Today is 29.12.2020 there are 2 days left in the year; a lot has happened this year. I consider it a great success to have survived 2020, it is an year laden with deep lessons. Lessons on fragility, humility and more so gratitude. I had big bold hairy plans, most went into abeyance, a few stuttered and died off and a tiny minority showed up at the finish line battered, weathered but still hanging on. I hit the bull’s eye on blogging and reading (40 and 20 respectively). Every book I read was a lesson at the feet of an eminently qualified, highly respected teacher. I have a few that I hope you will love. This is not a book review, only a recommendation.
Atomic Habits – James Clear.
James Clear suffered a serious injury and slowly regained use of his limbs through small, repeated tasks. This experience triggered a life obsession on finding out if his medical recovery journey could be replicated elsewhere in life. This book is about harnessing the benefit of time, making time your ally, taking decisions that elect the man you want to be. Will power alone is not enough to drive you to the results you desire, you need something else, that something else is habits. The central theme in this book is that tiny minute habits when repeatedly done have the power to build new neural networks in your brain so that you achieve the mental strength necessary for goals achievement. Every new year tons of resolutions are made, suffice is to say that very few survive beyond the first days. This book is sharp, quotable, and clarifying, you will learn how to make your resolutions come to life. Highly recommended to anyone about to make a resolution.
Everything under the heavens – Howard French.
The rise of a wriggly, nightmarish, China has been awe inspiring, but what is lost to many is that China was always a big power until the opium wars and the century that followed. The central kingdom thrived on tributary arrangements, there cannot be two centres of power, you had to pay obeisance to the emperor. The rising china is mirroring the old central kingdom, everything under the heavens belongs to the son of the gods (tian xia). This book is eye opening and should be a mandatory reading requirement for especially African diplomats and government bureaucrats – we would be much wiser understanding the Chinese power DNA and why we are so suck into their ephemeral debt snare.
Paul – John Macarthur
Saul of Tarsus (Paul) a respected well read rabbi educated at the feet of Gamaliel the elder is the man credited for spreading Christianity from its cradle to the outer reaches of the Roman empire. Paul’s writings (the epistles) are a wall to wall argument on the doctrine of sola fide (faith alone) meaning man can only be redeemed of his burdens by faith alone and not by any good deeds. Paul’s sola fide doctrine dismisses any other thought on human redemption as rankest rubbish, depraved ideas. The bearers of such an idea would be dismissed as charlatans, layabouts or wiseacres. It is this doctrine that would later lead to the church reformation. If you love a good debate, a public lecture whose core is sound legalese and have a contrite heart to know when to stop the push and surrender, then you will definitely love this book.
Five levels of leadership – John Maxwell.
John is a titan in leadership coaching, few can come closer. This book is about leadership progression in five strata, its about evolution in ones leading capability through a deliberate curation of skills. I enjoyed this book because I had practical real life inputs from the fellowship of the Men’s book breakfast club contributing to these great lessons. This book is for everyone that desires to lead. Remember to lead is not the same as to have a title.
In pursuit – Chukuka Chukuma and Osaretin Oswald
A story of life’s journeys through entrepreneurship in Africa and the shocks that await. The vulnerability, the loneliness, the vacuum, the heartaches, the unending pain. Now couple that with the most enduring human spirit to thread something worth a legacy, a shining beacon of decency, standards, morality and ethics. This book is about slow weaving progress through a murky marketplace where bureaucrats are so abstracted to appreciate everyday business needs, rearing their hydra heads for tax collection only. The big lesson here is that there are no overnight millionaires, ethical businesses take time to grow and reach fruition. This book is a subtle reminder to every entrepreneur that in all the turbulence and ambiguity, they are not alone. There are many out there only the stories are yet to be told. Presented with loads of banter and sprinkled with pidgin english, this book is refreshingly entertaining while delivering lessons they don’t teach at Harvard, it is especially a recommended reading for anyone practising or aspiring entrepreneurship.
Bed of Procrustes – Nassim Nicholas Taleb
You now know that my favourite risk management teacher is NNT, you also know that he does not suffer fools gladly and I like him very much for that. My favourite teacher is age mellowed with poise, erudition, and wisdom. A fine thinker. NNT enjoys flaneuring, it is from his societal observations that he wrote his aphorisms. These sagacious observations will evoke deep thoughts, most things are not as they seem. This is a book to be enjoyed slowly over time, it is a pocket size and a good companion away from everyday madness. Highly recommended to those that seek insights.
Now to close the year I am yet again reminded that I have never met a plumber who does it right first time, it is a profession begging to be adopted. Whoever will master this craft will have a good name to themselves and good mulla to boot.
Happy new year folks.