Life-changing books I read in 2018

Man reading in library

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Learning about what introvert is, helped me understand myself more. We (introverts) think we’re weird (we’re not).

Our genetic makeup is created in a different way and for good reasons. If it wasn’t, we would be already extinct in this evolving world.

Our strength lies in our ability to think through first. But that comes with a disadvantage, we need an environment to foster that. Hence, the reason why we seclude ourselves.

Originality thrives in seclusion free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind. Be alone—that is the secret of invention: be alone, that is when ideas are born. – Nikola Tesla

The Laws of Human Nature

It’s all about attitude. We shouldn’t feed the negative aspect of our life. We need to learn to counter or channel them instead into a productive part of our life.

In retrospect, stay away or be cautious to people that are in the extreme or can’t control their dark side. It’s a rabbit hole we don’t want to be in to.

An act cannot be defined by the end sought by the actor, for an identical system of behaviour may be adjustable to too many different ends without altering its nature. – Émile Durkheim

Making Work Visible: Exposing Time Theft to Optimize Work & flow

The book focuses on the kanban board to visualize and expose tasks so we can put a limit in our Work-In-Progress.

Most of the time, we overload our queue because we can’t determine the proper size of our current workload.

We don’t have visible metrics where we are at.

Having a lot of work-in-progress doesn’t mean we can do a lot in the shortest time. It’s the opposite.

Since we are juggling tasks, we exert more effort in refocusing our attention. Which usually take about 5-15 minutes to get back in a state of flow.

Often times we also become paralyzed with pieces of information that we procrastinate.

Limiting our work-in-progress free ourselves to spend more time on thinking. Which is necessary for finding creative solutions and producing quality results.

That’s being effective.

Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks. – Warren Buffet

Ego is the Enemy

Be Humble. Stay Humble. Yes, it’s not sexy in the current personality-focused era. But one of the attributes of being an effective leader is shoving its ego away and being pure in their intent.

Great leaders empower its followers. Bad leaders only empower themselves.

I re-read this book from time to time to keep my ego in check.

You can’t learn if you think you already know. You will not find the answers if you’re too conceited and self-assured to ask the questions. You cannot get better if you’re convinced you are the best.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Our great journey to life from Africa to defeating other species of human. From building an empire and our downfall to a cubicle office.

The ability to think in collective manner is what separates us from the other animals in this world. It’s how we form currency, company, and beliefs.

The book has altered my perception of strict man-made rules. I’ve become open to other possibilities that might improve our lives.

You could never convince a monkey to give you a banana by promising him limitless bananas after death in monkey heaven. – Yuval Noah Harari

Join my newsletter and get monthly articles on productivity, habits, and decision making in your inbox.