Summary of “Louis L’Amour’s Library and Reading List”

The Western writer had a library of over 10,000 books, and averaged reading 100-120 books per year – “Reading approximately thirty books a year on the West in its many aspects” both for pleasure and in order to stay on top of his writing game.
As a child, his family had a modest collection of books, but it was at the library that his love of reading really came to life.
Details about his family life are not easily found, but Louis kept up his torrid reading and writing pace until he died in 1988.
For Louis, his reading was largely determined by what was available wherever he was working.
“For those who have not been readers, my advice is to read what entertains you. Reading is fun. Reading is adventure. It is not important what you read at first, only that you read.”.
“I have enjoyed digging into the reading habits of many great men and women and have tried where possible to get a list of the books in their libraries…. I hoped that by understanding the books these men and women read I might grasp at the basic sources of some of their ideas.”
What makes the reading list below unique is that for many of them we get not just a title, but what L’Amour thought of and took away from that title.
By Arnold Zweig – “The best novel to come out of World War I, although Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front. attracted more attention and was a good book also.” Lives by Plutarch – “In several of my western novels I have had characters reading Plutarch. I believe more great men have read his Lives. than any other book, except possibly the Bible. In reviewing the reading histories or libraries of great men, I have come upon him again and again, and justly so. His is a sophisticated, urbane mind dealing with aspects of leadership.” The Prince.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Do Smart People Do Foolish Things?”

Though often confused with intelligence, critical thinking is not intelligence.
Critical thinking is a collection of cognitive skills that allow us to think rationally in a goal-orientated fashion, and a disposition to use those skills when appropriate.
Critical thinking predicts a wide range of life events.
We asked people to complete an inventory of life events and take a critical thinking assessment.
The critical thinking assessment measures 5 components of critical thinking skills including verbal reasoning, argument analysis, hypothesis testing, probability and uncertainty, decision-making, and problem-solving.
Repeatedly, we found that critical thinkers experience fewer negative life events.
People who were strong on either intelligence or critical thinking experienced fewer negative events, but critical thinkers did better.
Anyone can improve their critical thinking skills: Doing so, we can say with certainty, is a smart thing to do.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Technology is destroying the most important asset in your life”

“Money isn’t the most important thing in the world. Your time is.”
The most important asset in your life isn’t time, but attention.
You can spend 80 years of a life with as much free time as you want and still not get out of it as much as someone who only lived for 40 years but managed to appropriately direct attention to the things that mattered to them.
Although time is indeed limited, with attention, it can be diluted to expand beyond what most other people get out of the same quantity.
Naturally, these devices and technologies are an important part of modern life, but in order for them to be a net positive force in your life, you have to set boundaries.
Attention has the power to make you happier by helping you appreciate the little things that are easily neglected in day to day life.
Attention can guide you to a fulfilled life by forcing focus onto the things that really matter to you, rather than the things that steal you away.
If you protect and cultivate your attention, there is almost nothing stopping you from living the life you want, because that’s where it all begins.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Is a Life Without Struggle Worth Living?”

Perhaps we can learn something about ourselves, and our political moment, by peering into Mill’s own crisis of faith.
Why on earth wouldn’t Mill want to achieve his life goals?
Mill never did abandon utilitarianism, though he later modified Bentham’s doctrine in subtle ways.
Mill is not at all clear about his line of thought here.
Perhaps Mill thought the same is true for adults – that facing a degree of “Struggle and privation” in life is essential to happiness, because it provides us with a vivid reminder of how lucky we are when we have it good.
Realistically, the work of improving human life and social conditions will never be “Done.” Still, it is easy to sympathize with Mill’s anxiety.
Did Mill, who admits to being something of a “Reasoning machine” throughout his teenage years, suddenly grow weary of mechanistic perfection? Perhaps he was disturbed by the imagined inhumanity of a world without struggle or privation – by the possibility that it might lack the romantic charms of human failure and frailty.
As Mill says, imaginative pleasures are available to “All human beings,” not just poets and philosophers.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Mentally Strong Kids Have Parents Who Refuse to Do These 13 Things”

Raising a mentally strong kid doesn’t mean he won’t cry when he’s sad or that he won’t fail sometimes.
A strong mental muscle is the key to helping kids reach their greatest potential in life.
Raising a mentally strong kid requires parents to avoid the common-yet unhealthy-parenting practices that rob kids of mental strength.
In my book, 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do, I identify 13 things to avoid if you want to raise a mentally strong kid who is equipped to tackle life’s toughest challenges.
Show your kids that even though you feel guilty sometimes-and all good parents do-you’re not going to allow your uncomfortable emotions to get in the way of making wise decisions.
Show your kids that the best way to conquer fear is to face those fears head-on and you’ll raise courageous kids who are willing to step outside their comfort zones.
Letting kids dictate what the family is going to eat for dinner or where the family is going on vacation gives kids more power than they are developmentally ready to handle.
Give your kids an opportunity to practice taking orders, listening to things they don’t want to hear, and doing things they don’t want to do.

The orginal article.

Summary of “My Incredibly Simple Guide To Stoicism”

It was made famous in recent years again by Tim Ferriss and Ryan Holiday from the USA. These two gentleman credit a lot of their success to the wisdom that Stoicism taught them.
Stoicism began on a stoa which means porch to you and I. A stoa is where the early teachings of Stoicism started.
Stoicism is focused on uncomplicated theories of life- Stoicism is so clear that you can take action from the advice immediately- Study is not required to understand Stoicism- The most read Stoic is Lucius Seneca.
Stoicism doesn’t focus on the negative like modern-day self-help advice does.
Stoicism is more a meditative practice that allows us to take the negative feelings we experience, and turn them into thoughts that give us peacefulness and perspective on life.
The most important part of learning Stoicism is having the right state of mind.
Just like in life, the right state of mind can help us look at challenges in the best possible way.
At the crux of Stoicism is a list of reminders and words of wisdom that show how to live a good life.

The orginal article.

Summary of “9 Stressful Things You Need to Stop Tolerating-If You Want to Be Successful”

There are many things that can stress us out, especially when we want to create our own success stories.
To succeed, you need relationships that will make you feel good about yourself.
If you want to be successful, you have to take chances and risks, and above all, you have to be honest with yourself.
The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists; it rewards people who get things done and make things happen.
Stop talking down to yourself-trust me, there are enough people who can do that job that you never have to do it yourself.
Change your small-minded thoughts to big-picture goals and build yourself up instead of cutting yourself down.
Refuse to lower yourself or your standards; instead, constantly raise yourself up.
If you want success, you’re going to have to take things into your own hands and make it happen.

The orginal article.

Summary of “10 Hard Things to Start Doing for Yourself”

We put the hard things off until tomorrow-because the “Weather” is bad-until we’ve lost our edge.
Then one day we wake up and we’re emotionally incapable of doing the hard things that must be done.
If you haven’t pushed yourself in lots of little ways over time-if you always avoid doing the hard things-of course you’ll crumble on the inevitable days that are harder than you expected.
Start putting your heart and soul into the things you do.
You must remind yourself to take a deep breath when things don’t go your way.
The ability to not overreact or take things personally keeps your mind clear, your heart at peace, and yourself moving forward.
When you bring clarity into your life, you bring the best of yourself into everything you do-you tend to treat yourself and others better, communicate more constructively, do things for the right reasons, and ultimately improve the world you’re living in.
Then interesting things begin happening-good things that are outside of your immediate purview-good things you haven’t even thought of yet.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Most Important Asset in Your Life”

“Money isn’t the most important thing in the world. Your time is.”
The most important asset in your life isn’t time, but attention.
You can spend 80 years of a life with as much free time as you want and still not get out of it as much as someone who only lived for 40 years but managed to appropriately direct attention to the things that mattered to them.
Although time is indeed limited, with attention, it can be diluted to expand beyond what most other people get out of the same quantity.
Naturally, these devices and technologies are an important part of modern life, but in order for them to be a net positive force in your life, you have to set boundaries.
Attention can allow you to bypass the limitations imposed by death because it inspires you to better use the time you already have.
Attention can guide you to a fulfilled life by forcing focus onto the things that really matter to you, rather than the things that steal you away.
If you protect and cultivate your attention, there is almost nothing stopping you from living the life you want because that’s where it all begins.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Spend More Time Alone”

Two were actually titled Solitude, while the third, and most recently published, was titled Lead Yourself First – which is pitched as a leadership guide, but is actually a meditation on the value of being alone with your thoughts.
Lesson #1: The right way to define “Solitude” is as a subjective state in which you’re isolated from input from other minds.
It’s time for your mind to be alone with your mind – regardless of what’s going on around you.
Lesson #2: Regular doses of solitude are crucial for the effective and resilient functioning of your brain.
Spending time isolated from other minds is what allows you to process and regulate complex emotions.
If you avoid time alone with your brain your mental life will be much more fragile and much less productive.
Not all types of deep work satisfy this definition of solitude, as it’s possible to deeply react to inputs from other minds, such as when you’re trying to make sense of a tough piece of writing or lock into a complicated lecture.
Deep thinking is time spent alone with your mind, and as such it’s just one of many different flavors of solitude – all of which aid human flourishing.

The orginal article.