I’m on a journey. Towards self-improvement. Maybe less of a journey and more of a commute. Now that I take a train to work every day, I have newly-found free time. When I look around the train, most people are wasting their minutes scrolling through Facebook or playing Fruit Ninjas on their phones. Not me. I’m reading. A lot. I’ve been focusing on books that might help make my life better. Make me better.
So I’m officially organizing every aspect of my life.
I read, “The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo.” Now every loose pack of floss has been accounted for and stowed away. Every shoe has a match and is facing the same direction in the area that my wife has designed for them.
To get into shape and find some discipline in my discretionary workouts, I breezed through “Living With A Seal,” by Jesse Itzler. The writer hired a live-in navy seal to train him. I don’t think I’ll go that far, but I do find myself doing more burpees in my daily workouts that ever before.
A few years back I read Tony Robbin’s book, “MONEY. Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom.” Recently, I read his follow up, “Unshakeable. Your Financial Freedom Playbook.” Since then, I’ve hired one of his recommended fiduciaries and have a good grasp of how to nurture my nestegg.
For this I went directly to the appropriately-titled, “How to Change Your Mind” by Michael Pollan. It’s about his experimentation with psychedelics and the benefits of taking them. Extreme, sure. But I’m officially intrigued.
One of Mark Zuckerberg’s early advisors tried to warn him about bad people exploiting the security of Facebook’s open platform. He didn’t listen. But I am. I don’t read or react to polarizing news posts and I hardly post myself. Except my articles, naturally. A good but frightening read. “Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe” by Roger McNamee.
”How Not To Die,” by Michael Greger. I could write a year’s worth of posts about this book. The first half breaks down all the deadly diseases in America and how a plant-based diet can radically reduce the risks. The studies to support many of his claims seem cherry-picked. The second half of the book is excellent. He goes through all the best foods to eat and explains how they should be sourced and prepared. For what it’s worth, he’s a big fan of dark cherries for their anti-inflammatory properties.
“10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works,” by Dan Harris. This one’s next my list. Hopefully, my sense of spirit will advance beyond my yoga mat and into the realm of enlightenment and mindfulness. Or, not.
In the end, will I really be a better person if I cut down on carnitas, hang all my shirts in the closest in any orderly fashion and know the difference between an index fund and a mutual fund? If I don’t try - definitely not. But if I find a way to change a few things in my life without changing who I am - definitely maybe.