A book I haven’t finished and why I recommend it

October 14, 2013 by Joshua
in Blog, Leadership

I first met Sebastian Marshall about five years ago in New York City through mutual friends. Though he was just over half my age at the time, I don’t hesitate to say I’ve learned as much from him as nearly anyone — and I’ve studied with Nobel Prize winners.

He’s been a great friend since. We’ve since met in Kuala Lumpur, Beijing, and often on the internet. I continue learning from him. I’m amazed and inspired how he keeps developing and producing.

I mean to write about his book today, but you have to know a bit about him to give context to his book.

[NOTE: I haven’t actually spoken to him in a while and am writing this review independently of him. I haven’t checked with him first, nor do I have any incentive to write this beyond what I wrote here, that he’s a friend. But we’d more likely criticize each other than give unearned praise. I couldn’t responsibly write about his book without disclosing we’re friends.]

He has helped me in many ways. He set up this blog for me and got me writing in it daily. If you know my habits like posting here, doing burpees, flossing, and a few others, you know I stand by “If you miss one day you can miss two. If you miss two it’s over.” Sebastian told me that phrase. Click this link to see how often I’ve used it.

Sebastian gave me some of my greatest encouragement on writing my seminar. He said the seminar had more insightful moments than anything else he’d seen. Given what he reads that means a lot.

He set up my giving a talk on North Korea in Beijing.

In other words, he’s extraordinarily generous. I don’t remember him asking for anything in return.

I won’t tell you about the times we’ve gone out to bars together, but those times top the stories above. Sorry, I can’t share the best stories of our exploits.

So he’s fun and socially aware and skilled too.

Mostly he’s a regular guy with flaws like everyone else.. I find his blog often challenging to read. Annoying sometimes. Some people I know don’t get along with him. Sometimes he seems to chase things not worth chasing. He promotes expansion where I promote emotional awareness. As with any pair of people, his values differ from mine. In person we don’t conflict, but sometimes his writing jars me.

Why I recommend his book

Which brings me to his book. I can’t finish his book and that’s why you should read it. Every time I sit down to read it after a few pages I realize something valuable in my life I’ve been putting off and what I can most effectively do to act on it. Then I put the book away and start doing it.

But I will say this: when he wants to do something, he does it. He finds ways to do things other people don’t. Your values will conflict with his, as mine do at times, but your life improves when you do what’s important to you and his book gets you realizing and doing what’s important to you.

His spirit is infectious. And we all want spirit like that in our lives.

Reading his book motivates you to do important things, and that improves your life

What can you say better about a book that it improves your life?

I only wonder how it ends.

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