Book Review – Anything You Want

Summary

Derek Sivers a musician disrupts the music industry and creates CD Baby after being turned away from music distributors as “only record labels are allowed to deal with us, we dont work directly with the artists”. Sivers creates CD Baby to sell his music. Anything You Want describes 40 lessons learned during this time.

My Takeaways

A short book meant to be read in about an hour, I really liked it, I think because its so short it really cuts to the chase without any of the usual bumf. I like Sivers cynicism of how he didn’t really want to have a business or expand as rapidly as he did. With the book being so short I dont have a huge amount to say about it, being able to get though it in an hour does anything I think really matter you may as well just pick it up and see for yourself.

Favorite Quotes

“Most people don’t know why they’re doing what they’re doing. They imitate others, go with the flow, and follow paths without making their own. They spend decades in pursuit of something that someone convinced them they should want, without realizing that it won’t make them happy. Don’t” – Derek Sivers

“Don’t be on your deathbed someday, having squandered your one chance at life, full of regret because you pursued little distractions instead of big dreams.” – Derek Sivers

In the end, it’s about what you want to be, not what you want to have.” – Derek Sivers

“If you think your life’s purpose needs to hit you like a lightning bolt, you’ll overlook the little day-to-day things that fascinate you.” – Derek Sivers

“any business that’s in business to sell you a cure is motivated not to focus on prevention” – Derek Sivers

Closing Words

A short blog post for a short book, I would recommend this book as a must read, I really enjoyed it, I enjoyed Sivers humor and had an interest in what he had to say. Buy it, read it, if you like it great, if not you’ve only lost an hour.

Book Review – Atomic Habits

Summary

Atomic Habits by James Clear is one of those books you see recommended by everyone and after reading I can see why. I started reading the book in November last year but, most of my reading stopped in December and have only gotten around to finishing it off now. The books like its title suggests is about habits. How habits are created, how to form good habits, how to stick with new habits, how to break bad habits. It describes a process of forming or breaking habits. Atomic Habits describes a process of breaking habits down into tiny “atomic” increments where it takes only a short time to complete (5-10 minutes max). An example would be teaching yourself piano, rather than learn a whole song learn only a few keys, practice these keys daily until the become second nature then move on to the next keys. While slow at first eventually you will be able to play a whole song, the process of learning and practicing these small increments each day compounds until it’s a habit of yours that you play piano.

My Takeaways

I enjoyed the book although I have found the topic of habits interesting and have had previous exposure to the topic when reading about getting a better nights sleep. I hope James Clears words stick when I am trying out something new I have a tendency to dive in head first, obsess over a topic then burn out, either because I am not seeing progress quick enough or I don’t have the skills required to get where I want to be. Adopting some of the methods described in Atomic Habits will allow me to see more projects/activities though to the end. I read the book on my kindle I would say it would be better in print form as there are a few tables within the book that I found hard to digest on my e-reader.

Favorite Quotes

“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity.” – James Clear

“Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress.” – James Clear

“Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement” – James Clear

“Some people spend their entire lives waiting for the time to be right to make an improvement.” – James Clear

Closing Words

Would I recommend the book? I would if you have an interest in habits and like to do many hobbies or activities but struggle to keep them up or see them through to where you wish to be.

Book Review – 5am Club – Robin S. Sharma

“Living the same week a few thousand times and calling it a life. I need to tell you that too many among us die at thirty and are buried at eighty.” – Robin S. Sharma

5am Club a book by Robin S. Sharma speaks about the benefits of waking up at 5am everyday before the rest of the world rises. The self help book takes the form of a story where 2 people meet a homeless man at a conference in New York, the homeless man turns out to be a world eccentric business mogul and billionaire Stone Riley. Stone takes it upon himself to teach his new found friends the ways for the 5am club as the travel the globe on his private jets learning they ways to bulletproof your life and achieve greatness through rising at 5am.

The book speaks of the 20/20/20 concept where you wake at 5am, perform 20 minutes of intense exercise, 20 minutes of self reflection such as meditation or journaling and 20 minutes of growth through reading and learning, the idea of doing this at 5am gives you 1hr of pure self care without distraction before everyone else starts to begin their days. It also touches on subjects that we as humans are meant to rise with the sun like our ancestors of old and that the human mind and body is at the most productive at first light rather than burning the midnight oil before going to sleep.

“All change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.” – Robin S. Sharma

The book doesn’t shy away from delivering hard truths, it bluntly states that most people lack the ability to rise at 5am that the temptation is just to much to fall back onto the pillow and go back to sleep and that waking at 5am is a true mind over matter battle that only the most dedicated can achieve. The books discusses issues on social media and our inability to escape news and current affairs keeping us in an endless trap glues to our smart phones scrolling though social media for a quick happiness fix when all it really does it leave us hungering for more.

“Limitation is nothing more than a mentality that too many good people practice daily until they believe it’s reality.” – Robin S. Sharma

The story itself following the three protagonists around is somewhat shallow, you can predict what going to happen next quite easily, although I do understand the story is only present to provide a framework for delivering a larger methodology but I felt it quite corny at times.

Ironically my major takeaway from the book is not that waking at 5am will solve all of your problems but the fact that implementing small but good habits and sticking to them overtime can result in a great amount of self improvement and a level of increased happiness.

I enjoyed the book, I might read another of the authors publications in time, but I won’t be rushing out to the pick it up straight away.