Episode #3 of Think Different TV features Josh Kaufman (PersonalMBA.com) and me in conversation for 40 minutes about books, self-education, the process of reading, ambition, and other topics. I recommend watching it on the Vimeo site and letting it load all the way. Then you can use the chapter markings on that page. Here's an MP3 audio file of the episode. Here's a lengthy email exchange between Josh and me on business books and related topics.
Josh says he's reading personal development books since it's the beginning of the year and you want to start the year off right
Steve Pavlina? He promotes 30 day experiments – just test something and see how you like it
Reducing goals into manageable, bite size pieces helps you start achieving them.
It's important to have at least one experimental side project going at all times
Ambition – what is it, how has the word evolved
When ambition is nakedly about power and money, it can be unattractive
There are people who are trying to do big things where the motivation is wanting to make the world better or just craftsmanship — wanting to do something for the joy of doing it, have the ability to exercise skill.
How we choose what books to read
The role of books in the self-education process
Searching Amazon and Google for the best books
Are customer reviews on Amazon reliable?
The process of reading a book – start to finish or cherry pick sections?
Take a few minutes before reading a book to think about what you want to get out of it. Selective attention.
Read until you've gotten the key points and could re-hash them to others
Recording / summarizing important nuggets from a book
Looking for mental models: concepts that have broad explanatory power
The value of book summaries / outlines that are sold?
If you're a business person, what % of books you read should be in the business book genre?
Study how people work (psychology, communication, history) and systems / processes.
Reading about science can help you understand systems / processes (ie, friction)