Archive for the 'Lifeskills' Category

Dark Horse. Achieving success through the pursuit of fulfillment. Todd Rose & Ogi Ogas

Dark Horse. Achieving success through the pursuit of fulfillment. Todd Rose & Ogi Ogas. 2018. ISBN 9780062683649.  These are stories of dark horses, people who found their happiness and calling through often convoluted and  non standard paths. As well it is an analysis of the failings of our society to accommodate/ give people real choices and paths to fulfillment vs having standardized one size fits all programming for success.  This is a very important book that will cause you to rethink much that you have accepted about pathways to success/fulfillment.  It also reflects the growing drive for self actualization among today’s young people.

Dollars and Sense. How we misthink money and how to spend smarter. Dan Ariely & Jeff Kreisler.

Dollars and Sense. How we misthink money and how to spend smarter. Dan Ariely & Jeff Kreisler. 2017. ISBN 9780062651204. Ariely ( Predictably Irrational)  and Kreisler take a look at pricing, value and how we deal with it in several new ways.  Some of their definitions will seem novel, however everything makes sense and is back yup with psychological case studies and stories. With a concise and humorous style the authors make the topics quite delightful.  All of us will recognize our own thought processes in this book and yet I doubt we will not always take heed and change for the better.  Good book for sales managers, husbands and someone just starting out.

Robin. Dave Itzkoff.

Robin. Dave Itzkoff. 2018. ISBN 9781627794244.  A detailed and fond look at the life of Robin Williams.   Reading this book feels like a page by page preview to tragedy. It is a heartfelt autobiography that allows us to revel in the many favorite Robin Williams moment.  The author has tried to be objective and truthful in all his work.   Clearly and concisely written it is worth the time to learn more about this wonderful comic.

When. The scientific secrets of perfect timing. Daniel Pink.

When. The scientific secrets of perfect timing. Daniel Pink. 2018. ISBN 9781925498189. A concise but wide ranging book.  The author is applying his guru skills to the impact of time on our lives.   From when to make better analytical decisions ( Most of us in the am) through to test scores, how naps work, and more  Pink does a great job in enlightening us to this topic.  We all have better times to start things, needed times for recess , and expected times that we will slump.  He wraps it up by demonstrating how difficult it is to teach an Ai about time. Good read – useful for a short air flight.

Brave New World Revisited. Aldous Huxley

Aldous Huxley, Famous Last Words

Aldous Huxley, Famous Last Words (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Brave New World Revisited. Aldous Huxley. 1958. ISBN 0795300166. Twenty-seven years after writing Brave New World , Huxley revisited his despairing view of the world trends and found that the downward spiral had accelerated. People were entranced by TV so that “amusing themselves to death” was trivializing history, politics and journalism.  Propaganda was replacing truth and repeating a lie often enough was a set policy. Demagogues and dictatorships were following his cookbook for control. Creation of short sound bites had replaced intelligent discourse.  A president was reduced to a TV personality . The pursuit of recreation had supplanted most of the non working life. The power elites were grabbing more of the wealth and control with the disparity tween top and the  rest widening.  What is telling is this was in 1958 and if he was alive today and saw the state of the US and other large countries he would not be surprised.  A thinking person should be quite taken with his prescience.  Every educated person should read this and Brave New World. An easy read but also disquieting.

Amusing Ourselves to Death. Public discourse in the age of show business. Neil Postman


Ronald Reagan wearing cowboy hat at Rancho del...

Amusing Ourselves to Death. Public discourse in the age of show business. Neil Postman. 1985. ISBN 0140094385.  This book is over 30 years old – yet it reads as if it was talking about the US today.  Ronald Reagan said politics is like show business. Postman says it now is show business. Mcluhan  said the medium ( television) is the message -Postman says that television has redefined all messages.  The erosion of literacy, interest in history, journalism and intelligent discourse has been accelerated by the transformation of messages into entertaining small sound bytes. He exposes the various lacks of TV to do anything but serving the seeing public – not the learning public. ( To be fair he traces the erosion of learning back to the telegraph which created a flow of news from many other locations, news that to most of us we could not do any action in response to it, just absorb it) , He also draws much out of Huxley’s Brave New World – where learning is dulled by the pursuit of activities and entertainment so that the population is uninterested in anything but being entertained with holidays on soma. ( Huxley in Brave New World revisited speaks to the acceleration of this.

For any leader, educator or intelligent thinker this book is important to read.

Travels. Michael Crichton.

English: American author and speaker Michael C...

Travels. Michael Crichton. 1988. The author of many famous science related thrillers and movies like Jurassic Park, Crichton pens a concise story behind his life. He  covers his time as a medicals student and why he quite after getting his degree.  It certainly seems that he  was a very efficient writer, publishing The Andromeda Strain while still in med school ! He  details his background  and physical and mental journeys through many different experiences.  I was surprised at his dedication to research, his eclectic interests and playful nature toward everything ( Ie a very open mind) .  A real bonus is the appended speech he was to give at Cal Tech on Science and Mysticism. It is a very coherent analysis which presents the material in an open fashion and is well worth the read.

The Power of Moments. Why certain moments have extraordinary impact. Chip Heath and Dan Heath.

The Power of Moments. Why certain moments have extraordinary impact. Chip Heath and Dan Heath. 2017. ISBN 1501147760.  An extraordinary book. The authors have crystallized in quite a short book how to make a major leadership impact though using certain moments in everyday life.  Using four imaging ares of Elevation, Insight, Pride and Connection this book will help you in all parts of your life.  I can see where this would have helped my elevate my teaching times, management roles and personal life.  I recommend this book for all managers as well as individuals. There is a wealth of resources that go with the book at

What the Dog Saw. And other adventures. Malcolm Gladwell.

English: Malcolm Gladwell speaks at PopTech! 2...

What the Dog Saw. And other adventures. Malcolm Gladwell.   2009. ISBN 9780316086134.  I have had this boom on my Kindle for a long time.  Its about time I read it. It is a series of articles that Gladwell published in the New Yorker . As befits such an lofty tome, the writing is clear, erudite and does not sway from the nub of the story. I found them highly interesting and always entertaining.  Gladwell has the gift to ask the unasked question from an unique point of view. This each story has the ability to educate and uplift the reader.  Good book for a lengthy air flight.

The Plant Paradox. The hidden dangers in “healthy” foods that cause disease and weight gain. Steven R. Gundry.

English: Logo of the Declaration for Healthy F...

The Plant Paradox. The hidden dangers in “healthy” foods that cause disease and weight gain. Steven R. Gundry. 2017. ISBN 9780062427144.  Its fifteen years since Dr Gundry wrote  THe Diet Revolution. He has seen way more patients and tested more combinations and compiled more research.  The result is a simplified approach to a life style than The Diet Revolution and a tighter list of foods you should say no to.

He is now  saying that a smart way to have a long and satisfying life is to reduce your daily meat protein intake , using wild seafood , not the other meats.  This is due to the commercialization of the domestic food supply and present  industry methods.  These methods are not followed in Europe so the food supply is better for you there.  He also gives guidance on a healthy plant protein based  food supply , with some plants strongly not recommended.   He now also makes a logical argument  about the benefits of regular fasting to our well being.   Of interest was to read more information on why the healthy gut approach works. which fits in with reading I did last year

I  have been following his guidance for two weeks now. I have had slow steady weight loss, with some increase to my energy levels. I have been reducing my red meat consumption and increasing my plant ( salad)  consumption. I find that this happens with no increased  appetite/ hunger pangs except for an increased desire for even more salads.  I also have been able to isolate the foods that have not been helping me keep to a proper weight.  The program is quite easy and fits in with the generally better food and habits that we have in Canada.  In his book the author needs to be a bit more bombastic as his target is too often some really ill, poorly fed US folks.  I recommend this book as a good idea if you are looking for a health lifestyle change , especially if you are prediabetic or facing other chronic issues, including cancer.