Cal Newport's Five Books Read This Month List

Cals-books

I am a big fan of Cal Newport's Deep Life podcast.

One of his monthly goals is to read at least five books, which he then covers in his podcast.

Fellow podcast fan Bram Adams ([email protected]) has created a database of all Cal has read here: Cal’s Five Books of the Month.

Bram's site also makes fantastic use of Notion.

Thanks, Bram!!


My 2024 Daily Morning Personal Devotion Plan

Pexels-tima-miroshnichenko-5710598Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko

Here is an update to my 2023 plan.

This year, I am reading and journaling about the following two books as part of my daily morning routine:

I was wondering if I was going to do The Daily Stoic book again, as I've re-read it for the last four years. However, after the first week, it is just so good that I'm happy I am re-reading it again.

As far as last year's two other books:

I enjoyed both of them very much, and I recommend them if you are looking for something to do as part of your daily routine.

I am reading these books on my Kindle Paperwhite (which I also recommend if you want a dedicated ebook reader).


2024 Continuous Year Calendar PDFs For Free Download

Just like last year, I have created some downloadable PDF files of "continuous" calendars for 2024:

I hopefully did the conversion from 2023 to 2024 correctly. It was especially tricky since 2024 is a Leap Year. If you find an error, then please let me know.

These were inspired by Kairos Cognition very elegant calendar:

Karos

This is what the Horizontal PDF looks like (3 copies if you print one):

Continuous 2024 Calendar (Horizontal)And this is what the Vertical PDF looks like:

Kairos Congnition 2024 Continuous Wall Calendar


When Should Kids Get A Smartphone?

I think Cal Newport has done his homework on this topic, and I found his conclusions solid.

Here are three additional recommendations I have for "effective" mobile device use:

  1. Turn off all notifications.  Only add back the critical ones like: Text messages from family members, key home automation alerts, local emergency notifications, etc.
  2. Don't sleep with your device within reach.
  3. When trying to do very focused work, put your phone in airplane mode.

Thoughts & Tips On Digital Reading

Kindle-camping-mount-guard-your-heartPhoto by Frank Holleman on Unsplash

In a recent episode of Cal Newport's The Deep Life Podcast -- Episode 238: The Joys Of The Reading Life -- Cal provided his well-thought-out ideas on how to have a deep reading life and how that intersects with our digital technologies.

I agree with Cal that reading deeply needs concentration and is free from distraction. Physical books are excellent for those that want that experience.

I also agree that reading on the Kindle (or other dedicated eBook readers) can be a deep reading platform. My Kindle Paperwhite is my primary device for all my reading with my eyes. [NOTE: Listening to audiobooks is reading. Don't get me started.]

He is also correct that reading on most people's standard mobile phones or digital tablets like an iPad is not a deep reading platform.

If you do end up reading on a phone or tablet, here are my recommendations.

My phone already has very minimal alerts, but with a quick swipe, I turn on "Do Not Disturb."  And in my Kindle application on the phone, I have changed the background color (Layout > Page Color) from white (default) to green. The other options are: tan, white, or black. I'd choose tan if you don't like the green color.

I find having that green background - uncommon like the tan - tells my mind that I am now in reading mode and not scanning mode (like with a white or black background). This lets me read more deeply when I don't have my Kindle and only my phone. Once I finish reading, I turn off "Do Not Disturb."

Reading on my iPad is more straightforward, as I have 'Do Not Disturb' always on. And I am only reading content on my iPad with colors: comic books, WWII books with maps, Star Wars guides, recipe books, etc. I don't change the background color on my iPad.

Thoughts? Comments? Feedback is always welcome!


White Coat Ceremony Oath - Long Beach State University

IMG_3211-COLLAGEMy daughter Crason recently participated in a White Coat Ceremony at Long Beach State University at the start of her nursing program.

This ceremony is done at"enlightened" medical schools for doctors and nurses that expose their students at the beginning of their program with their "oath" of service vice at the end.

I believe this follows the best practices from Franklin Covey's thinking of "The End In Mind" and David Allen's thoughts on "Outcoming Thinking."

This is the oath the student took at the end of the ceremony:

In dedicating myself to the profession of nursing, I solemnly pledge that I will:

  • Uphold the welfare of humanity and relief of suffering as my primary concerns;
  • Act in a compassionate and trustworthy maner in all aspects of my care;
  • Treate my patients, peers, and faculty with kindness, respect, and dignity;
  • Apply my knowledge, experience, and skills to the best of my ability to assure optimal outcomes of my patients;
  • Exercise sound profressional judgetment while abiding by legal and ethical requirements;
  • Accept the lifelong obligation to improve my professional knowledge and comptenence;
  • Contribute to a healthy and safe learning environment;
  • Promote, advocate for and strive to protect the health, safterty, and rights of the patient, regardless of their social or economic status, personal attributes, or nature of their health problems.

With this pledge, I accept the duties and responsiblities that embody the nursing profession.

I take this oath voluntarily and with the full realization of the responsibility with which I am entrusted by the public, my patients, and thier families.


My 2023 Daily Morning Personal Devotion Plan

Thought-catalog-505eectW54k-unsplashPhoto by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Back in 2019, I embarked on a daily morning personal devotion and growth plan by reading these two books on my Kindle Paperwhite (no ads):

Since then, I've rotated the faith devotional book yearly, but I have kept re-reading the The Daily Stoic (it is really that good).  The previous faith devotionals were:

In addition to reading these, I have been practicing journaling whatever comes to mind before my readings. Looking back over my journaling, I see some themes: what happened the day before, or what is going to happen soon; prayers; concerns/worries; and insight into how I am feeling or how I am doing professionally and personally.  I also capture some thoughts or ideas that stand out from my readings. I have tried to journal both on paper and digitally. I have currently settled on paper.  I am currently using a Moleskin that was given to me by Manager-Tools.com.

Another practice I have been doing is high-lighting those verses mentioned in the faith devotionals in my Bible (NIV Faithlife Study Bible: Intriguing Insights To Inform Your Faith).  It is becoming very interesting to see what verses get used across different authors, and those that only get one or two mentions.  An additional insight is how much of the Bible hasn't been referenced. It is also especially interesting to me when my "Faith Daily Devotional" is very aligned with the "Stoic Daily Read."

This year I am going to read in the morning:

I am looking forward to Rolf's book as I've been listening to his podcast for years, and he inspired me to take this Europe Trip in 2019.

NOTE: Links to things you can buy go to Amazon Prime.

#human_generated_content


2023 Continuous Year Calendar PDFs For Free Download

Just like last year, I have created some downloadable files of "continuous" calendars for 2023:

I hopefully did the conversion from 2022 to 2023 correctly.  If you find an error then please let me know.

These were inspired by Kairos Cognition very elegant calendar:

Karos


Recommended: Adam Smith Podcasts From Freakonomics.com

Kirkcaldy_High_Street_Adam_Smith_Plaque

I learned a lot about Adam Smith that I didn't know about in this three part podcast from Freakonomics.com: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

Here are a few examples: