I found this shell like that on the beach in South Africa… Life 🙂
Recently I read somewhere, that I should make notes of what I read and review them from time to time. I decided to give it a try, since I read a lot and I think making such notes will be for me a way of remembering best ideas, quotes, or whatever from my books and magazines. I also decided to share those notes with you, in edited form as some have gotten pretty long. In many cases I copied whole passages without noting the page numbers, which is against good reference practices, but of course I will list title and author of a book (or article) where I got the notes from.
I do that with hope that at least some of you will reach for mentioned magazine or book when you will find my notes interesting. Ach, one more thing: small number of notes do not mean that the book or magazine was not good…
Here is what I noted from the book “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor E. Frankl:
“What was really needed was a fundamental change in our attitude toward life. We had to learn ourselves and, furthermore, we had to teach the despairing men, that it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life – daily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfil the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.
These tasks, and therefore meaning of life, differ from man to man, and from moment to moment. Thus it is impossible to define the meaning of life in a general way.”
Yes… I rather tend to agree with what Mr. Frankl has written – each one of us has own meaning of life, as we all have our own lives. But if that meaning is fleeting from moment to moment, will I be able to grasp it? Shall I at all look for it? Answer to that question is also contained in above quote – if life questions me, tests me, I need to reply in right actions. Energy to be spent on looking for meaning should be rather used to give this meaning…
Soon I will have read 100 books since I started keeping track using that blog, which is since 3rd of August, 2011, exactly (see here). In 3 and a half years, 100 books – add to it magazines and all other crap I read during work, and it is something. Could be more. Maybe will be.
Of course I used to read quite a lot also previously, but then books I was reading were different. I used to go through a lot of crime, war stories, suspense, fantasy or science fiction books. Now I read literature having to do with fact or science. This change is a definite result of my MBA studies, I just got hooked and I read a lot of this because it interests me: I don’t have to do it, neither for studies (which are long done) nor for work. I read now crime or suspense only to have a break and relax a bit.
Of course I don’t remember everything I read, but I hope that at least something remains in my brain. Since there is a lot of topics I read on, there is (hopefully) a lot, even little, somethings that remain. It gives me new perspective and new understanding of what is going on around me. With every book that perspective broadens, even if just a little bit. On top of this my imagination keeps running and those books do give my brain cells hell of a workout.
My advice? Read. Read a lot. Whatever you read, it will be beneficial to you. If you don’t know something, you are interested in something, read on it. I’m, for one, glad that I have that habit. I just wish I could read and understand, or keep, more from all those books.
It took me quite a while to finish Nassim Nicholas’ Taleb book “Antifragile – Things that Gain from Disorder” (see it at Amazon here). Not because it is a bad book, but because I think I am too stupid to understand it at the first go.
Which is a shame. There are concepts in that book which we can all use in our lives. Like not taking too many drugs – or better yet, no drugs at all – if there is nothing wrong with us. We should not stick to routines, as nature likes a bit of chaos and randomness. Or more generally, perform actions when pay off can be big, and the action does not cost us much. We should not believe anyone (especially experts) who have stakes in what they are talking about or are getting paid for their expertise. But those are simple conclusions, the book gives much more than that, including some truths about economists, their advice and approach to our economy. Here one can find a lot of technical explanations and theories… What I wrote here sounds simple and silly, but belive me, the book has much, much more to offer with much more complexity.
Possibly here lies the problem for me – there is a lot of technicalities in that book, theory chases theory and my brain simply could not catch up or understand all what was written. I am sure that I will read that book again, in a year or so, maybe some more will get through to me. I picked a few books from the list of sources, maybe those will give me some more insight or background. Then maybe I will be smarter… Or get closer to becoming antifragile.
I haven’t written anything for a while… But today, something went over me and this is the result:
If you thought there is no stage
On which you are a star
You are mistaken.
If you think there was no movie
With you as a star
You are mistaken.
If you think there is no fight
In which you are a hero
You are mistaken.
If you think you are invisible
You may be right.
But your battles, movies and stages
Happen every day.
It is your life.