Ward Farnsworth is the Dean of the University of Texas School of Law. As you can imagine, he brings a logical precision to his discussion of Stoicism that is distinct and powerful. (Seriously. It’s actually ASTONISHINGLY powerful.) I really enjoyed the book and I highly recommend it for the aspiring Practicing Stoic. Big Ideas we explore include Principle #1 of practical Stoicism (Judgment!), the good life vs. the good mood (virtue for the win!), what others think (<- pro tip: ignore it), preferred indifference (committed but not attached), and using adversity as fuel for our Optimizing (use Hermes' magic wand!).
I got this book immediately after finishing Admiral McRaven’s first book, Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life... And Maybe the World. That one’s a quick-reading little book on the ten lessons McRaven learned in his SEAL training that we can all apply to our modern lives. It was fantastic. I had a strong feeling this memoir on his “Life in Special Operations” would be just as good. It is. As per the back cover, “Admiral William H. McRaven is a part of American military history, having been involved in some of the most famous missions in recent memory, including the capture of Saddam Hussein, the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips, and the raid to kill Osama bin Laden.” McRaven is a brilliant story teller with, as you can imagine, an incredible array of stories to tell. But that’s not why I loved this book so much. I loved it because reading it made me want to be a better human being. If you enjoy autobiographies and appreciate the military heroes who serve our country as much as I do, I think you’ll love the book as much as I did.
Admiral William H. McRaven is a Retired U.S. Navy SEAL who served for thirty-seven years and commanded at every level. As a Four-Star Admiral, his final assignment was as Commander of all U.S. Special Operations Forces. (During this time, he oversaw the covert mission that killed Osama bin Laden.) In 2014, he gave the commencement address to the graduates of the University of Texas at Austin. Millions of people wound up watching his speech on ten lessons he learned from his Navy SEAL training. This book takes a deeper look at those ten lessons. It’s a super-quick read—packed with simple, yet profound wisdom along with moving stories of moral exemplars. It's FANTASTIC.
Mel Robbins is funny, witty and wise. Her TEDx Talk (called How to stop screwing yourself over) is one of the most popular of all time, with more than 18 million views. This book is also super popular—with over 1,000 Amazon reviews. It’s pretty awesome. Actually, the book is REALLY (!) good. In fact, Mel Robbins’ 5 Second Rule might just be one of THE most elegantly efficient Tools we can use to close the gap between who we’re CAPABLE of being and who we’re ACTUALLY being. (Seriously.) Big Ideas we explore include The 5 Second Rule (and how/when to rock it), how to win the game of life (hint: start, stay in, for the long game!), excitement + anxiety (and how they feel the same in the body), managing distractions (today a good day?), and changing your life with one moment of everyday courage.
Alex Korb is a neuroscientist in the department of psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles. (Go Bruins!) He’s also a great writer. As per the sub-title, the book is all about “Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time.” It’s REALLY good. Inspiring. Scientifically grounded. Simple. Practical. <- A winning formula for a great book! Big Ideas we explore include the power of exercising your brain (which is the #1 tip, btw), setting goals (and making decisions), developing positive habits (via repetition, repetition, repetition), biofeedback (and how to take advantage of it), and the power of others (rely on it!).