Book Reviews

Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? is an excellent book by Seth Godin that explains how and why you should become a linchpin—someone not easily replaced.

In the marketplace, the easier people are to replace the less they need to be paid and the easier they are to lay off. The industrial revolution has created a world of factories and factory workers—a world that goes against the human nature.

On the other hand, artists are now rewarded far more than they used to be. The new age of technology makes it possible for everyone to be both remarkable and remarked.

Artists are people who give more than they receive, drive change, and make things happen. They prevent organizations from falling into pieces because they do their best and more than what they’re paid for. They are the ones who keep the marketplace running.

There is an artist in each of us but in this factory world we’re being taught to follow the crowd instead of striving for our own, unique path. For millenniums man has been in charge of his own life; nowadays he is being brainwashed into thinking that the only way for him to succeed is to fit in the system and do what others think he should be doing.

I especially agree with Seth when he blames our education system for this brainwashing. Schools are on the front line of our education and yet they teach us to comply with a set of rules and to live only within those limits. They stigmatize mistakes, thus preventing the expression of creativity—the essential quality of an artist.

The essential thing measured by school is whether or not you are good at school.

But creativity, imagination, and the freedom of choice are all part of the human condition; they are always available for us to use and cannot be coerced into retreat.

Most of the resistance sits in our own mind. Fear is the greatest barrier to becoming an artist: fear of failure, fear of working without a map, fear of criticism… They can all be easily overcome once one has found a meaning to his life.

The linchpin feels the fear, acknowledges it, then proceeds.

As Seth puts it, “every day is a new chance to choose”, and becoming a linchpin is certainly the best choice you could make. I leave you with one the most memorable quotes I’ve come to know about, from one of the most memorable man there is to know.

Why is it that human beings, surely the most intelligent life form on earth, do not strive to achieve their maximum potential? The reason is simple: we have been given the freedom of choice.

— Jim Rohn

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Think and Grow Rich is a book written by Napoleon Hill and first published in 1937. The book offers a comprehensive “formula” for personal achievement which could mark a turning point in anyone’s life.

Hill spent more than two decades interviewing and synthesizing the experience and insights of over five hundred people who achieved great wealth during their lifetimes.

Energetic, the book is an easy read filled with practical advice. Although some passages might feel out-dated from a scientific point of view (the world has since made tremendous progress in the field of cognitive science), the text is remarkably relevant for our time.

As today is a time of unprecedented opportunity, all of the book’s principles and ideas still apply, in an even more significant manner.

Success comes to those who are success conscious.

Both poverty and riches are the offspring of thought.

— Napoleon Hill

While some worry about origin, education or amount of capital, Hill’s central idea is that the source of wealth is non-material. Successful men and women were not born this way, they thought and grew rich.

He describes 13 principles that makes for the perfect personal philosophy. In my opinion, mastering the first two—Desire and Faith—is both essential and enough, because they will make you do whatever it takes to achieve whatever you want.

Success is neither magical or mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying the basic fundamentals.

— Jim Rohn

Think and Grow Rich is a list of fundamentals that will change the way you think and, as an extra, make you rich.

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I’ve just finished reading The Richest Man in Bablyon by George Samuel Clason. This is a simple book, 145 pages long, with life altering abilities.

The book was written in the 1920s and is packed with parables set in ancient Babylon (the wealthiest city of the ancient world) more than 6,000 years ago, yet its lessons and wisdom still apply today. The laws of money are universal and unchanging.

Through the inspiring stories of ancient craftsmen, merchants and money lenders you will learn how to repay your debts and achieve financial success with nothing to start with (most of these men started as slaves). It explains the basics of money, how to acquire it, keep it and make it earn more money.

I won’t summarize the principles of the book because that would be counter-productive. These principles are simple and one might even find them obvious, but to be reminded of them the way George Clason has presented them is of great value.

It is said that the book is “beloved by million”, I certainly liked it and would recommend it to anyone who hasn’t read it yet.

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I dream things that never were; and I say, “Why not?”