When you dig into a genre of books, you quickly find that the depth of additional books you discover gets deeper and deeper. It’s pretty amazing when you think about it.
For example, last year I split my reading into morning and evening reads. Evening reads are my traditional fun reads, which include science fiction, business narratives, and health & fitness. My morning reads were a new addition to my routine. These reads focus on developing the proper mindset and approach to life. I had a good seed of books to get me started. What’s great is that the more of these books you read, the more books and resources that you discover. While they are all variations on the same theme, the repetition and reinforcement is good for developing the mind. It’s no different than lifting weights to build strength. The exercises may vary and work different parts of the body, but the combined effect of repeatedly performing the exercises keeps you physically fit. Well my morning reads keep me mentally fit.
One of the books that consistently appeared in my morning reads was The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. It was referenced so many times that I knew I had to read it for myself.
Back in 2012, my dad asked me to apply for tickets to The Masters. He had been applying for a few years and wasn’t having any luck getting tickets through their annual lottery. He figured that having me, my sister, my uncle, and a few others apply would increase his chances of getting to go back to the event, as he was lucky enough to have gone once before.
Every year since then I would apply, and I would get the same response around mid-June:
We have completed the random selection process for Daily Tournament tickets and regret to inform you that your application was not selected for tickets.
I’m certain that many of you are familiar with that message.
This year, I was shocked when I opened the email with the standard 2018 Masters Tickets subject line and read the following:
Congratulations. The Masters Tournament is pleased to announce that our random selection process for 2018 Practice Rounds tickets has been completed and your application for tickets has been selected.
My immediate reaction was what do I do now? To which my Dad replied, BUY THE TICKETS!!!
Needless to say, the tickets were purchased, and the planning began. It was a long wait from the time I received the email on June 20, 2017 to attending the practice round on April 4, 2018.
If Jim Nantz calls the tournament “A tradition like no other,” then attending The Masters is an experience like no other. It is difficult to convey how impressive everything in and around the event is in words and pictures, but I’m going to give it a try in the rest of this post.
My go-to resource for web analytics is Avinash Kaushik. Guru does not adequately describe his level of expertise on the topic. If you have any interest in analytics, his blog is a great resource that is chock full of information. The articles are deep dives into the concepts, techniques, and tools that allow you to get the most out of your online presence. For bite-sized pieces of insight, I’d recommend subscribing to his newsletter, which you can do from his website.
So what does Avinash Kaushik have to do with the book Be Like Amazon: Even a Lemonade Stand Can Do It? In June of last year, Avinash mentioned the book in one of his newsletters. I have such high regard for his opinions and insights, that I immediately added the book to the top of my reading list.
I wasn’t disappointed.
Ferris Bueller was right when he said, “Life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
It seems like it was just a couple of weeks ago that we moved Brad into his freshman dormitory at Eastern Michigan University. Well, whether I want to believe it or not, it was four years ago! Yup, four. years. ago. Where did the time go?
We recently got back from Brad’s graduation. Based on the picture at the right, I’m not sure who was happier. I know Brad had to be excited, but we as parents were also happy to have our second one through college. Having the financial burden and responsibility of a second child finishing school is a clear cause for celebration. It’s also a time for reflection, which I did plenty of during the weekend.
Yes, it is the year 2018. And yes, I recently read a sci-fi book that was published 50 years ago. And yes, I enjoyed it, a lot.
Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep is a classic. It’s amazing to me how much of the book is relevant today. While PKD may have been a little off with how soon his fictional androids would become a reality, it’s quite possibly a future that is not that far away.
If you’re not already aware, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep was the basis of the original Blade Runner movie. I first saw the movie in the late eighties and really enjoyed it. It was many years later before I realized that it was based on PKD’s book. I make a conscious effort to read classic science fiction, so I added it to my reading list. The book languished on my never ending reading list for a few years. When Blade Runner 2049, the sequel to the original movie, came out last year, I decided it was time to move the book up in my reading queue. I was determined to read the book before seeing the movie (which, by the way, I still haven’t seen yet).
Well, well, well. I thought that this would be the year that I would retire the beard. I was wrong. Again.
For whatever reason, I just can’t help myself when it comes to growing out the beard. This past year, I started even earlier than normal. Instead of waiting for Mo’vemeber, I started the process in early October. I decided to experiment a little this year with different looks.
For the most part, it was good. Here’s what I learned in the process.
There are book recommendations, and then, there are special book recommendations. When your mother says you should read a book, it qualifies as an extra special book recommendation. In other words, when mom says you should read The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown, you don’t ask why, you just do it.
I must admit that I was a little perplexed as to why my mother would find a book about the 1936 US Olympic men’s crew team interesting. After reading it, I figured out why. While the book covers the sport of competitive rowing, that’s not it’s primary theme. The book is more focused on the struggles facing America during the late twenties and earlier thirties. There were the effects of The Great Depression. The drought that turned middle America into The Dust Bowl. The rise of Hitler and the imminent threat of a second World War. Truth be told, it was a turbulent time. The book is really about how a group of boys came together and persevered through dedication and hard work to reach their ultimate goal against all odds.
2017 was the fifth year I blogged. Given how many blogs don’t make it past five weeks, I’m pretty happy I’ve made it this far. At this point, I don’t see myself stopping. As I’ve mentioned in the past, you need a reason other than traffic, fame, or money to keep you motivated to blog. I do it for other reasons, which you can read about here. You can also see my prior blog reviews by clicking on the years – 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013.
Overall, 2017 wasn’t my best effort. I fell way behind on my book reviews and have 14 pending at the time of this writing. I had two months this past year, April and May, with zero posts. As I’ve mentioned in the past, it’s not a lack of ideas holding me back. I have almost 90 post ideas in my queue, not to mention a whole category of posts on startups that pushes the total to somewhere between 110 and 120.
With all that said, I intend to soldier on. My goal remains to hit the elusive 100 posts for the year, which will once again be my goal for 2018. Before we look too far into the future, let’s start by taking look at the past.
Would you say if I told you a book that teaches skills for selling real estate can be applied in all areas of your life? As shocking as that may sound, it’s true.
Ninja Selling: Subtle Skills, Big Results by Larry Kendall is a blueprint for what has made Larry and his associates at The Group, Inc. in Fort Collins, CO, one of the most successful real estate companies in the country. In the book, he offers up the principles and techniques that he has used to build a successful and lasting career in real estate. What’s most interesting is that the information he presents is not specific to real estate. It can be applied by sales professionals in any industry. Furthermore, a lot of the teachings will help to one to become a better person and simply live a better, more fulfilling life.
I have a problem with my reading list – a big problem.
I organized my reading list over this past week for 2018. I was happy to learn that I read 28 books last year. Unfortunately, it didn’t even make a dent in my master wish list of books since I added 48 new books to my list during 2017. My wish list of books to read is sitting at over 200. Last year, I had 7 years of books on my list. This year it’s grown to 8.