in General

Books of 2019

Books of 2019 at Oinam

In the year 2019, I re-read over 5+ books and read another 50+ new books in both digital (Kindle) and physical books. I’ve enough books lined up, either purchased or bookmarked on Amazon to last me quite a lot of reading.

I have also made a simple guideline that my daughter can read as many books as she wants. The only caveat being that if she cannot or does not want to finish a book, they have to wait for the week to pass before they can buy another book. She is used to both physical and digital (Kindle) books.

Dan Roam’s Books

Dan Roam Books

I wanted to learn to draw/sketch out my ideas better. The best source for me was the books by Dan Roam. I enjoyed reading Show and Tell, Draw to Win, and Unfolding the Napkin. I’m yet to read Back of the Napkin, and Blah Blah Blah.

I adapted the idea of doing presentations and storytelling to my teams, via sketches and not slides. I have a long way to go to master this beautiful art of storytelling with visuals, sketches, and speeches.

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

Genghis Khan

The most surprising book and one of my personal favorite turn out to be “Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World” by Jack Weatherford.

From our history books, Genghis Khan was definitely not a good person. He conquered, murdered, and lay waste to vast lands and inhabitants. However, his advocacy for human rights, freedom of religion, free trade, propagation and preservation of knowledge, turns out to be pretty impressive for that time.

Well, Genghis Khan was a visionary leader whose conquests joined backward Europe with the flourishing cultures of Asia to trigger a global awakening, an unprecedented explosion of technologies, trade, and ideas.

The book will give you enough details to make it applicable to the current world scenarios and events. I’m sure you will like the book.

Continue reading

Should Businesses Accept Cryptocurrencies – an Infographic

Bitcoin

Plenty of major companies like Subway, AT&T, Expedia, Dish Network, and Microsoft have recently decided to accept cryptocurrency. These are large corporations that have the resources to experiment with relatively new technology.

But should the average business, or small business, accept cryptocurrency?

A high population of the world has heard of or are familiar with Bitcoin. But that doesn’t mean they’re ready to use it. Only a few percentages own it. An even smaller number use cryptocurrency.

There are more than 40 million cryptocurrency wallets out there. Cryptocurrency usage has soared in places such as San Francisco, New York, and Tampa — and in places like Canada (the first country to regulate the digital currency), the Netherlands, Slovenia, Israel, Switzerland, and countries with volatile currencies, like Zimbabwe and Venezuela.

To give you a perspective, there are almost 300 million active users of PayPal worldwide and about 1 billion Visa and 900 million MasterCard credit cards in circulation. Cryptocurrency has to catch up when compared to these other digital ways to pay.

It is widely thought that if small businesses make the necessary investments in cryptocurrency infrastructure, then cryptocurrency usage will rise enormously. But there are plenty of pros and cons for businesses to consider before they take that leap.

Continue reading

Pi-hole – Blocking Ads at Home

Pi-hole

Pi-hole is a DNS sinkhole that protects your devices from unwanted content, without installing any client-side software. The best part of Pi-hole is that it can work off cheap hardware such as a Raspberry Pi.

Last month, I bought a Raspberry Pi 3-MODB-1GB and a 16GB MicroSDHC (MicroSD) Memory Card. That was enough to run an Ad Blocker Service for the whole home.

Raspberry Pi-4

Raspberry Pi

  1. First, we need to set up a Raspberry Pi.
  2. Get a microSD card with a capacity of at least 8 GB. I suggest getting a 16GB one for some extra room, just in case. The price difference isn’t worth saving. Plug the microSD card to a desktop computer and follow the steps to Setup the microSD card and thus unzipping the Raspbian operating system content to the drive. Install the Raspbian operating system via NOOBS.
  3. Plug in the microSD Card, monitor, keyboard, and a mouse. That’s it. Power it up.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to finish setting up the Raspbian operating system. Restart and the Raspberry Pi is ready to setup Pi-hole.

Pi-hole

Pi-Hole

  1. There are three ways to install Pi-hole. Follow the one that works for you – Install Pi-Hole.
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions. You’ll just be pressing the RETURN key a lot.
  3. Pick your choices of options along the way. Do not forget to pause at the last screen and record the admin password and other details.
  4. The final step is to point your Internet Router’s DNS (just one, delete the others) to the Pi-hole IP (remember the screen from the earlier step).

Pi-hole have a really nice web-enabled Admin dashboard which can be accessed inside your Network via http://pi.hole/admin or //[Raspberry Pi’s IP address]/admin/ or http://raspberrypi.local/admin/.

Pi-Hole Dashboard

Pi-hole works pretty well without much fanfare that you might be left with a feeling that you’re missing something. I’ve been running Pi-hole as the Ad-Blocker for my home and seems to be working good so far.

Go, have fun.

Libra – Cryptocurrency by Facebook, an Infographic

Libra is a cryptocurrency designed using blockchain technology. It is built by the most popular social media giant Facebook. The main motive behind developing Libra is to emancipate millions of underbanked and unbanked people by offering them similar financial opportunities.

Libra will give their users the best transaction experience with unimaginable speed on minimal or no charges. Users can transfer money from their home to any part of the world. Libra is compatible with mobile and all you need is a basic data connection.

Blockchain technology is a decentralized programmable database that helps in backing the more constant currency and has the capability to act as a medium for transacting money to millions of people all over the world.

Libra is a self-reliant association formed to control and regulate the flow of Libra, it is an organization aiming to offer basic financial infrastructure and to introduce a universal currency to empower millions of people. Libra Association is a compilation of validator nodes, such as academic entities, international corporations, and social impact partners.

An allocated system of the Libra blockchain looks after the transactions and ownership of Libra. While transacting Libra, there is a slight chance of attacks on the system and here Blockchain helps in defending this kind of attack using LibraBFT.

A secured and well-written software will help you in protecting the Libra Blockchain. Move a new programming language that is used in developing Libra. It is a safe and responsive programming language for Libra Blockchain. It is an applied bytecode language used to implement smart transactions and contracts.

People have different views on cryptocurrencies, but Libra can be trusted easily as it is backed by a reserve that includes stable liquid assets, which helps in keeping the value of Libra stable.

Continue reading

BITS Conquest 2019 Finale

Bits Conquest Finale 2019

Eleven Startups pitched at the BITS Conquest 2019 Finale.

Unfortunately, a jarring meme that I saw was that the Slides were very similar and have very similar presentation style. They even had the dreaded “competitor slides” where everything right was ticked for the Startups while the competitors were not.

Here are a few details about the Startups without any of my biased opinions.

Scout my Trip

ScoutMyTrip is a technology-led platform that helps its users plan their trips better. It uses techniques such as predictive analysis, and through its trained network of “scouts”, helps you enjoy your journey.

InvestoAsia

InvestoAsia is a system that enables investment into emerging markets by digitizing their securities using blockchain technology into tokenized assets and further trade them on a private platform.

FarmSurge

FarmSurge is a digital platform addressing the last mile connectivity issues of small farmers by providing on-demand booking solutions for farm inputs, farm services, and farm produce market linking.

HRBot

HRBot is an AI-based full stack recruitment marketplace for mid and entry level hiring capable of screening candidates at large scale remotely, with 10x faster TAT irrespective to the geography.

Xplorazzi

Xplorazzi is an Automated CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) merchandising execution and Audit tool using AI and computer vision to analyze in-store product display from shelf images for faster sales-related decision-making with a smartphone application.

4MirrorTech

4MirrorTech is an IoT clean-tech Startup focused on facility monitoring services, building solutions such as washroom, trashcan, seat occupancy, and employee monitoring.

SecondHandKart

SecondHandKart delivers quality checked premium used products such as iPhones, Macs, Xbox, etc with after-sales-service and warranty. They additionally provide up to 12 months repair warranty, 12 months buyback guarantee, check on delivery on every product they sell.

VenueMonk

VenueMonk is a booking platform which helps people book venues quickly, effortlessly and at the lowest possible price.

LetsEndorse

LetsEndorse is a marketplace for matching proven social innovations with nuanced local challenges and development capital, to eradicate social issues at scale. Supported by the Tata Trusts, it comprises of 500 social innovations from 40 countries globally. 1,500+ grass-roots implementations partners/NGOs, responsible corporations, Government and individual contributors.

Aayush

An innovative, cost-effective ingestible battery-less electronic Health Pill using a unique micro-sensor technology aided by AI and Cloud computing, for analyzing, identifying and predicting Heart Attacks and SCA 9-11 minutes before they strike a person, by sending emergency alerts.

Nimble Vision

Nimble Vision provides an IoT solution for water level controller and meter. This solution brings massive data analytics on water availability, consumption, leakage and quality, helping people to conserve water up to 50%.

30+ Cryptocurrencies in Four Words or Less

The word “crypto” in the cryptocurrency is referred to as complicated cryptography which allows for a particular digital token to be generated or stored, and to transact securely, also typically and anonymously. Other than this important “crypto” feature of the currencies, it is a common commitment to the decentralization. The cryptocurrencies are typically developed as a code by teams, which has built-in mechanisms for its issuance which is often, maybe not always through a process called “mining” and few other controls.

Litecoin

Litecoin is based on the open source global payment network which is not controlled by any of the central authority and it uses “scrypt” as the proof of work, which can be decoded with the help of the CPUs of the consumer grade. Although Litecoin is similar to Bitcoin in many ways, it has faster block generation rate and therefore offers a faster transaction confirmation. Other than the developers, there are many growing numbers of merchants who accept the Litecoin. As of today, Litecoin had a market cap of around $2.63 billion and per token value of about $43.

Ethereum

The applications of the Ethereum run on its own platform-specific cryptographic token called Ether. Ether acts as a vehicle for moving around the Ethereum platform, and it is sought by the mostly developers who are looking to develop and run the applications inside Ethereum, or now by the investors who are looking to make purchases of other digital currencies using the ether.

Continue reading

Meeting Startups at Conquest, 2019

I’m one of the mentors at the Conquest, 2019. I met up with some of the Startups.

Aayush

Aayush built a cost-effective ingestible battery-less electronic Health Pill that transmits data via a patch that can be easily applied on the body. That patch communicates with a Smartphone App and helps in the prediction and prevention of Heart attacks and Sudden Cardiac Arrests.

The Health Pill uses MicroSensor Technology that can be swallowed by a person. The pill enters the Gastro-Intestinal Tract in the stomach and becomes electrically activated when it reacts with the digestive acids present in the stomach, thus generating a natural electric current. The embedded Bio-Medical sensors once activated, record specific physiological Health metrics from the body. These health data are transmitted to an app via a Wearable Transmission Patch that can easily stick to the body.

These data are stored in the cloud which is can be accessed by family members, friends, caretakers, and doctors who have access to the data. The app monitors health data round the clock and simultaneously identifies, analyzes, and can warn about 9-11 minutes prior to a Heart Attack or Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Emergency Alerts are sent to the victim, predefined members, and to the nearest Hospital along with the current GPS location of the victim.

Aayush built a unique microsensor technology, which is cost-effective, smart private healthcare technology that can be used without the need of doctor’s assistance. Aayush plans to license their product and technology to various hospitals, once their patent is granted.

Xplorazzi

Xplorazzi is building an automated tool which will take retail shop shelf images and CCTV video feed to create Planograms.

Planograms are a crucial part of today’s retail stores. It can be done manually to comply with audit requirements or use software that is an additional cost to the retailers.

Xplorazzi uses imaging technology, deep learning, and sales data to build a smartphone app that will aid retail stores to do items assessment. This will create a consistent visual record to automate the process and use the details for Audit, Assortment Analysis, Stock Management, Shelf-Space availability, and Dynamic Analysis Reports.

Untangled Cloud

Untangled Cloud makes it easy to work across multiple Cloud providers such as Amazon’s AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft’s Azure.

Untangled Cloud provides analytics and tools to help Startups and SMEs make better decisions while choosing the right cloud service providers. They help in upskilling teams to learn more about the services of various cloud providers. They also plan to build tools to help migrate from one cloud provider to the other easily and seamlessly.

Pigeon

Pigeon is “Zapier for Notifications.”

Pigeon has built an easy to use system that helps businesses manage user notifications & preferences across multiple channels — emails, apps, instant messaging apps, and text messages in one place.

Pigeon targets 3 distinct areas;

  1. Content Management System (CMS) for Notifications: Normally, notification messages are coded in by the developers. With Pigeon’s online Email, Push & SMS editors, marketing & sales teams are empowered to make changes themselves, resulting in faster iterations and can avoid wasted dev cycles.
  2. User Preferences Manager: Users are used to applications like Facebook that provide a high degree of control over notifications. With Pigeon, your users can choose which devices they would like to receive notifications, the time and even control the types of notifications. Pigeon handles all the processing for you. Developers don’t need to re-create this and can focus on their core business logic.
  3. Event-Driven Notification System: With our unique event-based model, Pigeon empowers marketing & sales teams to control the logic of the notifications online. Developers simply hook various events through the app.

Loka

Loka is a hyper-local vernacular QnA app for consumers & local businesses.

Loka’s hypothesis is that about 90% of Indians do not speak English and would rather use a vernacular language that they are comfortable in. They want to bank on that fact and build a community of local businesses and consumers that communicate in vernacular Indian languages.

Loka wants to be the growth-hack platform for local businesses and consumers to ask questions and get answers from their neighborhoods in their local languages.

PROI

PROI is developing a hardware-based POS system for retailers that aims to build a data-driven analytics solution.

There are 10-15 million retail stores in India. But the retail sector is very traditional and unorganized. There is no Inventory and Supply Chain Management system, no data-driven In-Store Management and Forecasting and no large scale retail data provision for the hyperlocal market. In order to organize this industry, PROI will be collecting the data and setting the path for future collaborators. They plan to connect the entire Supply Chain – Retailers, Manufacturers, and Hyper-Local Markets.

PROI aims to help SMEs to compete at the same level as the big players in the industry by providing them the capability to make data-driven decisions and optimize their supply chain. They follow a bottom-up approach while approaching the Hyperlocal market environment.

5 Tips for Paranoid People on the Internet

Internet Security

Do you remember that old quote, “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you?” It seems like it is becoming more and more relevant every day. Almost weekly, a new scandal emerges from Big Tech, detailing the wholesale trading and theft of our personal information. But aside from all the headline-grabbing, one-off incidents, the much bigger concern is the day to day invasions of our privacy that are just standard policy for many of these companies.

In fact, it’s how they make most of their money.

Add to this the ever increasing and complex systems of government surveillance and tracking (most of which we’ll probably never really learn about), and you can be forgiven for feeling like you’re being watched every second you’re online.

Fortunately, there are plenty of people who feel the same. Many are finding ways and creating tools to help all of us stay safe and maintain our privacy while using the internet. The quick, simple steps that follow will block you from the most invasive spying and tracking on the internet, boost your privacy, and keep you safe.

1. Purge your Facebook

There may be no other organization that has become more notorious with invasions of privacy as quickly as Facebook. In just a couple of years, Mark Zuckerberg and his company seem to have completely fallen from grace in the eyes of many politicians, security experts and, indeed, users. They have been (justifiably?) blamed for stoking genocide in Myanmar, Brexit, numerous mental health crises, and even destroying the foundations of human society.

These examples may seem extreme, but there is no denying that Facebook has capitalized on the monetization and manipulation of their customers’ personal data like no other company operating today. The most simple step you can take to avoid Facebook’s reach is to delete your account (Instagram too, which Facebook own). If this isn’t possible, there are few ways to reduce its impact on your internet browsing. Here are a few browser extensions that will quickly limit many of the platform’s tools for tracking your activity and boost your privacy.

  1. Disconnect Facebook
  2. uBlock and
  3. Newsfeed Eradicator

2. Use Tor Browser

While Google claims that incognito mode will keep your browsing activity and identity private, it is still part of the Google ecosystem – so you can never be completely sure. You might want to try alternatives to Google Chrome, Safari, and their competitors by using the Tor Browser. Tor is a web browser dedicated to maximum online privacy. Using 3 layers of encryption, Tor completely masks your identity by anonymizing your location, browser, and activity and batching it all together with every other Tor user. So essentially, you become lost in the virtual crowd. This also means that the more popular Tor grows, the more effective it is at hiding you.

Tor is one of the most popular tools amongst online activists, journalists, political dissidents in repressive governments, and security experts. Follow their lead and start using it today.

For ultimate online privacy, combine Tor with a VPN.

3. Use a VPN based outside of the 14 eyes

Installing a VPN (Virtual Private Network) on your devices is by far the easiest and most effective step to take if you want to increase your online privacy. You can’t be spied on if they can’t find you – and that’s where a VPN comes in handy. A VPN uses military grade encryption, IP masking and other tools to hide your online activity while on both private and public networks. This helps keep your location hidden, your data safe from leaking or theft, and your browsing activity secret from corporate and governmental tracking.

To go a step further, make sure that your VPN provider is outside the jurisdictions of the 14 Eyes surveillance alliance.

4. Try to avoid using Smart Home Products

It’s actually quite surprising that the recent story about 1,000s of Amazon employees listening to customers through their Alexa devices didn’t receive greater news coverage. Maybe it just shows how desensitized we’ve all become to such stories. It also shouldn’t be too surprising to anybody concerned with online privacy. Since the earliest days of smart home devices, security experts have been warning us about the ease with which they can be hacked and used to spy on households. Companies like Amazon may only be listening in for marketing purposes, but plenty of criminals are using them to track your routines and steal your identity.

The most effective way to be sure nobody is spying on you in your own home, through your smart devices, is to avoid using them altogether.

5. Start using Cryptocurrency for Payments

If you can ignore all the hype and noise around Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies’ rollercoaster prices, and focus instead on its core principles and uses, you’ll understand how it is a great tool for online financial privacy. Aside from companies tracking your online purchases and using this to manipulate you into buying more stuff, online financial fraud is one of the biggest, ever-present aspects of using the internet. From the very first online transactions, conmen, fraudsters, and thieves have been finding ways to extract money from your bank accounts and credit cards.

One way to shield yourself from this happening is to separate your online transactions from your bank accounts. This is one of the many uses of Cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin. Despite what many people will tell you, Bitcoin is not 100% anonymous. However, by using a Bitcoin address to pay for online goods and services, and taking extra measures like shuffling your purchases amongst multiple bitcoin addresses, you can add a layer of privacy to your online transactions not possible with traditional banks and credit cards.

It can sometimes feel like maintaining privacy while using the internet is a crazy, unrealistic dream. This doesn’t have to be the case, however. By taking the simple, quick steps outlined here, you can easily boost not just your online privacy, but also safety from hacks, data leaks, and other forms of cybercrime. Using the internet will feel a lot less like you’re under siege from advertisers, governments and other shady figures, and free to browse in complete anonymity.

The Dangers of Public WiFi

Woman looking at Security Cameras

WiFi is a miraculous invention that allows for simple and effective public internet usage over a wireless connection. With so many public establishments offering free wifi, it has become very easy to simply log in while you’re sitting at your local coffee shop and browse away.

Of course, there are some dangers that every user should be aware of while using the internet, especially if they are using public wifi. Although many public wifi providers employ stringent security measures to help curb illicit activity over their services, the use of public wifi still poses a very real danger to those who browse on it unawares.

So what kind of things should we be aware of when we’re using public wifi? What kinds of risks are we taking when we log on to public wifi hotspots unprotected? And what are some of the ways we can protect ourselves? The solutions can range from simple habit changes to finding the best VPN services out there to help protect your connection.

What are the risks?

The most obvious risk that goes along with unprotected wifi usage is identity theft. Hackers and other malicious actors are very proficient at scraping identifying information from little slip-ups in public and are ready to use that information to access your bank accounts and other secure services.

Another thing that you’re at risk of is the loss of privacy. People may be able to gain access to your private emails, documents, pictures, and video without your knowledge. Certain types of attacks can even give hackers access to your webcam and microphone long after you’ve logged off of the hotspot you were using!

These types of things can be very scary and unwanted, so it’s definitely important to try and curb these risks whenever you use public wifi. The first step to protecting yourself here is to stay informed. Knowing is half the battle, so you’ll want to know exactly how these hackers and no-goodniks plan on stealing your data.

How does this happen?

There are a number of crafty ways that hackers have of getting into your stuff and stealing what they want. Being aware of these strategies is going to be your main weapon against unsafe wifi usage. Keeping these sorts of malicious strategies in mind whenever you use risky wifi hotspots will cause you to act more cautiously as you connect and browse.

  • Malware and spyware. This is malicious software that actors will try and illicitly install on your machine. With stuff like this, the possibilities are endless. The malware may just brick your computer, or it could hijack part of its processor for international espionage. Spyware is bad too and allows the attacker to mine data from your machine and potentially access sensitive information.
  • Man-in-the-middle attacks are an attempt by a hacker or other entity to place their access in the middle of a connection that their victim believes is secure. The best way to think of this is to consider it similar to eavesdropping. The methods behind this can range from brutish to ingenious, but the end result is typically a loss of sensitive information.
  • Malicious hotspots are wifi hotspots set up by hackers or other no-goodniks with special hidden settings that give them access to traffic moving through the hotspot, and potentially even the devices that connect to it. This one can be especially insidious because any hotspot you connect to in public can potentially be compromised. One thing to look out for is hotspots with names that don’t look right, or that are simple misspellings of trusted establishments.
  • Snooping and Sniffing is similar to malicious hotspot usage but doesn’t require a compromised hotspot in order to work. Basically, hackers use special software kits designed to allow them to spy on wifi signals. Using this method, attackers can potentially gain access to everything you do online, so it’s important to always be vigilant.

There are a few easy steps you can take to make your connection more secure right off the bat;

  • Disable any file sharing settings on your device. This will stop your computer from automatically sending and receiving files, which obviously makes it that much harder for malicious people to access them.
  • Only use websites with “HTTPS” next to the URL. These websites employ encryption for security purposes and are safer to log into over public wifi channels.
  • Always remember to turn off your wifi and Bluetooth when you’re done using them. This will prevent your computer from automatically connecting to illicit hotspots and compromised devices.
  • Use a VPN. A virtual private network, or VPN, allows you to tunnel your connection through a private secure server. This lets you keep your identity safe while browsing and can also have other perks like unblocking region-locked content. The best VPN services also have malware protection features.

The Books of 2018

Books by Oinam (2018)

I have a fascination with the novel by Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things. It is that one novel which I remember while starting to read serious fiction. Of course, I went through the usual teen-romance, teen-detectives, et al before I outgrew them soon enough in my early days. This year, I decided to re-read her book and it took me a really long time to finish it.

For quite a while, I’ve been practicing minimalism. Sometime last year, I decided to experiment with the idea of “essentialism” instead of just plain minimalism — stick to the essentials but pick the best possibilities in it. I like to consider minimalism as one of many ways to essentialism. I re-read Joshua Becker’s book – Simplify. If you’re into minimalism and want to explore more, you should also watch, Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things.

My target for 2018 was to read about 50 books but ended up short at about 40. Some were re-reads and it was a good decision. Going forward, instead of trying to read more, I’ll experiment with re-reading good ones and going deep into them — less but more quality time with each book.

I also continued with the habit of including physical versions of the books that I read. That is one way to make my daughters learn and practice “reading books”. Reading on a Kindle makes them feel like I’m just looking at another screen.

I have lined quite a list of interesting books for this year.

A lot of my readings were focused on the Startups and Business world, punctuated with quite a few on entrepreneurship and life’s philosophies.

66% of small businesses fail, and it’s not for the reasons you think.

The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster is about the emotional journey of entrepreneurship. It warns of the forthcoming fears, doubts and self-defeating conditioning of past/upbringing, inoculate from the naysayers, dream stealers, and pains of rejection and failure and guide them through the skills of independence, self-motivation, and self-accountability. The idea is to safely past the landmines that blow-up of 66% of all new businesses.

Venture Capitalists, Tim Draper, tries to guide and outline ways for Entrepreneurs and Aspiring Entrepreneurs to succeed in the world of Startups and Businesses with his book How to be The Startup Hero. It takes you through a variety of activities, questions, stories, and challenges working both the right and left side of your brain and all the parts in between. The activities are challenging and sometimes even embarrassing. The questions are probing and provoking. The stories are used as examples to guide you toward the notion of Startup Heroism.

A new discovery I made was the philosophy of Stoicism, the idea of focusing on accepting things out of one’s control and maintaining mastery over one’s emotions.

The Daily Stoic presents in a page-per-day format – a daily resource of Stoic inspiration combines new translations of Seneca, Epictetus, Zeno with calls to reflection and action. The book is arranged topically following the three movements of Perception, Action, and Will, this guide features twelve principles for overcoming obstacles and achieving greater satisfaction.

“A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.”

Other books in a similar line of thoughts were that of THINK STRAIGHT, which reveals the recipe for taking control of your mind so you can improve your life, career, relationships, business.

Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart: Thirty True Things You Need to Know Now by Dr. Gordon Livingston is another book that will make you think hard and give a different perspective on life. Out of his lifetime of experience, Livingston has extracted thirty bedrock truths: We are what we do. Any relationship is under the control of the person who cares the least. The perfect is the enemy of the good. Only bad things happen quickly. Forgiveness is a form of letting go, but they are not the same thing. The statute of limitations has expired on most of our childhood traumas. Livingston illuminates these and others in perfectly calibrated essays, many of which emphasize our closest relationships and the things that we do to impede or enhance them. These writings underscore that “we are what we do,” and that while there may be no escaping who we are, we have the capacity to face loss, misfortune, and regret, and to move beyond them.

One of the best books that I’ll definitely re-read is Ego Is the Enemy. The book draws on a vast array of stories and examples, from literature to philosophy to history. We meet fascinating figures like Howard Hughes, Katharine Graham, Bill Belichick, and Eleanor Roosevelt, all of whom reached the highest levels of power and success by conquering their own egos. Many of us insist the main impediment to a full, successful life is the outside world. In fact, the most common enemy lies within — our ego. Early in our careers, it impedes learning and the cultivation of talent. With success, it can blind us to our faults and sow future problems. In failure, it magnifies each blow and makes recovery more difficult. At every stage, ego holds us back.

If you read The Martian, you might like Artemis by the same Author. Andy Weir tells us the story of Jazz Bashara’s life on Artemis, a fictional city on the moon. Life is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So, smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts.

While I was still in the celestial mode, I re-read The Universe in a Nutshell by Stephen Hawking. Hawking is seeking to uncover the grail of science — the elusive Theory of Everything that lies at the heart of the cosmos. In his accessible and often playful style, he guides us on his search to uncover the secrets of the universe — from supergravity to supersymmetry, from quantum theory to M-theory, from holography to duality. He takes us to the wild frontiers of science, where superstring theory and p-branes may hold the final clue to the puzzle. And he lets us behind the scenes of one of his most exciting intellectual adventures as he seeks “to combine Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity and Richard Feynman’s idea of multiple histories into one complete unified theory that will describe everything that happens in the universe.”

I decided to stay a while longer in space and time. So, I went ahead and read Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson. Tyson brings the universe down to Earth succinctly and clearly, with sparkling wit, in tasty chapters consumable anytime and anywhere in your busy day.

As a father of two daughters, I got the fancy of this title, which turns out to be an amazing crime-mystery British thriller — Their Lost Daughters.

I added Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House to my reading list to have some twist in my thoughts. Never before in history has a presidency so divided the American people. Brilliantly reported and astoundingly fresh, Fire and Fury shows us how and why Donald Trump has become the king of discord and disunion.

Here are other notable books in no particular order and preferences;

I continue to read, re-read, and carry around a copy of the book – The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck