July 7, 2020

Essential Habits – my new book

I’m typically not very good at promoting myself, but I thought I’d try to change that. I have been working for two years writing, researching and experimenting and that has culminated in my newest book called Essential Habits. The book is available on Amazon and I even have a promotional video that my friend Shawn Kanungo helped me to shoot, edit and distribute.

I wanted to touch a bit more on the background of the book, why I wrote it and most importantly, what I think you will get out of it.

What the book is about

Although the book is called ‘Essential Habits’, it is really a compilation of directives summarized from hundreds of non-fiction books, online courses, podcasts, audiobooks and personal experience. What’s a directive you ask? You can see what it is in the background for the book, but essentially, it’s a short statement that tells you what to do in a specific situation. In the book, I took inspiration from Benjamin Franklin’s quote “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise” and have structured my book according to those three themes. There’s a section on being more healthy. A section on being more wealthy. And a section to help you become wiser.

For example, in the health section, there are chapters on how to eat healthy, how to exercise and get the maximum benefit in the shortest amount of time, hygiene and on relationships.

Background for the book

The book was inspired by a blog post from Derek Sivers. One day, after reading through hundreds of non-fiction books, he thought it would be a good idea to compile a list of what he called ‘directives’ Essentially taking the action item directly from a book so that he knew what to do. For example, one of his directives is “when given the choice between two paths, always choose the option that will give you the most options”. What I take that to mean is for example, if you are trying to decide between moving to a small city or a big city, a big city will likely give you more options if you are looking for business opportunities, jobs, technology and more. A small city would give you more options if you like small communities, maybe being close to nature or the outdoors, having a bigger property, not having as large a mortgage, or being away from the hustle and bustle of a large city.

Why I wrote Essential Habits

I wrote Essential Habits because, like Derek, I had read through hundreds of non-fiction books (and other resources) and had come up with my own takeaways that I tested in my life. For example, with exercising, studies show that the best way to exercise is to do High Intensity Interval Training. It gives you the most benefit for the least amount of time. This means that anyone reading my book and wanting to get into (or optimize) their exercise routine would learn, without reading through hundreds of pages of multiple books, that HIIT is the best way to exercise. Obviously, there are many other variables that I’m not considering here such as fitness, access to equipment, etc. but any smart reader can figure out those details and adapt to their circumstances.

How I structured the book

I wrote the book for one reader in mind: myself. I wanted a book that I could refer to that could help me understand the takeaways I have gotten from the books I have read.

Essential Habits’ table of contents outlines the directives from each chapter. If you wanted to, you don’t even have to read the book to get a specific takeaway. You could browse through the table of contents, look for a chapter that you are interested in, and just read through the headings to get quick takeaways.

Each of the chapters dives deeper into the specific takeaways. Some go into where I heard it from. Others go into how I incorporated it in my life and the tweaks I made to it.

Finally, each of the chapters also has a bibliography of sorts. I never liked how other books would list out the books that they used and leave it at that, so I wrote my bibliography with notes on what I liked about the book and other takeaways that didn’t make it into Essential Habits, if applicable.

I did not write the book to be full of scientific studies, articles or references. I think that if you don’t believe in what I say, you can refer to the bibliography to get it straight from the source. But, if you believe in the authors that I sourced the information from, I don’t see why you can’t just get it in an easily digestible format such as Essential Habits.

What you will get out of it

You will get a lot out of the book! The best part about the book is not the specific takeaways from the hundreds of non-fiction books, courses, podcasts and articles, but the fact that I have tested and tried each and every one of the takeaways in some shape or form. I share my experience, the benefits that I have received, and how I tweaked and adapted the action to my life.

I hope you will take a shot at reading Essential Habits. I welcome any questions or comments about the book. Again, I wrote the book to be a reference for my own notes and life, but I hope that it will be useful to you too.

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