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3 Lifehacking Books You Can Read On Your Way To Work
« on: August 16, 2017, 01:11:31 am »
Recently I've been bogged down by work and feel a little out of touch with myself. I guess I am experiencing an early mid-life crisis of sorts! ;D I've been going on a reading spree so I just wanted to share 3 great books that I've come across. If you've found yourself perpetually struggling to catch up to something and living a life of unfulfillment like me, these books will not right everything or give you a template to set things right. Rather, they give you a unique lens to view your troubles and give you insight about yourself in the process.

1) Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

Readability: 5/5
Ease of application: 4/5
Potential impact: 2/5

This one is one of the most popular personal finance books of all time, and many of you should've at least heard of it if not read it. RDPD gives an overview of the differences in the way the rich view money compared to the average person. The anecdotal, conversational writing style is very, very easy to follow and understand, almost like listening in on a conversation between 2 people.

The main concepts - building passive income assets to outpace your liabilities - immediately gives you a new perspective, even purpose in your daily work. I no longer associate my payday with material enjoyment, but start thinking of how they can turn into income-generating assets that will then allow me to increase material spending.

However,  the specific strategies suggested to build your passive income are rather risky and also inapplicable outside of the US. You will not find a step-by-step guide to financial independence here.

That said, it gives you a great mindset and starting point, and taught me what kind of books I should be looking for to build upon where RDPD is lacking.

2) The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Feriss

Readability: 4/5
Ease of application: 3/5
Potential impact: 4/5

This books is about the 'new rich' who live their lives in 'mini-retirements' rather than the conventional retirement at the end of your life using your savings. In essence, you do what you want to do (originally when you retire) during your working years by distilling income-generating activities to a bare minimum. In this book, Tim discusses outsourcing mundane parts of your job to lower wage workers and only working on things that must absolutely be done by you. This way, you reap the difference in wages, as well as enjoy a huge amount of free time you can either spend generating more income, or actually experiencing life.

One example that struck me was his outsourcing of replies to an argument. Because Tim and his wife were still fresh off the heat of an argument, any words exchanged could be emotional and harmful. Tim had his assistant (who isn't emotionally involved in the situation) reply his wife in a rational manner, while he spent his time on something that only he could do - thinking of a way to bring them closer.

In terms of application, I do forsee that many Singaporeans will be too afraid to even mention the idea of outsourcing their email replies to their bosses, let alone carry it out. However, it is a great idea that I intend to try out. I don't believe my agency pays me a few grand to reply emails of any sort...

3) The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

Readability: 2/5
Ease of application: 5/5
Potential impact: 5/5

The Lean Startup is a chore to read - Eric is like your naggy mother who keeps repeating the same thing again and again using different examples. You listen because you do not know if there is something new hidden in the example.

However, the idea is rather revolutionary. Eric believes that every project should start with a Minimally Viable Product - a product that can test an assumption and requires the least effort to build. Without testing the validity of the assumptions of the project, any extra money invested could potentially be wasted in a grand failure.

How do we apply this in our lives? Take for example, buying a HDB flat with your spouse. Very frequently, couples who have been living apart make the leap directly into living together in a costly HDB. Some of the assumptions here would be that they could coexist equally well in constant close contact as they do when living apart, that they would be able to keep up with their mortgage etc. An easy way to test this would be to first live together in a rental flat with a rent similar to their mortgage payment before realizing the full-scale project.

Any other books you'll recommend?



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Re: 3 Lifehacking Books You Can Read On Your Way To Work
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2017, 11:05:25 pm »
I would highly recommend this book by Scott Adams (of the Dilbert Comics fame)
Title- How to fail at almost everything and still wins big
Readability: 5/5
Ease of application: 4/5
Potential impact: 5/5

Scott Adams has likely failed at more things than anyone you’ve ever met or anyone you’ve even heard of. So how did he go from hapless office worker and serial failure to the creator of Dilbert, one of the world’s most famous syndicated comic strips, in just a few years? In How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big, Adams shares the strategy he has used since he was a teen to invite failure in, to embrace it, then pick its pocket.

No career guide can offer advice for success that works for everyone. As Adams explains, your best bet is to study the ways of others who made it big and try to glean some tricks and strategies that make sense for you. Adams pulls back the covers on his own unusual life and shares what he learned for turning one failure after another into something good and lasting. Adams reveals that he failed at just about everything he’s tried, including his corporate career, his inventions, his investments, and his two restaurants. But there’s a lot to learn from his personal story, and a lot of humor along the way. While it’s hard for anyone to recover from a personal or professional failure, Adams discovered some unlikely truths that helped to propel him forward. For instance:

• Goals are for losers. Systems are for winners.
• "Passion" is bull. What you need is personal energy.
• A combination of mediocre skills can make you surprisingly valuable.
• You can manage your odds in a way that makes you look lucky to others.