Grow through reading
- My book Willpower Condensed is now available on Amazon. If you want to learn about the latest science of self-control and how to program your mind to achieve goals, get it now.
- Ethics by Baruch Spinoza provides a classical philosophical framework for a deep understanding of mind-body-affect dynamics and is abound in Neostoic wisdom. Although it dates back to the 17th century, Spinoza’s main insights are to a great extent supported by modern neuroscience, as you can see in Antonio Damasio’s book Looking for Spinoza. (German readers may be interested in my thesis on emotional self-regulation that I wrote in 2011 from a Spinozist point of view.)
- Incerto by Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a collection that includes several of my favorite books on leading a rational life.
- Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha is the most beautiful book I have ever read, hands down. Do your soul a favor by nourishing it at this well of wisdom.
- The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt is essential reading for anyone interested in moral and ideological diversity.
- Nietzsche’s anti-Bible Thus Spoke Zarathustra teaches you how to smash—with the hammer of your will—enslaving, weakening, emasculating values in order to create and foster nobler ones. I have been re-reading this book regularly since the age of 14.
- Viktor Frankl’s story about his experiences in a Nazi concentration camp describes a fundamental aspect of what it means to gain freedom through a strong will.
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. (Man’s Search for Meaning, p. 66)
Grow through listening
- Jocko Podcast—lessons in leadership, masculine strength, and the darkness of human nature; every episode is a powerful exercise in gratitude.
- Rationally Speaking—highly rewarding intellectual interviews by the ingenious Julia Galef.
- Waking Up—fascinating debates with Sam Harris, one of the great minds of our time.
- The Portal—intellectually stimulating essays and discussions by another splendid mind, Eric Weinstein.
Grow through nutrition
- Eat more vegetables and less sugar. This simple advice is more important and more helpful than ten thousand books and scientific papers about nutrition and diet. If you can’t stick to it, don’t even think about reading anything more about nutrition.
- I have been integrating intermittent fasting into most of my diet plans for several years now. Not only does it make me feel better, it also makes sticking to a healthy diet easier. I have never been above 13% body fat since daily fasting is part of my lifestyle. For motivation (though not unreservedly for scientific education), read The Warrior Diet to learn how fasting awakes your primal warrior instincts.
Grow through training
- The principle of success in strength training is simple: focus on learning the basic compound lifts (deadlift, squat, bench press, military press, pull up, and barbell row) until you master the technique (video-record yourself or hire a coach), then experiment for yourself with different plans in order to adapt your personal routine to your body, your goals, and your lifestyle.
- Physical strength and fitness are a life’s journey, not a 30 day challenge to six-pack abs.
- Almost all external knowledge you need is comprised in these two books: