“The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries.” – René Descartes
I’m blessed to have the privilege of helping people all over the world. However, one guy’s issues gave me pause to really think this week.
He was from Syria and had some great, creative ideas but didn’t know what steps to take. As I was pondering the situation trying to come up with some semblance of an answer I came to the realization that I didn’t know enough to answer him.
So, I told him that I could only give him the basic principles of what I would do given those circumstances.
I felt so helpless and like I was pulling advice out of my ass. What the hell am I doing giving advice to someone whose situation I can’t even imagine facing myself? The last thing I’d be thinking about was how to achieve my goals!
Well, some time later he’d made some decisions regarding his academic pursuits and where to go from there. He thanked me and I was so happy for him! It takes some major strength to attempt to rise above something like that despite all the things working against him.
Earlier this year I pledged to read 101 books during this year and I got asked the question: “What books should I read to become more intelligent?”
I had to sit back for a while and think about that. Sure, we’re given the ability to gain more knowledge and thereby maybe make better decisions, but more intelligent?
I started thinking about how we’re born with a range of mental capacity which we can work with and maybe to a certain extent even expand.
The thing is we don’t know what that capacity is until we actually get there. Also, there are many different ways in which to be intelligent besides IQ.
In fact, we could argue that emotions like empathy might be the most important kind of intellect. It’s how we relate to eachother and the world around us.
I stumbled across some research that I suggested they read and gave them a list of books to read. You can see it at the bottom.
Right now we’re on day 99 of the challenge and I’ve already read 49 books. Today I’m going to start on number 50 and hope to have it done by tomorrow.
This also made me think about what books that I’ve read during these past 100 days that’ve somehow changed my beliefs or given me new insights.
Gary Vaynerchuk – “The Thank You Economy” & “Crush It”
Benedict Carey – “How We Learn”
Jill Bolte Taylor – “My Stroke of Insight”
Joshua Foer – “Moonwalking with Einstein”
A.J Jacobs – “The Know-It-All”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb – “Fooled by Randomness”
In my mind nothing beats human interaction when it comes to developing your intelligence. That being said, here are some more books that can help us in our development!