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Reading List Updates, end November '10

Just finished:

Think and Grow Rich: A marvelous book, but I was having a hard time finishing it. Then I realized - the last three chapters are pretty much fluff that repeat points already covered. I skimmed the last three chapters... it starts very strong, ends weak, but I'm happy it's finally done.

The Alchemist: What a masterpiece by Paolo Cuehlo. Read it in one day, couldn't put it down. Got me thinking a lot... lots of great quick ways to think, quick heuristics and mantras in there. Really wonderful short little book with some great lessons.

If I Did It: I read OJ Simpson's autobiography on a whim when I saw a copy. It's a weird book. It's about a guy trying to be a decent husband and having his marriage fall apart. Then he kills his wife. Oh, and it's OJ Simpson, and the most famous trial/legal story of the last 20 years. Weird to read the guy's perspective... it's weird in how surreal and normal it is. A famous guy marries a beautiful 18 year old girl but they don't have a really deep or mature connection. She doesn't take well to money and stability, gets unhappy, starts acting kind of crazy in the marriage. OJ acts crazy in response. They divorce. Then he keeps hearing her partying around town and doing drugs, flips out, and kills her. Weird reading it in his own words - I lived in Los Angeles for awhile, and the first part read like a fairly normal L.A. story with a rich, famous guy making a bad choice in a young beautiful woman without much depth or character. Then it gets kind of crazy at the end. It wasn't sad so much as weird. It's sureally normal in parts, and then ends with... well, you know. I wouldn't recommend you go out of your way to read it, but it's interesting for a few hours if you get a chance.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality: Eliezer Yudkowsky's fanfiction is exceptionally good. If you're a reader of LessWrong at all, you'll love it. If not, you still might like it. He wrote it in "serialized" format where each chapter is a mostly self-contained adventure with plot arc, and then a cohesive whole. It works well, reads well, lots of good insights. He didn't really hit his stride and tone until chapter 15 to 20... if you like Yudkowsky's normal writing, give it until chapter 20. Trust me on this - Eliezer sets up a lot of backstory and forces some humor in the early chapters, and the tone isn't quite smooth... still good, but then wow, it kicks into overdrive around chapter 20 and it's just a page-turning must-read. It's free online at fanfiction.com and you can also find pdf compilations with some googling.

The Mindset of Surmountable Fear

On The Mindset

*note* If you have arrived at this site please make sure you have had an opportunity to visit our new website @ www.themindset.org or you can continue to read on here:

My biggest fear is failure. Failure to achieve, failure to accomplish, failure to triumph, failure to succeed. I fear the unknown. Not because of its possible endings, but because of the possibility that I might not be able to conquer the unknown. Yet here I am, alive and breathing, in my right state of mind, fulfilling my destiny, and pursuing a legacy. How do I do it amidst my fear? It’s simple…I overcome fear.

In order to overcome fear I had to first realize where it came from. Timothy said “For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind”. I think fear is not addressed properly these days because we don’t talk about where it originates. Fear is not something that is obsolete. It’s a feeling that hangs around and lurks. Fear is a genuine state of mind; it’s just not a Godly state of mind. Once I recognized that fear didn’t come from God, it raised the question who does fear come from? The next time you are fearful of something think about where it came from and remember the Lord says “Fear not”. In fact he says it 365 times in the bible, see the coincidence?

Another thing I do to overcome fear is, I fight Fear with Fire. What do I mean by that? My fear of having a fear of anything is what helps me overcome. I despise fear, and like I mentioned earlier I know fear is not of God so my fear of fear keeps me from fearing the things I use to fear. Instead I use my fear to fight fear completely.

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