OFF THE SHELF
Here’s what we’re reading and thinking about right now.
Digital minimalism by Cal Newport
Newport’s latest is nothing short of “why have you not bought this yet?” magnificent.
We entered our digitally over-consuming free fall several years ago, but with enough data to track the impact, it’s clear there are serious health, mental, social and even civil issues snagging us all the way down. The solution?
Newport suggests, minimalism.
Like Marie Kondo’s trendy new take on housekeeping (i.e. get rid of it), Digital Minimalism deeply covers the topic of solitude deprivation and what our absence from silence and screen time means for our brains, our relationships, our work, and our creativity. Worse, what it’s doing to generations who were raised on technology and know no other world beyond it.
While this book will be a necessary shot in the arm of realization, you’ll discover new ways of approaching your day. New perspectives on the technology that encompasses your life (even when you don’t realize it). Ideas and anecdotes around taking that first leap to take your fingers off the smartphones and laptops, and finally break away — even if you never thought you should. Most of all, you’ll appreciate and notice nearly immediate beneficial results once you do.
This isn’t an addicts book, because that would mean you’re aware of the problem. No, this is for anyone who spends more than an hour on a smartphone, has ever wondered where the time went, scrolls through social media in the line at the grocery store, or places their cell phone on the table when at dinner or happy hour with someone important to them.
The Laws of human nature by Robert Greene
Buckle up, you’re about to become an apprentice in human nature.
If you’ve read the best-selling title, 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene, then you’re well familiar with what you might find in the pages of this textbook-sized book. If you haven’t, then I recommend you start here first.
Whereas the 48 holds a mirror up to the trickiest and most gamified human behaviors known to man, the Laws of Human Nature wraps you into a glimpse of people themselves. Diving in from an observers point of view, Greene will teach you the art of perspective like you’ve never stumbled upon before. You’ll learn quickly that the “thing isn’t about the thing” with most people, and that you’ve been misunderstanding those you work with, love and pass on the street in all the wrong ways for far too long. Best of all, you’ll learn how to identify and dismantle those who are most toxic to you — parsing out those you THOUGHT were toxic but were victims of your assumptions.
Use your new skills for good, and your relationships will improve, your business will thrive, you’ll enjoy a less emotionally stressed lifestyle, and you’ll savor all the future moments in which you get out of your own way — or help others do the same.