Books

Super summary: Quiet, The Power of Introverts

A super-summary on this blog is basically a “summary of a summary” of a book, with a few additions of my own. It gives you the basic idea of a book to see if you want to read the real thing.

Next up via Lucid: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking [book | audiobook].

Who are the introverts?

Introverts are people who tend to benefit from alone time. They favor reflective and deliberate thinking. This approach lets them dig deep.

Some classic introverts are Albert Einstein, Rosa Parks, Abraham Lincoln, and Warren Buffett. Isaac Newton was known to be “a deeply introverted character and fiercely protective of his privacy.”

👉My favorite new introvert is standup comedian Taylor Tomlinson, who framed introversion with this joke:

I read a statistic that said in 80 percent of homicides cases the killer was someone the victim knew. When I read that, I was relieved. Like thank god, I don’t want to get murdered and meet someone. That’s a lot for a Friday, getting stabbed and acquainted.

Introverts have a hidden side

While introverts tend to be outwardly quiet, they can also be bold, strong, and courageous. This is not a paradox.

See examples above. ☝️ You don’t have to be loud to revolutionize our understanding of the world, save a nation, or build a fortune.

They may not be fun at parties, but these are some heavy hitters when it comes to lasting, positive change in the world.

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Via Lucid

Introverts aren’t always introverted

Introverts can act extroverted pretty convincingly if it is in the service of something they love. An introvert can do public speaking or standup comedy as long as it serves a core purpose.

This explains introverted, charismatic entertainers such as Prince

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Via Lucid

👉 As a bit of an introvert myself, I admire the fun, freewheeling nature of many extroverts. I’m trying to learn from them to do more and think less. But I also appreciate that my core happiness lies within and I can have some of my best nights all to myself.

Books · You

Super Summary: Think Like a Monk

I accidentally subscribed to this visual book insights app called Lucid. It promised “Read faster. Remember more.” so I had to try it. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Neglecting to cancel my free trial (oops!), I now have a full year of this service, so I might as well get the most out of it.

So this is my first “super summary” (a summary of the summary) for books I find interesting. You can see if you’re interested in reading the real thing. (audiobook | “book” book).

Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty

👉 Luckily, we can take some useful lessons from monks without actually being Christian or abstinent. 😜

The monk mentality

Via Lucid

A monk has an inward focus and moves past pain and anxiety, leading to a happier and more meaningful life.

A monk focuses on core issues, long-term vision, and strives to find meaning. This is in contrast to a “monkey” mind, which is distracted, overwhelmed, and focusing on temporary fixes.

Identity and meaning

Via Lucid

Our core values define who we are and the meaning of our life. Our values should come from within rather than from other people’s influence.

We need to figure out what we’re all about so that we can focus our priorities and goals.

👉 This fits with some things the Savvy Psychologist said about values and meaning.

Dealing with negativity

👉 This section reminds me of the idea that people’s criticism often says more about themselves than the person they are criticizing. 🧐

If you think of others negatively, you think of yourself negatively.

To break this cycle: identity your negative thoughts towards others, stop, and reframe them in a more empathetic, specific, and helpful way.

If you think of others more positively, you think of yourself more positively and make better choices.

Conquering Fear

Via Lucid

👉 I like this section because I learned a while back that decisions driven by fear generally do not turn out well. 😱

Identify your deepest underlying fears. Acknowledge these fears and embrace them.

Then detach from your fears to make smart, independent, intentional choices.

Positive routines

👉 Despite this book calling for an early morning routine, I’m personally finding a relaxing nighttime routine especially useful. 😴

Wake up early to give yourself time to have a positive boost to your day. Use this time to be grateful, read & learn, meditate, and exercise.

Get to bed early and plan how you will conquer the next day.

The battle in your mind

Via Lucid

👉 I love this section because of the wolf analogy. 🤩

In each of our minds are two wolves battling with each other for control. One wolf is consumed by fear, anger, insecurity, and ego. The other is driven by love, kindness, humility, and positivity.

You can feed one of them (yes the good one!) by giving it your time and energy.

This internal battle is normal, and we should view it as external to us. Use meditation to observe your mind and better understand what might be triggering any negative thoughts.

Reframe negative thoughts in a positive way, changing problems and fears into positive actions.

Books · The World

On Tyranny – Little Things You Can Do To Save The World

In America, we have the assumption that tyranny naturally comes from the government. After all, our whole origin story is based on some scrappy settlers rebelling against a meddling, powerful empire.

But the January 6 siege of the US Capital showed us that tyranny can also come from common American citizens, determined to disrupt the own constitutional process, spurred on by distributing, nonsensical, violent theories. It’s a reminder that tyranny can happen here, and it may come from the most unexpected sources. 🤔

“We see ourselves as a city on the hill, a stronghold of democracy, looking out for threats that come from abroad. But… human nature is such that American democracy must be defended from Americans who would exploit its freedoms to bring about its end.”

With this in mind, I thought it would be helpful to visit practical tips from book On Tyranny. This book is full of simple lessons from 20th century Europe that we can apply to our own lives to help maintain our freedom in this really weird modern American scenario.

On Tyranny book cover
Look for the fun graphic edition coming this summer. 🙃

Contribute to good causes. (Some ideas: help make good information accessible, empower people, fight hate, or go local.)

Pick a charity or two and set up autopay. Then you will have made a free choice that supports civil society and helps others to do good.

Support a newspaper or a magazine. Real journalism is tough work and needs your support.

“Subsidize investigative journalism by subscribing to print media. Realize that some of what is on the internet is there to harm you. Take responsibility for what you communicate with others.”

Support the multi-party system. It is critical to have viable liberal and conservative parties vying for power.

Support the multi-party system and defend the rules of democratic elections. Vote in local and state elections while you can. Consider running for office.

Be inclusive. Take responsibility for the face of the world.

“You might one day be offered the opportunity to display symbols of loyalty. Make sure that such symbols include your fellow citizens rather than exclude them.”

I try my best. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Practice professional ethics. State election officials got tested this time around but stood strong, even dealing with violet threats. It’s a reminder that democracy doesn’t just happen automatically.

Maintain your rational, independent thought and individualism. Don’t let yourself get duped into something just because you like being part of a group (looking at you, yoga moms).

To abandon facts is to abandon freedom.

The renunciation of reality can feel natural and pleasant, but the result is your demise as an individual—and thus the collapse of any political system that depends upon individualism.

Be a patriot. Love your country and the best of what it stands for.

A patriot… wants the nation to live up to its ideals, which means asking us to be our best selves.

A patriot has universal values, standards by which he judges his nation, always wishing it well—and wishing that it would do better.

So there are some simple things anyone can do to help. It’s easy but also hard.

Books · Quotes

“No space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused.”

I try to read A Christmas Carol this time every year 🎄 to glean its lessons anew. Ebenezer Scrooge is a nice little annual kick in the butt!

This year, Marley’s ghost and his minions especially spoke out to me. 👻

The misery with them all was, clearly, that they sought to interfere, for good, in human matters, and had lost the power for ever.

The story is not just about being a better person and having some heart, but is also about the pain of regret: failing to impact the world for the better while you have the chance.

No space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused.

I definitely recommend the Patrick Stewart reading of this book. He brings out the urgency and freshness of it, even though the book is nearly 200 years old!

Books

The 50 Best Memoirs

Some of my very favorite books are memoirs…  I Suck at Girls, The Last Black Unicorn, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Yes Please, it goes on and on. A member is like living someone else’s life for a while. Or even better… just the funny, inspiring, painful, or embarrassing parts. You learn a bit about someone you admire and usually their struggle and their particular outlook on life.

So I’m adding a link to the 50 best memoirs (according to the Ney York Times, but who else would you even ask?) to my fledgling book section. Now I have 50 more amazing books to eventually read but probably never will. 😂