The Path of Least Resistance

path_of_least_resistance

Why did I pick this book?

One of my biases. I like the title. Generally, I operate my life through this path. Well, that has got nothing to what the book has to offer !!

What do I like about the book?

A simple, neat and structure approach to getting creative in life.

What is one interesting idea that I learned?

Structural Tension – The discrepancy between what you want and what you currently have forms the most important structure in the creative process. Highly creative people can live with a higher degree of structural tension.

How long would it take?

2 – 3 hours

Paras or Quotes that I liked

Those who learn to know reality, without holding on to the past, are in best position to truly live with their lives. This is anything but amnesia. This is not forgetting the past, but remembering that the past is over. The past is not the present. Whether the past has been filled with loss or failure or filled with success and victory, the past is not the present. And the present is not the past.

A thousand people could praise a result you had created, but if the result did not satisfy your vision, you would not be ready to acknowledge it as complete. On the other hand, a thousand people might condemn a result you had created, yet if you saw that it satisfied your vision, you would be fully ready to say, “It is done and complete”

Only you have the authority to recognize and confirm that a creation of yours is complete

When you consider your own life, do you hope for the key to instant salvation, either through riches, fame, retirement, or death, or do you see the time you have available as a resource for what your bring into being?

Enjoy Maadi (Have Fun)

Zunder

 

The Stranger in the Woods: The extraordinary story of the last true hermit

stranger_in_the_woods

Why did I pick this book?

Yet again a case of confirmation bias. Any books that has solitude, nature, hermit, monk, saint, philosophy and equivalent gets added to my reading queue !!

What do I like about the book?

I think the author does a fabulous job of Chronicling the life of a person who just vanished for twenty five years . Imagine getting something meaningful out of a person who has lived out of contact with society for twenty five years and yet the book comes as an extremely engrossing read. (Remember, I do have my biases for people who enjoy their own company!)

What is one interesting idea that I learned?

You can be away for twenty five years and still maintain absolute clarity!!

How long would it take?

4 – 5 hours

Paras or Quotes that I liked

The Tao Te Ching says that it is only through retreat rather than pursuit, through inaction rather than action, that we acquire wisdom. “Those with less become content,” says the Tao, “those with more become confused.”

“The more you realize, the more you realize there is nothing to realize,” she said. “The idea that there’s somewhere we have got to get to, and something we have to attain, is our basic delusion.”

Silence, it appears, is not the opposite of sound. It is another world altogether, literally offering a deeper level of thought, a journey to the bedrock of the self.

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “He that thinks most, will say least.” The Tao Te Ching says, “Those who know do not tell; those who tell do not know.

“Ultimately, and precisely in the deepest and most important matters, we are unspeakably alone,”

Enjoy Maadi (Have Fun)

Zunder

The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance


inner_game_of_tennis

Why did I pick this book?

 I have always been fascinated watching this game. From the days of Borg/Mcnroe to Federer/Nadal, this is one sport that continues to inspire me even if I have not managed to hold a tennis racket all my life. I have always wondered if I can watch this game with so much focus, what focus the players who are playing this should be having. Is it Science or Magic?

 What do I like about the book?

 Though the book is about tennis, the ideas and principles elucidated can be extended to excel in any sport or any other skill.

 What is one interesting idea that I learned?

 Thou shall not judge Thou

 How long would it take?

 3 -4 hours

 Paras or Quotes that I liked

 “Focus in tennis is fundamentally no different from the focus needed to perform any task or even to enjoy a symphony; learning to let go of the habit of judging yourself on the basis of your backhand is no different from forgetting the habit of judging your child or boss; and learning to welcome obstacles in competition automatically increases one’s ability to find advantage in all the difficulties one meets in the course of one’s life. Hence, every inner gain applies immediately and automatically to the full range of one’s activities. This is why it is worthwhile to pay some attention to the inner game.

 

The heart of this book and at the heart of the art of doing anything well. Focus means not dwelling on the past, either on mistakes or glories; it means not being so caught up in the future, either its fears or its dreams, that my full attention is taken from the present. The ability to focus the mind is the ability to not let it run away with you. It does not mean not to think—but to be the one who directs your own thinking. Focusing can be practiced on a tennis court, chopping carrots, in a pressure packed board meeting or while driving in traffic. It can be practiced when alone or in conversation. It takes as much trust to fully focus attention when listening to another person without carrying on a side conversation in your own head as it does to watch a tennis ball in all its detail

 

Abandon is a good word to describe what happens to a tennis player who feels he has nothing to lose. He stops caring about the outcome and plays all out.

Not assuming you already know is a powerful principle of focus.

When we plant a rose seed in the earth, we notice that it is small, but we do not criticize it as “rootless and stemless.” We treat it as a seed, giving it the water and nourishment required of a seed. When it first shoots up out of the earth, we don’t condemn it as immature and underdeveloped; nor do we criticize the buds for not being open when they appear. We stand in wonder at the process taking place and give the plant the care it needs at each stage of its development. The rose is a rose from the time it is a seed to the time it dies. Within it, at all times, it contains its whole potential. It seems to be constantly in the process of change; yet at each state, at each moment, it is perfectly all right as it is.”

Enjoy Maadi (Have Fun)

Zunder

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life

badass_book

Why did I pick this book?

Quite frankly, I am not able to remember. I think I added it sometime back to my Kindle queue and was clearing up the queue!

What do I like about the book?

It is written in an easy to absorb style. Cannot refute the logic of what was being said in the book, however clichéd it sounded. It was more like the style, which delivered non-fiction like fiction and I would put this in the category of light reading.

What is one interesting idea that I learned?

It gave an interesting definition of Money.

“Having money is like anything else; a tool. And if you see it that way, making it not just about you, but about a way that you can play a part in the dynamic by which money is used for the betterment of all things, then having money is not only a blessing, it’s a responsibility.”

How long would it take?

2-3 hours

Paras or Quotes that I liked

“Holding on to resentment is like taking poison and waiting for your enemies to die.”

“Most of the time it’s not lack of experience that’s holding us back, but rather the lack of determination to do what we need to do to be successful”

“Giving is one of our greatest joys. It’s also one of the most fearless and powerful gestures there is. When we trust that we live in an abundant universe and allow ourselves to give freely, we raise our frequency, strengthen our faith, and feel awesome, thereby putting ourselves in flow and the position to receive abundant amounts in return.”

“You are responsible for what you say and do. You are not responsible for whether or not people freak out about it”

Enjoy Maadi (Have Fun)

Zunder

Solitude: In Pursuit of a Singular Life in a Crowded World

solitude_book

Why did I pick this book?

Call it the confirmation bias. I like solitude and anyone who can elaborate solitude finds a place in my book shelf.

Also, I liked the author’s End of Absence, which I had written about sometime back.

What do I like about the book?

In a world that encourages you to be connected always, the boons solitude and the banes of not having solitude are elaborated in a nice way.  I vanish at times and when people ask me how can I do that, I have now enough arguments to defend my hoodoo act.

What is one interesting idea that I learned?

I learnt a term called Ludic Loops and could easily relate that to my day to day life.

Ludic loops are short cycles of repeated actions that cater to our id, and to a brute, reptilian desire for play (as opposed to more developed, narrative driven ideas of play that have coherent beginnings and endings). Behavioural psychologists have found that we fall into these miniature, repeating loops of pleasure and are driven to access that pleasure again, again, again, without wondering when it will end. Even the faintest of dopamine hits will work. The discovery of repeating patterns works well—humans are hardwired to enjoy finding patterns

 

How long would it take?

3-4 hours

Paras or Quotes that I liked

True solitude—as opposed to the failed solitude that we call loneliness—is a fertile state, yet one we have a hard time accessing. Once we do make room for it, though, we discover there are needful things hidden in that empty space, still waiting between the flash and action of our social lives.

Perhaps you can judge the inner health of a land by the capacity of its people to do nothing—to lie abed musing, to amble about aimlessly, to sit having coffee—because whoever can do nothing, letting his thoughts go where they may, must be at peace with himself.

Only in solitude could those youths develop the creative habits—journalling, doodling, daydreaming—that lead to original work.

The solitary reader rehearses the lives of others. And I think that must be the definition of empathy—to rehearse the lives of others

Enjoy Maadi (Have Fun)

Zunder

A WORK IN PROGRESS

work_in_progress

Why did I pick this book?

This book was given to me by my sister. Her recommendations on books and music, I take seriously, and it helps me breaks my established inner patterns. She adds a bit of flexibility to my rigidity.

What do I like about the book?

It is not easy to write a memoir. However, this one is written with elegance.

What is one interesting idea that I learned?

That a person can get absolute clarity with life in 21 years and not struggle even after 44 years!

How long would it take?

1-2 hours

Paras or Quotes that I liked

“Everyone has something. Whatever it is, I can’t encourage you enough to do that thing as soon-and as frequently-as possible. In life, you need to allow yourself the room to do what you want to do with the precious time you’re given. Give yourself permission. I’m still young, but I often find myself thinking, “Ah! My time is ticking away! Why am I just sitting here doing nothing?” I need to use all the time I have, while I have it. After clearing that hurdle, you then have to actually do it, which is way more difficult that you might think. It’s not easy breaking down barriers and not give a single damn about the opinions of others. Those opinions shouldn’t inhibit your drive. Allow yourself to go there and add your splash of colour to the world.”

“None of us wants our existence to be based on what-ifs. So in the spirit of our collective interest, I suggest that you too shift your focus. Stop looking over your should. Stop looking off into the distance. Stop dwelling on expectations. Simple take stock and concentrate on how you feel and what you need right now. Then do it! Every decision you take today is a building block for the future that awaits you. As Joseph Campbell once said, “We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.”

Enjoy Maadi (Have Fun)

Zunder

 

Switch

switch

Why did I pick this book?

‘Change’ is the only constant and in our real lives it is so difficult for us to change. Even if we change, it is hard to retain the change. When a book’s cover promises that the changes we dread are easier than what we expect, it is hard to ignore that.

What do I like about the book?

The book is laced with real life evidences about the differences in what we think we ought to do and what we actually do. Some of the evidences caught me by surprise and I had to reluctantly agree I would not have behaved differently in some of the experiments that were conducted.

What is one interesting idea that I learned?

If you have reduce your calorie intake, start with a smaller plate!

How long would it take?

2-3 hours

Paras or Quotes that I liked

To change someone’s behavior, you’have got to change that person’s situation.

Self control is an exhaustible resource

Also, this one page summary will help you relate more to the switch framework proposed by the authors

Enjoy Maadi (Have Fun)

Zunder