Robert Greene – A journey of 100 steps

Robert Greene doesn’t endorse any quitting and giving up on something you love doing.

In this short little preview of Green’s journey, we outline the key milestones in his life and more.

Who is Robert Greene

Robert GreeneRobert Greene is hailed as one of the best American authors, in this era. He was born on May 14, 1959, and from early childhood, Robert questioned the behavioral patterns that shape one’s opinion and mindset.

Believe it or not, his main incentive for becoming a writer was the importance of power in the world, not just today but throughout history.

As the author of five recognized, and international best-selling books, he has all the expertise required to share a psychological review of the whole world.

What’s even more inspiring, is the number of celebrities who have joined his cause, and publicly stated that his books changed their lives and perception. Not bad, ha?

Robert Greene books:

  • The 48 Laws of Power
  • The Art of Seduction
  • The 33 Strategies of War
  • The 50th Law
  • Mastery.

As you can assume, he didn’t have a flying start. Born to a Jewish Family, Robert Greene had humble beginnings. Growing up in Los Angeles, and attending the University of California, opened the window of opportunity for him.

How should things unfold? Like an arrow, straight to the top. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case with Robert Greene. As a matter of fact, Greene had at least 80 different jobs before he became a writer.

Working as a construction worker, editor, Hollywood movie writer granted him the opportunity to distinguish himself in the writing business.

In the mid-90s, Greene got a job to work as a writer at Fabrica. From today’s perspective, this art and media school symbolizes the crossroad in Robert’s life, where he met a book packager known by the name of Joost Elffers.

This friendship marked the beginning of Greene’s professional writing career. He wrote a treatment and presented it before Elffers, a situation that can be labeled as the turning point or a point of no return in Robert Greene’s adventure.

It was at that moment that Greene started writing “The 48 Laws of Power,” a book which will later develop into a global sensation.

Greene’s viewpoints and conclusion, on numerous occasions, were described as manipulative and unethical.

According to various testimonies, “The 48 Laws of Power” breaks all the boundaries of moral behavior and sets a new line of defense in order to protect one’s interest.

Despite all the controversies revolving around it, this classic continues to inspire business executives, athletes, entrepreneurs, lawyers to take action.

Greene responded to these allegations by saying that – These laws (referring to the 48 Laws) are nothing but practical, a useful tool for all people to get their grip on success.

Without further ado, we also like to mention that Greene’s work and accomplishments have been featured in renowned magazines and journals such as The New York Times, Newsweek, Forbes, USA Today, and others.

If you are unsure of a course of action, do not attempt it. Your doubts and hesitations will infect your execution. Timidity is dangerous: Better to enter with boldness. Any mistakes you commit through audacity are easily corrected with more audacity.

Best Robert Greene Books

Robert Greene Bio#1. The 48 Laws of Power Summary

The First Edition of “The 48 Laws of Power” was published back in 1998. At first glance, it may seem like a guide that instigates a battle for power, but in our opinion, it’s just a collection of tips used by those seeking power.

You are not bound to employ the techniques if you find them disturbing and corrupt. You can also use the book as a tool against those wishing to harm you and question your authority.

Take notes, because these laws are drawn from the unpredictable course of history. Personalities such as Niccolò Machiavelli, Alexander the Great, Sun Tzu, Napoleon Bonaparte, Henry Kissinger are an integral part of the whole ball-game.

1 Chapter = 1 Laws – start now.

Do not leave your reputation to chance or gossip; it is your life’s artwork, and you must craft it, hone it, and display it with the care of an artist.

Robert Greene Biography#2. The 33 Strategies of War Summary

The 33 Strategies of War is like a chess match. The shrewd one will always outsmart the impatient one. If you are looking to explore an all-encompassing military guide, enriched with all sorts of mind-games and how to use them – you are in the right place.

It’s said that any war, lacks principles and compassion. Well, that statement can also be interpreted otherwise, but that’s another matter.

Greene is renowned for his ability to put all pieces together, and this sequel to the Sun Tzu’s The Art of War is no different.

Motivated by events that shaped history, Greene covers various campaign and endeavors that ended up successfully, which is equivalent to bloodshed.

Learn how to set your offense and win the little wars that unfold in everyone’s life. Take a strong stance and push back those enemy forces that are boiled with rage.

Estimate your strength and available assets to take the initiative and launch a counter-offensive.

It sounds like a medieval drama, but life has its struggles and battles. You cannot run away from them! A great warrior never flees the field of battle; he stands his ground willing to defy the odds and numbers.

Grand strategy is the art of looking beyond the present battle and calculating ahead. Focus on your ultimate goal and plot to reach it.

Robert Greene Books#3. The Art of Seduction Summary

Well, turn the lights off, or not – just kidding. This book doesn’t prompt the execution of spy activities on any level. It’s more like a magician’s trick performed to delude the audience and control the people’s reactions.

These dazzling maneuvers will leave you breathless and thus you’ll be in a position to earn the title of a Seducer.

Sex has always been used as weaponry, particularly useful to control the outcome of a certain situation. In general, manipulation and persuasion are seldom used as separate concepts.

Seduction has its price and value, and it’s known to be a valuable asset against all forms of influence.

Domination, authority, competence, potential, skill, talent, all fall beneath the feet of shrewd maneuvering. Raise your voice and learn a few tricks that can help you seize power.

Discover who is who and find out more about the participants of this process. However, never neglect the system itself, because you can’t make a right move if you don’t understand the game.

Sadness of any sort is also seductive, particularly if it seems deep-rooted, even spiritual, rather than needy or pathetic—it makes people come to you.”

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“Robert Greene Quotes”

Religion is the great balm of existence because it takes us outside ourselves, connects us to something larger. Click To Tweet But the greatest battle of all is with yourself—your weaknesses, your emotions, your lack of resolution in seeing things through to the end. You must declare unceasing war on yourself. Click To Tweet Do not leave your reputation to chance or gossip; it is your life's artwork, and you must craft it, hone it, and display it with the care of an artist. Click To Tweet Many a serious thinker has been produced in prisons, where we have nothing to do but think. Click To Tweet The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways. Click To Tweet

Final Notes

We are hoping that in recent future, the audience will receive another gem from Robert Greene’s beautiful fountain of ideas.

His influence and straightforwardness can never be surpassed anytime soon.

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John C. Maxwell – A Journey of 100 Steps

Seth Godin and Daniel Goleman are not just names you casually throw around. They are giants in their fields and colossi among the popular intellectuals of today. Consequently, you wouldn’t be too surprised to find their names – at positions #2 and #6 – in a list of the top 50 leadership and management experts in the world.

Well, John C. Maxwell is above them on the list. Above everybody, in fact. Because, in the world of leadership, he’s a more than a giant: he’s a titan.

Who Is John C. Maxwell?

John Calvin MaxwellJohn Maxwell was born in Garden City, Michigan, in 1947, in a devoutly Christian family.

Much like another self-help intellectual heavyweight, Stephen R. Covey, he followed his father into ministry. In fact, all of his degrees are from Christian universities: a BA from Ohio Christian University, an MDiv from Azusa Pacific University and a D. Min. from California’s Fuller Theological Seminary.

You can’t become a Doctor of Ministry if not simultaneously engaged in practical ministry, so it should come as no surprise to the reader that, starting from the 1970s, John Maxwell has preached at numerous churches in Ohio, Indiana, Florida, and California.

He became a senior pastor at the evangelical Skyline Church in La Mesa in 1981 and served at this position for the next 14 years. During his tenure, the church tripled its average weekend attendance, becoming a megachurch in the process with over 3,000 visitors per week.

In 1995, Maxwell stepped from this position to focus on “INJOY Stewardship,” a company he founded in 1992 with a vision to “not simply help churches raise money, but rather, to help churches raise more fully surrendered followers of Jesus.”

During this time, Maxwell will be able to spend more hours of his time writing and publishing, and, in few years, he will become a household name in the world of leadership.

Three of the books he will write during this period will become “New York Times” bestsellers, selling over 1 million copies in a fairly short period: “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership,” “21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader” and “Developing the Leader Within You.”

He would follow the success with many other classics, among them “Leadership Gold,” “The Five Levels of Leadership,” “Talent Is Never Enough,” “Put Your Dream to the Test,” and “Thinking for a Change.”

Not surprisingly, in 2005, Maxwell will be inducted in Amazon’s Hall of Fame, as one of its 25 inaugural members, rubbing shoulders with Stephen Covey, Johnson and Blanchard, Jim Collins, and Marcus Buckingham – you know, few spots below the towering Tolkiens and J. K. Rowlings ruling the universe of fictional books.

By this time, Maxwell would once again return to congressional ministry at Florida’s Christ Fellowship, where he is still a pastor.

In addition to “INJOY,” Maxwell has founded “The John Maxwell Company,” “The John Maxwell Team” and “EQUIP,” and has supposedly trained more than 5 million leaders in almost every country in the world. He has spoken to and consulted numerous Fortune 500 companies and even presidents of nations.

He believes that “everything rises and falls on leadership” and that everyone can create a legacy with some help. As he states on his website, he has always dreamt of impacting the world and changing lives one at a time.

Mission accomplished: his books and his speeches have done exactly that for at least 70 million people.

To lead any way other than by example, we send a fuzzy picture of leadership to others. If we work on improving ourselves first and make that our primary mission, then others are more likely to follow.

Best John Maxwell Books

#1. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership Summary: Follow Them and People Will Follow You

By 1999, the highly prolific John Maxwell had already written and published no less than 14 books. And most of them were successful in their own right. But, when in 1999, he decided to distill everything he had learned in the previous three decades of his life and wrote, we suppose that even he couldn’t have been aware that he had written a leadership guidebook for all times.

Because “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” is exactly that – even two decades after it first appeared. The book lists 21 laws which, as its subtitle suggests, are all you will ever need to follow if you want other people to follow you.

The best thing is that each of these laws is backed with interesting real-life examples and even more interesting historical anecdotes, making the book both practical and delightful read.

You can’t move people to action unless you first move them with emotion… The heart comes before the head.

#2. The 360o Leader Summary: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization

There’s a problem with leadership books. Call it a paradox, if you will, but It’s still a problem, nevertheless. Namely, leadership books are usually written for people who don’t really need them. Or, in other words – for leaders.

And there’s the catch: “how to be a good leader” isn’t exactly a question the answer to which interests about 90% of the population. Because, after all, most of the people aren’t on the top – and merely work under somebody.

Well, not if you ask John Maxwell. “The 360o Leader” is a paradigm shifter, a theoretical framework and comprehensive guidebook written under the premise that middle-level managers can – and have – lead not only those below them but also those across and above them.

As organized as you would expect from a John Maxwell book, “The 360o Leader” dispels 7 myths, describes 7 challenges, defines 5 values and delves deep into the 9 lead-up, 7 lead-across and 7 lead-down principles.

All in all – 42 new things to learn and remember. So, twice the number of irrefutable laws of leadership!

Leaders must be able to lead other leaders – not just those below them, but also those above and alongside them.

#3. Failing Forward Summary: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success

“Achievers are given multiple reasons to believe they are failures,” writes John Maxwell in “Failing Forward,” his much-loved motivational gem. “But in spite of that, they persevere. The average for entrepreneurs is 3.8 failures before they finally make it in business.”

In other words, you need to start four companies before you create the one which will finally make you a successful person.

This means three things. First of all, that “in life, the question is not if you will have problems, but how you are going to deal with your problems.” Secondly, that the difference between being a successful person and a failure is neither talent nor skill – but grit and determination.

Finally, it means that there are two ways to look at mistakes: either as the final goal of your journey or as a stepping stone for success.

Which one of the two makes more sense?

It will make even more once you finish this book.

The essence of man is imperfection. Know that you’re going to make mistakes. The fellow who never makes a mistake takes his orders from one who does. Wake up and realize this: Failure is simply a price we pay to achieve success.

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Best Malcolm Gladwell Books

“John Maxwell Quotes”

The measure of a leader is not the number of people who serve him but the number of people he serves. Click To Tweet Anyone can steer the ship, but it takes a leader to chart the course. Leaders who are good navigators are capable of taking their people just about anywhere. Click To Tweet Talent is a gift, but character is a choice. Click To Tweet Small disciplines repeated with consistency every day lead to great achievements gained slowly over time. Click To Tweet You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine. Click To Tweet

Final Notes

Unlike most of the self-help authors out there, John C. Maxwell is a firm believer in organization and examples.

That’s why you know exactly what you can expect from his books. Finely-written, neatly structured cohesive textbooks which work both as insightful collections of didactic anecdotes and life advices and as textbooks for success and greatness.

Unsurprisingly, almost every book he has ever written ­is a bestseller. And he has topped the Leadership Global Gurus annual list for the past six years!

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Stephen R. Covey – A Journey of 100 Steps

In 1996, to the surprise of some, “Time” magazine included Stephen Covey in its annual list of “25 Most Influential Americans.” Two decades later and few years after Covey’s death, it’s obvious that “Time” didn’t make any mistake: Covey’s books are still widely read and loved, with “Forbes” naming “The 7 Habits of Highly Influential People” one of the 10 best business books in history.

So, without further ado –

Who Is Stephen Covey?

Stephen R. CoveyStephen Covey was born on October 24, 1932, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Today we know him and love him as “the herald of good habits” (a phrase borrowed from his “New York Times” obituary), but everything could have been a lot different if Stephen Covey hadn’t contracted slipped capital femoral epiphysis (yes, that’s an actual condition!) in junior high school.

You see, Covey was pretty athletic and wasn’t very interested in an academic career up to this point. But, once his physical condition wouldn’t allow him to focus on sports – he had steel pins implanted in his legs and had to spend three years on crutches – he started reading ferociously and even manage to graduate from high school one year early.

And the books he read the most can be classified into three categories. All of them had a profound impact on his worldview, and one can easily trace the genesis of “The 7 Habits” philosophy into his unique educational path.

Namely, Stephen R. Covey earned a B.S. degree in business administration from the University of Utah in 1952, and an MBA from Harvard University five years later. And, like many of us, during these years, he fell in love with Peter Drucker’s works. Back in 1967, the founder of modern management wrote that “effectiveness… is a habit.” Covey will never forget this.

In 1970, Covey got a job as an adjunct professor in the business department at Brigham Young University in Provo. By now already a father of nine children, he would use this occasion to finally complete his doctorate. His subject: “the human side of success in America, as evidenced through ‘success literature’ from 1776 forward.” And that is the second category of books which will profoundly influence Covey. Because during his research, he found out that American self-help books had focused on character building for almost two centuries before the Second World War made them so superficial and insincere.

And Covey didn’t want to be insincere, because he was a devoutly religious person, a life-long member of “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” Yes – that’s a fancy way of saying that Covey was a Mormon (he was from Utah, after all!) His religious views influenced him so much that Clayton Christensen, a fellow-Mormon and – yes! – the author of this book, once summed up “The 7 Habits” as “essentially a secular distillation of Mormon teaching.”

Four years before he published his most famous book, Covey founded the Covey Leadership Center which will later merge with Franklin Quest to become Franklin Covey, a consultant firm which generates millions of dollars and has advised about 80% of the Fortune 100 companies so far.

In April 2012, Covey was riding his bike down a hill when he suddenly lost control and hit his head on the pavement. Four months later, on July 16, 2012, he passed away at the age of 79.

Be a light, not a judge. Be a model, not a critic.

Best Stephen Covey Books

#1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Summary: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

Since first being published in 1989, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” has reached two milestones which have transformed it from a brilliant self-help book into a historical curiosity. Namely, the book is not only one of the few to sell over 25 million copies of its paperback edition, but it is also the first non-fiction book in history to sell over 1 million copies of its audio version!

But, what made this book so exceptional?

Two things.

First of all, it’s against-the-grain thought model: Covey says that the oft-promoted “personality ethic” is obsolete and that “character ethic” is the new sheriff in town. In other words, you don’t need to be just independent – but interdependent as well.

And secondly, its straightforwardness. What you read in the title, you get in the book. The first three habits delineate Covey’s vision of independence: be proactive, begin with the end in mind, and put first things first. The second three outline his idea of interdependence: think win-win, seek first to understand than to be understood, and synergize. And the last habit is the bridge between these two groups: sharpen the saw, or improve consistently over time.

People often find themselves achieving victories that are empty, successes that have come at the expense of things they suddenly realize were far more valuable to them.

#2. The 8th Habit Summary: From Effectiveness to Greatness.

A quarter of a century after “The 7 Habits of Successful People” was published, Stephen Covey felt that he needed to make an update for the “New Knowledge Worker Age.”

The seven habits aimed to make people highly effective. And judging by the sheer number of sold copies, they did just that for millions. However, in 2005, Covey felt that being effective wasn’t enough anymore. People needed to make a step forward, a stride towards the top, a move from effectiveness to greatness.

The world had changed, and it didn’t ask for merely useful people anymore; now it asked for great people, passionate people living their lives to the full and making significant contributions.

So, if you managed to become a highly effective person in the period between 1989 and 2005, you needed to add one more habit to your store: “The 8th Habit.” Or, in Stephen Covey’s words, you needed to “find your voice and inspire others to find theirs.”

Find out how with this book.

To touch the soul of another human being is to walk on holy ground.

#3. Principle-Centered Leadership Summary: Give a Man a Fish and You Feed Him for a Day: Teach Him How to Fish and You Feed Him for a Lifetime

If in “The 8th Habit” Covey updated “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, you could argue that in “Principle-Centered Leadership” he moved beyond them. Make no mistakes: they are still there and as important as ever. However, they are also now coupled with four timeless, universal principles: security, guidance, wisdom, and power.

Truth be told, ever since his most famous book, Covey adamantly refused to equate principles and values, claiming that while the former are universal, the latter are subjective. In other words, only principles can be considered a trait of interdependence. And, consequently, only they can help us find some meaning in this world.

“Principle-Centered Leadership” demonstrates how we can apply the four most important principles in our homes and organizations and how, implementing them, may help us become not only more effective but also better people.

Effective people lead their lives and manage their relationships around principles; ineffective people attempt to manage their time around priorities and their tasks around goals. Think effectiveness with people; efficiency with things.

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Best Malcolm Gladwell Books

“Stephen Covey Quotes”

I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions. Click To Tweet Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important. Click To Tweet Effective people are not problem-minded; they’re opportunity-minded. They feed opportunities and starve problems. Click To Tweet We live in a shortcut world. Can you imagine a farmer ‘cramming’ in the fall to bring forth the harvest, as students have done, and still do, to pass examinations? Can you imagine a mile runner ‘pretending’ speed and endurance? Click To Tweet Almost every significant breakthrough in the field of scientific endeavor is first a break with tradition, with old ways of thinking, with old paradigms. Click To Tweet

Final Notes

Even half a decade after his death, if you search Amazon for its most popular authors – a list updated on a daily basis –you’ll certainly find Stephen Covey’s name there, probably among the top 10. Currently, he firmly holds the 8th position, above, say, Dr. Seuss and Stephen King!

Needless to add, he is the top-ranked self-help and non-fiction author in Amazon’s history. Do you need anything more to start reading his three best books?

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Simon Sinek – A Journey of 100 Steps

Type “Simon Sinek Quotes” and you get adjectives such as “amazing,” “inspirational,” and “awe-inspiring.” Type “Simon Sinek YouTube” and, among the results, you read things like “best speech ever” or “the video that will change your life.” Finally, type “Simon Sinek TED Talk” and you’ve just stumbled upon the third most watched TED Talk video in history.

People with such a portfolio don’t need a special introduction, do they?

Who Is Simon Sinek?

Simon SinekAs you may sometimes discern (if you are a language Sherlock Holmes, that is) from his somewhat strange-sounding accent, Simon Sinek was born in Wimbledon on 9 October 1973. Come to think of it, he could have been named Sebastian or Scott – but he was certainly not going to be a John or a Mark.

Because we believe that his family has a knack for the letter “S.”

Don’t believe us?

Well, his father’s name is Steve, his mother is called Susan, and his sister’s name is Sara. And if that isn’t enough for you, his mother has authored a desserts book.

Its title?

“Simply Scrumptious”! Now, don’t tell us that this isn’t some kind of a pattern!

By this point, somewhat unsurprisingly, Simon Sinek spent most of his childhood in South Africa. And that’s where the pattern breaks because afterward, his family moved to Hong Kong and London before Simon finally settled in the U.S.A.

He graduated in 1991 from Northern Valley Regional High School at Demarest, New Jersey, before completing a BA in cultural anthropology at Brandeis University. Planning to become a Barrister, Sinek went back to England and enrolled at City University London to study law. However, after a while, he left his studies to focus on a career in advertising.

He worked at Euro RSCG and Ogilvy & Mather, before launching his own business, SinekPartners.

His life changed in 2009 after he published his first book, “Start with Why,” and presented its ideas in an ultra-popular TED Talk which has been so far viewed by almost 40 million people.

In 2014, he published “Leaders Eat Last” which repeated the success of “Start with Why.” Since then, he has published two more books, “Together Is Better: A Little Book of Inspiration” and “Find Your Why.”

Analysists approximate that Simon Sinek’s total net worth is in the range of $15 million. We approximate that his next book will make him even richer, since it will be another bestseller.

And we also hypothesize that you’re going to love each of these books!

There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it, or you can inspire it.

Best Simon Sinek Books

#1. Start with Why Summary: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

By now, you surely know Simon Sinek’s “Golden Circle” thought model. As he himself stated in the third most watched TED Talk video in history, “it’s probably the world’s simplest idea.” However, as it has been proven over and over again throughout history, the ideas that change the world are actually simple.

After all, as Shinichi Mochizuki has probably found out by now, what’s the point in proving a long-standing math problem if nobody understands the solution? You know what they say: the tree which falls…

Well, the “Golden Circle,” elucidated in “Start with Why,” didn’t fall on deaf ears; on the contrary, its echo was resounding. The idea is that most companies – and people – know what they are doing and how they are doing it. The point, however, is to know why you are doing what you’re doing.

And this why is the be-all and end-all, the alpha and omega of success. If you don’t have it or lose it – don’t expect an appreciation from others. They have better things to do.

Like finding their whys.

People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.

#2. Find Your Why Summary: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team

If “Start with Why” was Simon Sinek’s theoretical breakthrough, “Find Your Why” was – and still is – the best step-by-step practical guide for those people who, though now convinced by Simon that they needed a why, went through a fair share of problems finding it.

Co-written with Peter Docker and David Mead, “Find Your Why” brims with practical exercises and applicable advises, action steps and explanatory illustrations. It addresses the most important concerns a person or a company on their path to their “whys” may have.

Practically anything from whether you can have two “whys” to what to do if a team can’t agree on a uniform “why,” from how to circumvent having an identical “why” with your competitors to what to do if your “why” doesn’t match your “how” and your “what.”

Essential for those who think that theory means nothing if not applicable.

If we want to feel an undying passion for our work, if we want to feel we are contributing to something bigger than ourselves, we all need to know our WHY.

#3. Leaders Eat Last Summary: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t

Between “Start with Why” and “Find Your Why,” Simon Sinek wrote a book which, in retrospect, one may consider a bridge between the “whys.” And its wisdom is as unconventional as its title: “Leaders Eat Last.”

The counter-intuitive idea behind it sounds a bit biblical.

Remember that scene at the Last Supper when Jesus washes the feet of his followers?

Well, if you remember it well, you certainly remember that Jesus counters the amazement of his disciples with a simple remark. “If I then, your Lord and Teacher,” he says, “have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” And he tops that with an even more memorable phrase. “For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.”

Well, that’s what “Leaders Eat Last” is about. If you are a leader and you wash the feet of your employers, don’t you think that they will wash your feet too?

Of course, we’re not talking about feet. We’re talking about good leaders making you feel safe.

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.

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Best Malcolm Gladwell Books

“Simon Sinek Quotes”

Great companies don't hire skilled people and motivate them, they hire already motivated people and inspire them. Click To Tweet You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him. Click To Tweet It is not the genius at the top giving directions that makes people great. It is great people that make the guy at the top look like a genius. Click To Tweet The opportunity is not to discover the perfect company for ourselves. The opportunity is to build the perfect company for each other. Click To Tweet The greatest contribution of a leader is to make other leaders. Click To Tweet

Final Notes

Simon Sinek didn’t know what his why was for most of his life. After he found it, he realized that it’s related much more to the others than to himself. He wanted to help, to inspire and change people.

And, my god, he’s doing such a great job!

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Seth Godin – A Journey of 100 Steps

There are few people more famous in any area than Seth Godin in the field of marketing. However, with a career more varied than your DNA, Godin is so much more than the world’s most wanted marketer: an author of eighteen bestsellers, a founder of few companies, popular speaker, trendsetter, mind-changer, paradigm-shifter.

Who Is Seth Godin?

Seth GodinSeth Godin was born on July 10, 1960, in Mount Vernon, New York, which would make him about a century – and four years – older than Nikola Tesla.

Yes, that’s our fancy way of saying that those two share a birthday. But no – this doesn’t mean that people born on July 10 are destined to be great. After all, Jessica Simpson was born on the same day

Now, if things had worked out differently, Godin might have had a lot more in common with Tesla, because the first degree he obtained was in computer science and philosophy from Tufts University. However, just after graduation, he got a job as a brand manager at the then newly formed educational software company, Spinnaker Software.

He left the company just four years later, using all of his savings – about $20,000 – to found a book-packaging business, Seth Godin Productions. He would later sell the business to his employees, focusing all of his energy on Yoyodyne, one of the first online marketing companies in history.

Named after a fictional company from a 1984 SF adventure with a lengthy title, “The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension,” Yoyodyne used online games and scavenger hunts to market companies to participating users.

By this time, Godin felt that he had found his calling, so he enrolled at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, from where he subsequently got his MBA in marketing.

Ironically, it was during this period that he started working on a book which would soon become part of many business schools’ curricula: “Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers into Friends and Friends into Customers.”

Published in 1999, the book was not merely a bestseller, but also a seminal achievement. It introduced the world to the concept of permission marketing, a non-traditional technique which, unlike those preceding it, saw marketing the same way our laws see sex: as a consensual activity.

Direct mails, telemarketing calls, TV ads – they were all suddenly a thing of the past, too pushy and obtrusive to give you the wanted results. Namely, an intravenous relationship with your clients who will trust you as much as they trust their doctors.

Godin followed the success of “Permission Marketing” with many more bestsellers, three of which we’ve picked as his best below. However, we had a hard time choosing them, since Godin’s name appears above few other titles so essential that you may have already heard them, even if you don’t know who Seth Godin is.

(We are aware that the second part of the previous sentence targeted no more than two of our readers.)

Unleashing the Ideavirus” – the most popular eBook in history (a free PDF of which you can download here) – discusses how you can (and can’t) turn an idea into a viral phenomenon. If you haven’t before – see Seth Godin’s TED Talk on the topic.

The 2005 classic “All Marketers Are Liars” examines how marketers should use the inherent human passion for storytelling; humans seem to prefer well-told truthful stories to blatant honesty.

Poke the Box” is a book which demonstrates how and why you should take an initiative no matter how little authority you think you have. “The Dip,” on the other hand – as its subtitle succinctly states – is a little book that teaches you when to quit (and when to stick).

In 1998, Seth Godin sold Yoyodyne to Yahoo for about $30 million and became the company’s vice president of direct marketing. Eighty years later he launched Squidoo, an article-writing revenue-sharing site which, at one point, was among the Top 500 sites in the world.

Speaking of which, Seth Godin blog is undoubtedly one of the most popular blogs in history. It’s so popular, in fact, that, believe it or not, it will come up third on Google’s first page if you type nothing more than “seth”!

Being aware of your fear is smart. Overcoming it is the mark of a successful person.

Best Seth Godin Books

#1. Purple Cow Summary: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable

In a world of million products and billion commercials – writes Seth Godin in his phenomenal book “Purple Cow” – “your one chance for success is to be remarkable.”

In other words: you won’t notice a white cow among white cows – especially if you’re not interested in cows in the first place. But a purple one? You’ll spot it instantaneously even if you don’t want to!

So, Seth Godin advises you, put a purple cow in everything you do. Make something which will stand out by being so counter-intuitive and surprising that you won’t be able to tell from the start whether it will be a success or a flop.

Because, you see, in a crowded marketplace, “the old ways of marketing are dead – and being safe is now too risky.” “Purple Cow” is about the very opposite: risk with a purple cow and you will be safe among the white ones.

The best the timid can hope for is to be unnoticed. Criticism comes to those who stand out.

#2. Tribes Summary: We Need You to Lead Us

Remember William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies”? If there’s one thing that book taught you it should have been probably this: even if you are just a child stuck on a desert island among other children, you will bound to become either a leader or a follower.

Because it’s in our human nature to be one or the other. Want to be a leader, asks Seth Godin in “Tribes”? Then, gather your scattered followers on a desert island and turn them into a tribe. It’s as easy as 1-2-3! You just need to have a desire, an ability to connect people, and a willingness to lead them.

The best thing?

The Internet has made it possible for you to gather your followers virtually. So, you don’t need a desert island. Just a computer. And few Seth Godin advices you can read in “Tribes.”

For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.

#3. Linchpin Summary: Are You Indispensable?

The world is changed. I feel it in… well, neither in the water nor in the earth or the air. I feel it in the fact that there is one more team in the workplace, other than management and labor. The linchpins.

Now, what would Karl Marx say about this, Seth Godin?

Well, if you ask us, he would be thrilled to find out that there’s one more solution to the class struggle and that it doesn’t involve revolutions and bloodsheds. And that it is a Hegelian, mind you!

Because, as Godin writes in “Linchpin,” this new category of workers is something the world has never seen before. They are the people who love their work, the intermediaries who solve conflicts, the go-to guys for moments when the traditional rules don’t apply anymore.

Want to be indispensable?

Be a linchpin!

I call the process of doing your art ‘the work.’ It’s possible to have a job and do the work, too. In fact, that’s how you become a linchpin. The job is not the work.

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Best Malcolm Gladwell Books

“Seth Godin Quotes”

The old rule was this: create safe, ordinary products and combine them with great marketing. The new rule is: create remarkable products that the right people seek out. Click To Tweet In your career, even more than for a brand, being safe is risky. The path to lifetime job security is to be remarkable. Click To Tweet Your art is what you do when no one can tell you exactly how to do it. Your art is the act of taking personal responsibility, challenging the status quo, and changing people. Click To Tweet The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People will follow. Click To Tweet In a battle between two ideas, the best one doesn't necessarily win. No, the idea that wins is the one with the most fearless heretic behind it. Click To Tweet

Final Notes

In the two decades between his debut, “The Smiley Dictionary” and his, so far, last book, “What to Do When It’s Your Turn,” Seth Godin has written and published 18 books – which amounts to about a book per year. The fascinating thing is that almost each and every one of his books is still an event.

Consequently, Seth Godin’s induction in “The Marketing Hall of Fame” in the Class of 2018 (it should happen in less than a month after this article is published), is not at all surprising. It’s merely an expected development.

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Genius Summary

Genius SummaryThe Life and Science of Richard Feynman

Do you know who Richard Feynman was? If you do, then you need no reason to read ahead. If not – then you are missing a lot.

Either way, James Gleick’s “Genius” is a prerequisite, “a terrifically readable… jewel-like biography” of one of the greatest and most unconventional scientists in history.

Who Should Read “Genius”? And Why?

Just like Richard Feynman himself, “Genius” is a book which may make you fall in love with science all over again. Everyone who already is will enjoy this book immensely and readily recommend it to others. And there is no better place for the rest to start than “Genius.”

About James Gleick

James GleickJames Gleick is an American historian of science, considered by many to be “one of the great science writers of all time.”

He has written eight books, three of which (including “Genius”) have been finalists for “The Pulitzer Prize” and “The National Book Award.”

He is probably most famous for his 1987 classic “Chaos: Making a New Science” and the international bestseller “The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood.”

“Genius Summary”

Six years before he died, Julian Schwinger – an American Nobel-Prize winning physicist – wrote a little epitaph for a colleague (and, mind you, a former rival) which may seem like an appropriate introduction to our summary:

“An honest man, the outstanding intuitionist of our age, and a prime example of what may lie in store for anyone who dares to follow the beat of a different drum.”

True, it all sounds neat and tidy, but epitaphs are such: of the dead, we should say nothing but good, believed the Romans. However, in this case, the epitaph may be more interesting not because of what is inside it, but of what is not.

You may understand what we’re thinking better if we finally reveal to you the name of this mystery person: Richard Feynman, an American genius, scientist extraordinaire, and a guy whose list of memorable quotes is longer than a day on Venus. Oh and – dare we forget? – one of the two other guys who shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with Schwinger in 1965.

So, why did Schwinger decide to use the word “intuitionist” instead of “theoretical physicist” and speak of Feynman’s integrity and unconventionality instead of his scientific achievements?

Well, if taken as rhetorical, the question may give you the answer right away. However, we intend to build a little upon it, by sharing with you some interesting tidbits from Feynman’s biography as depicted in James Gleick’s brilliant biography, succinctly and fittingly titled “Genius.”

Richard Feynman was born on May 11, 1918, the son of Lithuanian Jews. His father, Melville, had scientific aspirations himself, but due to his ethnicity, he gave up on that dream and ended up working as a salesman. However, he kept the dream alive when it came to his child: if I ever have a son, he once prophesized, he will become a scientist.

Well, Feynman didn’t get off to a great start. He hadn’t uttered a single word during the first three years of his life. Though, that may have been a sign in itself – after all, Einstein was a late talker as well.

Among many others, Feynman shared another important trait with Einstein: he was capable of visualizing things pretty easily. And, retrospectively, it was probably all his father’s fault: he always explained to him things in a matter which made complex ideas seem simple. Feynman has been now remembered by many for this capability.

He exemplified this best during his high school years when he was able to solve serious mathematical problems without using a single formula. He just visualized himself in the midst of the conundrum – and, suddenly, he knew more about it than anyone else.

When the time for college came, Feynman turned his attention from math to physics. At this point, the first grew a bit too abstract to his taste; the latter was all but the perfect field for some with his understanding of equation and visualization capabilities.

Unsurprisingly, at MIT, he excelled in this new discipline. Though, to be perfectly frank, that’s where his excellence began and ended. Because you see, Feynman didn’t care too much for the social sciences. He hated art history and English and loathed music and philosophy.

So, he did what 90% of you have done at some point in their education: he cheated. And he cheated really bad.

So bad, in fact, that when he applied for a Princeton scholarship, he was nearly rejected, even though he attained a perfect score on the graduate school entrance exams in physics. Needless to add – this was an unprecedented feat, which means that nobody between 1746 and 1939 had done it.

Feynman was that good.

And, cheating aside, he got that Princeton scholarship – on the condition that he would not marry until obtaining a Ph.D. And he didn’t, though he was already engaged and living one of the greatest love stories of the 20th century.

Be warned: your room may get dusty and your eyes a little wet in a second.

You see, ever since his days at New York City’s Far Rockaway High School, Feynman had been in love with Arline Greenbaum. His high school sweetheart, however, was a poor girl, so she had to give – ah, the irony! ah, the power of love! – piano lessons during the day and art instructions at night to earn enough money. This wore her out, so she started feeling a bit sick at the time Feynman was acing his Princeton entrance exams.

After a series of incompetent diagnoses, it was discovered that Arline had lymphatic tuberculosis – when it was already too late. Even though Feynman’s parents bitterly protested, Richard married Arline just after obtaining his Ph.D.

In the meantime, he was recruited to work on the Manhattan Project, so he took Arline to a sanatorium in Albuquerque to be close to her and be able to visit her every weekend using the car of Klaus Fuchs (yes, the guy who later turned out to have been an infiltrated Soviet spy).

Just two months before the United States dropped the nuclear bombs on Japan, Arline died. One and a half years later, after his father Melville left the world as well, Feynman wrote Arline a letter which is kind of difficult to read without wet eyes. “You only are left to me. You are real. My darling wife, I do adore you. I love my wife. My wife is dead.”

“Please excuse my not mailing this,” he added in the postscript with a recognizable doze of humor, “but I don’t know your new address.” The letter would remain sealed from 1947 until Feynman’s death in 1988.

In-between, Feynman would become a legendary professor, a joker, and a Nobel Prize winner. Supposedly, when the press awakened him at 3:45 AM with the news, and asked him how he felt about winning the prize, he quipped: “Well, I could have found out later this morning…

And that event sums up brilliantly the life of a man as exceptional as any. As Freeman Dyson said, Feynman was “half genius and half buffoon” who kept “all physicists and their children amused with his effervescent vitality.”

Three decades after his death, he is still an inspiration to many.

A genius of the highest rank.

Key Lessons from “Genius”

1.      Know How to Solve Every Problem That Has Been Solved
2.      Know What You’re Bad at and Don’t Bother with It
3.      Always Find Some Time for Clowning

Know How to Solve Every Problem That Has Been Solved

Richard Feynman died on February 15, 1988. At the time of his death, this is how his blackboard looked like. If you’re having trouble reading it, it says two things: “What I cannot create, I do not understand” and “Know how to solve every problem that has been solved.”

Whether you’re an artist or a scientist, reverse engineering is a powerful tool. And there you have it – as the last lesson from one of history’s greatest professors.

Know What You’re Bad at and Don’t Bother with It

Now, this may sound strange coming from a person who taught himself to play drums and draw satisfactory sketches of nudes, even though he didn’t like music or art.

However, he did both of these things at a later stage, and, even though he once bet Arline that he would learn to play “The Flight of the Bumblebee,” he ended up failing dismally. The point is: Feynman was a genius at math, but genius is not transferable. In other words, he could allow himself to fail in so many different fields.

Because that was the only way he could excel in the one that really mattered.

Always Find Some Time for Clowning

Freeman Dyson, an English-born American physicist, was five years junior to Richard Feynman and a life-long friend of his.

In 2005, he wrote for “The New York Review of Books” an article which tried pinpointing the reason because of which Feynman became a public icon, “standing with Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking as the Holy Trinity of twentieth-century physics.”

His answer?

“Einstein, Hawking, and Feynman shared an ability to break through the barriers that separated them from ordinary people. The public responded to them because they were regular guys, jokers as well as geniuses.”

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“Genius” Quotes

Maybe that’s why young people make success. They don’t know enough. Because when you know enough it’s obvious that every idea that you have is no good. Click To Tweet I was born not knowing and have only had a little time to change that here and there. (via Richard Feynman) Click To Tweet The spirit of Edison, not Einstein, still governed their image of the scientist. Perspiration, not inspiration. Mathematics was unfathomable and unreliable. Click To Tweet Feynman resented the polished myths of most scientific history, submerging the false steps and halting uncertainties under a surface of orderly intellectual progress, but he created a myth of his own. Click To Tweet The adult Feynman asked: If all scientific knowledge were lost in a cataclysm, what single statement would preserve the most information for the next generations of creatures? Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Come on, it’s Richard Feynman!

The guy has written quite possibly the best autobiography (being a collection of anecdotes) by a scientist ever written. And it has the best title too: “Surely You’re a Joking, Mr. Feynman!”

Now, why would I need to read a biography?

That in itself may be one of the reasons. Another may be that James Gleick is one of the best science writers in history. And a third one that “Genius” is the biography Richard Feynman deserves.

As Amazon’s review states concisely: “a book you must read.” We emphasized the must.

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The Glass Castle Summary | PDF Format |

The Glass Castle PDFA Memoir

“Truth is stranger than fiction,” wrote Mark Twain over a century ago, adding that “it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.”

And, indeed, “The Glass Castle” is built on a somewhat impossible premise: that you can become a bestselling author even if you’re living in a rat-filled trash heap. And – yes! – it’s Jeannette Walls’ real-life story.

Who Should Read “The Glass Castle”? And Why?

As its subtitle puts it in an oh so succinct manner, “The Glass Castle” is a memoir. And we know that you like to read memoirs. Especially when they are written by – wink! wink! – former gossip columnist. (Whose first book, by the way, had incidentally outed Matt Drudge, a conservative American commentator, as gay.)

However, don’t expect to find such juicy stories about other celebrities in “The Glass Castle.” Expect to find even more vivid ones – but all happening somewhere on the other side of the American dream. You know – the dark one, the nightmare of about 41 million Americans living in poverty.

Because Jeannette Walls was one of them.

About Jeannette Walls

Jeannette WallsJeannette Walls is an American author and journalist.

She made her name as’s gossip columnist, a job she had for a decade between 1998 and 2007, when she left to dedicate herself to full-time writing.

By then, she had already published her debut book, “Dish,” and the ultra-successful memoir, “The Glass Castle,” which Destin Daniel Cretton turned into a successful movie in 2017.

She has written two novels since “Half Broke Horses,” and “The Silver Star.”

“The Glass Castle PDF Summary”

By now, you certainly know who Jeannette Walls is?

If you are among the very few who don’t, she is a successful American author, journalist, and trendsetter. But “The Glass Castle” isn’t a book about her present; it’s a book about her past. A past which was at least ten times worse than yours.

“I wanted to let the world know that no one had a perfect life,” she writes in the book, “that even the people who seemed to have it all had their secrets.”

In “The Glass House,” Jeannette’s secrets start to unravel after leaving with a cab a New York City party she had attended. From the window of the car, she notices a homeless woman. To the surprise of the reader – it turns out that it’s actually her mother.

Cue flashbacks. And a good moment to meet the cast.

The woman Jeannette just saw is Rose Mary Walls, an eccentric painter married to a struggling alcoholic, Rex. Jeannette is the second-oldest of their four children. She has two sisters – an older one, Lori, and the youngest child in the family, Maureen – and a younger brother, Brian.

We start off when Jeannette is three years old. At that age, you were probably still sucking on your thumb. Jeannette was cooking hot dogs on a stove – while her mother was painting in another room. You know where the story goes: Jeannette sets herself on fire and has to be rushed to a hospital.

All’s fine until the bills come. There are two ways to deal with them: pay them, or, in the case of the Walls’ family, move to another town.

This becomes a recurring pattern over the next few years. Which is why there’s a car, a van or a neglected house in about 90% of the scenes in the 2-minute trailer for the 2017 Brie Larson movie:

Jeannette’s father is incapable of keeping a job; her mother is too creative to have one.

The result?

Extreme poverty and a life bereaved of choices. There’s a high chance that you don’t even know what that means. In a nutshell – you do the only thing you can at a particular moment. Because you don’t have an alternative.

At one point, for the Wallses, this means moving in with Rex’s mother, Erma, in Welch, West Virginia. Now, it may not seem as bad at first sight, but bear in mind that you still haven’t heard Erma’s parenting methods. Two examples: laughter is strictly forbidden; and the kids’ dwelling place is the basement.

To top that, the kids are placed in a class for challenged children. Now, they all turned out fine in the end, so you may wonder what the actual reasons were. Well, for one Rose Mary lost all the records; and, for two, the kids had accents unfamiliar to the locals!

It gets even worse!

At one point, Rex and Rose Mary go back to Phoenix to retrieve some valuables. And Jeannette walks in on her grandmother Erma molesting her brother Brian. All hell breaks loose – which is not made better once Rex returns. Because – remember – he has no choice but to scold his children. And because – read between the lines – he may have gone through the same ordeal as a child.

Either way, they are kicked out. So, they relocate once again – this time in a small, derelict house with no indoor plumbing. However, Rex dreams big, and he promises his children that one day he would turn this shack into a beautiful home for his family.

You’ve guessed it: this is The Glass Castle from the title. And just like its imagined building material tends to, the dream of it shatters before you know it.

Because instead of doing something to make it a reality, Rex usually does everything he can to prevent it from becoming one. Even when Rose Mary gets a teaching job and they start saving some money, Rex finds a way to spend them.

And that way is called alcohol – an addiction which he isn’t able to beat even after promising Jeannette for her 10th birthday that he will. It’s not like he doesn’t try: soon after the birthday, he ties himself to the bed for a week to overcome the addiction!

However, he also steals Jeannette’s and Lori’s money and even uses Jeannette in a pool hustling scheme, which ends up with her being nearly raped by a much older man.

Enough’s enough.

Lori and Jeannette decide to leave Virginia for New York City, and after some trials, they eventually succeed. Lori goes first; Jeannette follows. She encourages Brian to join her, so he comes too. When Maureen is twelve, Lori convinces her to come as well.

The end.

The Glass Castle Free PDF

…Or not!

You see, after a while, Rex and Rose Mary come to New York too. And basically, they take advantage of their kids’ charity day in day out, until – once again – they become unbearable. So, they become homeless as well.

You would think we made a full circle, coming back to the beginning of the story, right?

Well, there’s a final twist! And it’s not pretty.

Later on, during a fight, Maureen tries to stab her mother, and she is arrested. She spends the next year of her life in a mental institution, before moving to California, far from her parents.

Meanwhile, Lori has become a successful comic book artist – creating an Archie comics character (guess how it got its name?) – and Brian a cop. You already know what Jeannette has become. Rex gets sick and dies.

And at a Thanksgiving family reunion, the rest toast him and his unconventional methods. And start retelling some of these stories.

But, this time – with some relief and few laughs.

Key Lessons from “The Glass Castle PDF”

1.      Everybody Has a Secret
2.      It’s from Rags to Riches… for Some
3.      Dream Big: Sometimes It Makes All the Difference

Everybody Has a Secret

AS we told you above, at the beginning of her memoir, Jeannette – already a rich, successful journalist – sees her mother digging through garbage and that takes her back.

Now, we didn’t tell you two things. First of all, that Jeannette slid down in her cab seat to hide from her mother. And secondly, that this isn’t what actually inspired her to write “The Glass Castle.” The thing that did it was much banaler and superficial.

Namely, a “Village Voice” cartoonist called Jeannette and told her that, for his next cartoon, he plans to expose her parents as squatters. “The Glass Castle” was Jeannette’s way to deal with the stress of being outed.

The good news?

She realized that everybody has some secret. Even the rich ones. Especially them.

It’s from Rags to Riches… for Some

It’s the American dream: going from the bottom to the top. Or, as the Romans would say, from the plow to the stars.

And some really do: both Lori and Jeannette succeeded; Brian fared well too. However, Mary Rose and Rex lived most of their lives as homeless people. And, unfortunately, so do about 2 in 1,000 Americans.

Dream Big: Sometimes It Makes All the Difference

Now, when you don’t believe that someday you’ll be able to buy a star – why don’t you claim ownership of one in a story?

That’s what Rex Walls did. One day, she takes Jeannette to the desert and, since she doesn’t have anything else to give her, she persuades her that her Christmas gift is a bright star above them – namely, the planet Venus. And he also says that when the gifts given to the other children will turn to junk, hers will be intact and as bright.

Consider this a metaphor. And a guideline.

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“The Glass Castle” Quotes

- Things usually work out in the end. - What if they don't? - That just means you haven't come to the end yet. Click To Tweet You should never hate anyone, even your worst enemies. Everyone has something good about them. You have to find the redeeming quality and love the person for that. Click To Tweet Life is a drama full of tragedy and comedy. You should learn to enjoy the comic episodes a little more. Click To Tweet I lived in a world that at any moment could erupt into fire. It was the sort of knowledge that kept you on your toes. Click To Tweet Sometimes you need a little crisis to get your adrenaline flowing and help you realize your potential. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“The Glass Castle” spent three years on “The New York Times Bestsellers” list, sold over 3 million copies and has been translated into more than 20 languages. Fascinating – if you take into account that, at the time of publishing, Jeannette Wall was a gossip journalist little known outside the United States.

The point?

The book, even though a personal memoir, touches on something profoundly humane and universal. And, consequently, we can guarantee you that you’ll never be able to put it down.

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Unbroken Summary

Unbroken SummaryOur “Unbroken Summary” recaps the life of an athlete, who later became a survivor. The legend of Louis Zamperini will continue to echo through time; a story about a man who despite all the odds managed to conquer the hearts of many throughout the world.

A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

How much do you think a man can take? How much pain and suffering, how much torture and anguish? And how capable do you think is one of forgiving his tormentor?

Find out in Laura Hillenbrand’s biography of Louis Zamperini. Titled “Unbroken,” it is one of the most uplifting stories about resilience and redemption you’ll ever read.

Who Should Read “Unbroken”? And Why?

“Do not judge me by my success,” said Nelson Mandela once. “Judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”

Well, few people have fallen down more times – and harder – than Louis Zamperini. First, it was quite literally: his plane crashed in the Pacific Ocean.

Then, he had to survive for a month and a half drifting at sea. And when he thought he finally made it – he was captured by the Japanese and brutally tortured in a prisoner-of-war camp for almost nine hundred days.

Zamperini didn’t just get back up again. He got back up a stronger and a better person. He even forgave his tormentors.

Heartbreaking and inspiring, “Unbroken” is one of those stories so profoundly emotional it will undoubtedly stay with you for a while.

No matter who you are or where you are – it cannot leave you indifferent. In fact, we nominate this book as one of the ultimate human-testers: if it doesn’t move you, then you’re probably a robot.

Things are moving fast out there, so we may just need this kind of things.

About Laura Hillenbrand

Laura HillenbrandLaura Hillenbrand is a bestselling American author.

After falling ill at 19 – with the controversial and still not well understood chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) – she had to drop out of college. Confined to her home, she dedicated herself to writing.

In 2001, she published “Seabiscuit: An American Legend,” a biography of a racehorse which was turned into an extremely popular movie two years later.

“Unbroken” was published in 2010 to widespread acclaim and rave reviews. In 2014, Angelina Jolie directed its movie adaptation, which was also a success, grossing over $163 million at the box office.

Find out more at

“Unbroken Summary”

Raised in a strict Catholic household, the young Louis “Louie” Zamperini is often picked on by other kids in his neighborhood in Torrance, California, for being an Italian-American unable to speak English well. Soon enough, his father teaches him how to box in self-defense.

And, before you know it, Zamperini fights back and turns from a troubled boy into a troublemaker.

Unhappy, he often dreams of running away for good. But, for the time being, he has to run away from the police first, since he often steals cigarettes, food, and beer.

Fortunately for Louie, his beloved older brother Pete – already a star in the school track team – is capable of translating this capability into something useful.

Pete takes Louis to the training runs with him, and soon, at his advice, Louis quits smoking and drinking and starts dedicating his time to exercising and running.

He is undefeated during the last three years of his high school, breaking all of his brother’s records, and setting a world interscholastic one for the mile in 1934.

Two years later, at 19 years of age, he tries out for the Olympics. He doesn’t get into the team for his discipline – the 1,500 meters – but he does for the 5,000 meters.

To this day, no U.S. athlete younger than him has ever qualified for the Olympics for the 5000-meter run.

At the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Zamperini finished eighth. However, his final lap was so fast that Adolf Hitler himself asked a personal meeting. “Ah, you’re the boy with the fast finish,” said the Fuhrer after shaking Zamperini’s hand.

Nicknamed the “Torrance Tornado,” most probably Louis Zamperini would have had a chance of winning an Olympic medal already at the next Games. However, his running career was cut short when the Pacific War broke out.

Zamperini enlisted in the army and became a bombardier. He flew a B-24 called the “Super Man.” However, in April 1943, during a bombing mission over Nauru, Zamperini and his crew – including pilot Russell Allen “Phil” Phillips – found themselves in the middle of an apocalyptic air battle. Thanks to Phil’s piloting skills and Louie’s cleverness, “Super Man” was landed – but bullet-riddled and incapacitated.

Here is Zamperini himself checking the bullet holes on the “Super Man” in 1943:

unbroken pdf

So, the crew is given a new plane, the “Green Hornet,” a notoriously defective lemon. Unsurprisingly, the plane crashes just a month later, killing all but three members of its crew: Louis, Phil, and Francis “Mac” McNamara.

Now, come the ordeals.

The three survivors had little food and basically no water. So, the only way for them to survive was to capture rainwater and use it sparingly, while eating small fish and birds landing on their raft.

To make matters worse, Mac goes a bit mad and eats all their available chocolate.

And did we mention that they are in the middle of the ocean?

Of course, there are sharks!

And they have to fight them using nothing but their bare hands and the oars. Surprisingly, they manage to fend off few shark attacks, with Louie even eating the liver of one. Yes, that really happened!

And as if it wasn’t enough, they also had to survive through a storm which all but capsized their raft. On the 27th day, destiny had another surprise for them: a Japanese bomber strafed them, damaging their raft! Six days later, Mac died.

Sounds too movie-like? That doesn’t make it untrue. But it does make it worthy of an adaptation. Even the trailer will give you goosebumps:

If you watched the trailer carefully, you’ve noticed that we’re far from finished.

Louie and Phil survive for 46 days. However, when on the 47th day, they reach land in the Marshall Islands, they are immediately captured by the Japanese Navy.

First, they are put in the Ōfuna POW camp, but afterward transferred a couple of times. Louie would eventually end up in the Naoetsu POW camp in northern Japan.

(If you like to have a better perspective, here you can see an interactive map of Zamperini’s journey).

All the while, he is tormented by Mutsuhiro Watanabe, nicknamed “The Bird,” No. 23 on General Douglas MacArthur’s list of 40 most wanted Japanese war criminals.

For the purposes of this summary, we don’t need to describe too much the 200 times Zamperini is punched in the face or the fact that he was forced to clean a pigsty with his bare hands.

Suffice to say that there’s a reason why the Bird is ranked that high.

Miraculously, Zamperini survives. Back at home, he marries Cynthia Applewhite. They have a daughter, but Louie is incapable of being happy. He is tormented by his memories and becomes an alcoholic in an attempt to forget.

Once, Cynthia catches Louie uncontrollably shaking their baby. So, she files for divorce.

Fortunately for the newlyweds, Billy Graham comes to town. In one final attempt to help her husband, Cynthia convinces Louie to attend one of Graham’s preaching sessions.

The experience transforms him: Louie finds faith, quits drinking, and becomes a motivational speaker.

But the story isn’t over yet.

With faith comes forgiveness, and Louie does precisely that: he forgives his tormentors from the war.

And he wants to do one better: upon hearing that Watanabe is still alive, he wants to go and forgive him in person. The Bird refuses, so Louie sends him a letter.

The same year, Louie is one of the Olympic torch-carriers for the 1998 Nagano Olympics. As such, he runs past Naoetsu, the POW camp where he was once imprisoned.

As he leaves the sight of the camp behind him, it seems as if symbolically he leaves the past behind him as well.

Key Lessons from “Unbroken”

1.      Humans Are Capable of Enduring So Much Suffering
2.      No Matter What Happens, You Can Always Get Out
3.      Forgiveness Is the Best Way to Free Yourself from Your Past

Humans Are Capable of Enduring So Much Suffering

Louie Zamperini’s story is a story of perseverance.

Its moral? Well, we guess: humans are made of sterner stuff.

Zamperini went through hell, from air fights to having his plane crashed, from surviving a month and a half in a raft to fending off sharks, from being tortured as a war prisoner to beating alcoholism.

And, as Maya Angelou said once, during all this period, he allowed to be changed but never reduced.

He was the Great Zamperini all throughout.

No Matter What Happens, You Can Always Get Out

In a way, Zamperini’s life was a long list of prison escapes.

First, thanks to the help of his brother and his passion for running, he escaped the prison of juvenile delinquency. Then, he escaped death in an air fight. Afterward, he escaped being lost at sea. Then, he was put in a literal prison – he escaped from there too when the Americans liberated it.

Back to spiritual imprisonment, he has to find a way to escape the prison of the past experiences right after the war. To top that, alcoholism sneaks at the back door – and he has to escape from it too.

Finally, with the help of his wife and faith, he does. Because, no matter what happens, you can always get out. Sometimes, you may need willpower; other times, a helping hand.

Forgiveness Is the Best Way to Free Yourself from Your Past

There’s a painful aftermath of being a victim of any kind of violence. Because, even after the ordeal is over, you can’t let it go.

How can you?

Your whole body will probably be protesting against it. “The paradox of vengefulness,” writes Hillenbrand, “is that it makes men dependent upon those who have harmed them, believing that their release from pain will come only when their tormentors suffer.”

Zamperini chose a better way: he forgave them.

And that made him a free man once again.

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“Unbroken” Quotes

Without dignity, identity is erased. In its absence, men are defined not by themselves, but by their captors and the circumstances in which they are forced to live. Click To Tweet Dignity is as essential to human life as water, food, and oxygen. The stubborn retention of it, even in the face of extreme physical hardship, can hold a man's soul in his body long past the point at which the body should have surrendered… Click To Tweet A lifetime of glory is worth a moment of pain. Click To Tweet What God asks of men, said Billy Graham, is faith. His invisibility is the truest test of that faith. To know who sees him, God makes himself unseen. Click To Tweet At that moment, something shifted sweetly inside him. It was forgiveness, beautiful and effortless and complete. For Louie Zamperini, the war was over. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Unbroken” is a testament to human’s willpower and – as William Ernest Henley would eloquently write – his “unconquerable soul.”

Really. It doesn’t get much more uplifting or heartwarming than this.

Trust us.

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Finding My Virginity Summary

Finding My Virginity PDFThe New Autobiography

In 1998, Richard Branson – oh, sorry, that’s actually Sir Richard Branson – published his debut book titled “Losing My Virginity,” a 600-page autobiography which was lauded by both critics and general readers.

Twenty years and six books later – he’s back with the rest of the story: “Finding My Virginity” is the iconic sequel to an iconic memoir of an iconoclastic showman.

Who Should Read “Finding My Virginity”? And Why?

Oh, come on – it’s Richard Branson! If anybody has a life story to tell – it’s him! While we would probably struggle to pen an exciting chapter or two, Branson’s autobiography, across his two memoirs, is over 1,000 pages long!

You thought you’ve read everything once you finished “Losing My Virginity”?

Well, you thought wrong!

Delve even deeper into the story of Branson and “Virgin” with “Finding My Virginity.” And you don’t need to be an entrepreneur or a would-be business magnate. You just need to be interested in remarkable life stories.

About Richard Branson

Sir Richard Charles Nicholas BransonRichard Branson is a British entrepreneur and philanthropist, one of the 400 wealthiest people in the world and probably the most colorful business magnate of the 20th century.

A high-school dropout, he started a magazine called “Student” at the age of 16, before setting up a mail-order record business four years later. In 1972, at the age of 22, Branson opened his first record store, “Virgin Records,” a brand which will grow rapidly during the next few decades, allowing Branson’s empire to expand in many different areas.

In 2000, Branson was knighted for his services to entrepreneurship, and two years later, he was voted the 85th Greatest Briton in history.

“Finding My Virginity PDF Summary”

If you know anything about Richard Branson – you know, other than that he’s quite mad, bad, and… well, quite entertaining to know – you certainly know that he founded Virgin Group Ltd., a multi-billion multinational corporation which needs a separate Wikipedia article to list all of its subsidiaries and investments.

“Finding My Virginity” is about them. And how Branson made them what they are.

We start off with Virgin Atlantic, the seventh-largest UK airline. However, it didn’t get there without a fight. And, of course, the sassiness and chutzpah which make Richard Branson such a showman.

And the story goes like this.

Branson didn’t like British Airways – and British Airways didn’t like Branson. And in business – being a sort of a regulated war – everything is allowed. BA’s method: printing tedious libelous remarks about Virgin Atlantic. The oldest trick in the book.

Branson’s way (and he always does things his way): in-flight massages. And a Heathrow sign that read: “BA Don’t Give a Shiatsu.”


Wait till you hear the next one!

You know the London Eye, the 400-feet high Ferris Wheel on the South Bank of the Thames? Well, its raising was sponsored by BA. Unfortunately, due to a technical problem, the engineers weren’t able to put it up, leaving it stranded sideways close to opening day.

Branson knew that the press is on its way to report on this – and he felt it was his duty to make their reports a bit more interesting. So, he scrambled a message and put it on a blimp which flew from an airship company just outside of London.

The result: a blimp flying over the London Eye while bearing the slogan “BA Can’t Get It Up.”

Now, how’s this for a marketing strategy?

Now, here’s one picture-perfect example of what competitive advantage and disruptive innovation mean.

Virgin Mobile UK launched in 1999, and by the end of the next year, it had half a million subscribers and was estimated to be worth over 1 billion dollars.

How did that happen?

Well, you see, Virgin Mobile UK was the world’s first mobile virtual network operator. Meaning: instead of building a network of its own, it partnered with Deutsche Telecom (the parent company of T-Mobile) and used theirs instead.

This reduced costs and gave “Virgin Mobile UK” the chance of offering pay-as-you-go plans, another first in the world.

No wonder that, in the meantime, Virgin Mobile expanded to over 15 countries, with its USA subsidiary – one of the fastest-growing mobile companies in the world.

Now, we can go on!

Corbyn’s “Traingate” aside, Virgin Trains is probably one of the companies responsible for improving the previously government-owned rail service. Before being sold for over 4 billion dollars, Virgin America was considered one of the best airline companies on the other side of the Atlantic.

And, finally, Virgin Galactic aims to be the first company to take ordinary people to space so they can see the Earth from an entirely different perspective.

Now, that would be a great way to cap Richard Branson’s flamboyant career, wouldn’t it?

Key Lessons from “Finding My Virginity”

1.      Boldly Go Where Many Men Have Been Screwed Before
2.      Build a Great Team – and Step Aside
3.      Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Your Mind – Especially If It Gets You in Trouble

Boldly Go Where Many Men Have Been Screwed Before

Many people think that entrepreneurship is about doing something that nobody has done before. Richard Branson’s career is a proof that you don’t always need to be original. Just offer people a better service – and that will do the trick.

Virgin Trains wouldn’t have existed if the nationalized railway service had done its job well before them. Virgin Atlantic wouldn’t have had a beef with British Airways if the latter had bothered to give shiatsu. And the gym chain Virgin Active was established once Richard Branson realized that everybody had something against their gym.

So, do that: see what’s wrong with a service, and build a company which will improve it. If you’ve learned anything from “Field of Dreams,” you already know the drill: if you build it, they will come.

Build a Great Team – and Step Aside

It’s always a good idea to only go into a business you understand beforehand. However, if you really want to venture somewhere else, please, don’t be a smartass. And leave the job to those who know how to do it.

That’s why, when Richard Branson wanted to found a charity, he gave a call to a friend of his. And what a friend, indeed!

Fortunately to Branson, Nelson Mandela agreed to become the first Elder of Virgin Unite. Even more, he agreed to pick 12 more Elders to run the charity and make the world a better place. And when Mandela calls you – you come.

So, soon enough, the Elders included more Nobel Prize winners than your history book. Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter, Muhammad Yunus, Kofi Annan…

Now, that’s what you call a team, ha?

Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Your Mind – Especially If It Gets You in Trouble

Many have noted that “Finding My Virginity” is much more political than “Losing My Virginity” – and not few have criticized Branson for this.

He, however, couldn’t care less.

Whether it is about South Africa’s HIV issue, climate change, or the decriminalization of drugs, whether it is about Trump, Hillary Clinton, or Jeremy Corbyn – Branson has a word or two to say (or, in this case, write).

Sometimes, he’s right; sometimes he’s probably not. Either way, the only way we’ll ever find out which one of the two is it – is if he speaks his mind.

You know – the beautiful and dying art of disagreement.

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“Finding My Virginity” Quotes

‘Remember, it’s not material things that matter in life,’ I told them. ‘Things aren’t important, people are. All that matters is that everyone is safe. Click To Tweet Developing mental toughness isn’t just about being resilient – it’s about accessing your reserve tank when you think you just can’t go any further. Click To Tweet We owe our freedom to extraordinary people,’ he told the assembled crowd. ‘The bad, the evil, doesn’t have the last word. It is ultimately goodness and laughter and joy and caring and compassion.’ Click To Tweet Whenever you are setting up a new project, the most important thing is to surround yourself with people who are better than yourself, have different skills and a healthy combination of enthusiasm and experience. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Finding My Virginity” is not as interesting as “Losing My Virginity.” After all, even Richard Branson doesn’t have 1,000-page-long stories to tell.

But it’s still a must-read. Especially if you’re an entrepreneur. Or someone who likes to think differently.

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Escape from Camp 14 Summary

Escape from Camp 14 Summary

One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West

“Escape from Camp 14” is the story of Shin who, until now, remains the only person who was born in a labor camp in North Korea, and has escaped.

About Blaine Harden

Blaine Harden

Blaine Harden is a foreign correspondent and an author.

“Escape from Camp 14 Summary”

We have all heard of North Korea and its brutal dictatorship.

It has never developed hydroelectric capabilities, has no oil and uses excrement and ashes as fertilizers. It strives to become a nuclear power and is close to becoming one.

The public has no insight into what happens in North Korea. All stories the public knows are either those fed by the North Korean news, which is questionable, or the stories told by defectors.

For example, North Korea denies the existence of its prison camps. However, the fenced zones are visible on Google Earth, and defectors witness their existence.

These camps house around 200 000 people.

One of these people was shin, who was born in the early 80s in Camp 14, which is one of the most brutal prisons for dissidents, as well as their families.

He reckons that his home had no water, no privacy, no mattress or any other kind of furniture. He did not have anything to eat as well.

The only light he had, was the light bulb in the kitchen that several families shared, which was on a few hours after sunset and an hour after dawn.

Camp 14 discouraged sexual encounters, and when guards raped women, they usually killed the victims. If a woman gave birth with no permission, she was executed. And so was the child.

When he was 10, Shin witnessed his mother being raped.

His mother got married to his father as a reward for his hard work. That is how marriages got earned – they were a privilege for the hard workers.

His father was not home most of the time, and Shin lived with his older brother and mother, who beat him mercilessly.

Shin has no memories of his younger age which are not filled with beatings, betrayal, physical deprivation, and starvation.

During that time he learned to mistrust everyone, even his family

Key Lessons from “Escape from Camp 14”

  1. Lies and Betrayal
  2. The Idea of Escape
  3. Freedom

Lies and Betrayal

During his life in Camp 14, Shin did not have any time to think of the hard conditions since the work was overconsuming.

That was until he met Park Yong Chul, an older man who had traveled overseas, and on whom he was supposed to snitch.

However, as he hears the stories of life outside of North Korea, where you can do and eat whatever you want and go wherever you want, he decided not to tell on him and started believing that there is hope to escape from Camp 14.

The Idea of Escape

The idea to escape was Shin’s, but Park also joined.

They both tried to escape, but Park was killed by the voltage of the electric fence.

Shin escaped, and he reached China with a bribe.


Once he was free, he felt the shadow of the past over him. He had nightmares and was admitted to a psychiatric ward.

Then, his friends made him write his memoir.

Until now, Shin is the only person who was born in a labor camp in North Korea and has escaped.

In 2011 he returned to South Korea.

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“Escape from Camp 14” Quotes

It is the toughest of them all because of its particularly brutal working conditions. Click To Tweet Before he had eaten his first hot meal in China, Shin had a job and a place to sleep. He had been a prisoner, a snitch, a fugitive and a thief, but never an employee. Click To Tweet Intoxicated by what he heard from the prisoner he was supposed to betray, Shin made the first free decision of his life. He chose not to snitch. Click To Tweet Camp 14 holds an estimated 15,000 prisoners. About 30 miles long and 15 miles wide, it has farms, mines and factories threaded through steep mountain valleys. Click To Tweet A crowd had gathered at the empty wheat field where Shin had witnessed two or three executions a year. Click To Tweet

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