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BOOK REVIEW: THINK AND GROW RICH

I thought my readers might enjoy this book review as much as I did.

The Reading Review

– Napoleon Hill

“Our only limitations are those we set up in our own minds.”

Think and Grow Rich is a classic book, yet its principles are still widely applicable in the modern era. The initial idea to write this book came from Andrew Carnegie. He asked Napoleon Hill to research the techniques which successful people use to achieve their life goals. Hill then spent more than two decades and interviewed about 500 highly successful people to discover their secret formula.

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Book & Product Reviews

Can’t Hurt Me

David Goggins Cant hurt me

I just finished listening to Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins. This audible book was over 13 hours and 30 minutes in length and I enjoyed every minute of it. Most of it is narrated by Adam Skolnick with David Goggins mostly commenting during and after Skolnick read the chapters. I won’t give away the whole plot because quite frankly in-depth book reviews that give you a blow by blow description of the of the book just ruin it for you.

So why should you read or listen to this book? Well #1 it is an extremely inspiring story of someone who had to overcome unbelievable odds to achieve what he did. This guy literally tortured himself to get through both Navy Seals and Army Rangers training. There are some brutal descriptions of the pain he endured and his incredible will to succeed. There are many episodes where he did some crazy things like running 100 mile ultra marathons and even set a Guinness book of record for the most pull-ups completed in a 24 hour time period.

This is truly a mind over matter story, where David does some pretty insane things to make him what he calls hard or a bad mother fucker. Yes there is lots of swearing in the book, but you would have already guessed that if you have seen any of his YouTube videos. While the things he did to his body seem a bit crazy his motivation was geared towards making himself mentally tough.

I highly recommend you check out this book. It was so interesting that I listed to it in less than two days. In fact I found it so damn inspiring that I started running again, even getting my lazy ass out in the rain this morning for another run. If you are operating on anything less than 100% effort in your life you need to check this out. I’m going to plug the audio version because there is a lot of commentary by David Goggins during and after the chapters that would not be in the written version. Often the primary narrator would ask David questions and so you get some additional insights only available on the audio book.

While much of this book is about David Goggins overcoming physical challenges, there is certainly lots of lessons that can apply to any challenge your are facing in your life. As David says often in the book “Roger That”.

One last thing I want to mention. Sometimes we get way to comfortable in the work we do, or we become victims due to our own whining and complaining. We kind of give up and feel sorry for ourselves making our problems at work or at home more significant than they really are. Yes, I do this shit too. This book will give you a different perspective on life. After listening to this book I wrote on my whiteboard the following:

Whiteboard can't hurt me

Sorry about the swearing.

Namaste

Book & Product Reviews

The China Study

The China Study

The China Study was written by T. Colin Campbell, PhD and Thomas M. Campbell II, MD. I’m sure many of you have read the Atkins Revolution, The Paleo Diet, or any number of diet books on Keto, or some other high fat or high protein low carb diet. This book is in sharp contrast to these other books and written by authors that actually studied nutrition for many years. This is not some fad bullshit diet as posed by some of these other authors that want you to put copious amounts of saturated or unsaturated fat into your body to lose weight. In fact this book is not about a diet for losing weight, although you probably would if you ate the way the authors recommend.

If you are looking to read a book about losing weight I would skip this one, but if instead you are interested in your health and understanding how real research and science was used to make a convincing case for a whole food plant based (WFPB) diet then I encourage you to pick up a copy. I read the first 4 parts of this book which was about about 235 of the 451 pages. The last 100 pages are appendices and references. The book reads more like a scientific journal on nutrition than you will find in some of the afore mentioned books written by the diet gurus.

I don’t want to spoil it for you because I am not making any recommendations regarding how or what you should eat. I think reading the book will overwhelmingly convince you that we have been fed a lot of bullshit by the diet gurus like Atkins and even our own government regarding nutrition and diets. You will be shocked by the evidence presented in this book about the benefits of a whole food plant based diet versus a diet rich in animal proteins or fats. The fact based conclusions will make you think about what your eating and how it is affecting your health.

Let me state that I am not a vegan or even a lacto/ovo vegetarian. I am not here to admonish meat eaters or make some philosophical case for being a vegan. However I will tell you that this book has made me re-think a lot of things about my diet and the consequences of consuming animal protein, fat, and dairy products.

I highly recommend you spend a few dollars and go out and buy this book, unlike many other books on nutrition this one could have a major impact on your health and well being should you choose to implement the changes in your diet suggested in this book.

If you are looking for more information on The China Study see the Wikipedia reference below:

The China Study is a book by T. Colin Campbell, Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University, and his son Thomas M. Campbell II, a physician. It was first published in the United States in January 2005 and had sold over one million copies as of October 2013, making it one of America’s best-selling books about nutrition.[2]

The China Study examines the link between the consumption of animal products (including dairy) and chronic illnesses such as coronary heart diseasediabetesbreast cancerprostate cancer, and bowel cancer.[3] The authors conclude that people who eat a predominantly whole-food, plant-based diet—avoiding animal products as a main source of nutrition, including beef, pork, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese, and milk, and reducing their intake of processed foods and refined carbohydrates—will escape, reduce, or reverse the development of numerous diseases. They write that “eating foods that contain any cholesterol above 0 mg is unhealthy”.[4]

The book recommends sunshine exposure or dietary supplements to maintain adequate levels of vitamin D, and supplements of vitamin B12 in case of complete avoidance of animal products.[5] It criticizes low-carb diets, such as the Atkins diet, which include restrictions on the percentage of calories derived from carbohydrates[6] The authors are critical of reductionist approaches to the study of nutrition, whereby certain nutrients are blamed for disease, as opposed to studying patterns of nutrition and the interactions between nutrients.[7]

The book is based on the China–Cornell–Oxford Project, a 20-year study—described by The New York Times as “the Grand Prix of epidemiology”—conducted by the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine, Cornell University, and the University of Oxford. T. Colin Campbell was one of the study’s directors.[8] It looked at mortality rates from cancer and other chronic diseases from 1973–75 in 65 counties in China; the data was correlated with 1983–84 dietary surveys and blood work from 100 people in each county. The research was conducted in those counties because they had genetically similar populations that tended, over generations, to live and eat in the same way in the same place. The study concluded that counties with a high consumption of animal-based foods in 1983–84 were more likely to have had higher death rates from “Western” diseases as of 1973–75, while the opposite was true for counties that ate more plant-based foods.[9]

Notes

  1. ^ The book itself says it was first published in January 1995, but Amazon says December 11, 2004; see The China Study (first edition, hardback), ISBN 978-1932100389, publication date December 11, 2004, amazon.com.
  2. ^ Parker-Pope, Tara. “Nutrition Advice From the China Study”The New York Times, January 7, 2011.

    Bittman, Mark. “Tough Week for Meatless Monday”The New York Times, June 29, 2011.

    For over one million copies sold, “The China Study”, the chinastudy.com, archived October 18, 2013.

  3. ^ Sherwell, Philip. “Bill Clinton’s new diet: nothing but beans, vegetables and fruit to combat heart disease”The Daily Telegraph, October 3, 2010.
  4. ^ Campbell and Campbell 2005, p. 132.
  5. ^ Campbell and Campbell 2005, pp. 232, 242, 361ff.
  6. ^ Campbell and Campbell 2005, pp. 95–96.
  7. ^ Scrinis, Gyorgy. Nutritionism: The Science and Politics of Dietary Advice, Columbia University Press, 2013, p. 16.
  8. ^ That the book is “loosely based” on this project, see Scrinis 2013, p. 182.

    Brody, Jane E. “Huge Study Of Diet Indicts Fat And Meat”The New York Times, May 8, 1990 (hereafter Brody (New York Times) 1990), p. 1.

    Campbell, T. Colin; Chen Junshi; and Parpia, Bandoo. “Diet, lifestyle, and the etiology of coronary artery disease: the Cornell China Study”The American Journal of Cardiology, 82(10), supplement 2, November 1998, pp. 18–21.

  9. Jump up to:a b c “China-Cornell-Oxford Project”, Cornell University, accessed March 31, 2012.

    “Geographic study of mortality, biochemistry, diet and lifestyle in rural China” ArchivedSeptember 11, 2010, at the Wayback Machine., Clinical Trial Unit and Epidemiological Studies Unit, University of Oxford, accessed March 31, 2012.

    “Chinese ecological studies Archived July 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., Clinical Trial Unit and Epidemiological Studies Unit, University of Oxford, accessed March 31, 2012.

    Campbell, T. Colin, et al. China: From Diseases of Poverty to Diseases of Affluence. Policy implications of the Epidemiological Transition”Ecology of Food and Nutrition, 27(2), 1992, pp. 133–144 (courtesy link).

    “Switch to Western diet may bring Western-type diseases”Cornell Chronicle, June 28, 2001.

  10. ^ Brody (New York Times) 1990.
  11. ^ Gupta, Sanjay. “Gupta: Becoming heart attack proof”, CNN, 25 August 2011.
  12. ^ Sherwell, Philip. “Bill Clinton’s new diet: nothing but beans, vegetables and fruit to combat heart disease”The Daily Telegraph, October 3, 2010.

    Martin, David S. “From omnivore to vegan: The dietary education of Bill Clinton” (video), CNN, August 18, 2011.

  13. ^ Arnold, Wilfred Niels. “The China Study”Leonardo, accessed August 29, 2011.
  14. ^ Cordain, Loren and Campbell, T. Colin. “The Protein Debate”Performance Menu: Journal of Nutrition & Athletic Excellence, 2008, accessed August 28, 2011.
  15. ^ Hope, Harriet (2009-04-09). “The China Study”.
  16. ^ Yang, Ling (2006-01-07). “Incidence and mortality of gastric cancer in China”World Journal of Gastroenterology12 (1): 17–20. doi:10.3748/wjg.v12.i1.17ISSN 1007-9327PMC 4077485PMID 16440411.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_China_Study

Book & Product Reviews

The Power of Now

The Power of Now

I have listened to the audio book The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle a number of times but this is the first time I’ve written anything about it. The premise of the book as you might expect is the value of living in the present moment, in the now. The audio book is over seven and half hours long, with the hardcover version of the book containing 208 pages. I really enjoyed this book probably because I tend to get lost in thoughts of the future, which frankly have me missing the great things that I am should be experiencing in the present moment. 

Maybe you don’t have this problem but instead you are thinking about what happened yesterday or a decade ago, spending most of your time living in the past. In either case whether you spend your time living in the future or the past we are missing out on the serenity available living in the present moment. Sounds easy, but take the time to notice what you normally think about and you will notice that your thoughts are often centered around what I have to do later, tomorrow, or next week. In The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle makes a compelling case for living in the present moment, the only real moment you have. 

I love listening to or reading books by Eckhart Tolle as they help ground me and remind me to live in the present, where I can focus and enjoy life more fully. If I am feeling like I am living too much in the future I listen to The Power of Now or A New Earth Awakening. I highly recommend this book and would love to know what you think, so don’t feel bashful about leaving a comment.

Below is a pretty good introduction into Eckhart Tolle’s philosophy.

 

A bit about the author from Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eckhart_Tolle

Eckhart Tolle (born Ulrich Leonard Tölle, February 16, 1948) is a spiritual teacher. He is a German-born resident of Canada best known as the author of The Power of Now and A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. In 2008, The New York Times called Tolle “the most popular spiritual author in the United States”. In 2011, he was listed by Watkins Review as the most spiritually influential person in the world. Tolle is not identified with any particular religion, but he has been influenced by a wide range of spiritual works.

Tolle said he was depressed for much of his life until age 29, when he underwent an “inner transformation”. He then spent several years wandering “in a state of deep bliss” before becoming a spiritual teacher. He moved to Vancouver, British Columbia in 1995 and currently divides his time between Canada and California. He began writing his first book, The Power of Now, in 1997 and it reached The New York Times Best Seller list in 2000.

The Power of Now and A New Earth sold an estimated three million and five million copies respectively in North America by 2009. In 2008, approximately 35 million people participated in a series of 10 live webinars with Tolle and television talk show host Oprah Winfrey. In 2016, Tolle was named in Oprah’s SuperSoul 100 list of visionaries and influential leaders.

Namaste

 

 

 

 

Book & Product Reviews

Crime and Punishment

crime and punishment

I just finished listening to the audio book Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky. This part of the my own personal discovery of Russian novelists. I have been reading The Gulag Achipelago by Solzhenitsyn, enjoying it very much so I thought I would check out one of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s famous novels. Written in installments in 1886 the book centers around a central character Rodion Raskolnikov sometimes just referred to as Raskolnikov in the book. Raskolnikov is a student living in Saint Petersburg, who falls upon hard times and commits a capital crime. I won’t spoil it for you by going into a lot of details, but let’s just say it is pretty unexpected.

I just wanted to state that I don’t write book reviews that summarize the story line, which would frankly just ruin it for you should you decide to read or listen to the book. My purpose for writing these reviews is more about offering up an opinion of whether the book is worth reading and how it made me feel.

If you have ever read anything from Dostoevsky or Solzhenitsyn you have a pretty good idea of what Russia was like late 1800’s through mid 1900’s. This book provides a wonderful depiction of the plight of the people during that time period and the pathetic living conditions the Russian people experienced. This book is not one of those uplifting novels that I normally write about; instead it is all pretty morbid. If I could sum up the book in a couple of sentences it would be something like this:

An in-depth character study of what desperate people are willing to do to each other. Secondly the price one pays for their indiscretions in terms of guilt and self loathing. 

Recommendation:

Fyodor Dostoevsky is a talented writer and I would read other books that he has written, but I kind of like this kind of morbid stuff. This is a very long book, with the audio book being over 21 hours, so be prepared to invest some serious time reading or listening to this book. There are chapters that kind of drag on and on, so you need to be willing to deal with that as the author delves deeper into the characters and their relationship to each other. I’m a bit torn about recommending this unless you have read something like the Gulag Archipelago and enjoyed it. The author is a fascinating character and you will see portions of his own life reflected in his writing.

A little bit about Dostoevsky from Wikipedia:

Born in Moscow in 1821, Dostoevsky was introduced to literature at an early age through fairy tales and legends, and through books by Russian and foreign authors. His mother died in 1837 when he was 15, and around the same time, he left school to enter the Nikolayev Military Engineering Institute. After graduating, he worked as an engineer and briefly enjoyed a lavish lifestyle, translating books to earn extra money. In the mid-1840s he wrote his first novel, Poor Folk, which gained him entry into St. Petersburg’s literary circles. Arrested in 1849 for belonging to a literary group that discussed banned books critical of “Tsarist Russia”, he was sentenced to death but the sentence was commuted at the last moment. He spent four years in a Siberian prison camp, followed by six years of compulsory military service in exile. In the following years, Dostoevsky worked as a journalist, publishing and editing several magazines of his own and later A Writer’s Diary, a collection of his writings. He began to travel around western Europe and developed a gambling addiction, which led to financial hardship. For a time, he had to beg for money, but he eventually became one of the most widely read and highly regarded Russian writers.

Namaste

 

Book & Product Reviews

Extreme Ownership

Extreme Ownership

I just finished the book Extreme Ownership written by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. This book was written by two Navy Seals who led forces in the city of Ramadi, Iraq. While much of this book is about missions that occurred in Ramadi, the true purpose is to outline the leadership lessons learned during the war with the insurgency. Each chapter reviews a different leadership principle and the authors take turns providing examples on how this leadership principle applies to business.

I’m not going to go into each of the leadership principles covered in this book, but one that comes up over and over in the book is the idea of taking extreme ownership of everything, leaving  your ego at the door, and taking responsibility for all outcomes.

What I liked:

  • The stories about the Navy Seals operations are compelling and help to illustrate a particular leadership principle.
  • The authors are knowledgeable and apply these principles learned on the battle field to situations in business.
  • I actually listened to the audio book and the narration by Jocko and Leif was very good, although the recordings by Jocko had some kind of click in them, which was a bit annoying.
  • Several really great principles are outlined throughout the book and they are explained in great detail, providing why the principle is important.
  • The way the leadership principles are delivered makes a big impact, after all these two guys were Navy Seals commanders.

What I didn’t like:

  • Most of the leadership principles in the book are not really anything new. Although this can be true of a lot of books and it didn’t really detract from the message.

Overall:

I really enjoyed the book and while some of the principles are well known, the way they are delivered and woven together helps to reinforce them for the reader. The authors do a great job of using leadership principles learned in the military and providing examples of how they can be used in a business setting. The authors are now consultants and have a lot of experience helping companies implement the leadership principles outlined in this book. I will read or listen to this book again, it is very inspiring.

Namaste

 

 

Book & Product Reviews

Man’s Search for Meaning

Viktor Frankl 2

This happens to be a review of an audio book that I have listened to a couple times. Man’s Search for Meaning was written by Viktor E. Frankl (26 March 1905 – 2 September 1997) first published in 1946. Viktor Frankl was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor. As I have mentioned in the past my book reviews tend to focus more on what you can learn from the book than some blow by blow account of the work. This book is broken up into two parts with the first part being Viktor Frankl’s experience at the German concentration camp Auschwitz and the second part being an overview of his psychotherapy method Logotherapy.

Auschwitz1

(picture of the entrance into Auschwitz)

Auschwitz was probably the most notorious of the Nazi Germany concentration camps where thousands of people were either killed in gas chambers, shot, or starved to death. Viktor Frankl starts out Man’s Search for Meaning with his account of Auschwitz from the day he arrived to the day it was liberated by the Soviet army in 1945. Prior to the Soviets actually stepping foot in Auschwitz the SS guards marched some 60,000 prisoners to the city of Wodzislaw in the western part of Upper Silesia. It is estimated that at minimum 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz between 1940 and 1945; of these, at least 1.1 million were murdered.

viktor-frankl-quote

In this book Viktor Frankl spends most of his time in the first section on his observations of the guards and prisoners; much of this is difficult to read or as in my case listen to. As you read or listen to this book you will be struck by what an incredible human being Viktor Frankl was. Clearly there was something special about him aside from his education and training or maybe because of it, he was able to survive in this situation with such an outstanding perspective on life. If there is a positive aspect to adversity it is that it reveals the true character of a person, and in Viktor Frankl’s case it reveals courage, compassion, love, hope, and intelligence. There are some great lessons in this book that you the reader can take away from it, making it a must read.

LOGOTHERAPY

The second part of this book is devoted to Logotherapy, which was developed a psychotherapy methodology. I found this part of the book less compelling than the first section, but interesting enough for me to study it further.  Logotherapy is based on an existential analysis focusing on Kierkegaard’s will to meaning as opposed to Adler’s Nietzschean doctrine of will to power or Freud’s will to pleasure. Rather than power or pleasure, logotherapy is founded upon the belief that it is the striving to find a meaning in one’s life that is the primary, most powerful motivating and driving force in humans (Wikipedia).

Should you read or listen to this book? I found this book to be very inspiring for several reasons. First and foremost the book provides many insights into the character of man, from the dark inhumanity of the guards in the concentration camp to the contrast of spirit, love, and humanity of the prisoners. I think Viktor Frankl makes a great case for how meaning and having a why in your life can overcome almost any situation. This book is a real gem and highly recommended. While you will be shocked by the inhumanity, you will also be inspired by the greatness that exists in humanity.

Namaste