If you could go back/forward and give your 21, 29, 45, and 77 year old selves a book, then what would it be?

Your favorite books and links
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jacob
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If you could go back/forward and give your 21, 29, 45, and 77 year old selves a book, then what would it be?

Post by jacob » Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:30 pm

In a very interesting thread, people listed what books they would have wanted to give their 17 year old self.

Since several explicitly or implicitly indicated the sentiment that their 17 year old self wouldn't have been ready to read certain books, lets repeat the exercise for different ages. You can send books into the past as well as into the future.

Me?

21: RDPD Cash flow because with my [Danish] background the idea of making a living as anything other than a salary man living paycheck to paycheck taking advantage of an eminent social security network was unthinkable. I think other cultures, especially English-speaking ones, are more attuned to the idea of investing for a living making this book void/obvious, but I certainly wasn't. It might also have broken my snooty academic disregard for anything related to making money. Also, http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0310368 to make me less naive about my dream study.

29: Disciplined minds mainly to make me realize that there are other viable careers than whatever your academic environment tells you. Also Derman's autobiography because his story more or less parallels my own in terms of choices if not outcomes.

45: A collection of poetry in the hopes that future me might have gained an appreciation for this form of literature that was utterly destroyed during my K-12 years.

77: The ERE book in order to verify/validate whether I was just a dumbass in my early 30s.

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Re: If you could go back/forward and give your 21, 29, 45, and 77 year old selves a book, then what would it be?

Post by Dragline » Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:05 pm

Shooting from the hip, as I am wont to do:

21: "So Good They Can't Ignore You" by Cal Newport, because it tells you how to get started in the job world.

29: "Emotional Vampires" (Bernstein) and/or "The Sociopath Next Door" (Stout), because they tell you how to survive the job world and remind you that you probably are not the one who is crazy.

45: "Self Reliance and Other Essays" (Emerson), because it reminds you what is really important. Runners up: "Thinking Fast and Slow" (D. Kahneman); "Evolution and Conversion" (R. Girard); and "The Fractalist" (B. Mandelbrot), because they explain how the world operates, but you probably won't believe them when you are younger.

77: "The Little Prince" (Saint-Exupery), or maybe "Goodnight Moon" (M.W. Brown), to remind me to slow down.

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Re: If you could go back/forward and give your 21, 29, 45, and 77 year old selves a book, then what would it be?

Post by jacob » Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:21 pm

@Dragline - Tragically and interestingly, applying Cal Newport to hard science academic careers, it increases the risk of exactly what Disciplined Minds warns about. IOW, a lot of freshly minted PhDs have a tradition of spending years trying to be so good they can't ignore you only to see 90% of them fail, often for [political] reasons that aren't about being technically or creatively brilliant i.e. "good". If I look back at my cohort, it wasn't always the "good" people who eventually succeeded. It was quite often the people who were in the right place at the right time or the the people who spent more time on the political/award game that those who spent their time on getting better. The Newport book would be on my ban-list of things to send back.

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Re: If you could go back/forward and give your 21, 29, 45, and 77 year old selves a book, then what would it be?

Post by Dragline » Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:35 pm

That's interesting. I did not go into academia, so I can't speak for that world, but I don't doubt what you say.

Although Newport is an academic, I think his advice is better for the workaday world. I found that the related skills I developed on the side of my job/career were eventually what propelled it upward, because I had developed skills that my peers lacked and was more ready when certain opportunities arose.

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Re: If you could go back/forward and give your 21, 29, 45, and 77 year old selves a book, then what would it be?

Post by 1taskaday » Wed Jan 27, 2016 6:02 pm

21years :Quiet The power of introverts ...

29years :Not buying it. Judith Levine.I'd be a millionaire-ess if I had read and heeded this at this age.Also "Who would you be without your story?"by Byron Katie would have saved me years of angst and needless suffering.

45 years:Retirement A memoir and guide by Boyd Lemon.I love this book and listen to it constantly,it always cheers me up.

77 years:A new dynamic yoga/pilates book which will just be released and I'll be excited to try out.Because I'll feel like a 30year old...

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Re: If you could go back/forward and give your 21, 29, 45, and 77 year old selves a book, then what would it be?

Post by Stahlmann » Sun Dec 25, 2016 7:13 am

Bump. Looking for advice from older folks (mainly 30+ horde). I hope you are educated and willing to share it :P

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Re: If you could go back/forward and give your 21, 29, 45, and 77 year old selves a book, then what would it be?

Post by J_ » Sun Dec 25, 2016 5:23 pm

How not to die by M. Greger at 21 or 29
The Ere book at 29 or 21
The book of life by Alain de Botton e.o ( see www. the school of life) at 45
Antifragile by Nassim Taleb at 77 to reread and learn even more from it.

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Re: If you could go back/forward and give your 21, 29, 45, and 77 year old selves a book, then what would it be?

Post by James_0011 » Sun Dec 25, 2016 8:34 pm

@jacob

How did you get over your 'snooty academic disregard" for making money? Still dealing with that one myself, and kicking myself for it...

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Re: If you could go back/forward and give your 21, 29, 45, and 77 year old selves a book, then what would it be?

Post by Stahlmann » Thu May 25, 2017 6:14 am

My question is dedicated to books for people around 20-30 years old.

Is there any interesting book which describes how to surive in work office (/office politics) if I am hardcore loner and do not like any kind pressure (but somehow I need to earn money)?

I have got this non-talent in terms of being able to respond with good tooper.
I am not good actor either.

I need practical actionable steps. Will I find help there?
https://www.amazon.com/Disciplined-Mind ... 0742516857


Any other aspects which should I look into if I am not likeable, do not have interest in going up in the ladder (rather do not have any talents to do so :lol: ), do not care about clothes, cars, showing off my boosted performance?

I do not kowi if I should post it in Gervais principle topic.

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Re: If you could go back/forward and give your 21, 29, 45, and 77 year old selves a book, then what would it be?

Post by ThisDinosaur » Thu May 25, 2017 7:03 am

@Stahlmann
I read "Difficult Conversations" recently. I recommend it. If you have to interact with people, but find emotional drama cumbersome, this book teaches you a good approach to handle that. I kind of make a game of it. Like, can I use these tools to chill someone out who has it in for me.

As for the OP question, I'd give myself the ERE book as early as possible. I read YMOL before I was 21, and it didn't really do anything for me. I read Rich Dad Poor Dad in my 20s, and was both annoyed by the repetitive writing, and inspired by the central idea(spend money on income producing assets instead of stuff). But I couldn't figure out how to apply it.

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Re: If you could go back/forward and give your 21, 29, 45, and 77 year old selves a book, then what would it be?

Post by Loner » Thu May 25, 2017 11:26 am

@Stahlmann

I don’t know any book on this particular topic, but the The Art of Charm podcast might help. These books as well.

The 48 Laws of Power
[Of importance here:
Law 3 - Conceal your Intentions;
Law 4 - Always Say Less than Necessary;
Law 38 - Think as you like but Behave like others.]
The Art of Worldly Wisdom
How to Win Friends and Influence People
Power - Jeffrey Pfeffer
Moral Mazes

They’ll teach you how to interact with people so as to get what you want.

I think you will achieve your goal (survive and earn money) if you avoid being unpleasant or awkward but do some good work, even if you’re a loner. People won’t positively enjoy working with you, but unless you give them reasons to dislike you, well, they won’t. I don't think the strategic and power games aspect of work is important if you aren't in careerism, though it helps in terms of maximising you impact per fixed amount of effort given. I think that the interpersonal aspect is more important in your case. So look for advice on how to avoid making negative impressions on people. Smile. Do the work right, on time. Don't insult people explicitly (I think your idea is shit), or implicitly (I do this thing the ERE way, which is different from the way you do it). Nobody likes to feel like a dumbass. So if you need to challenge someone's idea for some reason, tell them how good their idea is, and then suggest something else. "This is a good idea. Doing this might even be better." Don't say "[...] but doing this might be better". It makes all the difference, like saying "I love you, but," or "I'm totally not a bigoted racist fuck, but". Do compliment people. To keep it honest and unsleazy, do it only when you believe it. Read about body language. Be open, literally, as in don't have arms covering your front in any way (arms crossed in front of your chest, arms in front of your chest holding the other arm, arms hanging in front of you, hands covering your crotch). It makes you look defensive and awkward. Practice it. You come across as likeable here, so there's no reason you can't do it IRL. For some people, shy/awkward even has an appeal.

Remember that social interactions is something you can learn, like integrals, programming and drawing. Practice one thing at a time, for a week (talking to someone with arms by your sides, instead of crossed in front of you, or whatever.)

Disciplined Minds will help you understand that education is not only about the acquisition of productive [for you] human capital, but also a system for filtering people by, or giving them, the right frame of mind to be "good workers". I'm not sure it will be of much help, though. Mayba a bit to keep your independent thought.

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Re: If you could go back/forward and give your 21, 29, 45, and 77 year old selves a book, then what would it be?

Post by Stahlmann » Thu May 25, 2017 11:50 am

Loner wrote:
Thu May 25, 2017 11:26 am
...whole post...
Your nickname is very interesting :D
I am very low (on whole) on this immortal trifecta of workplace.
1. Be likeable, 2. Be agreeable, 3. Be competent
I am thinking what I can change the fastest and be happy about that.
I tend to score as INTP... but it is possible to have that classification and not enjoy ,,a bit harder" math/physics.

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Re: If you could go back/forward and give your 21, 29, 45, and 77 year old selves a book, then what would it be?

Post by Campitor » Thu May 25, 2017 12:06 pm

At 21

1) Why Zebras don't get Ulcers - Robert M. Sapolsky
2) Deep Focus - Cal Newport
3) How Not to Be Wrong: The power of mathematical thinking - Jordan Ellenberg
4) Seneca and Marcus Aurelius
5) All of Dr. Greger's blog posts and book on not dying.
6) Every book on ERE/FI
7) Every book/article on mental models

Every age past 21: Rinse and repeat bullet# 6 & 7 so I can blow up on the Wheaton ERE/FI scale and challenge Jacob for the ERE heavy weight championship belt. j/k ;)

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Re: If you could go back/forward and give your 21, 29, 45, and 77 year old selves a book, then what would it be?

Post by Stahlmann » Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:03 pm

ThisDinosaur wrote:
Thu May 25, 2017 7:03 am
@Stahlmann
I read "Difficult Conversations" recently. I recommend it. If you have to interact with people, but find emotional drama cumbersome, this book teaches you a good approach to handle that. I kind of make a game of it. Like, can I use these tools to chill someone out who has it in for me.
..
Ok, there was also book [recommended here somewhere] about "stoping the bullying [or jerk] in the work place". It was advertised in this very American way: ,, I am very clever guy from prestigous university and here is my 101 course which will solve your
[all] problems".

Can anyone share the title of it?

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Re: If you could go back/forward and give your 21, 29, 45, and 77 year old selves a book, then what would it be?

Post by DSKla » Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:35 pm

21: ERE
29: Meditations, Marcus Aurelius

And here it gets tough, because I am presumably assigning myself a book I read at a younger age. Assuming I didn't read it? Or rereading it? Or a stab in the dark?

45: Collected Fictions, Borges. In Spanish. To make myself become fluent enough to read it in the original.
77: Meditations, Marcus Aurelius

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Re: If you could go back/forward and give your 21, 29, 45, and 77 year old selves a book, then what would it be?

Post by Farm_or » Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:14 am

21: ERE, The Millionaire Next Door
29: The Sin of Wages
45:? Too close to that milestone.
71: Don't want to presume that I know what I should know then. Probably listen to some folks that age a little more and closer?

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Re: If you could go back/forward and give your 21, 29, 45, and 77 year old selves a book, then what would it be?

Post by OTCW » Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:57 am

21 - Incognito, The Secret Life of the Brain
29 - Something on office politics would have been useful here. Not sure what, but looking back, this is right when I went from a company of less than 10 to a company with nearly a thousand.
45 - Just over a month away, I'll have to figure this one out.
77 - Drive - The Surprising Truth about what Motivates Us

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Re: If you could go back/forward and give your 21, 29, 45, and 77 year old selves a book, then what would it be?

Post by Lillailler » Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:56 am

OTCW wrote:
Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:57 am
Something on office politics would have been useful here.
My favourite book on office politics is "The Way of the Rat" by Joep P. M. Schrijvers
Being naturally focussed on things and difficult technical problems I was for a long time blind to Office Politics. You actually have to know something of the game if you want to stay out of the game since "You may not care about Office Politics but Office Politics cares about you".

Schrijvers's worldly cynicism was a real eye-opener to me.

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Re: If you could go back/forward and give your 21, 29, 45, and 77 year old selves a book, then what would it be?

Post by rref » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:06 pm

21 >>
Fisker: Early Retirement Extreme
Fisher & Ury: Getting to Yes
the Iliad (audio)

29 >>
Epictetus: Enchiridion

45 >>
a massive World History

77 >>
the Bible

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Re: If you could go back/forward and give your 21, 29, 45, and 77 year old selves a book, then what would it be?

Post by Dream of Freedom » Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:07 pm

13 elements of wit by Errett

21 The Single Best Investment: Creating Wealth with Dividend Growth by Lowell Miller

29 getting unstuck by Pema Chodron

45 ;) I am not sure of what I should read more than a decade from now.

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Re: If you could go back/forward and give your 21, 29, 45, and 77 year old selves a book, then what would it be?

Post by OTCW » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:42 pm

Lillailler wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:56 am
OTCW wrote:
Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:57 am
Something on office politics would have been useful here.
My favourite book on office politics is "The Way of the Rat" by Joep P. M. Schrijvers
Being naturally focussed on things and difficult technical problems I was for a long time blind to Office Politics. You actually have to know something of the game if you want to stay out of the game since "You may not care about Office Politics but Office Politics cares about you".

Schrijvers's worldly cynicism was a real eye-opener to me.
Thanks. I'll check it out for curiosity sake, but I've pretty well checked out of office politics. I'm at an office of 5 now, and if that doesn't work out my next step is to go solo.

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Re: If you could go back/forward and give your 21, 29, 45, and 77 year old selves a book, then what would it be?

Post by stand@desk » Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:19 pm

21- The Normal Personality by Steven Reiss. I think people need to learn about social psychology and how the world works at this age, lose some of their idealism and develop their rationality. Second place would be a basic DIY investing book.
29-I'll second the Taleb Antifragility book. Learn resiliency. Learn that the goal is self preservation instead of taking on the wrong kinds of risk and blowing up.
45-What makes Olga Run, Bruce Grierson. Learning about physical longevity and masters athletics. How to re-find yourself in these ages and beyond.
77-Books that deal with philosophy that prepare you for the concept of death and dying. How to leave the legacy you want and how not to leave a ton of baggage for your estate.

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