This is a guest post from Avil Beckford from The Invisible Mentor. Avil is very smart, very classy, very smart, and a very good friend of World’s Strongest Librarian. She also loves to read and that’s really all that matters. Enjoy!
What makes a book timeless? Makes it resonate with us decades after the author’s death? I think it is chock-full-of heavy hitting ideas that make us think, and are fundamental to the way we view the world and our place in it. There are many big thinking ideas awaiting rediscovery.
Harriet Rubin, in her New York Times article, “C.E.O. Libraries Reveal Keys to Success” says that “Serious leaders who are serious readers build personal libraries dedicated to how to think, not how to compete.” What’s in your personal library? How many of those books have stood the test of time?
Book of Five Rings (Miyamoto Musashi), Wake Up And Live! (Dorothea Brande), Jonathan Livingston Seagull (Richard Bach), Analects of Confucius, and The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (Benjamin Franklin) are five books that are packed with big thinking ideas. Which of the following ideas resonate with you? I have pulled great ideas from each of the five books for you to think about, and determine their application in today’s world.
Book of Five Ring–Great Ideas
- Develop your plans with true measure and then perform the work according to plan, thus you pass through life
- If your strategy doesn’t work change it. When you’re in a deadlock change your technique. Abandon efforts that do not work, think of your situation in a fresh spirit
- Train day and night to make quick decisions. In strategy, treat training as a part of normal life with your spirit unchanging
- Do what you have to do, even if it means doing it alone
- Everything is difficult at first
Wake Up And Live–Great Ideas
- Know thyself!
- When undertaking any endeavor, act as if it were impossible to fail
- Constant workers often attain success
- The definition of success is personal. Success may or may not include recognition from your peers, and greater financial rewards. Someone who is living responsibly, usefully, effectively, happily, and taking advantage of opportunities and natural gifts is a success
- It is the sum of small things successfully done that lifts a life out of bondage to the humdrum
Jonathan Livingston Seagull–Great Ideas
- You are perfect and unlimited
- Never stop learning and practicing and striving to understand more of the perfect invincible principle of all life
- Break the chains of your thought, and you break the chains of your body too
- Practice to see the real person, the good in every one, and to help them see it in themselves
- Look with understanding, find out what you already know, and you’ll see the way to fly
Analects of Confucius–Great Ideas
- “Those who are born with knowledge are the highest class of men. Those who learn, and so readily acquire knowledge, are the next. Those who are dull and stupid, and yet compass the learning, are another class next to these. As to those who are dull and stupid and yet do not learn; they are the lowest of the people.”
- You lack courage if you see what needs doing and yet do not do it
- “Do not be desirous to have things done quickly… Desire to have things done quickly prevents their being done thoroughly.”
- A good man does not walk in the footsteps of others, but moreover, he does not enter the chamber of the sage.
- If the people in your sphere of influence operate with integrity you can make them your mentor and leader
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin– Five Great Ideas
- Develop a Code of Conduct for the way you live and work, so that when situations arise you know how to respond
- Provide useful information to your clients
- After making the first $1 million, it is easier to make the second
- Before entering into partnerships, document clearly defined expectations and exit clauses to protect all involved
- History is filled with mistakes, learn from them
Which ideas can you immediately apply to your work and life? I recommend that you read these five books and identify your own great ideas. What are other books that transcend time? Let’s keep the conversation flowing, please comment.
About The Author:
Avil Beckford, Chief Invisible Mentor, writer and researcher with over 15 years of experience, is the published author of Tales of People Who Get It and its companion workbook Journey to Getting It. She blogs at The Invisible Mentor, where you’ll find knowledge and wisdom from a distance. If you like what you see at her blog, please consider subscribing.
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