I couldn’t get away from the fact that his seemed disturbingly right on the money.

At the beginning, he writes, “the goal is to build a guide to non-predictive decision making under uncertainty.” He takes this point to such an incalculable level of depth that it left me spinning often. Perhaps he could have avoided the ancient Greek and Latin for the sake of the audience…

Generally while listening to books (say Titan, Linchpin or The Power of Habit) I can do things like cook, run on the beach, jump rope or lift weights. Many other books tell stories that are more easily retained in my dense brain. Antifragile is inhospitable to this style of consumption.

I attempted to listen to Antifragile while walking 5 kilometer to go to a specially beautiful library in Burleigh Heads, Australia. The walk, which normally requires about an hour, took three. I was endlessly pausing and opening Evernote to make notes on what I was learning. The sun was out and I got my first sunburn of the year due to the note taking delay. The ideas were worth remembering so I had to keep stopping.

At first, I was skeptical because Taleb’s discussion pretty much throws a wrench in the machine of the material I had learned at the University of Nevada. His points touched on much of what I had learned while in University.
I especially like his call for a “National Entrepreneurs Day: You will fail, and we thank you for being willing to fail.” He is infinitely confident about his message and he doesn’t shy from name calling when he brings up what he calls the fragilista. Fragilistas are the “no-skin in the game,” “commentators” who continue their faux expertise despite having to real understanding of what will happen. A favorite example of his is fragilista Thomas Friedman.

I remember reading The Lexus and the Olive Tree by Thomas Friedman. It was prescribed reading for my economics courses. I enjoyed reading it while hanging in a tree 15 feet above the ground in Rancho San Rafael Park. At the time, I thought the book was insightful and prolific. Friedman talks about the importance of specialization and the value that globalized trade will play in our lives. There was always a missing link that I couldn’t identify but it was never stressed. The ideas Friedman describes are largely useless and only provide value if you are… I don’t know; a policy maker in Washington D.C. or something…

After reading Antifragile, I’m far more skeptical of his ideas. Does a globalized economy really benefit the day to day life of people all that much? My new answer is perhaps, but it also makes the threat of something really bad happening (i.e. a turkey problem as described in the book.) This globalized economy seems incredibly fragile to unpredictable events. What happens if oil prices kick up because of a war, or the information systems crash due to some cyber hacker whom no one expects yet. These sorts of things do happen: think 9/11, Arab Spring or Fukishima. These are all events that are hard to predict and shift the whole way we experience the world (Taleb calls them Black Swans.)

Anyways, I finished the book as I was in the middle of cooking some bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms and eggs for breakfast. After I stewed on the ideas of Fat Tony, I started to notice that I wasn’t listening to anything. I turned on Planet Money NPR podcast.

Planet Money was discussing the business nature of the Catholic Church. Apparenty, Benedict is stepping down and there is trouble in the church. The announcers listened to the consultants (i.e. fragilista charlatans) as they described how the church should centralize their purchasing power and power structure in order to take advantage of global economics. This plays into Taleb’s model perfectly.

These consultants work at firms that are less than 50 years old I’m sure; yet they don’t hesitate to provide advice to the Catholic church which has been around for something like 2,000 years. What arrogant folks.

Now, I feel very comfortable in a prediction, despite the fact that Taleb warns against predictions. I predict that these consultants and their businesses will not be around as long as the business (the Catholic Church) that they are attempting to teach a lesson.-

This is a great book. I definitely recommend it… but it’s hyper dense and requires much time and energy to understand.-

If you do not have time to read the book (which I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t) you could take a quick hour and fifteen to sit down and listen to him discuss his ideas here < http://youtu.be/MMBclvY_EMA >

 

Anything You Want – Derek Sivers

Derek Sivers is probably my favorite all-star entrepreneur. This book is excellent and I can’t recommend it enough. If you want more genius from him, check out his site: http://sivers.org/

 

Podcasts:

The Power of Belief  – Lewis Howes

Producing this podcast has been great. I think the lessons in here are great. Check it out.

 

That’s All Folks:

Sorry for the limited reading this month. Antifragile was a time vacum that was well worth it. I also finished some books that I don’t feel are worth writing about here.

I’m launching a new podcasting company called Freedom Podcasting (http://www.freedompodcasting.com) . Later this month I’ll be putting out a blog about the best podcasts of the last few months. Feel free to drop by there or like it on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Freedom-Podcasting/230884087052559) , because I have no idea if this stuff is going to work!

I was caught up with immigration and SEO work much of the month. I’ll attempt to do more reading this month. Titles that looking tasty are Mastering the Rockefeller Habits, some more Seth Godin stuff and Walter Issacson’s portrayal of Einstein.

Thanks for your attention!

Ian-Out

February 2013 Media Suggestions: Goudin, Duhigg, Chernow, Ferriss, Greene

Books:

 

The 50th Law – Robert Greene

This is my favorite of Robert Greene’s work. If I had to suggest one book of his, I’d suggest this one. He weaves his signature web of prominent figure-biographical information while juxtaposing the times of violence and struggle from the tough life of Curtis Jackson (50-Cent) growing up in South Queens, dealing drugs and perpetrating violence.

This is the best of Greene’s books for those seeking entrepreneur lifestyle.

 

 

48 Laws of Power – Robert Greene

I primarily listened to this book while running along the beach during the turmultuous cyclone that hit the Gold Coast this week. The voice of the narrator is diabolical so while listening I felt like a devil was whispering in my ear, contriving to organize something malicious.

Greene uses historical figures from the past 3,000 years as examples to support his 48 Laws of Power. He mentions Genghis Khan, John D. Rockefeller, Cleopatra and a hundred more. It is filled with interesting stories that I’m sure will prove valuable to day-to-day life.

Many of the laws suggest that our economy is fundamentally limited in which the slices of the pie are finite and need to be fought over. Greene mentions in his interview with Chase Jarvis that the 48 Laws of Power is more of a manual to help you realize if someone is making power moves against you, rather than a guide to make power moves on others.

I believe it’s valuable to learn these lessons to help guard oneself from the motivations of others. Perhaps, it isn’t a great guide for thriving in the modern “connection economy.” For a guide on this, I suggest Linchpin

 

Linchpin – Seth Goudin

I’m subscribed to Seth’s Blog < http://sethgodin.typepad.com/ >. I read it almost every day and it provides daily motivation to create art and act boldly.

This is my favorite of his books it’s a pure motivation and should be read by anyone looking to succeed in this crazy, unprecedented world of ours.

Seth, if you end up reading this. Thank You.

I’ll read more Goudin (Purple CowsPermission MarketingWe are All Weird) next month.

 

Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. – Ron Chernow

Great story of Rockefeller’s life. It’s a captivating read. When the oil business was developing it was a nightmare of unprecedented economic turmoil. Imagine filthy pioneer oil hustlers moving barrels of crude oil across upstate New York on the backs of donkeys, spilling the stuff everywhere and fighting day and night to stay ahead on where the next oil spot would be found.

Chernow describes Rockefeller as the process builder that slammed the whole system into a scaleable, professional business. I imagine endless stories around the power plays Rockefeller made with railroads, governments and other refiners during his rise. It’s awesome to think about.

I’d love to read more about big magnates of the past. Maybe Carnegie, Vanderbuilt and any others of their class. If you have any suggestions, please send them my way!

 

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business – Charles Duhigg

This is a good one. I like the stories of Claud Hopkins and how he made brushing teeth go from a traveling-salesperson-hustle to a national habit. Changing the habits of the US during this time helped alleviate the dental hygiene problem that the government was calling a “national security risk” during WWII.

It’s cool to learn how Paul O’Neil changed the ALCOA mining company via implementing a habit of safety. My only previous experience with ALCOA was in the movie Motorcycle Diaries where the company is portrayed as an evil international corporation. O’Neil’s story is inspiring and I hope to bring successful habits to my own organization one day.

The Power of Habit is a great read for anyone seeking to have a greater understanding of leadership and human behavior.

 

Podcast:

 

Bryan Callen and Tim Ferriss

Callen does a great podcast though it’s often not worth suggesting here. He had Tim Ferriss on this month and it was one of his best podcasts to date. Listen to it, it’s free – funny & facinating.

Seth Goudin on On Being

More excellence from Seth. Motivation to ship and do something important.

That’s All Folks

I’m currently reading Antifragile by Nassim Taleb. So far, it’s his best that I’ve read (I’ve only read Black Swan.)

If you enjoyed this newsletter and you know anyone who would also benefit, please share by having them head to ianrobinson.net/subscribe.

Thanks very much for your attention.

Ian-Out

Trust Me, I’m Lying – Ryan Holiday

Ryan Holiday Chase Jarvis Interview

Introducing….

I love taking systems apart to learn how they work.

I’ve deconstructed cars, appliances, cameras, websites, software and loads of other stuff. Deconstructing is the best way to learn.

It never occured to me to do this with the mainstream media.

This guy did just that. Check out the trailer for his book:

Ryan Holiday’s Media Blitz

I just came across Ryan Holiday because he is all over respectable media – here on BlogcastFM, here on The Rise To The Top, here on Mixergy.

The best of his media blitz is in this texturey interview with Chase Jarvis.

Ryan Holiday Chase Jarvis Interview

Peter Shankman vs. Ryan Holiday

peter shankman vs ryan holiday

Plus, he does controversy.

Peter Shankman lashed out at him (Shankman is going to punch Holiday Facebook mention?) Unfortunatly, Shankman comes off like the reeling bully who just woke up from a knockout punch delivered from the class nerd.

Holiday’s reply was calm, reasonable and insightful. You can read it here and here.

Who do I side with when one side is saying words like “liar, idiot, liar, liar, liar, don’t spoil it for us” and the other side is rational arguments and requests to  further the conversation?

Go with the rational one.

At the Core

At the core of all of this, is that its good to question the way the world works.

If you don’t like what you find; do something about it.

Holiday does that here. I’m excited to read his book.

Two Neat Things for Today

First Off – Congratulations Seth Godin

The Question

Can Seth Godin change the author/publisher paradigm?

The Answer

Seth needed 40k to get the book fast forwarded to the publishers.

As I’m looking at it now he is at:

Seths kickstarter June 20
Image Links to Live Kickstarter

 

What does this mean?

It is proof that everything has changed.

No more top down corporate publishing structure.

The world is flat

Second Off – Tim Ferriss Strikes Again

Language Learning

Duolingo fun free beautiful

Ever since you saw The Bourne Identity, you’ve wanted be optimal at everything, have unwavering confidence, kill snipers with shotguns and speak 20 different languages.

Now you can at least get a start on the language side of thing.

Duolingo is a free, fun and good looking language learning software that launched today. Not only do you become more impressive, you partake in translating the internet. AMAZING!

Sell your stock in Rossetta Stone…

I slammed through the Spanish section just to test the program. Then I learned more German in 5 minutes than I had in 27 years.

Ich bin Ian.

Rock n’ Roll

Conclusion

There is no excuse for not being a superhero these days.

These are revolutionary times.

-With Love

Ian

Seth Godin – Stop Stealing Dreams

“What is School For?”

This is an introductory post. Over the next four days I will be reading Seth Godin’s new free book Stop Stealing Dreams (you can download it here.) I invite you to read it with me. I’d love to discuss it via the comments below.

Godin’s blog has been a huge motivation over the past few months. The new title inspired me to review my thoughts on my education history and take action to begin a discussion on my blog.

Seth Godin and Ken Robinson

My Experience

Subtle Unconscious Feelings

As I grew through the school system in Northern Nevada, I had a subtle unconscious feeling that something was awry with the process that I was being subjected to. Though I had a subtle consciousness of the discomfort, I never had the capacity to explain this feeling in a productive way. School was very difficult, not because it was challenging, but because it was often dull and prison like.

I had some fantastic teachers. They left an unforgettable positive effect on me. They were not overly strict, and they were capable of inspiring me to desire development. They focused their efforts on keeping us fascinated with the subjects, rather than in line with regulation.

My worst teachers were always the authoritarian rulers. I have terrible memories of them and I feel like much of my capacity for development was stunted by the experiences they provided.

I graduated from the public school system and found much more success at the University of Nevada. The freedom to select my classes, show up for classes, and the choice of extracurricular activities allowed me to drive my own development. I found this system to be far more productive.

That subtle understanding that the compulsory school system had failed me remained dormant in my mind. I knew it was there, but I couldn’t productively explain it. Somewhere along the line, I watched this video:

You can watch more of Sir Ken Robinson here and here.

This made it all clear. I believe Ken Robinson is right, we need a education revolution.

Exploring this idea inspired me to read Seth Godin’s new book. Please read it over the next few days with me. Please feel free to discuss it below. I imagine a few teachers will read this and I hope that they express their thoughts.

Teachers are the experts and I think their voices on this matter carry more clout.

Thank you for visiting and reading my blog. I look forward to hearing from you.

CRUSH IT by Gary Vaynerchuck: This is a Must Read!

Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuck : Move to Democratic BuisinessHave you ever had someone explain a great idea to you? You know what they are talking about, you’ve been thinking of it in a similar way, but when they break it down for you, you get that “AH HA” moment. With Crush It, Vaynerchuck breaks it down.

He excitedly describes whats going on in the new media. He tells of how we are living in the most opportunistic time in history for individuals to promote themselves. Now is the time to do what you love and make a living doing it. The old media system is decomposing as we speak. Newspapers are losing, the record industry is crumbling and people are taking their media consumption to the net. Who wants to own a tower records (are there still tower records around?)

All these big changes are a tremendous opportunities for the everyday person with a serious passion. As these million dollar industry come down, we as young entrepreneurial people, have an amazing opportunity to be able to break free and provide entertainment without the permission of the old system.

I see it like the great compost of the media economy. The old system has been thrown out in the dirt with the worms. Now is the time to get wormy and chew up that old system to make some awesome soil (if you are a gardener, you understand that this is a really positive thing.)

I’m all about traveling the world and being able to work from anywhere. This book cuts deeply with me. There is no way my life can be the same after reading his book.

Vaynerchuck not only explains this, but he inspires action! Action is the most important thing.

Do it. :^)

 

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacon: Inspirational

Walter Isaacon has produced an excellent portrayal of the life of Steve Jobs.  Three days ago, I knew next to nothing about Jobs.  I now consider him to be a hero (though I wouldn’t want to go to dinner with him.) 🙂

Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson : Inspiration, Passion and MadnessI was inspired to read the book because I love the Apple devices I use. The MacBook, the iPhone, iMovie, and iTunes all have a tremendous effect on my life.  I love them and in fact, much of career has been made possible because the iPhone allows me to be so mobile.  If it weren’t for the MacBook, this website wouldn’t exist.  So Apple (Steve Jobs specifically) has played a vital role in how my life has evolved and where it may go.

I read the 600 page book in 3 days.  This time has been reminiscent of the days I spent reading Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela or For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway. It’s intensely interesting and it keeps your attention all the way through.

This is a story that I suggest to everyone.  If every person on earth read this book, the human condition might improve.

Thanks again for reading! Much love.