Books that had a lasting impact on my life (Book 3: Steal Like an Artist)

Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon is written by a writer and an artist and he talks about the things he has learned about the creative process. I first read it as an article online, and now it has been turned into a book. I also bought Mr. Kleon’s other book Show Your Work, which is also very interesting. So why is Steal Like an Artist so important to me? It’s because it is where I learned two things: nothing is original and fake it till you make it.

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Books that had a lasting impact on my life (Book 2: How to Win Friends)

People think that How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie is a guidebook for manipulation, but they are gravely mistaken. If you read the book carefully, there’s a line there that says “I am not suggesting flattery. I’m talking about a new way of life.” That new way of life means understanding that “criticism is futile because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself”. He also says, “instead of condemning people, let’s try to understand them. Let’s try to figure out why they do what they do. That’s a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticism and it breeds sympathy, tolerance, and kindness.”

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Books that had a lasting impact on my life (Book 1: 7 Habits)

Several books have changed the way I think and live. This is a first of a series of posts where I will talk about these books and what I have learned from them.

Time management trick: what’s urgent vs. what’s important

As I discussed in The Time Management Matrix that Saved Me from 16-Hour Work Days, I was unnecessarily overworking before I read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. CoveyThe pile of work even prevented me from reading books, a really important activity for a writer, and ironically, it prevented me from devoting time to writing itself. As Stephen King said, one time he realized that he was becoming a professional e-mailer than a writer. Such is life when you get sucked up into busyness. So what was keeping me busy? I was caught up things like answering e-mail, transferring press kit cd contents to my computer, filing away the press kit papers, etc., which I all felt were “urgent” things.

However, after reading that book, I realized that I should prioritize what’s important even though it’s not urgent, and then minimize the time devoted to the urgent but not important stuff. If I have to do the latter, then I should batch them, which means to devote a specific chunk of time to do them all in one go as oppose to letting them interrupt and break my concentration while I am doing the important tasks.

I’m glad to announce that this year I was able to read 24 books from January to August. I was supposed to copy Mark Zuckerberg’s 24 books a year, but I exceeded it. Some books though turned out to be boring so I skipped a lot of pages and maybe that’s the reason why my reading sped up. Still, I’m reading lots of books now and this will inevitably improve my writing.

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People can use incorrect mathematics to lie

Right now I’m reading the book How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking by Jordan Ellenberg. I know what you’re thinking, I’m a writer, why am I reading a book about math? Actually, there’s a weird thing about me. I suck at mental math, up until now I don’t memorize the multiplication table, but I always had high grades in math. In fact, my math grades were higher than my English grades, and yet I never pursued a career in math. Huh.

Anyway, so I picked up this book because it promised to answer a perennial question that students ask, which is “When am I going to use this?” The book’s answer: math improves our way of thinking and helps us understand the world around us.

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Bakit walang mga putang ama?

Bakit walang mga putang ama? Meron putang ina pero walang putang ama. At kung paniniwalaan natin ang mga No Other Woman sa pelikula’t telebisyon at hello, si Erap lang, please lang, at ang statistics na mas marami daw lalaking nangangaliwa kaysa sa babaeng nangangaliwa, e di sa totoo lang, mas maraming mga putang ama kaysa sa putang ina. So bakit walang mga salitang putang ama?

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