Which books gave you more clarity about life?

Assuming bankers/fin folks do things beyond their job and WSO, which books changed your thinking very starkly?

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Comments (46)

Oct 24, 2017

The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris. Although it won't necessarily be directed towards you or your given situation, but it will provide some insights on how to approach different situations and there are a lot of experiences you can draw upon and implement in your given life style.

Oct 25, 2017

I read the 4 hour body. Truly the guru of efficiency

Oct 24, 2017

Art of the Deal taught me how to win deals BIGLY. Before I read Art of the Deal I was just another shmuck scraping by. My wife left me, I drove a beat up minivan and my hairline was receding. Now I have to stones to become filthy freaking rich all on my own and crush my enemies!

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Oct 24, 2017

What was your main takeaway from the book?

Oct 24, 2017

Could you say you went from Low Energy Jeb to based Donald?

RIP LEHMAN
RIP MONACOMONKEY
RIP THEACCOUNTING MAJOR

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Oct 24, 2017

The Obstacle is the Way - Ryan Holiday
Meditations - Marcus Aurelius

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Oct 24, 2017

Can you tell us why it was so life changing? I am trying to collate a list to read for self-improvement. Although I am not a fan of self-help.

Oct 24, 2017

Those books were my introduction to stoic thinking, although I am not a perfect stoic two years later, my life has improved significantly. You start to realize that you are not the pinical of the world and that it never makes to much sense to led outside events have an impact on your happiness. That is a powerful lesson to learn

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Oct 24, 2017

33 Strategies of War.
The basic idea is that you must identify your enemies, who often hide under the guise of friendship, and inwardly declare war on them. It talks about the value of conflict, in a society that appears to avoid it, for without conflict there is no victory, and goes over both offensive and defensive warfare tactics and how you can apply them to your daily life.

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Oct 24, 2017

Sounds good. I am shit at handling conflicts or confronting anyone.

Best Response
Oct 24, 2017

Inferno by Dan Brown - Convinced me that overpopulation is at the root of most problems faced by society

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Oct 25, 2017

Lol, me too. I was bummed how the movie ended differently from the book by the way.

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Oct 29, 2017

sounds good . thank you i will read that book

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Oct 24, 2017

Red Alert by Bill Browder

Basically a book about an American who tries to make his fortune in Russia just because he is fascinated by his ancestry and wants to be a swash buckling globe trotting buccaneer businessman who mixes adventure with fortune. His plans failed miserably and his lawyer was killed and he got death threats. He didn't make much.

I learned a huge life lesson from that book. Don't fall for any get ________ quick schemes. And don't be overenthusiastic in committing to just about anything. Results matter efforts dont.

D.I.

Oct 25, 2017
  • Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice

Hannibal and Me by Andreas Kluth - written by a former M&A investment banker in London, Kluth recalls the life of Hannibal, the Carthaginian general who crossed the Alps with his army in 218 BCE, is the stuff of legend. And the epic choices he and his Roman enemies made on the battlefield and in life offer timeless lessons to us today about how we should respond to our own victories and defeats.

Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life by Eric Greitens - Eric's letters--drawing on both his own experience and wisdom from ancient and modern thinkers--are now gathered and edited into this timeless guidebook. Greitens shows how we can build purpose, confront pain, practice compassion, develop a vocation, find a mentor, create happiness, and much more. Resilience is an inspiring meditation for the warrior in each of us.

Fabric of the Cosmos by Brian Greene - just remember, we are all cosmically unimportant...

Oct 24, 2017

I'd say "Zero to One" by Peter Thiel.

    • 5
Oct 25, 2017

Walden by Henry David Thoreau

I know that you're thinking...isn't this some sort of crap environmentalist book that I was forced to read in high school? Yes, that's the one and I have no idea why they have kids read this book. I re-read this as an adult and it just blew me. The book isn't really about environmentalism at all. It's about the getting away from the hustle and bustle of life and escaping the constant pursuit of material wealth and prestige.

One of my favorite quotes from the book:

"It is hard to have a southern overseer; it is worse to have a northern one; but worst of all when you are the slave-driver of yourself"

After pushing myself to work insane hours in banking, Walden really hit close to home. Why high school and college kids who have never worked a day in their life read this, I have no idea?? Give this one another read as an adult and I almost promise that it will change your life.

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Oct 25, 2017

"Treatise of Human Nature" by David Hume. Really any work by him does it for me. His writings on epistemology, religion, politics, ethics, logic, and philosophy are, to me, some of the most articulate and thought provoking ideas ever put down on paper.

"A Brief(ER) History of Time" by Stephen Hawking (yes, I read the dumbed down version lol). I think our ability to understand the nature of nature, :) , is one of the most magnificent things a brain can do and is honestly the pinnacle of knowledge and existence. Physics, chemistry, and biology allow us to comprehend our very existence in the universe in a way that no other [known] object can and we owe it to ourselves to take advantage of that. Just getting a grasp of the basics gives me an incredible feeling or awe and fortune for being able to comprehend the world and experience it at this point in time. It's this fusion of feeling so insignificant in the universe and yet so powerful for being able to actually appreciate that. It's almost paradoxical.

"1984" - George Orwell. The importance of free thought and the perils of unchecked government. Extremely applicable today as we see programs like "Prism" being conducted in secrecy and seemingly without checks and balances. I don't remember who said it (too lazy to Google it) but "1984 was a warning, not a manual".

Awesome discussion topic!

Monkey see. Monkey Doo [Doo].

    • 1
Oct 25, 2017

Extreme Ownership
The War of Art
4 hour work week
Mind Gym
About Face

    • 2
Oct 25, 2017

somebody's a jocko fan!

GET. AFTER. IT.

    • 2
Oct 25, 2017

The Secrets of Closing the Sale - Zig Ziglar

I started off in Sales and was terrible at it. This book changed my perspective on how to approach any selling or "closing" situation, which are more common than we like to believe (dating, job interviews, deal sourcing, client service, etc). My biggest "takeaway" was that when it comes time for someone to make a buying decision that requires some thought, emotion and not logic will be what fuels the decision (any political strategist already knows this). You have to subtly make the emotional case by pulling the right levers-in order to separate you or your product from a mostly undifferentiated bunch. Learn how to close and your quality of life skyrockets.

"How to Solve It" - George Polya

I avoided math most of my life and my GMAT instructor had me check out this book before we started. It broke through my mental block around unfamiliar problems by giving me a framework for reasoning-which is a skill most people don't bother to develop. It's not really a math book but a reasoning book-it gives you abstract problems and puzzles, and guides your thought process. I was amazed at how little we consider just because something doesn't seem apparent at first glance. Guarantees you'll never be the most clueless guy in a room.

Oct 24, 2017

I always feel like the most clueless guy in the room, will definitely give it a read.

Just on a side note, I always feel this intellectual gap between me and everyone (them being some superior species) and so I have a goal to read more from now on, reading is a sure shot way to feel good about oneself!

Oct 25, 2017

Sapiens by Yuval Harari
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
Antifragile by Nassim Taleb
Principles by Ray Dalio
48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
Zero to One by Peter Thiel
Waking Up by Sam Harris
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Maps of Meaning by Jordan B Peterson

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Oct 25, 2017

SB for the wide and well-cultivated list

Oct 28, 2017

Read a part of Sapiens in one of my classes a few wks ago, he explained how our society is built on fictions. Also heard Russell Brand mention the idea that our biology is best geared towards groups of 100-150 at most in a recent Joe Rogan podcast. Overall I figured it was a pretty interesting book and worth the read, but I'd love to hear more on why it was such a significant book to you especially bc it's on a list with a bunch of classics.

"This world, it is a tempest sometimes. But remember, the sun always rises again."
-- Brandon Sanderson

Oct 25, 2017

What really changed my perspective on the world is the idea that what allowed our society to get to where we are today is our ability to tell myths. While politics, religion, capital etc have no objective validity, these are the myths that keep our society together and prevent anarchy. No matter what you think about religion it has been a great unifier for the humankind and shaped most of the today's culture and moral principles.

It's just fascinating that believing in common fiction has been more evolutionary important than any objective truth - that's how capitalism and religion evolved. For tribal creatures like humans having social support is far more valuable than knowing some facts that don't directly impact our lives. Think about it when you look at the today's politics. The best way to convince someone of something is not to focus on the facts but to find some common belief and connect with them emotionally. Human brains just didn't evolve to understand reality at an objective level.

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Oct 29, 2017

thanks

Oct 25, 2017

Why Nations Fail by Acemoglu & Robinson - great international perspective about what causes one country to grow and succeed while it's neighbor may fail.
Rich Dad Poor Dad - by Robert T. Kiyosaki - taught me that the only way to make money is to have your money work for you instead of you working for your money.

Oct 25, 2017

King of Capital (about Steve Schwarzman) taught me that you don't have to be some enlightened visionary to succeed in finance -- you can succeed as some cheap and greedy motherfucker.

Oct 25, 2017

Bible

Oct 25, 2017

Currently reading a book called "our mathematical universe" by Max Tegmark. It describes the inner workings of everything from atoms to cosmos, how it all ties together and some wild suggestions about that which we haven't yet been able to explain. The netflix show "Cosmos" covers some of it.

Gotta say, I'm hooked to the space theme at the moment. I love zoning out into space during a lunch break - If you can get over the anxious sense of our own relative insignificance, it can be almost meditative to delve into. I was at a Rolling Stones concert 2 weeks ago and I spent half the concert gazing at the stage equipment, thinking how all of that (including the rockstars themselves, and the 55.000 fans) came from elements produced by the collision of stars in space.

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Oct 25, 2017
kallester:

Currently reading a book called "our mathematical universe" by Max Tegmark. It describes the inner workings of everything from atoms to cosmos, how it all ties together and some wild suggestions about that which we haven't yet been able to explain. The netflix show "Cosmos" covers some of it.

Gotta say, I'm hooked to the space theme at the moment. I love zoning out into space during a lunch break - If you can get over the anxious sense of our own relative insignificance, it can be almost meditative to delve into. I was at a Rolling Stones concert 2 weeks ago and I spent half the concert gazing at the stage equipment, thinking how all of that (including the rockstars themselves, and the 55.000 fans) came from elements produced by the collision of stars in space.

Excellent book.

You may also enjoy
The Greatest Story Ever Told--So Far: Why Are We Here
https://www.amazon.com/Greatest-Story-Ever-Told-So... ?
and A
Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing
https://www.amazon.com/Universe-Nothing-There-Some...
by Lawrence Krauss (another renown physicist).

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Oct 29, 2017
kallester:

Currently reading a book called "our mathematical universe" by Max Tegmark. It describes the inner workings of everything from atoms to cosmos, how it all ties together and some wild suggestions about that which we haven't yet been able to explain. The netflix show "Cosmos" covers some of it.

Gotta say, I'm hooked to the space theme at the moment. I love zoning out. But I really love this book Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler. It has really changed my outlook.

Thanks for sharing!

    • 1
Oct 26, 2017

Hermann Hesse, especially Steppenwolf and Demian

Freakonomics

Anna Karenina

Oct 26, 2017

Nathaniel Philbrick's Bunker Hill: A City, a Siege, and a Revolution is half an account of the Battle of Bunker Hill, and half a biography of Joseph Warren, a doctor who quit his practice to fight for the Patriot cause and ended up dying at Bunker Hill.

The story of Dr. Warren gave me a deeper love of country.

"Work ethic, work ethic" - Vince Vaughn
Oct 25, 2017

Not a book, but I read DFW's graduate address "This is Water" at least once a year for perspective.

Oct 24, 2017

I just went and read it. Great perspective. Just a rephrasing of, "walking a mile in someone else's shoes"but feels different and applicable.

Oct 26, 2017

So Good They Cant Ignore You - Cal Newport

Changed the way I viewed my career.

Oct 26, 2017

Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

The Dictator's Handbook - Alastair Smith

The Burning Tigris - Peter Balakian

The Art of Power - Jon Meacham

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Oct 28, 2017

As cliche as it sounds, Thinking, Fast and Slow has been one of the most influential books I've read in my life.

"That was basically college for me, just ya know, fuckin' tourin' with Widespread Panic over the USA."

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Oct 28, 2017

Mastery by Robert Greene

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Oct 28, 2017

Swann's Way by Proust
In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower by Proust

Aside from being absolutely incredible novels, these are the best books ever written about how guys sabotage themselves when it comes to the fairer sex.

If you grasp what's going on in these, your game (with ladies actually worth dating) will grow exponentially.

Oct 29, 2017

Richistan by Rob Frank.

Made me feel crap about investing in an Ivy education when I should've been investing in crazy shit like tumbleweed or going into waste removal. Would've been a fucking billionaire by now like the crazy cats in the book.

Oct 29, 2017
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Oct 29, 2017