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In today’s world the autodidact has become king

 

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In this blogging world very few of us have attended prestigious English or writing schools. Most of us are self taught trying to find our own way. That is the world of the Autodidact. A world of continuous self learning on the road to mastery. The world today is the autodidacts paradise and successful autodidacts are all around us. However I feel we have entered a new era due to the internet. You can learn so many skills just over the internet from social media to blogging. Even those notorious online universities are great value for the average man or woman. One example of many autodidacts in the technological world is Bill Gates. Earlier examples include Henry Ford and Dale Carnegie.

In the world of the arts it is very interesting to note how many of the pioneers were self taught. It has been said that a formal education can dull the mind and kill the artists creativity forcing them to confine to certain rules or the status quo. Refreshingly in my music genre of choice,hip hop, all the artists are really self taught. Leading musicians like Adele have also mastered their own craft.

However it is the authors with no formal writing education that most intrigue me. How does a man or woman go from nowhere to writing best sellers.Here is a list of the top  autodidact authors. I hope this list is as inspirational to me as a new blogger as it will be you.

Number 1-Ernest Hemingway – An American novelist, short story writer and journalist.This nobel prize winner was an autodidact who immediately become a reporter after leaving school.He left for world war 1 and returned to start writing novels.

Number 2- Sir Terry Pratchett – “I didn’t go to university. Didn’t even finish A-levels. But I have sympathy for those who did.” Pratchett sold more than 85 million copies of his books and was the United Kingdom’s best selling author.

Number 3- Charles Dickens -Despite his lack of formal education Charles edited a weekly journal for 20 years, wrote 15 novels, five novellas, hundreds of short stories and non-fiction articles, lectured and performed extensively, was an indefatigable letter writer, and campaigned vigorously for children’s rights, education, and other social reforms.He is most famous for his book Oliver Twist.

Finally I conclude with this quote  “I believe that the true road to preeminent success in any line is to make yourself master of that line.” – Andrew Carnegie

 

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It’s all about those Jabs and Right Hooks.

17383989Gary Vaynerchuk remember that name. For a long time I ignored this man’s message even though I followed him on Facebook. I assumed he was just another loud motivational speaker. Boy was I wrong.

Gary does not beat around the bush as they would say in hip hop he keeps it real. I experienced this first hand while watching an interview he had with The Breakfast Club. The crux of his message is that self-awareness is key. In effect know yourself before you pick your hustle. Find out who you are rather than who you wish you were. This man is worth $160 million dollars yet he finds time in his day to inspire the average joe. We all feel entitled in some way but Gary reminds us that we are all masters of our own fate.

Specifically for us aspiring bloggers facing writer’s blog or stressing about the next post Gary Vee has some great advice. Simply document your process while you create key content. I’m running with that message and documenting all the way.

Gary Vee has a book out called Jab, Jab, Right Hook which is all about mastering social media marketing while connecting with people. It has received a review of 4.1/5 on good reads and is listed as a must read for anyone who wants to improve the social media presence and influence.

self development

The Subtle Art of not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

51c2aks3qdl-_sx332_bo1204203200_It would be a crime for me to start this review without giving Mark Manson credit for the brilliance of his chosen title. Nothing sells like calculated outrage. With that out-of-the-way let us get down to business.

The author of this book does not hide his disdain for the average self-help book. In a way this book is a critique of modern self-development books and Mark is opposed to the notion that we should seek perfection in all aspects of our lives.

In his own words Mark Mason states that  we should not even try for such perfection. Rather reserve your f*cks for what truly matters in life. But how exactly do we do this in a society where nothing but the best is expected from us all of the time. Thisis where disappointment panda is introduced to us. A lovable bear who can’t help but tell us the truth.

Panda reveals to us that the path to happiness is full of shit hips and shame. Happiness Mark states only comes from solving our problems. By this stage in the book your core values are shaken but Mark is just getting started.

Mark states in plain English that we are not special and criticizes the self-esteem movement. He blames this movement for a generation of entitled people who merely feel special for special sake. Instead he says in reality people are special when they have a good reason to feel special. The feeling of being special can be felt by anyone who has the slightest problem and works towards solving it.

In a world where social media constantly bombards us  with images of perfection and success Mason suggest we hit the chill button and stop giving so many f*cks. Re- prioritize your fucks for what matters. How you may be asking? Read the book I say?

On that note I will give this book a 4 out 5. It’s a fresh take on the causes of modern-day anxiety written by a highly intelligent blogging extraordinaire. Perfect for anyone who gives to many f*cks.

 

 

 

 

 

self development

The most inspiring biographies that I need to read today.

“A reader lives a thousand lives before dying, the man who never reads lives only one” said a wise man. We all have heroes we look up to for inspiration through the peaks and valleys of our lives. The is nothing like a good book to cheer you up when you are feeling down. It has been said just a little inspiration can change a person’s life. The problem is most of the time we don’t grow up around our heroes and role models. People who have succeeded against the odds. Thus every now and then it helps to read a biography just to show us what is possible in life.

On that note I need to read the following people’s biographies if only to grow as a person.

JAY-Z

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I’m not a businessman, I’m a business man – JAY Z

JAY-Z is an icon of mine for two simple reasons. One, he is probably the most gifted rapper of my time. The were greats before him but no one has impacted my generation in hip-hop like him. However his hip hop skills are not the main reason I want to read his biography. Rather it’s the man behind the mic that inspires.

Born Shawn Corey Carter he is a rapper and businessman who married Beyonce in 2008 and has just welcomed 3 kids into the world.

You have got to admire a man who goes from the Marcy Housing Projects of Brooklyn to having lunch with Warren Buffett. A man who has hustled on both sides of the law yet is still committed to raising his family even though his own father was absent most of his childhood. JAY Z is an inspiration to many young black men. A true hustler whose biography I can’t wait to read.

Thuli Nomkhosi ” Thuli” Madonsela 

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Ms. Madonsela is a South African advocate who helped draft the world renowned South African  constitution in 1996. She holds a LLB from the University of Witwatersrand and served as Public Protector for a seven year term.

It was during her reign as Public Protector that she rose to prominence in South Africa. She was bold, courageous and took a clear stand on issues. Here are some of her highlights as public protector.

  • Instituted a ground breaking report into Jacob Zuma’s Homestead in Nkandla. Concluded that Zuma benefited unduly from R246 million in upgrades.
  • Presented a report into state capture that raised serious questions regarding corruption and cronyism between the state and certain connected individuals.

Ms Madonsela won the hearts and minds of all of us by taking a stand for what is right in spite of massive political pressure. I’ll definitely read any book she publishes in future.

Robert Greene , Hilary Clinton and Michael Jordan are also people whose autobiographies I would definitely read. In summary , I would say that very few books can be as inspirational as a biography about someone you admire.

 

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Are self help books still relevant?

I will be the first to admit that I have not read nearly enough self – help  books. This industry is growing rapidly and according to Susan Krauss Whitbourne from Forbes there are currently 475000 different self help titles available for sale on Amazon.With so much variety why is it so hard to find a few that actually are worth finishing. Here is my theory.

Every New Year’s Day we all make new resolutions. Inevitably we promise to read more specifically books that make us better people. What goes wrong year after year? Why do we throw away the book after just 30 pages or less. This is my theory.

Most self-help books feel to preachy.  They are either too technical or lack practicality. It often feels like they are written by authors who focus too much on the topic on hand and forget that we need entertainment. So what are the characteristics of a great self-help book.

Author has credentials Academic credentials are great in certain topics. However most of the time nothing beats life experience.

Quality writing Writing should not be too technical, easy to understand and entertaining.

Motivational – It should lift your spirits.

On that note I’d say follow your heart and read only what interests you. Here are my favourites.

  1. The Subtle Art of not giving a fuck by Mark Manson.
  2. Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill.
  3. Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki
  4. Mastery – Robert Greene

All these authors wrote in a meaningful unconventional way. The was never a dull moment.

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Welcome and thank you

This is my very first blog post on wordpress. This blog is aimed at every body like me out in the big bad world. If you love books or can’t seem to finish the books you start you have come to the right place.

Here I will review the latest and greatest books. In what genre you may ask well my favourites naturally. Self development and african literature. Why? Well because I believe in becoming the best version of myself so I am passionate about self development.  Secondly I am an african in Africa so I would love to share the latest african books with a wider global audience.

Thank you for taking the time to read my first post and I hope we can enjoy this journey together.