2017 Reading List

One of my favorite quotes from Dave Grohl:  “I don’t believe in guilty pleasures.  If you fucking like something, like it.”  This is what I like.

On the Shortness of Life: Seneca on Busyness and the Art of Living Wide Rather Than Living Long by Seneca:  A 2000 year old writing that stands the test of time.  Coming in at a concise 47 pages, I’m not sure what took me so long to read it.  It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested. But when it is wasted in heedless luxury and spent on no good activity, we are forced at last by death’s final constraint to realize that it has passed away before we knew it was passing. So it is: we are not given a short life but we make it short, and we are not ill-supplied but wasteful of it… Life is long if you know how to use it.”  

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Tim Ferriss:  This is not a book that is meant to be read from cover to cover, but when I started reading on Christmas I couldn’t put it down.  I love big choose your own adventure style books.  A few of my favorite take aways:  1. Ben Franklin:  “If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth writing.”  2. Maria Popova:  “The culture of news is a culture without nuance.”  3.  Amanda Palmer:  “‘Honor those who seek the truth, beware of those who’ve found it’ [adapted from Voltaire].  A reminder that the path never ends and that absolutely nobody has this shit figured out.”

I love to learn about books, please leave any recommendations in the comments.

News, What Is It Good For?

Absolutely Nothing.  I can’t get the idea out of my head that if we all just stepped back and invested a little less time  in the “feed/news”…our lives might be a little better.  If something really matters to you, how about taking the time to actually dig deeper and quit becoming click baited.   Here are some thoughts from people who are much smarter than me.

Some positive affects of “quitting” the news from Raptitude:  “Watching disasters unfold, even while we do nothing, at least feels a little more compassionate than switching off. The truth is that the vast majority of us will provide absolutely no help to the victims of almost all of the atrocities that happen in this world, televised or not. And that’s hard to accept. But if we can at least show concern, even to ourselves, we don’t quite have accept that. We can remain uninvolved without feeling uninvolved.”

Rolling Stone article by Neil Strauss and his thoughts on Why We’re Living in the Age of Fear:  “For mass media, insurance companies, Big Pharma, advocacy groups, lawyers, politicians and so many more, your fear is worth billions. And fortunately for them, your fear is also very easy to manipulate. We’re wired to respond to it above everything else. If we miss an opportunity for abundance, life goes on; if we miss an important fear cue, it doesn’t.”

Ryan Holiday’s case for getting caught up in the news cycle:  There is plenty to do in this world, and plenty to be vigilant about. But let’s stop pretending that the ticker-tape of the news feed is anything other than what it is: addiction and manipulation masquerading as a social good.” 

James Altucher on how the news never changes:   “Instead of reading the news (even the gossip news), read a non-fiction book where you can learn something.”

Seth Godin has some thoughts,  The candy diet:  “The economics seem to be that the only way to make a living is to reach a lot of people and the only way to reach a lot of people is to race to the bottom, seek out quick clicks, make it easy to swallow, reinforce existing beliefs, keep it short, make it sort of fun, or prurient, or urgent, and most of all, dumb it down.

And that’s the true danger of anti-intellectualism. While it’s foolish to choose to be stupid, it’s cultural suicide to decide that insights, theories and truth don’t actually matter. If we don’t care to learn more, we won’t spend time or resources on knowledge.”


“Death is only the end if you assume the story is about you.”-Joseph Fink

-The Nerdwriter explains what makes Casey Neistat so entertaining:  Casey Neistat: What You Don’t See.

-Instagram follow of the week…so great:  The New Yorker Cartoons.

-The very best of Steven Wright.  It’s amazing to me how he can take the simplest of observations and just kill.

-Finally jumped on the Stranger Things bandwagon.  Here is the extended soundtrack:  Stranger Things Main Theme.

-The New York Times did and expose on James Altucher.  The title is a little misleading because I know he would never consider himself a “guru” or in “self-help”.  An interesting article and good introduction to someone who lets himself bleed all over the page:  Why Self Help Guru James Altucher Only Owns 15 Things.





MOVNAT & Other Stuff I’m Into

This past weekend I got certified to be a MOVNAT trainer.  What is MOVNAT you ask?  It is a system to help people reclaim movement patterns that have been natural for humans since the beginning of time (breathing, walking, running, balancing, crawling, climbing, swimming, lifting, carrying, throwing, and self-defense skills such as striking and grappling).  Why would I need a trainer to “move naturally”?  The MOVNAT system is based on efficiency.  Just because something is natural does not necessarily make it efficient.  As a trainer I can help you work on theses inefficiencies and reclaim years of bad habits.  MOVNAT is different from many “fitness” systems because of the practicality that can be immediately applied to the real world.  I was drawn to MOVNAT and natural movement because it’s fun.  Something evolutionary happens when you can reclaim control over your body and move in nature.

Documentary:  Watched Tony Robbins documentary on Netflix:  I Am Not Your Guru.  It’s hard not to be inspired from one of the most popular self-helpers of all-time.  Everyone will have a different takeaway but as far as docs go this is a pretty good one.

Politics:  This is a long form interview with Gary Johnson the former Governor of New Mexico.  Gary Johnson is running for President and one could argue rather easily that he is the most sensible candidate:  Gary Johnson on JRE.  If you don’t feel like watching listen to the Joe Rogan podcast episode 801.  Gary Johnson is scheduled to be back on the podcast very soon.

Instagram Follow:  Jon Call also known as JujiMufu.  This dude calls himself the anabolic acrobat.  He’s invented this system he calls acrobolix, which basically means the dude is super mobile and really strong.

Quote:  “Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out.”  –The forever quotable John Wooden.

5 Things Worth Sharing

  1.  Ryan Holiday wrote a note to his father pleading not to vote for Trump.  “The baffling reality is that when it comes to Trump, it’s difficult to critique him on much besides his personality and (lack of) character — because that is all there is.”  Dear Dad, Please Don’t Vote for Donald Trump
  2. Malcolm Gladwell has a new podcast and it’s pretty great.  If you appreciate a different way of looking at the world you will enjoy this podcast.  Revisionist History
  3. Whether it annoys you or you’re addicted…Gary Vaynerchuk’s (social media expert) take on Pokemon Go.
  4. Finished Phil Knights memoir Shoe Dog.  I did not expect this book to be so eloquent.
  5. Quote from C.S. Lewis:  “Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself, its thinking of yourself less.”





-I’ve heard a lot of talk lately about telomeres.  To better understand what a telomere is and why we should care about them I would suggest listening to The Rich Roll Podcast Episode 209 with Dr. Rhonda Patrick.  We are just beginning to see the implications telomeres have on aging, cancer and how lifestyle choices like diet, exercise, stress management and social support positively effect lengthening.   Telomeres are an essential part of human cells that effects how our cells age.  Telomeres are the caps at the end of each strand of DNA that protect our chromosomes, like the plastic tips at the end of shoelaces.  Without the coating, shoelaces become frayed until they can no longer do their job, just as without telomeres, DNA strands become damaged and our cells can’t do their job.  

-A study on PubMed about coffee and lengthening (what we want) telomeres:  Coffee Consumption Positively Linked to Telomere Length.  Of course this could be a case of confirmation bias.

-This is a great place to watch John Oliver’s take on Scientific Studies.


The Short Podcast & the Remix

For those of you who enjoy the Star Wars Universe (and lets face it, who doesn’t?) watch this 10 minute video about Everything is a Remix.  This video dovetails nicely with the work of Austin Kleon from Steal Like an Artist fame.

Great piece I finally got around to reading from Ryan Holiday on how Tim Ferriss has become the Oprah of Audio.  For those of you who have listened to his podcast from the beginning Timmy has come a long way.  Those first few podcast were filled with lots of “umms” and other awkward language.  Ferriss has transformed himself into one of the best podcasters around:  The Oprah of Audio.

Staying on the podcast tip…while listening to one of Tim Ferriss long form podcast he interviews Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs.  Probably one of the best interviews I’ve heard all year, super interesting guy with a great voice.  Rowe started his new podcast in March:   Mike Rowe: The Way I Heard It.  He describes the podcast as exploring short mysteries for the curious mind.  The episodes are only 5 minutes long, I guarantee you can’t listen to just one.

I’m always looking for podcast recommendations.  So let me know what I’m missing in the comments.


Reading about Reading

I love reading about reading.  These are some of the best sites I’ve found for what I’m interested in.


3 Things I Thought Worth Sharing This Week

“This is a wonderful day.  I’ve never seen this one before.”-Maya Angelou

  1.  Chase Jarvis, one of the minds behind Creative Live has a new series out this month:  30 Days of Genius (Some Guests include Tim Ferriss, Austin Kleon, Seth Godin, Richard Branson, Mark Cuban, Arianna Huffington, James Altucher, you get the idea).  If you have any interest in learning from the best in the world, Creative Live is an amazing resource.
  2. Watched Prescription Thugs this week.  One of the claims in this documentary is that 1 in 10 Americans are on an anti-depressant.  It’s as if we are no longer allowed to be sad.  Prescription drug abuse is the elephant in the room for America.  At the same time dummies in the federal government still wanna talk about how bad marijuana is for you:   Rolling Stone “Why America Can’t Quit the Drug War”.
  3. Tim Ferriss had Chris Sommer from GymnasticBodies on the podcast this week.  Interesting out of the box exercises and ideas.

6 Things Worth Sharing

“There is nothing that the busy man is less busy with then living; there is nothing harder to learn.” -Seneca

  1.  6 different kettlebell deadlift variations:  Kettlebell Deadlift.
  2. I wouldn’t normally recommend a book I haven’t read but Ryan Holiday has a new book coming out June 14th called Ego is the Enemy.  Ryan wrote one of my favorite books The Obstacle is the Way.
  3. Really been digging The New Yorker Presents on Amazon Prime.  If you want a documentary series that isn’t a big time commitment.
  4. Sometimes when you feel someone is talking directly to you:  (Seth Godin) Transformation Tourism.
  5. What I’m reading:  The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born, It’s GrownWait Till Next YearThe Legends Club
  6. BONUS:  Just discovered Wheeler Walker Jr.  The internet is a beautiful place:  ***explicit*** Wheel Walker Jr. “Redneck Sh*t” ***