How to Become an Avid Reader: Increase Your Brain Power By 1000%

Screen Shot 2013-11-28 at 11.45.27 PMWhatup!

Just getting back from Thanksgiving dinner with the extended family, thought I’d make a quick video on a new “ritual” I’ve been doing for the last few months that LITERALLY increased my brain power what feels like 1000%.

I learned it from modeling some of the most successful people I’ve met, and it’s just had such a large impact on my life, I’m hoping it can do the same for you.

Check out the vid, and then I’ll get into my book list below:

Yep!

Hope you enjoyed those quick tips. As I mentioned in the vid, it seems a bit simple, but so does going to the gym 3 times a week, and people don’t do that either.

So make an effort, and MAKE READING AWESOME BOOKS MANDATORY!

Alright, so here are the 3 top books I’d choose in each category currently:

Self Development
1. 6 Pillars of Self Esteem
2. The Big Leap
3. Spiritual Enlightenment The Damnedest Thing

Business
1. E Myth Revisited
2. Good to Great
3. Scientific Advertising/My Life in Advertising

Biographies
1. Benjamin Franklin
2. Steve Jobs
3. Richard Branson

All of these are awesome books, all highly recommended!

Not like the top 3 of all time or anything, but definitely worth putting at the top of your reading lists.

Hope you enjoy the selection! Definitely comment below if you have any biographies or other books that you really liked, I’m always looking for more!

Book Review: The 50th Law by Robert Greene

Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 11.00.28 PMWhatup!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a book review, and this is one of the better ones I’ve read in a while.

Get it now!

The 50th Law by Robert Greene

I’ve heard Owen talk about this book before, but mostly in passing, while I think it is an essential to any Self Development Library.

Just straight sick.

Initially I was somewhat apprehensive, because I didn’t really care for 50 cent much, and didn’t know what I could learn from a street hustler turned rapper.

But 50 is really just a muse for Robert Greene, who uses his story as a jumping off point, using examples of Napoleon, to Miles Davis and Malcolm X.

It really was the final nail in the coffin for me when it came to “working for someone else,” as 50 states that any time you work as an employee, you are dependent on your employer for your sustenance.

On some level, this is always going to be a hit to your self esteem, as the goal of any self actualized being is full autonomy and self responsibility.

There’s also a nice section on “the positive reframe,” how to turn any situation into something beneficial.

And it even gets into the whole nihilistic “we’re all going to die anyway, what do you have to be afraid of” type of stuff, which I loved how it intertwined into solid business advice, and ultimately a better way to view reality and take on more risk.

Stand up book, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Again, here’s the amazon link:  The 50th Law by Robert Greene

Let me know what you think!

Will Power: A New Definition and How to Harness It

Greetings peeps!

I’ve been a bit off the grid the last few weeks, though working hard, and gaining lots of new insights.

I went on a road trip across the US, and spending 60 some hours with one of my good buddies, listening to audiobooks, and discoursing about all things related to life, it was a high growth period.

That said, one of the audiobooks we popped in was a great book that my friend Mike recommended, Think Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman.

I haven’t even finished it yet, but it has a lot of great ideas related to the decision making process, and how humans come to different conclusions, definitely worth checking out…

Intuitive vs. Cognitive Decisions

With this decision making process, Kahneman explains the distinction between intuitive decisions, and cognitive ones.

The intuitive decisions we make are impulsive, quick and spur of the moment, using only intuition, as opposed to cognitive decisions which are thought out, utilizing pro con analyses, and deeper thoughts to come to the proper conclusion.

Cognitive decisions take mental effort, and in the book he gives examples such as multiplying double digit numbers together in your head (ex: 24X35) and how it takes ENERGY to compute the answer.

As with any energy intensive exercise, whether mental or physical, your body is conditioned to only handle so much, and as you spend more effort, your cognitive decision making process wains, and you fall prey to intuitive/impulsive decisions.

This is why if you are deeply immersed in studying for a final exam, you are more likely to fall to impulses of eating unhealthy food. You’ve already diverted so much effort towards studying, you have no extra cognitive energy to sum up the will power to choose the water over the sugary soda.

Will Power is a Sign of Intelligence

Kahneman directly relates someone’s ability to use this cognitive thinking process to intelligence, and with this distinction you can easily bridge the gap between your ability to make cognitive decisions in times of stress, i.e. your level of willpower, to how smart you are as a person.

And coming from the extreme self love, high self esteem camp, I’m in no inclination to admit a lack of intelligence.

So it creates another motivational reframe NOT to indulge in impulses that go against your life values.

Even if you are completely spent, working hard all day, toiling through complex business problems, or social interactions, when that time comes to order dinner, and you see the bread on the table, think to yourself…

“How stupid am I? Am I really going to admit to myself that I can’t even decide to not eat that piece of bread?”

“If I can’t even deny myself a piece of bread, how am I going to trust my faculties to approach that girl at the club later tonight, or fall prey to procrastination and rationalizations when I’m trying to make quality business decisions?”

It’s another level of synergy with self esteem, will power, and now also incorporating intellect.

Are you really going to admit your stupidity?

Sorry. You’ve read this now. You’ve swallowed the red pill. Or blue. Whatever.

When that piece of bread is in your hand, moving towards your mouth, and you KNOW it’s going to taste real good, you anticipate the emotional comfort you are about to swallow, think to yourself…

“Am I really this stupid? Am I really going to admit my stupidity?”

When that hot girl walks by, and you get a bit excited, IMMEDIATELY followed by rationalizations and fears not to take action, think to yourself…

“Am I really this stupid? Whatever excuse just popped into my head, it’s undeniable that the long term ramifications of me approaching that girl are ONLY beneficial. Let’s do this.”

Getting Punched in the Head

It’s hard making decisions in the heat of battle, let’s go back to the hot girl example.

Every guy has the experience of seeing a hot girl, wanting to approach, and then quickly making the decision not to… and then after the fact beating himself up for not doing it.

It’s because, in the heat of the moment, you have to make a quick, impulsive decision, without utilizing the full knowledge you have available.

Of course, after you think about the scenario for 5-10 minutes, cognitively weighing out the pros and cons, and realizing that there is only a benefit by approaching, you beat yourself up for not doing it.

For me the way to circumvent this from happening is by creating enough reframes so that, in the heat of the moment, I can make the right decision easier.

And if you can find blanket synergistic reframes that cover EVERY decision you make, they will constantly be reinforced.

Will power, self esteem, and intelligence are CONSTANTLY reinforced by the decisions I make, whether that be to push that last rep in the gym, to deny myself the piece of bread, to slamming through procrastination in business, to approaching that hot girl across the bar.

So stack on another reframe in your arsenal to help you make the right decision when you are mentally taxed…

“Am I really going to admit that I’m not smart enough to take action based on (insert life value)?”

And I hope it’s one more reframe to reach that tipping point, where action is inevitable.

Awesome! I’m off to Canada for a few days, then working in Chicago this weekend, followed by another NYC bootcamp in a few weeks.

These programs have just been getting better and better. It’s intern time in NYC, so that’s been sick, as well as summer time Chicago being as good as any city in the world.

So HIT ME UP and let’s get you to the next level in success with women, and LIFE!

I’m out!

Book Review: Ayn Rand – Atlas Shrugged

I finished reading Atlas Shrugged for the second time while commuting via train between Washington D.C. and New York City this week.

Upon finishing the last page, layers of symbolism floated through my mind.  The current political-economic climate, Occupy Wall Street ridiculousness, just the rare occurrence of me riding on a train in between my first ever corporate seminars for a tobacco company, the list of corollaries to my own life are endless.

I’ll keep this post pertinent to the book and talk about the corporate seminar in another post.

Before I even get into the book, I want to say that Ayn Rand’s teachings have had a HUGE impact on how I view the world and act in it on a daily basis.

Start Reading Fiction

Like so many guys I meet, I rarely read fiction.  This and Rand’s The Fountainhead are probably the only fiction books I’ve read in the last 3-4 years.

Fiction turns many of the self development junkies off because they are used to directly applicable advice, but I personally find Rand’s ability to use fiction as a tool to elucidate her philosophy as effective as any self help book.

There are many reasons why I love this book.

  • Conveying Ideals Through Fiction

First, through the use of fiction, she has the ability to overly amplify character traits to the point of near absurdity.

Characters such as Dagny Taggart, Hank Rearden, and Fransisco D’Anconia are highly unrealistic, but realism is not the desired goal.  They are paragon human beings,and  great examples of how to act and view the world.

Rand writes to the minute detail describing their characteristics, embodying the highly conscious, self actualized ideal persona.

Unreactivity, emotional intelligence, highly productive, well dressed, perfect posture, with the perfect response to any question, as I was reading, I tried to put myself into the headspace of each character, viewing my own foibles and perceptions compared to theirs, and the process changed the way I view and act in many situations.

During some of the discourses, I WISH I could talk the way she writes out each characters rebuttals and monologues.  Always the perfect response with utter precision and diction.

Also, the fictionalization allows her to give an extreme example of how she predicts the world would be through either her desired philosophy or the opposite.

  • Written by a Woman

It’s rare for me to read fiction, but even rarer to read a book written by a woman, and this creates another interesting viewpoint for reading the book.

You can peer into a highly conscious woman’s inner brain and see how she perceives human interactions.  There are all sorts of subtleties in the way she views the intimate relationships that Dagny Taggart runs through, her viewpoint on sex, and what she perceives as an attractive man.

It’s almost hilarious how much attention is paid to explain minute facial expressions and how she explains each characters inner thoughts on reacting to the other.

  • Now is the Time

With the current happenings of Occupy Wall Street spreading around the world, this book really gives you the opposing perspective of EXTREME free market capitalism.

At over 1000 pages, I started this book well before any of the 99%er events began, but about half way through people were starting to tent out on Wall Street, which gave me another opportunity to compare Atlas Shrugged with my own view of the world and the direction our society is heading.

I’ll try to stay away from any sort of political arguments here, other than saying Rand gives a pretty interesting picture of what the world could turn to which relates scarily close to the direction we are heading.  With this book being written when communism was making serious waves, you can tell there are some anti-communist rants through out the book.

  • Read Like a Writer

Lastly, being a writer, the diction and word choice in this book are just fantastic.  With it being such a tome, the phrasing, metaphors, character development, and vocabulary are just incredible imagining how many YEARS it took to write and edit.

Knowing that Rand was born in Eastern Europe, with English not even her first language, it was humbling as I went back and forth to the dictionary every few paragraphs looking up the meaning behind the more challenging words.

This book pushed me to strive for more as a writer, a worker, and most importantly a MAN.

Don’t expect to read it like you typical self development book, realize how through the use of fiction there are examples of IDEALS here to strive towards.

Perfect humans, perfect mindsets, perfect discussions, only able to be conveyed through a fictionalization.

Learn to read into the subtleties of symbolism, and you can get as much if not more out of Atlas Shrugged as any Robbins/Covey/Napoloeon Hill book.

Highly Recommended!!!

Book Review: Michael Jordan – Driven From Within

So you’ve heard of the High Fidelity Lifestyle, but how does one attain it?

What are the best action steps that lead to a higher level of consciousness and a more rewarding day to day existence?

What are the MINDSETS you need to cultivate the state of mind excellence?

I had a lot of guys comment and email me after the last article, asking about my own motivations and daily routine towards a high fidelity life.

It reminded me of a book I read a few years ago, which has had a huge impact on how I view my goals, and how I live my life.

What does Michael Jordan have to do with success with personal development?

What in a book about an NBA athlete can bring you towards the state of mind excellence?

Well, I think this book might be one of THE BEST examples on detailing the career of someone living the high fidelity lifestyle.

Be The Best In Everything You Do

Driven from Within by Michael Jordan gives you an inside perspective on how MJ lives his life.

Most people know about the 6 national championships, Gatorade commericals, and Nike shoes.  That’s all covered.

But what is even more amazing is the work ethic.  The mindset Jordan uses.  Not only on the court, but in business, and everything he does.

Most experts and lay alike would consider him the best to ever play the game, but beyond basketball, Michael Jordan also played a pivotal role in reinventing the way sports-stars were marketed, and completely revolutionized the sporting apparel and basketball shoe industry through Brand Jordan and Nike.

Living to his fullest potential, whether it be competing in a ping pong game, to the way he dresses, to how he trains for every single game on the court.

Leading by example, being the first one in the gym, and the last one home.

Heading to the practice court the day after winning ANOTHER championship, hoping to repeat again.

 

Thoughts of a Conscious Man

Another reason I think this is a great book is it brings you to Jordan’s level of consciousness, raising you to a higher standard as you read through the development of his career both on and off the court.

Michael is one of those rare breeds that somehow naturally evolved into a highly conscious dude.

Although self/personal development is never brought up explicitly,  but Jordan’s work ethic, motivations, and view of the world are a great example of the outward manifestations of being self actualized.

Control over your emotions, control over how you perceive the world and the actions others take.

This is most salient near the end of the book when Jordan is talking about his father’s murder, and how he is the only one in his family that has truly moved on.

He explains how he doesn’t worry about things that are outside of his control, work on what you can control, and strive to be the best in those things.

Again, not to impress, not to compare yourself to others, but because what else would you do with your time?!

Why not do something different, do something incredible?

When asked about what drove him to succeed:

“When we won one championship, then I wanted to win two in a row.  When we won two, then I wanted to win three in a row because Larry and Magic never won three straight.”

It’s a great example of what Jordan considers “tricking” yourself into creating goals.

Always something small and attainable.

You shouldn’t expect to go into the NBA and exclaim, “I am going to win 3 championships in a row!”

Just as you can’t expect to get 3 playboy playmates your first month in the game.

Baby steps goes both ways.

You keep your goals short term so they are attainable, this leads to more successes, and makes life more enjoyable.

But you also create short term small goals to keep moving forward, even if there is no real reason to do it.

You might as well choose to do something with your life, and you might as well do it as best as you possibly can.

Check the book out! Highly recommended!

—-

I’m writing this from a random PC computer, my macbook fried last week and I’ve been HIGHLY frustrated by how long it is taking to fix, as it has not only slowed down my article writing here, but also stunting my other internet related endeavors.

But, a nice by-product is that I’ve been reading a lot of books, so expect a few more book reviews, and probably another business related post in the next few days…

Have a good week!

Book Review: Henry Miller – Tropic Of Cancer

Banned from the United States for nearly 30 years, Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer is one of my top reads of 2010.

More than any other book I’ve read this year though, I have a lot of trepidation in suggesting it to my reader base, mostly because of my own perception of the book upon reading it.

I read the first 100 pages about 2 months ago, and the question that kept recurring in my head was “Who cares?”

The book didn’t seem to have a purpose, and the stories were all over the place.

But it was highly suggested by Saad, so after about a month of finishing up some other books, I started it over again.

After the initial read, when I started over the beginning of the book made MUCH more sense, and I could really understand what Miller was suggesting, and how to interpret the book.

In many ways, Miller exemplifies EXACTLY the type of material, teachings, and content that I strive to convey.

It’s a stream of consciousness writing, where he writes of his daily life, and how his perceptions and thought processes view reality.  You learn from his level of consciousness, viewing his world through his eyes, and it teaches you new ways of viewing your own reality.

When I’m talking philosophy with friends, the conversation usually diverges at some point towards asceticism, and although when I talk of it, it’s from a theoretical standpoint, Miller lives it, ELEGANTLY.

For much of the book Miller lives on the streets, couch surfing and hungry.  He lives the prototypical life as a starving artist, yet he doesn’t just survive, he excels!

You can see how his optimism seeps through a life situation where most people would devolve into depression and frustration, yet from his paradigm, he lives better than most.

His writing style is hard to swallow at first, especially myself as a non-fiction junkie, used to nuts and bolts type material.  Therefore I see many people who try to jump into this book becoming frustrated.

Miller forces you to a higher standard.  You must pay full attention or you’ll quickly get lost in metaphors.  He stacks metaphor on top of metaphor on top of metaphor to create explicit examples of what he is trying to convey, mixed in with a VERY high level of diction.

Me being a vocabulary nerd, I had fun reaching for the dictionary a few times a page, yet I could see some people finding this fairly annoying, yet it is extremely necessary to get the full meaning of what Miller is trying to elucidate.

I’ll end the review with the discussion I had with Saad after finishing the book over Skype a few days ago.

——–

[frame_left src=”http://www.bradbranson.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/henry_miller_nude_pingpongl2-e1301971523479.jpg”]Miller in his 70s playing ping pong
with his hot model girlfriend[/frame_left]

Brad: I was wondering what your take on it was.  Why do you like it so much and what did you get out of it?

Saad: yeah – the ending i really liked.
Saad: well – the fact that chaos brings clarity, for one.
Saad: it seemed to be so scattered for a while
Saad: but extremely detailed. he didnt hold back at all just how confused and overly stimulated he was by so many seemingly unconnected and meaningless things

Brad: ya, I’ll probably write a long review.  the first 100 pages or so I thought it didn’t make sense, but then I had to reread it once I understood what was going on and it made a  lot more sense, and I could understand his voice and perception

Saad: yet you definitely started to see a consistency after a while… the ‘real’ him, that neither he nor anyone he knew was truly, fully conscious of in terms of depth
Saad: because there wasn’t a typical ‘role’ for him to play in his society

Brad: then in the middle, all of a sudden it was an easy read, I think you figure out his “voice”

Saad: also – the end really broke it down for me
Saad: yeah exactly
Saad: the last line, when he says he thought about his wife, and everything he left in America, and about being a certain ‘type’ of person again
Saad: but he looked at the Seine and realized he was the same as the river – it doesn’t go back. It’s path is set

Brad: ah, i like that.  didn’t get that symbolism…  I got the river, and to “go with the flow” but not it’s ties to his former life in america

Saad: Truth is 10x as colorful and unexpected as we think it is, and about 100x messier

Brad: ya, I wish i could be that explicit [in my own writing], I give a fuck too much about how I’m viewed though…

Brad: It also holds you to a higher standard for my own writing, and the level of intellect he has for being well read, and his vocabulary is sick

Saad: lol we all do. He suffered a lot more than us though, mind you. And he was also livin in America and in the western world, for that matter, at the brink of its collapse

Brad: ya, and you see the by product of not giving a fuck.  having your books banned for 30 years

Saad: hahaha
Saad: exactly

Brad: what do you think someone should get out of it, from a self actualization standpoint?  i.e. why did you recommend it to bootcamp students other than being a good read?

Brad: I think it’s mostly because he gives you an example of how to optimistically view the world, no matter what your surroundings.  It’s like jumping into someone elses thought patterns, someone at a very high level of concsiousness…

Brad: and when he goes on a tirade about what a true artist is, and how they break away from the social norms.  The artist is the outlier, and how passionate you have to be.  Not living the average life…

Saad: that the path to letting go isn’t easy, follows no plan, and will be as painful as it beautiful, I would say. I mean.. the guy is completely lost and recreating himself… it almost hurts how chaotic and disconnected it seems. But at the same time… I’ve no doubt his detachment is exactly what made his appreciation and perspective so vibrant… his isolation and detachment gave him space to really see things in his own way. Recreating oneself is bittersweet

Brad: ya, I definitely identified with the detachment aspect, albeit from a much cozier background.  I also like how he states how easy and relaxed things are at the end when he all of a sudden has the security from having money… haha

Saad: yeah. there’s a really beautiful ‘ache’ to living on your own terms. It sucks and it fulfills you both at once in a way unique to everyone who decides to do it
Saad: haha yeah, something as simple as a cab ride. Because he’d had nothing for so long
Saad: I think everyone gets something different out of Miller – some people get nothing at all.
Saad: but for people who feel a strong draw to nihilism… to destroy the ideas they’ve been told to believe in because that’s what will make them free… for people like that, he’s brilliant and speaks directly to you.

Brad: ya, that is why I’m really putting a lot of effort into this review, because I don’t think it’s exactly what people would want to read, the self help non fiction junkies.  But I’m making it a rule to review every book.  And the fact that I got something out of it, I’m sure others will as well

Saad: But he’s not going to teach you how to achieve anything other than redefiniing the idea of ‘living at your edge’

Saad: sick, yeah I agree. Ties in well with the other ideas you’ve put out there, like Jed McKenna’s (who I still havent read by the way lol)

——-

If this review resonates with you, check it out!

Book Review: Jed McKenna – Spiritual Enlightenment The Damnedest Thing

About 80% of the people that I suggest Jed McKenna’s book, Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing, become fucked up and depressed for about 4-8 weeks after reading it.

That is why I sometimes am apprehensive about suggesting it to people, yet it quite frankly might be the most influential book I have read, and my entire life philosophy is based around some of the core concepts of the book.

McKenna is the anti-spiritual guru.  Tyler suggested this book to me after I was really immersing myself in the spirituality stuff.

Reading hours upon hours of Eckhart Tolle, studying Ken Wilbur and other American philosophers, meditating and trying to become part of the evolving global consciousness…

McKenna cuts through all that bullshit.

The reason this book is so powerful is McKenna’s writing style.  On the one hand it’s very easy to read, and the book reads quick.  But the true value is in how forceful and crude his writing style comes across.

It puts the truth right in your face.  You really can’t deny it.

What is the truth?

What is the meaning of life?

There is no meaning.

Everything we do, every identity we create in life, is in fear of the fact that our life has no meaning.  Fear that nothing really matters and living is futile.

McKenna lays this out in such an elegant way, where the entire book builds concepts on top of concepts until everything falls into place exactly as it should.

It’s a teaching style I’ve incorporated into my own bootcamp actually. You build the framework, paradigm on top of paradigm, and then slam it home for the mind shift/epiphany.

My favorite two parts are the build ups during the campfire scene, and when Julie takes the “first step” in the last few chapters.

The book is written in a way where it’s you live through the writing process, and as events take place, you too go through the process of understanding EXACTLY what enlightenment is.

The whole nihilistic attitude associated with McKenna’s definition of enlightenment can be a little depressing, but that really is inherent if everything is futile.

But as you come to terms with this necessary truth, you truly can take an existential view and live your life as you please, choose whatever costume you like.

This is where the whole extreme self-love philosophy I talk about comes from.

McKenna explains that there is no reason to become enlightenment, how would your ego every decide to destroy itself?

It takes a cataclysmic event to even take that first step towards “destroying the ego.”

What he explains is more attainable, and a better way to live is spiritual adulthood, which is what he talks about in the second book of this series.

Spiritual Enlightenment:  The Damnedest Thing is the first in a trilogy of books.  I’ve read all three before, but wanted to reread them again so I could review each, and they just released the third book, Spiritual Warfare, in audiobook format.

I just finished listening to “Damnedest” again for the fifth time, and figured it would be good to throw a review up on here, so others will check it out.

I prefer audiobook format, the narrator is SICK and it really jams the concepts down your throat in a way that is hard to ignore.

So buyer beware, but check it out.

Take the swan dive into the abyss.

“Row, row, row your boat.  Gently down the stream.  Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily life is but a dream.

Book Review: Tony Robbins-Awaken the Giant Within

I thought that I had already read Robbins’ Awaken the Giant Within a few years ago in audio format, but once I started reading this tome again, I realized pretty quickly that my life was about to change.

If you are working towards the goal of self actualization, this is one of THE BEST books towards understanding your emotions, thought processes, desires, goals, and just gets you living your life based on your own standards as opposed to living life in reaction.

I’ve never heard anyone explain this book in this way, but a constant question I hear from clients, and one I’ve had often in my own path towards actualization is, “How do I stop living my life in reaction and bring value from within?”  “What is true self esteem and how do I get it?”

Even questions like “What is my identity?”  “Who am I?”  “What do I value?”

All of these are tackled and explained in a very easily understandable lucid context with ACTION steps towards creating EMPOWERING thoughts, filters, values, and belief structures to make your life fulfilling and FUN.

It is LONG, but there is no fluff.  It’s crazy, at times I wanted to put the book down because I was just tired of reading so much, but it kept on giving me more and more to think about and concepts to analyze my own thoughts and behaviors.

If you haven’t read this yet, ALL of it, you need to get on it ASAP.  Push through the pain of it’s length, and stop living your life in reaction.

The one thing I have heard often from people who read it was that they regretted not doing the exercises, and I made sure to do them, and helped a lot!  SO DO THE EXERCISES!

Awaken the Giant Within – Tony Robbins

And as a special bonus: here is the last page of the book, which is I plan on reading often:

What’s the message?

Live life fully while you’re here. Experience everything. Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. Go out and screw up! You’re going to anyway, so you might as well enjoy the process! Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes: find the cause of your problem and eliminate it. Don’t try to be perfect; just be an excellent example of being human. Constantly find ways to improve yourself. Practice the discipline of CANI!; be a lifelong learner.  Take the time now to set up your Master System so that the game of life is winnable. Let your humanity—your caring for yourself and others—be the guiding principle of your life, but don’t treat life so seriously that you lose the power of spontaneity, the pleasure that comes from being silly and being a kid.

Eighty-six-year-old Nadine Stair said it best:

“If I had my life to live over again, I’d dare to make more mistakes next time. I’d relax. I’d limber up. I’d be sillier than I’ve been this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances, I would take more trips, I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers.  I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would, perhaps, have more actual troubles but fewer imaginary ones. You see, I’m one of those people who was sensible and sane, hour after hour, day after day.

Oh, I’ve had my moments. If I had it to do over again, I’d have more of them. In fact, I’d try to have nothins else—just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day. I’ve been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot-water bottle, a raincoat, and a parachute. If I could do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.

If I had my life to live over, 1 would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances, I would ride more merry-go-rounds, I would pick more daisies.”

—NADINE STAIR

How do you want to be remembered? As a giant among men? Start acting that way right now! Why wait to be memorable? Live each day as if it were one of the most important days of your life, and you’ll experience joy at a whole new level. Some people try to conserve their energy so that they’ll last longer. I don’t know about you, but I believe that what’s most important is not how long we live, but how we live. I’d rather wear out than rust out! Let’s have the end find us climbing a new mountain.