A List of Books, Interviews, and other things that have changed my life.

This page is an ongoing collection of my most influential books, docs, movies, and so forth. I thought it deserved more permanence than a blog post, and I expect it to snowball over time and probably require further organization. For now, you get the laundry basket format. Nothing is in order, but everything is gold to me. I hope the material below contains as many “holy shit!” moments for you as it held for me.

Eating Chicken Wings Like An Immigrant

The above title applies broadly to a collection of very clever and frugal techniques first brought to my attention by Ramit Sethi in I Will Teach You To Be Rich. Ramit’s writing style is punchy and offensive, and combined with some truly potent financial advice (on how to buy a car like an Indian, using the client retention department to lower your bills, maximize your borrowing power + more) this is one of my absolute favourites of all time.

How to Create My Future

Debbie Millman’s episode on the Tim Ferriss podcast explores a writing technique where you just write about a day in the future (10 years out) presuming you’ve already done everything you need to do to realize your dreams to that point. I’ve inadvertently already had success doing this, so I’m still doing it.

Chef’s Table

The best chefs on the planet are also some of the most driven, passionate, adventurous people around. I can’t watch an episode of Chef’s Table without getting inspired, not only about food but about how to live.

The Millionaire Mind and The Millionaire Next Door

The Millionaire Mind and The Millionaire Next Door reveal the major differences in earning, spending, saving, and overall mindsets of self-made millionaires and average people, without any of the selfish elitist cuntiness of Rich Dad Poor Dad (which is also an invaluable read unto itself). The Millionaire books take the scientific, statistical approach to teaching some of the most powerful money lessons I’ve ever been exposed to. Both books are packed with “holy fuck” mind blows that took me totally by surprise, and to this day stand as two of the most mentally transformative books I’ve ever read.

Maidentrip

More inspiration to be adventurous, this time care of the youngest girl to circumnavigate the earth, solo, in a sailboat. Laura Dekker disarms that shitty voice inside that talks me out of adventuring. She helps me think of my dreams less as dreams and more as maps.

Grit and Relentless

Grit is a study of gritty people, and reveals the true nature of grit and how to cultivate it. It documents how grit trumps talent every time. The studies and examples in Grit demolish the “I’m not naturally good at…” excuse, leaving no reason for not doing the really important things you want to be doing, deep down. If you’ve ever thought or said, “I really wish I’d learned how to ______ when I was younger” this book will make you realize that you should probably shut up and start learning.

Relentless takes us inside the minds of the top performers in the world (specifically basketball legends). This book showed me that there is a simple but extremely difficult to execute formula for world-class mastery and greatness: work way harder than everyone else for way longer than everyone else. Then work some more.

Naval Ravikant’s Talk on The Tim Ferriss Show

Steve Jobs’ Stanford Commencement Speech

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”

We want so badly to have a clear sequence of dots to follow. We want to see our destination because it makes us feel in control, and safe. An approach to being the truest versions of ourselves, the people we dream of being, is to simply allow ourselves to do the things we’re drawn to. No map, just an internal compass.

Agile Parenting

Lia and I watched this twice, back to back. Tactics for unburdening parents and allowing our children to take on more responsibility sooner – which apparently they thrive on.

Imperfect Parenting

Emphasis on creating a safe space for imperfection in the household. This builds stronger, more resilient, more secure kids than a household which hides its problems from the kids.

For our kids to feel safe exposing themselves to us emotionally, they need to see us exposing our own emotions and being vulnerable. If we have social or personal or psychological challenges in our lives, our kids are going to inherit those same challenges if we don’t address them first in ourselves. If we model negative self-talk, our kids will do the same thing and it will crush their self-esteems and senses of self worth.