Friday, 26 February 2016

Are you looking for enlightment, try reading books

Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment. Lao Tzu

Why do people commonly search for for enlightenment in religion?   
What would happen if you ever reached enlightenment, would the person search for something else?
I searched for enlightenment in books and knowledge.  Enlightenment isn't a destination, it's a journey without end, understanding and knowledge can never be completed.
Here definition of enlightenment?
the state of having knowledge or understanding : the act of giving someone knowledge or understanding
Enlightenment is often associated with religion or spiritual journeys but it's about knowledge and understanding.
For many years I use to read 20 to 30 fiction books a year.  I discovered the Farnam Street blog which inspired me to read more non fiction books and learn more.  
There was one particular quote from Charlie Munger which resonated
“In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’t read all the time – none, zero.”
I like this quote as well
“Develop into a lifelong self-learner through voracious reading; cultivate curiosity and strive to become a little wiser every day.”
This page has more Charlie Munger quotes on reading
I read more non fiction books and creating lists in Amazon and Goodreads about great books to read.  Ryan Holiday has a great reading list newsletter
I looked at my Goodreads currently reading list.  I like to read multiple books at once, I'm unsure if this is a good or bad habit but lets see what it says about my journey for enlightenment
Recommend by Ryan Holiday, I'm only 12 percent through but this book is magnificent book about a NBA coach Phil Jackson.  I'm enjoying his insights and engagement with people.  His interest in mediation and religious journey is fascinating and he attempts to still his busy mind.  I'm 14 % through but really enjoying it.
Ryan Holiday quotes a great section from the book in the article below, which persuaded me to buy it.

My current reading list

A great book which was free to borrow with my Amazon prime membership, it's one of the few free books I have found.  All three 99U book series are free for borrowing.  The book is a collection of articles on advise for creative people.  Interesting book.
A Science fiction book which is weird and great imagination.  I'm at the early stages and understanding how the world functions.
This is a classic book recommended by lots of people such as Shane Parish from Farnam Street blog, Charlie Munger and lots more.  It explains how people use your biases to persuade you into doing things.  It is a must-read book to enable you to understand how shops and salesman are persuading you without you knowing.
The new book from Cal Newport on deep work.  I am trying to improve my focus  and banish distractions.  This book has great tips on focusing.  
This was the book I asked my wife to buy for valentine's day and yippee she brought it for me.  I was looking forward to getting this, and writing is excellent, Adam Grant's writing style is generous and easy to read.  Adam uses great stories to emphasis his thoughts and opinions.  
Fiction book I'm reading on my phone.  I read a few pages whilst I'm stuck in queues or waiting.  It's an apocalypticstyle book similar walking dead.  The lead character is battling to survive, it makes you question how you would react.
User stories are a method to capture requirements and this book explains why user stories are useful and best practices and understand the process better.  The books old but it has lots of interesting points.
A look at how technology affects our lives and the counter intuitive way the industry works.
I'm trying to improve my writing, this book has opened my eyes
A small book written in a friendly and amusing tone.  I have learnt a lot from this book and its highlighting throughout.
I have been trying mediation as another method to improve my focus and keep my cool, this books a great introduction to mediation and amusing.

What does it say about my journey

My current reading is trying to understand how people work and insights on my own experiences.  Improving focus and concentration would be awesome. Mobile phones,  social media and email are distractions which constantly tug at your concentration.

Books offering deep thinking on topics and give the author time to explain topics in detail and offer insights.
I thought enlightenment was searching externally but during the writing of this article I began to think enlightenment is about knowing yourself and your thoughts.
Enlightenment is understanding, which comes from knowledge.

My two favourite books from last year

This is an amazing book, Maria Kondo's enthusiasm for tidying for inspiring.  I now even fold my socks and pants after reading this book.  If something doesn't spark joy then get rid of it.
This book was fascinating and explained many biases.  Understanding how your brain thinks and how it provides you instant opinions and thoughts was really interesting
book picture by kirrus

The views and opinions are personal opinions and not the opinions of my employer.

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