Today, I’m writing to share a personal experiment I’ve been working on for 2016.
Growing up, I always had problems reading books. My right eye is “lazy”. The technical term is Amblyopia. I used to have to wear an eye patch and have to train my eyes as a kid. I was never really able to focus on completing books. To put it in perspective, my Mom read me the book “The Hobbit” out loud in high school (thanks Mom :-)) which is super embarrassing. I’m hoping that by sharing this it will resonate with someone and give you some ideas on how to scale your personal knowledge.
Because I had trouble learning from books, I’ve unconsciously worked hard at developing different ways to learn. I really enjoy learning and while this was a set back early on I view it very much as a positive now.
A friend of mine, Tai Lopez, had some pretty cool ideas about challenging how people learn. He has a reputation in some circles for being salesy, as do most information marketers, but his ideas are really good and on point. He influenced me quite a bit on building some of my ideas and techniques.
I have two ways of accumulating knowledge that seem to be scalable. I’m constantly tweaking and tuning them.
The first one is mentoring. From being much younger, I developed skills to be “mentorable”. I believe that is valuable skills set. It helps you cut the time it takes to move forward on the learning curve. I always run at least two mentors at a time on different subjects. I’ve done this for 20 years. It’s a fantastic and rewarding way to grow personally. I’ll post more on this in a future post.
The other thing that has been working really well for me is Blinkist. Basically, Blinkist is a German company that creates book summaries. They then turn them into excellent 20 minute chunks in a very digestible audio or written outline format. They break up the summaries into 7-9 sections.
The cool thing about Blinkist is that you can put it into your daily routine. I listen to it to the shower and in my bedroom. I literally schedule 7:30AM and pick a topic: Leadership, Parenting, Global Affairs, and Self Growth – for example. I then pick something that I’d like to hear in that category. If I don’t feel like listening to that category, I might go for other recommendations.
I’ve added a social component and have gotten a lot of feedback by posting what I’ve listened to on that day on Facebook. My goal for 2016 is 100+ Blinkists and 2017 is 200+ Blinkists. What’s really cool is there is a large variety of authors and best selling books so you get access to the latest thought leaders from now and in the past. It’s also great because you think about the books key messages through out the day in the back of your head. I’m a pretty abstract thinker so I really enjoy this. I’ll often times google through out the day on a topic that I listened to. Another fringe benefit is some times my mind will drift and I’ll be able to solve problems by taking my mind off of them and listening to a book on Blinkist.
The one area I’m still doing some tweaking on is how to internalize the Blinkist’s after the fact. I’ll follow up with some ideas for that.
Feel free to post any comments or email me ideas and I’ll aggregate them into the next post.
“In my whole life, I have known no wise people who didn’t read all the time – none, zero.” – Charlie Munger
Here’s what I listened to in 2016 so far (as of 11/22):
1. Dude, your going to be a dad.
2. Our Kids.
3. How to Win Friends & Influence People.
4. The Man without a Face: Vladimir Putin.
5. Pitch Anything.
6. Doubt: A History.
7. Predictable Revenue.
8. Too much of a Good Thing.
9. The Second Sex.
11. Business Adventures.
12. Charlie Munger Biography.
13. Reclaim your Brain.
14. Sam Walton: Made in America.
15. The Hard thing About Hard Things.
16. The Lessons of History.
17. Losing my Virginity: Richard Branson Bio.
18. Einstein Biography.
19. Platform Scale.
20. The Da Vinci Curse.
21. The Intelligent Investor.
22. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
23. How Asia Works.
24. Growing Great Employees.
25. The 4 Disciplines of Execution.
26. Minimalist Parenting.
28. The 6 Pillars of Self Esteem.
29. Energy Myths and Realities.
30. Moore’s Law.
31. The Wealth of Nations.
32. The Art of Learning.
33. Why Nations Fail.
34. Out of Character.
35. The Power of Now
36. Lean In.
37. Ben Franklin (Bio).
38. The Seven Principals of Making Marriage Work.
39. How to be a Positive Leader.
## Started tracking dates after this point and posting a log on Facebook to track my progress
40. 9/19 – Emotional Intelligence for Project Managers
41. 9/19 – Red Team
42. 9/20 – The Happiest Baby on the Block
43. 9/20 – The Wonder Weeks
44. 9/26 – The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul
45. 9/27 – 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize your Potential – John C Maxwel
46. 9/27 – The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals (replay)
47. 9/28 – The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future
48. 9/28 – The Code of the Extraordinary Mind
49. 9/29 – Flat Earth News
50. 9/29 – The Master Algorithm
51. 10/1 – World Order – Henry Kissinger
52. 10/2 – The Inevitable
53. 10/4- Thinking, Fast and Slow
54. 10/5 – The Genius of Opposites
55. 10/5- (Nelson) Mandela’s Way
56. 10/7 – Co-Active Coaching
57. 10/8 – Leisure (Josef Piper)
58. 10/9 – Shoe Dog (Phil Knight)
59. 10/9 – Disrupted (Dan Lyons)
60. 10/10 – Alexander The Great
61. 10/11 – Dealing with China (Hank Paulson),
62. 10/11 – The China Study (nutrition book)
63. 10/12 – Bringing Up BeBe
64. 10/14 – Hard Choices (Hillary Clinton)
65. 10/15 – The Happiest Baby on the Block (Harvey Karp) [replay] 66. 10/16 – False Economy
67. 10/18 – The Seven Sins of Memory
68. 10/20 – Crippled America (Donald J Trump)
69. 10/21 – Raising Cain
70. 10/22 – The Myth of the Rational Voter
71. 10/22 – The Haves and the Have-Nots
72. 10/23 – Planet Money – Episode 731: How Venezuela Imploded
73. 10/23 – Planet Money – Episode 689: A Hedge Fund, A Country, And A Big Sailboat (Argentina)
74. 10/24- Planet Money – Episode 1: We Buy Oil (Excellent Series on Oil)
75. 10/25 – Planet Money – Episode 2: The Price Of Oil
76. 10/26 – Planet Money – Episode 3: How Fracking Changed The World
77. 10/31 – The Lucifer Effect – Philip Zimbardo
78. 11/2 – Antifragile
79. 11/3 – The Smartest guys in the room (Enron)
80. 11/5 – The Opposite of Spoiled
81. 11/7 – Think and Grow Rich (Napoleon Hill) re-read
82. 11/7 – Rich Dad, Poor Dad (Robert Kiyosaki) re-read
83. 11/7 – How to Master the Grind: Jeff Bezos’ 38B Net Worth & Amazon’s Rise to the Top (Tai Lopez summary video)
84. 11/7 – Planet Money Podcast: Episode 643: The Taxi King
85. 11/8 – Scaling Up Excellence (Robert I. Sutton and Huggy Rao)
86. 11/8 – America’s Bank (Roger Lowenstein)
86. 11/9 – A Year with Peter Drucker (Joseph A. Maciariello)
87. 11/9 – The Effective Executive (Peter F. Drucker)
88. 11/10 – Modern Romance, Azia Ansari,
89. 11/11 The Better of Angeles of Our Nature (Steven Pinker)
90. 11/14 Foolproof Greg Ip
91. 11/16 Grit, Angela Duckworth (re-read)
92. 11/18 – ISIS (Michael Weiss & Hassain Hassan)
93. 11/19 – This is Where you Belong (Melody Warnick)
94. 11/19 – The Ideal Team Player (Patric Lencioni)
95. 11/20 – The Compound Effect (Darren Hardy)
96. 11/20 – The Economy of You (Kimberly Palmer)
97. 11/22 – The Inevitable (Kevin Kelly) – re read
98. 11/21 – A Whole New Mind (Daniel H. Pink)