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THE OPERATOR: Firing the Shots that Killed Osama bin Laden and My Years as a SEAL Team Warrior
by Robert O'Neill

Lately I have been reading with interest about the Navy Seals and I have already spoken about “Extreme Ownership” by Jocko Willink.

I will be speaking in San Francisco this month at a financial conference and O’Neil is the Keynote speaker. His story is about a kid from Montana that could not swim that grows up to be a Navy Seal with the famed Seal Team Six. He ends up being the shooter that took out the most notorious criminal of the decade, who master minded the murder of thousands at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 and the death of innocent people on 3 different airliners.

For anyone who has any interest in military history and the training behind the Seal Teams you will enjoy this book.

by Ray Dalio

Ray Dalio runs one of the biggest hedge funds in the world and started from a 2 room apartment back in the 70’s. He was a fore runner in developing software and algorithms for decision making processes.

I found this book to be a story of how he built the company and the principles of his belief and management style that he developed.

I don’t agree with all of his beliefs but then he probably would not agree with all of mine either.

Worthy reading if you have interest in the financial industry or business managment, if not best move on to an area of your personal interest.

by Jocko Willink

Jocko Willink's methods for success were born in the SEAL Teams, where he spent most of his adult life, enlisting after high school and rising through the ranks to become the commander of the most highly decorated special operations unit of the war in Iraq. In

Discipline Equals Freedom, the #1 New York Times bestselling co-author of Extreme Ownership describes how he lives that mantra: the mental and physical disciplines he imposes on himself in order to achieve freedom in all aspects of life.

Many books offer advice on how to overcome obstacles and reach your goals but that advice often misses the most critical ingredient: discipline. Without discipline, there will be no real progress. Discipline Equals Freedom covers it all, including strategies and tactics for conquering weakness, procrastination, and fear, and specific physical training presented in workouts for beginner, intermediate, and advanced athletes, and even the best sleep habits and food intake recommended to optimize performance.

Just as a reminder if you really want to enjoy a great book also read “Extreme Ownership” which I have reviewed in a previous post. If you want a greater experience don’t read it but listen to it read in the audio version by the author. His personal accounts of Iraq and the Seal Team he lead are riveting.

by Yvonne Poulin & Gordon Morrison

Several years ago, my wife and I made the decision to move my mother from an independent living seniors home to our home.

We built a suite for her and arranged caregivers to assist with the day-to-day support of our mom. I wish I would have had this book at that time.

It will guide you through the many things that you will need to know in preparing to care for a senior parent.

This book will also help you to prepare yourself to stay in your own home, should you wish to, for the remaining years of your life.

How the Science of Mental Preparation Can Help You Succeed by Daniel McGinn

In Psyched Up, journalist Daniel McGinn dives into the latest psychological research and interviews athletes, soldiers, entertainers, and others who, despite years of practice and enviable track records, will ultimately be judged on their ability to delivera solid performance when it’s their turn to shine.

For instance, he reveals…

• How Jerry Seinfeld’s jacket and Stephen Colbert’s pen help them get laughs.

• What General Stanley McChrystal said to Special Forces before they entered the battlefield.

• Why the New England Patriots hired the DJ from the Red Sox to help them win.

Whether you’re a sportsperson or a salesperson, an actor or an entrepreneur, one bad hour can throw away months of hard work. There’s so much conflicting popular advice that we often end up doing the wrong things.

McGinn separates the facts from the old wives’ tales and shares new, research driven strategies for activating your talent, optimizing your emotions, and getting psyched up to take the spotlight.

Overwhelmed By A Relentless God by Francis Chan

I think it only fitting that I highlight Francis’s book because last week I spent time with him in San Francisco.

Francis was a young seminary student who started a Christian church in his home front living room that grew to over 4000 people over a 15 year period. One day he went to China and visited the persecuted church of the country that met in homes throughout the land.

He came back to Los Angeles and basically said: “We spend $4 million each year for you to come and look at the backs of each others heads and listen to me teach you what the bible says about living and we are not doing it.”

He stepped down as pastor moved his family into a 1500 square foot house in inner city San Francisco and began all over again in his living room in the poor part of town. That meeting has grown to 14 home churches now that go out into the community and feed the poor and help the downtrodden. He put his family at risk to live out the calling of the New Testament church.

During that time he wrote this book “Crazy Love” and when the publisher read it they said this book will sell a million copies to which Francis said “ if this book makes me a millionaire then I don’t want any money from it, it will just wreck me so put all the money in a trust that the trustees decide where it goes to help the poor.” To date the book has sold over 2.5 million copies and funded the trust with over $5 million dollars.

Meeting Francis was humbling, he is the real deal. If you read this book whether you believe in God or not be ready to be challenged about living not just for ourselves but also for the interests of others.

I loved this book!

Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended Fasting by Dr. Jason Fung with Jimmy Moore

This book convinced me to fast.

After reading the benefits of fasting from this doctors perspective I realize that I can mitigate the risk of serious disease and reverse type 2 diabetes.

He gives very helpful tips and teaches you about the different techniques of fasting and it's benefits. It was an enjoyable and educational read.


by Andrew Carnegie

I have always been interested in the life’s of successful people. What was the path that there life took them to end up successful. Not all elements of these people’s lives I would care to emulate but there are often clues to their success. With reading Carnegie I found seven takeaway’s from reading this book.

  1. Carnegie did not borrow money for stock investments. I know that leverage is popular in our day but in the 19th century the world’s richest man would not expose himself to any loss except that it be his own. 
  2. Carnegie felt the best investment in the world was his own. He never understood why business people would invest in far away lands in businesses they did not understand when under his own roof was a business he understood. This proved to be very beneficial causing him to become the richest man in the world in the 19thcentury.
  3. Understand where the weakest link in your business is. In a banking crises he saw many businesses fail and it was because of vulnerability’s that were unattended in those businesses. 
  4. Travel the world. Carnegie found that this greatly affected his thinking and broadened his worldview of people and life. It brought him great pleasure to visit other lands.
  5. Be yourself when speaking. Asking a great orator of his day he wanted to know what brought the speaker such great success. It was simply to be yourself and not to fabricate an impression of great elocution.
  6. Wealth gave Carnegie a great opportunity help many people in which he did in a splendid way. He started pensions to help the poor, a hero fund and built many libraries around the world. 
  7. Carnegies wealth provided a platform for him to recognize the efforts of many of the people that helped him over the years. It also gave him great influence in the matters of education with universities and local governments.

by George Müller

Few lives have inspired me more than George Müller. A Christian pastor from Germany in the 1800’s that went to England to pastor a small church. He was horrified at the plight of many children on the streets who had no home and were orphaned in life. At that time there were over 6,000 children incarcerated in English prisons and this was not juvenile detention but mainstream prisons.

Charles Dickens wrote of these times in his famous book  Oliver Twist. Most of the children were imprisoned for stealing food and small things to survive on their own.

Seeing the need Müller opened a home to take in children and by the time he passed from this earth at age 92 over 10,000 children had been given safe upbringing and educated without going to the poor houses or jail.

Müller did all of this while never once asking for a penny of support. He was a man of faith that daily sought the favour of God in prayer and left an amazing legacy of kindness and hope.

The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers
by Timothy Ferriss

I have been following Tim Ferris for a few years now. He has the most interesting guests on his podcasts that are the best in the world at what they do.

Tim takes complicated subjects or skills and deconstructs them into bite size steps that produce great results. Learn a new language in just a few days or learn how to reverse type 2 diabetes in 2 weeks.

I also found it very interesting to learn the routines of people that are the best in the world at what they do.

by Roger Lowenstein

This is an amazing biography of the billionaire Warren Buffett. What amazed me is the detail of history from his life.

This book gave me an appreciation for the man's brilliance and I have learned a thing or two from studying his life and business dealings. I don't agree with all of his values or beliefs but there is always something to be learning in studying a successful person's life.

I have learned what to do and maybe more importantly what not to do. Overall I really enjoyed this book and found it at times fascinating.

by Anders Berglund

I recently had the pleasure of being introduced to Anders Berglund.

This is a book that tells the story of a top level IKEA executive who had the idea whether a privately owned IKEA store would be successful.

It turned out to be a huge success and this book explains many of the principles that Anders used to create that great success.

It is not a large book but very worthwhile to read and a lesson in leadership.

by Bobb Biehl

My friend Bobb Biehl has written I think well over 30 books and he is the wisest man I know. Some time ago he sent me a copy of his book after I was impressed how good he looked after dropping some body weight.

Now I have read many books on diet, fitness and health. In typical Bobb fashion he compresses a truckload of wisdom into a wheelbarrow.

THINKING MAN Diet helps you DROP to your IDEAL WEIGHT and STAY at your IDEAL WEIGHT ... for LIFE! Get to your IDEAL WEIGHT without exercising, ordering costly skinny foods , or supplements. You can get to your IDEAL WEIGHT using a proven process, which is 100% invisible to your friends.

Here’s what you learn in this book:

  • You can eat whatever you want! Fantastic news to a foodie like me.
  • You learn about a maximum weight that you will never ever go over.
  • The importance of having a target weight and how to think about this.
  • Techniques for cutting back on the volume of food that we really don’t need.
  • That first bite and why it is the most important.
  • How to think “thin” thoughts to reframe your brain.
  • Why you don’t tell people what you are doing?.

by Angela Duckworth

In this must-read book for anyone striving to succeed, pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth shows parents, educators, athletes, students, and business people-both seasoned and new-that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a focused persistence called "grit."

Why do some people succeed and others fail? Sharing new insights from her landmark research on grit, MacArthur "genius" Angela Duckworth explains why talent is hardly a guarantor of success. Rather, other factors can be even more crucial such as identifying our passions and following through on our commitments. Drawing on her own powerful story as the daughter of a scientist who frequently bemoaned her lack of smarts, Duckworth describes her winding path through teaching, business consulting, and neuroscience, which led to the hypothesis that what really drives success is not "genius" but a special blend of passion and long-term perseverance. As a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Duckworth created her own "character lab" and set out to test her theory.

Here, she takes readers into the field to visit teachers working in some of the toughest schools, cadets struggling through their first days at West Point, and young finalists in the National Spelling Bee. She also mines fascinating insights from history and shows what can be gleaned from modern experiments in peak performance. Finally, she shares what she's learned from interviewing dozens of high achievers-from JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon to the cartoon editor of The New Yorker to Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll.

Winningly personal, insightful, and even life-changing, Grit is a book about what goes through your head when you fall down, and how that-not talent or luck-makes all the difference.

The Sale of a Lifetime - How The Great Bubble Burst Of 2017-2019 Can Make You Rich
by Harry S. Dent, Jr.

After the Roaring '20s came the Great Depression. After the Roaring 2000s came the Great Recession.

We're now entering the winter season of the 80-Year Four Season Economic Cycle. It's during this season that we'll clear the decks with a devastating crash and debilitating deflation. The economy and markets will shed the excesses created during the preceding fall bubble boom season and prepare the soil for new blossoming in innovation and a spring boom.

In this pressing book, you'll learn not only why a collapse is imminent, but how to identify bubbles and tune in to the cycles driving that drive booms and busts.

Practical, accessible, and illuminating, The Sale of a Lifetime will protect you from the tough challenges ahead and help you cash in on the unique opportunities of the next few years. At stake is nothing less than your entire financial future.

The Golden Rules: 10 Steps to World-Class Excellence in Your Life and Work
by Bob Bowman

Bob Bowman is the coach that led to Michael Phelps becoming the most successful athlete in Olympic history.  

When I read this book, I began to see the pattern of how success is created. Bowman said “You can’t train to win an Olympic medal but you can train to achieve times that would give you a high probability of winning a medal."

Once Bowman determined what those times would be, he then deconstructed those times by working backwards from the Olympic date over 1500 days and mapped out a strategy of training each day to have Phelps achieve the desired times.  

When Bowman revealed the training schedule of 1500 days with no days off, Phelps replied: “no one can do this!”, to which Bowman replied: “you are right, no one except you!”

Phelps bought into Bowman’s faith in him and the rest is history - 28 Olympic medals. This book provides good advice that can be applied to almost every area in life.

15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management
by Kevin Kruse

The Productivity Habits of 7 Billionaires, 13 Olympic Athletes, 29 Straight-A Students, and 239 Entrepreneurs.

What if a few new habits could dramatically increase your productivity, and even 5x or 10x it in key areas?

What if you could get an an hour a day to read, exercise, or to spend with your family.

New York Times bestselling author, Kevin Kruse, presents the remarkable findings of his study of ultra-productive people.

Based on survey research and interviews with billionaires, Olympic athletes, straight-A students, and over 200 entrepreneurs—-including Mark Cuban, Kevin Harrington, James Altucher, John Lee Dumas, Pat Flynn, Grant Cardone, and Lewis Howes — Kruse answers the question: what are the secrets to extreme productivity?

The Bulletproof Diet
by Dave Asprey

Recently I was listening to a podcast in which a professor from a South Florida University was discussing the benefits of the ketogenic diet. One thing that caught my ear was the statement that said “we were able to reverse a type II diabetic in two weeks using the ketogenic diet”.

This prompted me to inquire with our client Tyler Witthoeft, who owns Active Body Nutrition in Burnaby, BC. Tyler is an experienced bodybuilding champion and when I asked him about the ketogenic diet, he recommended I talked to his wife Andrea.  Andrea practices the ketogenic diet, and referred me to the book “The Bulletproof Diet”.

I was fascinated to learn of the origins of this diet and how a young Internet millionaire came to experience the benefits of putting butter in your coffee. No that's not a misprint, I really did say butter.

Every morning I get up and have the most delicious coffee made with grass fed butter and MCT oil. I blend the coffee and the butter which completely satisfies my appetite until noon without having to eat any further foods. Lunch and dinner are predominantly meats and vegetables with no breads or pasta’s. I immediately noticed an increase in daily weight loss, but more importantly a noticeable increase in energy and focus.

This book is very well written and gives you the scientific basis of why eating this way works. If you want more energy or wish to lose a few pounds, I would heartily recommend reading the Bulletproof Diet.

Be sure to watch the video via the link below where I introduce our advisor, Lane Cuthbert, to his first ever coffee with grass fed butter. The video speaks for itself.

WATCH - https://vimeo.com/178246914

Seven Men - And The Secret Of Their Greatness
by Eric Metaxas

I have always been interested in greatness, what makes men or women great and how are they known for their greatness in their lifetime?

After reading Eric Metaxes biography of Bonhoeffer, which I enjoyed so much, I thought I would continue on with this biography of seven great men.

The interesting thing about this book is that there is a common denominator amongst all the seven men even though they lived at different periods throughout history.

That common denominator was a belief and a commitment to the purpose for which they believe they were called to. Some of the stories I knew or thought I knew, but Metaxes unpacked interesting challenges that laid before each men's lives that are not commonly known.

I found this book interesting, inspiring and I certainly learned a thing or two.

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
by Greg McKeown

A very thought provoking book for all. I just squeezed in 4 days of holiday between due diligence meetings with money managers in Boston and Berlin. I chose to spend 4 days on a cruise out of Miami so I didn't have to make decisions about where I was to eat or what I was to do.

What I found interesting was how functional I could live with just the essentials in my state room. 250 square feet providing a comfortable bed, TV for entertainment and news, Internet, small writing desk and a toilet with a completely functional shower. I lacked for nothing and it got me thinking "why is it we think we always need more?"

Now this is coming from a guy who lives in an 11 bedroom house which serves a purpose as we have 8 children at home plus my 91 year mother and 84 year old mother-in-law. As well, I was given a Mini Cooper two years ago and thought I would keep it in the garage and only drive it for fun, but it is so functional and provides essential transportation. I have thought I should buy one of those new Jaguars that often turns my head but do I really need it?

Essentialism is not minimalism but it forces you to ask the question, "What do I NEED to make this happen?" I enjoyed this book and I am going to go through it again which, to me, is always a sign that a book has a message for me. I think it is essential for you to read this book :-)

by Eric Metaxas

This next month I am travelling to Germany for meetings with fund managers and insurance executives. My trip will take me to Berlin and I wanted to get a feel for the culture and the history of Germany.

I thought I would read the biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer which is a New York Times best seller.

This is a fascinating story that wraps around the life of one of Germany's most famous theologians in the darkness hours of Germany's history.

Culture, history and conviction are all told in a masterful way but Eric Metaxas bringing understanding and maybe even more important a warning for our present times.

It is a big read but worth the while and very enjoyable.

Smarter Faster Better
by Charles Duhigg

I was excited to see Duhigg's latest book come out after reading his book The Power of Habit.

Duhigg does fantastic research to bring his points of discovery to life in the stories he tells. In this book are 8 key concepts including motivation, goals, focus and decision making.

If you are involved in any organization from a business right down to a family there is much to learn in how our choices affect our lives.

Duhigg kept my interest with his fascinating story telling and research.

Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable
by Tim S. Grover

This book was written by the man that trained both Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant basketball superstars in the NBA.

Even though this is about bringing the best out of some of the top athletes in the world there is not one sentence about exercise routines or specifics.

This book is about mindset and for any reader that enjoys sports there are many lessons to learn. It is an interesting journey into some of the greatest athletic minds in the world.

Here are some takeaways:

  • The best don't think they perform on instinct
  • The best are not emotional but run on a steady even keel
  • The best lead by example
  • The best look at failures as opportunities to learn
  • The best will risk the big move to win the game

This is a great book that you can apply lessons in life in many different areas. You will especially enjoy it if you are a sports fan or weekend warrior athlete.

The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy
by Chris Bailey

Chris Bailey has made the last ten years of his life a study in productivity. There are some great tips on dealing with procrastination and time management.

Some things are a bit to detailed for me but you might find a few nuggets that make you more productive in your day to day tasks.

One thing not covered is the power of assistant. When you have great assistants like I do with Denise, Alysha and Carling they make me much more efficient than I could ever be by myself.

Why You Do What You Do
by Bobb Biehl

One of my favourite authors is Bobb Biehl who in an amazing way takes truth and compresses it into soundbites of wonderful wisdom.

Have you ever wondered why you do certain things? What motivates you, what inspires you, why certain things are important to you?

This book led me into a important self discovery of why I respond to certain situations in certain ways.

It allowed me to identify my responses and also determine how I prefer to respond rather than just reacting by default.

I would encourage everyone to read this book.

The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet
by Nina Teicholz

I recently went in to see my doctor and he told me I have to read this book. Wow, this may have been the most important nutrition book I have ever read in my life. The information was incredibly well researched and cut through the myths and misinformation that prevails in the media.

This book will set you straight on issues such as fat, oils, protein, carbs, etc. It makes a stunning case for protein and gives many examples of cultures that have far less heart disease and cancer than we North Americans do while surviving on diets high in protein and dairy.

Teicholz is a mother and investigative journalist and right from the outset she states that she is not connected to any special interest groups while she exposes in the book many organizations that promote nutrition based on their selective industry.

This is not only a good read, it is a must read.

Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win.
by Jocko Willink & Leif Babin

I have read hundreds of business and leaderships books. They line the shelves of my library. This book, "Extreme Ownership", may be one of the very best I have ever read. There is a major recommendation I am going to make and it's this… don't read it, listen to it.

Jocko Willink and Leif Babin are everything you would expect them to be as Navy Seals. When you listen to the audio book, they narrate it themselves and the stories they tell of being Navy Seals in Iraq is nothing less than riveting.

The emotion expressed in their voices as they tell the stories of being in the most dire situations is very captivating and held my attention throughout the entire book.

They explain lessons learned on the battlefield and they deconstruct those lessons, describe how they applied those lessons to clients and how those strategies benefitted business.

There is much to be learned from this book for both business and life.

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.
by David Allen

In this world of increasing busyness, David Allen is one of the most recognized experts in the art of productivity.

He has many common sense techniques but also some good life hacks that come from consulting for years in this area of personal productivity.

His many ideas include ideas regarding setting goals and how to get unstuck in the middle of a project that is just not moving forward.

One secret is about what you are not doing and this may be one of the keys to increased productivity. Some tasks are just definitely "off vision".

Leading Me: Eight Practices for a Christian Leader's Most Important Assignment.
by Steve A Brown

For many years I have had a real interest in leadership. What makes a great leader?

This quest lead me to complete my Certificate in Advanced Leadership Development through Arrow Leadership.

This is a 24 month process which basically is like a faith based MBA focusing on leading organizations.

Dr. Steve Brown is the president of Arrow and I remember his teaching extremely well. His basic premise is that you cannot lead an organization until you first have done a good job of leading yourself.

Dr Brown addresses the need to understand your personal vision, unhook the bungee cords in your life, managing your time and leveraging your impact as a leader. The book is a pleasant read with many real nuggets of wisdom.

Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder.
by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

First of all, thanks to my friend and hockey buddy, Vince Taylor, who introduced me to an interesting author, Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

If you read my book review of last month, it was his New York Times best seller "The Black Swan" which introduced me to his next book, "Antifragile".

Taleb is very much a philosophical thinker and this book brings up some very interesting points dealing with what he calls Fragile or Antifragile and what he refers to as Robust.

The example that sticks out in my mind is that of airline pilots. He states that auto pilot has actually created a threat to the airline industry because it is eroding the skills of airline pilots. As they become dependent upon flying by wire, as it is known, they lose the opportunity to develop their skills for moments when a computer is not programmed.

Case in point would be the airline pilot Captain Sully who landed the US Airways jet on the Hudson river. Computers are not programmed for that and only Captain Sully's flying experience and intuition saved the day.

My brother-in-law has over 30,000 hours of flying time and is a retired Delta Airlines captain and he told me that all he had to do was to taxi his Boeing 757 to the end of the runway in LA and then punch in the computer the details for the flight and the computer would take off, fly to Seoul Korea, and land the jet. He did have to taxi it once on the ground, a good example how computers are taking over.

Interestingly, computers are now taking over the investment world and they are called Roboadvisors. It will be interesting to see what "Hudson Rivers" are in their future :)

The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph.
by Ryan Holiday

This book is appropriate for the times we live in with all the challenges that are presented daily in business, family and life.

Really at the base of this book it is all about attitude and how one determines to make the best and seek the best in each situation.

An interesting twist is that the very challenge before you may present the path to the solution.

The author draws on many memorable historical events from the lives of famous people such as Civil war General Grant whose live represented incredible focus and determination.

I enjoyed this read and am reminded that the obstacle may very well hold the key to the solution.

Michael Phelps - No Limits: The Will to Succeed.
by Alan Abrahamson

I am not a swimming fan but did I enjoy this book. It gave me insight into how great an athlete Phelps really is but more so, what it took to win the 8 gold medals in Bejing.

Phelps paid a great price of not taking one day off for over two years… not even Christmas day! His coach mapped out the workout plan for two years and showed it to Phelps who, when he saw it, said "Nobody can do this" to which his coach replied "You are right, nobody but you!". The journey began and the rest is history.

We can learn from the achievements of great men and women - what to do and what not to do. From this book, I learned that you can map out your strategy and work your plan to reach the goals no matter how impossible at the time they may seem to be.

My friend, Bobb Biehl, states "we often over-estimate what we can achieve in one year but under-estimate what we can achieve in 5 years". Set your goals, write your plan, pay the price and win!

Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul.
by Bill Hybels

This book for me was a very enjoyable read. It came highly recommended and I found out why.

Hybels gives insight into the busyness of life and practical solutions on how to deal with these busy challenges.

His use of planning and using your calendar gives wise simple advice. He also writes from a spiritual point of view addressing the use of time and the purpose of your life.

Figure out what is important and get it done.

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants.
by Malcolm Gladwell

Gladwell is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. I have read several of his books and they are extremely well researched.

This book helps us see the world from a different perspective than our biases that might have developed over time even from our youth. All that seems as it is may not be in reality as it is, that is the message I got from this book.

As a child I went to Sunday School and learned about David and Goliath but not from the perspective that Gladwell writes. It is a refreshing and introspective telling of a story we know well but with new facts and information that serve well to introduce modern day examples that go from the battle fields of the middle east to the modern surgery theatre.

I enjoyed this read and my take away is to dig deeper on each story in life, there may be a story behind the story and a life lessons to learn.

The Miracle Morning
by Hal Elrod

I enjoyed this book because I am not naturally an early riser. For those of you that know me I do start work very early. I like to be at the desk by 6am for the perfect start to the day. I know that I can accomplish so much in the early morning hours and a lot of that is preparation.

John Wooden, the famous UCLA basketball coach said, “There are only 2 things you can control, preparation and effort”.

This book is helpful to give techniques and encourage a person to get up early and do the undone things. Some people I know naturally rise early, I have had to learn and train myself for this and it can be done!

Master Planning: The Complete Guide for Building a Strategic Plan for Your Business, Church or Organization
by Bobb Biehl

This is a book that I like to come back to every year in reflection of the past year and looking forward to the new year.

Bobb Biehl is a business and life mentor of mine that has written over 30 books and consults to over 200 presidents and CEO’s of North America corporations and non-profit organizations.

This book will teach you how to understand what your desired end result is and the steps and process to achieving what you or your organization is looking to achieve.

I found the practical steps and process to be very clear and helpful especially if you are working in a team environment because it makes it clear to everyone on the team what the goals is and what steps are involved in the process.

This is not a rah rah book but a manual that helps one person or team cut through the fog of confusion and complexity towards reaching their goals.

The Girl in the Picture: The Kim Phuc Story
by Denise Chong

After personally meeting Kim Phuc and hearing at first-hand her incredible life journey I learned that there is so much more about her than just the picture. I highly recommend and encourage everyone to read her story.

A picture can speak volumes, certainly the photograph of nine-year-old Kim Phuc - a Vietnamese girl fleeing a temple in her napalm-bombed village - had an enormous impact on all who encountered it.

The Girl in the Picture is the painful and ultimately uplifting story of this Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph, credited with prompting wide-spread support for the American anti-war effort and the eventual withdrawal of the U.S. from Vietnam.

This is also the moving story of the young girl, her struggle to survive and her extraordinary escape to a new life in Canada.

Cold Hard Truth
by Kevin O’Leary

This book has some great wisdom. There is a reason O’Leary has been so successful and some of the most important points of wealth he learned from his mother. I like the sound advice of never spending your principle and other common sense ideas and truths.

O’Leary, I think, likes to play the villain on Dragon’s Den but truth be known he does have a heart and is not the bad guy he portrays. There again he is a very smart man and no doubt understands the truth: “Love me or hate me, but never forget me."

Winning the Education Savings Game
by Tim Cestnick

All parents dream of having their children graduate from a post-secondary educational institution. They also desperately hope to be able to support their young scholars through the education years.

Winning the Education Savings Game: RESPs and Other Strategies for Canadians discusses a variety of issues related to paying for education and provides a comprehensive overview of this issue for the reader. Canadians and their financial advisors will find this book to be a very effective and practical guide to understanding and implementing a comprehensive savings program for any education.

Becoming Your Own Banker
by R. Nelson Nash

This is a fascinating read and after reading about this concept I attended a two day seminar with Nelson Nash.

This man has figured out how to use an insurance product that has historically returned about 7% tax to create a banking concept which allows you to become your own bank for all future borrowing.

Rather than pay interest to the bank you pay interest to yourself and the program can be leveraged out to as far as three generations.

It will take you a bit of reading and thinking to grasp the concept but it was enough to motivate me to purchase four contracts myself once the light came on!

Feel free to contact me if you want to learn more about this concept or attend one of our upcoming webinars or seminars.

Dan Loney.

Extreme Productivity
Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours.
by Robert C. Pozen

Michael Pozen is known for his extreme productivity, a reputation that prompted the writing of this book. The former head of Fidelity Investments and a member of various boards, his productivity came from fundamentals that he developed in his personal and business life.

Some of this advice is grassroots common sense like understanding the results that you're trying to achieve in an organization. He is also one that gives attention to detail, measuring success over a 12 month period, and what are the main activities that will achieve this?

In order to extract the many valuable ideas in this book, I had to reread the information to consider how I might apply this to my life on a day-to-day basis. I would suggest, if you read this book, to keep a journal and make notes of the challenging questions that Pozen asks you.

One key concept of the book is to focus on results rather than focus on hours of labor and activity. I highly recommend this book for anyone that is looking to increase the efficiency and productivity in their day-to-day lives.

Dan Loney.

Change or Die
The Three Keys to Change at Work and in Life.
by Alan Deutschman

I really enjoyed this book and the motivation for the book. Deutschman was attending a speech by a president of a major American university who stated that 9 out of 10 heart by pass patients return to the habits that gave them heart disease within 24 months even though their life was on the line.

High fat diets, smoking and excessive alcohol all contributed to this. This amazed Duetschman and he wondered what does it take to change?

He found three amazing examples where organizations or people consistently had success in implementing permanent change. A San Francisco doctor runs a program where eight out of 10 patients not only returned to their former lifestyle but have reversed their heart disease. A psychiatrist working in the field were eight out of 10 felons returned to prison she is able to rehabilitate eight out of 10 to never return to prison. In the final example is from the corporate world where an automobile company took over the operation of the failed GM plant and with the same workers turned it into a very successful automobile factory.

Deutschman found three common points in every one of the successful operations. Number one was community; this was the support of others who have the common goal. Number two was to retrain the individual or organization with new skills and tools to help make lasting change. And finally number three was to reframe their way of thinking.

I have a great example of this personally when I used to say while downing a big greasy cheeseburger “I eat every meal like I'm going to the electric chair”.

Now I say I eat every meal so that I can peek at age 85. If you want to learn the elements of what bring lasting successful change you will enjoy reading this book.

Dan Loney.

The Power of Habit
Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
by Charles Duhigg

I found this to be a very interesting book with some great examples of how habits can impact our lives and how we can train ourselves to have good habits by using a technique to break bad habits. The author talks about how a habit has a process of a cue which leads to a routine and then an expected reward.

Once you understand this you can then change your cues, refine your routine and then custom design your reward. Habits also spill out into other areas of lives. A personal example is when I was a young man in kickboxing my store manager could always tell when I was preparing for a martial arts competition. I asked him "how did he know?" he said that my retail sales increased in the fitness equipment store. My habit of discipline and training spilled over into my attention to detail and my focus on my clients which resulted in increased sales.

The author talks about Michael Phelps and how everything in his day was programmed to habit. There was no thinking once the plan was set, every hour of the day was planned for two years before the Olympics. Tony Dungy won a Super Bowl by breaking down every detail of his offence and defence to a simple cue (observing how the opposition was positioned) and then a routine which was the action that they would take to oppose the play. The reward of course was the success of winning the play or the game.

There is an absolutely fascinating story on Target and how they are the best at marketing to their customers by analyzing their habits as they grow through different phases of their lives.

This book also gives many concepts and ideas on dealing with creating your own Keystone habits that will help to lead you to success.

Dan Loney.

Start with Why
How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
by Simon Sinek

I read this book by Simon Sinek after watching a fascinating YouTube video on TED TALKS (click to watch).

Sinek tells an amazing story of the Wright brothers who were determined to find success in human flight. At the same time these two bicycle mechanics pursued their dream of flight without money and investors Pierpont Langley was given a fortune by the U.S. government and access to the best scientific minds to solve the challenge of flight. The moment that the Wright brothers succeeded Langley gave us his quest. Sinek reasons that the Wright brothers were driven by the quest of flight while Langley was driven by the quest for fame and money.

Sinek tells how most companies start with What we do and then move to how they do it. Finally they end with Why. So if it was a computer company they would say that they build great computers and how they do it is by organizing focus groups that determine the needs of the clients and why they do it is to make the shareholders a profit.

Sinek then talks about Steve Jobs who does everything backwards. The first thing he started with was Why? Why does Apple exist? Jobs simply said to "Make a dent in the Universe". He wanted to change the way we live and HOW he was going to do it was by integrating technolgy into our lives like never before. What was he going to do, create whatever it took to fullfill the why and that resulted in the Iphone and Ipad and change the way we use technology in our lives.

A great read that will make you think about what you do, how you do it but more importantly Why?

Dan Loney.



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