Feeling stuck or devoid of inspiration? A problem irritating you to no end? Stuck with writer’s block?
Creative inspiration is an ideal answer to all these problems. In today’s knowledge economy, innovative ideas and creativity are the new currency for career acceleration. Also, as more jobs get automated, soft skills combined with innovative thinking is the only way to remain relevant and valuable in the marketplace.
So here is a list of 7 superb books that will turbocharge your thinking and sharpen your creativity muscles:
1. Alchemy. Author = Rory Sutherland. 2. Creativity Inc. Author = Ed Catmull. 3. Design Thinking. Author = Tim Brown. 4. 131 Boredom Busters & Creativity Builders for Kids. Author = Jed Jurchenko. 5. The Accidental Creative. Author = Todd Henry. 6. Creative Careers. Author = Jeffrey Madoff. 7. Tools of the Titans. Author = Tim Ferris. Review here
Welcome to Day 06 of #BookReviewBlogChallenge. Today’s challenge is to review any book with 400+ pages.
Shoutout to Miss Camilla and her blog . All the entries were brilliant. But Camilla’s style of “rebelling” was both unexpected and unique. The bonus of getting to read 4 reviews for the price for one? Awesome! Hat tip, Rebel Camilla!
For today’s challenge I went with another masterpiece by Tim Ferris – “Tribe of Mentors”. At 627 pages, the book is fatter than most dictionaries! This book is basically a compilation of success tactics used by the world’s most brilliant performers. This is literally “Mentor in a Book”.
Title – Rebel Talent: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World
Author – Tim Ferris
REVIEW SCORE = 4/5
The book asks a set of 11 poignant questions to experts in different domains, styled after his podcast interviews. The answers are mind-blowing and immensely practical. Each chapter in the book contains answers and thoughts from one influencer who is considered the leader in his/her field. Industries and names include authors (Neil Gaiman), graphic designers, chefs, actresses (Aisha Tyler), athletes, swim coaches (Terry Laughlin), filmmakers (Darren Aronfsky), CEOs and many more.
Word of warning – If you have already read “Tools of the Titans” (which I reviewed earlier) by the same author, like me, then some parts might seem repetitive. For example, tech genius and venture capitalist Naval Ravikant features in both books. However, his advice is incredibly spot-on, so I did not mind reading it all over again! Consider it “reinforcement learning”.
For those who have not heard of Naval – he is the founder of AngelList, a recruiting platform for startups. He also invested in 100+ companies including Uber, Twitter, Clearview AI and multiple others, making him a billionaire considered to have the “Midas touch”.
The Qs Tim asks are designed to extract pearls of wisdom that these luminaries use – imagine how amazing your life can be, if you followed 3 or 4 religiously! Some example Qs from the book:
What do you do when you feel unfocused or overwhelmed?
What is the book you have given the most as a gift and why? Books that influenced your life. Special note to readers – this single point alone proves an important fact – all successful RICH people read books! ? If that does not motivate you to read more, I wash my hands off you!
Your best investment of $100 or less.
Quotes from the book:
Some of the advice from the book that resonated the most with me are listed below:
Wealth is having assets that earn while you sleep.
It is easier to ask forgiveness than to ask Permission.
Play iterated games. All returns in life, whether in wealth, relationships or knowledge come from compound interest.
Books – “Tools of the Titans” also by Tim Ferris. “Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success” by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness. “Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World” by David Epstein. “Think Like a Rocket Scientist: Simple Strategies You Can Use to Make Giant Leaps in Work and Life” by Ozan Varol.
Movies – Rocky, Theory of Everything, Slumdog Millionaire, The Intern, Joy (starring Jennifer Lawrence).
Genres – Self-Help, Productivity, Popular Development Psychology
Who doesn’t want a successful career, million dollar savings account, fame in their community and the chance to explore the world? Well, look no further. This book will give you practical, proven strategies to do all that and more. This book is also listed in the Top 25 reading list for 2020.
REVIEW SCORE = 5/5 *****
If you only have time to read one book this year, then this should be it! This book is simply that valuable! The book is divided into 3 sections – health, wealth and wisdom and each contains easily digestible chapters, each one from a different industry leader.
The book has remarkable stories and advice from chefs, actors, world famous athletes, technocrats, venture capitalists, Harvard professors and even YouTube stars! No matter which field or career stage you belong to, you will find tips to guide you to greater heights. Think of the book as a “mentor in a book”!
Here are some pearls of wisdom that truly resonated with me, and to give you a jump-start, if you are unsure where to begin.
The book has a lot of techniques to improve your health, and I don’t need to tell you that good health automatically translates into higher productivity, better salary and more success. My favorite chapters in this section teach the following:
(1) How to sleep more efficiently, so you wake up feeling truly refreshed, not groggy and grumpy. (page 138) Better sleep means the same 6-8 hours leaves you without a mid-day energy slump, sharper memory and higher efficiency.
(2) There are description on how some common over-the-counter multivitamin supplements work, which can aid in better sleep, digestion and energy booster. For example did you know melatonin helps to beat jet lag (excellent for travelers) and magnesium supplements aid digestion, mineral absorption and can improve your exercise regimen? There are some other medicines too, recommended by doctors and athletes, which are easily available with few side effects (compared to the amazing benefits) Refer page 21, 129 and many more chapters.
(3) You and I barely spend 3 hours per week in the gym. Instead of worrying how to increase the length of your workouts, try hacking the intensity and efficiency! Learn how the best athletes train and CEOs stay fit. Pages 14, 57 and others.
Read on if you want answers or advice on the following:
(1) Are you a struggling artist or under-paid teacher or a solopreneur who is unable to make ends meet? Go from being a minimal wage employee to earning $500+/hour using the chapters in this section. (P292, p296) Won’t be overnight, for sure, but at least you will see hope to bring you out of despair. Again, this book has so many industry influencers that you should be able to find something that works for your exact circumstances.
(2) Website getting zero traffic, or boss does not recognize your contributions? Don’t worry solutions to monetize your branding and visibility are also listed.
(3) How to identify lucrative investments or start off as a venture capitalist. (P343)
(4) Want to fund a “real-life” MBA? We got you covered in this book. (P250)
Wisdom & Personal Growth
(1) Are you curious about transcendental meditation? If you’ve never heard of it, then this is a meditation technique that celebrities and CEOs swear has changed their life, and allowed them to scale new heights of peak success. This book contains multiple references, and you will be compelled to apply it to your own life. (P151, p176)
(2) What beliefs are holding you back? The concepts that worked for our parents and grandparents may not be relevant anymore, but unless you think or test them gently, you will never know what is possible. Read the brilliant chapter on “17 Questions that changed my life” on page 595.
(3) How to conquer your fear. (P474, p463)
(4) Hack learning using the same techniques that propelled a small-time journalist into the American Memory champion in less than an year. (p577)
Hopefully, the snippets above would have whetted your appetite for the book. So get started, and let me know what you think! And best of luck for a new year filled with unlimited possibilities.