Posts tagged Reading
Level Up Your Process to Learn Better, Faster (Learning Overview Part 1)

Over the past few months, I’ve put some time into improving how I learn, and I’d like to share some of that in a series on “metalearning” (learning how to learn). While there are many things I want to cover, from mental models to specific tools, the underlying logic will be to look at learning as a process. Taking a process focus has several benefits - let’s walk through some of the biggest to kick off this series.

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The Bliss of a Bizarro Book Club

While book clubs are great for getting everybody on the same page (har har), a Bizarro Book Club is a way to inject more diversity into your intellectual life. I’ve talked before about the importance of high quality inputs to your creativity, and this is my favorite new method for finding stuff that I would never have on my own. It combines the traditional social benefits of a book club with a much more exciting way of engaging with books, and it’s just as easy to do.

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An Expanded Definition of Reading

We tend to think of “reading” as the time we have a book in front of our face, but when you stop to ask why you are reading, a number of other activities suggest themselves as part of the bigger enterprise. If you are reading to learn, simply passing your eyes over the words will only get you a fraction of what’s there. I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about how to make reading as effective as possible, and below I share my current thinking.

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Storytelling Part 5: Resources for Digging Deeper

I’ve done my best to share a fantastic beginner’s guide to storytelling with this series, but there is a lot of depth to all of the topics that I’ve touched on. Below, I provide my recommendations on resources for digging into Story Structure, Effective Practice, Public Speaking, Oral Storytelling, Writing, and Visual Storytelling. In each section, I’ve provided a handful of my favorite “how to” resources, whether books, blogs, videos, or courses along with a section of illustrative examples applying the lessons you’ll learn from the how to books. These lists are by no means exhaustive, and if I’ve missed any of your favorite works on storytelling, please let me know, as I am always hungry for new insights on the topic.

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The Gleeful Iconoclasm of Zhuangzi

I decided to take advantage of my vacation in China to read some Chinese philosophy in the land that gave it birth. Looking over my bookshelf, I noticed a book I had purchased for a college class - Zhuangzi. In the class we only read a tiny excerpt, and ever since it’s been on my “meaning to read” list. So I ended up pulling it out of my bag and digging in while floating through a landscape that looks exactly like a Chinese landscape painting. 

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On the Usefulness of Fiction

We've talked before about the non-fiction books that have shaped my worldview, but today I want to talk to you about fiction. A lot of my high performing, hard charging friends find it challenging to “waste” time with fiction, but you’re doing yourself a huge disservice if you agree with them. You need fiction in your life. Since I’m wrapping up a vacation where I’ve been able to read some great books, I want to share a few reasons why I think so.

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My Operating Manuals for Life

If you accept that you have your own User Interface, you’re going to need some instructions on how to set it up and maintain it. As you know, my go to source for just about everything is books, and I have found those on the list below especially useful for hacking together my own mental operating system. They currently sit right on my desk where I can see them every day and think about what they mean to me.

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“Super” Combinations from Tools of Titans

I’ve talked a lot about Tools of Titans here, but today I want to share my favorite trick for using the book. While every “tool" in the book is useful individually, I believe some of the material is even more useful when synthesized into a coherent whole. Below, I’m going to share the one that’s been on my mind the most recently, with a concrete example of the super tool in action. 

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Jeff's Recommended Self-Improvement Reading

Below is an annotated list of some of my favorite books related to self-improvement and the general pursuit of excellence. It’s a pretty long list, so feel free to skip around to the areas that most grab your interest and come back to revisit when you’re looking for something new. It’s by no means comprehensive, and I’ve always got a whole stack of books waiting to be read, so expect updates and additions down the road. The books below are listed alphabetically by author’s last name within each category.

No time for even skipping around to your favorite categories? Check out my top three.

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