Losing My Virginity – Richard Branson
I’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
I 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
This 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
When 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
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.
Margin Call – Directed by J.C. Chandor
Kevin Spacey and Paul Bettany are two of my favorite actors. Ever since The Life of David Gale, American 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.
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.