How Does Working Only 4 Hours a Week Sound?

Tim Ferriss’ book, The 4-Hour Work Week, has become a classic guide for those trying to blaze their path instead of taking the one others want them to follow. Even if you don’t end up working four hours a week, there is much to learn from this book in fine-tuning your career, and more importantly, your quest to Find Your Purpose, Find Your Story.  This is a book that you will frequently revisit, and start here with some of the many memorable quotes from Tim:

“Someday” is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you.

Doing less meaningless work, so you can focus on things of greater personal importance, is NOT laziness.

Focus on being productive instead of busy.

Ask for forgiveness, not permission.

Money alone is not the solution.

Doing something unimportant well does not make it important.

Requiring a lot of time does not make a task important.

What you do is infinitely more important than how you do it. Efficiency is still important, but is useless unless applied to the right things.

Being busy is a form of laziness – lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.

Lack of time is actually lack of priorities.

Am I being productive or just active?

Am I inventing things to do to avoid the important?

“Task creep” – doing more to feel productive while actually accomplishing less.

Be selectively ignorant. Less is more.

Does your life have a purpose? Are you contributing anything useful to this world, or just shuffling papers, banging on a keyboard, and coming home to a drunken existence on the weekends?

More is not better, and stopping something is often 10 times better than finishing it.

Learn to be difficult when it counts.

Blaming idiots for interruptions is like blaming clowns for scaring children – they can’t help it. It’s their nature.

An interruption is anything that prevents the start-to-finish of a critical task.

Unless something is well-defined and important, no one should do it.

Most people aren’t lucky enough to get fired and die a slow spiritual death over 30-40 years of tolerating the mediocre.

Just because something has been a lot of work or consumed a lot of time doesn’t make it productive or worthwhile.

If tolerating a punishing work environment for years at a time is a prerequisite for promotion in your field, could it be that you’re in a game not worth winning?

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June 6th, D-Day 75 Years Ago

Watch this video by British military historian Peter Caddick-Adams on the day that changed history 75 years ago:

dday

Then read the recollections of one of the few remaining survivors of D-Day.

They fought so we wouldn’t have to.

Categories: History, Modern History | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Robert Jordan, Heir to Middle-Earth

The Wheel of Time series, which James Rigney, writing as Robert Jordan…is a true successor, a true heir, to the kind of mythically philological trail of creation that Tolkien had blazed some fifty years earlier. Like Tolkien’s Middle-earth, the world of the Wheel is a myth behind myths. The wondrous Age of Legends, the ‘far past’ of Jordan’s plot-lines in The Wheel of Time, is our mythically Atlantean past just as surely as is Tolkien’s story of the fall of Númenor from the Silmarillion. – Michael Livingston

For those who haven’t dived into Jordan’s epic 14 volume Wheel of Time Fantasy series, you’ll be hearing much more about it in coming months as Amazon Prime begins production on a television adaptation. Will they be able to adapt the voluminous, sometimes dense, successor to Middle-Earth? Or will it follow the troubled road of shows based on Shannara and The Sword of Truth? At least they have a complete book series to work from and can avoid the angst Game of Thrones fans have endured.

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Children & Books: Why #ReadingMatters

We’ve all been told how important reading is for the development of a child’s mind, not just so they can get an A in reading class, but for their intellectually well-being the rest of their life. This has become even more important in the age of electronic gadgets. Anna Mussmann writes:

[Children] must be able to hold large ideas in their minds. They must be able to recognize the differences between logic and propaganda. They must possess the self-discipline needed to focus on issues that are boring, and seek the wisdom to differentiate between what is right versus what is expedient or amusing. Most of all, they must possess the perspective of a true education in ideas so they can think outside the echo chamber of our era.

All of this is deeply connected to what and how we read. It is not that people who use their phones frequently are necessarily dumber than people who don’t. Like any tool, though, screens can be dangerous. They can fill the spare moments of life until no time is left for thought and deep learning. They can retrain our brains and make it hard to focus on a long-form conversation, whether in-person or in print.

Books are one of the best ways to guard our minds against a misuse of screens. Books aren’t magical mind-vitamins, of course. Yet in order to cultivate the ability to think, we must engage with good, wise, and true thoughts. And it happens that the works of humanity’s greatest thinkers are found in books.

She also writes on what it means to be a “reader,” and how to set an example to children. Kristen Mae shows us how to “trick” your kids into reading — in a good way. Michelle Woo details the sad truth of why some kids stop reading by age 9 — and how you can prevent this.

Reading is the gateway to all forms of thought and subject matter. It is a doorway to our past and a pathway to what our future will become.

Make sure it is wide open for your children and remove any and all roadblocks.

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Do You Trust Your Tech Too Much?

Computer technology has become so ubiquitous, millions of us pay little attention to what its creators — and those who would abuse it — are doing with that tech.

Gabriel Weinberg, founder of the DuckDuckGo search engine stated:

The American people are tired of being watched everywhere they go online. They are fed up with all the intended and unintended consequences this online tracking creates, including data breaches, invasive ads, identity theft, discrimination, and manipulation. Have you ever searched for something, only to see an ad for that very thing pop up in a mobile app, or on a different website? Our privacy policy is straightforward and doesn’t require a law degree to decipher: We simply do not collect or share any personal information at all.

DuckDuckGo was created in response to the invasive data gathering that many tech companies undertake on consumers. This is part of the premise behind the new documentary The Creepy Line, which digs deeper finding intentional manipulation. I wrote a few weeks ago:

Continue reading

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Ancient Aliens? No, our Ancestors Weren’t Dumb.

Ancient Aliens is one of those infuriating shows to those who have studied ancient history. The premise of the show is that the ancients weren’t smart enough to build structures like the pyramids. So, in one of the most disconnected lines of reasoning ever, they must have had help from aliens.

The fact is, the ancients were smart. They had the same brains we have. The more we learn about them, the more we have realized this.

Because something is difficult to do, doesn’t make it impossible. We are so enamored with our electronic technology, we forget that humans used math and brain power, combined with physical strength, for many millennia.

To listen to some of the “experts” on Ancient Aliens, it’s as if they haven’t been to these sites, or if they have, they had blindfolds on. One of the funniest moments is when one is showing how perfect a block has been carved (supposedly beyond the ability of the ancients), but the camera shows his square revealing the block is far from perfect. That’s only one of many head-scratching moments revealed in this documentary, Ancient Aliens Debunked.

To be certain, there are many mysteries to be solved from ancient times. Much has been lost and every day we learn something new. The ancients left us much to learn in their structures, stories, and myths. Over the years, I have written here about those things, and integrated them into my books. Our ancestors left us history, knowledge, and warnings, to ponder.

Not aliens.

Categories: Ancient Sites, Critical Thinking | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

They Shall Not Grow Old

From Director Peter Jackson comes the stunning documentary on World War I, They Shall Not Grow Old, using 100-year-old film that has been restored like never before. If you want to know what it’s like to travel back through time, check this out. Trailer:

theypj

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Freedom and the Future of Humanity

Here’s a pair of books on four men of the 20th Century that still speak to us today: Churchill and Orwell and A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War. Not one of them was a talking head or armchair expert. Each was a veteran of one or more of the century’s — and mankind’s — worst wars.

Winston Churchill warned there was no appeasing totalitarian governments. Evil regimes only ceased their scourge when facing a people who refused to surrender. Churchill’s prophetic voice was nearly ignored in this, and of what the world was to become in the Cold War. Flaws and all, he reached a level few “leaders” today can approach.

George Orwell experienced in the Spanish Civil War that all totalitarian governments were indistinguishable — whether fascist or communist — in their aims and results. His politics were polar opposite of Churchill’s, but they arrived at the same truths through life, not hypothetical debate. His books Animal Farm and 1984 emerged from those experiences, becoming timeless warnings that wherever power existed, abuse of that power would occur.

After surviving the trenches of World War I, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien became academic scholars. While their contemporaries were writing dismal books on the dark future of humanity, Lewis and Tolkien refused to give in to such defeatism. They eschewed the materialistic and naturalistic philosophies that had brought the world to its knees, and were also being used to paint a future of darkness for humanity. Their fantasy novels were more than fairy tales — they unveiled the hope and the Story that had been gifted to men and women — and that Evil could be crushed.

Out of a dark age came these bright lights. We would be dangerously amiss to snuff them out.

hwco

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What were you Made for?

What were you made for? What is your Purpose? Your Story?

Even in your hobbies, has there not always been some secret attraction which the others are curiously ignorant of…? Are not all lifelong friendships born at the moment when at last you meet another human being who has some inkling…of that something which you were born desiring, and which, beneath the flux of other desires and in the momentary silences between the louder passions, night and day, year by year, from childhood to old age, you are looking for, watching for, listening for? …All the but hints of it — tantalizing glimpses, promises never quite fulfilled, echos that died away just as they caught your ear. But if it should really become manifest — if there ever came an echo that did not die away but swelled into the sound itself — you would know it. Beyond all possibility of doubt you would say “Here at last is the thing I was made for.” – C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

 

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Who Came to Ancient America?

Unlike many “reality” shows, the History Channel series, The Curse of Oak Island, has a real dose of history behind its premise. If you can bear with the typical reality show style editing and pacing, you will be rewarded with clues to the island’s history. However, as they say, there is much more to the story.

This region of the North Atlantic seems to hold many more secrets beyond what Oak Island may hold. Paul Chiasson writes in The Island of Seven Cities and Written in Ruins of evidence pointing to Chinese visitors to Cape Brenton Island. Mysterious ruins and Chinese words in native languages are among the clues.

Graeme Davis’ Vikings in America attempts to unravel the scope of Viking excursions into the Americas. No one questions they were here, only the extent and impact of their travels.

In Irresistible North, Andrea Di Robilant tracks down the legendary Zeno brothers of Venice. Did they make it to the New World?

And finally, no ancient mysteries would be complete without throwing the Knights Templars into the mix. In Templars in America, Tim Wallace-Murphy and Marilyn Hopkins trace a globe trotting mystery that may have crossed paths with the Zeno brothers and followed the trail first blazed by the Vikings.

So, are you ready for some exploring?

curse

Categories: Ancient America, Ancient Sites, Forgotten Places, History, Legend, Mysteries | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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