BR 118: The Art of War by Sun Tzu

Category: 3 – SHELF it (All Categories are 1 – Read ASAP!, 2 – BUY it!, 3 – SHELF it, 4 – SOMEDAY it)

Comments: I am guessing the original (Chinese) version is one with stories behind the principles. My audio book was a short 1 hour 2o minute listen with a summary of principles. Thanks to the absence of stories, they didn’t really stick. Age old war wisdom though.

Top 3 learnings:

1. You only move as a general when your odds are favorable. Bravado is foolish. At every point, it’s about staying rational and improving your odds.  A general is not the same as warrior..

2. Everything in life is about a few basic things. 3 basic colors give rise to a whole spectrum of colors – similarly, war (and, as an extension, everything else) has a few very basic principles. Ensure you know them well.

3. Control of communication and discipline is incredibly important if managing large groups. “Never attack an army whose banners are upright.”

BR 117: So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport


Category: 1 – Read ASAP! (All Categories are 1 – Read ASAP!, 2 – BUY it!, 3 – SHELF it, 4 – SOMEDAY it)

Comments: Top draw. Probably the best career book out there. Busts some really common myths and is really SO good you shouldn’t ignore it.

Top 3 learnings:

1. Follow your passion is bad advice. Working right trumps finding the right work. It is  all about “the approach” to work.

2. Adopt the “craftsman mindset” i.e. the mindset of someone who is willing to put in the hours of deliberate practice to hone their craft. Adopting this mindset means you focus your energies on being the best you can be. This, in turn, gives you career capital.

3. Once you get damn good, the chances are that you will love what you do thanks to being the craftsman. You can now also trade career capital in for more control and autonomy in your life.

Once again, top draw career book.