Influential Books

Kozushi

Level 7 Valued Member
Bernal Diaz' detailed eyewitness account of the conquest of Mexico by Cortez and his conquistadors in the early 15th Century is fascinating as it is the only eyewitness account of what Aztec civilization was like before the Spanish changed it. Bernal wrote it when he was in his 80s and didn't care about who he was ticking off, and in fact most of the guys had died already anyhow. He lived in Moctezuma's palace for several months and describes in detail Aztec court ritual, etiquette, customs and so forth. It's an amazing book.
 

Kozushi

Level 7 Valued Member
@Harald Motz I read Sein und Zeit, and altthough it was some difficult reading, I loved it. Heidegger belongs together with Nietzsche and Schopenhaeur to my favourite German philosophers.
Neitzsche is such a great thinker and writer and sadly too often maligned by people that don't understand him. I was first introduced to him through "Conan the Barbarian" where a quote from Nietzsche starts off the film. I adopted it as my life motto and it has done me well! It's more poetic than logical actually, but I think the reader understands what it means over what it says.
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

"The Prince" from Machiavelli is very interesting in you want to understand politics, relationships, etc...

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

Harald Motz

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
reading to me is a double edged sword. It is informative, immersing, entertaining...but also passive, time consuming, forgettable oh and not to mention, that the common posture in which it is done, is in our "modern time" the new smoking as some say.

Reading alternating with some lifting & locomotion eating & drinking tea & going to the rest room can make my day to have a nice sleep.

When it comes to influence...than Pavel's and Al Ciampa's writing and some Zen literature has it on me, as they lay out the attitude and mindset to work on a daily basis.

And I do not want to forget one book, which is written and red on a daily basis by many ladies and gentlemen and sometimes by me too is called "StrongFirstForum"
 
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Pavel Macek

Level 9 Valued Member
Master Certified Instructor
@Harald Motz At home I usually read (and write on my computer) either in the prone position, forearms on the ground (= extension), or in the seated straddle.
 

offwidth

Level 9 Valued Member
reading to me is a double edged sword. It is informative, immersing, entertaining...but also passive, time consuming, forgettable oh and not to mention, that the common posture in which it is done, is in our "modern time" the new smoking as some say.

Reading alternating with some lifting & locomotion eating & drinking tea & going to the rest room can make my day to have a nice slee.

When it comes to influence...than Pavel's and Al Ciampa's writing and some Zen literature has it on me, as they lay out the attitude and mindset to work on a daily basis.

And I do not want to forget one book, which is written and red on a daily basis by many ladies and gentlemen and sometimes by me too is called "StrongFirstForum"
Well said Harald
 

conor78

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
In 2016 the most influential books I read were:
1 The chimp paradox
2 Thinking fast and slow
3 Teach like a champion


My favourite was The pressure principle by Dave Alder... will re read it over Xmas...
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

"On war", from Carl von Klausewitz.
Thanks to this book, we learn the importance of a good communication and information and how to determine a clear goal. The more precise you are about what you want, the easier it is to get it.

"What you understand well, you enunciate clearly" (Nicolas Boileau)

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

kodo kb

Level 6 Valued Member
The Fountainhead -- Ayn Rand (and many of her other books, fiction and philosophy)
The Once and Future King -- T.H. White
The Foundation Trilogy -- Isaac Asimov
How to Live Your Life on 24 Hours a Day -- Arnold Bennett (Can't recommend this enough: free, quick, and great read)
 

wespom9

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
I wanted to add two books to this fantastic collection we've made so far

Ego is the Enemy and The Obstacle is the Way, both by Ryan Holiday. I very much enjoyed both. Ryan clearly has been influenced by Robert Greene (his mentor) in that each chapter of his books discuss one aspect of his overall argument, and are full of real life examples of how that aspect is good/bad relative to the overall theme.
 

Tarzan

Level 4 Valued Member
The Healing Promise of Qi by Rojer Jahnke - I imagine anyone dedicated the practice of any particular school of Qi Gong could possibly even be offended by this book. Rojer has studied under many Chinese masters of different forms and assembled his own western take on Qi Gong for westerners. This book has literally saved my life at least three times.

I've practiced Wild Goose Qi Gong and several variants of iron shirt but nothing resonates with me like the book above.

An Introduction to Tai Chi & Taoist Energy Meditation by Gary Khor - My wife picked this up for 50 cents when I was in my "book phase" The first time I broke my back I would send her out to the local book exchange to fuel my book habit. I was reading up to 5 books a day at that stage. One half of the book is dedicated to Tai Chi and the other half outlines the 8 sacred exercises also known as the 8 Strands of Brocade. The 8 exercises are in many ways re-hab/pre-hab movements that are equal to or better than most modern forms of physiotherapy.

The Silva Mind Control Method by Jose Silva - this book taught me how to combine self hypnosis with a form of active meditation. Before reading the book the only way I could escape the pain from my broken back was powerful prescription medicine. After the prescription medicine spiralled out of control, transcendental meditation techniques were my only escape, sometimes I'd leave my body for 5 or 6 hours a day and drift in a mindless state of disembodiment. Then my wife came home with this book and I learned how to control a meditation session, take it much deeper and use it to effect positive change. Some of the claims in the book still seem a bit outlandish to be honest, I've only ever practiced a few of the methods by myself, & some of the methods are clearly designed for group interaction.

I walked again within 6 weeks of reading this book, after being told told by doctors that I'd never walk again.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
The Silva Mind Control Method by Jose Silva
Interesting... my Aunt used to be an instructor of the Silva Method, back in the '80s. She was quite high up in the organization and taught many groups. I should ask her what she thinks of it all today, and which things she has retained. These days she seems to naturally live a life that works well without a lot of formal practices, but sometimes these things just become part of us, and I would guess that is the case for her.
 

Phil12

Level 7 Valued Member
One I just read: Cal Newport's Deep Work.

It got me really thinking about my career and how I need to re-organize my working space in order to get things done. My early mornings are a model of effectiveness and tranquility (no email checking, or talking to anyone, or any kind of distraction allowed until I finish lifting). My workdays are often a mess and productivity is what happens inbetween dealing with email and other distractions.

Also, when he discussed the "monastic" style of deep work, I thought of Pavel's absence from the forum.

If you enjoyed Meditations, try Seneca's letters and essays, and the Enchiridion. All available for free online.
 

Tarzan

Level 4 Valued Member
Interesting... my Aunt used to be an instructor of the Silva Method, back in the '80s. She was quite high up in the organization and taught many groups. I should ask her what she thinks of it all today, and which things she has retained. These days she seems to naturally live a life that works well without a lot of formal practices, but sometimes these things just become part of us, and I would guess that is the case for her.
It certainly couldn't do any harm to ask her Anna. Some of the techniques in the book are very useful from a sports psychology perspective. I believe guided meditation is a great tool for overcoming training plateaus and just for focus in general, I use some slightly modified techniques from the book for this regularly. Your Aunt might be able help you on your quest to press that bell for your SFG II.
 

The Nail

Level 7 Valued Member
After 1 year on the forum, I just discovered the 'Everything Else' master thread!

These three books are special to me. I came upon them when I needed them dearly. I have read all 3 more than once. The first two are works of fiction, but contain beautiful life lessons in their stories.
- The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
- The Prophet, Kahlil Gibran
- Antifragile, Nassim Nicholas Taleb
I've seen Antifragile mentioned a few times, to my great surprise. Everyone I've introduced this book to thought much less of it than I did. It has had a profound impact on me.

- Self-Reliance and Other Essays, Ralph Waldo Emerson
I'm currently reading this one...taking my time...digesting slowly. Contains several of the author's essays, worth the price just for his essay on self-reliance, which I've read several times.
 

Rayhzel

Level 3 Valued Member
I am reading Antifragile now. I am only on page 40 and it is already an amazing read. Lots of stuff to think over and connect to my training and my work life.
 
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