Conquer Yourself: A Conclusion to the Series…
First, listen to this:
——— Online Resources ———
Simpleology.com w/ Mark Joyner: I first came across this in 2007 – a great productivity training course with simple daily exercises and quick videos all focused on “the simple science of getting what you want.” They’ve definitely stepped their game up since back then, so do yourself a favor and take a second to check them out now…
Productive Flourishing w/ Charlie Gilkey: a blog that’s “all about the science and art of meaningful action.” Just trust me when I say this brother has a lot of knowledge under his belt…his blog will help you demystify the creative process, understand entrepreneurship in this digital age and much, much more…
Zen Habits w/ Leo Babauta: Another site on “Simple Productivity,” Leo leans more towards the philosophical side. One of the most famous blogs on the internet right now for a good reason: his short but deep posts always give you something to think on WITHOUT taking up your time…
43 Folders w/ Merlin Mann: You’ll see a great video from this guy below, but here’s a link to one of his blogs, a website all about “finding the time and attention necessary to do your best creative work.” His information is great, but I also appreciate the technological, geeky dimension he brings to the table…
The 5 Pillars of Self Discipline by Steve Pavlina: Another great read I stumbled upon while doing some initial youtube research. I really like this guy’s writing style, and this articles always link to a bunch of other dope reads…
4 Steps to Raise Your Productivity & Consistently Get More Out Of Yourself (pt. 1) by yours truly: This was the first post I ever did strictly on productivity, right at the turn of the new year…in my mind, I knew a lot of people would be looking to set 2010 off right, so I decided to go with this concept of personal effectiveness. This post covers some of the most powerful ideas I came across all in one writing. Catch pt. 2 here…
Wake Up Productive w/ Eben Pagan: One of my favorite teachers online right now – what I really like about this guy is that he does mostly video training instead of the typical, boring written word. You’ll see one of his videos below, but check his blog for more…they’re really good. (Most go so in depth that they end up being kind of long though. For shorter clips, check the youtube channel…
——— Recommended Scrolls ———
Ready for Anything by David Allen:
David Allen is famous in the “productivity-for-business” world, primarily for his GTD (Getting Things Done) system, or what he refers to as “advanced common sense” which, unfortunately, isn’t too common.
Although he premiered with an earlier book called “Getting Things Done,” I prefer this follow up read for two key reasons:
1) It’s lightweight: the ideas are organized into concept-based sections and then broken down into sub-chapters themselves, so the book is literally meant to be read no more than 2 or 3 pages at a time while still providing you with some deep insight to take towards your work.
2) It’s philosophical: rather then simply explain the process of GTD (which he does do in the appendix), Allen gives you the fundamental understandings that make GTD work to begin with, and then from there, you can apply those fundamentals in a wide variety of ways.
You’ll also see some of David Allen in the video section below: this guy knows what he’s talking about…
The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination & Enjoying Guilt-Free Play by Niel Fiore:
This book is the most referenced throughout the Conquer Yourself series, and for good reason – Niel Fiore is the first guy I’ve seen to really go in-depth about the psychology behind procrastination.
Much of the productivity-based material you’ll find out there is really based on external systems: on getting you to change how you handle your work, your responsibilities and your goals. It’s all based on the assumption that you’re procrastination is caused by what you’re doing physically.
The Now Habit however is based on a deeper psychological approach: it points out that procrastination, indecisiveness and other related behaviors are based on things such as (but not limited to):
- a fear of failure,
- a fear of success,
- a fear of criticism (hence the perfectionism which IS procrastination),
- a false notion that work will prevent you from having fun and enjoying life,
- a need to exert your independence (because you feel forced by an authority to do some task: pay bills, finish your homework, etc.), and
- other things along those lines…
So procrastination is really a coping mechanism to deal with those deeper level issues, and this book will give you tools and methods to approach it from that context…
Find Your Focus Zone: An Effective New Plan to Defeat Distraction & Overload by Lucy Jo Palladino, PhD:
Still haven’t finished this one yet (I’m on chapter 6 as I write this now), but it’s definitely been sharp so far…
Remember those focus zone graphs that we used to help illustrate how to maintain a state of flow while you work? That’s all from here – this book is what introduced me to the concept of “attention-management” and how orient yourself in ways to stay focused at will.
So far, I like how she organizes her material: the skills to help you stay focused (like strategically planning how you multitask) are broken down into 8 separate keychains, or approaches, with each keychain having 3 keys, or actual methods. From there, the book goes on to describe how to handle distraction and technology in this digital age, how to teach children to be more attentive, and more….
The Power of Concentration by Theron Q. Dumont (aka Yogi Ramacharakai, William Walker Atkinson, Theodore Sheldon or Magnus Incognitus):
This is a classic from what’s known as The New Thought Movement…basically, writers and teachers from the early 1900′s who were writing about “The Secret” and “The Law of Attraction” waaaay before it was a multi-million dollar industry…
I mention this book at almost every chance I get because even though it was written way back in 1918, the knowledge still speaks to us in this day age (perhaps more then ever). I’ll just read off some of the chapter titles to give you an idea:
“Self Mastery: The Self-Directing Power of Concentration,”
“Concentration the Silent Force that Produces Results in all Business,”
“How Concentration Links All Humanity Together,”
“Concentration Gives Mental Poise,”
“Concentrate on Courage”
“Concentration Overcomes Bad Habits,”
“The Art of Concentration by Means of Practical Exercises,”
and much, much more…
As a general rule, our entire world is suffering from a chronic case of attention-deficit disorder, but this book will help make you the exception.
Best of all…IT’S FREE. Click here to get your hands on a copy now.
Simpleology: The Simple Science of Getting What You Want by Mark Joyner:
This book fully explains the principles behind that first website I shared earlier. Here, Mark Joyner goes in depth with tons of examples, cartoon illustrations and everything else you need to help understand the process behind why simpleology works and implement it into your own life…
It’s really a funny read with all of the cartoons, analogies and anecdotes, and I also really enjoyed the part where he talks about logical fallacies, which is really what the entire book is about. Simpleology will teach you exactly how faulty thinking is ingrained in our culture, how the society we live in is not much different then an insane asylum (which we just don’t notice because its so normal), and what you can do to set yourself free.
Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai by Yamamoto Tsunetomo:
As you already know, the Conquer Yourself series was inspired by the principles of Japanese samurai – the type of symbolic values they embody and the level of discipline, dedication, honor, etc. that comes to mind when you think about them (I blogged about a few weeks back in this cool article called The 7 Virtues of Bushido).
Now one of the best literary works I’ve come across about the samurai mentality is “The Hagakure,” which I mentioned in Session 7 of the series saying:
Yamamoto Tsunetomo is a Japanese samurai from the early 1700′s known for the wisdom contained in Hagakure (pronounced “Ha-Ga-Koo-Ray,” which translates as “In the Shadow of Leaves).
In it, Tsunetomo tells us that becoming one with death in one’s thoughts, even in life, was the highest attainment of purity and focus. He felt that a resolution to die gives rise to a higher state of life, infused with beauty and grace beyond the reach of those concerned with self-preservation.
“The word gen means “illusion” or “apparition.” In India, a man who uses conjury (magic) is called a genjutsushi (a master of illusion technique). Everything in this world is but a marionette show. Thus we use the word gen.” “People think that they can clear up profound matters if they consider them deeply, but they exercise perverse thoughts and come to no good because they do their reflecting with only self-interest at the center.”
“In the words of the ancients, one should make his decisions within the space of seven breaths. It is a matter of being determined and having the spirit to break through to the other side…”
And, best of all, just like “The Power of Concentration,” this one comes free. Check it out here
——— Video Archive ———
Eben Pagan on “How to Set Goals & Accomplish Them”
David Allen on “Getting Things Done”
Merlin Mann on “Inbox Zero”
Julie Morganstern on the concept of “Shedding”
and Napolean Hill on “Personal Initiative”
Contact me for any questions
“There comes a time in life when man realizes that the external world is no longer interesting and does not give him peace of mind and happiness. He understands that there is something more to life and starts analyzing himself or starts looking within. This is the beginning to conquering himself…”