I am near the end of the book “21 Lessons for the 21st Century I am near the end of the book“ by Yuval Noah Harari. This is the third book of his that I am reading.
Yuval Noah Harari is the author of the popular science bestsellers “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (2014)“, “Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow (2016),“ and “21 Lessons for the 21st Century (2018)“. While there is so much that he has talked about in his book he concluded the book with an explanation on how he has written these books.
Since the age of 24, he has been doing Vipassana (a type of meditation where the user concentrate on the breathing and the body sensation while meditating) for 2 hours daily. In addition to that, he goes on Vipassana retreat for 2 months every year. He shared in the book that all these insights have come from the introspection while doing Vipassana.
I have many friends who complain that they don’t have enough time to do 15 minutes of meditation daily, and here we have the best selling author who has brilliant insights on where we have been in the past and where we are heading in the future, and he manages to take out 2 hours daily from his super busy life to do meditation.
We all have priorities, the bitter truth is that we give meditation less precedence than everything else and it never becomes a habit.
“We” are the deadliest species of all. But you might know that already! Sweeping all those animals to extinction was crucial for our survival and we wouldn’t have survived at all if our ancestors would have done anything different from what they did (30,000 years ago).
The author paints quite a picture in the book, “Sapiens” on how we killed millions of species which inhabited the world before the cognitive revolution took place. It doesn’t look nice nowadays as it was brutal and inhuman. But the world back then wasn’t a nice place too, it was hostile and sparing those species meant risking our survival. They basically it what they had to do in order to survive.
Most of the books which I have read used to have direct application meaning I could apply whatever I read from the book my daily life and also write about it. In Sapiens things are much different, I am reading stuff that has happened 20,000 years ago. The author has described people with many different cultures who roamed the world thousands of years ago. It’s a kind of fun to read about and there is a lot to learn about the humankind in general but none of that stuff is shareable in a way that other people can learn from and apply it (like other books).
In that sense, “Sapiens” is a very different from the books which I have read earlier and I have very less to share on day to day basis. Right now the author is explaining why giants like mammoths and other animals in Australian megafauna vanished from the earth’s surface and how “we” became the new masters of the land. It’s a great story which we already know (thanks to our geography classes in high schools) but what the author is doing here is sharing the minute details of those incidents.
The book “Sapiens” is very different from the book which I have read earlier. To write about things which are elaborated in the book is quite a challenge for myself. These are the things so trivial that we have never noticed them ever. The author is talking about how we have evolved over the millenniums. How religion came into existence and why it was important and crucial to our existence since the very beginning of the cognitive revolution.
What is the most trivial thing which differentiates between the Homo sapiens and everything else on the planet? How believing in myths and legends, and things which we have never seen or felt have shaped our existence. These are the things which we never talk about in a normal conversation, but they are kind of remarkably intuitive when I think about it and it all makes so much sense.
If this is just the start of the book, I am in for an amazing ride for sure.
What could be better than starting the day with a brand new book! Finally, I started a long awaited book on my waiting list, “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind”. Finding a good book to read from Amazon’s best seller list is one thing, and I do that very often but when someone suggests me to read a book I love it because personal recommendations are the best.
Daud bhai suggested me to read this book, and I already have a strong intuition that this is going to be a great read.
This book is about us “the sapiens”,(pretty straight forward) and the beginning was very promising, it looks like he is going to uncover some juicy untold facts about us.
I finally completed the book, “59 Seconds” by Richard Wiseman. It was one of those books which have given me much knowledge about human psychology, and that too in a plain natural language meaning I understood it well.
It was one of the books which I have written most about in my blog while reading and now that the book is completed I am feeling nostalgic and I already have planned to read other books by Dr. Richard because of his simple writing style.
The book basically consists of many short and simple techniques on dealing with people, dealing with our own self, how to beat procrastination, how to do more and stuff like that. Very simple and practical techniques that can be understood and applied by all. I personally am applying several techniques and although it’s too soon to tell I have an intuition that they are working already.
The other technique which is related to “Getting the foot in the door” is “The door in the Face”. It is exactly what it sounds like. Demanding so much more from someone that the other person is bound to refuse, and then settling for a moderate deal. I have an intuition that this technique must be better than the first one but then every technique has its own place.
You new-found force can have strong influence on the weak-minded, so be careful to use it only for good
Again, these techniques are not something which is extraordinary and amazing but knowing and applying them at appropriate places can make all the difference. The author, Richard Wiseman even warned the readers by quoting Obi-Wan Kenobi, by saying, “You new-found force can have strong influence on the weak-minded, so be careful to use it only for good”
I have chosen Boggle to be my favorite game. Dr. Richard in his books says (and I have been writing about this topic since the day I understood it) that the best way to get our subconscious to work is to keep busy our conscious in some other activities when the going gets tough.
Turns out that the best way to keep our conscious busy while giving the subconscious enough time to think and come up with something is to solve anagram for next 5 to 10 minutes.
Dr. Richard says not to worry too much about if you are solving the puzzle or not, solving the puzzle is just a distraction for the conscious. The goal is just to keep it busy, that’s it. For the last two days, I have been doing it exhaustively and it’s too soon to tell anything but I can say one thing for sure, which is that I am handling the stress quite well.
Persuasion is a huge deal if something important is at stake. We all have tried it sometimes we have succeeded sometimes we have failed. In human psychology it is has been studied and analyzed for decades. Many people have tried to make sense of it in order to pass it to others.
“Getting the foot in the door technique,” says in order to make someone agree to a larger deal we first have to make them agree to much smaller deals. Getting a “yes” response for smaller deals significantly raises the chances of getting a “yes” to a much more significant deal.
When we say it like this it sounds like an important concept and it actually is if applied correctly. What makes me wonder even more is that we all have used this technique from time to time(I know I have, unknowingly though). Dealing with people is easy once we know these subtle rules.
Time to time we all face an unfortunate incident or several unfortunate incidents depending on our situation and we feel extremely terrible about it, so much so that we do not even want to talk about it with anyone else because of the memories they bring.
No one can undo the past, all we can do is ease the pain. By now you must have heard of or experienced that a pain shared is a pain halved and that method has stood correctly in many cases.
Dr. Richard has shared a similar idea with a subtle change in it. He says (and I find it correct for myself) that every unfortunate incident brings something with it meaning it strengthen us in some way or to put it more appropriately it brings some benefits with it. However, it requires extra analysis to find any benefits because they are not obvious. Writing down those benefits or sharing them with others have a profound impact on our life. It has the power to ease our pain to a whole different level and it changes our perspective of looking at our miseries.