Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Magic of Books

Some days ago my sister asked in one of her blogposts whether books are able to change our lives or not. At first I just wanted to drop a short line but then I figured out that the topic deserves more then just s short line.

On the long run our experiences and thoughts make us who and what we are. Though reading books can influence us in different ways. If you read e.g. novels for relaxation purposes you will be a less tempted to burn out then a person who doesn't use any relaxation technique at all. On the other hand all the information that we read can also blow up our mind and make us feel uncomfortable. To cut the argumentation here: yes I believe that books can influence us as well as any other media.
I do not believe that books can change our lives that would be far too esoteric for my taste but they can inspire us or give us input to think differently then before.
I compiled a short list of books that inspired me or that made me understand certain topics better.

I learned a lot from this one. It's boring to read if you have nobody to tell you where to find the funniest laws. My biggest learning outcome: law has nothing to do with justice and there is no bigger sense behind the whole construction besides that you need to now where the boundaries are.
Thus living a law-conform life is all about knowing the most important ones and setting limits for own and creative interpretations (e.g. accepting the 15€ fine for driving 20 km/h too fast).

The four hour work week
Being successful has nothing to do with working a lot if you find a system that suits your purposes. The real challenge is to find and build that system. My biggest learning outcome of this one: take the advantage of outsourcing if you can make more money during the time you used to spend with the outsourced task or if you can use the time for more important things. I kind of outsourced two things, the first one was cleaning the second one was shopping vegetables. I hated cleaning the house after a long week at work so did Andreas, to erase the item from our weekend agenda we hired someone. The veggies are delivered once a week from an organic farmer who lives close to us. Both is definitively a win-win situation.
Outsourcing can also create stress and can be less helpful then planned. I tried to outsource information gathering to a well know personal assistant company in India but wasn't satisfied with the outcome.

Let my people go surfing
Nice book about companies that handle their business differently from what I've come to see until now.

Getting things done
When I tried to make my live more efficient that book was something like a Bible for me. It describes a technique to organize your stuff and your tasks. To be honest it works but you need to be seriously disciplined. I sometimes use techniques I learned from this book when I feel overwhelmed by projects etc.

Magnetyzm serca (Der Herzmagnet)
At the beginning I thought the book would be quite esoteric but it's just the imagery used by the author. The author is a psychologist and coach so the book is mend to be an explaining self help book. The basic principles are:

  • nothing in the world happens without a reason
  • we kind of air a part of our personality, wishes, fears and emotions constantly which attracts people and situations
  • we can change what we attract when we change our mindset/ emotions

In general the author wants us to accept and love our life and us exactly as it is to create a positive mindset. Since we alway see what we want to see life should become brighter and better by expecting the best ;).
I loved the examples in the book and could link some of the examples directly to my life, or to the lives of loved ones.

Kristendom för Ateister
When I bought the book in Sweden I thought it would explain the christian believe system to people who aren't christian but I was badly wrong about that. It basically explains that there  are no atheists in the world and that everybody believes in something. I'm proud of me that I made it half through the book although I just started learning Swedish apart from that I cannot recommend it. The structure is weird and I still don't know what the author wants to convince me of. Maybe I'll find it out in the second half of the book.