“Atomic Habits,” by James Clear, will be among the most valuable books I read in 2019.
I was drawn to it because, as a soloist, my time is my inventory. I’m always looking for ways to do more of the stuff that matters, both professionally and personally. With the subtitle “An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones,” I was hoping “Atomic Habits” would help me identify some areas where I’m getting in my own way.
The author delivers the goods. Clear describes the book as “an operating manual,” and there’s a heavy focus on systems: “You do not rise to the level of your goals,” Clear writes. “You fall to the level of your systems.”
By now, we’re at the point where we know what to expect from the Super Bowl ads.
Before the game, you could have jotted down a list of what you thought you would see, based on history. That list probably would have included:
Animals (especially dogs) at their most undeniably adorable
People or animals doing silly dances
Inspiring Statements of High-Minded Purpose
The unusual, the surreal, the flat-out bizarre (with or without reason)
Production values to rival a summer blockbuster film
You can make this kind of list for almost any category. Sometimes, it’s comically easy to do. And the more “tried, true and expected” the items on that list, the more ripe that category is for some rule-breaking.
The story of Theranos, the one-time unicorn with the $9 billion valuation, has already entered the ranks of legendary cautionary tales. In “Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup,” Wall Street Journal writer John Carreyrou puts together all the pieces behind its rise and swift decline.
It’s a fascinating, scary read.
Carreyrou is an investigative journalist, and his take is fact-driven, not character-driven. (Expect more character development in the upcoming movie, starring Jennifer Lawrence in the role of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes.) But the facts speak for themselves, and will keep you engrossed. Continue reading “Two-Minute Book Review: Bad Blood”
Earlier this week, in a seemingly unrelated conversation, a stranger found a chance to take a swipe at Millennials, and went for it! According to this person, Millennials not only “don’t take direction well,” they often “don’t even want to show up to work at all.”
Huh. I’m a crusty old Gen-Xer myself. But I’ve worked with, and even hired, a number of Millennials. And I don’t have any proof that their work ethic or character is any worse than that of (say) my college graduating class. Continue reading “Let’s Cut the Millennial Crap”
I don’t believe that, but some people do. Devotees of Hemingway think she uses too many adverbs, probably. And some call her stories “derivative.”
Many, many others love Rowling’s vividly imaginative worlds and the lessons of her stories. More than a few people even have Harry Potter tattoos. And, as Roy Peter Clark notes, Rowling’s gift for naming characters is virtually unparalleled. Continue reading “J.K. Rowling Is a Hack”