Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Some Recommended Reading [Nonfiction]

I’ve setup a recommended reading page of some nonfiction books that I’ve recently read and some books I plan to read soon. Many are are included in the “Personal MBA” reading list or they are in my wife’s MBA reading list. Enjoy!


Challenge: 101 Goals in 1001 Days

goals101 Goals in 1001 Days is such a great idea, I just cannot resist it.

This challenge is to prepare a list of 101 things you would like to do in the next 1001 days. You can choose to start the list today or work on your list and start in the next week. This site is the originator of the idea and the rules:

Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on your part).

Here are some other people doing this challenge. Have a look at their lists to get some ideas.

I am creating a page to track my goals and I will post different challenges and results as I go. Now, that I am back from my honeymoon in Greece, and my honey is back in school and spending a lot of her time doing schoolwork, I will have some free time to focus on personal development projects (and maybe doing more posts here too).

Also, tomorrow is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. I’m not Jewish, but I figure this is a perfect time for new resolutions. This holiday is not about drinking, but about self-reflection and self-improvement.

Challenge #14: Trade Your Old Books for New Books

Books!Let’s face it. We all have lots of books on our bookshelves that we aren’t going to read, but we are still inexplicably unwilling to part with them. Here is one solution that can free you from this clutter: Use a book swapping site to offer them up to other people who want to read them.

One reason we don’t want to part with them is because they still have perceived value to us. However, if we can pass that value onto someone else and get something in return, then the equation completely changes. Then we can be free from the tyranny of our old clutter.

Your challenge is to take the first steps to get rid of the surplus books on your bookshelf.

Here are a bunch of options for parting with old books or trading them for new books.

I just joined one of the sites mentioned in the above link. (The one I joined is called Bookins and here is a referral link if you are interested.)

Ben Franklin’s Moral Perfection Project

Managing Goals
Today a guest blogger at offers some solid advice about the importance of focusing on goal at a time. Here is her post on The Power of One and below is Benjamin Franklin’s blog posting autobiography on the same topic.

While still a young man in Philadelphia, Franklin made a list of thirteen goals of virtue for himself, and devised a method to perfect these virtues.

These names of virtues, with their precepts, were:

  1. TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  2. SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  3. ORDER. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  4. RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  5. FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
  6. INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  7. SINCERITY. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
  8. JUSTICE. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  9. MODERATION. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  10. CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation.
  11. TRANQUILLITY. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  12. CHASTITY. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.
  13. HUMILITY. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

His Plan:

My intention being to acquire the habitude of all these virtues, I judged it would be well not to distract my attention by attempting the whole at once, but to fix it on one of them at a time; and, when I should be master of that, then to proceed to another, and so on, till I should have gone thro’ the thirteen; and, as the previous acquisition of some might facilitate the acquisition of certain others, I arranged them with that view, as they stand above.

He Continues:

And like him who, having a garden to weed, does not attempt to eradicate all the bad herbs at once, which would exceed his reach and his strength, but works on one of the beds at a time.

A couple other interesting notes:

  • He only gave himself one week to acquire each virtue. If you ever make a list of habits, I recommend at least three weeks to acquire a each new habit. This has been show to be a more effective length of time.
  • He found the virtue of ORDER the most difficult to attain. He said that his excellent memory reduced the necessity and the benefit of organisation. Later in life, as his memory started to fail, he regretted his disorganisation more.
  • Be warned, as much as I agree with this “one goal at a time” philosophy, this Personal Challenge blog could easily have a half dozen goal-based challenges going on at the same time. I think one can juggle several balls in the air if one makes sure that each ball has its own space to move in.

Personal Challenge #3: Write a book review

Have you ever written a review of a book that you’ve read? Me neither. Heck, until a couple days ago I’ve never had or posted to a blog.

Many times I have been tempted to write a review of a book I just read. So, today’s challenge is to write an online book review by tomorrow. I’m thinking that mine will be on Amazon.