Who enjoys reading?
I read a lot. I love getting lost in a book, fiction or nonfiction. I love to fill my head with beautiful stories, ideas, experiences and wonder. It’s a gorgeous way to unwind from the hectic rush of day to day life, to use my mind, to dream, imagine and learn.
I adore losing myself in a good story, becoming part of another time, place and setting, and to enjoy a little escapism. Over the last couple of years however I have been reading more and more nonfiction, filling my head with books on entrepreneurship, creativity, health and wellbeing, and spirituality. And so I have decided to do a regular blog post on books, sharing with you the books I have been reading and my thoughts on each. I don’t intend to thoroughly review each book; there are plenty of amazing bloggers out there who will do that far better than me. However I would like to share with you the books that have had an impact on my life, and that, in some way, have helped or are helping me with progressing in art, business and life in general. I aim to post every month, depending on how much reading I get done!
So here goes.
Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World by Tim Ferriss
This book is a compilation of the tools, tactics, and habits from the world's top performers including iconic entrepreneurs, elite athletes, artists, billionaire investors among others. The intention is that their short profiles can help you answer life's most challenging questions, achieve extraordinary results, and transform your life. It was written by Tim Ferriss, an American entrepreneur, author and podcaster. He has written a number of entrepreneurial books (including The 4-hour Workweek) and is an investor and adviser to startups.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. It was unexpectedly reassuring. It gave me a little courage to live my life how I choose and comfort that the habits and routines I enjoy and have ingrained in my life are actually probably quite good for me and for what I want to achieve in my life. The book is essentially a set of short interviews based around a series of questions prepared by the author to which each interviewee answers.
Some of the responses were more helpful than others and I did end up skimming over a few that I didn’t gain positive vibes from (if you can gain vibes from a book!).
My key take home points were:
Meditation and mindfulness is an exceptionally powerful tool and one that each of us can benefit from.
Self belief and determination. Believe in your ideas and have the strength of mind to.
Exercise regularly. It will work wonders.
Pursue your passion and do it now.
Be yourself. That is the greatest gift you can give yourself and the world.
I would recommend this book to anyone keen on entrepreneurship, business, self motivation and anyone eager to be successful at what they do and love.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
I wrote a blog post earlier this year about personality and introversion. I am an introvert. One that can happily chat with anyone, but who always hits a wall and needs plenty of quiet time. It may not be surprising then to see Susan Cain’s ‘Quiet’ as one of my recently read books. Quiet brings to light the difference in the brain chemistry of introverts and extroverts and, most impactfully, the book discusses what many of us deep down already know, that society places extroverted personality traits above that of introversion and more often than not undervalues and very much misunderstands introverts.
This book totally resonated with me and my personal experiences. Whilst I fall on the more extroverted end of introversion, I clearly recall being told I was quiet throughout school, as though it was a negative trait. I was once asked in an interview what my hobbies were. When responding that I love to draw and paint, the interviewer went on to say that art is a solo hobby and do I not like socialising? I was completely taken aback and realised in that moment how close-minded society can be when it comes to personality.
Both school and work encourage us to ‘come out of our shells’, to team work, network, undertake public speaking and so on. I learned methods early on in my career which have helped me to succeed at these things, however, they each still bring with them a certain quiet anxiety.
Reading ‘Quiet’ made reminded me that I’m not alone. That there are many other quiet people out there, many of which have gone on to be highly successful. ‘Quiet’ reassures the reader that there are tools out there to help with understanding introversion, understanding yourself and to take advantage of your strengths. I would recommend this book to introverts, extroverts, managers and anyone with an interest in gaining the most out of their work and personal relationships.
So there they are, the first two of my book 'reviews'! I would love to know your thoughts and whether you have read either of these books and if so, what your thoughts are on them?