Malcolm X’s Alma Mater – And How Choosing Between ‘Dead Time’ and ‘Alive Time’ Can Change Your Life.
Malcolm X was a criminal. He wasn’t Malcolm X at the time – they called him Detroit Red and he was a criminal opportunist who did a little bit of everything. He ran numbers. He sold drugs. He worked as a pimp. Then he moved up to armed robbery. He had his own burglary gang, which he ruled over with a combination of intimidation and boldness – exploiting the fact that he did not seem afraid to kill or die.
Then, finally, he was arrested trying to fence an expensive watch he’d stolen. He was carrying a gun at the time, though to his credit he made no move to fight the officers who had trapped him. In his apartment, they found jewelry, furs, an arsenal of guns, and all his burglary tools.
He got ten years. It was February 1946. He was barely twenty-one years old.
“Yet we are what we read. We are the educators of our own personalities. Certainly we have great influence in the crafting of our children. If we brought half the intelligence to the making of souls that we bring to the making of machines, we would be people of character and imagination. We would be sharp and therefore less inclined to kill and cheat each other. We would know where to find the deep pleasures, so we would be less desperate for shallow entertainments and the ephemeral gratifications of gadgets.” ~ Thomas Moore, Original Self
“The way out of the dehumanizing effects of modern capitalism and industrialism is not to change the system but to read good books.” ~ Thomas Moore, Original Self
“In my own experience, it is often the brief, simple, original books that turn out to be the most useful. The books I have on my special shelf – books for personal, lifelong use – are all brief and untraditionally structured. They are almost all illustrated, and they have considerable blank space on a page. These are not sources of information but books for meditation. A book is virtual space that invites contemplation and perusal. In this space one tarries and looks around, absorbing the atmosphere, and then leaves, the author hopes, happy to have visited.” ~ Thomas Moore, Original Self
“In the connected age, reading and writing remain the two skills that are most likely to pay off with exponential results. Reading leads to more reading. Writing leads to better writing. Better writing leads to a bigger audience and more value creation. And the process repeats.” ~ Seth Godin, Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?
One of my goals in 2016 was to read 50 books.
…I had the same goal set for my New Year’s resolution in 2014 and 2015 and fell short both years.
After I fell short in 2014 by reading 32 books, I felt my competitive side coming out and I distinctly remember feeling an increase in motivation going into 2015.
I consider myself to be a pretty competitive person and the fact that I was feeling motivated from the start of the new year and driven to beat my personal best left me feeling quite confident.
When I finished 2015, not only did I fall short of my goal of 50 books but I fell short on the number of books I read in 2014 – reading 30 books.
…That’s when I knew I had to take a deeper look because otherwise 2016 would be nothing more than a repeat.
“Through books you can start today where the great thinkers of yesterday left off, because books have immortalized man’s knowledge. Thinkers, dead a thousand years, are as alive in their books today as when they walked the earth.” ~ Wilfred Peterson, The Art of Living
“You open doors when you open books… doors that swing wide to unlimited horizons of knowledge, wisdom, and inspiration that will enlarge the dimensions of your life.” ~ Wilfred Peterson, The Art of Living
“In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject area) who didn’t read all the time – none, zero. You’d be amazed at how much Warren [Buffett] reads – and how much I read. My children laugh at me. They think I’m a book with a couple of legs sticking out.” ~ Charles T. Munger
“The power of reading a great book is that you start thinking like the author. For those magical moments while you are immersed in the forests of Arden, you are William Shakespeare; while you are shipwrecked on Treasure Island, you are Robert Louis Stevenson; while you are communing with nature at Walden, you are Henry David Thoreau. You start to think like they think, feel like they feel, and use imagination as they would. Their references become your own, and you carry these with you long after you’ve turned the last page. That is the power of literature, of a good play, of music; this is why we constantly want to expand our references.” ~ Anthony Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within