My last two books were both written by vegan endurance athletes. Eat & Run by Scott Jurek and more recently Finding Ultra by Rich Roll. Both were enjoyable reads and inspiring. What I like about Finding Ultra is the focus on multi-sport athletics (triathlon). Rich also has a very unique background; having been a standout student, lawyer and national-level competitive swimmer…all the while battling alcoholism.
If you like Eat & Run, you will definitely enjoy Finding Ultra. However, I did think Eat & Run was a better book overall. It interleaved more plant-based nutritional guidance throughout the book. Finding Ultra, while it did have nutritional advice, seemed to be pitching supplementation using products from a company Rich Roll is involved with. Eat & Run focused on recipes you can cook at home – I like that. I also just think Eat & Run was better written and overall more inspiring a story (Scott Jurek has done some pretty gnarly races and has a much longer endurance race history!).
So do read both books if you can. If you need to pick one, go with Eat & Run.
I thought I knew Scott’s story, but there is a lot in this book that was totally new to me. He had a tough upbringing and surprising stories about his races. For example, I knew he raced the Hardrock 100, but I had no idea he did it on a nearly broken ankle! I also knew he raced (and won) the Spartathlon, a 150 mile race in Greece, but I didn’t he won it twice!
The book also introduces a few dozen vegan recipes….that are quite good. I made his recipe for mushroom-lentil veggie burgers and they turned out amazingly well. Nice to read a story about someone who is performing at a world-class athletic level on a plant-based diet.
I just finished reading The Pilgrimage, A Contemporary Quest for Ancient Wisdom, by Paulo Coelho. The novel follows Paulo as he goes on pilgrimage across Spain in search of a miraculous sword. It’s a story of a man in search of spiritual development and mastery. The pilgrim’s path is a sacred one used by millions of pilgrims in the one that leads from the mountains near France to the coast of . The path is also known as “The Way of St. James.”
Along the way, he is guided by a wise man, and learns a number of important lessons. I particularly like how the book introduces a number of interesting meditations (8-10, can’t remember exactly) that you can apply in your own life. It’s both a story and a personal development manual.
While this book is not nearly as profound as The Alchemist (perhaps my favorite book of all-time, also by Coelho) it is a worthwhile and fast read. I got through it in a long weekend of lazy reading.
I just built a little raised bed in my yard.
I needed more space to plant greens (I eat a TON of them!) and this part of my lawn was already destroyed from overgrowth and pine needles that killed off the grass.
It was a simple little project, just arranging some rocks, adding soil and planting seeds (all organic!) – but it feels good having done it. Building things with your hands isn’t about doing something cheaper or better, it’s about the sense of accomplishment and pride that can only come from creating something from scratch – by yourself.
What are you building?
Meditation is something that anyone can do. It doesn’t require any type of special certification or training in a certain meditation technique. It just requires consistent practice. Here are three helpful tips to help you in your own meditation practice:
1. Sit every day, no matter how long or short. Frequency matters more than length. Like any habit, doing it often and with regularity – even if you can only sit for 60 seconds a day – is better than a multi-hour marathon meditation session once a week.
2. Sit in a dark and quiet place. Less distractions the better, especially if your mind wanders easily. When in a small apartment that was brightly lit, even in the morning, I would cover my entire head with a shawl.
3. Sit early morning. Before your coffee. Before getting dressed. Make your meditation the first thing you do.
I just finished reading Clayton Christensen’s new book, How Will You Measure Your Life. As i posted before, when I joined Microsoft as an intern over 12 years ago my manager handed me a copy of his then breakthrough best-seller “The Innovators Dilemma” (it’s still a best seller). I liked it for the way it used historical examples and simple theory to explain complex business situations.
What I like about his most recent book, is that it provides more of these theories, but applies them to personal life situations. Finding a job that is fulfilling. Finding meaningful relationships. Finding a life purpose. Things like that.
The biggest insight I got from the book is to not settle until you find your purpose, and find a career and lifestyle that supports it. I was surprised to learn that Christensen (a Harvard Business School professor) didn’t decide to teach until he was in his late 30′s, after two other careers.
It’s never too late to make a change. When it comes to your profession, you will spend a large portion of the waking hours in your prime years doing what you do. Pick something great and don’t settle until you find it.
One of the first business books I read (not counting college textbooks) was The Innovators Dilemma by Clayton Christensen. I was an intern at Microsoft 12 years ago and my boss had just read it. He handed it to me (along with a stack of printed revenue reports to review) and recommend I take a look. The book is a classic now, easy to read and simple in its theory but very applicable then and now to the problem of sustained innovation for any business.
I’m now halfway rough his latest book How Will You Measure Your Life in which he applies business theory to the problem of finding a career and life purpose that will be fulfilling.
The Innovators Dilemma theory states that businesses that are successful are often and eventually disrupted by emergent strategies by companies in their industry, with products that are initially deemed inferior in some way, but superior in other meaningful ways. In the same way that people initially dismissed autos as inferior to horses and buggies (they were noisy, broke down and were limited to level roads), the autos slowly improved and redefined transportation. The same thing has happened to the steel business, retail stores, tech industry, books, restaurants and almost every other industry.
I like this book because it challenges the reader to think hard about the patterns they are running in their lives and the assumptions and motivations driving their decisions. Christensen himself decided to get a PhD at the age of 37 and change careers to become a professor at 39, after years as a consultant and business owner. He disrupted himself before he found himself trapped in a career and lifestyle he didn’t truly love. That takes courage no book can in itself give to a reader, but the theories he lays out do help.