Four Thousand Weeks

I picked up Four Thousand Weeks to listen to on Audible.

I first heard of the book on Cal Newport’s appearance on the Tim Ferriss Show (Episode 568). Ferriss then posted a chapter of the book on his blog. From the introduction on the post it seemed like he was deeply affected by it. It did not affect me that deeply.

I subscribed to his newsletter, The Imperfectionist and read a few of his blog posts. I found that I could not focus on what he was trying to say. Hence, I decided to pick his audiobook.

His website gives a succinctly good summary of the book. What he adds in the book is evidence and anecdotes to back up the claim.

The average human lifespan is absurdly, insultingly brief.

If you live to be 80, you’ll have had about 4,000 weeks. But that’s no reason for despair.

Confronting our radical finitude – and how little control we really have – is the key to a fulfilling and meaningfully productive life.

If you need practical takeaways from the book, I’d suggest watching Nathan Lozeron’s summary of the book on his YouTube channel, Productivity Game which also has a nice 1-page PDF summary.

On listening I found a lot of overlap with concepts from Cal Newport’s Slow Productivity, the Gita’s exhortation to follow process and not be swayed by outcomes, and Warren Buffet’s advice to his pilot.

The Rudest Book Ever (2020) – Shwetabh Gangwar

I heard of Shwetabh Gangwar on the day my credit got added to my Audible account as a suggested book for me. Reading about him, found out that he was a professional problem solver on Instagram using the handle @mensutra. He also has his own YouTube channel where he has been more active lately.

His book, The Rudest Book Ever (Amazon Affiliate Link) is built around three ideas –

  • People are weird
  • Rejections are common
  • We are not special

He then builds these three ideas up throughout the book applying it for fields like relationships, career advise, use of social media etc. Personally, I really loved the Chapter on how to think.

To me, with my limited experience came across as someone who apes the style of GaryVee and applies principles that I have heard on some Osho talks but falls vaguely in between. An interesting book to browse through especially if you have the airs about you being someone special and who are not used to accepting rejections easily.

Cixin Liu’s The Three-Body Problem

Gautam Bhatia had this book in his list of books in 2016. That is how I first heard of the existence of Chinese sci-fi. This article on Bookriot reminded me of it and made me pick up the book for listening on Audible. I haven’t taken a science fiction book for a really long time.

It’s such a different version of science fiction to what I read of Asimov. It seems that things have changed so much.

The narrative goes back and forth in time and space. I loved the difference in the China-centric narrative. This is so difficult to do from an Indian perspective. It sounds so doable from the Chinese perspective.