Book of the day #2: Stuffocation

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From the mind of James Wallman: A strangely endearing book filled with anecdotes covering cultural materialism, the different social reactions against it, and the true solution to our obsession with things: The ‘Experience Revolution’.

Many of us are accumulators not of experience, but of things. This book touches on the way that we as a culture in the west, tend to lean towards this tendency in order to keep up with the Jones’s. Our intuitive disgust as to this state of affairs includes: ultra-hording, minimalism, isolationism, middle-wayism (okay I’m making this up now but you get the point) in order to beat the Jones’s in a game of underground social warfare, ie: We’re more humble than you are.

Wallman explains how we got to this point via the ethos of the industrial revolution post world wars. He proposes a convincing and eloquently stated argument as to how, through social advertising and formal education, we have been conditioned to horde things and work in factories (to create more things). These things have become the currency by which we regard our personal and social value in relation to others.
It turns out that this setup is economically profitable for people in power… ?!

There are also a few Economic lessons in this book including the ’S’ curve that are very interesting to read. I’d recommend the chapter explaining ‘How we got here.’

One need not read it cover to cover, although I did, a single anecdote from each chapter would suffice. This book is important because it shows us ourselves from a perspective that we have felt ill of intuitively, but may not have considered to it’s full extent.

In this day and age of things, this is an important book to have on your shelf and a valuable gift to others.
Since I read this book in 2014, it has been an undercurrent in my shifting world view that has been a true blessing and a truly positive influence on my life, which is truly all that I could ask for from a book of this kind.


-Ben

Watched out for the next book of the day! Here’s the last book recommendation.

Putting Information into Practice. Information Wounds and Remedies.

For those of us who read many books and are curious about many things. There becomes a point at which there is so much information in our heads that we do not know where to start. Sometimes we lose sight of where to go, but we have so many ways to approach it! Whatever it is!

Obviously the first and most important trick here is to understand where you are trying to get to. If you do not have a vision of place, then you are purely wandering.
Once you understand this, you are faced with a multitude of options as to how to be getting there.

The first thing that I and many others have done, logically, is to read as much around the topic as possible. For it comes logically that the more one knows about the subject, the more one will know as to how to approach it; however this is rarely the case. For what happens is that now that you believe that you know so much about the subject, there are so many entry points and things to do (all of which could possibly go wrong) that you are now paralysed as to where to begin. You have shot yourself in the foot with information, and are now immobile.

The longer you leave this information wound, the longer it festers and becomes infected. As with any infection, the first thing to do is to wash it and attempt to disinfect it. The way of doing this in regards to information is to order it. Write down the key points and principles regarding what you have learned, and compare these principles to the goals that you are trying to achieve, the place that you are trying to get to. Now in awareness the incongruence between the two you have a path.
The next thing to do is to put one step in front of the other and move towards it. This is going to take the use of your full faculties, body included. One needs to understand which steps to take in which order, and then put one foot in front of the other. This is the way of moving towards a destination without getting your feet tangled or lost along the way. Write down a step-by-step, actionable list, and apply yourself to each of the steps with true focus and application.

If the information wound becomes truly and irreversibly effective, the fastest way of becoming mobile again, so that the infection does not spread into other areas of your life is to cut of the information for good. Once you have done this, you may start over, or you may decide to begin walking again, without a map, but yet with a sense of direction purpose under your belt. No worries your foot will grow back, this is merely a hypothetical blog post. Cutting off a part of that which you are attached to is sometimes the only way to free you up, in order that something new and fresh can fill the empty vacuum.

Tend to your information wounds, stay vigilant of infection, and most of all take action towards your destination. Nobody ever got to any place merely by thinking about it.  An awareness of balance is necessary in order to stay upright.

‘Information is not knowledge.’ -Albert Einstein


-Ben

If you liked this post then do check this out also. Bless.

Photography by eberhard grossteiger

Book of the Day #1: The Alchemist

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The book that made Paulo Coelho a household name, ‘The Alchemist’ is a truly rare piece of literature.
Following the journey of the young Shepherd Santiago as he follows his intuition, we traverse across Andalusia discovering and learning from the some of the most simple, yet the most profound lessons that life has to offer.
From the perspective of a boy, we relearn that which we have all forgotten – To follow our hearts.

Not only is this book a beautiful piece of poetic fiction with a touching story, it is a book that we can all learn from, and revisit to remind ourselves of the simple truths of feeling, observation, and curiosity.
…We can all learn from the Sheep and the Sand…
Give it a read if you are wandering, like Santiago.


-Ben

Watch out for the next Book of the Day! If you liked this, then check out this post.

New Series: Book of the Day

Hope you’re all well.

Starting Wednesday 19th of September, one a day for 10 days, I will be a releasing a series covering books that I have most recommended over the years to friends, family, and acquaintances, in order that some of you may be inspired to give them a try. Each of these books has delivered massive value to some area of my life. I hope that they can do the same for you.

I look forward to sharing these with you!

“The more one forgets himself – by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love – the more human he is.” -Dr Viktor E. Frankl


-Ben

If you are looking for previous recommendations, then check out this post! Bless.

Get OUT of the House!

For those of you that are having trouble reading and writing.

I speak to many people who tell me that they’d love to read, and they want to write more, but they have trouble with motivation. There are so many distractions in the house.

I can completely empathise. For a long time I felt the same way. I would get up early, get started, get started on my day, and 20 minutes later my family would be up and about, and expect my attention or be distracting me (often without meaning to). And plus, this was my safe space, my home.

The best way to counteract this ‘House distraction anxiety’ is to get out of the house.

I used to go to libraries or even park benches and grass to read and write. My favourite place however is coffee shops.

In coffee shops, nobody really cares if you sit there for hours reading and writing as long as you buy something… say a single coffee. I always have considered it an investment in my education, £2.70 a day or: a big coffee, and a productive, busy, social place in which I can sit for a few hours with my laptop (and charger) and my books. My rented portable office space in Nero’s with a bonus cappuccino chucked in for good measure.

Would you pay £2.70 a day for a couple of hours of productivity, office space, and ideas?

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” -Benjamin Franklin


-Ben

If you liked this post, check out this post as well! Peace.

Photography by Afta Putta Gunawan

The Best Habit to get into.

I recommend books to people on a daily basis. Over the years I must have recommended hundreds of people hundreds of books, exercise programs, musical resources, yet I KNOW that I could count on one hand the amount of people that have actually taken my advice and read the book, tried out the program, or even taken a look at the resource.

Something that will make you stand out from the crowd, as it has done for me over the years, is that when someone gives you some advice, or recommends you a resource:

– Write it down there and then.

– Think about how you will go about checking it out

– If you can, immediately take steps to getting your hands on the resource, bookmarking it, or buying the book on amazon.

By the time you are finished with the book, there are a hundred other people who are still thinking about whether to buy it.

The world is full of ‘later’ people. Be a NOW person.

“Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.” – Mark Twain


-Ben

If you liked this post, then check out this post too, think you’ll like it! Peace.