These are some of the books I have read or listened to over the last 15 years. I have added one idea or question inspired by each book. This is a work in progress and not fully proofread. Business books are first and other nonfiction books are listed as well with topics including philosophy, psychology, economics, culture, science, health and optimization.

Ready, Fire, Aim:download-69
Zero to $100 Million in No Time Flat

– Michael Masterson – 2008

Waiting until your product is 100 percent perfect before releasing it will prevent you from utilizing customer feedback in the design.

The information you gain from starting something and implementing changes based on feedback can help you get ahead much faster than waiting until you have the perfect and final product. If you put your product out for others to use and experiment with, you may be able to adjust it much faster than you ever could without the user feedback. Real-world user incentives can be valuable and help you stay ahead of the competition.

Business, Product

The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
– Malcolm Gladwell – 2005

Take both situation and environment into consideration when designing experiments.

The New Coke vs Coke Classic taste test produced positive results for the new formula but, ended up being a flop. People enjoyed the New Coke sweetness after tasting a single shot glass of it but unfortunately for Coke, after drinking an entire can, people preferred the original formula. The experiment was not set up to simulate how people really experience the product. We must remember this when conducting experiments for either commercial or non-commercial purpose. The results of these experiments can have a cultural or financial impact[KH1] and therefore must be done correctly if we want them to be useful.

Business, Psychology, Product
Question: How can I test my product in real-world scenarios?


Things a Little Bird Told Me:
Confessions of the Creative Mind
– Biz Stone – 2014

Adding restrictions can make for a better product.

Constraints in the creative process or what can be produced may help produce better outcomes. Twitter has 140 characters and Snapchat erases the content after it is viewed. These types of restrictions change what we expect the products to do. You do not need to spend an hour writing a full blog post if a tweet can be written in two minutes. The Snapchat app proves you do not need to keep a photo forever. Instead, it can be silly and document your day in a new way without the expectations of a perfect image that will haunt you forever if it looks bad. These limitations free us to use these tools in new and interesting ways.

Business, Design, Product
Question: What constraints can you put on your design to make it better?

Sam Waltondownload-3
Made in America: My Story
– Sam Walton, John Huey – 1992

Use your competition’s good ideas.

“I probably have traveled and walked into more variety stores than anybody in America.”– Sam Walton

Sam would go into his competitors’ stores and watch how customers shopped. He used the best ideas found at other stores and tried to come up with innovative solutions for his customers.

Business, Product
Question: What ideas can you borrow from other companies?

The Personal MBA:download-4
Master the Art of Business
– Josh Kaufman – 2010

Make value for others that they understand.

Make sure you find something people want and will pay for. If you can improve other people’s lives and they recognize this, you may be able to make a business out of it.

The key is to fill a want or need for customers who know they have that want or need. The want or need you are trying to satisfy must match what they believe. You must do more than simply providing a product that is useful.

Business, Product
Question: How can you use your unique skill set to create value for others?

Duct Tape Marketing:download-5
The World’s Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide
– John Jantsch – 2007

Solve a problem for people that they already know exists.

Show your target audience you really understand their issues and have a solution. Focusing on solving known problems is easier than trying to convince them they need your product or service if they do not understand the problem it is trying to solve.

It is much easier to sell people something they want than change their minds. If you sell organic non-GMO dog food, target dog owners that care about organic non-GMO products in general. That is much easier than convincing people that do not buy organic products for themselves that they should buy them for their dog.

Business, Marketing, Product
Question: What problems can you solve for customers that are not solved somewhere else?

Growth Hacker Marketing:download-6
A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing & Advertising
– Ryan Holiday – 2014

Build marketing into your product.

People traditionally build a product and then figure out how to market it. You can also build marketing into the product itself. Emails sent from an iPhone include the phrase “Sent from an iPhone”. Hotmail added a line to their email footers advertising “Free Email”, an uncommon practice at the time.

Business, Design, Marketing, Product
Question: How can you build marketing into your product?

download-7The End of Business As Usual:
Rewire the Way You Work to Succeed in the Consumer Revolution
– Brian Solis – 2011

Keep up with your customers’ evolving wants and needs.

Customer needs change much faster than they did in the past and your product or service must keep up. We now live in a world where products are plentiful so you need to make sure your current version is exactly what the customer wants.

Business, Product
Question: How have customer expectations changed over the last 20 years?

The Lean Startup:download-8
How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses
– Eric Ries – 2014

Use feedback to help make a product your customers want to use.

We must understand what the customer really wants and is willing to pay money for. Determine this as quickly as possible. Do not worry about all the bells and whistles. Instead, present the minimal viable product to prepare for improving your product. Build, measure, learn, repeat.

Business, Marketing, Product
Question: How can you use analytics programs to better understand and serve your customers?

Elon Musk:download-9
Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
– Ashlee Vance – 2015

Elon is driven by missions he believes will come to fruition even if his business is not the one to do it.

Of course, we should not let rockets crash and remake them every time we go into space. Of course, electric cars are better.

He may not be sure that his companies will succeed but he is confident that his ideas will be on the right side of history.

Business, Product, Technology
Question: What product or service do you believe will inevitably be produced, even if the related business is not yet here?

The Invisible Touch:download-10
The Four Keys to Modern Marketing
– Harry Beckwith – 2009

People are not only buying a product at your store, they want a remarkable experience.

A product is more than a physical item. It is the entire experience associated with it. This can include how it is made, product hype and the buying experience itself. Apple puts a lot of money into its stores and even has patents for the way the package is designed and opened. While the store and the packaging do not have an impact on how well an iPhone works, it is still part of the experience of owning one. When designing a product, designers can create more than just the physical object. They can work on the entire experience associated with the product including how it is purchased, what people think about the brand and how others will react to the item.

Business, Marketing, Product
Question: Name a memorable brand experience.

Small is the New Big:download-11
And 183 Other Riffs, Rants and Remarkable Business Ideas
– Seth Godin – 2007

Personalize the experience whenever possible.

In the new world, where consumers—not products—are the scarce resources, products must be more personal if they are to stand out. Do not waste people’s time with generic marketing and product experiences.

Business, Marketing, Product
Question: What can you do to personalize your product?

Meatball Sundae:download-12
How New Marketing Is Transforming the Business World (and How to Thrive in It)
– Seth Godin – 2010

Remarkable products and services are easier to market.

By making your product so remarkable that people talk about it, you are building the marketing right into it. Making it stand out from the crowd will save you money on other forms of marketing, promotions, and advertising.

Business, Marketing, Product
What can you incorporate into a product or service you are working on to help it market itself?

The Amazon Way on IoT:download-14
10 Principles for Every Leader from the World’s Leading Internet of Things Strategies
– John Rossman – 2016

Products are only useful if they solve a problem.

The Internet of things will provide us with diverse types of communication between devices and allow us to do many new and interesting things. As designers build these new devices, they must start with customer needs instead of simply adding features because they are possible. Consider what the users want out of your product, not what the new technology can do.

Business, Design, Product, Technology
Question: Which new innovations are interesting but seldom used because no one wants them?

What Would Google Do?:download-15
Reverse-Engineering the Fastest Growing Company in the History of the World
– Jeff Jarvis – 2011

Lowering the barrier to entry can improve networks.

The power of networks is often in the number of people using them, therefore they are more powerful when they are free. Instead of charging for entry, social networks and marketplaces make money through marketing the customer as the product for advertisers, selling other items or premium memberships. Having a low barrier for entry allows more people access to a network often causing the network to be more useful for everyone.

Business, Marketing, Product
Question: What can you provide for free while still making money in some other way?

The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations
– Dan Ariely – 2016

We value work that has meaning, not just the financial reward.

Dismantling or discarding your work makes you feel bad even if you get paid for it. If your project is scrapped meaning you worked only to receive a paycheck, you may feel unsatisfied even if you were paid well. Many people gain as much satisfaction out of doing a great job, building a valuable product or making a difference as they do out of earning a high salary.

For example, self-assembly tasks such as adding eggs to cake mixes or building Ikea furniture can make us feel good about the products.

Business, Work, Psychology
Question: How would you feel if you were paid a little more than what you were previously paid but you knew in advance that your hard work would be discarded?

Built to Sell:download-17
Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You
– John Warrillow – 2012

Design your business so that you, the owner, are not needed.

If you can clearly define the processes in your company, the owner will no longer be the linchpin of the organization. If you want to sell your business, make sure to remove yourself as a required part of the equation or no one will buy your company unless you come with it. If you are unable to do that, you have a job, not a company you can sell.

Business, Work
Question: What processes can you define from your job and pass on to others?

Zero to One:download-18
Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
– Peter Thiel – 2014

Trust improves business culture.

Co-workers must trust and respect each other in order to build a thriving organization. Taking trust into consideration when building your culture or organization is particularly important in small groups of people that are trying to build a new business or create new industries.

Business, Work
Question: How can I earn trust and respect from others?

download-19The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs:
Insanely Different Principles for Breakthrough Success
– Carmine Gallo – 2016

To get people engaged in your ideas, business, or mission, provide inspiration beyond making money.

Steve Jobs believed in his vision and convinced others to as well. He was making money with Apple but his driving force was making great products that change lives by having a positive impact on how people communicate, create and consume content.

Business, Psychology, Work
Question: What mission motivates you?

Lean In:download-20
Women, Work, and the Will to Lead
– Sheryl Sandberg – 2013

Women are often treated differently than men unintentionally, which can still have a negative impact.

One story from the book discussed the idea of a male boss having drinks after work to talk business with a younger female employee. This could be viewed as scandalous for both parties but if it was a young male instead of a female, it would be fine. The same could be said for working late in a co-worker’s hotel room. This would be less of a problem if there was an equal number of male and female executives, but this is not the case for a variety of reasons.

Business, Work
Question: How can you become more aware of places where women are treated differently?

The Start-Up of You:download-21
Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career

– Reid Hoffman – 2012

Individuals should have a unique value proposition.

Treat yourself like a partner that your boss chooses to have a contract with. If you can develop your UVP, just like a business, you will be able to demonstrate more value to your employer or those that wish to work with you.

Business, Work
Question: What unique values do you want to develop?

I’m Feeling Lucky:download-22
The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59
– Douglas Edwards – 2011

As a company grows, the structure will change but the core values can stay in place.

It is important to establish your unshakable values as well as know what you are willing to change. You may value teamwork, creativity or customer service but implementing these values is much different for a six-person team than for a company with 6000 employees.

Business, Work
Question: What are your core values and what would you be willing to change?

Are You Indispensable?
– Seth Godin – 2010

Anything that involves following specific instructions will eventually be automated.

Try to be someone who does not use exact instructions to solve problems. To avoid your job being automated, become indispensable by focusing on creative thinking and problem solving instead of only following specific instructions.

Business, Economics, Work
Question: What can you do to make yourself indispensable at work?

Jony Ive:download-24
The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products
– Leander Kahney – 2013

Minimal workspaces help increase focus.

Clutter can be a distraction and move you away from focusing on your goal. Eliminate or hide clutter or other distractions so it is easier to focus on your main goal.

Business, Design, Minimalism, Work
Question: What can you eliminate in your workspace to help you stay focused?

The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace:download-25
Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People
– Gary Chapman, Paul White – 2011

People express and interpret appreciation in different ways.

Not everyone shows workplace appreciation in the same way. We often expect others to view the world in a similar way or care about the same things we do but this is seldom the case. Understanding what your boss, coworkers or employees care about and how they show or want to be shown appreciation will help make the workplace more enjoyable and productive.

Business, Psychology, Work
Question: How can you show appreciation in ways that others will understand?

Getting Green Done:download-26
Hard Truths from the Front Lines of the Sustainability Revolution
– Auden Schendler – 2009

People have different incentives for implementing sustainability into their business.

Marketing sustainability efforts to others in your organization can be difficult. Each of the stakeholders will have different ideas about what sustainability is, why it is or is not important and what they expect out of it. Make sure to take other people’s ideas and incentives into consideration when trying to encourage your organization to move in a more sustainable direction.

Business, Environment, Work
Question: What are some possible preconceived notions stakeholders in your organization have about sustainability?

The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions
– Guy Kawasaki – 2011

Sharing a passion is a great way to bond with others.

One of the easiest ways to encourage others to like you is by demonstrating passion in an area they are interested in as well. This places you in the same tribe and will help them look at you in a positive light.

Business, Marketing, Work, Psychology
Question: How can you find similar interests with others?

The Wal-Mart Way:download-28
The Inside Story of the Success of the World’s Largest Company
– Don Soderquist – 2005

Focus on communication within and between departments.

In larger organizations, it is important that you function within your team but you must remember to work on communication between departments as well.

Business, Work
Question: How can you improve communication with other departments?

Do It! Marketing:download-29
77 Instant-Action Ideas to Boost Sales, Maximize Profits, and Crush Your Competition
– David Newman – 2013

Positioning yourself as the go-to expert can pay off in certain industries.

Expensive equipment, legal terms, items with regulations, complex products or any industry that requires years of training relies on experts to help the rest of us make wise decisions when making related purchases. If you work in one of these industries, it would be beneficial to position yourself as the expert in order to attract people that are willing to pay more to get the job done right.

Customers might pay more for a specialized doctor, lawyer or architect but probably not much more for a pizza delivery guru.

Business, Marketing, Work
Question: How do you prove you are an expert?

The 80/20 Business:download-67
BIG Results from SMALL Changes
– Todd Nuckols – 2014

Rank your work activities by how much they contribute to helping you achieve your goals.

As we all know, every action is not as equally important to the outcome you are after. If you make sure you are working on the most important projects, then you will have a better chance of successfully reaching any goal. To do this, write down the activities you do on a daily, weekly, or quarterly basis and rank them by effectiveness in achieving your mission. This way you will at least know what you should be spending more time on, even if it is not your ideal choice to work on at that moment.

Business, Work
Question: What activities do you do that provide little or no return value?

The New Science of Leading Change
 – Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler – 2007

Make sure you are clear about your goals and how you will measure them.

If you want others to follow your instructions or vision, make sure to give them a clear goal. You also want to have a clear understanding of how you will know if you’ve achieved your goal. Clarifying these will ensure a better outcome and help both of you clarify what outcome you want and how you will know when you’ve achieved it.

Business, Psychology, Work
Question: Which goal could be measured in a variety of ways?

Think Epic. Be Epic.
– Bill Jensen – 2013

Even if you do not own a company, it can be useful to think like an entrepreneur.

It can be useful to think of yourself as an entrepreneur who has a service to sell to your employer. If you become more and more valuable to your employer, they will not be able to function without your service. You must keep up on the types of skills that are important to your boss and your industry as well as understand what changes are coming in order to stay relevant. In a world of continual change and disruption, we must continue to stay on top of the evolving needs of your employer the same way a business owner must stay on top of the customer’s needs.

Business, Work
Question: How would business change if everyone had to prove themselves on a daily or weekly basis?

The E-Myth Revisited:download-1
Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It
– Michael E. Gerber – 2004

To enjoy running a business you must enjoy more than the specific industry your company is a part of.

It may not be a good idea to start a bakery just because you love to bake. You must also wake up every day at 4 a.m., take care of finances, business taxes, marketing, inventory and manage people. If making cakes and muffins every day is what you really love to do, owning the bakery may not be the right choice.

Business, Work
Question: What aspects of your job do you enjoy and how can you do more of that?

Boost E-commerce Sales and Make More Money:download-3
Three Hundred Tips to Increase Conversion Rates and Generate Leads
– Alex Harris – 2014

Some simple website design elements can help people feel safe when shopping online.

Predominately displaying a phone number signals that you are easy to connect with. Guaranteeing a secure site, displaying security symbols and ensuring that users won’t be receiving security warnings from their browser when visiting your site helps users feel safe when providing credit-card info. Displaying store reviews, positive press and previous customers can assure visitors that you are trustworthy. These elements are low-cost but effective ways to make people feel safe completing a transaction online.

Business, Design
Question: How can you help people feel safe when shopping on your website?

Mobile Magic:download-40
The Saatchi and Saatchi Guide to Mobile Marketing and Design
– Tom Eslinger – 2014

New mobile devices influence both how we consume content and the types of content that are created.

The places we view content, screen size, expected use case and time available to view the content has changed as mobile phones become the norm instead of the exception for content consumption. Directors must make movies look great on 72” big screen TVs and tiny smartphones as well. People now watch clips of TV shows on the go, such as Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show, instead of on the couch. People read more but in tweet-length segments.

Business, Design
Question: What types of content are popular in the new digital era that would not be popular without mobile devices?

Enchanted Objects:download-13
Design, Human Desire, and the Internet of Things
– David Rose – 2014

You can use everyday objects to display new and interesting types of data.

You do not need to look at a screen to receive new and changing information. it’s possible to have a lamp that changes color when you get a text message or a clock that tells you how far away your family is. The possibility exists to transfer some of the data traditionally accessed on screens to other objects used every day.

Data from Twitter and other social media, the news, weather or sports can be processed and used to cause everyday objects to move and light up or change our day-to-day, non-screen-related products to make them more useful, interesting or fun.

Business, Design, Product
Question: What data would be useful if you connected it to your day-to-day objects?

The Mobile Mind Shift:download-14
Engineer Your Business to Win in the Mobile Moment
– Ted Schadler, Josh Bernoff, Julie Ask – 2014

Mobile devices are not just smaller but also used in completely different ways than desktop computers.

Smartphones and desktop computers may have similar functionality but are used in a much different way. While Interface designers need to design for a small screen, they must also understand how and where people choose to use these devices.

Business, Design, Technology
What actions do you perform on a phone that you would not do on a typical desktop computer?

download-15Conversion Optimization:
The Art and Science of Converting Prospects to Customers
– Khalid Saleh, Ayat Shukairy – 2010

Social proof is a mental shortcut that helps people make a decision whether or not to purchase your product.

Adding text or graphics saying “100 shares”, “loved by thousands”, “50,000 happy customers” or “most popular” helps people decide which product to buy.

Business, Commerce, Design, Marketing
Question: What social proof can you add to help others make buying decisions in your favor?

Designing Web Sites to Increase Traffic and Conversion
– Ben Hunt – 2011

Each web page should have a clear purpose and call to action.

Make it clear to the viewer what each web page is about and what steps the user should take next. The homepage of an e-commerce site you will have a different call to action than a product detail page. The homepage should direct the person to the products they want to buy. A product detail page’s main goal is to persuade them to add the items to their cart.

Some clear calls to action include “find out more”, “click here”, “add to cart” or “sign up now”. Make sure you understand the goal of each web page and give your user a clear next step to take.

Business, Design, Commerce, Marketing
Question: Do your top pages have a clear call to action?

Above the Fold:download-17
Understanding the Principles of Successful Web Site Design
– Brian D. Miller – 2011

Keeping your website header consistent will prevent confusion while navigating your site.

Adding a consistent header on your website reassures your audience they are still on your site and gives them a better user experience.

Business, Design, UX
Question: Do your customers feel confident navigating your site?

The Smarter Screen:download-10
What Your Business Can Learn from the Way Consumers Think Online
– Shlomo Benartzi, Jonah Lehrer – 2015

As we gain access to more data, our device must present the information in new ways.

Not long ago, information was a scarce resource. We now have more data available than ever before causing our attention to be the scarcest resource. Because of this, our device must organize what it displays in new ways. Product designers must do a better job of giving people what they want, when they want it, and not bombard them with more than the necessary information.

Business, Design, Technology, UX
Question: How can you create products that deserve people’s attention?

Don’t Make Me Think:download-11
A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability
– Steve Krug – 2000

Do not stray from design convention when it hurts the customer experience.

It can be fun to experiment with new website designs but people are often familiar with navigating interfaces in a specific way. Users assume the company logo links to the homepage and the left or top of the screen is where the main navigation links will be. It can be fun to get creative from time to time but if it is not advantageous to the user, it may not be worth it.

Business, Design, Marketing, Product, UX
Question: What are some design concepts that may be outdated but persist because they are familiar to users?

Subscription Marketing:download-4
Strategies for Nurturing Customers in a World of Churn
– Anne Janzer – 2015

Some products are being replaced by services.

It is important to understand which wants or needs people are trying to fill with your product. Do they care about the product or the result? Not all products should be replaced with services, but it is important to understand how your business could be disrupted.

For example, do homeowners want to buy a lawnmower or do they simply want short grass?  Do they want a car or transportation? Do they want a DVD or a movie-watching experience? These questions are answered when customers use a landscaper, get in an Uber or turn on Netflix.

Business, Commerce, Product
Question: What products could be disrupted by services?

Word of Mouse:download-5
101+ Trends in How We Buy, Sell, Live, Learn, Work, and Play
– Marc Ostrofsky – 2013

Our brick and mortar shopping habits are influenced by the internet.

We can now conduct research before we shop at a physical store as well as while we are walking the aisles. Online reviews, price comparisons, and Google maps can each have an impact on where we shop both on and off-line.

Business, Commerce, Marketing, Technology
Question: How do you use the internet while shopping at physical stores?

– Sophia Amoruso – 2015download-6

Think about the shopping experience from the customer’s point of view.

When designing an e-commerce store, or any type of business, it is a good idea to look at the user experience by putting yourself in the user’s shoes. Understanding what they care about and how they interact with your business can help you make a better product.

Business, Commerce
Question: How can you look at your website from the customer’s point of view? What do they care about?

How to Grow When Markets Don’t
– Adrian Slywotzky, Richard Wise, Karl Weber – 2003download-7

Sell your customers new things.

We all know our customers will be buying something else, at some point, and we may as well sell it to them. You have already crossed one hurdle: they know and trust you enough to become a customer. If you sell a specific product, you could start selling additional related items—additional products that complement your current offering—or start selling services as well. A paint store could start offering paint brushes, painting services, or other household items. You can use your own team or partner with someone else to gain maximum profit from the valuable resource you already have, your current customer.

Business, Commerce, Marketing
Question: What items would your customers want that you are not selling them now?

Location is (Still) Everything:download-8
The Surprising Influence of the Real World on How We Search, Shop, and Sell in the Virtual One
– David R. Bell – 2014

How we shop online is influenced by our location.

The types of searches we do or items we purchase are influenced by our local culture, options, prices, trends, and norms. Even if the web appeared the same for everyone, everywhere, how we use it depends on where we are. This includes what products we end up purchasing, where we get them and how they are discovered.

Business, Commerce
Question: What are some examples of online shopping that are influenced by location?

Buying In:download-9
What We Buy and Who We Are
– Rob Walker – 2008

Our personal identity affects what we purchase.

Adidas shoes, organic products, BMW cars and leather jackets are all products that send a signal to those around us. We may want to project a certain image or convey our personal identity and this can influence the type and brands of products we choose to buy.

Business, Commerce, Economics, Psychology
Question: What do you buy that is influenced by your identity?

The New Industrial Revolution
– Chris Anderson – 2012

Bits are easily transferable at a low cost and soon we may be able to do this with atoms as well.

The maker movement is being catapulted by 3D printing, services such as Kickstarter, and access to more sensors and components because of cell phone manufacturers. It may be possible to convert some products that were traditionally atom based to becoming bit based, thereby increasing the number of people that can consume these items by providing them at a much lower cost. MP3s and digital videos eliminated much of the market for atom-based CDs and DVDs. More of this type of transition is on the way.

Business, Future, Technology, Commerce
Question: What businesses have been transformed by moving atoms to bits?

Why We Buy:download-30
The Science of Shopping
– Paco Underhill – 1999

Make it easy for customers to buy more items from you.

If grocery stores had a few shopping carts placed around the store, you would not see people walking around with their hands full of items with no way to buy more.

Business, Commerce, Product
Question: How can you encourage your customers to buy more products from you?

100 Ways to Persuade and Convince Consumers with Neuromarketing
– Roger Dooley – 2014

Remove the pain of purchasing and people will buy more.

The easier you make it for your target audience to buy from you and reduce negative associations with paying, the more you will sell.

Business, Commerce, Product, Psychology
Question: What are some purchasing pain points that companies have eliminated in the past? What else can be eliminated?

Anything You Want:download-29
40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur
– Derek Sivers – 2011

Develop a small group of loyal fans.

Gear your business towards pleasing a small group of people. It is hard to make a product or service that fits everyone, but if you find your niche, you will be able to make this small group of fans happy and loyal.

Business, Marketing
Question: How can you find a small group of fans that you cannot live without your products?

Inbound Marketing:download-18
Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs
– Brian Halligan, Dharmesh Shah – 2009

Make your customers’ needs the center of your marketing messages.

People care about themselves and how your product will help them. The customer should be the focus, not the bells and whistles of your product or service. Create content that convinces your target audience that your product or service will make their life easier, better, or solve a problem they have.

Business, Marketing, Product
Question: What do customers in your industry care about?

Epic Content Marketing:download-31
How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less
– Joe Pulizzi – 2013

Create content once and deliver it in all the formats your target market uses.

If you write a book on a topic, you can break the content into multiple pieces. You may create a video, blog posts, and podcasts from the content that you previously created for your book. This allows you to create it once but distributes it to your customers in their preferred media format.

Business, Marketing
Question: What content can you re-purpose?

Marketing to Women:download-32
How to Increase Your Share of the World’s Largest Market
– Marti Barletta – 2003

Women make most household buying decisions and often look for different product attributes than men look for.

Traditionally, marketing norms have been set by men, even if men are not the target audience. Women often make the household decisions and marketers need to take this into consideration.

Business, Marketing, Product
Question: What are some products that men may not be great at marketing?

Hatching Twitter:download-23
A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal
– Nick Bilton – 2013

The legacy story of a business can change over time in the perception of the media.

The story involving the founding of Twitter has been shaped over time and in the perception of the public. Individual founders have each told their sides of the story and books, TV, movies and other media have helped shape what people think. What really happens and what is perceived are two different things, and in some cases, perception becomes more important for a brand than what really happened.

Business, Marketing
Question: What founding myths have you heard that may not be accurate?

Brand Real:download-24
How Smart Companies Live Their Brand Promise and Inspire Fierce Customer Loyalty
– Laurence Vincent – 2012

A company’s brand is a collection of beliefs that a customer or group of customers hold.

When you think of the company Apple, this single word can trigger multiple ideas and feelings. You may think “innovative”, “cool”, “expensive” or “easy to use”. This collection of beliefs is what the Apple brand stands for in your mind.

Business, Marketing
Question: What collection of beliefs do you want your customers to hold about your business?

Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade Us to Buy
– Martin Lindstrom – 2011

Companies use predictable fears and psychological traits to sell products.

Humans are hardwired to be nostalgic. For example, a simple smell can influence shoppers. Marketing can be directed at new mothers who are worried about their children. These and many other predictable psychological influences are well understood by marketers and are used to help businesses sell products.

Business, Marketing, Psychology
Question: What are some predictable fears that customers may have?

How to Use More Than 100 Secrets of Ad-Agency Psychology to Make Big Money Selling Anything to Anyone
– Drew Eric Whitman – 2012

Social proof can help people feel they made a smart purchasing decision.

It is not always easy to know whether you are buying the right product. Knowing that other people have purchased it reduces anxiety during the purchasing process.

Business, Marketing, Psychology
Question: Where have you observed social proof being used?

Real-Time Marketing and PR:download-10
How to Instantly Engage Your Market, Connect with Customers, and Create Products that Grow Your Business Now
– David Meerman Scott – 2011

The strategies that work in public relations have changed because of new technology and incentives.

The types of stories, their depth and the speed of delivery all have a bearing on how reporters work and what they are looking for in the next article or news piece. If you want to pitch your story to a reporter, you must understand the specific incentives of the organization or journalist and how the traditional rules regarding operations may have changed.

Business, Marketing, Media, PR
Question: What new incentives may journalists have that they would not have had 50 years ago?

Create Zealots for Your Brand, Your Company, and Your Future
– Patrick Hanlon – 2006

A brand’s values should match the target market’s values.

It is much easier to find a target audience that appreciates a company’s values than to change the customer’s values with the brand. If you sell organic local produce, it is more effective to target people that also think organic, fresh food is good. This is much easier than trying to change the kind of food people care about.

As you create your business, make sure that you understand what your target audience cares about or find an audience that already cares about your mission.

Business, Marketing
Question: What values does your business have? Does your target audience have these values too?

Brand Warfare:download-19
10 Rules for Building the Killer Brand
– David F. D’Alessandro – 2001

Branding goes beyond the marketing department.

All parts of a company make up the brand, not just the logos, fonts, imagery and colors. How the phone is answered, what the hours of operation are, when the product is delivered and how easily problems are solved are all part of the brand of an e-commerce store that has nothing to do with the logo or website colors. It is the complete picture that a person holds in their head about the company

Companies can have multiple brand identities as well. A store may want to be a trendy place for customers, an efficient place for suppliers and a fun place for employees.

Business, Marketing
Question: What aspects of your business influence branding?

Creating What People Love Before They Know They Want It
– Adrian Slywotzky and Karl Weber – 2011

 There is no such thing as an average customer.

Creating personas and preparing different products or offerings for each type of customer is be better than providing a sub-par experience for an average customer. If half of your target audience likes short shorts and the other half likes long pants, providing only knickers will be a failed strategy.

Business, Marketing
Question: What are some of your business customers’ personas?

All Marketers Are Liars:download-20
The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low Trust World
– Seth Godin – 2005

Marketing is about telling a story to people who are open to that story.

Make sure to target people who are open to what you want to say. This is much easier than changing their minds. Tell them a story about your product that fits their worldview. If you want to sell health food to one person with a vegan diet and one with a paleo diet, you may want to tell two different stories about health.

Business, Marketing
Question: What do the people who you market to already believe?

50 Secrets from the Science of Persuasion
– Noah J. Goldstein, Steve J. Martin, Robert B. Cialdini – 2007

Other people’s behavior has an enormous impact on our behavior.

When infomercials change the words “operators are waiting, please call now” to “due to larger numbers of orders, operators may be busy” it changes the perception about a product people are viewing. They may think, “This product must be popular, I should get it before it is gone.” This change can help encourage people to choose the popular product as they do not want to miss out on a great deal that others must also think is a great deal. Changing the wording in your marketing efforts to show that other people want your product or service can shape how people think about it.

Business, Marketing, Psychology
Question: How can you demonstrate both scarcity and popularity in your marketing copy?

Free Marketing:download-22
101 Low and No-Cost Ways to Grow Your Business, Online and Off
– Jim Cockrum – 2011

Influence the influencer and spend their social capital.

If you can get someone well-connected to recommend your product or service, you are spending the influencer’s social capital. This is why friends’, celebrities’, and experts’ endorsements are so valuable to marketers.

Business, Marketing
Question: How can you find someone with a lot of influence to promote your product or service?

Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Deaddownload-49
What Every Business Can Learn from the Most Iconic Band in History
– David Meerman Scott, Brian Halligan – 2010

Make loyal fans feel special.

Give them free items, special offers and make them feel as if they are part of the tribe. The loyal fans of any business or organizations are likely to be better customers and tell more people about your products or services. It is important to nurture this relationship and make sure they do not funnel their passion in some other direction.

Business, Marketing
Question: How can you make customers feel important?

Cultivate the Enduring Customer Loyalty That Keeps Your Business Thriving
– Noah Fleming – 2015

Most people can only remember a few things about your company.

Choose one or two messages you want people to associate with your brand and make them very clear. If you offer the lowest-priced, fastest delivered and best-tasting pizza in town along with the healthiest options, best atmosphere and a donation to charity for every pizza ordered, customers will be confused about what your real brand value is.

Business, Marketing
Question: What do you want people to think about your business?

The New Rules of Marketing & PRdownload-43
How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases & Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly
– David Meerman Scott – 2007

To go viral, you must create content that people will share.

Your content must inspire, entertain, be thought-provoking or fascinate the audience if you want them to share it. People want to look good if they post your content and want it to be easy to share as well. It is not easy to make something go viral but knowing this can help increase the odds.

Business, Marketing, Media
Question: How can you create content that people will want to share?

Delivering Happiness:download-33
A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose
– Tony Hsieh – 2013

Repeat customers and word-of-mouth can be examined as its own form of marketing.

The cost of unparalleled customer service can be paid back through the long-term value generated from repeat customers and word-of-mouth referrals. Instead of spending money on more marketing, you may receive a better return on your investment if you focus on great customer service. You can think of the extra expense as part of your marketing budget.

Business, Marketing
Question: How can you encourage both repeat and word-of-mouth business at less cost than paying for marketing?

Brand Real:download-34
How Smart Companies Live Their Brand Promise and Inspire Fierce Customer Loyalty
– Laurence Vincent – 2012

A company’s brand is a collection of beliefs that a customer or group of customers hold.

When you think of Apple Computers, the single word can trigger many ideas and feelings. You may think “innovative, cool, expensive, easy to use and trendy.” The collection of beliefs about the company is the brand.

Business, Marketing
Question: What collection of beliefs do you want your company to stand for?

Here Comes Everybody:download-35
The Power of Organizing Without Organizations
– Clay Shirky – 2009

More free time and improved connectivity allow society to create new types of content.

People now have more free time and the ability to work on a number of user-based projects that include new types of collaboration and communication. Products such as Wikipedia, YouTube, blogs, and podcasts are forms of media that were not possible in the past and are often driven by user-generated content.

The lines have been blurred between professional and amateur media creation now that anyone can publish content and make money doing so.

Business, Media
Question: What new types of content will we as a society create in the future?

Trust Me, I’m Lying: download-36
Confessions of a Media Manipulator
– Ryan Holiday – 2012

New media has different incentives and this can change the type of information we get.

Some blog writers for major news publications have incentives to create a dozen posts a day and do not have time to fact check the way some people expect. Through using services such as “Help a reporter out”, it is easier than ever to get a relatively legit news source to quote you on a topic that you know nothing about. We must take into consideration the fact that media is driven by page views and not fact-based journalism.

Business, Economics, Marketing, Media
Question: How is the news you read influenced by new media incentives?

The Filter Bubble:download-37
What the Internet is Hiding from You
– Eli Pariser – 2011

Making guesses based on user signals can help companies give customers more of what they want whether for better or worse.

If you read a lot of online stories on basketball and someone else reads a lot of stories on Star Wars, each of you will start seeing related information in your news feed. You will see more basketball and sports articles and the other person will see more Star Wars and sci-fi related articles.

In some cases, this may be a welcome change and in other cases, it is not. This “better” content can shape how we see the world and may only show us content that we already agree with.

Business, Culture, Media, Technology
Question: Where have you noticed filter bubbles?

The Search:download-38
How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture
– John Battelle – 2005

The way Google chooses to answer questions has an enormous impact on the type of information we find.

All algorithms have a bias of some sort. It is virtually impossible to expect Google to give us information without using some sort of clues or guesses at what we are looking for. These clues may be useful and necessary but we also must remember they are not perfect and that small changes in how it answers search queries can have a greater impact on business, society, and individuals.

Business, Media
Question: How might Google stop being the gateway for searching?

In The Plex:download-39
How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives
– Steven Levy – 2011

Speed, experimentation, and willingness to take risks are core principles behind Google’s success.

The founders of Google understand that to stay competitive in the ever-changing technology industry, they must be willing to fail fast and learn from their mistakes. It is okay to try things that do not work as long as you learn from the process.

Question: How can you apply some of these values in your life to help reach new goals?

Groupon’s Biggest Deal Ever:download-51
The Inside Story of How One Insane Gamble, Tons of Unbelievable Hype, and Millions of Wild Deals Made Billions for One Ballsy Joker
– Frank Sennett – 2012

Using ideas from one business can help you come up with ideas for others.

Groupon took ideas from one business and moved them to a different situation. The ability to draw on ideas from one situation and transfer them to another can be very useful in designing new business models.

Question: What innovative business ideas have you had that were sparked other companies?

The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs:download-44
Insanely Different Principles for Breakthrough Success
– Carmine Gallo – 2010

Say no to 1,000 things.

By being very deliberate in what you are working on and keeping focused on what is important, you will be able to do a few things well instead of a lot of things sub-par.

When Steve Jobs came back to Apple in the mid-90s, he narrowed down the product line. They kept only four products and focused all of the company’s energy into making these items great. They ended up with two laptops and two desktops, a consumer and professional version of each.

Question: What can I say no to?

The Future of a Radical Price
– Chris Anderson – 2009

Businesses can make a profit while giving away things of value for free in order to make money in other areas.

Google gives away free search results but makes money on ads. Musicians let radio stations play their music for free but charge for merchandise and concerts. Free on-line classes are available for anyone, but if you want certification, you must pay for that.

Question: What can you give away for free while earning money in some other way?

Your Portable Empire:download-46
How to Make Money Anywhere While Doing What You Love
– Pat O’Bryan – 2007

Find information people want and curate it for them.

Curated information is useful when it saves time and employs other people’s knowledge to gain better results. If you can find a set of people willing to pay for information that is curated, it may be worth your time and money to create it. If you find valuable content that is time-consuming to organize, and a few customers who would be willing to pay for it, this would make it worth the effort to produce.

Business, Product
Question: What information would I like curated?

How the Data Explosion Makes Us Smarter
– Stefan Weitz – 2014

Searches can be more powerful when they add signals from images, sound, locations, video, and more.

Search engines use signals to help you find the best results. Adding more signals such can be helpful clues to determine what content is best to show or what situation the user is in.  The more useful signals that are used when searching, the better and more accurate our search results will be.

Business, Technology
Question: What specific signals could search engines use to provide better results?

How Google Worksdownload-48
– Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg – 2014

 The power has shifted from companies to the consumer in many online businesses.

Lower barriers to entry when starting a business, new networks and globalization have each increased the number of product and service options shoppers have. There is no longer only one store that sells running shoes. There are dozens within driving distance and hundreds more online. Marketing efforts are unable to beat bad reviews when alternative options are a click away.

Question: How does the customer/company power shift affect your business?

Smarter Faster Cheaper:download-52
Non-Boring, Fluff-Free Strategies for Marketing and Promoting Your Business
– David Siteman Garland – 2011

 Being helpful is fun, selling is not.

Everyone likes it when you help them solve a problem but no one wants to be sold. Frame your business interaction so that you are trying to help someone, not trick them into choosing you. This can make a big difference in how both you and the customer feel about the transaction.

Question: How can you frame business transactions in such a way that you are helping the customer and they are not only excited about the product but glad you talked to them?

Naked Statistics:download-53
Stripping the Dread from the Data
– Charles Wheelan – 2013

Correlation and causation are not the same, but both can be useful when making business decisions.

It is important to understand the difference between correlation and causation but that does not mean we should ignore correlation. It can still be useful in making business decisions.

Question: What are some examples in which correlation is useful?

How to Measure Anything:51jnhEm4gCL._SX350_BO1,204,203,200_
Finding the Value of “Intangibles” in Business
– Douglas W. Hubbard – 2011

 Many intangible things have a value that should be counted.

We must take into consideration all things of value including things that are hard to put a clear number value on. If we want an accurate account of a situation, all value must be considered. It is not necessary to have the same confidence level as with something tangible but it may be useful to make value guesses with different levels of certainty.

Business, Economics, Psychology
Question: What are some intangible things of value you could start counting?

Smart Pricing:download-66
How Google, Priceline, and Leading Businesses Use Pricing Innovation for Profitability
– Jagmohan Raju, Z. John Zhang – 2010

Different pricing strategies work for different business models.

Some companies make a profit on all sales while others lose on some and gain on others. Some have low margins and others have high margins. It is not uncommon to give away a portion of your products for free and charge a premium for others. Intellectuals give away blog posts but may charge for books, speeches or consulting. Musicians give away music but charge different prices to fans depending on whether they want back row seats, good seats or a VIP meet-and-greet weekend package. It is important to understand what strategies work in your industry and business model and not rely on one pricing strategy for all situations.

Business, Economics
Questions: What are some innovative price strategies?

Platform Revolution:download-64
How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy–And How to Make Them Work for You
– Geoffrey G. Parker, Marshall W. Van Alstyne, Sangeet Paul Choudary – 2016

Platforms often create value using resources they do not own.

Platforms can create value for the participants and themselves by successfully creating win-win connections. Ebay does not need to buy a lot of products but connects buyers and sellers. They provide a user-friendly experience for both parties, product and seller curation, and a brand that people trust.

By providing the platform, eBay profits by connecting people, not by creating or owning any of the objects they sell.

Business, Economics
Question: What platforms do you wish existed?

Poke the Box:download-63
When Was the Last Time You Did Something for the First Time?
– Seth Godin – 2015

Connections, intelligence, reputation, and experience are all types of value that are not represented by money.

Each of these brings value to your business but are not as easily translated into value when looking at your bank balance. What is the value of great company culture? How much is your brand reputation worth? These are important aspects for any business to look at but they are not always as easy to quantify as products sold or money made this quarter, even if they will lead to increased profit in the future.

Business, Economics
Question: How can you build multiple types of value in your day-to-day life or business?

Marketing in the Age of Google:download-62
Your Online Strategy IS Your Business Strategy
– Vanessa Fox – 2010

Data from Google can be used to understand your market, not just to acquire customers.

As marketers, we often think of Google as a place where a business or product can be found but it is also a tool that helps us learn what our audience is looking for and can help us craft our business accordingly. Looking at popular searches, trending topics, “searches related to” recommendations and auto-complete can be clues about what people are interested in or looking for or buying online.

Business, Commerce, Marketing
Question: What data can you get from Google to help understand your customers?

How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth
– Gabriel Weinberg, Justin Mares – 2015

You need a great product as well as great distribution.

Having a great product is necessary for any business for which its customers have alternative options, but a great product alone is not enough. You also need to let your target audience know your product exists, position it correctly and get it to them in an economically profitable way.

Not all distribution channels work equally well for all businesses and finding even one profitable channel can be difficult, even if you have a great product. After you find one that works for your business, you can test tactics through that channel and try others as well.

Question: What products would fail without effective distribution?

The Upstarts:download-60
How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley Are Changing the World
– Brad Stone – 2017

A business can be very powerful and grow quickly if it connects people instead of building new things.

AirBnB does not build rooms but found an unused resource in people’s current homes. Uber is able to use the previously untapped resources of the average person’s car and free time. Both of these companies create value for people by incentivizing and connecting people in new ways. They did not build more hotels or buy new vehicles, but used the untapped resources to give the user a potentially new and better service along with an additional way for people to make money.

Business, Innovation
Question: What untapped resources have you observed?

Think Like a Futurist:download-59
Know What Changes, What Doesn’t, and What’s Next
– Cecily Sommers – 2012

Thinking about the future will help us make better decisions today.

What career should I want to aim for?  What skills will be useful?  Where should I live? What will people care about in my industry?

Our answers to these questions are often based on what we believe the future will be like. It is important to get a grasp on what types of changes are coming and what aspects are likely to stay the same if we want to make informed choices about many important areas of our life or business.

Business, Future, Work
Question: How could thinking about the future help a teen pick a career?

The Second Machine Age:download-58
Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies
– Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee – 2014

Better hardware, software, and networking are the core changes that will have an impact on many industries in the future.

Hardware, software, and networks are at the core of the upcoming machine age. The combination of faster hardware, better algorithms and more data greatly affects how items are produced, delivered and received.

Business, Future, Technology, Work
Question: What new products could be built if we had better, software and networks?

The Economic Singularity:download-57
Artificial intelligence and the death of capitalism
– Calum Chace – 2016

Robots are becoming safer, cheaper, more versatile, and easier to program.

The combination of these four trends will help make robots useful for many new tasks, and in some cases, entire jobs or industries. Once a robot learns a skill, it can share that data with others running the same program. This simple feature can give robots the ability to learn some tasks millions of times faster than any human could.

Economics, Future, Technology, Business, Work
Question: What are some tasks that will be done with robots as they get safer, cheaper, more versatile and easier to program?

Surviving AI:download-54
The promise and peril of artificial intelligence
– Calum Chace – 2015

Automation may allow humans to do more interesting work.

The kinds of tasks that end up being automated often consists of tasks that are less fun to do. As more tasks continue to be automated, people will be able to spend a higher percentage of their time doing creative and possibly exciting projects.

Technology, Future, A.I., Economics, Work
Question: What boring tasks could be automated?

Industries of the Future3_152016_41jy81h3xvl8201_c1-0-2933-1710_s885x516
– Alec Ross – 2016

Robots can incorporate experiences from other robots accelerating learning at a rate humans cannot.

Imagine how the human experience would evolve faster if we each had the knowledge of everyone else on the planet.  We could train one AI doctor and duplicate the skills as easy as it is to duplicate a computer file. Then there would be two smart doctors. Compare that to the ten years of post-high-school education and the expense of getting a medical degree. Even if it takes hundreds of millions of dollars to train the AI, it only needs to be done once then reproduce the program to get as many doctors as you need.

Business, Future, Technology
Question: What time-consuming training could be reduced by training one AI?

The New Digital Age: download-55
Reshaping the Future of People, Nations & Business
– Eric Schmidt, Jared Cohen – 2013

Security and privacy are not the same things.

Security refers to how safe your data is and privacy refers to who you choose to share it with. You may want your data to be secure but are fine if your friend sees it. In this case, it is secure but not private. It is up to individual companies to keep your data secure and up to you to decide who to share it with. You may willingly share your Facebook data with a company so you can use their product. In this case, the data is now out but you gave them permission. This is still an important issue but must be looked at separately from data breaches or hacks in which you did not give permission for your data to be used or shared.

Business, Technology
Question: What data do I not mind sharing but still want secure?

What Technology Wantsdownload-56
– Kevin Kelly – 2010

Networks connect people with ideas that they would not have had without being a part of the networks.

More people with new perspectives, each filtered through a different lens, have an impact on the type of ideas we are exposed to. Networks are great at connecting people in new and useful ways by giving the users access to other points of view, new information and the ability to add to the conversation.

Business, Media, Technology
Question: How can you more effectively harness networks in day-to-day life or business?

Ethics in the Real World:download-1
82 Brief Essays on Things That Matter
– Peter Singer – 2016The return on investment of high priced luxury goods is often very low.We may have a cultural desire to have luxury goods but the return on investment as far as happiness goes may be much lower than other purchase options. A Rolex that costs 3000 dollars is valuable because of the cultural desire for it, not the utility value. That same amount of money could statically save a life or two with bed nets fighting malaria. If we can change the cultural desire for luxuries and increase the cultural desire for helping the less fortunate we could make the world much better off.

Ethics, Philosophy

Questions: What norms could we change that would have a positive impact on the world?

The Last Lecturedownload-2
– Jeffrey Zaslow, Randy Pausch – 2008

Life is short, spend your time wisely.

If we really understood how many more days, winters or car rides we have left, we would not be as rushed for them to be over. It is rather amazing that we have consciousness at all. Out of all of the ways that evolution could have shaped the world, it is mind-blowing that our perceptions and conciseness are here at all. We should be thankful for every minute we are alive and be are aware of how lucky we really are.

Questions: How can I spend my time more wisely

Free Willdownload-3
– Sam Harris – 2012

The idea of free will doesn’t make sense.

The idea that at any point we have some ghost in the machine or something else other than our biological and environmental influencing us, giving us some freedom outside of external influences does not follow reason.

That said, the idea may still be a useful concept and can still have a place in society. We use the concept of free will in morality and we should make sure that we are not giving the freewill undue influence in our societal laws and norms.

Questions: Where are the ideas of free will embedded in our society?

Stoicism for Beginners:download-98
Transform Your Life with Stoic Philosophy, Habits & Knowledge from Marcus Aurelius & Seneca

– Gregory Moto  – 2016

Changing your mind can be easier than changing your situation.

Stoics are less concerned with the outside situation and more concerned with the reaction to the outside situation.

If you want to change something you can change your situations or how you feel about the situation.

Questions:  What life situation can I improve by changing my perception instead of situations?

Moral Tribes:download-99

Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them
– Joshua Greene – 2013

A specific moral norm can be good in one culture and an opposite moral idea equally as good in a different culture.

Eat your dead relatives or bury them? Capitalism or Communism? Different cultures have, at different times, found each of these unthinkable while the in other societies they are considered common sense. Some things we think of as clearly right or wrong are simply dependent on where and when we live. As long as everyone in the culture believes the same thing, either set of norms can help the culture thrive. It is less about the specific norm and more about the collective agreement.

Ethics, philosophy
Question: What are some norms that you have but other cultures find odd?

A Perfect Union of Contrary Thingsdownload-74
– Maynard James Keenan – 2016

The desire to question authority and the ability to follow rules can each have a role in our lives.

Maynard (the lead singer of the rock band Tool) encourages the questioning of societal norms in his music but he was also in the military and understands that some situations need structures and rules.

Philosophy, Culture, Biography
Question: Where do you find it important to question authority and when is it best not to?

The Problems with Philosophydownload-75

– Bertrand Russell – 1912

What does it mean to “know” or “believe” something?

We use the term “know” and “believe” in a number of ways. Often people think of knowing or believing as a yes or no type question but we often know and believe things to various degrease of certainty. The confusion on how these words are used can impact how well people communicate.

Question: How can we better add various degrease of certainty to our beliefs?

The Ethics of What We Eat:download-76
Why Our Food Choices Matter
– Peter Singer – 2007

Some treatment of animals in the food industry is much worse than others. 

If you do choose to eat meat, some types of farming or types of animals are much worse for the welfare of the animals than others. It is worth knowing how the animal is treated, how much it can suffer or prosper and what other impacts the farming practice has on the world. With a small amount of research, you may be able to enjoy some animal products and do little or no harm to the animals or planet.

Ethics, Philosophy
Question: What would make a positive life or a negative life for different animals?

War of the Worldviews:download-6
Science Vs. Spirituality

– Deepak Chopra, Leonard Mlodinow – 2011

Different perspectives should be used when answering different types of questions. 

It is often useful to use different frameworks to answer different types of questions. When we are asking questions about relationships or rocket launches we could use psychology or physics. Both have in impact on how we think about these specific topics and the topic itself but choosing the more useful framework will help us solve the problem in a more efficient manner.


Question: What are problems best solved by looking at physics and what are best solved by looking at psychology?


Rediscover Your Creative Genius
– Erik Wahl – 2013

Re-categorizing can help you come up with innovative ideas.

Categories are useful but the current categories that are used in our culture may not be the best way to think about new problems. Seeing the connections and relationships of categories in a different way can help people get creative and come up with new ideas.

Question: What are some categories that could be changed?

The pig that wants to be eatendownload-8

– Julian Baggini – 2005

Morality can be looked at from multiple angle and perspectives.

We may feel we are acting morally or correctly but when looked at from a different angle or perspective our actions could be completely wrong. Trying to evaluate actions and ideas from multiple perspectives can help us draw a clearer picture in our head of a situation.

Philosophy, Ethics
Questions: How can you look at problems or questions for multiple perspectives to give you a clearer perspective

Do you think what you think you think?download-9

– Jullian Baggini – 0000

We can hold the multiple and conflicting beliefs in our head at the same time.

Philosophy, Ethics

Questions: What are some conflicting beliefs that you hold?

Would you eat your catdownload-11
– Jefemy Stangroom – 2010

We have many inconsistencies in our ethical thinking.

Many of our ideas about the world do not nicely fit together and we must do mental gymnastics to things work.

Philosophy, Ethics
Questions:  What are some ethical inconsistencies you have?

The Meaning of Human Existencedownload-77

– Edward O. Wilson – 2014

Humans ability to think about our place in the universe separates us from other animals.

Humans are animals, but we have a number of characteristics that separate us from other animals in interesting ways. One of these differences is that we are able to think about our lives in completely different ways than other animals. We can contemplate death, where our minds fit in the world of possible minds and how our actions impact us, our friends, strangers and future generations. As far as we know, we are the only animal that can do this.

Philosophy, Ethics
Questions: What are some specific cultural concepts that may be difficult for animals to have?

What’s the Right Thing to Do?

– Michael J. Sandel – 2009

We can look at ethical questions from multiple angles.

One theory may not be able to answer all questions of right and wrong on its own. It is important to understand what aspect of ethics people are thinking about as well as know what angles is best for answering a specific question in a specific circumstance.

Descriptive, normative and applied ethics are each referring to different questions and rule, while virtue, rule and consequence frameworks may each be useful at different times.

Ethics, Philosophy

Question: When are rule, virtue, and consequence the best option when looking at questions about normative ethics?

Questions of Valuedownload-5
– Patrick Grim – 2005

A Core problem many people have with utilitarian ethics is that it ignores intuitive ideas such as justice.

Many people disagree with utilitarian ethics because it ignores justice and fairness, something we have evolved to value. Utilitarian ethics looks at consequences and not rules or virtues as its bedrock of right and wrong. Because of this many people find it hard to accept.

I believe that consequences are what matter in the end, but looking at right and wrong from the leans of consequences may not bring about the best outcome. In practice, we should look at other perspectives in order to get to the best consequences.

Ethics, Philosophy

Questions: why do we care about justice if it brings a worse outcome?

Would You Kill the Fat Man?download
The Trolley Problem and what Your Answer Tells Us about Right and Wrong
– David Edmonds – 2013

Some people see no difference between acts and omission.

The line is between action and no action is not always clear. What we consider an action can, how many people the action helps or hurts and many other

Philosophy, Ethics
Questions: Where do I see omission as ok? Should I?

Nonsense on Stilts:download-70

How to Tell Science from Bunk
– Massimo Pigliucci – 2010

Not all science produces results that are of equal certainty.

Science is a set of rules but things we call science do not all have the same levels certainty. Many areas of physics are much more precise and understood than areas of psychology. In both cases, we can use the scientific method to get to a better understanding of the world but we may not be equally as certain about the results.

Science, philosophy, psychology
Question: What areas of study are more or less scientifically precise?

The Moral Landscape:download-71
How Science Can Determine Human Values
– Sam Harris – 2010

If we believe the welfare of conscious creatures is what matters, we can use rationality to get to what is good.

We have enough understanding of the brain and culture to make rational and scientific type statements about what produces a thriving community (or fill in what you think a good consequence). We may not always be right, but we can use many aspects of the scientific method to get a more accurate account of what the outcome of an action, rule or norm will be. We can use the same scientific method to understand how it will impact the wellbeing of a society.

Assuming a better world is what we want we can use the scientific method to help us learn right and wrong.

Philosophy, Ethics

Question: What, other than consequences could really matter?

The One World Schoolhousedownload-72
Education Re imagined
– Salman Khan – 2012

You can only have one bottom line.

When Kahn Academy was deciding whether or not to be a nonprofit or for-profit business, they choose non-profit. For-profit business can do great things for the world, even better than a non-profit in many cases. They still choose to make the organization a non-profit entity because they did not ever want to feel they must focus on profit at the cost of a great experience for its customers.

You could have profit as a bottom line and great customer service as the path to get to it. That is great until for some reason the path to profit stops involving being good to the customers. You can only have one bottom line goal. That is why it is called the bottom line.

Question: What is your bottom line?

The Believing Brain:download-73

From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies
– Michael Shermer – 2011

False beliefs can be useful even if they are not accurate.

Believing you are a better job candidate than you really are can help your confidence, and that confidence is what people could be attracted to. No one would start a risky business if they were logical, but we are happy that people do because it brings great benefit to our society in general.

Many false beliefs have been shown to be useful in many areas of our life.

Evolution, Psychology
Question: What false but useful beliefs do you have.

Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat:download-78
Why It’s So Hard to Think Straight About Animals
– Hal Herzog – 2010

Cultural influences our beliefs about animals.

Many of our ideas about animals come from our culture as compared to well thought out rational deliberate beliefs. What we think is okay to do to animals and how we use them can very greatly from one animal to another or one species to another with no clear logical reason or consistency. We would never eat the family pet cat but we are happy to factory farm pigs. Some people do not think twice about eating dog meat and others find that despicable. Some religions sweep the ground in front of them to make sure they do not kill any bugs and others do animal sacrifices.

Question: What inconsistent beliefs do you have about animals?

Waking Up:download-79

A Guide to Spirituality without Religion
– Sam Harris – 2014

We should separate the concept of mystical and supernatural experience.

Spiritual experiences are real but that does not mean that all of these types of experience have a supernatural explanation. These experiences can come from all sorts of brain states including mediation, illness or drugs. The feeling can include a supernatural type experience but that does not mean they are. Scientists or skeptics should not dismiss these experiences as they are a real thing humans experience, but that does not mean we should give them supernatural explanations.

Questions: What are some mystical experiences that can be explained by natural causes?

Against Empathydownload-80
The Case for Rational Compassion
– Paul Bloom – 2017

Using empathy to make some moral decisions can lead us in the wrong direction.

Humans often have more empathy for those that are similar to us. We often fell more empathy towards those close to us geographic, those of our race, religion, class, status, tribe or other groups. This could get in the way of using logic to help those that really need our help.

Philosophy, Psychology
Question: How has your empathy caused you to take both good and bad actions?

Why We Believe What We Believe:download-81
Uncovering Our Biological Need for Meaning, Spirituality, and Truth
– Andrew Newberg – 2006

A belief is a representation of the truth, not the full picture of the truth.

Like a map, beliefs are representations of the truth but not the full truth. We have not evolved to have a complete understanding of the world. Instead, we have limited information and a brain that developed general rules and beliefs to help us survive.

Most of our beliefs about the world are just a partial representation of reality.

Questions: What beliefs do you have that could get more detailed?


How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior
– Leonard Mlodinow – 2012

We often make up reasons for our action after we have acted so we feel we have a complete and rational worldview.

When we make decisions or have ideas about why we believe or act a specific way we think of ourselves as rational but we really often have the belief and then add rationality to the reason after we have the opinion.

Question: What worldviews do you hold that you try and keep consistent?

The Drunkard’s Walk:download-83

How Randomness Rules Our Lives
– Leonard Mlodinow  – 2008

We often give meaning to things that are random.

Our brain assigns ideas and explanations to things even if no explanation is rationals.

This could have been a helpful trait to have and thus evolved over time. It is useful to try and understand the world, cause and effects, and error on the side of giving to much cause even when it is not correct.

Question: What have i given meaning to that is more likely random.

The Wisdom of Crowds:download-84

Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations
– James Surowiecki – 2004

Diverse points of view can be useful in solving some problems.

Groups can be smarter than the individuals in the groups. It is clearly dependent on the type of problem you are trying to solve.

Having a diverse group of people with different age, races, professions and so on can help bring new ideas to the tables. It helps provide a verity of ways to tackle or think about a problem. Experts are still useful to have but a variety plus experts can bring an even better outcome because of the diversity of perspectives.

Question: What question do you want experts, and when do you want the crowd?

The Signal and the Noise:download-85
Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don’t
– Nate Silver – 2012

What is considered common sense varies between different cultures and situations?

What people believe is fair, moral or the right way to act may seem clear to one person, and thus common sense, but completely foreign to a different person in a different society. Even within cultures, the ideas behind common sense break down as so many other things impact our judgment. Factors such as temperature, location, and mood influence our concept of common sense even for those in the same culture.

Question: What are some things that are common sense to your culture but not to others?


Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance
– Steven Levitt – 2009

Some things we worry about now may not be an issue in the future because of cultural or technological change.

People worried about horse manure in cities before cars became mainstream. Popular opinion at the time was that as the population increased and more people could afford to have horses, the problems would continue to get worse. Horse manure in our city streets is no longer a problem but that would have been hard to imagine at the time.

Question: What will change in the future and how will that impact the way we try to solve current problems?

Emotional Intelligencedownload

– Daniel Goleman – 2005

Understanding and reacting appropriately to other peoples emotions is an important part of communication.

Communications is about expressing yourself in a way that will be understood by the other person. You can change your message or communication style to better communicate if you understand their current emotional state, how they see the world and their current ideas on the topic.

Psychology, Communication

What Money Can’t Buydownload-87
– Michael J. Sandel – 2012

Money changes experience in interesting ways.

Adding money to a situation can have interesting effects. It can change how people think about the experience, who can go and what else they have to give up.

A concert to a Paul McCartney show is different if it has 1000 seats at $500 a ticket or a first come, first serve where people wait must wait in line to get only free tickets. Only rich people can go to $500 a ticket show and only people with extra time and less responsibility can go to the wait in line for many hour shows.

The otherwise same show is now different when money gets involved.

Psychology, Economics
Question: What situation can you imagine that adding money may have interesting consequences?

The Science of Likability:download-88

Charm, Wit, Humor, and the 16 Studies That Show You How to Master Them
– Patrick King – 2015

Bring up positive memories when talking to other will often put them in a good mood.

This can be used in day to day life, business, marketing or just to help you and others around you in a good mood.

Question: What types of memories can you bring up to help make others happier?

Thinking, Fast and Slowdownload-89

– Daniel Kahneman – 2011

Our brain evolved to use shortcuts in decision making.

We have too much information coming in to evaluate all of it so we use shortcuts to help our brain deal with the data. This is generally a good thing but can have a bad outcome in some situation.

The author uses the analogy of an autofocus vs manual focus camera lean. Auto is good for most things and much easier for us. It is great to have autofocus but sometimes you need manual focus for photos in unique light or a very specific style of shot.

The brain also uses shortcuts such as emotions, instinct, and habits so we can spend more time using our brain for more important and unique decisions.

Question: Where do you use mental shortcuts?

The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking:download-90

How Irrational Beliefs Keep Us Happy, Healthy, and Sane
– Matt Hutson – 2012

Even if we strive to be rational, mystical thinking is part of our daily lives.

Question: What mystical beliefs do you have?

The Honest Truth About Dishonestydownload-91

How We Lie to Everyone—Especially Ourselves
– Dan Ariely – 2012

We are dishonest in a lot of our day-to-day interactions but we still think of ourselves as good people.

We may tell white lies or partial truths but most of us still do not think of our selves as liars. What is or is not acceptable to be dishonest about, to our selves or others, changes over time and between cultures.

Question: Where are you dishonest to yourself or others and how can you be more forgiving when you see others being dishonest?

The Upside of Irrationality:download-92

The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home
– Dan Ariely – 2010

Questioning our motives helps us understand if we are doing things for the correct reason or simply following convention.

It is not always clear why we make the choices we do. By taking a deep dive into what impacts our decisions we can better understand the underline causes of or day-to-day actions.

Question: What are some actions you take for the wrong reason?

Emotional Intelligencedownload-2

– Daniel Goleman – 2005

Understanding and being able to react appropriately to other peoples emotions is important in effective communication.

Communications is about expressing yourself in a way that will be understood by the other person. You can change your message or style to better communicate if you understand their current emotional state, how they see the world, and their ideas on the topic at hand.

Psychology, Communication
Question: How can you work to communicate better by understanding the other person’s worldview?

How We Decidedownload-93

– Jonah Lehrer – 2009

In some cases, emotional decisions based on years of evolution may be better than well thought out rational decision making.

In some case it is better to use reason or logic to make decisions but in other cases our evolved instincts give us better outcomes. It is important to know when to go with our gut and when to use deliberate ration thinking.

Psychology, Evolution

Question: What decisions are useful to make with emotions and what are useful to using reason?

The Mind of the Market:download-94

How Biology and Psychology Shape Our Economic Lives
– Michael Shermer – 2007

Our Satisfaction with the amount of money we earn is impacted by what those around us earn.

What we considered to be enough money is a matter of what we think of as enough. Most of us in the U.S. are living lives of unthinkable financial and material luxury compared to even the most well-off individuals living 1000 years ago.

Psychology, Economics

Question: How can you change your ideas on money so you are happy with what you have?

How Pleasure Works:download-95

The New Science of Why We Like What We Like
– Paul Bloom – 2010

We have evolved to ignore most data around us.

If we did not ignore most objects, data or other information we could take into considerations at any one time we would be continuously bombarded by stimuli. This is useful and probably necessary for us but we can also miss some basic very basic and important things.

We evolved to focus on things that help us pass on our genetics. What can we eat, mate with, or stop from killing us?

Psychology, Evolution
Question: What can you eliminate from your focus to be more productive?

Situations Matter:download-3

Understanding how Context Transforms Your World
– Sam Sommers – 2011

The situation impacts how we make decisions and interact with the world.

Both specific current situation and general life situations influence decision making. Holding a cup of coffee can influence current choices but so can grow up in an abusive household. It is worth noting both of these when trying to understand why a specific person made the choice they did and what circumstances we want to put yourself or other in to make decisions that are favorable to our goals.

Question: How can you make important decisions when you are in the right frame of mind?


The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
– Daniel H. Pink – 2009

Peoples motivations change by situation, environment, and age.

People have many different things that motivate them. Some common overarching motivations including gaining control, respect, expertise, and love as well as avoiding shame, pain or hardship. People respond to different incentives at different times and situations and understanding these motivations on an individual and group level can be very useful.

Question: What are some things that motivate you?

The Paradox of C
Why More Is Less
– Barry Schwartz – 2004

More options and choices put additional responsibility on us to make the right decision.

Because of this new responsibility, we may be less satisfied with our choices. Traditionally people think more options make us better off, but this may not be the case in the real world. If we end up choosing the option that is not perfectly optimal we may feel bad and blame ourselves for our poor decision and end up with a worse outcome due to a negative mental state.

Psychology, Behavioral Economics
Question: What choices can you limit to help make you happier with my decisions?

On Second Thought:download-17

Outsmarting Your Mind’s Hard-Wired Habits
– Wray Herbert – 2011

Unrelated variables impact how we make decisions.

How hungry we are, the temperature in the room or recent smells can each cause us to make choices on topics that we assume are rational but have nothing to do with what are trying to accomplish.

It has been reported that judges and juries make more lenient decisions after lunch than before lunch because of hunger.

Question: Do you make a different decision when you are hungry, tired, stressed?

How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World
– Peter Diamandis, Steven Kotler – 2015

Humans generally think linearly and not exponentially.

Exponential returns happen in many areas of the modern world but were less common in the millions of years our brain has evolved. Because of this it is not intuitive for us to view the world this way.

One story in the book recalled how Kodak invented the digital camera but was not worried about it taking business because the photos, in 1976, were so low quality that they could never replace print. Following experiential gains in quality that doubled each few years or less, just 40 years later these are now the main type of camera and Kodak is out of business.

Question: Where do you see exponential changes happening?

David and Goliath:download-80

Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
– Malcolm Gladwell – 2013

We often compare ourselves to those around us.

If we are around brilliant talented people all day we may end up feeling we are not very smart. A student may shine at an average school but end up dropping out or feeling like a failure at an elite college because the perceived average is much higher.

This is not true in all cases and may be the opposite in others but the ideas that we you perceptions of other people as our benchmark of what is normal those around us can have a negative impact on our perceptions of ourselves. It is possible that made up perfect lives people share on social media actually make us feel worse about ourselves because we are not on the tropical vacation or smiling next to our spouse and happy kids.

Question: How can you compare me to others that help you archive your goals?

Brain Bugs:download

How the Brain’s Flaws Shape Our Lives
– Dean Buonomano – 2011

Our brains did not evolve to thrive in the modern world.

The way that our brain is “designed” by evolution still leaves a lot of room for us to make errors. This is especially true in the modern world where the shortcuts our brain has given us that were at one time beneficial are no longer as useful in many modern situations.

Our innate desire for specific foods, mate choices or stress levels may have helped us survive at one time but fail us in our current environment.

Psychology, Evolution
Question: What is an example of a brain bug you have and how can you “fix” it?

The Moral Animal:download-81
Why We Are, the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology
– Robert Wright – 1994

Our mind evolved just like everything else.

What we desire, how we think and what we like has evolved in a similar way that biology has evolved.


Everything is Obviousdownload-82
How Common Sense Fails Us
– Duncan J. Watts – 2011

Ideas that are considered common sense often vary between cultures or groups.

What is fair, moral or the right way to act may seem clear to one person, and thus common sense, but completely foreign to a different person in a different society. We must not consider our current idea of how things are to be done to be universally accepted.

Many other factors influence what we consider to be common sense. Time of day, location or mood will also impact our perceptions.

Psychology, Culture
Question: What do you think is common sense that others do not?

Man’s Search for Meaningdownload-83

– Viktor Frankl – 1946

Having a sense of meaning in your life can help you get through any bad situation.

If you have a higher purpose than yourself you may more easily be able to handle some of lifes hardships.

Question: What meaning can you add to your life to make any amount of hardship worthwhile?

Predictably Irrational:download-84

The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions
– Dan Ariely – 2008

It is useful to understand some of the ways humans consistently act irrationally.

This can be helpful when trying to understanding ourselves or others. We can use this understanding in business, self-improvement or just understand why people act the way they do.

Question: What are some ways you see people act irrationally that marketers take advantage of?


A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being
– Martin Seligman – 2011

We can use psychology to go from average to great.

Many people talk about psychological improvement they think about going from bad to average. Many people only get help, take medicine or work on their mind when they are not mentally average, stable or able to function. People can do just as many interesting things in order to help themselves go from average psychologically to much better than average.

Question: What area of your mental health can you go from good to great?

What Neuroscience Tells Us about Morality
– Patricia Churchland – 2011

We can use words to imply something both parties understand but do not want to say for a social reason.

“Would you like to come up to my room to have a late night drink? “
– Person on a third date?

“Would you like to buy window insurance? “
– Mafia boss

Question: What are some other examples of statements with double means?

The Magic of Instant Connections
– Rom Brafman – 2010

We tend to like others that like us.

When we realize that someone else likes us, we will often like them in return. If we want others to like us, it is a good idea to generally like people.

People can use this trick in all sorts of situations from dating to business. It is good to both understand how to use this to make a good first impression and to know when someone is trying to take advantage of your. That said, it is probably even better to foster a true enjoyment and fondness of all sorts of people and you will naturally have other people liking your.


The Happiness Hypothesis:download-87

Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom
– Jonathan Haidt – 2006

It can be easy to see the flaws in others and miss them in ourselves.

Sometimes it is hard to see that we are not perfect but easy to see it in others. It is not hard to see other peoples flaws and point them out or judge them but we may be doing the same thing. Even if it is not possible to do, we should try and take an outside look at ourselves and others.


On Second Thought:download-88
Outsmarting Your Mind’s Hard-Wired Habits
– Wray Herbert – 2010

Hunger, smell, and temperature each impact decision making

We do not always think rationally and our brain will think in different ways depending on unrelated decisions.  Things such as how hungry you are, the temperature in the room or recent smells can all cause us to make choices on topics that we assume are rational but have not to do with what are trying to accomplish.


The Art of Possibility download-89
Transforming Professional and Personal Life
– Rosamund Stone Zander & Benjamin Zander – 2000

Our mind frames what is possible. 

We are constrained by our mind in every area of our lives. We can not leave this but we can expand it.


Stumbling on Happinessdownload-90
– Daniel Gilbert – 2006

When something good or bad happens we overestimate how likely that will impact us in the long run.


The New Psychology of Success

– Carol Dweck – 2006

Meta beliefs about yourself influence many areas of our life

Our general beliefs about ourselves and what we can and can not do impacts many areas of our life. Are we naturally good at something and not others? or can we grow to be good at many things? Who we answer this questions will impact what we believe we can and can not do.



A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade
– Robert Cialdini – 2016

What we present first changes the way people perceive what we present next.

You could also say that first impressions matter. The first impression that a person has of us will change the way they perceive what we do next.

This first impression is partly due to us and partly due to the other person’s perception.

Psychology, Business

Choose Yourself:download-18
Be Happy, Make Millions, Live the Dream
– James Altucher – 2013

Make decisions when you’re in the right frame of mind.

Recognize when you are in a bad mood, acknowledge it to your self and wait it out. Do not make choices when you are in a negative frame of mind. Wait until you are in a better mood and can think rationally.

Question: What decisions should you be in the right state of mind to make?

How to Connect in Business in 90 Seconds or Lessdownload-94
– Nicholas Boothman – 2002

We make snap judgments about people that impact how we think about them from that point on.

Early interactions with a person can have a lasting impact and color a persons perception for better or worse. When we like someone we tend to see the best in them. When we do not like them we tend to see the worst in them. If we make a good or bad impression that may change how they see every other interaction from this point on.


How to Talk to Anyone download-95
– Leil Lowndes – 1999

When talking to people make them feel as if they are the most important person in the room.

When you are first introduced to someone turn your body to face them and give them a smile. Act as if they are the most important person in the room. This will show them you think they are important and have your full attention. And give them a genuine smile.

How We Decidedownload-96
– Jonah Lehrer – 2009

We use both logic and emotions to make decisions.

Our emotional decisions are based on years of evolutions and are often better than logical or well thought out decisions.


The mind of the marketdownload-97

– Michael Shermer – 2009

Our perception of what others have impacted how we feel about our own wealth.

the satisfaction with the amount of money we earn is impacted by more than just the amount but what those around us earn. We are not perfectly rational when it comes to thinking about money.

Economics, Psychology

The Art of Thinking Clearlydownload-98
– 2013 – Rolf Dobelli

In order to make more rational decisions, it is worth knowing what impacts your brain.

Talks about a lot of the irrationality we have on our thinking process. Reinforced a lot of important ideas in how the brain works and lists of errors that we make. We are so biased in so many ways it is useful to understand in ourselves and others where our intuitive thinking goes wrong.


10% Happier:download-99
How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story
– Dan Harris – 20014

Meditation creates a new baseline of happiness. 

We will still have good days and bad days but our general happiness can be impacted by having a constant meditation practice.

Meditation can change both our physical brain and our beliefs about the world. It can actually change the gray matter in the brain impacting self-awareness, compassion, and stress. It can change our beliefs or worldviews impacting how we view the world and our place in it.

To meditate just focus on your breath and just experience thoughts as they pop up, notice them, and then returning the focus back to the breath. By doing this we are able to get a better understanding of our mind and train it to focus on what is important.

Question: How can I add mindfulness mediations into my life?

Situations Matter:download
Understanding how Context Transforms Your World
– Sam Sommers – 2011

The situation we are in has a large impact on how we make decisions and interact with the world.

It is important to understand what impacts us and in what ways so we can make better decisions about our life


The Righteous Mind:download-79
Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion

– Jonathan Haidt – 2012

Liberals and conservatives have a different idea on what attributes makeup morality.

Liberals have 2 main aspects of morality that they find important and conservatives have these 2 plus 3 others.

Liberals care about:
1. Compassion 2. Fairness

Conservatives care about:
1. Compassion 2. Fairness 3. Loyalty 4. Authority 5. Sanctity

Liberals may even look at loyalty, authority, and sanctity and see these as potentially immoral or not nearly as important as compassion and fairness.


How to win friends and influence peopledownload-80
– Dale Carnegie – 1936

People will think higher of you if you talk/listen to them about things they are interested in

instead of about how great you are or about things you are interested in. People are interested in themselves. He tells a story in the book about one person listening to another person for the entire conversation. After that “conversations” the person talking comment on what a great conversationalist the listener was.

This is something i should work on. Try to listen more and stop trying to get others to listen to me.


The Upside of Irrationality:download-81
The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home
– Dan Ariely – 2010

Questioning our decisions we can understand if we are doing things for the right reason or just following how they have always been done.

This is interesting as it is not always clear why we make the choices we do. By taking a deep dive into what impacts out choices we can really understand the underline causes in or day to day choices.


Sonic Boom:download-82
Globalization at Mach Speed
– Gregg Easterbrook – 2009

Change can be scary, even if overall. it is in a positive direction.

If things are theoretically getting better, constant change will cause uncertainty and be scary for many people. As old jobs get eliminated and new norms and ideas spread, people may wish for the good old days.

Technologies such as the tractor helped eliminate the need for most people to do farming. We will continue to gain new technology that will eliminate many of the current jobs. If this happens at a faster pace than it is easy for individuals or cultural norms to keep up with, the change can be for the overall better but bring fear in a way that actually makes the world a worse place.

Future, Psychology, Culture
Question: What are some changes happening that scare you?

100 Ways to Persuade and Convince Consumers with Neuromarketing
– Roger Dooley – 2014

How you frame a product may have a huge impact on deciding if they should purchase a product.

For example, some people may not purchase a back massage for pleasure but would for medical reasons.  It is important to understand what world views people have when describing a product. If they feel it is waist-full to be a person that spends on pleasure but may think it is wise to be the type of person that spends for health reasons.


The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking:download-84
How Irrational Beliefs Keep Us Happy, Healthy, and Sane
– Matt Hutson – 2012

Mystical beliefs can still be false but useful.

Even as we strive to be rational and logical thinkers many ideas in mystical thinking are part of our daily lives. Rationally we know many of the magical thinking beliefs are not real but they are still here and persist within us. And they may be useful. The idea that something can only be useful if it is true is a false statement in my worldview.


The Invisible Gorilla:download-85
And Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us
– Christopher F. Chabris, Daniel Simons – 2010

We can ignore things that are not what we expect to see.

Our brain has developed filters to help us survive. We do not see everything around us. If we did try and process all of the data our brain would waste energy on nonessential information and may miss the type of data that will keep us alive. When we are given a task to focus on one thing we may miss something else that we would not normally miss. This evolved brain trait can be useful to survive but can have some interesting consequences such as missing the person walking through a video dressed in a gorilla suit when everyone else is dressed normally.

Question: What have we evolved to ignore?

Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness

– Cass Sunstein, Richard Thaler – 2008

Default settings influence how something is used.

The order of food in an all you can eat salad bar influences what people choose to eat. They can see what is available but will end up taking different amounts of each item depending on how it is organized. What should the person in charge of the salad bar do, range the food to encourage health, profit, enjoyment or some other metric?

If I wanted to maximize my profit per customer  at a restaurant I would encourage customers to fill up on cheap high-calorie soda, bread drenched in oil or other low cost per calorie items. If you are a school cafeteria you may want to encourage the students to eat food that will keep them awake and ready to learn over food that makes them tired.

Even if the individual is responsible for what they choose the person designing the salad bar has a real influence on what they choose.

Psychology, Design
how can i nudge people in the right direction?

Unlimited Powerdownload-87
– Tony Robbins – 1986

How you frame the ideas influences what you believe about them.

The questions we ask ourselves or think about will actually frame our beliefs about the world. If we are looking for a romantic partner and ask ourselves “why am i a loser for not having a partner” vs “How can i meet a person as wonderful as me” you will think about yourself differently.

Questions: What questions can I frame differently?

Awaken the Giant Withindownload-88

– Tony Robbins – 1991

Humans have 6 different needs.

Certainty, Uncertainty, Significance, Love / Connection, Growth, and Contribution are the six human needs that Tony has noticed in all people working with people around the world.

Getting an award and pointing a gun at someone will each give the feeling of significance, just in different ways and with different outcomes. We will find a way to get these six needs meet, whether or not it has a positive outcome.

As a society, we should work to encourage people to get these needs meet in a positive way.

Questions: How can I make sure I meet my and others basic needs?

The How of Happiness:download-89
A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want
– Sonja Lyubomirsky – 2007

Happiness set points.

We all have a set point for our own happiness that we tend to go back to. We can impact happiness in many ways but about half (give or take, and could be measured in a lot of ways) is out of your control.

If we lose a job or get a raise we generally move back to the same set point after a period of time. This can be said for most things except for physical pain. Being in constant pain will limit someones ability to be happy and does not let up to the same extent as losing a job.

Question: What unhappy experience did you have that you came back from but not see that happening at the time?

The Tipping Point:download-90
How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
– Malcolm Gladwell – 2000

To have an impact you must be both connected and credible

Being one without the other is not enough.

Question: name someone who is connected but not credible?

The Science of Good and Evil:download-91
Why People Cheat, Gossip, Care, Share, and Follow the Golden Rule
– Michael Shermer- 2004

Ideas about right and wrong will continue to evolve.

Less than 300 years ago, the smart, loving people said not to hit your wife with a stick larger than your thumb. The “rule of thumb”, slavery, and torching animals for fun were all part of society not long ago. We may be moving in the right direction but we will probably look back 100 years from now and wonder what people are thinking. We may wonder how we allowed our current rate of pollution, treatment of factory farm animals, or willingness to buy fancy homes while others starve.

Psychology, ethics, evolution
Question: What ethical norms have changed in your lifetime?

The Lexus and the Olive Tree:download-92
Understanding Globalization
– Thomas L. Friedman – 1999

Mutual beneficial trade reduces the chance of war.

When we trade with others and create win-win situations, both parties get a benefit. We both get value from each other and it is not in either of our best interest to harm the other person or group. Globalization and new business models can help increase the ability of individuals and countries to trade with other countries and cultures and make war very unpopular. In the past, the other group may have recesses we want and we can only get them through violence. now we can get them through cooperation.

Economics, Culture

Question: What can we do to encourage win-win situations?

A Brief History of Humankinddownload-93
– Yuval Noah Harari – 2011

Common myths can be useful to a society even if they are not “real”.

Things such as rights, money, capitalism are something we all believe in but are not real, just myths.

Question: What myths bring together?

The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked
Adam Alter – 2017

What is considered addictive changes as it affects more and more people.

Just because it is not uncommon for people to check their phone hundreds of times a day that does not mean that people are not addicted to it. It is not surprising that we do consider companies have thousands of engines and data scientists that help other companies make a profit the more time you spend on the phone or in particular apps.

These are devices that specifically designed to be addictive and


Question: What actions do I take that would be considered additive a few generations ago?

The Story of Success
– Malcolm Gladwell – 2008

Both circumstances and individual characteristics are what makes great people great.

Upbringing, geographic locations, the era you live in, as well as many other factors impact what opportunities people have. Great people need certain characteristics but these alone do not account for why people are successful.

Bill Gates is a smart person and great businessman. Without these characteristics, he would not have been able to build such a successful business. He was also lucky to have access to a computer when he was a teen. Most people did not have computers at that time and he was able to sneak out of the house at night and go to the one computer lab in the area. He is smart, hardworking and extremely talented but this alone is not what allowed him to build such a great business. He was also lucky to have access to the equipment and grow up at the right time in the right location.

Question:  What circumstances influence the opportunities you have?

Guns, Germs, and Steel download-96

– Jared Diamond – 1997

Environmental factors have an impact on technology and this impacts who wins and loses on a global stage.

Many random and factors influence how well a society will flourish or if it will survive.


The Magic of Reality:download-97
 How We Know What’s Really True

– Richard Dawkins – 2011

We are not ancestors of the current apes but instead, we are both ancestors of some other animal.

We must remember that all animals are in continuous evolution. Current animals have also been evolving and were not on earth in the same form 200,000 years ago.

Evolution, Culture

How Small Groups of Friends are the Key to Influence on the Social Web

– Paul Adams – 2011

The group we are born into has an enormous impact on us.

How we think about religion, economic structures and treatment of animals are each influenced in larger part by the society we grew up in and the people and ideas around us.

It is often said, “you are the five people you hang out with the most”. While not directly true, this meme does help us remembered how influential social circles are on our beliefs. The group you were born into sets the groundwork for how you see and interpret the world.

Question:  what are some networks that have had an impact on me?

500 Dates:download-99
Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Online Dating Wars
– Mark Miller – 2015

Signaling to the other person you are a good match is an important aspect of dating.

We put on makeup, dress nice, smile, and tip the waiter extra well in order to signal we are a good person and potential mate. We use these signals to make a good first impression and show the other person we likely have attractive character traits. The specific signals we give depend on our goals, culture, age and what we think will attract our date. Health, intelligence, wealth, sanity and compatibility are popular traits many of us look for in others and often try to protect ourselves.

Question: What signals have you tried to project while dating?

The Tipping Point:download-83
How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
– Malcolm Gladwell – 2000

Societies with 150 or fewer people can have strong enough relationships with the others that they do not need formal policing.

The ability to have a relationship, even if relatively weak, with others helps “police a society”. After you pass about 150 people you can no longer have strong enough relationships with everyone in your community to foster trust and shared values. Other forms of governance and norms have developed to keep societies from collapsing. Religions, shared myths, norms and punishment are often used in larger societies to keep them stable an help them thrive.

Question: What are some tools we currently use to help keep social order?

Too Big to Know:download-84

Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren’t the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room
– David Weinberger – 2012

The ability to understand how to access knowledge is becoming more important.

Knowledge has moved onto networks. There’s more knowledge than ever. Even the idea of what it means to be smart has changed. In the past, we had to “know” something and now we need to understand how to access the information.


The End of Overeatingdownload-85
Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite
– David Kessler – 2009

Advances in food science can incentive corporations to make food addicting. 

Snickers is an almost perfect combination of fat, salt and sugar for many peoples evolved taste preferences. Food manufacturers are incentivized to create food that we will buy, not that we should buy. Foods such as potato chips, Cini-bun and burritos have millions of dollar put into designing tastes and textures that are geared to get us to eat more and buy more of there products.

Health, Optimize, economics, culture
Questions: What food am I addicted to?

Our Journey From Science Fiction to Science Fact
– Steven Kotler – 2015

Changes in technology can cause changes in culture.

Faster computers not only mean that we can turn on our computers faster and do our old computer tasks in less time but that we may use them for things we never would have in the past. It is great to have a computer that is always on instead of waiting for it to turn on and connect to the internet. This not only frees us to do the same things as before but also allows us to use the technology in all new ways.

People often check their smartphone (a computer) 100s of times a day. We could not have done this with computers that take 5 minutes to turn on and connect to the internet. These technological changes impact what we already do as well as allow us to use these computers for all new things.

Technology, Culture, Future

Question: What cultural changes have occurred now that we have computers everywhere

Drop Dead Healthydownload-87
One Man’s Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection
–  A. J. Jacobs – 2012

People take health advice that fits into their worldview.

All sorts of health advice exist, and many of the ideas have conflicting main points. Meat-free vegan and meat loving Palio diet each having proponents claiming they are the healthiest choice. If you have a worldview that meat is murder or animals are here to survive us, this may impact what you think is healthy regardless of what is. High fat vs low fat, all fruit vs no fruit, long slow runs vs fast short runs is each popular among diffident groups of people. What each person believes is healthy is often impacted by unrelated worldviews.

Optimize, Culture
What views do you have about your diet that others do not have?


– Sam Harris – 2011

The types of lies that are acceptable in a particular culture impact how we interpret statements.

If a culture accepts some types of lying this acceptance will change how people communicate. If a friend asks “do I look fat in this shirt” you could say “no” and leave it at that. In a world where lying is ok, and both people know this, in order to get across that you really believe they do not look fat you must say something such as “no, you look amazing, how could you even think that!” You may need to go over and above to express an idea because if you do not, the cultural expectation of lying will leave the person not knowing your true opinion.

Philosophy, Psychology, Culture
Question: What lies are acceptable in your culture?

Nutrition Made Cleardownload-89

– Professor Roberta H. Anding – 2009

What is considered nutritious is dependent on an individual’s goals, needs, and perceptions.

A person training for bodybuilding or marathon in the Olympics will have different nutritional needs based on their goals. Some people are sensitive or allergic to certain foods and others get great benefit out of the same ones. One person may only believe local, raw, organic vegetables are healthy and others believe that getting lettuce and tomato on their bacon cheeseburger from McDonald counts as having their daily vegetables. We must remember this when talking to others as we each have different nutritional goals, needs, and perceptions.

Culture, Health
Question: What nutrition nutritional goals, needs, and perceptions do I have?

The God Delusiondownload-90
– Richard Dawkins

We are all atheists to thousands of gods or other mystical things even if we are not to the one that we believe in.

We do not know for sure that gods do not exist just as we do not know that an invisible flying teapot is going around the earth. Just because we can not disprove a negative does not mean we can not make statements about it.

Richard Dawkins makes it clear that he is not 100% sure that gods do not exist and in that case, he is agnostic towards gods. But in that case, you cannot be 100% sure about anything and it is fair to say that my name may not be “Paul” but it just thinks it is. We do not need to be 100% sure of something in order for it to be something we say is true.

Culture, religion

Guns, Germs, and Steel:download-14
The Fates of Human Societies

– Jared Diamond – 1997

Not all animals developed a fear of humans because we were not around.

Once we came around they may not have been scared of us but we had the technology (spears, language, nets) and we wiped them out. It takes having an evolved fear for these larger animals to know that we are dangerous to them as other animals our size were never a danger.

Culture, Psychology

Religion for Atheists:download-15

A Non-believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion
– Alain de Botton – 2012

Religion brings more than a set of beliefs

Many of the aspects of the culture that goes along with religion could be useful for an atheist. Religion brings more than just a set of beliefs based on faith but other things that are useful for many of us and is lost when faith traditions are not practiced

Culture, Religion

Modern Romance:download-16
An Investigation
– Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg – 2015

The type of people we do meet and can meet has changed a lot in the past 100 years.

We can now find people online or in different cities. It used to be the case that we married the person down the street or at least someone else in the small town or neighborhood that we live in.


Love in the Time of Algorithms:download-1
What Technology Does to Meeting and Mating
– Dan Slater – 2013

We are not stuck to the few people we could have dated that lived near us as we were for most of history.

This book is about the history of online dating. it is interesting that we have a new way of meeting people. We are not stuck to the few people we could have dated that lived near us as we were for most of history. Now we have so many more options and the ability to find people. It is changing what we expect out of relationships. One other main point is that computers are still not great at finding what makes people have long happy relationships but they are great at finding people that have similar interests.

Society, Culture

Identity Economics:download-2
How Our Identities Shape Our Work, Wages, and Well-Being

Our identity placed on us largely by our culture has a large impact on our actions and what we find valuable.

This can have a huge impact on how we act in ways that are not often thought about in economics.

Different societies give different roles to different groups of people. In the USA, traditionally men brought home the income and women kept the house. This type of identity or thing we bring to the table has an impact on our well being. If a woman has a dirty house she may feel like she is not doing what is expected while a man that is unemployed may feel the same way. But switch the roles and they may both be fine.


Wealth of Nationsdownload-3
– Adam Smith – 1776

Specialization and trade bring about wealth.

Adam Smith has a story about a pin factory and how many pins can be created if the workers specialize. He demonstrates that specialization (and in turn trade) are one way we are able to become better off. I can sit and make logos all day and someone else can grow my food, build a car for me and put a roof on my house. All I had to do was specialize in logo design.


The Undercover Economistdownload-4
– Tim Harford – 2015

Trade and specialization are what make us well off. 

Items such as a pencil or espresso would be impossible with other specialization and trade.

the division of labor allows a person that is great at logo design to spend 8 hours a day making logos and not have to worry about where they will get their food. They will get really good at making logos and in exchange for a farmer that is really good at making food will do this all day but never have to build a house.


The Soul of Capitalism:download-5
Opening Paths to a Moral Economy
– William Greider – 2003

The way capitalism is structured has an influence on what we care about.


The Logic of Human Destiny
– Robert Wright – 1999

Non zero sum gains are one of the reasons we are able to thrive.

This brings to light the idea of non zero sums or win-win situations. All exchanges are not zero-sum or we only have one pie to split. It really brought to life the idea of how important non-zero-sum gains are to societies that survive.


The Big Three in Economics:download-6
Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and John Maynard Keynes

– Mark Skousen – 2007

Capitalism may be the driving forces but ideas on communism and socialism are still prevalent in our economic frameworks.

Adam Smiths ideas on capitalism, trade, specialization, and the free market are some of the primary influences in current economic theory in the US and around the world. That said, other economists have had a large impact such as the communist and socialist ideas of Karl Marks and Maynard Kaynes. All three of these economists have had a large influence on how we feel the economy should be set up. All three of their perspectives continue to drive many of the underline concepts in economic theory.


Question: What are some socialist ideas that are part of our current economic structure?

The Birth of Plenty:download-7
How the Prosperity of the Modern World Was Created
– William J. Bernstein – 2004

Wealth creation is impacted by cultural changes including markets, reason, and communication.

Wealth can come and go for a number of reasons. Changing political or cultural ideas can help incentive people to work hard, create the right products, and distribute them effectively. Each of these are important in the process of increasing wealth in a society.


Questions: What cultural norms impact the wealth of a society?

Bait and Switch:download-8
The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream

– Barbara Ehrenreich – 2006

Remember the human part of HR.

The human resources department is dealing with real people working in factories, fast food restaurants, and big box stores. They have hopes and dreams and worries just like everyone else. As decisions makers in these institutions, you must make sure to not think of the workers the same way you would other capital such as computers or factory equipment. Treat the people with respect and understand that the decisions you make impact them as well as the company and shareholders.

Economics, Culture

Question: How can desition makers make sure to think of human resources and nonhuman resources separately?

Narconomics: download
How to Run a Drug Cartel

– Tom Wainwright – 2016

Monopsony is a market situation with one buyer compared to monopoly with one seller.

The farmers that grow coca leaves to make cocaine have to do it for the drug cartel in their area. They do not have a choice on who to sell the coca leaves too. 

Economics, Culture

The Female Brain download-1
– Louann Brizendine – 2006 

When estrogen increases in the female brain and testosterone in the male brain, we start to see new differences between sexes.

During puberty women often get more interested in creating relationships and communication while men often get more involved with competition and score. This is because of a number of factors but the increase in these two hormones likely has a large impact.

Human + Machine: download-2
Reimagining Work in the Age of AI
– James H. Wilson and Paul Daugherty – 2018

Computers will start adapting to us and how we use them.

The Male Braindownload-3

Louann Brizendine – 2010

Many differences between the male and female brain started with biology but are reinforced by society.

The War on Normal People:
The Truth About America’s Disappearing Jobs and Why Universal Basic Income Is Our Future

– Andrew Yang – 2018

Automation will replace routine jobs and tasks.

The Power of the Other:download-19
The Startling Effect Other People Have on You, from the Boardroom to the Bedroom and Beyond – and What to Do About It
– John Pearson – 2016

People often remember how they feel in a conversation, not what it was about.

The Runaway Species:

How human creativity remakes the world
– Anthony Brandt and David Eagleman – 2017

Praising achievements lowers risk-taking while praise effort encourages risk-taking.


Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility
– Patty McCord – 2018
It is important for coworkers to understand what others do, the issues they are dealing with and how what they do contributes to the bottom line.

Thinking in Bets: download-22
Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts
– Annie Duke – 2018

Separate quality of decisions and results. A good decision may bring about a bad result and it was still a good decision.

The People Vs Tech: download-23
How the Internet is Killing Democracy (and how We Save It)
– Jamie Bartlett – 2018

Politicians can make different pledges to different groups in highly targeted ads that the general public does not see.


How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success
– Shane Snow – 2014Asking others is often the most efficient way to learn.
Books, mentors, and teachers are all useful ways to help you learn. The ability to transfer knowledge is one reason humans have been able to survive and thrive.OptimizeQuestion: What can you learn from others that you are currently trying to learn on my own?

Getting Things Done:
The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

– David Allen – 2001Your head is not a great place to store most facts.Write down things you want to remember but do not need immediately and you will no longer worry about forgetting them. As long as you put the information in a place that you will have access to when needed, you can keep your mind focused and use it for what it is good at.Productivity
Question: What do you store in my head that you could write down?

The Laws of Simplicity_collid=books_covers_0&isbn=9780262134729&type=
– John Maeda – 2006Taking away features can be better than adding additional ones.Anything extra we add will take time or attention away from something else. Eliminating or hiding things that are never or seldom used we can be better than adding new features.

Design, Optimize

Question: What can you take away from a design that will make the important aspects stand out?

Primal Endurance71DpKLVogRL._AC_UL320_SR236,320_

Escape Chronic Cardio and Carbohydrate
Dependency, and Become a Fat-Burning Beast!
– Mark Sisson – 2016

Rest is necessary if you want to be both fit and healthy.

Rest is when your body does the work to rebuild itself and get stronger after the stress of a workout. You are making your body weaker when you work out but the response it has when you rest is what makes you stronger. If you are lifting weights it is reacting to the stress by preparing for this to happen again.

● Rest post-workout
● Enough sleep each night
● Rest one month a year
(no hard workouts)

Health, Optimize

Question: Are you getting enough rest. Nightly, after workouts or on an annual basis?

51OZMrqpfOL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_How Not to Die:
Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease
– Gene Stone and Michael Greger – 2015

Eat more vegetables.

Adding just a few servings of vegetables to our meals will make a big difference in the health of our society. Most Americans do not come close to eating an optimal number of vegetables to stay healthy or live long active lives. Adding a few extra servings could make a large impact on the number of people that die from diet-related illnesses.

Eat these foods every day:
Cruciferous vegetables, Greens, Other vegetables, Beans, Berries, Other fruit, Flaxseed, Nuts, Spices, Whole grains, Exercise, Water

Health, Optimize

Question: How can you sneak more veggies into my diet?


Live a Meaningful Life
– The Minimalists – 2011

Items we own can make us worse off if we need to care for or worry about them.

The cost of something is not just the price paid for it initially but the upkeep, worry, space and mental energy the item occupies and any other baggage that comes with it. This does not mean that an item cannot be wonderful but we should know the positives and the negatives of owning something as well as know the true cost to use.


Question: What can you eliminate in my life that takes but does not give back?

The Compound Effect:51wvsKFGafL

Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success
– Darren Hardy – 2015

Design the life you want first, and the career you want second.

It is important for your work life to fit into the lifestyle you want. What we are doing day-to-day has an enormous impact on our happiness and fulfillment.

Many people do not have this luxury and if we do get to design our life we should be thankful for even having the opportunity to choose where or how we work.


Question: What do you enjoy doing on a day-to-day basis?

The First 20 Hours:81AUlyDS7zL

How to Learn Anything… Fast!
– Josh Kaufman – 2013

Breaking projects into chunks can help you complete them.

Breaking projects, larger concepts or subjects into smaller digestible pieces can be useful and less intimidating than looking at them as a whole. Doing this can also help us better understand what we really need to know in order to achieve our goal.


Question: How can you break apart what you want to learn into manageable chunks?

The 4-Hour Body:download-24

An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman
– Tim Ferriss – 2010

Use the minimum effective dose.

Strive for the minimum dose to get what you want. Not the max you can get away with. This can be used in many areas of life including, but not limited to fitness.

Question: Where can you implement a minimum effective dose in my life?

The 4-Hour Workweek