Best Audiobooks I Listened to in 2019
3 books that resonated with me.
Those are the books that have become my favorites and have listened to many times.
I don’t believe that books are meant to be followed step by step. Rather, great books make you think. Those three books made me think a lot and I wholeheartedly recommend them.
The links are Amazon affiliate links.
1. The Art of Possibility
- Author: Ben and Rosamund Zander
- Published: 2002
This may be the most beautiful audiobook ever.
I’m big on education, but I find myself lacking a proper framework to think about education and what the whole thing was about.
The authors are educators—even though that’s not their day jobs.
The book goes into different practices on how to discover the possibilities around us—the possibilities both in us and in others.
I’ve gone through the whole book cover to cover at least 8 times. And I can see myself going back again and again in the future.
Some of the practices I really liked:
- Rule number six
- Giving an A
- The way things are
The example where Ben brought a symphony to a British elementary school was phenomenal.
I’ll quote the opening words to Rule number six:
Two prime ministers were sitting in a room discussing affairs of state. Suddenly an aide burst in, shouting and banging his fist on the desk. The host prime minister quietly said, “Peter, kindly remember Rule Number Six.” Peter was instantly restored to complete calm, apologized for the interruption, and left the room. The prime ministers resumed their discussion. Several minutes later, another aide rushed in, shouting and stamping. Again the host prime minister quietly said, “Marie, please remember rule number six.” Marie calmed down immediately, apologized, and left the room. The visiting prime minister said “I’ve seen many things in my life, but never anything as remarkable as this. Tell me, what is this rule number six?” The host prime minister said, “It’s really very simple. rule number six is: Don’t take yourself so damned seriously.” After a moment of pondering, the visiting prime minister inquired, “And what, may I ask, are the other rules?” The host replied, “There aren’t any.”
- Author: Greg McKeown
- Published: 2014
This book focuses on trimming away things in life. A few points that sticked with me:
- Priorities used to be singular Since when we started to think that there can be “priorities” and not “priority?” A lot of the burnout and anxiety may have come from this.
- Reject the 7s and 8s Only do things that are 9s and 10s to you.
- “No.” is a complete sentence.
As I get older, I found myself getting swamped more and more with requests and responsibilities.
This book made me think a lot about opportunity costs.
One of my 2019 goal was to remove the Fear of Missing Out, FOMO, from my life. I didn’t make it, but I am becoming more and more aware of things that I can and should say no to so I have slack in my life to prepare for better things that may come and require my time and energy.
Note: this is a good podcast episode on opportunity costs.
The infinite game
- Author: Simon Sinek
- Published: 2019
I first heard about this concept through Seth Godin’s blog. Then I read James Carse’s Finite and Infinite Games from 1986. And this book really drove the concept home.
We are all playing an infinite game in our lives.
A finite game has an end. There is a winner and a loser at the end. But for things that matter, there is no end, and it is not about winning or losing: it is about getting better.
Finite players play the game to win.
Infinite players play the game to keep playing.
The culture placed a big focus on winning. Everyone uses sports or military analogies when conducting business. Somehow the culture tend to limite our thinking to finite games. And there may be a game that’s more worthwhile to play.
Carse’s book set the concept and this book added to the concept with examples. I want to play a better game.
Other book posts: