Better Habits

Habits are the small decisions you make and actions you perform every day. 

James Clear, author of Atomic Habits writes on his website that “Your life today is essentially the sum of your habits. How in shape or out of shape you are? A result of your habits. How happy or unhappy you are? A result of your habits. How successful or unsuccessful you are? A result of your habits.”

Generally speaking, who you are today can be traced to what your habits are.

Want to live a healthier lifestyle? Learn and implement good health habits.

Want to become better in client management? Learn and implement good client management habits.

Want to become really good at asking thoughtful questions at work and in school? Learn and implement good inquisitive habits.

Our habits are our secret authentic superpowers. If we want to achieve our goals and visions, we need to have the best habits in place and not only rely on daily motivation, discipline, and will. Habits will take us further than we tend to realize. Establishing better habits early in our development years (health habits, financial habits, social habits, and more) is key to living our authentic greatness!

Building inquisitive young minds

In Warren Berger’s book, A More Beautiful Question The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas, he brings to light how parents can help make their kids better questioners. Warren mentions Hal Gregersen who studied “master questioners” and found that most of them had “at least one adult in their lives who encouraged them to ask provocative questions.” A home environment where questions are welcome, encouraged, and addressed can lead to curious and creative young minds.

Clayton Christensen thinks parents can help their kids be more inquisitive by posting “what if” questions and also encouraging them to solve problems in a hands-on way, via challenging household tasks and chores.

Creative is a choice

In The Practice: Shipping Creative Work, Seth Godin describes that creativity is an Action, Not a feeling.

Taking action on the ideas we have (writing a blog, composing a piece, contributing something new to a conversation or in a meeting etc) is very important. We should not wait for the “right moments” when we feel like doing creative work, we should continue to focus on the action and keep shipping the work. Seth adds that “waiting for a feeling is a luxury we don’t have time for.”

What are you shipping today?

https://youtube.com/watch?v=Riqd9RMuNUg%3Fsi%3Di4W0yZ7DKOpto3Mg

let my people go surfing

One of the books that had been on my books bucket list for a while “let my people go surfing” by Yvon Chouinard (Founder and Owner of Patagonia, Inc.) was inspiring and moving.

I had been fascinated with Patagonia’s authentic storytelling and wanted to learn more about the company, culture, and its philosophies. “Let my people go surfing” was initially meant to be a philosophical manual for Patagonia employees and later became a must read book for entrepreneurs, activists, environmentalists and anyone who wants to make our planet better than what it is currently.

I was moved by Yvon’s story of building and running Patagonia, the philosophies that guide Patagonia and its other entities, a company’s role in community activism, our collective responsibilities to our planet, and being a conscious buyer and seller. There are so many gems in this book and I encourage you to read it if you have not already done so. I will be sure to reread this book from time to time!

Book cover image from Penguin Random House.

Will by Will Smith

Just finished reading my 1st book of 2022!!

Image source: https://willthebook.com

Image source: https://willthebook.com

Few books I’ve loved reading

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE by Phil Knight – When I went to college, there was only one company I wanted to work for after graduation and it was Nike. This was one of the reasons why I studied abroad in Amsterdam, The Netherlands which was very close to Hilversum where Nike’s European headquarters was located. At that point, I had planned to either get an internship or a field visit to Nike’s Hilversum office. Neither happened at that point but Nike has always fascinated me with its creative ads, innovative products, and the athletes it endorses. When I heard about this book, I was overjoyed and couldn’t wait to read it. I borrowed this book from a friend and finished reading it in a few days. This book is definitely one of the best memoir’s I’ve read. I loved reading about Phil’s journey of starting Blue Ribbon which later became Nike. There are so many gems inside the book-the high’s/low’s of starting a company, sacrifices made, cross-cultural challenges, among others. I could go on and on about the book but I rather you read it for yourself.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie – In 2007, I had picked up a copy of Business Week and on its last pages was the list of bestsellers. One of them was How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie. I read the book and it has become one of my favorite books. The book has many stories that explain the simple principles and psychology of human behavior. I would recommend this book to anyone no matter what field or life stage they are in. I believe anyone can read this book, understand the characteristics of human nature, and apply the principles to their daily life.

Limitless: Upgrade Your Brain, Learn Anything Faster, and Unlock Your Exceptional Life by Jim Kwik – This was definitely a book I wanted to read soon as it was published. Once I read it, I wished I had found a book like this sooner. The book helped me become aware of our limited mental and cultural beliefs, common learning challenges, and techniques to unlock our limitless mindset. Having attended Jim’s weeklong Limitless Reading Challenge to several of his Instagram live sessions, I’ve always enjoyed hearing his insights, tips and strategies on unlocking our limitless mind.

Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio – A book that is full of management lessons and ideas that Ray followed throughout the course of his life and journey of building his investment firm, Bridgewater Associates. I first learned about Ray Dalio’s book Principles on The Tim Ferriss Show and the title on Tim’s podcast was, Ray Dalio, The Steve Jobs of Investing. I followed up with reading Principles’ reviews on goodreads which made me want to read the book even more. Some readers on goodreads had said that Principles is one of the best books they have ever read. I couldn’t wait to read it myself and see what the book was all about. Once I got this book, I finished reading it in my daily commute to work.

A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas by Warren Berger – In my research on the art and science of questioning, I came across the book “A More Beautiful Question The power of inquiry to spark breakthrough ideas.” I listened to several talks and podcasts that featured the author and became more interested to read the book. The book has a lot of interesting insights and detailed analysis on questioning from our environments at home, school, and in the workplace. It also makes a strong case of why the skill of asking really good questions is important now more than ever.

30 Stories: Miki Agrawal

@mikiagrawal Story by @thestorieshub

“Iteration is perfection.”

That’s my favorite saying and I’ve always been fascinated with the process of discovery, invention, and rapid improvements. Growing up, I was told I could be whoever I wanted to be and had big dreams. However, along the way, society had set all these expectations of me on what I should do and look like. I did what society expected me to do. Then, I realized I could disrupt it all and become who I really wanted to be and work on projects I loved and those that gave me purpose and meaning.

At 25, I decided to become an entrepreneur and then went on to build successful companies that have tackled taboos head on, are truly changing culture, and improving the lives of millions of people around the world.

I wrote “Disrupt-Her” to share my experience of breaking down social taboos and building big companies that matter, while sharing other game changing disruptors from around the world.

Bio: Miki Agrawal is the Co-founder and Inventor of @hellotushy@shethinx, and @eatdrinkwild.  Her books include Disrupt-Her and Do Cool Shit. Follow her @mikiagrawal to learn how to be a Disrupt-Her.

Image credit: mikiagrawal.com

This story was first published on https://www.instagram.com/thestorieshub/

Book summary of The Sixth Man: A Memoir

I had put the book The Sixth Man: A Memoir by Andre Iguodala of the NBA champions Golden State Warriors on my book bucket list last year. I’m thrilled to have just finished reading it.

The Sixth Man is a beautifully written memoir. The book chronicles Andre’s upbringing in Springfield, Illinois, his high school and college basketball careers and eventually his journey in the NBA. Having always been interested in the stories of ball players and the NBA for a long time, the memoir gave me a glimpse into the life of one of the game’s smartest players. I highly recommend this book if you are interested in Andre, NBA, professional black athletes, Golden State Warriors, or just love to read a great story. Enjoy.

Sean “Diddy” Combs w/ Mentor Ray Dalio

Sean Combs sits down with his mentor Ray Dalio to talk about Ray’s book Principles, how to find excellent people to join your team and much more.

Bill Gates’ reading habits

On choosing books to read

There are couple of ways to choose your next read.

Go to a bookstore and pick the latest book or the book of your liking. Read online book reviews and buy it online/at a bookstore. It’s much easier to find great books to read nowadays. Although at times I’d like to pick a book without reading any reviews, there are times when hearing from other experiences on a particular book gets me interested in it. Here are some of the books I’ve read or want to read.

If you really like reading book reviews or summaries before picking your next read, check out Derek Sivers books page on his website where he has tiny summary and detailed notes for each book he has read so far. If you like to remember what you read, check out Farnam Street’s How to Remember What You Read.

Cosmos by Carl Sagan

I’m anxiously waiting to read Cosmos by Carl Sagan after finishing my current read of Far Out Countercultural Seekers and the Tourist Encounter in Nepal by Mark Liechty

Far Out: an ongoing read

Far Out Countercultural Seekers and the Tourist Encounter in Nepal by Mark Liechty is a comprehensive read on Nepal’s tourism experiences in the postwar era, hippie counterculture in the 1960s, and adventure destination in the 1970s.

I picked up Far Out when I attended its book launch at Martin Chautari. Having read about 100 pages so far, I’ve learned about how Nepal opened its doors to tourism in early 1950s, influential characters that shaped the early tourism crowd and much more. It’s quite interesting to learn about Nepal’s tourism history and whose identity has now been shaped by tourism around the world. I especially enjoyed reading about Boris Lissanevitch and Jung Bahadur Coapsingha – two important and pioneering characters of Nepal’s early tourism years. I can’t wait to read more.

How Bill Gates reads books

Insightful, interesting, and inspiring!

Mastery by Robert Greene

Mastery by Robert Greene is on my book bucket list now.

A friend of mine found this book very useful and highly recommended it. I read several book reviews of Mastery on GoodReads and Amazon and most of the readers were raving about the book.

AI Superpowers China, Silicon Valley and the New World Order

A couple of my friends are currently reading AI Superpowers China, Silicon Valley and the New World Order. By hearing them talk about the book made me want to read it as well. I’m really looking forward to reading this book.

If you have read this book already or are currently reading it, do share your thoughts on the book.

To learn more about AI Superpowers China, Silicon Valley and the New World Order, visit https://aisuperpowers.com/

The coach

All managers should, in part, be coaches.

This is from the Picking up the Bill article on The Economist (May 25th 2019). Gallup, a polling organization cites research showing that when managers involved employees in setting their own work goals, the latter are four times more likely to report feeling engaged. Managers are responsible for 70% of the variance in how engaged employees were. (The Economist)

The same article talks about the book “Trillion Dollar Coach” written by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg and Alan Eagle in praise of their mentor, Bill Campbell.

Shoe Dog

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE by Phil Knight  was a book on my Book bucket list for 2019.

I wrote then “When I went to college, I wanted to work for one company after graduation and it was Nike. This was one of the reasons why I studied abroad in Amsterdam, The Netherlands which was very close to Hilversum where Nike’s European headquarters was located. At that point, I had planned to either get an internship or a field visit to it’s Hilversum office. Neither happened but Nike has always fascinated me. When I heard about this book, I was overjoyed and wanted to read it ever since.

I really enjoyed reading Shoe Dog. One of the best memoir’s I’ve read. I loved reading about Phil’s journey of starting Blue Ribbon which later became Nike. There are so many gems inside the book-the high’s/low’s of starting a company, sacrifices made, cultural challenges, among others. I could go on and on about the book but I rather you read it for yourself. Enjoy the read.

Beginner’s Mind

In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few. – Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

The Sixth Man: A Memoir

Just found out that Andre Iguodala, the sixth man of the NBA champions Golden State Warriors has a book “The Sixth Man” coming out on June 25, 2019.

Andre Iguodala is one of my favorite NBA players and I have followed him over the years. I took a keen interest in his tech investments and The Players Technology Summit. Iguodala partnered with Bloomberg on the creation of The Players Technology Summit which convenes top executives and leaders in the technology, venture capital and sports communities to exchange ideas and share expertise in an educational and empowering forum. He was also instrumental in creating the National Basketball Players Association’s first NBPA Technology Summit held in 2016.

I’m really looking forward to reading “The Sixth Man.”