Ability to tell stories and forecast the future are among the top reasons why Sapiens have conquered the world. As opposed to other animals, humans have the capability to communicate with one another through storytelling. We know how to come together and organize ourselves in times of crisis to overcome challenges.
Communication can take various mediums – for example, reading books, listening to podcasts, watching videos, face-to-face storytelling, observation, etc. We have come to learn about our history of existence through extensive research and stories deducted by scientists from such research works. As members of this generation, we have enjoyed great ease of access to information.
Technology has made it easier for us to access information; most of us spend a lot of time on the internet. While connected to the internet, we read e-books, listen to meaningful audio and video conversations, listen to music, etc.
Now, as a 20-something-year-old, there are some wildly-popular or not-so-wildly learning resources praised by other young people around the world. Some of these resources are claimed to have changed speakers’ life tangents for the better.
Below are a couple of the resources that you should check out in case you haven’t bumped into or are recommended to you by a friend. They include books, podcast episodes, articles, videos, and personalities.
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari (book)
Sapiens is a cult classic both among ourselves (the youths) and our parents. The book has received praise from the likes of Bill Gates – he can represent our parents for today, hence, today we all have a billionaire father 🙂 and college students (such as yours truly). The book has been praised for summarizing the entire history of humankind in under 500 pages. It covers all the key historic revolutions of humankind – such as the cognitive revolution, the agricultural revolution, the unification of humankind (through money, governments, and religion), and the scientific revolution. Simply put, the book will prompt you to question the worthiness of your high school history classes. It may cause you to appreciate more the role of history in our lives. It may change your perspective on life forever. But you have to come with an open mind.
Digital minimalism by Cal Newport (book)
Social media and other digital entertainment platforms (such as Netflix and YouTube) have had a great impact on our health and productivity. That’s an undeniable fact. In this book, Cal Newport provides insights into the impact of the aforementioned platforms on our lives and how we can fight to gain back our attention. Simply written, suggestively for our generation, the book provides valuable techniques to help us disentangle ourselves and use digital platforms to benefit ourselves as opposed to enriching their billionaire creators.
Grab a copy to learn about topics such as digital decluttering, the importance of solitude (“All of humanity’s problems stems from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone” and “Conversation enriches the understanding, but solitude is the school of genius”), and reclaiming leisure.
Ego is the enemy (book)
First, it’s important to get to know about Ryan Holiday (because I know it’ll fascinate those who are contemplating dropping out of college, lol). He dropped out of college at 19 years to apprentice under Robert Greene. Early in his career, he worked as director of marketing and advisor at American Apparel. He is obsessed with stoic philosophy. He is 35 years old.
In Ego is the enemy, he provides practical introspection on ego and its dangers with examples from diverse backgrounds including literature, philosophy, and history. The book is packed with gems that can instantly impact your life. For example, his idea of the Canvas Strategy, that is, ignoring getting credit and getting ahead at the expense of finding, presenting, and facilitating opportunities that help the people you work with and report to grow and succeed.
The Canvas Strategy works on the principle that you learn a lot by solving diverse problems by assisting other people (especially when you are starting out and don’t have a lot on your plate), you develop a reputation for being indispensable, and you gain countless new relationships. All these create an enormous bank of favors that you can call upon in the future – those whom you’ve assisted will feel indebted and comfortable to assist you in the future.
… the person who clears the path ultimately controls its direction, just as the canvas shapes the painting.
Simply put, the Canvas Strategy is about helping yourself by helping others. Even better put, Ryan noted this about the strategy: “Let the others take their credit on credit, while you defer and earn interest on the principal.”
When you are just starting out, we can be sure of a few fundamental realities: 1) You’re not nearly as good or as important as you think you are; 2) You have an attitude that needs to be readjusted; 3) Most of what you think you know or most of what you’ve learnt in books or in school is out of date or wrong.
Learn about other topics such as how to get out of your head, the danger of early pride, entitlement, control, and paranoia, and how to stay a student, among other topics. Ego is the enemy is a book that every young person who looks to have a long-lasting impact on the world to read.
The Richest Man in Babylon (book)
There are a plethora of finance books in the market. These days dozens are published every week. You don’t need to read all of them. If any of them, The Richest Man in Babylon (and perhaps Rich Dad, Poor Dad) are enough to set you on a path to financial freedom – and of course, that’s only if you practice the knowledge shared in the books.
How to Get Rich (without getting lucky), Twitter thread and mega-podcast episode
Naval Ravikant is an American entrepreneur and investor. Some of the companies that he has invested in include Uber, Postmates, and Wish. In 2018, Naval compiled a tweet thread (tweetstorm) with a lot of gems on wealth creation. The list is pinned on his Twitter profile. He then went ahead and recorded a 3.5-hour podcast episode delving into each of the tweets that make up the tweetstorm.
Lastly, you may find Eric Jorgenson’s book, Almanack of Naval Ravikant, very interesting. The book is a compilation of Naval’s sentiments as a guest on various media outlets. It only costs about 300 KES on Amazon Kindle. You can also download a free version of the book on Eric’s website.
These resources should not be treated as less important than the ones above. I just didn’t want this blog post to be longer than this. So I have decided to just mention them. So here we go: