The Best Books that Change your life in 2020- My Favorite

The Best Books that Change your life in 2020- My Favorite

Hey, what's up, guys? My name is Thomas Frank and as you might know, if you've been reading my blog for any length of time, I make a lot of posts on productivity and on how to work better. And in this post, I want to share the best book that I read this year for my own productivity and the one that taught me the most important lessons that I applied to my work. Now given the nature of my work, is that book "Principles" by Ray Dalio? No. Is it "Ultralearning"? No again. Is it some big long book by Robert Greene with tons of annoying red texts in the margins? No, it's actually a book by somebody who doesn't really work in the productivity or self-help or career success industries whatsoever. The book is "How MusicWorks" by David Byrne, who is the founder or at least one of the founding members of the band at Talking Heads. Now like I said, the author of this book is not a productivity consultant, he's not some self-help guru, and this book isn't a productivity book at all. It's a book about how music works.

A lot of it is about his own life and performance. It's about recording technology and how it's changed, it's how the production of music has changed. Nonetheless, the lessons that I took from this book has impacted my work and improved the way that I do it more than the lessons I took from any other book that I read this year. And in this post, I want to share three of them that I think is gonna help you as well. So the first big lesson that I took from this book is that creative works often come out of a specific context, like a specific audience that an artist is trying to reach or a specific venue in which they have to play. In other words, creativity is improved by having limitations placed upon us. This is actually kind of the opposite view that most people have when they think of great artists. We often think that artists just have this amazing idea come to them in the middle of the night, that they just have some sort of genius the rest of us don't have. The book puts it this way. "The accepted narrative suggests "that a classical composer gets a strange look "in his or her eye and begins furiously scribbling "a fully-realized composition "that couldn't exist in any other form. "Or that the rock and roll singer is driven "by desire and demons "and outbursts this amazing, perfectly shaped song "that had to be three minutes and 12 seconds, "nothing more, nothing less." And this view is actually the complete opposite from the truth that we either unconsciously or consciously make things that fit into predetermined contexts or formats.

Best Books that I Love

Some examples could include the audience, their current tastes, their demographics. The venue could be outside, could be a cathedral, a sports arena, headphones in your ears, or it could be the medium. Say a vinyl disc that only holds so much information. To hone in on one specific example, cathedral music often stays within the same key throughout the entire duration of a piece and utilizes long haunting notes. And the reason for this, as Robert Jourdain points out in his book "Music, theBrain, and Ecstasy," is that some cathedrals have reverberation times of up to seven seconds, which is incredibly long. And within an environment like this, music that uses lots of complex percussive sounds or that modulates between different keys becomes a chaotic mess really, really quickly. So a lesson that I took from this part of the book is that a lack of limitations or a lack of context is actually a bad thing for being creative or for getting things done. Because when you have limitless options, you often just choose none of the above. You've probably seen the power of limitations at work in your own life as well. I mean, how many times have you found yourself under a tight deadline and actually been more focused as a result? So one thing that I've been trying to do recently is to give myself some sometimes arbitrary limitations when I take on a project. For example, my one hour morning routine post that I published about a month ago and which was one of the more successful posts on my blog recently had some rules in place before I ever touched a camera. Number one, the post could be no more than seven minutes long and number two, during the part where I explained the routine, I had to do it off-camera as a voice-over narration, which is something that I had never done before.

So these limitations actually helped me to generate better ideas than I would have without them because once I had boundaries, they gave me a small area of focus in which I could be creative. Lesson number two had to do with the value of building up anticipation before doing something big or surprising. And this lesson comes from the part of the book where he was talking about his life as a performer, specifically when he was putting together the stage production for the album "Stop Making Sense", which was actually very well received. And the concerts they were putting together for this album weren't your normal average pop concerts. There were all kinds of additional elements. He tried to take inspiration from different types of Broadway theater and Asian theater, so there was a lot of going on in these productions. And during the filming of the first few shows in Los Angeles, he was able to meet and get some critiques from a Beijing opera performer who was pretty blunt with what he had to say. And one of those things was about the value of building up anticipation for the audience before doing something surprising.

Here's how he puts it in the book. "One adage was along the lines "of needing to let the audience know you're going "to do something special before you do it. "You tip them off and draw their attention to you "and you have to know how to do it "in a way that isn't obvious, "or toward whoever is going to do the special thing." Now you notice that this is kind of counterintuitive and you'd think so as well because if you tell the audience what you're going to do before you do it, you spoil the surprise, right? Well, no. If you do it correctly, you actually draw their attention to the surprise because if you don't do it, then half your audience is just not paying attention and they're going to miss it. And in the book, Byrne notes that this is a rule that doesn't just apply to stage performances or to musical performances.

He notes that stand-up comedians probably have very similar rules for getting the audience ready for a punch line. And you can probably think of several other applications. This is why drum rolls happen in circuses, why movie trailers now have teaser trailers, like trailers for trailers, and why pop songs have pre-choruses that build things up for the main chorus. Now, this is a lesson that I haven't seen in any other productivity book that I've read in the past, yet I could immediately see how it would help me do my work better. Yes, I don't get up on stages, I don't do musical performances, but as a YouTuber, as a writer, as somebody who creates media and shares things with the world, I can see the value of using hype, using anticipation to get my audience ready for what I'm going to do. If I don't do that, like he says, I'm probably going to surprise people to the point where they're just gonna miss it or not care. And that brings us to the third lesson, which actually isn't contained within the pages of this book at all but is more a meta lesson that kind of dawned on me as I was reading this. Don't just learn from productivity people, don't just learn from self-help gurus and people who write about career success. Instead, try to branch out a bit. I know that when I was younger,I was pretty single-minded about trying to become more productive, trying to get ahead in my career, and as a result, I had tunnel vision. Whenever I'd go to a bookstore, I would immediately make a beeline for the business section or the self-help section.

I would kind of exclude all other sections. And I know a lot of other people who do the exact same thing. People are always asking me what's the best productivity book that you read this year? But the thing about people who write about productivity, the thing about people who are in the self-help industry, is that they tend to have a pretty narrow band of work experience, especially when we're talking about careers that span many, many decades. People in these industries tend to make their livings in just a few ways, either in mass media production, you know, recording audio, recording videos like this one because I am including myself in this group of people, or writing books, or other people who run businesses or who speak on stages. And I'm not saying this to belittle any of those things or to belittle these people because those are important things and there's a lot you can learn from them. But again, it's a very narrow band of experience compared to all the different professions and pursuits that are out there.

How to Focus on Your Book-

So don't just focus your attention on the business and the self-help gurus at the exclusion of all other voices. At the very least, read accounts from people who have done what you want to do or work in the industry that you want to break into. Personally, I want to play more music in the future, which is why I read a book by a musician. But I think you should go even further than that. I mean, I don't particularly want to go get into the opera but the lessons I took from that opera performer who was talked about in this book are definitely applicable to my work as a producer. People who work in specific industries often learn lessons that really can't be learned in other places but that are applicable to those other places nonetheless. And this is also an argument for digging into new fields and exploring new areas on your own. When you do this, you gain new insights that you can then creatively apply to anything else that you've already been doing. For just one example, BrianMay, the guitarist for Queen, used his physics background to figure out how to create that stomp clap effect "We Will Rock You." And most people wouldn't think that you would use a physics background as a musician but well, there you go.

If you want to learn about physics or math and science in general, then you should check out Brilliant. Brilliant is a learning platform that helps you quickly improve in these areas, along with computer science, through an incredibly active hands-on learning experience that includes interactive challenges, storytelling, and even code writing. Their library of more than 60 courses includes a complete math suite that spans everything from the fundamentals of number theory to calculus and differential equations and statistics. There are science courses like classical mechanics and the science of waves and light, and computer science courses that cover algorithms, data structures, and even how search engines work. And because all these courses are so interactive, you'll find yourself really stretching your problem-solving abilities as you work through them, which helps you become an overall better thinker. I hope you Like this post, Bye Friends.

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