One of the (few) blogs that I follow on a daily basis is A Learning A Day written by Rohan Rajiv. It’s interesting to read his observations on life, what he has learned, and how he is applying the lessons learned.
In addition to his observational posts, he occasionally makes mention of books that he has found particularly insightful. At the end of 2017, he wrote about 5 books that had a significant impact on him. Given my interest in self management and self improvement, one of the books that looked particularly interesting on his list was Mindset by Carol Dweck.
For the ninth, and final drive of my Teaching a Teen to Drive series, we’re going to hit the open road. We’ll be taking a long drive that tests all the skills of the prospective driver. There will be lengthy stretches of the three skills that are important for a new driver to master (in my opinion) – freeway driving, canyon driving, and urban driving.
This is also one of my favorite drives in all of Southern California. It hugs the coastline through Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. The inland portion that takes you over the San Marco Pass has stunning vistas on both the way up and on the way down. It’s a long drive that covers nearly 175 miles and will take 3-4 hours (or longer) to complete depending on stops.
How was the universe formed? What is the meaning of life? Why are we here? What is our purpose in the universe?
These are questions that have occupied philosophers across generations for centuries, even millennia. And it’s these topics that author Sean Carroll tackles in The Big Picture.
I’ve been on a bit of a roll over the last year when it comes to reading productivity books. A few of the titles I’ve read include The Miracle Morning, Getting Things Done, The 80/20 Principle, Deep Work, and Get It Done. Next up on my list was Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy. It was recommended to me by a customer contact a couple of years back and finally reached the top of my 2019 reading list.
A couple of years ago, I made a conscience decision to cut my media consumption. I stopped watching morning television to start my day. I quit watching evening television shows. I even changed my engagement with sports. Instead of letting it run (and sometimes ruin) my life, I started treating it for what it is – entertainment. Even though I never had a big social media presence, I totally disconnected from it. I significantly cut the number of blogs I follow. You get the picture, I turned down the media noise in my life.
You would think that I would have missed out on important events, that I would have lost touch with family and friends, that I would have been left behind, disconnected from the world, out of touch with reality.
Turns out, none of that came to pass. In fact, I’ve found that my mental state of mind and attitude towards life has never been better.
Coincidence, I don’t think so. And here’s why.
I really like the idea behind the Amazon Forward series. They pulled together six up-and-coming science fiction authors and had each of them write a short story.
I started off the series by reading Summer Frost by Blake Crouch, which I thoroughly enjoyed. For my second read in the series, I chose Randomize by Andy Weir. I’ve read other books by Weir which include The Martian and Artemis. The Martian was the best book I read back in 2014, and it remains one of my all-time favorites.
Based on my experience with Summer Frost and my prior experience with Weir’s writing, I was looking forward to diving in to Randomize. Here’s my take on it.
Canyon and urban driving are the two primary themes of my long drives when I teach a teen to drive. I find that I can mix-in other important driving concepts, such as freeway driving, within these themes.
We’ve already completed two other urban drives in my teaching a teen to drive series. For drive #8, we’re going to do our Urban Driving Final Exam. It will be a mix of congested city streets and freeways. We’ll be navigating the busiest and most challenging freeways around Los Angeles – the CA-110 from Pasadena through downtown LA, the Santa Monica Freeway through the Westside, the 405 over the Sepulveda Pass, and the US-101 through the San Fernando Valley.
I’m continually on the lookout for ways to improve. I especially like reading books that provide tips and techniques on managing myself. With each book I read, there is often at least a couple of things, and sometimes more, that I learn about and can incorporate into my daily routine.
It’s one of main reasons that I became interested in The Miracle Morning, which is available in numerous versions. There is a generic title that is applicable to everyone and other versions tailored to specific occupations. For example, there is a version for real estate agents, one for salespeople, one for writers, and one for college students. Since I spend the majority of my days running my own business. I chose to read the version titled The Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs by Hal Elrod and Cameron Herold.
Between business and pleasure, I usually go to Las Vegas 3-4 times per year. I spend most of my time on the Strip, primarily out of convenience. What I’ve learned is that you pay for that convenience. Prices for everything on the Strip are easily double, triple, or more than what you’ll pay off the strip. If you like to gamble, the table stakes are 2-3x what you can get at the “local” places. What’s even more disappointing are your options for coffee. Unless the ‘Big Green Machine’ is your favorite place, you’re pretty much out of luck.
In recent years, I’ve spent time trying to get to know Las Vegas outside of the Strip. I’ve discovered the area has a lot of character and, outside of the many casinos sprinkled throughout town, is not much different than any other ‘normal’ city. I’ve even managed to find a few great places to get coffee (and breakfast) as well as some fun things to do that won’t cost you a fortune.
The next time you’re in Las Vegas and have access to a car, or don’t mind taking a longer taxi ride, here are some place you should consider adding to your list of things to do.
Ever since reading Wool, I’ve been a fan of author Hugh Howey. I’ve read quite a few of his works including Sand, Beacon 23, Hurricane, Half Way Home, and numerous short stories. They vary in terms of genre, though he has a tendency to lean more towards science fiction, which is how I discovered him. What I find distinctive about his writing is how immersive and engaging his stories are. He has a knack for building vivid environments in your mind, developing relatable characters, and telling a story.
Every year, I do my best to have a least one Hugh Howey book on my reading list. For 2019, that book was Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue.