Books are wonderful because they make me think.
The book pile on my table is there for a reason.
They want me to think.
Actually, no, I should not say that. The books are there to challenge how I think about myself. Every title sitting on my working desk suggests one thing to me.
I know too little, and it is time to poke the neurological box.
It has been a tough week at work so far. Deadlines are missed, one after another, and I am not in the best state of health.
I slept more than usual, only to wake up desiring a longer eye-shut.
Get off your ass, Aldric. Come on!
I mechanically responded to my inner voice. I moved to the kitchen to make a pot of coffee after a smooth transition from a horizontal position to a vertical one.
I looked outside the windows and noticed a light drizzle. Staring at my reflection from the window with the rain as the background, I kept thinking that it is a beautiful day to take a break.
Come on, Aldric. You can do this!
Alright, Devil (Angel?), I got you.
I head to my working desk.
I love books.
I love to read and learn something that I never knew. There is so much knowledge in this world that makes me a student until the day I cease to exist.
I settled at my desk, powered on my laptop, and waited for it to be ready.
Actually, I was feeling restless.
My eyes went to the pile of books at the side of the table. Each of these titles contains a treasure trove of life wisdom that, failing to read them will become a sin in its own right.
These are the titles I refer to: –
- The Psychology of Stupidity.
- 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.
- The New Great Depression: Winners and Losers in a Post-Pandemic World.
- The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure.
My eyes are fixated on the books. And so, moments later, I decided to power off my laptop.
I zipped into my reading mode.
When it comes to the 4 books on my desk, 3 of them are new purchases, and I have not read them yet. There is one that I repeatedly flip its pages.
I enjoy listening to Grant Cardone’s YouTube clips. He is full of energy and positivity, and his book is no different.
The chapter I enjoyed the most is Chapter 22, On Excuses.
He must have thought long and hard about excuses. I love the way he brings his messages across. There is elegance in simplicity.
To him, excuses demonstrate that we are not interested in the work we are currently doing. That is why we keep avoiding doing them.
I love it.
He speaks the truth. I reflect on my work each time I read and re-read Chapter 22. I believe in work and productivity. Anytime I find excuses to avoid doing something means precious time wasted.
I cannot afford that. Life is too short.
And so, I would routinely journal my week to sift out work that I routinely procrastinate, and I can assign them away.
It frees my time for work I am willing to commit my time and energy to.
I like to reflect, and I have one weird behaviour.
I enjoy writing down what I know about the topic before I start reading the new books. This has been particularly useful for me to anchor what I know and what I am going to learn.
Many thoughts whizz past my mind when I stare at the book cover of The Psychology of Stupidity. I ask myself the following questions: –
- Am I stupid?
- Are people stupid?
- If so, why?
I like to think that I am stupid in my own right. It puts me in a good state of mind, where I do not take things for granted, and I have to keep learning to a better version of myself today.
Complacency does not exist when I am stupid.
Hard work matters.
Having an open mind matters too.
We have to have an open mind as we trudge ahead. 2020, 2021 has not been a kind year for those who want to cruise along. Global economic growth may have rebounded, or at least that is reported on mainstream media, and people around us are struggling to hand on to their jobs.
The Pandemic era has accelerated the trend to move from physical to digital.
Many people who have hopped on the digital bandwagon before 2020 would have reaped the rewards of doing so. It applies to me too. However, many are still struggling. Thus, I do think one Golden Rule of Life is to have empathy.
Empathy is important. So is our ability to think.
There are many conspiracy theorists out there living life as if nothing has happened. Of course, this is a matter of perspective.
However, I would like to say that protecting ourselves and our loved ones should be at the top of our list. When it comes to health, there is no second chance.
It is a one and done.
Are we heading into a New Great Depression? I would like to think that we are already in one. It is hard to think otherwise, especially when the no. 1 consumer economy is spending trillions in stimulus programs to jump-start its sputtering economy.
Life has been difficult so far, and it will continue to be so.
At least for the next couple of months.
I love reading. It clears my mind.
It puts me in a good position to reflect as well. No one wants to be in a worse-off position compared to yesterday. We strive to be better.
Reflection through journaling helps us anchor what we know.
Consuming new content and knowledge acquisition brings us that elusive 1% self-improvement we seek.
At least, that is what I understood from the books that I read.
Words by Aldric Chen
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