Revitalize Your Mind: My Q1 2023 Reading List and 1 Takeaway from 6 Inspiring Books

Gandalf Reading

Every quarter, I share my reading list, complete with lessons and insights from each book. This quarter was a little different. I moved much of my audio time (commuting, doing dishes, etc.) from podcasts back to audiobooks. Though I’ve mostly avoided audiobooks since moving to Baltimore, thanks to a short commute and ample time for my beloved physical books, life had other plans. Now, five of the six books I present to you were enjoyed through audio. I made a commitment to myself years ago that I would treat my education like the life-long job that it is; I hope you can do the same whether it is through audiobooks, physical books, or some other method.

Leave a comment below if you’ve read one of these before & what you learned from it.

Q1 2023 Reading List:

  1. Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson
  2. Atomic Habits by James Clear
  3. Building a Second Brain by Tiago Forte
  4. Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink & Leif Babin
  5. Millionaire Fast Lane by M.J. DeMarco
  6. Never Split The Difference by Chris Voss

One lesson from each:

1/ Da Vinci, like all of Isaacson’s subjects, was a fascinating character. Two traits I want to embody from Leonardo are his curiosity and his intense observation. He was acutely observant of the world around him, which enhanced his painting skills dramatically. The more observant you & I are, the more, seemingly unconnected, insights we can add to our work. Link to previous post.

2/ Atomic Habits – Our inputs shape our future thoughts, our thoughts shape our actions, our actions form habits, and repeated habits form your self-image. Manage these accordingly. Link to previous post.

3/ Building a Second Brain has had more of a direct impact on my work than any other book on this list. Applying the principles have made me so organized at work that my output has become easier. I cannot recommend this enough. Link to previous post.

4/ Extreme Ownership is one of my top 2 favorite leadership books (my other favorite is “the servant leader”). I believe working remotely has made me a much stronger manager, but has challenged my leadership skills. I’m doing my best to course correct by revisiting ideas like Jocko’s. My favorite idea: there are no bad teams, only bad leaders. I wrote about decentralized command in 2019 here.

5/ Never Split The Difference – check out how I used the principles like calibrated questions, labeling, and summaries to save money just last week. Link to post.

6/ Millionaire Fast Lane – encourages the reader to own businesses + build personal leverage to decouple time from income. If you’re interested in this topic I think “The Almanac of Naval Ravikant”, here are my favorite lessons from that book.

Gentlemen’s agreement:

Let’s make a pact – a gentlemen’s agreement, if you will. If you’ve found something useful in this post, do me the kindness of sharing it with a friend who you think would appreciate these insights. While I’ll never know if you actually do it or not, think of it as a token of gratitude for keeping this site ad-free and full of delightful wisdom. Deal? 🤝🏻

Previous year’s reading lists:

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