Reader Daniella just sent this to me, which is quite cool -
I read the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin a bit back, and I was very impressed with it. This was my second attempt at reading it - the first time, I didn't think it was worth reading since the language was hard to get through and the book was mostly anecdotes that I wasn't getting much from.
What I didn't realize was, the book was written at two very different time periods in Franklin's life. He wrote the first half as kind of a rough set of notes just for his family. Then about 10 years later, he finished it.
The second half of the book is where the gold is. Well, there's a number of interesting points in the first half, but I found the second much more practical and enlightening. Also, he cuts down on the slang and the English modernizes a bit for he second half. I'd recommend it.
Ben's time-tracking and goal-setting was interesting for me to see - makes me realize that there's not so much that's new in the world, and I've done a hell of a lot of reinventing the wheel. I liked how he singled out a bunch of virtues to work on explicitly, and that inspired me a bit to make some refinements.
At Amazon, it's currently free on the Kindle and cheap in paperback, so you probably want to grab a copy on Kindle if you've got one, and think about it in paperback - "The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin."."
Thanks for linking that image Daniella, yeah, I enjoyed Ben Franklin's autobiography quite a lot. Lots of gems in there.
To me, the people who bring and brought positive change upon this world have several traits in common. I yet have to find one successful person that does not value his life enough to step back every single day to evaluate their doing and finding inner peace. They often know, how important it is for not ending up in the hamsters wheel, wondering why the time passes by so fast without any progress.
Thanks for the Kindle link to Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography. I've read a little about Franklin's life at various times but I've never read his whole autobiography. I've found it quite interesting thus far (~1/3 of the way through), particularly his many business successes/failures and his descriptions of life in general.
you can get the book here http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/148, and read it with a downloadable e reader http://get.adobe.com/reader/ if you don't want to have to buy it.
There should be some kind of productivity encyclopedia by this point... perhaps a Wikipedia page where all the old knowledge is gather and added to?
At any rate thank you for your suggestion, always nice to have another interesting book.
There are no new ideas, just old ones waiting to be rediscovered. You can almost guarantee that this sort of time planning was pursued to some degree in antiquity - the Greeks, Romans, Mayans, Aztecs all had societies of sufficient complexity that an individual would derive benefit from concious high-level planning of how they spend their time.
Just imagine how human society could have advanced by now if we didn't have to repeatedly rediscover the basics.
I just started reading Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography. This paragraph surprised me:
And lastly (I may as well confess it, since my denial of it will be believed by nobody), perhaps I shall a good deal gratify my own vanity [by writing this]. Indeed, I scarce ever heard or saw the introductory words, "Without vanity I may say," but some vain thing immediately followed. Most people dislike vanity in others, whatever share they have of it themselves; but I give it fair quarter wherever I meet with it, being persuaded that it is often productive of good to the possessor, and to others that are within his sphere of action; and therefore, in many cases, it would not be altogether absurd if a man were to thank God for his vanity among the other comforts of his life.
Fascinating! Thank God for vanity? Wow...
But you know, it makes some sense. It seems to me that modesty is good when it helps you achieve what you set out to achieve, and modesty is bad when it stops you from achieving what you set out to achieve. Whether modesty is effective or not depends on the situation. Some situations call for it. Some don't.
It seems to me that there's a certain kind of pragmatic humility that'd always be good to have. Knowing what you don't know, knowing that there's a lot of skills you don't have, understanding that even your best reasoned judgment of a situation might be overlooking some details...
This is a monthly series that documents what I've consumed and, from music to movies and video games to books. It doesn't include everything I've consumed this month, but things that have made an impact or left an impression on me. This is for my own personal tracking, so if this doesn't interest you, feel free to move right along.
After my Kindle broke, I didn't read for months. Ryan Holiday's writings changed that dramatically. Once I had to buy books for school, I snatched up the opportunity to pick up some books that had been on my to-read list, which recently jumped from 10 or 20 books to 556 items as of today. (Buy me books?)
So here's what I've read over the course of August and September, a dramatic increase over the amount I'd read when I had to rely on a library:
I bought books waiting to be read, including Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, and The Trial by Franz Kafka. I'm very excited to get to them, but I hope to finish Ben Franklin's Autobiography first. We're also reading The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald in class, and I'll comment on that next month.
Quick Note About Book Series: I absolutely despise book series. I understand it's a way to get kids to read more, but it's a cheap way to extract more money out of an audience that can't afford it (I got $4-5 a week in allowance). The books are repetitive and waste precious space reminding the audience of certain constants, and if you don't have the creativity to put your series into one book--no matter the size, please stop publishing. I have stopped many series halfway because I simply outgrew them. And now I'll never know the endings...