29 Oct 3 quotes you need from 3 books you don’t have time to read – October 2018
Who has the time to read every worthy book on business, self-development, psychology or whatever? There are thousands of titles out there with at least one gem of wisdom in each, but no one can gets through them all.So, like with sport, if you can’t watch the whole game, at least you can catch the highlights. Here are three good ones.
1. Economics: The User’s Guide by economist Ha-Joon Chang
“…no theory is good at explaining everything.”
p. 111 (2014, South Korea)
Why I like this quote: It’s a reminder that no matter which framework or method you use to approach a subject, challenge or goal, you can never really know exactly ‘how’ it is working. So, the trick is to know what you want yet stay open-minded and flexible about the how you want it.
I have to remind myself of this when I spend too much time planning, and not enough time just getting stuck into the doing.
2. Thinking, Fast and Slow by psychologist Daniel Kahneman
“Compare two commitments that will change some aspects of your life: buying a comfortable new car and joining a group that meets weekly, perhaps a poker or book club. Both experiences will be novel and exciting at the start. The crucial difference is that you will eventually pay little attention to the car as you drive it, but you will always attend to the social interaction to which you committed yourself.”
p. 406 (2011, Israel/USA)
Why I like this quote: For me this is a crucial insight into thinking in terms of holistic ROI. If everything you do has an opportunity cost, then it makes sense to choose things that have positive returns on that cost. Possession of objects is great and necessary, but is a nonetheless depreciating ‘opportunity investment’. Access to better experiences is also great and necessary, and it can be an appreciating ‘opportunity investment’. In short, only love things that love back.
This is part of why I love networking.
3. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by publisher Mark Manson
“Absolute freedom, by itself, means nothing.”
p. 165 (USA, 2016)
Why I like this quote: As business people or entrepreneurs, many of us have (or at least once had) almost unlimited decision space. Our options are as many as we have the wit to notice and resources to pursue. Further, the more your wits are about you, the less resources you need. Yet when you really can do anything you can imagine, all you really have is vacant potential. As soon as you make some move and pursue something, most of the raw potential vanishes. It becomes directed potential, which is less splendid, to be fair, but infinitely more useful.
As Manson’s next lines tell, it is only by the narrowing and defining of who you are and what you do – that is, by taking a stance and making a move – can you gain a sense of whether your life is worthwhile.