maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question.

W.I.N. Wednesday: The ‘No TV’ experiment.

This past spring my wife agreed to allow me to cancel the cable at our condo. We still have a TV, we just have no cable so we do not watch TV. No, we don’t have Netflix either.

My rationale was that it was too easy to get drawn into watching TV in the evenings or on weekends, especially when we were tired, and even if there was nothing really good on.

Do I miss it? I can’t speak for my wife, but my answer is no. There are times when there is a football game on that I would like to watch but the reality is that I can check the scores on my phone and spend my time doing something more productive.

What has been the result? I have read more books this year than ever before. Most of my reading in the past has been non-fiction. I would read 5 or 6 fiction books a year (usually binge reading at the end of the year). This past year I read 31 non-fiction books and 34 fiction books.  I also listened to the audio version of 6 non-fiction books and listened to numerous podcasts while riding the exercise bike or walking on the treadmill (I refuse to wear headphones or ear buds while walking outside).

Here are some of the favorites from the books I read in 2016:

Non Fiction

Books everyone should read to understand the realities and the human side of the law enforcement profession:

·      OIS: After the Trigger’s Pulled by Jim Byler

·      The Price They Pay by Karen Soloman

·      Hearts Beneath the Badge by Karen Soloman

For Trainers, Teachers and Parents:

·      Peak by Anders Ericsson (I am going to cheat and claim this for 2016 and 2017 as I read half last week and half this week)

·      Make it Stick by Peter Brown

·      Grit by Angela Duckworth

·      Brave, Strong,True by Kate Hendricks Thomas

If you want to become a better leader:

·      Turn the Ship Around by David Marquette

·      Real Leadership by John Addison

·      Leadership Lessons from a UPS Driver by Ron Wallace

·      It’s My Pleasure by Dee Ann Turner

·      Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

·      Legacy by James Kerr

When it comes to Fiction I went to my standbys and read the latest books from Brad Thor, Lee Child, Michael Connelly, David Baldacci and Barry Eisler. I also discovered a new ‘favorite author’ Harlen Coben. I read a number of his books the last 6 months and there is always an unexpected twist at the end of every one. (His Myron Bolitar series are good but I like his stand alone books best. )

What’s in my virtual stack (I read almost exclusively on my Kindle and my iPad) that am I looking forward to reading in 2017?

·      Excellent Sheep by William Deresiewicz

·      Pre-Suasion by Robert Cialdini

·      Damn Few by Rorke Denver

·      The Road to Character by David Brooks

·      Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

·      The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni

·      How We Learn by Benedict Carey

·      Tribe by Sebastian Junger

·      Illuminate by Nancy Duarte

·      Chip Huth and Jack Colwell’s new book.

·      Rereading The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzken

Cancelling your cable subscription and going without TV is not for everyone but, it was a great decision for us. For me the money spent on the monthly cable bill is better spent on books.

Let me know what you are reading and what books (both fiction and non fiction) you would recommend I add to my virtual stack in 2017.

What’s Important Now? So many books, so little time. If you don’t like to read then listen to audio books or podcasts.

Take care.

Brian Willis


Maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question - What's Important Now?

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