Book Summaries

I just don’t have the time and discipline to read all the books that I would like. There are a few services that cater to this.

Blinkist is a popular paid service with many book summaries and a helpful app. The summaries typically take 10-15 minutes to read.

Deconstructing Excellence is a free blog with longer book summaries that focuses on excellence. To understand their philosophy, read this.

The accessibility of habits and grit…

It strikes me that two major determinants of success, habits and grit, are accessible to most people. Certainly, talent and intelligence will play a role in success, but I suspect they play more of a role in where we succeed, not whether we succeed. Those who succeed the most, I think, pursue their areas of special ability with good habits and grit. They recognize their strengths and follow them, but continuing to work on their weaknesses.

Much like the tortoise and the hare, those who continue to move forward may succeed despite an apparent lack of native ability. Fortunately, habits and grit can change, even if we can’t change your native ability. This is how we develop skills.

I injured myself today doing a deadlift where I didn’t realize how much of a jump in weight I was doing. I have worked hard to avoid injury in CrossFit, but I learned today that I will need to be more careful. I see the potential for learning a lot from this injury and how I might’ve avoided it. Injury can slow progress. We need to learn from these experiences and then carry on.

Two books to review:

The power of habit.


Break Bad Habits with a Checklist

The idea of changing habits with a checklist is a powerful one for both individuals and organizations.

For individuals …

For organizations …

I need to have enough confidence in the checklist to trust it enough to discount my feelings in the moment in order to stick to my plan (that I have carefully thought through).

How To Start New Habits That Actually Stick

This blog post  is quite a nice summary of the most useful part of Charles Duhigg’s best–selling book, The Power of Habit.

When we are trying to be better, we usually focus on the decisions that we make. We hope that if we can just make better decisions, then we could be better people.

Habits, however, define much more of our day than our decisions do. The power of habit is part of the reason that changing our lives can be so hard. However, if we can understand how to change our habits, the power of habit can make change much more powerful and permanent.

Every habit you have has a

  1. Reminder,
  2. Routine, and
  3. Reward

You can take advantage of this to learn how to change the habits that shape your life. Start by looking at the habits that you have — analyze it. What is the reminder, the routine, and the reward? Once we identify the habit, we can start to think about how to change it.

You can take advantage of this to learn how to change the habits that shape your life.

If you want a short summary of this powerful book, I think that James Clear summarizes it well.

The Warren Buffett Way

I’m listening to The Warren Buffett Way: 3rd Edition by Robert Hagstrom.  I have found biographies generally to be some of the greatest stories of real life characters, full of nuance and insight that I haven’t seen as much in fiction, or at least the fiction that I have read.

This book in particular, although not strictly a biography, has certainly influenced the way that I think about financial success and how to achieve it.

The Habit Book

This book has been a surprise influence on me more than any other in recent memory. I have other books that still are more important to me, but this one changed the way I think about my day and about how habits influence my life.