Heyo, Nik here with another 3 free book summaries for you!
Also, quick reminder that Blinkist’s September-only 40% off sale is still ongoing.
With a subscription to Blinkist, you can read or listen to the greatest non-fiction books anywhere, anytime. You’ll learn new skills in a fraction of the time (and cost!) it would normally take to consume all those books.
Plus, when you sign up through our link, you’ll help us keep Four Minute Books running at no extra cost to you.
And now, time to take a look at our books of the week!
1-Sentence-Summary: A Monk’s Guide To Happiness will help you find more joy in life by identifying the mental pitfalls you fall into that make it so hard to have and how to shatter the shackles of suffering to finally find inner peace.
- The first step to having more joy in life is to understand what happiness is.
- When we recognize the thinking patterns that make us unhappy, we open up the path to contentment.
- Tranquility comes from learning to be mindful, which we can practice in every experience we have throughout each day.
If you want to have more peace, this book is for you.
1-Sentence-Summary: Hold Me Tight gives you advice on how to build and sustain a deeper connection with your spouse or partner by identifying the importance that every kind of emotion has in creating a lasting relationship and how to handle each of them maturely.
- Blame is a common killer of healthy relationships, but you can beat it by becoming aware of the patterns you follow when feeling and expressing it.
- The “buttons” your partner pushes to get you angry come from past trauma, but emotional vulnerability will help you get through.
- Difficulties are inevitable and can make it hard to stay united with your spouse, but identifying the reasons a disconnect began will help.
If you want to discover what’s holding you back from having healthy relationships and learn how to fix those issues, this book is for you.
1-Sentence-Summary: Everybody Matters identifies the best way to become successful in business, help your team members trust you, and enable people to reach their full potential by showing the power of taking better care of your employees as if they were family.
- You have to truly care about your employee’s needs if you want your business to thrive.
- If you want your team members to be happy, loyal, and productive, trust them with the freedom to make their own decisions.
- Create a cultural vision to inspire your people with hope for where you’re heading in the future.
If you want to see why the most profitable and productive companies care about their employees, this book is for you.
That’s everything for now, we hope your weekend is amazing!
PS: Want to get more out of everything you read? Check out our guide!
Want summaries every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, right in your inbox? Join our real-time feed.
THIS DAY IN HISTORYNative Americans Used Fire to Protect and Cultivate Land – HISTORY
|Documents Reveal That Dirty Money Dominates(Michael Nagle via Getty Images)On Monday, the world got its first glimpse into more than 2,000 government-sensitive banking documents that detail the movement of $2 trillion in dirty money between international crime organizations and some of the world’s largest banks. The report — compiled by Buzzfeed News and the International Consortium for Investigative Journalists — reveals that Western banking giants like JP Morgan Chase, Deutsche Bank, and Bank of New York Mellon all facilitate and profit from the criminal enterprises of terrorists, kleptocrats, and drug kingpins.Perhaps most surprising of all: an obscure US government agency, the Financial Criminal Enforcement Network (FinCEN), has long known about these suspicious dealings and done nothing. For that reason, the document leak has been dubbed the “FinCEN Files.” Until Monday, only a few of the agency’s internal suspicious activity reports had ever been publicly released. Now, journalists are pouring through thousands of them. Suspicious activity reports, or SARs, are filed to FinCEN when a bank suspects that dirty money is being used in large transactions. As long as they report the activity to FinCEN, they pass off their culpability to the American government. For years, this agency has known that our most prominent financial institutions knowingly accept money earned from deadly drug wars, the embezzlement of developing countries, and fraudulent Ponzi schemes. Yet, banks like JP Morgan Chase remain titans of the industry, inextricably linking the legitimate fortunes of Western society to the laundered money of wealthy criminals across the world.The FinCEN Files are peppered with jaw-dropping revelations surrounding the ubiquitous presence of illicit money in Western banking. Standard Chartered helped move funds for a company with ties to the Taliban. JP Morgan and Bank of New York Mellon facilitated a transaction of more than $150 million for companies with ties to the North Korean regime. President Trump is even tangentially involved, as a 2013 SAR from JP Morgan reports on suspicious banking activity from Paul Manafort, Trump’s 2016 campaign manager.Surely more will come from this cache of more than 2,000 top-secret documents, as reporting on the FinCEN Files just became public. However, one salient truth is discernible from this initial report. Our modern economy is upheld by a lot more dirty money than massive banks would like us knowing. To make matters worse, agents in the US Treasury have known this fact for a long time, and aren’t willing to do much to stop it.Additional FinCEN ReadsFinCEN Files Explainer: How BuzzFeed News And ICIJ Did It (Buzzfeed News)Secret documents show North Korea laundering money through U.S. banks (NBC)Leak reveals $2tn of possibly corrupt US financial activity (Guardian)Sanctioned Putin associate ‘laundered millions’ through Barclays (BBC)Deutsche Bank Execs Missed Money Laundering Red Flags (Buzzfeed News)|
You Can Stop A Clock, But Time Will Tick On.
Experiences Are Everywhere.
Like Learning From An Echo.
A Giant Among Ants.
That’s Swimming Against The Tides.
The U.S. government gave Indiana University $1 million to study memes.
1. Bake cookies and deliver them to the local fire or police station.2. Donate to a Go Fund Me page to help someone going through life’s challenges.3. Give someone a hug4. Send cards with beautiful messages to anonymous people. Give someone a chocolate heart… just because5. When it’s hot out, leave water or Gatorade for sanitation works or mail carriers. In the winter, bring them hot chocolate or coffee to warm up their routes.
1. Give money to a street performer2. Offer to cook for a friend or family member3. Send “happy mail” to a sick child.4. Vacuum the floor for your roommate.5. Volunteer at a department of corrections or juvenile hal
|WORD OF THE DAY|
|1A place of safety or refuge.||2An inlet providing shelter for ships or boats; a harbor or small port.|
|Examples of Haven in a sentence “I know that I will always have a haven at my grandmother’s house.” “We need to reach the haven before the storm hits.”|
Stepping On Land Again.
Living Like A Bear In Winter.
Small Bites, Small Delights.
Fighting A Lion With A Steak.
There is a punctuation mark used to signify irony or sarcasm that looks like a backwards question mark ⸮
1. Drop coins on the sidewalk for someone else to find.2. Have a bake sale or fundraiser and donate all the earnings to a local charity.3. Let your friend vent and listen to her problems.4. Put trash cans away for parents/neighbors5. Take a minute to direct someone who is lost, even though you’re rushing.
“Keep this thought handy when you feel a fit of rage coming on—it isn’t manly to be enraged. Rather, gentleness and civility are more human, and therefore manlier. A real man doesn’t give way to anger and discontent, and such a person has strength, courage, and endurance—unlike the angry and complaining. The nearer a man comes to a calm mind, the closer he is to strength.” – Marcus AureliusA Stoic Response to Anger
|WORD OF THE DAY|
|1The worship of stars and other celestial objects.|
|Examples of Astrolatry in a sentence “My grandmother believed in astrolatry so much that she named all of her children after stars.” “There’s more to astrolatry than just following the phases of the moon.”|
You Do Not Need This You want it, don’t you? That “I told you so.” That “Thank You.” That recognition for being first, or being better, or being different. You want credit. You want gratitude. You want the acknowledgement for the good you’ve done, for the weight that you carry. What you want is what Marcus Aurelius has called “the third thing,” because you’re not content enough with the doing. “When you’ve done well and another has benefited by it,” he writes, “why like a fool do you look for a third thing on top—credit for the good deed or a favor in return?” Now, “fool” is a strong word, but the point stands. Why can’t the deed be enough? Was a pat on the back really the reason you decided to value the truth? Is that why you helped someone? Did you leave a big tip to that waitress or driver who was clearly struggling so they’d run out and thank you—or did you do it because you knew that it was right? Do you take your lonely stand because it will look cool, or because it was unconscionable to you to throw in with the mob? You don’t need a favor back. You don’t need to be repaid. You don’t need to be acknowledged. You don’t need the third thing. That’s not why you do what you do. You’re good because it’s good to be good, and that’s all you need.You Do Not Need This
Heyo, Nik here with your free summary of the day.
If you enjoy these, check out our reading guide. It’ll help you learn and remember more from everything you read.
Want to get just one weekly summary roundup? Switch to weekly.
1-Sentence-Summary: The Way Of Zen is the ultimate guide to understanding the history, principles, and benefits of Zen and how it can help us experience mental stillness and enjoy life even in uncertain times.
Read in: 4 minutes
Favorite quote from the author:
At one time or another in your past, you’ve probably used the word Zen. It may have been while referring to a particularly peaceful feeling room you were in. Or possibly you heard a coworker explaining how they were going to relax over the weekend to get her Zen back.
For Western nations, hearing the word Zen makes us think of meditation and tranquility. But are we right in thinking of it like this?
The actual ways of this philosophy are much more abstract and difficult for Westerners to understand. But if you happen to live in the west and would like to comprehend it’s tenets, you’re in luck because that’s exactly what Alan Watts teaches in his book The Way of Zen.
Here are the 3 biggest lessons I’ve learned from this book:
- Our minds create illusions about reality, but Zen helps us see things accurately.
- You need to practice naturalness and spontaneity if you want to learn the art of Zen.
- Observe the world just as it is to become good at meditation.
Sit down, relax, and let’s discover the ways of this ancient philosophy!If you want to save this summary for later, download the free PDF and read it whenever you want.
Lesson 1: Zen allows you to see clearly the illusions that your mind creates.
You want to be happy, of course, and it’s likely your ultimate goal in life. But have you ever thought about what you would do if you ever got it?
For subscribers to the Zen way, pursuing happiness is foolish. That’s because it comes from the false idea that we can have only the good in life without any of the bad.
Think of it this way. Do you remember the last time you felt uncomfortable while laying in bed on your side? You likely switched to the other side, right? At first, you feel better, but eventually, you’re in the same exact place as you were before.
This is where the paradox comes in. You can only feel the comfort of switching sides because you knew the discomfort of being on one side for too long. In other words, pain isn’t avoidable and it’s also just another aspect of pleasure.
Zen also teaches that you can’t be a victim of circumstances but that you are part of them. In the case of a hot summer day, you don’t sweat from the heat, the sweat is the heat.
Another way to understand it is to look at the connection between your mind and body. You don’t get into certain circumstances, they only exist because your mind and body are there to observe them.
Lesson 2: The art of Zen requires naturalness and spontaneity.
According to this ancient philosophy, we needn’t try to become anything specific. In other words, it’s all about letting yourself be aimless. Doing nothing is encouraged, for example.
For those of us in the west, this sounds like a waste of time. But if you look at the natural world, it’s the normal state for almost everything. Your cat doesn’t attempt to become anything except a cat, for instance. Zen teaches us to think similarly, that we should let our thoughts go to move naturally, however they want.
It’s important to see emotions in this way too. Whatever you’re feeling after an event is natural, and thus valuable.
One Zen monk began to cry after learning about the death of a close relative. This prompted his student to suggest that it wasn’t right for someone of his status to act like that. The monk’s response that he was weeping because he wanted to can teach us a lot about the importance of letting ourselves feel whatever we do.
To Zen believers, anything we do and anything that happens is right in a way because it is instinctive.
The words we say are another important part of life we must apply this way of thinking to. One Zen master, in response to someone asking what the ultimate secret of Buddhism was, spontaneously said “dumpling.”
While this might confuse Westerners or any ordinary person, this man’s answer unearthed deep truths about the ways of Buddhism with a single word. Without a respect for natural thinking, this would never have happened.
Lesson 3: If you want to become good at meditation, observe the world just as it is.
Maybe you’ve recently tried meditation. What would you say your goal is when you sit down to do it? Maybe you want to understand something difficult, get some peace, or clear your head. To Zen believers, setting any goal when meditating is a bad idea.
Buddhism and Taoism teach the opposite and use meditation as a means to empty the mind and purify it. In the philosophy of Zen, however, the mind is pure already because it’s natural. Attempting to do anything beyond that is just mudding it up with whatever you want.
For those who subscribe to Zen, it’s vital to just sit and view the world to truly interact with it. If you think about how the world is still there whether or not you’re thinking or acting within it, this makes sense.
Another way of understanding this is to consider your mind as if it were a muddy river. Throughout each day and each experience, your mental state becomes clouded, just like a river with churning water. If muddy water is left to sit in peace, however, the dirt sinks down and the water becomes clear.
In other words, every time you meditate you’re letting your mind be still to give it a chance to let all of the “sediment” sink to the bottom so you can have clarity.
Rather than focusing on the breath or anything else, Zen meditation is more about just becoming aware of what’s going on at the moment.
The Way Of Zen Review
I liked the latter, more actionable parts of The Way Of Zen better than the first, more historical portion. However, the whole book was as enlightening as the topic itself! This is one that I think all Westerners should read to begin challenging, and also improving, their view on the world.
Who would I recommend The Way Of Zen summary to?
The 54-year-old who thinks that he has a good understanding of what Zen means but doesn’t actually know anything about its history, the 25-year-old who would like to have more peace, and anyone that’s curious to know about the benefits of Eastern philosophy.
PS: Want to get more out of everything you read? Check out our guide!
|“Fight for the things that you care about. But do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” “Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.”“I would like to be remembered as someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability.”— Ruth Bader Ginsburg|