20 more noodles from 20 more books

Continuing the noodles from last weeks post…

21. Turning Pro – Steven Pressfield

A follow-up to the brilliant War of Art and just as kick-in-the-pants-y. This short read goes deep into what it means to be a Pro in the work we do.

Noodle: Show up consistently, do your work creatively and serve others generously.

“The sure sign of an amateur is he has a million plans and they all start tomorrow.” 

In a gif:

22. Discipline Equals Freedom – Jocko Willink 

A typically intense and no bullshit book from Jocko, the ex-Navy SEAL, about what it takes to be smarter, healthier and stronger.

Noodle: Good habits and routine are freeing, rather than crippling. They’re necessary for us to live our best life.

In a gif:

23. Win Bigly – Scott Adams

A fascinating and controversial take on how Trump used “weapons-grade persuasion” tactics to help him win the US Election.

Noodle: Humans are irrational and unique. We are capable of seeing and hearing the same thing and interpreting it differently, creating a story that fits how we see the world.

“On all the important stuff, we are emotional creatures who make decisions first and rationalize them after the fact.” 

In a gif:

24. TED talks – Chris Anderson

A practical and interesting insight into what makes the best TED talks so good and how we can learn from them to become better communicators.

Noodle: The best talks are centred around one idea and use stories to iterate and reiterate said idea.

“Your number-one mission as a speaker is to take something that matters deeply to you and to rebuild it inside the minds of your listeners.” 

In a gif:

25. Leaders Eat Last – Simon Sinek

A reread of one of my favourite books on leadership which sent me into a rabbit hole of all things Simon Sinek (not for the first time). In it, Sinek supports and digs into his ideas on leadership and creating a safe, prosperous culture using science. Specifically, the use of chemicals: Endorphins, Dopamine, Serotonin and Oxytocin and what role they play in creating culture.

Noodle: Leadership is a choice. We choose to care for, inspire and empower those around us.

In a gif:

26. Together is Better – Simon Sinek

A short illustrated book, with a message we can all get behind; together really is better.

Noodle: As leaders, you’re not responsible for doing the work, you’re responsible for the people who do the work.

In a gif:

27. Find Your Why – Simon Sinek

A very practical step by step handbook for finding your ‘why’, a companies ‘why’ and/or helping someone else find their ‘why’.

Noodle: Our Why lives within us and stories help bring it out.

In a gif:

28. When – Dan Pink

A heavily researched and scientific look at when we’re at our best physically and mentally.

Noodle: Our bodies follow a natural rhythm each day. Rather than fight it and get annoyed when we slump, we can understand the natural peaks and troughs of our day and intentionally plan around them.

In a gif:

29. Chasing Excellence – Ben Bergeron 

A look into the philosophies, ideas and processes from one of the most decorated CrossFit trainers and coaches.

Noodle: This quote says it all:

“People successful in life, in business, and in relationships are living into a process that leads to excellence; these are the people who get up early to work out, who say no to crappy food, who carve out time for learning and mindfulness.” 

In a gif:

30. Levels of the Game – John McPhee

A book that describes just one tennis match. Yep, you read that correctly. Don’t let the description deter you though, it’s a seriously compelling read.

Noodle: The best creative writing is so descriptive, captivating and vivid, you can’t help but feel like you’re in the story.

In a gif:

31. A Win Without Pitching Manifesto – Blair Enns

A handbook that presents 12 bold ideas on running a creative business that fly in the face of how most currently run theirs.

Noodle: Money is merely the means to reinvest in ourselves so that we can continue to serve others.

In a gif:

32. So Good They Can’t Ignore You – Cal Newport

Having devoured Deep Work earlier in the year, I thought I’d go back to one of Newport’s earlier books which centres around investing in yourself, constantly learning and becoming, as the title suggests, so good you can’t be ignored. Honestly, I was a little disappointed. Turning Pro, Linchpin and even A Win Without Pitching Manifesto all said it better.

Noodle: Focus on being a craftsperson. That is: focus on what you can offer the world, rather than what the world can offer you.

In a gif:

33. Difference – Bernadette Jiwa

Another from Jiwa that makes you think “of course, that’s so obvious.” She presents an easy to understand and implement one-page method for rethinking your business.

Noodle: The masses don’t want to feel like the masses. Practice empathy, and seek to understand the individual customers you seek to change.

In a gif:

34. The Art of Asking – Amanda Palmer

An honest, hilarious and, at times, confronting take on the struggle of being a creative, an artist and a human being, too afraid to ask for help.

Noodle: Asking for that help is a generous act to those that appreciate our work and want to help.

In a gif:

35. The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman

A highly recommended fictional Audiobook, narrated in Gaiman’s soothing and entertaining British accent.

Noodle: Everyone seeks belonging. Even the fictitious and dead living in a graveyard.

In a gif:

36. A Beautiful Constraint – Adam Morgan

A reread because it’s always a useful reminder to know that constraints provide opportunities. 

Noodle: There are endless applications of having “we can if…” as a default response to replace “we can’t because…”

In a gif:

37. Rising Strong – Brené Brown

I can’t help but feel like the world would be a better place if all Brené’s books were compulsory reading. This one is no exception. It’s refreshingly honest and vulnerable in the way she explores what it means to live vulnerably, be brave and rise above doubt, criticism and imposter syndrome.

Noodle: I’ll let her say it better than I can:

“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.” 

In a gif:

38. This Is Marketing – Seth Godin

A brand new book from the maestro of marketing, change and culture, Seth Godin.

Noodle: Marketing is no longer about mass change. It’s about making change happen within a small cohort of people.

“Marketing is our quest to make change on behalf of those we serve, and we do it by understanding the irrational forces that drive each of us.” 

In a gif:

39. Becoming – Michelle Obama

A refreshing, honest and insightful autobiography of the life of Michelle Obama. Get the audiobook and listen to Michelle narrate her own story for the full experience. She’s amazing… and hilarious (see the gif).

Noodle: This brutally honest advice Michelle gave to young female students of colour left me thinking: how can we create a world where this is no longer true?

“You’ll have to work twice as hard to get half as far.” 

In a gif:

40. Shoe Dog – Phil Knight

A captivating, surprising and outrageous memoir of the founder of Nike. I finished the year with a newfound admiration for Nike 50+ years on from when it was just Knight’s tiny garage full of shoes in Oregan, USA.

Noodle: Phil’s philosophy that: “Life is growth. You either grow or you die”

In a gif:

Sweet potato casserole, that covers it.

40 books done for 2018.

Bring on 2019.