Miscellaneous

Basa: Book Review March-June 2022

Wow it’s been a while since my last post. Even longer if we’re counting from my last book review. I’ve been busy with some things in my life and that’s taken away from my reading time. But I was still able to finish some before the first half of the year ends. Let’s take a look.

The Psychology of Money

By Morgan Housel

Okay, now that you have some extra money, what do you do with it? It seems like the generic answer for how to get rich is to invest in the stock market early. And this book’s main advice is just that. But the key lesson in this book is the mindset that you need to have in order to actually keep your money growing.

The book literally describes its goal as “to use short stories to convince you that soft skills are more important than the technical side of money.”

I’m a guy that loves learning lessons in the form of anecdotes. Most self-help and informational books I’ve read use this format and that’s why I can read them from cover to cover and absorb the information they present. I enjoyed this book because of that.

The lessons taught here are not only applicable to financial decisions, but also to life in general. The book mentions that we can’t control everything in our life and expect the outcome we want because there will always be powers beyond our control: introducing, luck and risk.

Even the way we see our own failures compared to other peoples’ are mentioned so that we remain self-aware and not get too arrogant (in financial decisions and in life).

The book also delves into why we want to be rich in the first place. It discusses our potential motivators and what makes us desire to be financially free. It wants us to look inside ourselves to see how we make our decisions with money and assess what needs to be corrected/improved.

I learned so much from this book aside from just the financial lessons. There are a lot of good things here that I can apply to my own way of living. It even echoes some values that I’ve previously read from my favorite book, The Courage to be Disliked.

There is so much useful stuff packed into this book and I’d recommend that everyone who isn’t into investing yet to take a look at this. It doesn’t flat out tell you what stocks to buy, but it instills the right mindset into you so that you can make the most out of your investments.

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Faster, Smarter, Louder

By Aaron Agius and Gian Clancey

As someone working in the marketing field without taking any marketing course prior, I’m somewhat out of my element when it comes to the general skills and industry terms. So I decided to read this book, hoping to gain whatever knowledge it contains.

Digital Marketing is the present and the future, so the book’s subtitle of “Master Attention in a Noisy Digital Market” caught my eye at first. Thankfully, the book is targeted at beginners so they used layman’s terms for almost everything.

The book is divided into chapters that flow together seamlessly. From building your brand, to attracting your audience, turning them into a customer, and finally making them your brand’s advocate, it’s all neatly packed into each individual chapter.

In each chapter, you are introduced into what the goal is. More importantly, you are taught about why that goal is important and, finally, how to achieve that goal. The authors also include multiple examples of brands that have successfully done what they want to teach you, so every lesson is as clear as possible.

When it comes to the hard skills, the authors put in a lot of resources in the footnotes. They suggested a lot of websites and articles to help you out with the tasks you need to do. But they don’t go into the technical details so that’s something you have to do yourself.

But just like most of the books I’ve read before, it’s the mindset to excel in the field that this book focuses on. To grow your brand for the long term, you must adhere to a certain mindset in order to not ruin everything you’ve built up to now (or have yet to build).

From tough mental exercises like “what can you offer that is unique to your brand?” to simple things like “make sure your business card is professionally made”, this book has all the pointers you need to be successful.

This book is like a field guide for entering the digital marketing space. I can see myself coming back to this again and again, depending on what part of the marketing journey I’m struggling with.

The end goal is to convert your audience into successful customers and have them sing praises for your brand. But in the process of doing this, the authors don’t settle with gaming the system or using tactics that reward only the short-term.

The authors want you to build a strong brand that offers value to your customers for a long, long, time. If that’s something that aligns with your goals or resonates with you, give this book a try. If you have something of value to offer to the people in the digital world, this is the book to read.

P. S. Reading this book gave me a lot of stress because with every chapter, I am more enlightened why a certain company that I am affiliated with is not seeing a lot gains. Sheesh. Whoever is managing this certain company needs to read this book ASAP.

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Think Again: How to Reason and Argue

By Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

This was an interesting read because of its relevance to my social media experience lately. The election season just finished and I have never seen the population so polarized before. Everywhere you go on social media, you will find arguments. The internet has simultaneously amplified the best and the worst in people.

Realizing that too much exposure to this kind of behavior is draining my mental health, I decided to take a stand. I will not engage in any type of online argument until I finish reading this book. In the end, that was about 3 weeks of peace and quiet on my social media channels.

This book does what it says in the cover. Before anything else, it gives us a chapter explaining why we argue and why it is needed. It explains that the goal of an argument is not to destroy your opponent or to win, but to come out of it having understood both points of view even more.

This is a morally good book. It’s rational and reasonable. It won’t teach you how to win an argument, but how to argue correctly.

Then, it breaks down arguments into two kinds; deductive and inductive. It teaches the reader how to break down each statement of the argument to see its validity and its strength. There is so much to learn here that if you’re going to read this book, I suggest you bring a pen and paper with you for taking down notes.

It’s full of lessons, but not overwhelming. The examples provided are great in giving context and making each part easy to understand.

I love this book because it helped find faults in the way I argue and in my view of people that disagree with me. It’s embarrassing to say, but most times, anger takes over me when it comes to online arguments. Or sometimes it’s just commenting for the sake of getting reactions and engagement. I’m guilty for this.

This is why I wanted to take a step back and see what I was missing because at the end of the day, both sides moved on without gaining anything.

The emphasis on remaining civil, breaking down the argument before attacking the arguer, and knowing the motivations of the arguer is something everyone (including me) needs to remember before engaging in any discourse.

However, my favorite part of the book is how it also lets you know when to argue. This is the eye-opening part for me because I am very impulsive and will jump into any argument I see in the comments section if left unabated.

Not every battle has to be fought and you have to analyze your counterpart first before engaging. This book explains some of the things you need to look out for and also avoid doing when it comes to arguments.

To be honest, I wish every person reads this book before being able to comment on a post on social media. The world would be a better place if this was a rule.

⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Book of Ichigo Ichie: The Art of Making the Most of Every Moment, the Japanese Way

By Francesc Miralles and Hector Garcia

This book was written by the authors of Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life so I already had a feel of what’s in store for me.

Aside from an introduction to the Japanese concept of Ichi-go Ichi-e (roughly meaning “One Meeting, One Opportunity), the book compiles a lot of other topics which are all connected by one common theme: To live in the present.

It tells you not to get stuck in the past, and to not get lost in the future. We are not slaves to our emotions and we are not our feelings. It tells us to look at negative thoughts and feelings as things just passing us by, not staying and tormenting us.

It starts with explaining how the Japanese Tea Ceremony is the ultimate symbol of “giving significance to the now”. Next, it brings in a lot of other examples from the blooming and falling of Sakura petals to fixing broken ceramics with lacquer and gold. All these things have to do with the concept of human impermanence and fragility.

This book is just a quick read but it is a good reminder to take the time to breathe and reflect, especially in the midst of our increasingly hectic lifestyles. There are steps on how to meditate like the zen masters, and some activities you can do in your life to increase your mindfulness.

There was something about this book that made me want it to go deeper. It felt like the title was just a way to bait people who are fans of mystifying Japan. The usage of Japanese terms made it seem like an anime show. It’s like they found a cool-sounding word and just used it for the lesson. I may not agree with some things in this book, but most of the takeaways are relevant to my life.

Being the typical me, I will most likely forget these things before I turn them into habits, but for now, I am having those moments where I am reminded to take it slow, appreciate what I am currently doing, and just feel at ease. So in that regard, the book has done its job.

This book is easy to digest and can be read in tiny chunks, so I can actually recommend this to everyone. Each section is a reminder that happiness is everywhere in our lives, it happens in every moment that we take the time to appreciate.

⭐⭐⭐


And that’s the ones I’ve finished in the time provided. I’m already starting on a few more books so expect another post like this in the following months (hopefully). For this batch, I’d recommend Think Again and The Psychology of Money for general wellness. Faster, Smarter, Louder is also good if you’re interested in the field of digital marketing.

As always, if you have some recommendations for books to read, just leave a comment below. Stay safe and keep improving!

-jgzn

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