February 2019 Package
February 2019 Package
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Habits are the atomic building blocks of our lives. This book discusses very specific ways to actively take control of your habits. Instead of just focusing on selfdiscipline, instead work to reshape your identity as someone who consistently partakes in good habits. Intentionally shape your environment so that good habits are within easy reach, and bad habits are more difficult to engage in. Focus on your systems and process instead of the results, and before you know it, your life will look completely different!
“After [HABIT I ENJOY], I will [HABIT I NEED].
After [HABIT I NEED], I will [HABIT I WANT].”
Our brains are designed to further our self-interests while not appearing selfish to others, often by hiding selfish motives from our own consciousness. There are multiple hidden motives impacting everyone’s behavior and even the structure of society’s most venerated institutions such as churches, charities, hospitals, and universities. Various branches of research have found an “elephant” in our brain.
Microsociology studies small-scale interactions and demonstrates both the complexity of social behaviors and their unconscious motivations.
Cognitive & social psychology studies how our brains fabricate plausible pro social motives to cover-up our true, self-serving agendas.
Primatology studies how primates will acknowledge other species’ selfish motives while portraying their own behaviors as pro-social.
Economics studies how social institutions frequently fall short of their stated purpose.
These findings suggest that we are often strangers to ourselves. This book explains how most of our behavior can be distilled down into selfish motivations.
“We, humans beings, are a species that’s not only capable of acting on hidden motives – we’re designed to do it.”
In modern times, our explanations of reality have centered on science. Faith and belief have been replaced by a complicated (yet meaningless) space of mind and matter. Some attempt to fill this void with narcotics, money, power, or love. And those who face the void directly often end up with a nihilistic attitude, concluding that since death takes away everything, life lacks any inherent meaning.
They feel imprisoned by their mortality. The true prison, however, is our ignorance. To become liberated, our minds must see Reality as one giant Whole, rather than how our limited perceptions and desires define the world. This state of experiencing the totality of reality is called enlightenment.
Gautama, or the first Buddha, discovered enlightenment (“awareness” in his own words) 2500 years ago. And while Buddhism was founded on his teachings, it advocates neither prayer nor worshiping the Buddha, but rather appreciating one’s current state of existence in the Present moment.
“For every person with the desire to see deeply into the nature of existence, it is a call to awakening.”
Writing history is a complex endeavor. Primary sources frequently include factual errors due to the author’s beliefs and imperfect memory. Sensitive documents are altered or go missing. Socio-political context and culture often influence how people perceive the events they write about. Thus, we must question the objectivity of any written history. What is the document’s purpose? How is the history used? Who benefits from it, and who is left out of consideration? In this book from 1944, Hart challenges readers to evaluate history objectively, for future progress depends on making decisions informed by the past.
“Hart wrote this little book about military matters, but its arguments can be extended much more broadly, in fact, to all facets of human life that make use of an accurate knowledge of what went before.”
A brand hijack can be orchestrated by a company, in which they let their early consumers shape the brand, only stepping back in once it has reached critical mass. This book discusses several examples of brands which exploded after being hijacked by its users. It also describes specific methods by which companies can find the correct early market to hijack their brand. Business leaders must let go of the idea that the brand belongs to them. Instead, they should recognize the modern cultural shifts towards small digital tribes centered around brands. Marketers can capitalize on these tribes to maximize their brand’s potential.
”Brand Hijack (n): a consumer takeover in which consumers commandeer a brand from the marketing professionals and then drive its evolution.”