Saltwater Buddha

Summary: 

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Jaimal Yogis is fed up with living in the suburbs and picks up in his teens and heads off to Hawaii in search of something more. 

This book is like Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha meets surfing bum. 

It is a pretty easy read and somewhat captivating tale for anyone who has dreamed of picking up and going to live on an island as surfing bum. The author talks life, meaning, meditation, and surfing. What else could you possibly need? 

Favorite Passages: 

“Surfing is kind of a good metaphor for the rest of life. The extremely good stuff - chocolate and great sex and weddings and hilarious jokes - fill a minute portion of an adult lifespan. The rest of life is the paddling: work, paying bills, flossing, getting sick, dying.” 

“I guess even the prettiest things eventually end up stinking. Everything does. We all will die and rot and decay and be reborn as dirt or flowers or worms, or polar bears who will drown because their ice is all melting, or presidents of war-torn countries or whales swimming around acidifying seas. And then we will rot and decay again. And so it goes.”

“Suffering is an experience in the mind, master your thoughts- or simply let them be without constant reactions and identifications- and you master reality”

“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.”

My Takeaways: 

I need to learn how to surf. 

The book reinforces the fact that life involves risk. You can fail at leading a life that you don’t love, so you ought to take a shot pursuing what you do love. 

I think that there is value in taking a break from the traditional 9-5 in pursuit of exploration and adventure in a far-off land. Of course, this book romanticizes the idea. I think he understated the hardship, loneliness, and difficulty he likely faced moving away from family and starting a new life. Nonetheless, I think there is value in overcoming adversity and weathering hardship. It helps you learn about yourself and your environment. 

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Rating:

8/10 Espresso shots.

Easy, enjoyable escape/read. 

Get it at:

https://www.amazon.ca/Saltwater-Buddha-Surfers-Quest-Find/dp/0861715357

The Little book that still beats the market

Summary: 

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The Little Book the still Beats the Market is a good introduction to the market/stock trading. It is a pretty simple and easy read that provides sound principles of investing. Joel Greenblatt uses plain language to describe the basics and nature of the stock market. 

He provides a formula that involves ranking stocks based off of return on capital, and earnings yielded. He advises that you ought to purchase 30 of the best ranking firms based off of this notion described and sit on them until the year is over. Then, repeat this process. 

Favorite Passages: 

"Stock prices move around wildly over very short periods of time. This does not mean that the values of the underlying companies have changed very much during that time period.. the stock market acts very much like a crazy guy named Mr. Market." 

"It is Mr. Market's constantly changing emotional state that creates the bargain opportunities." 

My Takeaways: 

If you are someone who is interested in personal finance, this should be a book that you read in addition to Money (By Tony Robbins, which is my #1 personal finance book recommendation, https://www.amazon.ca/MONEY-Master-Game-Financial-Freedom-ebook/dp/B00MZAIU4G/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1509906556&sr=1-1&keywords=money+tony+robbins ), The Wealthy Barber, The Millionaire Next Door, and Rich Dad Poor Dad. These ought to be on your bookshelf, and it wouldn’t hurt to refer back to them every once in a while. 

If you are not someone who is interested in personal finance you probably should change that. Money is a fundamental component to quality of life, and freedom. For these reasons, it is important to have a basic knowledge of the key ideas and concepts. 

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Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual

Summary: 

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Jocko Willink is a former navy seal commander, who now works with large companies to improve their desired outcomes. Jocko is intense. This book is about his approach/perspective on life, family, business, and health. He details how he attacks things like his workout, procrastination, and learning. 

I recommend listening to the following podcasts prior to purchasing the book. This will give you a taste of what this man is made of. If you are into these conversations than you will want to read the book.

https://tim.blog/2015/09/25/jocko-willink/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnKcquMobHQ

Jocko Willink also has his own podcast now, so check that out on iTunes if the man is speaking to you! 

My Takeaways: 

Jocko is an intense dude, with an intense hunger to improve himself. I believe this trait helped him excel as a navy seal and competitor in general. He is a walking talking example of self-discipline. The most valuable principle I learned is that if you cultivate self-discipline you will be more free and happier in this life. 

Jocko details his workout philosophy, which I found pretty interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed this, but I am someone who nerds out about lifting. It is simple and effective. He does lots of squats, deadlifts, and chin-ups. You will get stronger, and you will look better naked if you follow his advice.  He doesn’t plan “day’s off” because, as he describes, life gets in his way and gives him plenty of “days off”.  Overall this information was worth the cost of the kobo e-book for me. 

Rating:

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Principles

Summary: 

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Bridgewater Associates was founded in 1975, in a two-bedroom apartment. After 40 years, Bridgewater is the most successful hedge fund in history. This book is about everything that the founder, Ray Dalio, has learned about life and work. The contents of the book include a melting pot of economics, management, human psychology, and the anecdotes of the Steve Jobs of investing. 

The cover of the book includes the following endorsement from Bill Gates enough said…

“Ray Dalio has provided me with invaluable guidance and insights that are now available to you in Principles.”

Favorite Passages:  

“Unattainable goals appeal to heroes,” 

“I learned that if you work hard and creatively, you can have just about anything you want, but not everything you want. Maturity is the ability to reject good alternatives in order to pursue even better ones.” 

“In trading, you have to be defensive and aggressive at the same time. If you are not aggressive, you are not going to make money, and if you are not defensive, you are not going to keep the money.” 

“I saw that to do exceptionally well you have to push your limits and that, if you push your limits, you will crash and it will hurt a lot. You will think you have failed—but that won’t be true unless you give up.” 

From Henry David Thoreau: “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however, measured or far away.”

“Listening to uninformed people is worse than having no answers at all.” 

“Imagine that in order to have a great life you have to cross a dangerous jungle. You can stay safe where you are and have an ordinary life, or you can risk crossing the jungle to have a terrific life. How would you approach that choice? Take a moment to think about it because it is the sort of choice that, in one form or another, we all have to make.” 

My Takeaways: 

Ray Dalio has a beautiful mind, which has been sculpted by a lifetime of incredible experience. Do yourself a favor and read this book. After finishing it, I felt like I had seen a sneak peek into a world I did not know existed. There are extremely smart individuals in this world who are teaming up to make significant amounts of money. There are lessons in these pages, which can be implemented to augment your life.  

For me, this book is a reminder that you are the average of the five people that you spend the most time with. I have found, being in a remote place, it difficult to surround myself with groups of people that I inspire to be like. I have addressed this by getting serious about education and learning by way of external sources including books, and podcasts. 

Some key concepts from the book include… 

“Idea Meritocracy” 

The concept means employing methods to ensure that the best ideas win in any environment. This is key in trading because, as Dalio explains, “You have to be an independent thinker who bets against the consensus – and be right.” For this reason, it is optimal to create a culture that is rooted in an idea meritocracy. Everyone must weigh in, ego removed, and as a group objectively arrive at the radical truth about who and what is most correct. 

“Believability” 

At Bridgewater, every employee has a believability rating, which is generated by the accumulation of decisions that the person has made with the company. This score depicts an employee’s believability of being right in the present by their judgment, reasoning, and behavior in the past. Bridgewater has prevented groupthink by inviting dissenting opinions from every employee in the company.

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The Start Up of You

Summary:

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Reid Hoffman, CEO of Linkedin, put together a discussion about how you ought to view your personal development within the scope of “work”. This is not a book that will help you improve your resume. The insights are much more far-reaching than traditional career advice. Some key topics covered are how to develop competitive advantage, how to develop your network, and how to leverage risk.  

Genre: 

Personal Development, Entrepreneurship 

Favorite Passages:

“Unfortunately, for far too many, focused learning ends at college graduation. They read about stocks and bonds instead of reading books that improve their mind. They compare their cash salary to their peers' instead of comparing lessons learned. They invest in the stock market and neglect investing in themselves. They focus, in short, on hard assets instead of soft assets. This is a mistake.”

“Everything in life has some risk, and what you have to actually learn to do is how to navigate it.” 

“for many people “twenty years of experience” is really one year of experience repeated twenty times.” 

“Get busy livin’, or get busy dyin’. If you’re not growing, you’re contracting. If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

My Takeaways:

This book does an effective job influencing you to voraciously pursue learning, within the scope of personal and professional development. It seems that you have two choices when it comes to your personal and professional life. You can proactively take your continuing education into your own hands and really get after it, or you can keep your feet firmly planted in the same space. If you have to think about which approach you are taking thus far, it is likely the latter. This is because if you are taking the advice supplied in this book, you won't have to think about it. You’ll just know you are on the right path. 

You cannot pass the buck off to someone else when it comes to your own personal growth. Inner work requires effort and thought. It is easier to remain stagnant. I’d argue life is more fulfilling if you take the approach described in the book. 

When you put down this book, you feel propelled to take action. I highly recommend checking this book out and seriously consider implementing the actionable takeaways provided at the end of each chapter. Hoffman takes the guesswork out and describes exactly what you should do to ensure you are moving forward. 

Rating:

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8/10 espresso shot’s and a must for anyone entering or thinking about making a change in the workforce. 

Get it at: 

https://www.amazon.ca/Start-up-You-Future-Yourself-Transform-ebook/dp/B0050DIWHU

 

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia

Summary:

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The book is a “how-to” guide for South Asians on how one person goes from impoverished to wealthy. The entire piece is in the second person (ex. You do this…), which makes for an interesting and captivating read. It follows the life of a young-boy as he navigates his way through the childhood, adolescence, and adulthood while growing up in a third world country. When you finish the book, you feel as though you have lived an entire life cycle viewed through the lens of another person’s reality. This is reality is deeply different than my own.

After reading this book, I have read every Mohsin Hamid book published. Every now and then I’ll come across one of his lines and I am reminded that his writing speaks to my heart, whilst punching me in the throat. Due to this characteristic I will buy and read every book he publishes. He has created in me a true fan (http://kk.org/thetechnium/1000-true-fans/).

Genre:

Fiction / Self-help

Favourite passages:

”Look, unless you’re writing one, a self-help book is an oxymoron. You read a self-help book so someone who isn’t yourself can help you, that someone being the author. This is true of the whole self-help genre. It’s true of how-to books, for example. And it’s true of personal improvement books too. Some might even say it’s true of religion books. But some others might say that those who say that should be pinned to the ground and bled dry with the slow slice of a blade across their throats. So it’s wisest simply to note a divergence of views on that subcategory and move swiftly on.”

“This book is a self-help book. Its objective, as it says on the cover, is to show you how to get filthy rich in rising Asia. And to do that it has to find you, huddled, shivering, on the packed earth under your mother’s cot one cold, dewy morning.”

“You feel a love you know you will never be able to adequately explain or express to him, a love that flows one way down the generations, not in reverse, and is understood and reciprocated only when time has made of a younger generation an older one.”

“You are a door to an existence she does not desire, but even if the room beyond is repugnant, that door has won a portion of her affection”

“Writers and readers seek a solution to the problem that time passes, that those who have gone are gone and those who will go, which is to say every one of us, will go. For there was a moment when anything was possible. And there will be a moment when nothing is possible. But in between we can create.”

“She sees how you diminish her solitude, and, more meaningfully, she sees you seeing, which sparks in her that oddest of desires...”

“Without being conscious of it, you have allowed yourself to become fond of him not for the content of his character but for the fidelity of his echo.”

My Takeaways:

Life involves, in no particular order, the following themes; sex, love, loss, death, fulfilment, wealth, ambition, vigor, vitality, and sickness. Some people are more privileged than others to experience more of the good stuff, and less of the bad. In the end we all experience to some degree the themes above. We cannot escape the present moment, therefore as the tides shift the personal human experience will change shape accordingly. We all have inner battles, which our peers will know nothing about.

This book teaches you about compassion and empathy. These are lessons that are not easily soaked up by the populist. Empathetic views are some of the most underrated character traits in the world. This book is a reminder to be compassionate because most people don't have a clue what they are doing. They have been put on this earth, and they are simply trying to do the best they can with the cards they have been dealt. Life is too short to be judgmental and angry. No one gets out of this thing alive, and we are all going to the same place. So, drink generously from life’s portions of passion, fulfillment, ambition, vitality, and love because all of this, one day, will go away.

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Rating (As a coffee-lover, I like to view everything through the acquisition & consumption caffeine):

9 out of 10 espresso shots

Get it at:

https://www.amazon.ca/How-Filthy-Rich-Rising-Asia/dp/1594632332/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1505396815&sr=1-1&keywords=how+to+get+filthy+rich+in+rising+asia