Book Summaries

Peter Drucker: The Effective Executive Book Summary


 “Brilliant men are often strikingly ineffectual; they fail to realize that the brilliant insight is not by itself achievement. They never have learned that insights become effectiveness only through hard systematic work.”

“Intelligence, imagination, and knowledge are essential resources, but only effectiveness converts them into results. By themselves, they only set limits to what can be attained.”

“There are few things less pleasing to the Lord, and less productive, than an engineering department that rapidly turns out beautiful blueprints for the wrong product. Working on the right things is what makes knowledge work effective.”

“The greatest wisdom not applied to action and behavior is meaningless data.”

“Knowledge work is not defined by quantity. Neither is knowledge work defined by its costs. Knowledge work is defined by its results.”

“The realities of the executive’s situation both demand effectiveness from him and make effectiveness exceedingly difficult to achieve. Indeed, unless executives work at becoming effective, the realities of their situation will push them into futility.”

“If the executive lets the flow of events determine what he does, what he works on, and what he takes seriously, he will fritter himself away “operating.” He may be an excellent man. But he is certain to waste his knowledge and ability and to throw away what little effectiveness he might have achieved.”

“What the executive needs are criteria which enable him to work on the truly important, that is, on contributions and results, even though the criteria are not found in the flow of events.”

“An organization, a social artifact, is very different from a biological organism. Yet it stands under the law that governs the structure and size of animals and plants: The surface goes up with the square of the radius, but the mass grows with the cube. The larger the animal becomes, the more resources have to be devoted to the mass and to the internal tasks, to circulation and information, to the nervous system, and so on. Every part of an amoeba is in constant, direct contact”

“And yet the bigger and apparently more successful an organization gets to be, the more will inside events tend to engage the interests, the energies, and the abilities of the executive to the exclusion of his real tasks and his real effectiveness in the outside.”

“What seems to be wanted is universal genius, and universal genius has always been in scarce supply. The experience of the human race indicates strongly that the only person in abundant supply is the universal incompetent. We will therefore have to staff our organizations with people who at best excel in one of these abilities. And then they are more than likely to lack any but the most modest endowment in the others.”

“If one cannot increase the supply of a resource, one must increase its yield. And effectiveness is the one tool to make the resources of ability and knowledge yield more and better results.”

“Effectiveness, in other words, is a habit; that is, a complex of practices. And practices can always be learned.”

“There is, in other words, no reason why anyone with normal endowment should not acquire competence in any practice. Mastery might well elude him; for this one might need special talents. But what is needed in effectiveness is competence. What is needed are “the scales.” These are essentially five such practices— five such habits of the mind that have to be acquired to be an effective executive:

  1. Effective executives know where their time goes. They work systematically at managing the little of their time that can be brought under their control.
  2. Effective executives focus on outward contribution. They gear their efforts to results rather than to work. They start out with the question, “What results are expected of me?” rather than with the work to be done, let alone with its techniques and tools.
  3. Effective executives build on strengths— their own strengths, the strengths of their superiors, colleagues, and subordinates; and on the strengths in the situation, that is, on what they can do. They do not build on weakness.
  4. Effective executives concentrate on the few major areas where superior performance will produce outstanding results.
  5. Effective executives, finally, make effective decisions. They know that this is, above all, a matter of system— of the right steps in the right sequence.

Know Thy Time

“Most discussions of the executive’s task start with the advice to plan one’s work. This sounds eminently plausible. The only thing wrong with it is that it rarely works. The plans always remain on paper, always remain good intentions. They seldom turn into achievement.”

“Effective executives, in my observation, do not start with their tasks. They start with their time. And they do not start out with planning. They start by finding out where their time actually goes. Then they attempt to manage their time and to cut back unproductive demands on their time. Finally they consolidate their “discretionary” time into the largest possible continuing units.”

“People— the third limiting resource— one can hire, though one can rarely hire enough good people. But one cannot rent, hire, buy, or otherwise obtain more time.”

“To be effective, every knowledge worker, and especially every executive, therefore needs to be able to dispose of time in fairly large chunks. To have small dribs and drabs of time at his disposal will not be sufficient even if the total is an impressive number of hours.”

“The first step toward executive effectiveness is therefore to record actual time-use.”

“Systematic time management is therefore the next step. One has to find the non-productive, time-wasting activities and get rid of them if one possibly can. This requires asking oneself a number of diagnostic questions.”

“I have yet to see an executive, regardless of rank or station, who could not consign something like a quarter of the demands on his time to the wastepaper basket without anybody’s noticing their disappearance.”

“Effective executives have learned to ask systematically and without coyness: “What do I do that wastes your time without contributing to your effectiveness?” To ask this question, and to ask it without being afraid of the truth, is a mark of the effective executive.”

“We usually tend to overrate rather than underrate our importance and to conclude that far too many things can only be done by ourselves. Even very effective executives still do a great many unnecessary, unproductive things.”

“My first-grade arithmetic primer asked: “If it takes two ditch-diggers two days to dig a ditch, how long would it take four ditch-diggers?” In first grade, the correct answer is, of course, “one day.” In the kind of work, however, with which executives are concerned, the right answer is probably “four days” if not “forever.””

“Another common time-waster is malorganization. Its symptom is an excess of meetings.”

What Can I Contribute?

“To ask, “What can I contribute?” is to look for the unused potential in the job. And what is considered excellent performance in a good many positions is often but a pale shadow of the job’s full potential of contribution.”

“For every organization needs performance in three major areas: It needs direct results; building of values and their reaffirmation; and building and developing people for tomorrow.”

“The man who asks of himself, “What is the most important contribution I can make to the performance of this organization?” asks in effect, “What self-development do I need? What knowledge and skill do I have to acquire to make the contribution I should be making? What strengths do I have to put to work? What standards do I have to set myself?””

“He always, at the end of his meetings, goes back to the opening statement and relates the final conclusions to the original intent.”

Making Strength Productive

“He knows that one cannot build on weakness. To achieve results, one has to use all the available strengths— the strengths of associates, the strengths of the superior, and one’s own strengths.”

“Whoever tries to place a man or staff an organization to avoid weakness will end up at best with mediocrity.”

“Effective executives know that their subordinates are paid to perform and not to please their superiors.”

“The effective executive therefore first makes sure that the job is well-designed. And if experience tells him otherwise, he does not hunt for genius to do the impossible.”

“The effective executive knows that to get strength one has to put up with weaknesses.”

“It is generally a waste of time to talk to a reader. He only listens after he has read. It is equally a waste of time to submit a voluminous report to a listener. He can only grasp what it is all about through the spoken word.”

“All in all, the effective executive tries to be himself; he does not pretend to be someone else. He looks at his own performance and at his own results and tries to discern a pattern. “What are the things,” he asks, “that I seem to be able to do with relative ease, while they come rather hard to other people?”

First Things First

“If there is any one “secret” of effectiveness, it is concentration. Effective executives do first things first and they do one thing at a time.”

“This is the “secret” of those people who “do so many things” and apparently so many difficult things. They do only one at a time. As a result, they need much less time in the end than the rest of us.”

“Effective executives do not race. They set an easy pace but keep going steadily.”

“Effective executives periodically review their work programs— and those of their associates— and ask: “If we did not already do this, would we go into it now?””

“Above all, the effective executive will slough off an old activity before he starts on a new one.”

“The job is, however, not to set priorities. That is easy. Everybody can do it. The reason why so few executives concentrate is the difficulty of setting “posteriorities”— that is, deciding what tasks not to tackle— and of sticking to the decision.”

“Setting a posteriority is also unpleasant. Every posteriority is somebody else’s top priority. It is much easier to draw up a nice list of top priorities and then to hedge by trying to do “just a little bit” of everything else as well. This makes everybody happy. The only drawback is, of course, that nothing whatever gets done.”

“Concentration— that is, the courage to impose on time and events his own decision as to what really matters and comes first— is the executive’s only hope of becoming the master of time and events instead of their whipping boy.

Elements of Decision Making

“But clear thinking about the boundary conditions is needed also to identify the most dangerous of all possible decisions: the one that might— just might— work if nothing whatever goes wrong.”

“The things one worries about never happen. And objections and difficulties no one thought about suddenly turn out to be almost insurmountable obstacles.”

Effective Decisions

“People inevitably start out with an opinion; to ask them to search for the facts first is even undesirable. They will simply do what everyone is far too prone to do anyhow: look for the facts that fit the conclusion they have already reached. And no one has ever failed to find the facts he is looking for. The good statistician knows this and distrusts all figures— he either knows the fellow who found them or he does not know him; in either case he is suspicious.”

Conclusion: Effectiveness Must Be Learned

Steps to effectiveness:

  1. Recording where the time goes
  2. Focus your vision on contribution
  3. Make your strengths productive and focus on using them
  4. Prioritize the most important things first, not necessarily the most urgent
  5. Take rational action

Shout out to for doing this written summary

Tom Butler-Bowdon: 50 Prosperity Classics Book Summary

  • Attract it, create it, manage it and share it.
  • Wealth is simply the possession of money or assets, or the process of getting more and keeping more for ourselves.
  • Prosperity is the state of “flourishing, thriving or succeeding.”
  • Wealth is about money but prosperity is about life, taking in the wider ideas of good fortune, abundance, and wellbeing.
  • John Wesley, the great religious reformer, told people to “Make all you can, save all you can, give all you can.
  • No man becomes rich unless he enriches others. (Andrew Carnegie)
  • Prosperity is best appreciated as a circle in which money is first attracted and created, then managed well and shared to good effort.
  • The abilities to attract, create, manage, and share wealth are important to living a contented life, and many of us seek to be better off financially not to amass money for its own sake, but to be in control of our time and spend it in meaningful ways.
  • There is still a stigma attached to the pursuit of wealth.
  • Wealth really begins in the mind, with your ideas, vision, beliefs, and character.
  • The hardest victory is the victory over self. (Aristotle)
  • Marsha Sinetar asserts that the key to an abundant life is simply doing work you love. Not only does this lead to excellence in what you produce, which tends to attract more rewards, but aligning your life with your deepest values and talents creates a well of sustainable happiness.
  • Prosperity begins with prosperous thoughts, which in turn set up an emotional state that can only attract good into your life.
  • Embrace old ideas of simpler living and frugality, showing that controlling your finances is key to a fulfilled life.
  • Andrew Carnegie believed that a person who dies rich “dies disgraced.”
  • Life constantly tests us to believe that we live in an abundant universe, and if we do believe then remarkable things can happen.
  • In times o doubt, think of the acorn. An ancient symbol of abundance, this seed of the mighty oak begins growing only when its tree reached maturity. Prosperity always involves an element of time. Nothing great is achieved overnight, and all things begin small.
  • Rectify your heart, and you will rectify your life. Lust, hatred, anger, vanity, pride, covetousness, self-indulgence, self-seeking, obstinacy-all these are poverty and weakness; whereas love, purity, gentleness, meekness, compassion, generosity, self-forgetfulness, and self-renunciation-all these are wealth and power. (James Allen)
  • You will only become truly prosperous when you have disciplines your mind. (James Allen)
  • Prosperity is always personal, resting squarely on the degree to which you have refined and bettered yourself. (James Allen)
  • Whatever your difficulties and pains, they have come fully as a result of your previous thoughts and actions. (James Allen)
  • Control your thoughts and your emotions, and you become master of your destiny. (James Allen)
  • All that we are is the result of what we have thought. It is founded on our thoughts; it is made up of our thoughts. (Buddha)
  • Your world is a reflex of you.
  • The route to a better life is not through complaining but through finding ways to deliver service and provide love. (James Allen)
  • The secret to your release is to make the best of what you have now. (James Allen)
  • Master the self and gain everything. (James Allen)
  • If you would walk firmly and securely, and would accomplish any achievement, you must learn to rise above and control all such disturbing and retarding vibrations. You must daily practice the habit of putting your mind at rest, “going into the silence,” as it is commonly called. This is a method of replacing a troubled thought with one of peace, a thought of weakness with one of strength. (James Allen)
  • Many people note that their most valuable ideas and their most loving acts are born in moments of stillness. (James Allen)
  • Give up that narrow cramped self that seeks to render all things subservient to its own petty interests, and you will enter into the company of the angels, into the very heart and essence of universe love. (James Allen)
  • The paradox of real prosperity is that it comes to those who forgot about themselves in providing service to others. (James Allen)
  • Anyone can gain wealth if they try hard enough, but prosperity and peace of mind only arrive at the door of people who have first mastered themselves. (James Allen)
  • The prosperous do not depend on only once source of income, but grow orchards of “money trees” (Robert Allen)
  • Three “Money Mountains” investing, real estate, and marketing. (Robert Allen)
  • The main difference between the rich and the poor is this: Poor people see money simply as cash in their hands, to be used as soon as they get it. Rich people, in contrast, understand money primarily as seeds to be planted that will grow into “money trees.” (Robert Allen)
  • Poverty is when large efforts produce small results. Wealth is when small efforts produce large results. (Robert Allen)
  • Focus on the basic human needs of money, self-esteem, health, god, relationships, and beauty, and you can’t go far wrong. (Robert Allen)
  • Sometimes changing just one word, or adding a word, will make all the difference to your ability to sell something. (Robert Allen)
  • There is no easier or surer way of attaining wealth than through the habit of paying yourself first through automatic deductions. (David Bach)
  • They then realize that the more you earn, the more you spend, and they’re still living from one pay check to the next, caught in an endless cycle of work-spend-work. This is an “unwinnable race”. In such a state, wealth remains just a pipe dream. (David Bach)
  • The foundation of all wealth is having savings and adding to them regularly. (David Bach)
  • Automatic plus compound interest equals serious wealth. (David Bach)
  • Cash is king for all sorts of reason, and the combination of a rainy –day fund plus long-term investments should lighten any heart. (David Bach)
  • The foundation of success in life is good health: that is the substratum of fortune; it is also the basis of happiness. A person cannot accumulate a fortune very well when he is sick. (P.T. Barnum)
  • You need to have good health in order to be successful. (P.T. Barnum)
  • Selecting a vocation on the basis that it was “congenial to [your] tastes” was the surest way to success. (P.T. Barnum)
  • Sheer persistence is often the difference between someone who succeeds and someone who fails. (P.T. Barnum)
  • When you see an opportunity, seize it and do the work needed to make it succeed. (P.T. Barnum)
  • A man acquires a fortune by doing his business thoroughly. (P.T. Barnum)
  • A constant hammering on one nail will generally drive it home at last. (P.T. Barnum)
  • Be both cautions and bold. (P.T. Barnum)
  • Money is good for nothing unless you know the value of it by experience. (P.T. Barnum)
  • If you produced something good, make sure that the world knows about it. (P.T. Barnum)
  • There’s a sucker born every minute. (P.T. Barnum)
  • There is nothing unusual or mysterious in the idea of your pictured desire coming into material evidence. It is the working of a universal, natural law…everything in the whole world, from the hat on your head to the boots on your feet, has its beginning in mind comes into existence in exactly the same manner. All are projected thoughts, solidified. (Genevieve Behrend)
  • What we visualize tends to come into being. Use this invisible but logical power to turn any desire into reality. (Genevieve Behrend)
  • When you have feelings of lack, you have just forgotten your connection to “Divine abundance.” (Genevieve Behrend)
  • In visualizing, or making mental pictures, you are not endeavoring to change the laws of nature. You are fulfilling them. (Genevieve Behrend)
  • The image of what you want is strong enough to pull you into action. (Genevieve Behrend)
  • Do not fear to be your true self, for everything you want, wants you. (Genevieve Behrend)
  • You fulfill your personality by creating something out of nothing. (Genevieve Behrend)
  • Each person’s mind is “a center of the Divine Mind.” (Genevieve Behrend)
  • The gradual accumulation of the returns earned by corporate business. (John C Bogle)
  • If you invest in stocks at all, put money in a fund that automatically owns a little bit of every company listed. Over time, it is a sure and almost worry-free way to accumulate wealth. (John C Bogle)
  • Don’t be afraid to be different. On entering any new field or an industry, aim to really shake it up and provide new value. (Richard Branson)
  • Being different is not an obstacle, but almost a requirement, in achieving prosperity. (Richard Branson)
  • Thinking big and taking calculated risks. He notes, “My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable, challenges and trying to rise above them.”
  • Being less stressed than others by uncertainty.
  • Trying to prove people wrong.
  • Having the simple belief that “you can do it.” (Richard Branson)
  • It adds another dimension to his existence and makes him feel alive. (Richard Branson)
  • Don’t invest in stocks, invest in the business behind them. (Warren Buffett)
  • Stock-market prices for companies are driven by emotion, not truth, and the truth about a company lies in its operating results rather than its current stock price or its glossy forecasts. (Warren Buffett)
  • A quote from Thomas Watson of IBM sums up Buffett’s philosophy: “I’m no genius, I’m smart in spots-but I stay around those spots.
  • Invest only in companies whose earnings will surely be higher in the future than they are now. (Warren Buffett)
  • When you do buy a stock, buy it for the long haul (“If you aren’t willing to own a stock for ten years, don’t even think about owning it for ten minutes.” (Warren Buffett)
  • Buffett notes, the smartest investment move is inactivity. (Warren Buffett)
  • The greatest teachers who have ever lived have told us that the law of attraction is the most powerful law in the universe. (Rhonda Byrne)
  • You are the one who calls the law of attraction into action, and you do it through your thoughts. (Rhonda Byrne)
  • You are a powerful magnet, attracting into your life the equivalent of whatever you are strongly feelings or thinking about. (Rhonda Byrne)
  • You can “think your life into existence. (Rhonda Byrne)
  • The creative process is the specific way in which you can use the law of attraction to obtain what you want. It involves three steps: Ask the universe – you must be crystal clear about what you want. Believe – act, speak, and think as through you have already received what you have asked for. Receive- feel great that it is coming to you. Feeling good sets up the necessary vibration to manifest the desire. (Rhonda Byrne)
  • Instead of thinking that life is a struggle, start believing that things come easily to you. (Rhonda Byrne)
  • All that we are is the result of what we have thought. (Buddha)
  • The man who dies rich thus dies disgraced. (Andrew Carnegie)
  • The wealth creator has a moral obligation to enrich the lives of others in whatever way they can. (Andrew Carnegie)
  • In a free society the people of ability and ambition naturally prosper while others lag. (Andrew Carnegie)
  • Great wealth ultimately belongs to the society that has helped create it. (Andrew Carnegie)
  • Be willing to fail in public, and you have jumped the hurdle holding most people back from getting rich. (Felix Dennis)
  • If it flies, floats or fornicates, always rent it-it’s cheaper in the long run. (Felix Dennis)
  • You have to see obtaining wealth as a game that you can laugh about, or it will destroy you and your health. There are more important and serious things in life, so you must know when to step back. (Felix Dennis)
  • Money, Dennis confesses, “Quite definitely improved my sex life.” This is because money equals power, and power is an aphrodisiac. He quotes author James Baldwin: “Money, it turned out, was exactly like sex. You thought of nothing else if you didn’t have it, and thought of other things if you did. (Felix Dennis)
  • Money can also give you something else valuable: control over your time. (Felix Dennis)
  • Your attitudes are shaped by your culture. (Jacque Fresco)
  • It is really you that is stopping yourself. (Felix Dennis)
  • That the moment one commits oneself, providence moves all. (Felix Dennis)
  • Yet if you are not willing to fail, you will forever be bound in circumstances that involve little risk. (Felix Dennis)
  • Shakespeare wrote about rule your life, life goes quickly, and the clock is ticking.
  • The majority of people want three things more than they want money: job security, job satisfaction, and power. If you expressly want to be rich you have immediately separated yourself from the “loyal lieutenants” who fill the world’s workplaces. (Felix Dennis)
  • Winston Churchill’s comment “When going through hell, keep going” and the prospect of otherwise being a wage slave drove him on.
  • Ideas are cheap; it’s their execution that makes you rich.
  • The world is awash with mine with your name on it, waiting to be claimed. (Felix Dennis)
  • Financial independence is being free of the fog, fear and fanaticism so many of us feel about money. (Joe Dominguez)
  • By living on less, you can actually enjoy life more.
  • These days people tend to think of themselves more as “consumers” than “citizens.” (Joe Dominguez)
  • We moderns meet most of our needs, wants and desires through money. We buy everything from hope of happiness. We no longer live life. We consume it. (Joe Dominguez)
  • The “rat race” involves working to buy luxuries that you don’t have enough time to enjoy. (Joe Dominguez)
  • If you are able to reduce your expenditure and “declutter” your life you are likely to experience an increase I satisfaction. (Joe Dominguez)
  • Another definition of money. It is something you trade your life energy for. For most people, this “something” is paid work. (Joe Dominguez)
  • The thinking goes “I work damn hard, I deserve the best,” so you spend a lot on things that can make up for the misery of working. (Joe Dominguez)
  • What do people want more of? Generally, it is more time, not more money. (Joe Dominguez)
  • The truly rich are frugal. (Joe Dominguez)
  • Frugality does not actually mean going without, but enjoying what you have. (Joe Dominguez)
  • He who hesitates saves money.
  • Changing your whole direction to take account of an unexpected success requires humility. (Peter Drucker)
  • To obtain your desired outer results, you must first master the inner game of wealth. (T. Harv Eker)
  • To change the visible, you must change the invisible. (T. Harv Eker)
  • Committing to succeed no matter what. (T. Harv Eker)
  • Poor or middle-class people would like to be rich, wealthy people are committed to being rich. Between the two mindsets is a world of difference. (T. Harv Eker)
  • Earn more based on their results, whether through commissions, royalties, or having their own business. (T. Harv Eker)
  • Rich people, in contrast, create things or systems that can earn money for them independently of their time input. (T. Harv Eker)
  • Rich people focus on their net worth. Poor people focus on their working income. (T. Harv Eker)
  • Poor people are focused on spending their money. Rich people are focused on making it, keeping it and investing it. (T. Harv Eker)
  • Another way of saying this is that wealthy people are not smarter than poor people; they just have different and more supportive money habits (T. Harv Eker)
  • Yet the way of the universe is that if you manage what you do have well, you will get more. (T. Harv Eker)
  • There is nothing holding you back from wealth except your own ignorance or desires to be wealthy. (T. Harv Eker)
  • Turn the great energy of your thinking toward ‘plenty’ ideas, and you will have plenty. (Charles Fillmore)
  • The anxious thought must be eliminated and the perfect abandon of the child of nature assumed, and when to this attitude you add the realization of unlimited resources, you have fulfilled the divine law of prosperity. (Charles Fillmore)
  • Gratitude for what you have is the master key to prosperity. (Charles Fillmore)
  • He notes the view of scientists of his time that the “ether” or atmosphere was not nothing, but charged with electricity, magnetism, light rays, X rays, cosmic rays, and other dynamic radiations…it is the source of all life, light, heat, energy, gravitation, attraction, repulsion…it is the interpenetrating essence of everything that exists on the earth. (Charles Fillmore)
  • Prosperity cannot happen, Fillmore notes, while you continue to entertain poverty-stricken thoughts. (Charles Fillmore)
  • The free market, not government, ensures protection of individual rights and standard of quality, and delivers extraordinary prosperity to those who seek it. (Milton Friedman)
  • Prosperity is not just about making money, but about the freedom to live the way you want. (Milton Friedman)
  • Education must again revolve around genuine passion and curiosity, so that the vital habit of self-education is developed. (Thomas Friedman)
  • The key to real prosperity in business is to work on your enterprise not in it. (Michael Gerber)
  • They intoxicate themselves with work so they won’t see how they really are. (Aldous Huxley)
  • Great people have a vision of their lives that they practice emulating each and every day. They go to work on their lives, not just in their lives. (Michael Gerber)
  • Everyone who becomes wealthy in the modern world knows the power of leverage: using other people’s resources and technology to multiply the effect of what you do. (Mark Victor Hansen)
  • No man becomes rich unless he enriches others. (Andrew Carnegie)
  • If you want to create wealth, you need leverage. (Mark Victor Hansen)
  • What is the greatest form of leverage today? The internet. (Mark Victor Hansen)
  • You need a team to obtain your dream. Success is not a solo project. (Mark Victor Hansen)
  • Law of prosperity: To get you must always first give.
  • There are in fact four distinct types of capital: 1) Human – what people can create 2) Financial – money and money instruments 3) Manufactured capital – infrastructure and products 4) Natural capital – the natural world from which all things come.
  • When you know that you want something, and you notice you do not have it, you assume that there is something outside of yourself that is keeping it from you, but that is never true. The only thing that ever prevents you receiving something that you desire is that your habit of thought is different from your desire. (Esther & Jerry Hicks)
  • The law of attraction (a universal law that is never contradicted) is that whatever you put your attention on through thought or desire becomes reality. Whenever you are focused on what you don’t have, that situation of not-having will also be your reality. You attract to yourself things or people that are the equivalent of your current state of being, or “vibration.” (Esther & Jerry Hicks)
  • You are not in a vibrational state that matches that of your desire. That is the only reason-ever!” Abraham states. What has prevented you from getting what you want is you-your thoughts that do not align with what you want to be and where you want to go. (Esther & Jerry Hicks)
  • The key to manifesting your desires is to assume that your desire is already being experienced, that you already have it and are enjoying it. In this way, you set up a level of vibration that can only attract its material equivalent. (Esther & Jerry Hicks)
  • That is you think about something for a long time the likelihood of it having a real effect in your life is many times greater that if you think about it briefly. It is also common sense that desires morph into beliefs, and beliefs make us who we are. When you deliberately choose your desires and beliefs, it is logical that you can begin to master your reality. (Esther & Jerry Hicks)
  • No one has ever been known to achieve permanent success without doing more than he was paid for. (Napoleon Hill)
  • Riches – the real riches of life – increase in exact proportion to the scope and extent of the benefit they bring to those with whom they shared. I know this to be true for I have grown rich by sharing. I have never benefited anyone in any matter whatsoever without having received in return, from one source or another, ten times as much benefit as I have contributed to others. (Napoleon Hill)
  • The basic law of prosperity is that to receive, you must first provide something of great value. (Napoleon Hill)
  • A clear purpose “changes the biochemistry of the mind.” (Napoleon Hill)
  • Applied faith is simply the benefit that “impossibilities” can become reality-from impossible thoughts come impossible things. (Napoleon Hill)
  • Hill lists “twelve riches” in life: positive mental attitude; good health; harmony in relationships; freedom from fear; hope of achievement; capacity for faith; willingness to share your blessing; having a “labor of love” or purpose; an open mind on all subjects; self-discipline; capacity to understand people; economic security. (Napoleon Hill)
  • To achieve any kind of riches, to “get” you must first give. (Napoleon Hill)
  • Without this master plan, you have nothing. (Conrad Hilton)
  • Having a dream and thinking big are the basic elements of all great enterprises and fortunes. (Conrad Hilton)
  • Most people are too busy earning a living to make any money. (Joe Karbo)
  • Mental conditioning is the foundation of wealth; once your goals are programmed in, success comes easily. (Joe Karbo)
  • If has been shown that people who do have written goals then to live up to them. (Joe Karbo)
  • Without clear, well-defined goals, success is impossible. (Joe Karbo)
  • Have to RSVP – read, study, visualize, perform – and with some time and effort you can reap huge dividends. (Joe Karbo)
  • Most people suffer from an inadequate self-image, Karbo observes, and yet the way you see yourself is probably the single greatest determinant of your failure or success in life. Fear is ingrained into people from a very early age, and helps to create the person you are. (Joe Karbo)
  • Expectations drive results, but expectations can easily be changed. (Joe Karbo)
  • The mindset and income patterns of the rich are totally different to those of the poor and middle class. (Robert Kiyosaki)
  • The four quadrants are represented by the letters E,S,B and I. E: The Employee, someone who works for the system. S: The Self-employed, whose activities effectively are the system. B: The Business Owner, who owns a part of the system. I: The Investor, who gets wealthy in a hands-off way by seeking a return on money he/she has put into the system. (Robert Kiyosaki)
  • Kiyosaki’s rich dad said to him, “People who cannot control their cashflow work for those who can. (Robert Kiyosaki)
  • The word “mortgage” is a French one meaning “agreement until death.” (Robert Kiyosaki)
  • Lack of knowledge about money. (Robert Kiyosaki)
  • Most people put money into what looks good to them visually or emotionally. (Robert Kiyosaki)
  • Kiyosaki’s rich dad told him, “Money is a drug” People become addicted to paid employment. They are happy when they get paid, and are miserable and anxious when they don’t. (Robert Kiyosaki)
  • Passion builds businesses, not fear. (Robert Kiyosaki)
  • Above all, you have to think long term and have a vision. (Robert Kiyosaki)
  • Before they can “have,” they have to “be.” (Robert Kiyosaki)
  • Change yourself first, and the lifestyle will eventually follows. (Robert Kiyosaki)
  • The reason there are few self-made rich people is because few people can tolerate disappointment. Instead of learning to face disappointment, they spend their lives avoiding it. (Robert Kiyosaki)
  • Is education, which can cost little but bring you millions. (Robert Kiyosaki)
  • Alert investors who focus on the fundamentals and do not get swayed by market sentiments can outperform the professionals. (Peter Lynch)
  • Selectively acquire just four or five rental properties (residential or commercial), and you will build an income for life-a monthly cash flow that will generously finance the quality of life you would like to enjoy. (Andrew McLean)
  • Buying rental properties is one of the lowest-risk and best-performing forms of investment. (Robert Kiyosaki)
  • Investors never buy assets, per se. They buy flows of future income.
  • Debts often grow by stealth over many years. (Jerrold Mundis)
  • Just for today, one day, do not incur any new debt. (Robert Kiyosaki)
  • The root cause of your debt is dysfunctional attitudes you have built up about money, attitudes that no sudden windfall or pay rise is going to change. (Robert Kiyosaki)
  • Feelings are not facts. The way people feel about a situation is often wrong, particularly if you have poured your fear and anguish into it. (Robert Kiyosaki)
  • Through maximum success demands consistent effort, the realty road to riches requires neither superhuman endeavor nor superintelligence. The chief attributes of successful realty investing are imagination, enterprise and persistence. (William Nickerson)
  • Don’t borrow more than you can safely repay from rental returns. Only buy properties that need renovation. Only make improvements that increase the property’s value. Keep selling at a point and reinvesting your profits. (William Nickerson)
  • When you invest in housing you buy a prime necessity of existence…Salability may fluctuate with inflation and recession. But your real estate will always retain an intrinsic value which economic forces cannot destroy. (William Nickerson)
  • The greatest economic opportunities of tomorrow, always by definition, are in sectors of our economy that may not even exist today. (Paul Pilzer)
  • Meditation was the means for discovering your power to “transmute discord into harmony, ignorance into wisdom, fear into love, and lack into abundance.” (John Price)
  • More than money itself, what most people need is peace of mind. If you don’t take control of your finances, they will control you (no matter how much you earn.) (Dave Ramsey)
  • Ramsey notes three reasons to save: to create an emergency fund; to have cash to buy things so you don’t have to buy them on credit; and to build wealth in the long term. (William Nickerson)
  • Everything gained comes at the expense of something else. (Ayn Rand)
  • It was about being a mistress of my own time and space. (Anita Roddick)
  • Money is in a constant state of flow and circulation, and then more it flows the better. (Sanaya Roman)
  • Paradoxically, clarity about your desires increases the range and quality of options for fulfilling them. (Sanaya Roman)
  • When you desire something material, spend time contemplating the essence of that thing. (Sanaya Roman)
  • The reason that this book’s title contains the phrase, ‘The Money will follow’, is precisely because we must do the work first, invest of ourselves first, seed faithfully in the small, steady, incremental ways of our chosen work first, and then-as a harvest of abundant crops naturally flows the seeding, watering and constant caring process of seeds-the fruits of our efforts result. (Marsha Sinetra)
  • Though we can’t control when, the decision to do what we love sooner or later pays off. (Marsha Sinetra)
  • We are not born to struggle through life. We are meant to work in ways that suit us, drawing on our natural talents and abilities as a way to express ourselves and contribute to others. (Marsha Sinetra)
  • The key is to realize that doing what you love is not a luxury, but a necessity in living a truly prosperous life. (Marsha Sinetra)
  • The real price of everything, what everything really costs to the man who wants to acquire it, is the toil and trouble of acquiring it. (Adam Smith)
  • The more we learn, the more are, or ought to be, dumbfounded. (Dr Lewis Thomas)
  • Whatever you income, always live below your means. (Thomas Stanley)
  • I like thinking big. I always have. To me it’s very simple: if you’re going to be thinking anyway, you might as well think big. Most people think small, because most people are afraid of success, afraid of making decisions, afraid of winning. And that gives people like me a great advantage. (Donald Trump)
  • Sheer persistence is the difference between success and failure. (Donald Trump)
  • If you can make seemingly outrageous demands while keeping a straight face, he claims, you will get bargains. (Donald Trump)
  • Scarcity is a lie. Independent of any actual amount of resources, it is an unexamined and false system of assumptions, opinions, and belief from which we view the world as a place where we are I danger of having our needs unmet. (Lynne Twist)
  • We should judge the quality of life in a society not by looking at the way the rich in that society live, but by the way the lowest percentile of the people live their lives. (Muhammad Yunus)
  • If given the opportunity, the poorest will do what it takes to become prosperous. (Muhammad Yunus)
  • We believe that poverty does not belong in a civilized human society. It belongs in museums. (Muhammad Yunus)
  • Gratitude is the key to an abundant life, because it puts you in a state of mind that attracts even more of what you are grateful for. Love, appreciation, and thanks are the essence of prosperity. It is right to become a giver, but you must also learn to be a good receiver.
  • The half-hearted achieve half-success.


To buy the book, click the link in the image below to purchase from Amazon.


The Fast Diet Summary

Reap the scientifically proven benefits of Intermittent fasting

The evolutionary advantage of fasting

For millennia, our ancestors had to survive as hunters and gatherers. Which means, they had no regular meal schedule. Our ancestors simply ate whenever they had the opportunity and then had to survive days sometimes weeks without food. Thus, our bodies evolved to adapt to intermittent fasting.

The health benefits of intermittent fasting

What follows is an excerpt from a paper published in the scientific Journal Cell Metabolism.

Fasting has been practiced for millennia, but, only recently, studies have shed light on its role in adaptive cellular responses that reduce oxidative damage and inflammation, optimize energy metabolism, and bolster cellular protection. In lower eukaryotes, chronic fasting extends longevity, in part, by reprogramming metabolic and stress resistance pathways. In rodents, intermittent or periodic fasting protects against diabetes, cancers, heart disease, and neurodegeneration, while in humans it helps reduce obesity, hypertension, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis. Thus, fasting has the potential to delay aging and help prevent and treat diseases while minimizing the side effects caused by chronic dietary interventions. 

But if fasting is so healthy, then where does the advice come from that eating several smaller meals during the day is healthier? In part that misconception has ben promoted by snack manufacturers and faddish diet books. Their reasoning is that if we eat lots of small meals we are less likely to get hungry enough to eat a high-fat junk meal.

This argument seems sound, and there are some studies which show that regular small meals show benefits, whenever we don’t end up eating more. But in practice, that is what happens.

Recent research has shown that the amount of time we spend not eating has dropped dramatically. If the common advice mentioned before was true, there should’ve been a reduction in consumed calories with the increased frequency of meals. But exactly the opposite happened. The same study found that compared to 30 years ago, we not only eat 180 more calories in snacks, but we also eat 120 more calories per day on regular meals.

The Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine in Prague performed a study with two groups of diabetics. Both groups consumed 1.700 calories per day, but one group had six meals per day while the other group’s meals were divided in just two per day. Although the amount of calories were the same, for both groups, the two-meal-group lost an average of 1.4 kg and 1.5 inches more from their waists than the six-meal “snacker group”.

Hormesis — What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger

‘When a little poison is good for you’ was an article written in the New Scientist magazine by Professor Mark Mattson of the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore and Edward Calabrese.

The article explains the theory of hormesis. Hormesis is the idea that a living being is exposed to stress or a toxin, it can toughen up. It is now a well-accepted explanation at how cells operate in biology.

Exercise is one example, when you pump iron, what you are doing on a cellular level is damaging your muscles, causing small tears. Your body responds by repairing the damage and in the process, growing the muscles stronger.

Thinking or having to make decisions can also be stressful, yet there is good evidence that challenging yourself intellectually is good for your brain, and the reason it is good is that it produces myelin, a change in the brain aimed at adapting to the stress, similar to a change of the muscles after exercise. Check the book The Talent Code for more details on Myelin and the Brain.

So what has hormesis to do with fasting? While prolonged starvation is clearly bad for health, there is no evidence that short periods of intermittent fasting are bad. Indeed, the opposite is true.

Fasting and longevity

Scientific evidence which shows that intermittently fasting aids longevity is growing.

An article in the scientific journal Nature stated that while the fundamental mechanisms behind why fasting works are not yet clear, research shows definite benefits.

One potential mechanism is the IGF-1 hormone or insulin-like growth factor 1. This hormone is reduced in your body while fasting which may lead to a decreased likelihood of developing cancer as well as increasing longevity.

When you fast or starve, your body quits the normal grow-mode and enters the repair-mode where levels of IGF-1 drop off. Experiments with mice which were engineered not to produce IGF-1 showed that they lived almost twice as long as mice with IGF-1. They also didn’t develop diabetes or cancer.

What about humans? One study with Ecuadorians with the Laron syndrome, a genetic mutation which results in low levels of IGF-1, showed that they never developed diabetes or cancer. Dr. Valter Longo who performed the studies concluded that we may need IGF-1 when we are young, but elevated levels later in life may lead to accelerated aging and even illnesses such as cancer.

Fasting can prevent brain diseases and produce happiness

One study showed that when mice vulnerable to Alzheimer were put on an intermittent fasting diet, signs of Alzheimer were delayed for 20 months. Equivalently to an 80-year-old person.

The mice also showed an increase in the protein known as a brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which stimulates stem cells to grow into new nerve cells in the hippocampus, an area of the brain responsible for learning and memory. Interestingly enough, the same protein showed antidepressant effects when injected into the brain of rats.

If these results transfer to humans, the results would not only mean avoiding potential illnesses but more happiness.

Fasting can help with inflammatory diseases

Asthma sufferers have reported alleviation of symptoms as a result of fasting. One woman, for example, decided to fast to lose weight. Not only did she lose 14 pounds but her breathing also improved.

One study found that individuals under a fasting diet for eight weeks showed improvement in their asthma symptoms after just two weeks.

Although not yet scientifically proven, benefits of fasting are also reported for eczema sufferers also. An inflammatory condition from which 10% of the US population suffers.

Fasting can help prevent diabetes

In 2014 4.9 million people died from diabetes. Intermittent fasting can help prevent diabetes by substantially increasing the insulin sensitivity of our bodies.

Insulin is the hormone responsible for converting blood glucose to glycogen and store it as energy in our liver and muscles.

When a person suffers from diabetes, his or her body stops responding to insulin as it should.

Studies have shown that two weeks of fasting for 20 hours every other day resulted in a higher insulin sensitivity in men. This means that the same amount of insulin worked much more efficiently in their bodies than it did before.

When we fast, our body uses stored fat cells as energy. These cells arewhich disturb insulin from working properly, thus fasting leads to fewer fatcells and increased insulin efficiency.

Shout out to for doing this written summary

James Clear Atomic Habits Book Summary

Chapter 1: The Surprising Power of Tiny Habits

“Success is the product of daily habits—not once-in-a-lifetime transformations.”

“You should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current results.”

“Your outcomes are a lagging measure of your habits. Your net worth is a lagging measure of your financial habits. Your weight is a lagging measure of your eating habits. Your knowledge is a lagging measure of your learning habits. Your clutter is a lagging measure of your cleaning habits. You get what you repeat.”

“Time magnifies the margin between success and failure. It will multiply whatever you feed it. Good habits make time your ally. Bad habits make time your enemy.”

“Goals are about the results you want to achieve. Systems are about the processes that lead to those results.”           

“If you want to predict where you’ll end up in life, all you have to do is follow the curve of tiny gains or tiny losses, and see how your daily choices will compound ten or twenty years down the line.”

“Breakthrough moments are often the result of many previous actions, which build up the potential required to unleash a major change.”                

If you find yourself struggling to build a good habit or break a bad one, it is not because you have lost your ability to improve. It is often because you have not yet crossed what James calls, “Plateau of Latent Potential.”

“When you finally break through the Plateau of Latent Potential, people will call it an overnight success.”                

“The purpose of setting goals is to win the game. The purpose of building systems is to continue playing the game. True long-term thinking is goal-less thinking. It’s not about any single accomplishment. It is about the cycle of endless refinement and continuous improvement.”

“Ultimately, it is your commitment to the process that will determine your progress.”                

“Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement.”

“Getting 1 percent better every day counts for a lot in the long-run.”

“Habits are a double-edged sword. They can work for you or against you, which is why understanding the details is essential.”

“Small changes often appear to make no difference until you cross a critical threshold. The most powerful outcomes of any compounding process are delayed. You need to be patient.”

“An atomic habit is a little habit that is part of a larger system. Just as atoms are the building blocks of molecules, atomic habits are the building blocks of remarkable results.”

“If you want better results, then forget about setting goals. Focus on your system instead.”

“You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.”                

Chapter 2: How Your Habits Shape Your Identity (and Vice Versa)

“Changing our habits is challenging for two reasons: (1) we try to change the wrong thing and (2) we try to change our habits in the wrong way.”   

“There are three layers of behavior change: a change in your outcomesa change in your processes, or a change in your identity.”                

“Outcomes are about what you get. Processes are about what you do. Identity is about what you believe.”                

“With outcome-based habits, the focus is on what you want to achieve. With identity-based habits, the focus is on who you wish to become.”                

“The ultimate form of intrinsic motivation is when a habit becomes part of your identity.”

“It is a simple two-step process: Decide the type of person you want to be. Prove it to yourself with small wins.”                                

“Ask yourself, “Who is the type of person that could get the outcome I want?”

“The most effective way to change your habits is to focus not on what you want to achieve, but on who you wish to become.”

“Your identity emerges out of your habits. Every action is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.”

“Becoming the best version of yourself requires you to continuously edit your beliefs, and to upgrade and expand your identity.”

“The real reason habits matter is not because they can get you better results (although they can do that), but because they can change your beliefs about yourself.”                

Chapter 3: How to Build Better Habits in 4 Simple Steps

Whenever you want to change your behavior, ask yourself:

  1. How can I make it obvious?
    1. How can I make it attractive?
    1. How can I make it easy?
    1. How can I make it satisfying?

“A habit is a behavior that has been repeated enough times to become automatic.”

“The ultimate purpose of habits is to solve the problems of life with as little energy and effort as possible.”

“Any habit can be broken down into a feedback loop that involves four steps: cuecravingresponse, and reward.”

“The Four Laws of Behavior Change are a simple set of rules we can use to build better habits. They are (1) make it obvious, (2) make it attractive, (3) make it easy, and (4) make it satisfying.”                

Chapter 4: The Man Who Didn’t Look Right

“If you’re having trouble determining how to rate a particular habit, ask yourself: ‘Does this behavior help me become the type of person I wish to be? Does this habit cast a vote for or against my desired identity?’”                

“With enough practice, your brain will pick up on the cues that predict certain outcomes without consciously thinking about it.”

“Once our habits become automatic, we stop paying attention to what we are doing.”

“The process of behavior change always starts with awareness. You need to be aware of your habits before you can change them.”

“Pointing-and-Calling raises your level of awareness from a nonconscious habit to a more conscious level by verbalizing your actions.”

“The Habits Scorecard is a simple exercise you can use to become more aware of your behavior.”                

Chapter 5: The Best Way to Start a New Habit

“The 1st Law of Behavior Change is make it obvious.”

“Many people think they lack motivation when what they really lack is clarity.”

“The Diderot Effect states that obtaining a new possession often creates a spiral of consumption that leads to additional purchases.”                

“One of the best ways to build a new habit is to identify a current habit you already do each day and then stack your new behavior on top. This is called habit stacking.”                

“The habit stacking formula is: ‘After [CURRENT HABIT], I will [NEW HABIT].’”                

“The two most common cues are time and location.”

“Creating an implementation intention is a strategy you can use to pair a new habit with a specific time and location.”

“The implementation intention formula is: I will [BEHAVIOR] at [TIME] in [LOCATION].”

“Habit stacking is a strategy you can use to pair a new habit with a current habit.”

“The habit stacking formula is: After [CURRENT HABIT], I will [NEW HABIT].”                

Chapter 6: Motivation is Overrated; Environment Often Matters More

“Environment is the invisible hand that shapes human behavior.”               

“Small changes in context can lead to large changes in behavior over time.”

“Every habit is initiated by a cue. We are more likely to notice cues that stand out.”

“Make the cues of good habits obvious in your environment.”

“Gradually, your habits become associated not with a single trigger but with the entire context surrounding the behavior. The context becomes the cue.”

“It is easier to build new habits in a new environment because you are not fighting against old cues.”                

Chapter 7: The Secret to Self-Control

“The inversion of the 1st Law of Behavior Change is make it invisible.”

“Once a habit is formed, it is unlikely to be forgotten.”

“People with high self-control tend to spend less time in tempting situations. It’s easier to avoid temptation than resist it.”

“One of the most practical ways to eliminate a bad habit is to reduce exposure to the cue that causes it.”

“Self-control is a short-term strategy, not a long-term one.”                

Chapter 8: How to Make a Habit Irresistible

“The 2nd Law of Behavior Change is make it attractive.”

“The more attractive an opportunity is, the more likely it is to become habit-forming.”

“Habits are a dopamine-driven feedback loop. When dopamine rises, so does our motivation to act.”

“It is the anticipation of a reward—not the fulfillment of it—that gets us to take action. The greater the anticipation, the greater the dopamine spike.”

“Temptation bundling is one way to make your habits more attractive. The strategy is to pair an action you want to do with an action you need to do.” 

Chapter 9: The Role of Family and Friends in Shaping Your Habits

“The culture we live in determines which behaviors are attractive to us.”

“We tend to adopt habits that are praised and approved of by our culture because we have a strong desire to fit in and belong to the tribe.”

“We tend to imitate the habits of three social groups: the close (family and friends)the many (the tribe), and the powerful (those with status and prestige).”

“One of the most effective things you can do to build better habits is to join a culture where (1) your desired behavior is the normal behavior and (2) you already have something in common with the group.

“The normal behavior of the tribe often overpowers the desired behavior of the individual. Most days, we’d rather be wrong with the crowd than be right by ourselves.”

“If a behavior can get us approval, respect, and praise, we find it attractive.”               

Chapter 10: How to Find and Fix The Cause of Your Bad Habits

“The inversion of the 2nd Law of Behavior Change is make it unattractive.”

“Every behavior has a surface level craving and a deeper underlying motive.”

“Your habits are modern-day solutions to ancient desires.”

“The cause of your habits is actually the prediction that precedes them. The prediction leads to a feeling.”

“Highlight the benefits of avoiding a bad habit to make it seem unattractive.”

“Habits are attractive when we associate them with positive feelings and unattractive when we associate them with negative feelings. Create a motivation ritual by doing something you enjoy immediately before a difficult habit.”                

Chapter 11: Walk Slowly, But Never Backward

“The 3rd Law of Behavior Change is make it easy.”

“The most effective form of learning is practice, not planning.”

“Focus on taking action, not being in motion.”

“Habit formation is the process by which a behavior becomes progressively more automatic through repetition.”

“The amount of time you have been performing a habit is not as important as the number of times you have performed it.”

Chapter 12: The Law of Least Effort

“Human behavior follows the Law of Least Effort.”

“We will naturally gravitate toward the option that requires the least amount of work.”

“Create an environment where doing the right thing is as easy as possible.”

“Reduce the friction associated with good behaviors. When friction is low, habits are easy.”

“Increase the friction associated with bad behaviors. When friction is high, habits are difficult.”

“Prime your environment to make future actions easier.”                

Chapter 13: How to Stop Procrastinating by Using the Two-Minute Rule

Every day, there are a handful of moments that deliver an outsized impact. James refers to these little choices as “decisive moments.”                

“Decisive moments set the options available to your future self.”                

“A habit must be established before it can be improved.”                

“Habits can be completed in a few seconds but continue to impact your behavior for minutes or hours afterward.”

“Many habits occur at decisive moments—choices that are like a fork in the road—and either send you in the direction of a productive day or an unproductive one.”

“The Two-Minute Rule states, ‘When you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do.’”

“The more you ritualize the beginning of a process, the more likely it becomes that you can slip into the state of deep focus that is required to do great things.”

“Standardize before you optimize. You can’t improve a habit that doesn’t exist.”                

Chapter 14: How to Make Good Habits Inevitable and Bad Habits Impossible

“The inversion of the 3rd Law of Behavior Change is make it difficult.”

“A commitment device is a choice you make in the present that locks in better behavior in the future.”

“The ultimate way to lock in future behavior is to automate your habits.”

“Onetime choices—like buying a better mattress or enrolling in an automatic savings plan—are single actions that automate your future habits and deliver increasing returns over time.”

“Using technology to automate your habits is the most reliable and effective way to guarantee the right behavior.”                

Chapter 15: The Cardinal Rule of Behavior Change

“The 4th Law of Behavior Change is make it satisfying.”

“We are more likely to repeat a behavior when the experience is satisfying.”

“The human brain evolved to prioritize immediate rewards over delayed rewards.”

“The Cardinal Rule of Behavior Change: What is immediately rewarded is repeated. What is immediately punished is avoided.”

“To get a habit to stick you need to feel immediately successful—even if it’s in a small way.”

“The first three laws of behavior change—make it obvious, make it attractive, and make it easy—increase the odds that a behavior will be performed this time. The fourth law of behavior change—make it satisfying—increases the odds that a behavior will be repeated next time.”                

Chapter 16: How to Stick with Good Habits Every Day

“Named after the economist Charles Goodhart, Goodhart’s Law states, ‘When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.’”

“One of the most satisfying feelings is the feeling of making progress.”

“A habit tracker is a simple way to measure whether you did a habit—like marking an X on a calendar.”

“Habit trackers and other visual forms of measurement can make your habits satisfying by providing clear evidence of your progress.”

“Don’t break the chain. Try to keep your habit streak alive.”

“Never miss twice. If you miss one day, try to get back on track as quickly as possible.”

“Just because you can measure something doesn’t mean it’s the most important thing.”                

Chapter 17: How an Accountability Partner Changes Everything

“The inversion of the 4th Law of Behavior Change is make it unsatisfying.”

“We are less likely to repeat a bad habit if it is painful or unsatisfying.”

“An accountability partner can create an immediate cost to inaction. We care deeply about what others think of us, and we do not want others to have a lesser opinion of us.”

“A habit contract can be used to add a social cost to any behavior. It makes the costs of violating your promises public and painful.”

“Knowing that someone else is watching you can be a powerful motivator.”

Chapter 18: The Truth About Talent (When Genes Matter and When They Don’t)

“The secret to maximizing your odds of success is to choose the right field of competition.”

“Pick the right habit and progress is easy. Pick the wrong habit and life is a struggle.”

“Genes cannot be easily changed, which means they provide a powerful advantage in favorable circumstances and a serious disadvantage in unfavorable circumstances.”

“Habits are easier when they align with your natural abilities. Choose the habits that best suit you.”

“Play a game that favors your strengths. If you can’t find a game that favors you, create one.”

“Genes do not eliminate the need for hard work. They clarify it. They tell us what to work hard on.”                

Chapter 19: The Goldilocks Rule—How to Stay Motivated in Life and Work          

“The Goldilocks Rule states that humans experience peak motivation when working on tasks that are right on the edge of their current abilities.

“The greatest threat to success is not failure but boredom.”

“As habits become routine, they become less interesting and less satisfying. We get bored.”

“Anyone can work hard when they feel motivated. It’s the ability to keep going when work isn’t exciting that makes the difference.”

“Professionals stick to the schedule; amateurs let life get in the way.”             

Chapter 20: The Downside of Creating Good Habits

“The upside of habits is that we can do things without thinking. The downside is that we stop paying attention to little errors.”

“Habits + Deliberate Practice = Mastery”

“Reflection and review is a process that allows you to remain conscious of your performance over time.”

“The tighter we cling to an identity,the harder it becomes to grow beyond it.”     

Barbara Oakley A Mind For Numbers Book Summary


1. Use recall. After you read a page, look away and recall the main ideas. Highlight very little, and never highlight anything you haven’t put in your mind first by recalling. Try recalling main ideas when you are walking to class or in a different room from where you originally learned it. An ability to recall—to generate the ideas from inside yourself—is one of the key indicators of good learning.

2. Test yourself. On everything. All the time. Flash cards are your friend.

3. Chunk your problems. Chunking is understanding and practicing with a problem solution so that it can all come to mind in a flash. After you solve a problem, rehearse it. Make sure you can solve it cold—every step. Pretend it’s a song and learn to play it over and over again in your mind, so the information combines into one smooth chunk you can pull up whenever you want.

4. Space your repetition. Spread out your learning in any subject a little every day, just like an athlete. Your brain is like a muscle—it can handle only a limited amount of exercise on one subject at a time.

5. Alternate different problem-solving techniques during your practice. Never practice too long at any one session using only one problem-solving technique—after a while, you are just mimicking what you did on the previous problem. Mix it up and work on different types of problems. This teaches you both how and when to use a technique. (Books generally are not set up this way, so you’ll need to do this on your own.) After every assignment and test, go over your errors, make sure you understand why you made them, and then rework your solutions. To study most effectively, handwrite (don’t type) a problem on one side of a flash card and the solution on the other. (Handwriting builds stronger neural structures in memory than typing.) You might also photograph the card if you want to load it into a study app on your smartphone. Quiz yourself randomly on different types of problems. Another way to do this is to randomly flip through your book, pick out a problem, and see whether you can solve it cold.

6. Take breaks. It is common to be unable to solve problems or figure out concepts in math or science the first time you encounter them. This is why a little study every day is much better than a lot of studying all at once. When you get frustrated with a math or science problem, take a break so that another part of your mind can take over and work in the background.

7. Use explanatory questioning and simple analogies. Whenever you are struggling with a concept, think to yourself, How can I explain this so that a ten-year-old could understand it? Using an analogy really helps, like saying that the flow of electricity is like the flow of water. Don’t just think your explanation—say it out loud or put it in writing. The additional effort of speaking and writing allows you to more deeply encode (that is, convert into neural memory structures) what you are learning.

8. Focus. Turn off all interrupting beeps and alarms on your phone and computer, and then turn on a timer for twenty-five minutes. Focus intently for those twenty-five minutes and try to work as diligently as you can. After the timer goes off, give yourself a small, fun reward. A few of these sessions in a day can really move your studies forward. Try to set up times and places where studying—not glancing at your computer or phone—is just something you naturally do.

9. Eat your frogs first. Do the hardest thing earliest in the day, when you are fresh.

10. Make a mental contrast. Imagine where you’ve come from and contrast that with the dream of where your studies will take you. Post a picture or words in your workspace to remind you of your dream. Look at that when you find your motivation lagging. This work will pay off both for you and those you love!

Here are the ten rules of bad studying, I’m sure you have done some of them at some point.


Avoid these techniques—they can waste your time even while they fool you into thinking you’re learning!

1. Passive rereading—sitting passively and running your eyes back over a page. Unless you can prove that the material is moving into your brain by recalling the main ideas without looking at the page, rereading is a waste of time.

2. Letting highlights overwhelm you. Highlighting your text can fool your mind into thinking you are putting something in your brain, when all you’re really doing is moving your hand. A little highlighting here and there is okay—sometimes it can be helpful in flagging important points. But if you are using highlighting as a memory tool, make sure that what you mark is also going into your brain.

3. Merely glancing at a problem’s solution and thinking you know how to do it. This is one of the worst errors students make while studying. You need to be able to solve a problem step-by-step, without looking at the solution.

4. Waiting until the last minute to study. Would you cram at the last minute if you were practicing for a track meet? Your brain is like a muscle—it can handle only a limited amount of exercise on one subject at a time.

5. Repeatedly solving problems of the same type that you already know how to solve. If you just sit around solving similar problems during your practice, you’re not actually preparing for a test—it’s like preparing for a big basketball game by just practicing your dribbling.

6. Letting study sessions with friends turn into chat sessions. Checking your problem solving with friends, and quizzing one another on what you know, can make learning more enjoyable, expose flaws in your thinking, and deepen your learning. But if your joint study sessions turn to fun before the work is done, you’re wasting your time and should find another study group.

7. Neglecting to read the textbook before you start working problems. Would you dive into a pool before you knew how to swim? The textbook is your swimming instructor—it guides you toward the answers. You will flounder and waste your time if you don’t bother to read it. Before you begin to read, however, take a quick glance over the chapter or section to get a sense of what it’s about.

8. Not checking with your instructors or classmates to clear up points of confusion. Professors are used to lost students coming in for guidance—it’s our job to help you. The students we worry about are the ones who don’t come in. Don’t be one of those students.

9. Thinking you can learn deeply when you are being constantly distracted.

Every tiny pull toward an instant message or conversation means you have less brain power to devote to learning. Every tug of interrupted attention pulls out tiny neural roots before they can grow.

10. Not getting enough sleep. Your brain pieces together problem-solvingtechniques when you sleep, and it also practices and repeats whatever you putin mind before you go to sleep. Prolonged fatigue allows toxins to build up inthe brain that disrupt the neural connections you need to think quickly andwell. If you don’t get a good sleep before a test, NOTHING ELSE YOU HAVE DONEWILL MATTER.

Shout out to for doing this written summary

Aubrey Marcus: Own the Day Own Your Life Book Summary

Ultimately, we are building toward one single day for you to plan, in advance, to completely own. It could be next week or next month or next fiscal quarter, but as you read, feel free to employ any of the techniques you find in these pages as you go along. That will only help you troubleshoot and be fully ready for that very first fully owned day. But make no mistake about it, your goal is to prepare and own one full day, like a total boss.

1: Water Light Movement

You want to take control of your day from the word go. So hydrate immediately (not with coffee!), then seek light and get moving to reset your internal clock. That’s three simple things to do within twenty minutes of waking—and your day will be primed for perfection.

The hydrating water in the coffee is somewhat offset by the dehydrating nature of caffeine. Yet we still reach for coffee in the morning, in large part because these adrenal effects are so damn good at dealing with the other problem we face when we wake up: we’re still tired.

Morning Mineral Cocktail 12 ounces filtered water 3 grams sea salt 1/4 lemon, squeezed

In a perfect world, you’d be able to suckle from the teat of Mother Nature and drink spring water exclusively. Spring water has the right balance of what you want (useful minerals), with little to none of what you don’t (chlorine, heavy metals, contaminants).

For those of us not quite that lucky and who also do not have a line item for water in our grocery budgets, the next best thing is filtered water—either through a Brita pitcher you fill and stick in the refrigerator, a Pur filter you attach straight to your kitchen faucet, or whatever high-quality filter is available near you.

A small pinch of sea salt into distilled or filtered water should help reset the balance. Add a wedge of lemon juice for some additional refreshing nutrients (a lighter version of the morning mineral cocktail) and you’ve optimized your water.

First, the water should be room temperature. When you’re looking to maximize mineral absorption and aid digestion, room temperature is always best for any beverage. And second, the salt needs to dissolve or stay off the bottom of the glass when you drink it.

Upon waking, either from sleep or a nap, blast yourself with five to ten minutes of direct blue-light exposure.

A device called the Human Charger25, made by a company named Valkee out of Helsinki, Finland, has pioneered this technology for consumer use.

The key to overcoming that resistance is understanding that what we’re talking about here is not a morning workout. This is morning movement.

pick what you like: light yoga, push ups, air squats, jumping jacks, a Richard Simmons clip on YouTube. Chase your dog around the house or pick your kid up and fly her around like an airplane.

QUICK AND DIRTY: 1–3 MINUTES Twenty-three burpees.

SLOW AND SEXY: 5–10 MINUTES This is a little yoga flow I developed for the morning. I hold each position for two full intentional breaths, allowing up to one breath for the transition.

2: Deep Breath, Deep Freeze

STEP 1: THIRTY TO FIFTY POWER BREATHS Inhale through the nose or mouth into the belly with deep, powerful breaths. Exhale without additional effort, just let the chest fall. Keep a steady pace and make sure to focus on drawing the breath deep into your belly. Do this until you feel as light light-headedness and a tingling sensation in your extremities. That is the sign that a shift is happening and your blood is hyper oxygenated. For most people that effect starts to kick in around thirty breaths, but it can take up to fifty, depending on certain factors.

STEP 2: THE HOLD (RETENTION AFTER EXHALATION) After the thirty to fifty breaths, or once you start to feel the tingling, draw the breath in one more time and fill the lungs to maximum capacity. Then calmly let the air out and hold for as long as you can at the bottom of the breath.You don’t need to set a world record, just hold your breath until you feel that gasp reflex and you really want to breathe again.

When you get sick, it is not the virus that gives you the symptoms; it is your immune system. Fatigue, mild fever, body aches, congestion—the stuff we colloquially identify as “the cold” or “the flu”—are actually manifestations of the inflammatory response.

once you’ve completed the actual hygienic part of your shower, and while the water is still hot, begin a cycle of Wim Hof breathing (thirty breaths or until you feel a tingling sensation in your extremities, whichever comes first). At that moment, turn the water as cold as it can go and let it hit every part of your body.

you should aim to be in the cold water for a minimum of three minutes.

Turn the shower to hot and wash. Do Wim Hof breathing (thirty to fifty breaths, or until you feel tingling and/or mild light-headedness). Turn the shower as cold as it can get. Continue Wim Hof breaths until breathing calms.Hold at the bottom of breath until the gasp reflex kicks in.

Do the Wim Hof cycle of thirty breaths while still on dry land, or in shower after completing necessary hygiene. Prepare an ice bath, or jump in water as cold as you can find. Set a timer for two minutes, or start playing a song that is two minutes long. Continue Wim Hof breathing until you can breathe calmly and normally (remember, the cold will make you want to gasp for air).Exhale fully, and hold your breath at the bottom. If you have extensive experience (or have a buddy with you in case you pass out), submerge completely. Get out of the water at the end of two minutes.

You know what is beyond that mountain? More fucking mountains. If you’re going to climb, then you better adapt.

3: More Fat, Less Sugar, or Don’t Eat

Here is a closer look at five of my all-time favorites that I regularly reach for at my first meal of the day:


The fats and the protein are the only good parts of dairy for an adult human. The lactose is not, because lactose is just another word for milk sugar.By cutting out the fat from dairy, you are basically saying that you want to increase the percentage of sugar relative to the other macro nutrients. Great plan! That’s like saying you want to increase the amount of smog relative to your fresh air.

There are a few coconut yogurt brands, including the one from New Earth Super foods, which I mentioned above, but the coconut cream under the Coconut Cult brand name will ship nationwide in cold packs, so you can yogurt like a baller.


I like to eat half an avocado with lime, sea salt, and cayenne when I want a lush, nutrient-dense snack or a quick breakfast and I don’t have time to sit down to a proper meal.



Just be sure not to burn the bacon


It is also generally going to be better to reserve the more complex and hard-to-digest foods for later in the day, since the morning correlates to the lowest levels of digestive enzymes and gastric acid. Eggs are easier to digest than red meat, for example. This is also why I like smoothies for breakfast, as everything is already premasticated by the teeth of the blender.

4: Essential Supplements

we deal with more chronic stressors than our ancestors did, most of which our bodies are not designed to thwart—and it shows.

our environment is robbing us of a lot of the nutrients, minerals, and microbial defenses that used to come into our diets by default.

a disturbing percentage of the food we’re eating is so processed that even insects won’t eat it.

It is now commonly held that the immune-system challenge from commingling of intestinal (fecal) bacteria in the birth canal is an important initial hormetic stressor to build a healthy gut biome and kick-start infant immunity, and we’ve removed that first gut gauntlet for nearly half our children, to their detriment.

The key things to consider supplementing are greens, probiotics, B vitamins, krill oil, vitamin D, and additional minerals.

5: Drive Time, Alive Time

What Greene says, and what I agree with, is that any time can be made into alive time, because alive time is a choice, just as dead time is a choice.

Bringing this time to life is a two-step process. It requires preparing and opening your mind, then flexing and filling it. Or, as I like to call it:mindfulness and mindfillness

Mindfulness is simply being aware and conscious in the present moment. That’s it.

In classic Zen training the masters proposed four very simple practices: archery, calligraphy, pouring tea, and arranging flowers.

THE WIDE PERIPHERAL GAZE Open your eyes as wide as they go without engaging any muscles of the face. Keep your focus relaxed in the center of your vision. With your mind only, become aware of everything happening at the periphery of your vision. Up, down, left, right. Things might be a little fuzzy, that’s fine. Then, still without focusing on anything at all, become aware of everything. Each leaf moving in the wind. People walking by. A bird in the distance. Wrinkles in fabric. See everything, focus on nothing. Every moment something will be different, always changing, just like life. It is life. Breathe with your belly. Become aware of all things happening at all times. Become the observer of every detail in the environment, ignoring nothing, yet focusing on nothing. That strange feeling you have now—of a clear mind, of freshness and lightness? That is mindfulness meditation. Nothing more and nothing less.

As soon as you get in your car take six deep breaths. Expand your lungs as much as possible, and focus your breath into your belly—

6: The Power Plants

Poppy tea was a mild pain-relieving folk medicine. Then it became opium. Then it became heroin. Then it became OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet.

MoMatchajito Juice of 1/2 lime 3 sprigs mint 1 teaspoon matcha 3 drops liquid stevia 8 ounces sparkling water INSTRUCTIONS  In the bottom of a cocktail shaker, muddle the lime and mint.  Add the matcha, stevia, and 2 ounces of sparkling water.  Shake briskly and pour into a large glass.  Add ice, if desired, and top with the remaining sparkling water.  Stir and serve.

Adding good fat to caffeine is not a new concept. In Tibet, where the conditions are cold and harsh, the work is long, and people need fuel throughout the day, they have been putting yak butter in their tea for ages.

Robb went the other direction and started recommending adding fats like butter, cacao butter, or MCT as supplements to your morning coffee. Not only does that taste delicious but the feeling of time-released caffeine through fat’s slower absorption rate has fueled the butter coffee craze.

In a pinch, full-fat dairy like whole cream will do, but better than that is to whip out a blender and add a serving of grass-fed butter, coconut oil, or cacao butter to make a frothy fatty latte, and get those fat macronutrients into your life! Perhaps the best fat source for your caffeine, though, is MCT oil.

The tricky part for us, as we talk about owning this day and taking our work to the next level, is that nicotine—the active component of tobacco—while carrying its own risks, has a ton of performance benefits.

Swedish snus, a moist tobacco powder you tuck under your upper lip, appears to be one of the healthiest forms of smokeless tobacco.

For now the best analysis comes from the same highly respected London Royal College of Physicians paper, which suggests that the hazard to health arising from long-term vapor inhalation from the e-cigarettes available today is unlikely to exceed 5 percent of the harm from smoking tobacco. That is to say, it might be twenty times safer. And while they acknowledge that there are no medical standards for the production of vapor, largely made of glycerin (though many have begun to move away from that), they strongly encourage all cigarette smokers to make the switch.

NICOTINE GUM OR PATCH This is the cleanest way to get nicotine into your system, period. With the clinical efficiency, however, the ritual and a lot of the fun is lost, which is why these alternatives don’t work so well in helping people quit. But for the biohacker on a mission to optimize mental performance for short stretches, this is the cleanest way to do it.

It was this experience with the plant that eventually led me to place Huperzia serrata at the heart of supplementing high brain function.

I woke up and put in my HumanCharger earbuds. I did twenty-three burpees. Power shower. I had a great breakfast. I took my supplements.

If I’m writing, working late, podcasting, or playing chess in the boardroom, it is caffeine, nicotine, and Alpha Brain that I bring to the front lines.

If they are controlling your life, consider the well-established practice of harm reduction, and find ways to transition to a less harmful method or frequency to limit your downside exposure. To check myself, I’ll pause with them for a week or sometimes even a month.

7: Doin Work

I’m a firm believer that there are two kinds of people in this world: those who need to find purpose and meaning in what they do for a living, and those who find purpose and meaning elsewhere and use work as a means to those ends.

This, then, is your job. To figure out your mission so you can own not just this day, but every day after it.

So what do you want to do? What does your best self want more than anything else, want so bad that your inability to stop thinking about it will make it impossible for anyone to stop you from achieving it? Think about it, because in a few chapters we’re going to ask you to write it down.

Their research found that “54% made fewer errors when they could smell lemon, 33% fewer with jasmine and 20% fewer with lavender.” Lemon-jasmine-lavender tea for the win!

Suppose that every time you know you are going to (try to) enter a flow state, you have a certain essential oil that you smell. After a while your brain will link that flow state to the scent. Eventually, you will be able to use that scent in reverse, helping you to invoke that desired flow state,

In fact, evolutionary biologists credit laughter with exactly that purpose: diffusing what would ordinarily be tense situations. The moment you can laugh about something, the threat is over. If anyone is in an energetically challenging place, instead of indulging it, or telling them to fix it, be a good teammate and shoot for laughter.

if you start the day off with the hardest thing you need to accomplish, you are going to enjoy the whole day a hell of a lot more.

Once you figure out your mission, write it down and put it somewhere you’ll see it.

The first thing I do is turn on my Zen fountain and my oil diffuser.

8: Eat a Weird Lunch

calories aren’t real, and humans don’t actually “burn” them.

What the body actually does is break down food in complex metabolic pathways, utilizing amino acids for muscles, shuttling nutrients into cells, and storing energy. When we work out, we don’t “burn the calories” from the last meal we ate, like a coal-powered engine. Energy in the body comes from a chemical called adenosine triphosphate (ATP) that the body generates from a variety of sources, including glycogen, ketones, protein, and fat that our body had previously stored.


An 8-ounce steak is 50 grams of protein by itself, and that’s usually the smallest option on most restaurant menus. So if you are totally looking for gains, bro, try hitting that 30-gram mark, because more is likely just going to be unnecessary extra work for your organs, and your wallet.

IDEAL SOURCES: Grass-fed beef, wild-caught salmon, pasture-raised eggs, sprouted pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds

Soluble Fibers

Soluble fibers mix with water and form a gel-like substance. If you’ve ever had chia seed pudding, or a chia slurry, you have a good sense of what this looks like.

IDEAL SOURCES: Chia, flax, asparagus, guar gum

Insoluble Fibers

Insoluble fiber plays an important role in making sure your digestive tract has enough substance to push through the system efficiently and completely.

IDEAL SOURCES: Avocado, sprouted barley, mixed greens, popcorn, psyllium

Fermentable Fiber

Fermentable fiber/resistant starch is often called a “prebiotic” because your friendly neighborhood gut bacteria are able to digest (ferment) it to use as food. Whereas probiotics actually contain more friendly bacteria to help populate your gut colony, prebiotics provide the food they need to thrive.

IDEAL SOURCES: Garbanzo beans (hummus), dandelion greens, chicory root, onions


your goal when it comes to carb consumption is to slow them down as much as possible.

The best way to eat carbs, then, is to eat things that already have the fiber in them—things like yams, sweet potatoes, quinoa, sprouted or fermented grains, and some fruits.

So if fiber and fat slow down the absorption of sugar, what do you suppose produces the fastest absorption? Well, something that has neither fiber nor fat. The liquid greased lightning of sugar: soda.

IDEAL SOURCES: Yams, sweet potatoes, sprouted or fermented grains, certain fruits


There are studies showing that even in the elderly, high cholesterol can be protective. In these older populations, the higher the cholesterol, the lower your risk of heart disease. Not to mention that cholesterol levels that are too low are actually associated with increased risk of death… from other causes, like cancer and suicide.

IDEAL SOURCES: Coconut oil, animal fats, avocado, grass-fed butter, egg yolk, olive oil, MCT oil, cacao butter


You aren’t just what you eat, you’re also what what you eat ate.

Prebiotic foods are those that feed the bacteria already present in the gut. Fueling those little dudes, which outnumber the rest of the body’s cells ten to one, is pretty important and why foods rich in fermentable fiber and resistant starch are so key.

When you heat and cool potatoes (or rice), you turn some of the digestible starches into resistant starch via a process called retrogradation. In addition to feeding your friendlies, the retrograded starch will have a diminished effect on elevating blood sugar levels, which will help you ward off the afternoon drowsies.

IDEAL SOURCES: Jerusalem artichokes, blueberries, almonds and pistachios, and especially high quantities in chicory root, dandelion greens, and onions


Probiotic foods add more friendly bacteria into your system, the ones that not only break down food in the stomach but also start breaking down food outside the stomach as well.

IDEAL SOURCES: Miso, kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, dark chocolate, Greek yogurt


There are a lot of different protective foods, to the extent that any nutrient-dense food you eat is probably doing something to benefit or bolster one of the systems in your body, but two classes of food stand above the others for their essential protective nature: omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.

Omega-3 fatty acids are called essential fatty acids because the body can’t produce them and needs to source them from food.

IDEAL SOURCES: Chia, flax, and sacha inchi seeds; wild-caught fish like sockeye salmon, sardines, and mackerel; grass-fed beef (as long as it isn’t grain-finished)

Antioxidants have been touted, at one time or another, as a cure for everything from cancer to the common cold. While the hype for antoxidants as a panacea was definitely overblown, what is absolutely true is that they reduce oxidative stress in the body by eliminating free radicals, hungry molecules on the hunt for electrons to quench their unending molecular thirst.

Polyphenols help reduce something called C-reactive protein, which is a marker of inflammation. The best sources for polyphenols are chocolate, red wine, and green tea.

Anthocyanins are immune boosters present in dark fruits like blackberries, blueberries, açaí, black currant, and cherries, as well as black rice and eggplant. Like Tupac and Kendrick always say, the blacker the berry, the stronger the anthocyanins.

Curcuminoids have earned a lot of buzz for their ability to reduce inflammation. Found primarily in turmeric—whose yellow root gives curry powder its color—not only do they reduce oxidative stress, they are specifically valuable for the brain and may help reduce the burden of age-related brain conditions.

Garlic is one of these mysterious foods that has been used therapeutically for millennia. It contains multiple antioxidant compounds that, among other things, subdue the common cold like a Brazilian jujitsu black belt.

Sulforaphane is an antioxidant compound produced when raw cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage are chopped or chewed. Evidence suggests that sulforaphane may help inactivate and eliminate carcinogens as well as help decrease DNA damage by reducing inflammation, the underlying cause of many diseases.

IDEAL SOURCES: Dark chocolate, red wine, green tea, berries, black rice, turmeric and black pepper, garlic, broccoli sprouts

Here’s the deal: pretty much every vegetable or well-sourced protein contains good vitamins and minerals. But if you’re going to get all the trace micronutrients you need to really get your body and your brain humming on a regular basis, you need to vary your dietary intake and pull from the WTF-is-that? part of the salad bar. Here are a couple of winners:

Cauliflower is so hot right now.

Seaweed/sea veggies contain high levels of ocean minerals, including iodine, magnesium, manganese, iron, and other trace minerals.

Organ meat (liver, heart, kidneys) sourced from pasture-raised animals is one of the world’s most nutrient-dense superfoods.

When it comes to diet and health, antinutrients are the one step back, and they are just as important to avoid as the two steps forward we need to make with macro- and micronutrients.

Sugar, of course, is the biggest antinutrient of them all.

So here’s the move: anytime you can’t believe it’s not butter, or you see something with trans fats, throw that shit in the trash. Even if it says “0 g trans fats” on the packaging, double-check that the ingredients don’t include anything listed as “partially hydrogenated _____ oil,” because that shit is trans fat.

When you’re cooking for your health, even if you’re indulging in some delicious pan-fried foods, you want to make sure you don’t heat your fats—olive oil, butter, coconut oil—to what is called their “smoke point.” This is where healthy fats start to turn unhealthy, because once they burn, they start to produce toxic compounds called aldehydes, which, interestingly, are also in the class of compounds that accumulate when we drink too much alcohol, making us feel hungover.

Avocado oil has the highest smoke point of all cooking oils. With a nice mild flavor, it’s great for any kind of sauté or stir-fry. And with a smoke point upward of 500 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll be hard-pressed to scorch it unless you crank the burner to 11 and then forget about it.

Does all this mean you need to go run screaming from the conventional produce section at your local supermarket? No, just understand that pesticides are not good for you and that eating organic as much as possible will be the surest way to avoid the antinutrients conventional produce contains.

Tartrazine, also known as FD&C Yellow #5, found in many of those tasty mac-and-cheese boxes and Kraft singles marketed to kids, is particularly ugly, having been correlated with behavioral changes including irritability, restlessness, depression, and difficulty sleeping.

A huge study looking at 1,873 children showed that food dye in conjunction with sodium benzoate, a common preservative, also increased hyperactivity. Is it any wonder we are handing out ADD medication to our kids like candy?

Packed with vitamins and minerals, cilantro (or coriander leaves, if you’re not from North America) in moderation has been shown in several studies to have the unique ability to help the body chelate (a fancy word for “eliminate”) heavy metal accumulation

In other words, make sure you are drinking plenty of water to flush urine, having regular bowel movements, and sweating to release the toxins. Sauna and hot yoga are great ways to ensure you are moving enough sweat.

Sprouting or fermentation disable and degrade phytic acid in plant seeds so that the grain can burst through, increasing vitamins like folate, vitamin C, and vitamin E, and nutrients like lysine, a crucial amino acid for immune health, in the process. The tastiest version of this process is probably sourdough bread. The fermentation of the dough promotes phytate breakdown to a much greater degree than typical yeast fermentation in normal bread, resulting in a delicious delivery mechanism for a slab of REAL butter and mineral-rich sea salt.

The best way to handle the oxalate in your leafy greens is simply to boil or cook them, which significantly reduces the amount of oxalate, in some cases by up to 90 percent. Adding calcium to your dietary regimen can compensate for the calcium lost to the oxalates, as well.

I dare you. I double dare you to go buy an old-school, retro lunchbox—one of the metal ones with the thermos that can keep soup hot for a week and a half—and bring that clanker to work or to school with you, filled with the best lunch you’ve ever made in your life.

In Austin we have a restaurant called Thai Fresh, which serves all grass-fed, pasture-raised meat with seasonal veggies from local farms. You get all those weird and awesome Asian spices and fatty coconut milk and fish broth, combined with great nutrients. I eat there for lunch twice a week. What’s your Thai Fresh? Find it, make friends with it, and feast.

The platinum baller-on-the-go alternative to making your lunch or ordering out is to subscribe to a meal delivery service.

9: The Binaural Power Nap

Sometimes I suspect that if most people snuck out after lunch and stopped working, it would have no visible impact on national productivity, because for so many people nothing gets done after lunch anyway

high doses of caffeine for cognitive tasks and even motor performance. They’ve been shown to improve logical reasoning, reaction time, and immune function.

My favorite study, though, is a 2008 British experiment in which they compared a nap, a cup of coffee, and more nighttime sleep, to see what would happen to people’s afternoon energy levels and concentration. The nap—yes, the nap!—won.

Data aside, of all the biohacks in the world, if I had to personally choose to keep only one, it would be my binaural beats.

You can find binaural beats tracks for sale online or on YouTube, but to get you started I have hosted two of mine for free at

Pick a time in the early afternoon. Lock and load your theta waves binaural beats track. Find a cool, quiet place—under a tree outside, Isaac Newton–style, under your office desk, Costanza-style, in your car with the A/C on, cabbie-style, it doesn’t matter too much. Set your alarm for thirty minutes. Hit play on the binaural beats track and close your eyes.

10: Training

Unconventional training covers the use of the kettlebell, steel mace, sandbag, battle ropes, steel club, barbell (you can breathe a sigh of relief now, my meathead friends), and the most old-school of them all: body weight.

While it is possible to divide up a workout in myriad different ways over the course of a week, month, or twelve-week fight camp, for the purpose of this book, we want to create an ideal, option-filled, unconventional fifty-minute workout that trains multiple kinetic systems, targeting a series of functional health priorities, that you can repeat with slight variations three or four times every week.


The goal of mobility and flexibility practices is to live pain-free, and continue functioning for a long time to come. If you do nothing else, just getting up, moving around, putting your joints through a full range of motion, and massaging out your muscles will increase your durability and lead to a longer, vibrant life.


Our focus with ten minutes of steady-state cardio in your workout is to get the heart rate up, so when you begin to tax your muscles in the rest of the workout, you are putting enough hormetic stress on them to produce greater endurance, without increasing the risk that you will never come back to the gym again.


To train muscular endurance, unconventional tools work great. Their impact on controlled range of motion, rotation (which we do in all movement), and multidirectional/multiangular movement is immense, while also offering a generally lighter resistance load, rather than a maximum heavy lift, for higher repetitions in a more sustained period of work.



Power is the final tier, the tippy top of the pyramid. If strength is when force acts against resistance to create movement, then power is the rate (or speed) at which that force is enacted to create the movement.

You simply need to develop enough power to draw on when you need to sprint to the bus, jump out of the way of a bicycle, or defend yourself if necessary. Sprinting, plyometrics, and unconventional tools like battle ropes are all great easy, low-skill ways to train full-body power development.


CARDIO—STEADY STATE (10 MINUTES) Run, bike, dance, row, swim, jump rope, shadow box—pick any one or any combination and go with it.

MOBILITY (10 MINUTES) The following drills should be performed in a circuit fashion for as many rounds as possible in the allotted time.

Alternating Split Jump for max height, 10 seconds, followed by 20 seconds rest; 6 sets

Frog Pushups, 5 seconds down and 5 seconds up, 5 sets of 3

Alternate between the following two exercises, 4 sets Plank, 40 seconds, then 20 seconds rest Sit-Through, 40 seconds, then 20 seconds rest

STRETCHING, RELEASE (5 MINUTES) Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch


To really take your training to the next level, you’ll need additional resources beyond this book. Check out for some ideas on where to get started.

11: Reset and Reconnect

It actually matters a lot less what you do and much more that you simply do something social. Whatever it is, be around people and be present while doing so.

Choosing to intoxicate after training is potentiated by the fact that you’re likely going to be mildly dehydrated, meaning that you are going to have less blood volume. This means that the same amount of active ingredient in your blood will have a proportionally higher concentration. With alcohol, you are going to have nothing in your stomach to slow down the absorption rate, so you won’t need as much to drink to get the buzz you want. And with liver glycogen levels so much lower after a workout, the sugars in the alcohol will metabolize easier, which means that a glass of wine is not that bad for you at all—maximum bang, minimum bucks—but two or three can send you down a less-than-conscious path.

Since it’s the perfect time to enjoy a glass of wine or take a few puffs of cannabis, occasionally I’ll go there too. Or drink a cup of kava, the relaxing herb they drink in Fiji, or even light up a cigar. This is a signal that for right now, I’m clocked out and off duty. If you don’t like any form of intoxicant, then maybe grab a stevia soda (Zevia cream soda is the best) and just enjoy the moment. The key is to create the conduit to connection. Find yours, and not only will you tune your body to the key of yourself, but you will open up in ways that make reconnecting with your tribe feel like second nature, and make loneliness feel light-years away.

1. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard. This sentiment came from every single male patient she cared for. Every single one.

2. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. Our connections bring the dance to our life, and yet we find ourselves with too little time to enjoy these moments.

3. I wish that I had let myself be happier. This one breaks my heart.

12: Eat Dinner Like a King

The best timing for bread is dinner, after your glycogen stores have been depleted by exercise, and you’re about to head into the winter of your day… sleep. So if bread and butter is your thing, do it the right way, with grass-fed butter on sprouted or sourdough. Go for it!

Fortunately, the world is waking up to this problem and acquiring a taste for chocolate as it was meant to be. Using natural sweeteners like stevia or monk fruit, brands like Lily’s and Lakanto are offering dark chocolate without any added sugar and minimal dairy. Chocolate is a heart-healthy food, and we should treat it as such.

To do it right, pop it yourself and add your own grass-fed butter and sea salt. Most store-bought popcorn contains the high omega-6 vegetable oils we warned about in chapter 8

If we tell our body something is poison, it becomes more poisonous. If we convince ourselves that it is healthy, it becomes more healthy. This is not to say that the reality of a food or situation doesn’t matter. Molecular biology still exists—it’s a real thing—but the mind isn’t a passive bystander. It matters, too. It can be part of the celebration that dinner is about to become, or it can become the ultimate party pooper that makes dinner a shitshow.

Remember, all food eventually has to break down into super-small particles if it’s to be absorbed through the walls of your intestines and nourish your body. If you don’t start in your mouth, your stomach and guts are going to have to work overtime, costing you vital energy and efficiency and wasting some perfectly good food in the process.

One of the ways to give you more time to chew your food—and therefore eat slower and eat less—is to take smaller bites, using less efficient tools. Have you ever seen an eating competition that used chopsticks or cocktail forks? Of course not. That would only slow these animals down. That’s why I force myself to eat with the most inefficient tools possible, to let my mouth start the process of making my digestion as efficient as possible. So buy yourself some extra chopsticks, and then try to eat your damn Cheerios.

One of the most common digestive mistakes people make is consuming cold beverages while they eat. Any beverage dilutes the HCL in your stomach, making the overall acid concentration acting on your food weaker, while the cold slows down your digestion like a snake in a snowstorm. Leave the cold drinks for well before and well after your meals.

The best way to ensure good digestive enzyme activity is by adding digestive enzymes, or adding foods that contain natural enzymes like papaya or pineapple.

Ginger has the ability to speed up the time it takes your stomach to pass food to your digestive tract by up to 50 percent. Add ginger to your meal, and you can say so long to that full feeling in your gut and hello to that full feeling in your pants sooner. Ginger tea works, pickled ginger is great, or just a half thumb of peeled ginger boiled into a tea, or even raw, will do the trick.

The key to eliminating this kind of gas is simple: limit fermentable fibers like those found in legumes, Brussels sprouts, and asparagus. Focus on insoluble fiber instead, the kind found in salads and grains like popcorn.

For overall health and optimal mood and physical performance, you need to pair any sugar you consume with something that slows its absorption into the body—and the two things that do that are fat and fiber. That’s why having sugar after a high-fat, high-fiber meal is great.

If you have followed the nutritional guidelines thus far, and kept sugar and carbs to a minimum, then crushed a good workout, your liver likely has dipped into its glycogen reserve to keep you fueled, just as mine did after my ride down to the pier, and you’re free to eat sugar and carbs, pretty much of any type.

But the good news is that there are natural alternatives that not only taste better but have virtually no negative impact on the body. Stevia and monk fruit are foremost among them.

Add cinnamon, another blood sugar reducer, and you have a great way to combat blood sugar spikes as well.

To make it, just mix one ounce of ACV and half a teaspoon of Ceyloncinnamon into three ounces of room-temperature water and send it down the hatch.

Go for a walk. A recent study found that people who got up and went fora walk had lower blood sugar levels and less of a peak in blood sugar than people who didn’t get up after eating. One study shows that 15 minutes of low-intensity walking is enough to significantly drop blood sugar levels.


Step 1: Rehydrate,

Drink a liter of natural spring water with the addition of a total of 5 grams of Himalayan salt within the first two hours of waking up. Keep drinking water heavily until you pee at least twice.

Step 2: Reduce the Toxic Burden of Acetaldehyde

If we have been drinking, we are likely depleting our stores of molybdenum rapidly, increasing our acetaldehyde sensitivity. It’s one of the reasons we feel hungover in the morning, and why our bodies then begin to crave molybdenum-rich foods like legumes.

But rather than gorge on nachos, the best idea would be to supplement with some molybdenum (300 mcg) prior to bed, and again in the morning. Studies have shown it to reduce regular aches and pains, which if nothing else will make tomorrow’s walk of shame a little easier to endure!

Step 3: Balance Your Neurotransmitters

balance out the glutamate. L-theanine, which occurs naturally in green tea, is great at mimicking the effects of GABA. Matcha, as we describedi n chapter 6, is the best source.

Glutathione is not only the preferred defense against acetaldehyde but,as an added benefit, will support the rest of your body in dealing with oxidative stress. The problem is that the stomach neuters glutathione like a brothel keeper from antiquity, so the only way to get it into your body effectively is to absorb a liposomal form through the tissue, or inject it into the veins.The latter is undoubtedly the most effective. IV vitamin therapy clinics are gaining in popularity all over the United States.

13: More, Better Sex

Eat fat. To synthesize hormones like testosterone, the body requires adequate production of saturated fat and cholesterol.

Get sleep. Sleep is the time when the testosterone factory is open for business. The restorative sleep cycles are when the body can prioritize things like necessary hormone production.

Lift heavy. When training under anaerobic conditions such as lifting heavy weights or sprinting, you are signaling to the body that you are the type of animal that needs to produce testosterone to flourish.

What he soon found was that over the course of a typical day, Sexually Curious George would spend sixteen hours straight pressing the orgasm button and eight hours sleeping.

Here is something simple that puts it all together: have sex every day for a week, each day trying something new. You are going to fast from all other forms of pornography, and just focus on your partner. If you run out of ideas,read a good book on sex, or listen to a sex podcast. See what happens, and tell your friends.

14: Turn Off, Tune In

stress is definitely an issue—it’s that I can only ever do three things well at a time. This fundamentally violates one of my core principles: do it well, or not at all.

I started a practice of limiting myself to listing three objectives for the following day, laid out right below my mission at the top of the journal page.

The bottom line is this: if you wouldn’t eat it, you shouldn’t put it on or in your body.

You gotta check out and turn off your phone and email so you can check in with yourself and the ones you love. You gotta open up your journal and get your mind off the hamster wheel that creates the mental static and anxiety that prevent so many of us from owning our days. You gotta enjoy the cuddle huddle:playing, watching, reading. You gotta brush your damn teeth and soak your damn bones.

I’ll brew up a tea (Ron Teeguarden Longevity Tea, Tulsi Sweet Rose Tea, or Republic of Tea Milk Thistle).

One of the most effective ways to deal with stress is to pick up a pen or open a Google doc and start journaling. First you want to make sure you set your mission and objective for the following day. Then you want to purge anything you no longer want to carry, and memorialize those things you don’t want to forget but also don’t want to burden your psyche with.

15: Sleep

After REM, it is common to wake up, though you may not remember it before you enter your next cycle. They key is, if you do wake up, not to stress. Instead, take a page from the books of other cultures, both historically and currently, who have no problem sleeping multiple times a day(something called poly phasic sleep).

In other tribal communities, our ancestors would sleep after dusk for three hours, wake for a few hours, perhaps smoke some tobacco or drink some tea, maybe have sex, and sleep again for a few hours before dawn.

You shouldn’t, for example, count how many hours of sleep you get in a night, but rather how many ninety-minute sleep cycles you get in a week(thirty-five cycles should be your target).

In Little hales’s model, sleep is even more fluid. A thirty-minute nap like the one we talked about in chapter 9, which is only one-third of a full cycle, still counts as one point toward your sleep-cycle goal. It’s not extra or a bonus, it’s part of your sleep regimen. So if you sleep six hour sat night, you get four points. If you take a thirty-minute power nap that day,you get an additional point, bringing you to five. Do that every day of the week and you have met your thirty-five-point goal.

If you get 7.5 hours of sleep one night, that’s five points right there.You can put one in the bank for later with another nap, or just power through the day. Make sense?

Still to this day, we sleep best when it is a bit colder than usual at night.

16: Bring it Home

Instead of taxing your willpower, you’re leaning on a simple message that reminds you: This is just what I’m going to do.

Visualization is a prime example of that intentional placebo at work,one we’ve already seen in this book with those study participants who visualized themselves lifting heavy weights and getting stronger as a result. The same principle applies with owning the day. Visualizing yourself doing it will have a positive impact.

Psychologists agree that there are four keys to compelling positive action: (1) know what to do and how to do it; (2) believe it will work; (3) see the value; and (4) get support from your community/tribe/family.

“I love you.” Love is the appropriate bond that can unify all aspects of yourself. To express this love sets the foundation for all the communication to follow. “I’m sorry.” This is to clear you of any guilt you may carry for the times you’ve done yourself wrong—from negative self-talk to forcing your body to cope with way too much cheap tequila. “Forgive me.” The humble act of asking for forgiveness, when sincere, is not often opposed. Grant yourself the forgiveness you seek. “Thank you.” This is an expression of gratitude to your body and your mind, not only for the forgiveness but for everything it has given you. It’s gotten you this far, after all, right? Say it to yourself: I love you, I’m sorry, forgive me, thank you. Now imagine all the things you judge yourself for. Think about everything you beat yourself up about. Keep saying it for each one of those things.

I want you to imagine yourself a year from now.

From the time he started working for a regional magazine, he would tell himself the same thing every day: “I’m not fucking around.”

Find your own mantra, and use it daily, you will not regret it

Shout out to for doing this written summary

50 Words to Your Dreams Chapter 19: Prosperity by Michael George Knight


Prosperity is defined as the state of being prosperous, flourishing, thriving and good fortune. Prosperity often encompasses wealth, success and affluence but also includes other factors which can be independent of wealth to varying degrees. Such as, happiness and health.What does prosperity mean to you? How can you become more prosperous? How can you better yourself in the areas of wealth, success, knowledge, health and happiness? How can you fill your cup up so full that it overflows prosperity and others can drink from it?

Once you get to a stage in life where you have achieved most personal things to satisfy your needs, you should become focused on creating prosperity for others and in turn by creating prosperity for others you also become more prosperous. By becoming wealthy you can certainly be more prosperous than someone that is broke. If you are healthy,you have more energy to give, than if you are sick. If you are smart, you can impart wisdom on others and teach knowledge. If you are happy, you make a happy environment for others. This all related to prosperity as you as an individual can bring more prosperity into life for yourself and others.


Is the world more prosperous now than 100 years ago? Think about. Imagine going back in time like Marty McFly in back to the future and having a conversation with your great great grandparent and explaining to them about the future you live in now. What a disconnect there would be between the two of you. The time we live in are the most prosperous times humanity have ever known. Take the smart phone. Arguably the best piece of individual personal technology we use and carry. If you took a smart phone back in time and showed people the phone living 100 years ago, they would think you are from the future 1000 years ahead of their time. But not knowing the incredible rate of advancement and prosperity that happened in the last 100 years have led current civilization to have so much opportunity it is mind boggling. I just want to remind you about the prosperous times we live in and think more about what can you do to add to your future grandchildren’s prosperity.


  • Anyone can gain wealth if they try hard enough, but prosperity and peace of mind only arrive at the door of people who have first mastered themselves (James Allen)
  • For real-world prosperity you must endeavor to provide something that buyers feel is greater in value than the price they have paid for it (Wallace Wattles)
  • In times of doubt, think of the acorn. An ancient symbol of abundance, this seed of the mighty oak begins growing only when its tree reached maturity.Prosperity always involves an element of time. Nothing great is achieved overnight, and all things begin small (Tom Butler Bowdon)
  • Prosperity begins with prosperous thoughts, which in turn set up an emotional state that can only attract good into your life (Tom Butler-Bowden)
  • Prosperity cannot happen,while you continue to entertain poverty-stricken thoughts (Charles Fillmore)
  • Prosperity is always personal, resting squarely on the degree to which you have refined and bettered yourself (James Allen)
  • Prosperity is best appreciated as a circle in which money is first attracted and created, then managed well and shared to good effort (TomButler-Bowden)
  • Prosperity is not just about making money, but about the freedom to live the way you want (Milton Friedman)
  • Prosperity was first and foremost a state of mind; a mindset of lack could only manifest negative results (Catherine Ponder)
  • Remember, no more effort is required to aim high in life, to demand abundance and prosperity, than is required to accept misery and poverty (Napoleon Hill)
  • The abilities to attract,create, manage, and share wealth are important to living a contented life, and many of us seek to be better off financially not to amass money for its own sake, but to be in control of our time and spend it in meaningful ways (Tom Butler-Bowden)
  • The anxious thought must be eliminated and the perfect abandon of the child of nature assumed, and when to this attitude you add the realization of unlimited resources, you have fulfilled the divine law of prosperity (Charles Fillmore)
  • The basic law of prosperity is that to receive, you must first provide something of great value(Napoleon Hill)
  • The free market, not government, ensures protection of individual rights and standard of quality,and delivers extraordinary prosperity to those who seek it (Milton Friedman)
  • The key to real prosperity in business is to work on your enterprise not in it (Michael Gerber)
  • The paradox of real prosperity is that it comes to those who forgot about themselves in providing service to others (James Allen)
  • There is no way to prosperity, prosperity is the way (Wayne Dyer)

That’s a wrap on

50 Words to Your Dreams

Chapter 19: Prosperity

Let me know your thoughts on Chapter 19

If you need some accountability in your life

connect with me for a free coaching sessions at  

For 100’s of Video, Written & Audio Book Summaries check out our website

 Stay tuned for Chapter 20 in the series “ATTRACTION”

John Leland: Happiness is a Choice You Make Book Summary

Happiness is a Choice You Make: Lessons from a year among the oldest old by John Leland

Aging is an extraordinary process whereby you become the person you always should have been. (David Bowie)

Chapter 1: Meet the Elders

ONE: Surprise of a Lifetime

“Do you know what you want to do when you get old?”

“One of the few advantages of age is that you can report on it with a certain authority; you are a native now, and know what goes on here…Our experience is one unknown to most of humanity, over time. We are the pioneers.

Death has lost its abstraction.

They lived with loss and disability but did not define themselves by it, and got up each morning with wants and needs.

Old age wasn’t something that hit them one day when they weren’t careful. It also wasn’t a problem to be fixed. It was a stage of life like any other, one in which they were still making decisions about how they wanted to live, still learning about themselves and the world.

More people are living past age 85 than at any time in human history, and they are living longer once they get there.

An American who turns 85 in 2018 was born with a life expectancy of less than 60 years.

“The trouble is, old age is not interesting until one gets there. It’s a foreign country with an unknown language to the young and even to the middle-aged.”

Old people often inhabit a world of their own, not particularly pleasant to visit.

People over 60 said fewer then one-quarter of the people with whom they discussed “important matters” were under 36, if you exclude relatives, it dropped to 6 percent.

Americans are more likely to have friends of another race than friends who are more than ten years apart from them in age.

Stop thinking about old people as a problem and start to think of them as an asset, a repository of wisdom and experience.

First lessons from the elders: “That even as our various faculties decline, we still wield extraordinary influence over the quality of our lives.

When you’re old, you have to make yourself happy. Otherwise you get older.

The 6 people interviewed for the book found a level of happiness not in their external circumstances, but in something they carried with them.

If you want to be happy, learn to think like an old person.

The good news about getting old is that there is good news. Older people report a greater sense of well-being and fewer negative emotions than younger people.

As much as we idealize adolescence and young adulthood, older people are more content, less anxious or fearful, less afraid of death, more likely to see the good side of things and accept the bad, then young adults.

Experience helps older people moderate their expectations and makes them more resilient when things don’t go as hoped. When they do have negative experiences, they don’t dwell on them as much as younger people do.

Spend your dwindling time and energy on the things you can still do that give you satisfaction, not on lamenting those you once did but now can’t.

Most of us don’t spend a lot of time with very old people, and when we do, it’s usually about trying to help with their problems, not asking them what makes them happy or fulfilled.

Isn’t part of appreciating the value of a life being able to acknowledge when that value drops?

Old age is the last thing we’ll ever do, and it might teach us about how to live now.

Chapter 2: The Paradox of Old Age

“Right now are you happy?”

Happiness to me is what’s happening now. Not the next world; it’s not the dance you’re going to tonight. If you’re not happy at the present time, then you’re not happy.

Taking satisfaction in what was available right now, not hitching it to the future. My definition looked forward; Fred’s found fulfillment in the present, because the future might not come.

Happiness is a state of living in the present.

Happiness is not in striving for conquest but in relations with other people.

Everything’s moving into the future, but the future doesn’t exist. It’s what we create. Our responsibility for the present moment, that’s morality. The future of humanity or the family or whatever depends on what you do this moment. If you want the next moment where everything will be better, then you’d better do this moment right.

I don’t understand happiness only as someone just always smiling and laughing. It’s more like inner happiness, where you feel you have done everything right in your life, you haven’t made anybody unhappy. You have a certain kind of peace and balance in yourself, and you are not anxious about what will happen the next minute or the next day. You let it go and you don’t worry, and you lead a balanced life.

At 85 and up, only 11 percent live in a nursing home or similar facility, and almost two-thirds say they don’t have trouble caring for themselves; elders’ poverty rate is well below that of the general population.

We study the problems of old age, not the richness.

Older people, knowing they face a limited time in front of them, focus their energies on things that give them pleasure in the moment, whereas young people, with long horizons, seek out new experiences or knowledge that may or may not pay off down the line. Young people fret about the things they don’t have and might need later; old people win now the things they have to the few they most enjoy. Young people kiss frogs hoping they’ll turn into princes. Old people kiss their grandchildren.

Maybe old people live literally like there’s no tomorrow.

We become what our environment encourages us to be.

Old people remembered the positive emotional experiences but not the negative ones.

Chapter 3: Why Older Means Wiser

“When you’re young, you have more worries.”

Their selective memory – vividly recalling the good time and forgetting about the bad – benefited them in their daily lives. If they couldn’t control what was happening with their bodies, they could control their past, shaping it toward a positive outcome.

Past happiness, too, was a choice we can make.

Humans are resilient, and we have a lot to learn from older people, who have survived all kinds of things. Aging isn’t necessarily pretty, but it doesn’t have to be terrible.

Severe memory loss is a horrible thing, and we rightly fear it, but selective forgetting can be the better part of wisdom. When you’re forty-five,it pays to remember all the mistakes you made in your marriage or career, so you can learn from them; at ninety it’s better-wiser-to forget because the memories will only hurt.

Question about regrets. “It’s impossible,” “You can’t go back. Let bygones be bygones.”

When you’re young, the future is so far away, and you don’t know what will happen to you and the world. So when you’re young, you have more worries than the elderly. But I don’t worry now.

Imagine that: to be free of the future, meaning the sum of all things that probably won’t happen, minus the one that will, which is one’s death. Even if just for a minute, the feeling is like that of first flight, weightless and free. Most of us live with this future every day, laboring under its weight. To think like an old person is to journey unencumbered.

Changes in their values as they got older. One was that they became more selective about how they spent their time and whom they spent it with.

They became less self-concerned, and more aware of being part of a larger whole. Instead of being lonely, they valued having time alone for contemplation.

In his surveys of people ages 74 to 104, asking how their values had changed since they were 50, nearly three-quarters agreed with the statement “Today I am less interested in superficial social contacts,” and two-thirds said, “Today I have more delight in my inner world”, 81 percent agreed with the statement “Today material things mean less.” They became more altruistic and more accepting that life included mysteries that they would never solve.

Those who start out wise, wisdom does indeed rise with age, and that wisdom corresponds with a greater sense of well-being.

Wisdom leads to better decision-making and more realistic expectations, less disappointment when things don’t work out.

Choosing happiness was actually the path of least resistance, much easier than the agitation so many manufactured for themselves.

A starting point for wisdom at any age might be to accept that you’re going to die – really accept it – and to feel more contented by the limits, not less.

Two thousand years ago, the Stoic philosopher Seneca argued that we should “cherish and love old age; for it is full of pleasure if one knows how to use it… Life is most delightful when it is on the downward slope, but has not yet reached the abrupt decline.

I often feel that death is not the enemy of life, but its friend, for it is the knowledge that our years are limited which makes them so precious. (Rabbi Joshua L. Liebman)

Chapter Four: Love in the Time of Lipitor

After age eighty-five, only 27 percent of Americans are married, and less than 1 percent with an unmarried partner; 40 percent live alone. In that age group women outnumber men two to one.

Advice on love. Save your money, because everything is expensive.

In numerous studies, researchers have found that seniors who feel useful to others live longer and better, with fewer disabilities, greater mobility, and more resilience to arthritis pain.

The British cultural critic Terry Eagleton writes that the meaning of life lies in learning how to form mutually enriching relationships, like musicians in jazz ensemble, who create melodic openings for the other players by inventing melody lines for themselves. Love, he writes, “means creating for another the space in which he might flourish, at the same time as he does this for you. The fulfilment of each becomes the ground for the fulfillment of the other. When we realize our natures in this way, we are at our best.

Buddhist idea that love is wishing for the happiness of the beloved.

That in a relationship, sometimes taking – allowing the other person to do something for you, rather than insisting on doing it yourself – is also kind of giving.

Old age at some point forces us to accept to help from other people. It can be hard on the ego, perhaps, because it means acknowledging that we are not in control of the world. But it also gives something valuable to the people who help us.

Happiness wasn’t something esoteric but an appreciation of the things already available in our lives.

How to be happy? Here was a start. Accept whatever kindnesses people offer you, and repay with what you can. Let a friend buy you lunch, then do her a solid in return. You’ll benefit from the favors you receive, but even more from the ones you perform. Don’t begrudge the people who need you; thank them for letting you help them. Give up the obsession with self-reliance; it’s a myth, anyway.

Chapter Five: On the Other Hand…

Finding a mate isn’t as important as keeping strong social ties, and these are only valuable if they are positive in nature; being in a bad relationship or spending time with toxic relatives is no better for elders than for young people.

Bad relationships may be more harmful than good relationships are beneficial.

Couples who get old together tend to say their marriages improve with age. They’re more tolerant of small disagreements, slower to fight, more ready to forgive afterward.

Everybody who has been married a long time feels like walking out at one time or another. But first of all, marriage is a vow that you take and you don’t break it. Certainly not easily.

It is a received wisdom in our time that married people live longer. The logic is compelling: Partners help each other keep medical appointments, follow low-sodium diets, call 911 if one falls; together, they’re less likely to be poor. Companionship is also good for the spirit, especially when our social networks start shrinking.

Married men lived longer. Unmarried women, they found, live as long as their married counterparts, often with more leisure time to devote to themselves.

Widowed women tended to thrive – they lived longer than the still-married women. They built social networks, herded their kids, did all the things they put off when their husbands were ill. Widowed men, on the other hand tended to go quickly.

The secret to a long relationship. “If you’re going to be together, you better have an awful lot in common.

Essence of love, that it lies in what we give freely, not in tallying what we get in return.

Happiness wasn’t outside themselves, waiting to be born, but within, the thing they already had.

Contentment had been there for the grasping, if only I had recognized it.

Chapter Six: More Years, Less Life?

We can think of aging as a process of change, learning to appreciate rewards as we find them. Loss is one of life’s great instillers of wisdom, including the wisdom that finds compensation for the capacities we think we can’t live without.

The mind can grow stronger as the brain gets older. It’s time to stop thinking about the aging of our minds and our brains solely in terms of mental losses, and losses alone. The aging of the mind is equally about gains.

Old age was just a season of life like any other. Today was not much different from yesterday, and tomorrow would not be much different from today.

You lived your life around your circumstances.

My favorite part of the day is waking up in the morning and thanking God for another day.

Old age is a concept largely defined by the people who have never lived it.

We’re all on short time; older people just understand this more viscerally.

I think sadness is when you’re concentrated on one particular bad incident that’s happened.


Chapter Seven: The Lessons of Fred

“My purpose is to live, be happy, enjoy life, talking. Having a good time with friends. Go to church on Sunday. Associate, go out to dinner once in a while. And the days will go by fast.” (Fred Jones)

Don’t let your environment limit your vision.

Sacrifice is the supreme act of love.

Problems were only problems if you thought about them that way. Otherwise they were life – and yours for the living.

Here was a lesson in giving up the myth of control. If you believe you are in control of your life, steering it in a course of your choosing, then old age is an affront, because it is a destination you didn’t choose. But if you think of life instead as an improvisation in response to the stream of events coming at you – that is, a response to the world as it is – then old age is more another chapter in a long-running story. The events are different, but they’re always different, and always some seem too much to bear.

The art of living, after all, lies in living the life you have, in the body that you have.

Christianity,  Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and a pile of self-help books all extol the virtues of gratitude. Cicero called it “not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” G.K. Chesterton wrote that “thanks are the highest form of thought, and… gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.

Some people are grateful seemingly as their default state, even when no one’s looking. Their lives aren’t necessarily better than other people’s, but they find more reasons to give thanks for their small rewards.

Giving thanks makes you happy, which makes you grateful, which makes you happy.

Gratitude can accompany suffering.

Life on earth wasn’t supposed to be perfect, it was just supposed to be life – miracle enough when you thought about it.

Chapter Eight: The Lessons of Ping

“We never talk about dying. What’s the use? When you get old you have to die. We go downstairs and play cards. At our age, you should prepare yourself. (Ping Wong)

The distinction between “happy in spite of” and “happy if only”, the former being a benefit of old age, the latter a vexation of youth. “Happy in spite of” entails a choice to be happy; it acknowledges problems but doesn’t put them in the way of contentment. “Happy if only” pins happiness on outside circumstances: if only I had more money, less pain, a nicer spouse or house, I’d be happy as a clam. “Happy if only” feed millions of dollars into lotteries or impulse purchases, which provide nothing of the sort.

Happiness is when “you have a nice place to live in, and you have enough money to spend and a good family. That’s it.

You should travel around the world and use up your money for sightseeing.

The worst losses were only devastating if you make them so.

The secret to a long life. “The first things is you must make yourself happy.”

Chapter Nine: The Lessons of John

To accept death was to accept life, and to accept life was to live in joy, however dire the circumstances around you.

Chapter Ten: The Lessons of Helen

“I was your age; you were never my age.”

Fulfillment need not be what’s just around the corner. In the end, wisdom lies in finding it in the imperfect now.

Chapter Eleven: The Lessons of Ruth

Loss aversion, meaning we place greater value on things we lose than things we gain – even if they’re the same things.

This tendency makes young people overrate the losses of old age, and think they can’t live without the capabilities they have now. Older people, for whom loss is a part of daily life, don’t have this luxury; they either learn to live with decline or they’re sunk.

Think of your life as what you do, not what happens to you.

Our lives everywhere are built on the help of others.

Help is everywhere – it is vanity to think we’re compromises by it.

She lived for what she had and loved, not for what she lost.

Life was short; find the people who really matter, and the relationships that allow you to thrive.

This is a good summation for the arc of life at any age. You never know when the bonus round is going to kick in, but you can prepare for it. In the meantime, whether we’re 25 or 85, we can choose to live in the things that warm us – in love, humor, compassion, empathy, a supportive arm – not because they make life easy, but because they do the most for us when life is hard. As Ruth said, after another tough year, “I wouldn’t have felt bad if I had to go. But I guess I’m glad I didn’t.

Chapter Twelve: The Lessons of Jonas

“You have to trust your angels.”

Becca R. Levy, a psychiatrist at Yale, has found striking correlations between people’s attitudes toward old age and how they fare in their later years, with effects starting as early as middle age. In one study, those who had more positive views of old age, measured by how they answered the question, “When you think of old persons, what are the first five words or phrases that come to mind? Were 44 percent more likely to recover from a disability than those with negative age stereotypes. In other studies, Levy and her colleagues found that people with positive views of old age had lower blood pressure, less stress, better physical balance, and were more likely to develop healthy habits and get regular medical care. They also lived an average of seven and a half years longer – a genuine fountain of youth, available without a prescription.

Researchers have long observed that older people who feel a sense of purpose in their lives tend to live longer, fuller, and healthier lives than people who don’t.

Purpose might be an effect of good health rather than the cause.

Having a purpose in life lets us look inward to say, How am I going to live my life, what do I want to accomplish?

The challenge, then, is to find a purpose in life that will sustain you through the latter years.

Something is in you that propels you.

“It’s part of your very essence, what you are,” he said. “There is a need. Like, go back to Greeks and muses. How they explained that, the muse enters you at birth or later, music or whatever art, and you have no choice. It becomes part of you. You just have to do it.”

Keep dancing. Keep singing. Have a good drink and do not get too serious.

Have you ever thought about how amazing, really amazing, life is?

What I learned in my year among the oldest old: to shut down the noise and fears and desires that buffet our days and think about how amazing, really amazing, life is.

Live as if this future were finite, and the present all the more wondrous as a result.

The neurologist Oliver Sacks, on learning that he had terminal cancer of the liver, wrote that the nearness of death gave him a sudden clear focus, and no patience for anything inessential.

I am applying the ‘butterfly win’ theory to my everyday life. It’s a kind of moral dictum, moral responsibility to keep in mind that whatever I do this second affects what the next second will be. So I try not to do anything negative, which is my best insurance that the world will be better next second, or at least not worse. But of course, my positive action may be undermined by 100 negative actions of others and so it may mean nothing. But I still have to follow that dictum. You can call it optimism.


The elders were all proof that you could live a full and fulfilling life even when the weather turned stormy. So why worry about the clouds in the forecast? Live your life, put on a show, take a chance, give thanks for your failures along with your successes – they’re two sides of the same coin. If we’re living longer, maybe we have an obligation to live better: wiser, kinder, more grateful and forgiving, less vengeful and covetous.

Happiness means seeing the good even in your losses.

Scroll to top

Pop in your email below to get a weekly
newsletter on the current book
summaries uploaded