“Mo Gawdat is a remarkable thinker and the Chief Business Officer at Google’s [X], an elite team of engineers that comprise Google’s futuristic “dream factory.” Applying his superior skills of logic and problem solving to the issue of happiness, he proposes an algorithm based on an understanding of how the brain takes in and processes joy and sadness. Then he solves for happy.
In 2001 Mo Gawdat realized that despite his incredible success, he was desperately unhappy. A lifelong learner, he attacked the problem as an engineer would: examining all the provable facts and scrupulously applying logic. Eventually, his countless hours of research and science proved successful, and he discovered the equation for permanent happiness.
“When Colton Burpo made it through an emergency appendectomy, his family was overjoyed at his miraculous survival. What they weren’t expecting, though, was the story that emerged in the months that followed – a story as beautiful as it was extraordinary, detailing their little boy’s trip to heaven and back.
Colton, not yet four years old, told his parents he left his body during the surgery – and authenticated that claim by describing exactly what his parents were doing in another part of the hospital while he was being operated on. He talked of visiting heaven and relayed stories told to him by people he met there whom he had never met in life, sharing events that happened even before he was born. He also astonished his parents with descriptions and obscure details about heaven that matched the Bible exactly, though he had not yet learned to read.
With disarming innocence and the plainspoken boldness of a child, Colton tells of meeting long-departed family members. He describes Jesus, the angels, how “really, really big” God is, and how much God loves us. Retold by his father, but using Colton’s uniquely simple words, Heaven Is for Real offers a glimpse of the world that awaits us, where, as Colton says, “Nobody is old and nobody wears glasses.”
Heaven Is for Real will forever change the way you think of eternity, offering the chance to see and believe like a child.
Synopsis: “Siddhartha is Nobel Prize-winning author Hermann Hesse’s most famous and influential work, a novel of self-exploration that will linger in your mind and spirit for a lifetime.
A young man, blessed with loving parents and a safe home in a world where want and neglect abound, leaves this haven in search of himself. He joins the Samanas, a band of wandering ascetics without possessions or earthly ties. His quest unfulfilled, he descends into a life of unbounded luxury and indulgence. Where is truth? Where will his soul find true ease? In denial? In decadence? Or in some truth far greater than himself, so simple, so close to him, yet so obvious that only clear eyes may see it?” -Audible
I believe I added this book to my list because Tim Ferriss mentioned it several times in his podcast. In one of the more recent ones, he said that many of the people featured in Tools of Titans actually mentioned this book as well. Again, I cannot refuse a highly recommended book by so many esteemed people.
Synopsis: Translated into over 50 languages, The Purpose Driven Life is far more than just a book; it is a guide to a spiritual journey that has transformed millions of lives. Once you take this journey, you’ll never be the same again.
On your journey you’ll find the answers to 3 of life’s most important questions: The Question of Existence: Why am I alive? The Question of Significance: Does my life matter? The Question of Purpose: What on earth am I here for?
Pastor Rick is actually my pastor! I go to Saddleback Irvine South, which is one of his church’s several campuses in Southern California (though there are some outside the country).
I’ve heard him and other pastors mention this book on different occasions. My roommate even told me that my pastor (before I knew) was a well-known pastor and has one of the biggest congregations in the country! I had no idea that my pastor was such an influential and successful person.
He’s also claimed to have read tens of thousands of books over the course of his life, which is apparent as he comes across as a very learned and intellectual, as well as compassionate, person. Needless to say, I’ve felt compelled to read his book for a while now.
A couple weeks ago, pastor Rick actually told an anecdote about how this book helped Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps get out of depression and get out of retirement and back to training for the most recent Olympics.
Although I am a Christian and I imagine I will get a ton of value for myself (mentally, emotionally, and spiritually) out of this read, I’m also determined to draw some of the key nuggets that can add value to anyone else no matter what their beliefs are.