Twitter Length 50 Book Wisdom

bookIn my efforts to still have a blog posted on the B&N Book Blog, I re-wrote the requested submission, but was told it still doesn’t meet their standards. No worries.

But, as to not lose the efforts involved and to provide you with the benefit, I’m posting the submission here.

What I learned from reading 50 books in 50 weeks and blogging about it, by Jeff Price (in short “twitter” form).

Beyond what my parents, friends and life’s hard knocks have taught me, almost everything I ever needed to know, I have found in books. So, one day after surveying my home office and seeing all of the books I’d bought and still had not read, I committed to reading 50 of them in 50 weeks. Then the idea came to me to blog about what I would learn during that process. The long version of the blogs are still online at, but here’s the short form.

  1. I learned that what makes our brain happy isn’t what we need to expand and become more (I can expand and become more on movie theater popcorn but I don’t think that’s what they meant). What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should do the Opposite, by David DiSalvo.
  2. I learned that happiness isn’t what you get at the end of a journey, its what makes the journey worthwhile. Happier, learn the secrets to daily joy and lasting fulfillment, by Tal Ben-Shahar.
  3. I learned that the educational system is doing a good job of eliminating what our kids need, specifically creativity and the ability to understand consequences and how failure feels. Teach Your Children Well: Parenting for Authentic Success, by Madeline Levine. 
  4. I learned that we will get out of life just about what we expect to get, so to get more, we need to change our expectations. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Carol S. Dweck.
  5. I learned that the people with influence, knowledge and personal authority can make things happen and are our true leaders – and that they are damn few. Damn Few: Making the Modern SEAL Warrior, Rorke Denver and Ellis Henican.
  6. I learned that like most pilots, we are all trying to figure out where we’re going in life and constantly making course corrections. Flight Plan: How to Achieve More, Faster than You Ever Dreamed Possible, By Brian Tracy.
  7. I learned that my home security system isn’t as effective as I thought it was (so I changed that – note to douche bags out there who may be reading this and know where I live). How to Be Safe: Protect Yourself, Your Home, Your Family, and Your Business from Crime, by Ira Lipman.
  8. I learned that the key to success in any endeavor in life is relationships. Of course I already knew that so try to have as many relations as you can (or something like that). Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time, by Ferrazzi, Keith, and Tahl Raz.
  9. I learned that technology didn’t make our lives easier, just busier, and that we all feel like we can get ahead if “I can just get organized.” This is such a strong motivator that there are thousands of books on getting organized . . . maybe I should write one too (as soon as I get around to it). Organize Your Mind, Organize Your Life: Train Your Brain to Get More Done in Less Time, by Paul Hammerness, Margaret Moore, and John Hanc. 
  10. I learned that Marilu Henner knows how to recall every second of her life and that with effort I too can relieve wonderful embarrassing moments in my own life. Thanks for reminding me I didn’t have a prom date Marilu. Total Memory Makeover: Uncover Your Past, Take Charge of Your Future, by Marilu Henner and Lorin Henner.
  11. I learned that imagination is more powerful than willpower (especially when its a chocolate chip cookie with frosting on top). Mind over Business: How to Unleash Your Business and Sales Success by Rewiring the Mind/body Connection, by Kenneth Baum and Bob Andelman.
  12. I learned that we are a nation of liars, and we usually know when we’re getting bullshitted, but we play along anyway like its some sort of game we’ve mutually agreed to play. You Can’t Lie to Me: The Revolutionary Program to Supercharge Your Inner Lie Detector and Get to the Truth, Janine Driver and Mariska Van. Aalst.
  13. I learned that not every diet program works for everyone, which is why there are 10,000 diet and exercise books out there and always room for one more. Slim for Life: My Insider Secrets to Simple, Fast, and Lasting Weight Loss, by Jillian Michaels.
  14. I learned that our kids don’t want us solving their problems and their friends are more important to them than we will ever know. Best Friends, Worst Enemies: Understanding the Social Lives of Children by Michael Thompson, Catherine O’Neill Grace, and Lawrence J. Cohen. 
  15. I learned that if you choose not to decide you still have made a choice (no, wait, I learned that from the band Rush). What I learned is that when we’re “in the zone,” we don’t actually think, we just act . . . OMAHA! How We Decide, by Jonah Lehrer.
  16. I learned that going the extra mile means traveling only a few feet, but covers lots of ground. The Fred Factor: How Passion in Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary into the Extraordinary, by Mark Sanborn.
  17. I learned that golf is more about the mental game, than the physical – no kidding, golf has made me “mental” many times over. The Mental Game of Golf: A Guide to Peak Performance, by Patrick Cohn.
  18. I learned that when you’re facing a significant problem, go do something else. Let your subconscious solve it while you go play. I always knew all my procrastination was really paying off! Imagine: How Creativity Works, by Jonah Lehrer.
  19. I learned that if you’re going through a difficult time, you should journal about it. It’s like stopping to read a map – it allows you to see the big picture. Battle Ready: Memoir of a SEAL Warrior Medic, by Donald, Mark L., and Scott Mactavish. 
  20. I learned that you have to create a safe zone for your kids; don’t abandon them – ever! It’s okay to be disappointed in them but when you shun them or let them just anguish on their own they will seek that support elsewhere. The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go out and Play, and Much More, by Bruce Feiler.
  21. I learned that people still lie – particularly when telling the truth isn’t to their advantage (and that the FBI and CIA disagree on how to spot liars). Spy the Lie: Former CIA Officers Show You How to Detect Deception by Philip Houston, Michael Floyd, Susan Carnicero and Don Tennant.
  22. I learned that you can take your kids to Disney World and avoid the pleading, crying and tantrum-throwing over buying stuff (honey stop, you’re scaring the children). The First National Bank of Dad: A Foolproof Method for Teaching Your Kids the Value of Money, by David Owen.
  23. I learned that you take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have the Facts of Life . . . and I learned that if we’re in a valley, we step back and plot for the next time we’re on a peak. Peaks and Valleys: Making Good and Bad times Work for You–at Work and in Life, by Spencer Johnson.
  24. I learned that old advice isn’t always bad advice (and sometimes it is). Bringing up Boys, James Dobson.
  25. I learned how to speak the love language of my wife (and no, you don’t get to know what that is – that’s between me, her and the NSA agent who watches my house with his micro-drone). The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, by Gary Chapman.
  26. I learned that those who better understand how our subconscious mind works are more powerful (unfortunately, I’m still trying to figure out how my conscious mind works – I can’t wait to graduate to the next level yet). The Power of Your Subconscious Mind, by Joseph Murray.
  27. I learned that we can’t control the waves, but we can influence the ride. Up, Down or Sideways: How to Succeed when times are Good, Bad and in Between, by Mark Sanborn.
  28. I learned that we have the ability to sculpt out what we want our lives to look like, by trimming away everything that we don’t want our lives to be. Kiss That Frog: 12 Great Ways to Turn Negatives into Positives in Your Life and Work, by Brian and Christina Tracy.
  29. I learned that daughters are always trying to impress their fathers and if their father is absent, either physically or emotionally, they will eventually seek that approval elsewhere – like with some “dude” who has a tattoo that says “No Ragrats” across his chest (stole that one from the movie: We’re the Millers). Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know, by Margaret Meeker.
  30. I learned that we bring our own baggage to the office and dump it on everyone else just as much as they dump theirs on us. HeadTrash!: Cleaning out the Junk That Stands between You and Success, by Tish Squillaro and Timothy I. Thomas. 
  31. I learned that most of what we do is a result of our habits, our decisions in the moment that we don’t even think about, we just do (or do not – Yoda). The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, by Charles Duhigg.
  32. I learned that professional surfers can be pretty brilliant, I mean who else can figure out how to take an activity that people have been doing for decades and turn it into a money-making business. Yes, you too can get paid to surf. Force of Nature: Mind, Body, Soul, And, of Course, Surfing, by Laird Hamilton.
  33. I learned that in the digital age, friendship and relationships still come down to pressing the flesh. Cole, Brent. How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age
  34. I learned that the best way to win a fight is to not fight (pretty sure Sun-Tzu figured that one out as well). This theory isn’t just about physical fights either – you can apply this principle in all aspects including work and relationships. Survive the Unthinkable: A Total Guide to Women’s Self-protection, by Tim Larkin.
  35. I learned that if you don’t understand the power and influence of social media, you’re on your way to cultural extinction. Promote Yourself: The New Rules for Career Success by Dan Schawbel.
  36. I learned that a checklist shouldn’t have everything on it – just the stuff you usually forget. The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right, by Atul Gawande.
  37. I learned that most of what we don’t get in life is because we are held back by fear; when we do get something its because we’ve overcome that fear. Feel the Fear — and Do It Anyway Dynamic Techniques for Turning Fear, Indecision, and Anger into Power, Action, and Love by Susan Jeffers.
  38. I learned that we should focus on what our kids want to become, rather than focusing on their weaknesses. Advice works for adults too. Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath.
  39. I learned that by narrowing our scope, we actually get more done (now I just need to figure out how to narrow my scope and still bill my clients). The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan.
  40. I learned that generations still don’t “get” each other, but that these damn millennials may be a whole lot smarter than we think. The Year without Pants: and the Future of Work, by Scott Berkun.
  41. I learned that Martha Quinn is still awesome because she responded to my tweets (and she’s still hot). VJ: The Unplugged Adventures of MTV’s First Wave, by Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, Martha Quinn, and Gavin Edwards.
  42. I learned that you have to take control of what you pay attention to. Happily Ever After: The Life-changing Power of a Grateful Heart, by Trista Sutter.
  43. I learned that for whatever you want to do, you must also enjoy the process, not just the reward. An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, by Chris Hadfield.
  44. I learned that the world owes you nothing – you have to go get it. Gunny’s Rules: How to Get Squared Away like a Marine by R. Lee Ermey and Lamar Underwood.
  45. I learned that the most important decision in your life is selecting your mate. The Trident: The Forging and Reforging of a Navy SEAL Leader, by Jason Redman and John R. Bruning.
  46. I learned that Facebook has killed the high school reunion. Dot Complicated: Untangling Our Wired Lives, by Randi Zuckerberg.
  47. I learned that even though we’re living at the most amazing time in the history of mankind, we’re still unhappy – and it’s our fault. The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living, by Russ Harris.
  48. I learned that going beyond what’s expected gives us just as much as it gives others, if not more. Fred 2.0: New Ideas on How to Keep Delivering Extraordinary Results, by Mark Sanborn.
  49. I learned that friends are the benefit. Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements, by Tom Rath and James K. Harter.
  50. I learned that resiliency can lead to a lifetime of cherished memories for generations to come. Walt Disney: An American Original by Bob Thomas.

That’s what I learned by reading 50 books in 50 weeks and blogging about it. And I still have 50 unread books on my shelf.


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