What I am “Reading” This Week
When I walk the dogs, I use the Audible App to listen to audio books. A few years ago, I read Tim Ferriss book the 4 Hour Work Week, and in it he challenged me to stop listening to the news. His premise is that you will get better information if it is filtered and cultivated by your smart friends. It also makes you more interesting to talk to because you really want to listen to what they have to say. Neat trick. but… if I don’t listen to the news what should I listen to?
I used to listen to a lot of talk radio. And when you don’t listen to talk radio or the news, you start to notice something. Many, if not most radio personalities are very skilled at cultivating rage. They want to get you worked up. If you are worked up you will listen to them. My life as a husband, father, and entrepreneur is challenging enough without driving around and picking up artificially induced outrage.
For a while I turned to TED Talks. They are awesome. There is something inspiring about hearing really smart people, share their passion to change the world. The trouble is, that many of these are very visual and I can’t watch a video and walk the dogs. That’s what lead me to Audible. I discovered that most of the books on my reading list have excellent narrations available. Even better, some of my favorite books are narrated by their authors. What’s great about that, is I feel like I am hanging out with this super smart person who is sharing something smart they learned. It’s as good if not better than a ted talk.
By subscribing to Audible, I get a new book each month. What’s more, if I buy the kindle edition, I can usually buy the audible version for a few dollars more. So I usually do that.
While I love it, most of my friends don’t have time for that nonsense, but they do seem interested in what I am reading. The real trick is to try and take at least one thing from what I read and apply it.
So with that in mind, I wanted to start to share what I am listening to, and what I think I can apply from it.
Daring Greatly By Brené Brown
This is an amazing book, and is part of the reading material for her course in Courage Works. Professor Brown is famous for her Tedx Houston talk that went viral about vulnerability. For me, I found the idea of vulnerability hard to wrap my head around, but it’s a lot easier to grapple with her core research: shame. Understanding and becoming shame resilient is a skill I would love to develop. There is a side benefit however. If you understand people’s shame triggers, it makes it easier to understand what can motivate certain responses to certain triggers. In short, I think her work can help me avoid certain emotional landmines and be a better communicator. I am still trying to wrap my head around being vulnerable in order to become wholehearted. It’s a very interesting read.
Pen of the week
While I take my notes, I have been favoring my Pelikan Souverän M800 limited edition burnt orange fountain pen. This has a custom grind provided by John Mottishaw from Nibs.com. The grind is a medium stub which makes the line thicker on the down stroke and thinner on the cross stroke. The pen is exceptionally smooth with character. I enjoy using this pen with Aurora black ink.