With a few days left in 2014 I thought it would be profitable to look back and the year and review the highlights of my year. Every year as I add to my understanding, I gain a new perspective on things, here is a list of a few of the things that have added perspective.
The Roosevelt Trilogy
During my market season I listened to the audiobooks of The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, Theodore Rex, and Colonel Roosevelt, a trilogy written by Edmund Morris.
Few men have ever had greater, and more impressive careers than Theodore Roosevelt. His character was great and his life has many lessons to teach. Throughout Roosevelt’s life he faced numerous trials, among them the horrifying experience of losing his mother and first wife on the same day. Even something as horrible as this didn’t keep him down, he got up and stepped back into the ring.
Perhaps the greatest lesson I learned from Roosevelt is his boldness of character. It was said by some that he had what Medieval scholars attributed to God, that he was, “Pure act.” Most people make the mistake of over thinking situations, I am one of those people. When the wheels keep spinning we lose opportunities by our inaction.
A post I wrote on Roosevelt can be found here: Just Bully!
I was also introduced to the Incerto (Latin for: uncertain, random.) These books were written by Nassim Taleb, a professor of risk engineering at NYU. The first I read was Anti-Fragile. Once I finished digesting that one I started on his others, The Black Swan, and Fooled by Randomness.
The idea of the Anti-Fragile changed my perspective on endurance, and patience. My biggest takeaway was to look on the upside despite the down, to remember that mistakes, errors, and failures are information to remember and improve from. To take each event and action as an opportunity for success. That in the greatest crisis opportunities can be found.
You can find a post I wrote on Anti-Fragile here: Endurance III
The 48 Laws of Power
This is one of those books I will take to my grave, it’s a primer on how to get, keep, and improve, power. Written by Robert Greene, he gives laws, illustrations of their application in history, and a distillation of their elements.
There are two things I will remember best. Be careful what you say, the more you say the more errors you are likely to make. I have the habit of running my mouth off, thus more than one of my rules are about controlling what you say.
The second is to remember humility is a greater ally than pride. It is better to walk tall with confidence, than to have the monkey of pride constantly on your back. Pride constantly needs to feed on praise, on making others feel weak, confidence requires no such fluff. Pride can be a ring around the nose to pull you where others want, it can be what the book calls a “thumbscrew.”
To see the post I wrote on confidence click here: Standing
What books have you read this year? Which has effected you most?
Take a look in a few days for our next 2014 review post!