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Transcendence: My Spiritual Experiences with Pramukh Swamiji by A P J Abdul Kalam & Arun Tiwari

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Transcendence: My Spiritual Experiences with Pramukh Swamiji by A P J Abdul Kalam & Arun Tiwari
Thank you Kumar for lending me the book.
– Book of mirdad mentioned!
– Story of Bhagwan Swaminarayan aka Ghanshyam aka Neelkanth Varni.
– History of Akshardham inception to completion.
– He didn’t go for a second term in presidency as per Pramukh Swami’s advice.
– Kalam has written a lot of books.
– There was a time when Indian temples didn’t have images like mosques. Goes more into temples history and differences between northern style and southern style.
– Gandhi’s story.
– Story of Indians travelling to east Africa to work on the railway and later evolving to agricultural enterprises. Uganda was called the Kashmir of Africa. Satsangs were springing up all over the place until Idi Amin came into power and expelled 80,000 Asians. Sir Charles Cunningham helped build the Swaminarayan Mandir (temple) for those who fled to UK. President Museveni later returned 4 BAPS Mandirs in Uganda.
– Mentions 4 of the Six Subtleties. Ruh – divine breath, qulb – emotional heart, sirr – ego and Nafs – pleasure seeking 5 senses. Wiki Laṭaʾif as-Sitsta to know more.
– Gets into different scientists theories of consciousness.
– Emphasises how children should see consistency in what they see and hear from parents and practising what is preached. How they copy what they see from their parents.
– 13 August 2016. As I read this book I see a post from dad with RIP to Pramukh Swami Maraj. One of the first gurus I met and I remember a huge function happening in the school right behind my house. I used to climb the walls then and ended up on top of the thatched structure they made for the function too. My first experience of meeting Swamiji was asking him to get dad to stop smoking. He gave me this necklace with orange dots.
– Ghar sabha is where family gather, members pray, read scriptures, discuss values and amicably settle differences.
– 5 principles which promote family unity: meet each other; praise and appreciate each other; recognise and acknowledged the talents and virtues of your family members, particularly encouraging children by appreciating them; help each other; and, above all, exercise forgiveness.
– Talks about how beliefs can change DNA – epigenetics.
– History of Baruch Spinoza (the Prince of Philosophers) and his idea of God and Nature as two names for a same reality.
– Explains how life came about on the planet and evolved to create the atmosphere we have now, the same with the sun and chemicals involved and how we can see gods work in it all.
– Gives his take on leaders and examples of such brave people.
– Forgiveness is a 5 step process. 1 – not letting go will need energy and sap your vitally it. 2- understanding why it happened. Put yourself in their feet. 3- express the emotion and communicate well. 4- forgive unconditionally. 5- let go fully.

Table of Contents
– Introduction
– Prologue

Part 1 – Experience the Presence
1 – Lead India
2 – You Are Not Who You Think You Are
3 – Peace Grows When It Is Shared
4 – Children Are Everyone’s Future
5 – The Confidence That We Can Do It
6 – Self-Discipline Is The True Path To Dharma
7 – Nothing Less Than God’s Best In Our Lives
8 – Change Alone Is Eternal, Perpetual, Immortal

Part 2 – Spirituality In Action
9 – Portal To The Unseen
10 – Warriors Of The Light
11 – The Doctor Of The Soul
12 – A Status Without Parallel
13 – From Within I Rise
14 – Walking Over The Waves
15 – Living In The Witness Of God
16 – To Give And Forgive Is Divine

Part 3 – Fusion Of Science And Spirituality
17 – In Contemplation Of The Beauty Of Creation
18 – Religions Are The Signposts Of God
19 – Mind Is The Matrix Of All Matter
20 – Growing Into Highly Evolved Physical And Spiritual Beings
21 – The Highest Virtue Is The Intellectual Love Of God
22 – A Dimension As Vast As Space And As Timeless As Infinity
23 – The Unique Throb Of Life In All Creation
24 – God Is The Source Of The Universe

Part 4 – Evolution Of Creative Leadership
25 – A Fearless Look Into The Face Of All Facts
26 – What Prevented You From Prostrating When I Commanded You?
27 – Purity Is The Feminine, Truth The Masculine Form Of Divinity
28 – There Is No Such Thing As Defeat In Non-Violence
29 – Forgiveness Forces Us To Grow Beyond What We Are
30 – The Best Name For God Is Compassion
31 – Vision With Action Can Change The World
32 – The Most Powerful Force On This Planet Is Human Cooperation

– Epilogue
– Notes
– Premukh Swamiji: A Brief Introduction
– Acknowledgements


Mindarie Regional Council Earth Carers Training Program March 2016

Graduation Day

Special thanks to Charles of Terra Perma Design for sharing this. Since I prefer summaries I’ll highlight the important bits in green and underline them. I’m going to do my best to include as many resources and other good stuff. All in all I’ve had a lot of hope restored as I thought nobody else cared to make that extra effort but there are good people out there and lots of good things happening.

Keep an eye out on their site for future programs – http://www.mrc.wa.gov.au/Community-2/Earth-Carers-programs/Training-Programs.aspx

Tuesday 1 March 5.30-8.00pm – City of Wanneroo Depot, 1204 Wanneroo Road, Ashby, 6065

• Tour of Depot with information regarding waste/recycling collection, problems and issues.
• Introduction to course, history of waste and disposal with current practices in Perth.
• What is an Earth Carer’s role in waste management and how can the community be involved?
Peg Davies (Waste Education Officer at MRC) Officers from City of Wanneroo and others

We get pens recycled from ink cartridges.
– Coles collect ‘soft and noisy’ plastic like plastic bags and bubble wrap and it gets recycled into outdoor furniture for schools and communities. Click here to see the video
– We learn about recycle, waste and bulk verge trucks. How they work and other good stuff. I’m so glad to hear they do e-waste and textile waste sometimes biannually.
– Even though tetra paks say recyclable they usually get discarded in the process because it’s a chore to separate.
– Now for the bins. Most councils will have a minimum of 2. The green lid (general and compost waste but no glass) and yellow lid (recycling all glass, cans and tins, plastic CONTAINERS only, not plastic bags or caps.) Please remember small items get missed by the machine and take your plastic bags to Coles. Other bins are light green lid (for green waste like things for mulch and garden clippings) and red bins for general waste in which case you would put only compost stuff in the standard green lid bin. Please also not each council has different ways they do things so it’s good to check.
– Shredded paper is no good for recycling as it falls through the machine.
– You can recycle takeaway coffee cups once separated as the bottom is usually cardboard while top is plastic.
– The see through party cups are not really plastic so should go in general waste.
– Story of woman who simple made a change to cloth nappies as store bought ones take DECADES! Jaimini can tell you more.
– Pleasantly surprised by a surprise dinner which was delicious and nutritious.
– Saw some slides on the history of waste and then The Story of Stuff video which was a good reminder.

Saturday 5 March 10am–2.30pm – Resource Recovery Facility, Pederick Road, Neerabup & Tamala Park Landfill site, 1700 Marmion Avenue, Tamala Park, 6303

Tour will include:
• Composting facility.
• Landfill and tip shop.
• Includes discussion on household hazardous waste.
Peg Davies (Waste Education Officer at MRC)

Tour of Neerabup Resource Recovery Facility Centre.
– The visitor part had like a path of graphics that you follow to see the timeline of how a product starts and where it finishes. Home to compost to rubbish.
– Picture of a rubbish monster which sometimes forms when wrong recycling passes through and collects together.
– Process: Truck drops rubbish in hole > Grapple picks it and drops it in the chute > Goes through rotating composter for 3 days > 50 cent sized holes sieve things while remainder goes to Tamala park rubbish tip > Compost gets blasted through a ‘ballistic separator’ so the heavy stuff bounces harder than the light bits > compost is taken anywhere there is a market for.
– We were shown 3 gardens types. 1 – Soil only, 2 – Soil and mulch, 3 – Soil, mulch and compost. The compost one grew bigger things and was noticeably softer to walk on.

– Tour of Tamala Park Recycling Centre, Rubbish Tip, Shop and Transfer Station.
– History, what happens to them, where they go (mostly China) and issues of all the recycling from cooking oil turned into bio-diesel for the trucks they use to recycling bath tiles, mattresses, fridges, wood, tyres… everything you can recycle.
– 48 million tyres disposed annually!!!!
– Rubbish tips are holes dug up and now they’ve started lining the holes before throwing junk in them. It’s lasagne-ed with the limestone that was dug up. Pipes are used to collect the gasses which are mostly methane and CO2 to sell or use for electricity. Fun fact: Flammable part of farts does not smell.
– To clean wet lands special grasses are planted.
– While we have lunch we look at the local garden and how they’ve used stuff from the rubbish to create all sorts of handy compost fridges or creative musical instruments etc.
– Another important note: When you are in public and you use the bins there… it all goes to the rubbish. None of it goes to recycling or any kind of salvage process so if you can take recyclables back home it has a better chance. Even all the stuff in skips go to straight to landfill.


Tuesday 8 March 5.30-8.00pm – City Farm, Lime Street, Off Royal Street East Perth, 6004

• Tour of City Farm.
• Recycling options and gaps, what is/is not available in local areas.
• Local Council recycling services.
• Recycling at work.
• Green/non-toxic cleaning methods.
City Farm staff – Dora Deluca (Permaculture teacher, Manager Wilderness Soc), Peg Davies (MRC)

Perth City Farm history and tour. So much going on and their vision to achieve. P.E.A.C.E. (Permaculture, Education, Arts, Community and Enterprise)
– Plastic that is buried does not contribute to greenhouse gasses.
– Peg takes us through an exercise to sort and place things that are thrown into – Problem, hazardous waste, re-use and recycle sections.
– Enjoy a vegan soup with gluten free bread and lots of fruit.
– With your electronics always take the batteries out, make a collection and take to the recycle place (look up Recycle right app). The batteries get collected, stored and sorted. Rechargeable ones go to France and others go to Singapore and Korea.
– Microbeads are such a big issue for the seas and because we can’t see them we wont see it in the seafood. See?! Microbeads aren’t just just used to bulk up the product. Refuse to buy these as they come in a lot of things like toothpastes, gels, scrubs, etc. (look up Beat the Microbead app).
– Nurdles – bigger microbead versions that fish eat.
– Alternatives to cleaning for home, self, laundry, etc.
– Talks about packaging and how to handle it.
– Beeswax ironed on a cloth can replace cling-film.
– Dora tells us her story. She’s been one of the older players at the Perth City Farm.
– CLAW Environmental operates a plastic recycling in the following areas – 1. Drum Muster – the regional collection and recycling of used agricultural chemical containers, 2. EPS – Expanded Polystyrene recycling, 3. Granulation of locally sourced plastics for local manufacture. 4. Contract shredding and granulation of plastics.
One of the biggest new problems are the coffee pods and only one place recycles them – Terracycle (http://www.terracycle.com.au/en-AU/brigades/nespresso-coffee-capsule-brigade)

Saturday 12 March 10am-2.00pm – West Leederville Community Garden, 56 Cambridge Street West Leederville, 6007

• Options for domestic organic waste solutions and community responses.
Rob and Brenda from Environment House, Peg Davies (MRC)

– Rob from Environment House/Eco Shop talks about compost problems and his solutions and does demos of 3:1 of Green (Nitrogen):Brown (Carbon). Bad smells/sliminess = low oxygen.
– 320kg’s of greenhouse gasses are saved by composting so please turn your food scraps into soil. Solid paper is better recycled if you can otherwise please compost it and especially compost shredded paper. Also wipe fat and oil from pans and put it in the compost too. Don’t let it go down the drain.
– Peg talks about the Bokashi bucket (click for quick video) and gives us handouts. High protein stuff is best to use. The tea/juice is not only good to go on plants but also to clean toilets and drains. White cotton wool mould is good, black and blue not so good. How to bury it, etc.
– Putting your meat scraps in the freezer breaks the cell walls so saves you from chopping them up.
– History about the West Leederville Community Garden.
– Rob talks about worm farms (click for quick video). You can use de-gassed fridges, bath tubs, polystyrene boxes… all sorts as long as you have the basic features for a farm. The sludge at the bottom is best to mix with water so good microbes and chemicals will go deep in the soil when watering. Egg shells are good to balance acidity but crush them first. To start new farms, soak up lots of news paper in water for their food and ‘borrow’ friends worms. Few handfuls with castings, etc will do. Debates on not to put citrus, onions, leeks and chillies but Rob says try it out in corners.
– Fun fact: Untidy webs are usually red-back spider’s webs so now you know.
– Fun fact: Compost worms are nomads while earthworms are found deeper and have tunnels and homes.
– Fun rhyme: Dilution is the solution to pollution. But only in small scale.

Tuesday 15 March 6.00-8.30pm – REmida, 1 Prospect Place West Perth, 6065

• How to use the knowledge at home, work, schools, neighbourhoods and events. Hints, tips and ideas.
• Where to now?
• Tour of REmida and reusing industrial waste.
Kim, Organic Waste Solutions, Earth Carer stories

REmida tour (Name originates in the educational philosophies of Reggio Emilia, in Italy and the Midas touch). It’s a not for profit which gets discarded materials and makes them available to members for art projects etc. They give small companies who participate a red bin and are always looking for volunteers and sometimes pay artists.
– Fun fact: Those spikey rubbery balls that I thought were for stress relief or reflexology are really for clothes dryers.
– I see this amazing shiny silvery net and upon closer inspection it’s really cellophane twisted up. Most probably CD covers and the like.
– Douglas talks about his experience, membership, tools and answers all questions. Says that small business are the ones that help most as big ones have compliance issues.
– Different people talk about support so don’t worry if your peers are looking at you like you’re crazy when you try to do your bit. We are the trailblazers and I got an understanding of why the ‘others’ think I’m the crazy one…. basically waste is NOT COOL and they just want it out of sight kinda thing. (Quick 3 minute video – How to start a movement TED talk)
Story of Solutions video. Do you want to play the game of more or better?
– Fun fact: 12 letters to the big guys is enough to get noticed.
– How a previous Earth Carer educated people on balloons. Helium or not they are bad! And coffee pods are even worse and should really not have that machine anywhere. The coffee pods info was emphasised more than once in this course.
– How people fit into dreamers, planners, doers and celebrators.
– Success story of Earth Carer solving school lost property and replacing plastic bags with 4 layers of newspaper in their bins. 3 for the sea movement where you look for 3 things to pick up while you’re at the beach. Things like when you carry your wine bottle with you, why not carry it back home where it will be recycled if thrown in your recycling instead of public waste.
– Song: No Such Thing As Waste by Charlie Mgee
Paras note: At the end of each course I’d go home feeling so good that I’m meeting more and more of my kind of nuts but this night was special. Some transformation happened with the trailblazers, waste is not cool angle and videos.

Tuesday 22 March 6.00-8.00pm – Victoria Park Council Offices, 99 Shepperton Road Victoria Park, 6100

• Presentation to graduating Earth Carers.
• Talk on relevant topic.
MRC staff, Guest speaker tba

– Mindarie Regional Council CEO Brian Callander talks about past and future of MRC. Presents our graduation certificate, bag and presents.
– Skip bins are better than just plain old bulk verge collection.
– Peg reads a great Buddha story of how 500 garments would be honoured to be used as bed-covers and old bed-covers to pillowcases and old ones to floor covers to foot towels to floor mops.
– Amazing dinner!
– Ex-Earth Carer talks about her 6 years with the crew and inspirational stories about kids going camping. Buying Weigh ‘n Pay lollies to reduce packaging. Buy in bulk. Brining their own cups. They calculated that 250 cups were saved and 50 meters of food wrapping was saved. Also talked about adopt-a-spot.
You can also report anyone who throws things out of a vehicle.
– Richard from CLAW Environmental talks and presents about recycling plastic and polystyrene. Types of plastics and polystyrene. Separating them, contamination would be mixing the plastics. They go through 17 tons of polystyrene. How they process different plastics. Green polystyrene peanut packaging beads are really starch so just put those in hot water. Microbeads you can see but plastic breaks down into small invisible polymers which you can see.
– Even cigarette butts! Bin your butts as animals think they’re food, they account for 50% of litter in WA, a major cause of domestic and bush fires!
– Anne hands out resources for all sorts of projects.
– Peg closes.

We were given quite a bit of material to go through and I’ll do my best to keep adding to this post but if not just look into what you’d like to focus on and Google it as there are so many resources, options and solutions out there. As I write this I’ve already volunteered to do some kids activities about Earth Caring at the International Permaculture Day Mega Meet-up

Other resources:
Earth Carers Notes Pdf
Support material links –
Earth Carers’ Leaflet
Earth Carers’ Handbook
Down to Earth booklet – All about waste
Down to Earth booklet – All about composting
Down to Earth booklet – Guide to setting up a worm farm
Down to Earth booklet – Guide to setting up a no-dig garden 
Down to Earth booklet – All about spreading the word
The Useful Book



A short course on caring for the earth, for free. Peg Davies teaching us all about where things go in the waste world &…


Art of the Teese – Burlesque and Fetish by Dita von Teese

Click to get the book

Art of the Teese – Burlesque and Fetish by Dita von Teese

Tasneem gave me this book around 2007-8 and I finally finished the book in December 2015 just before Christmas as my brother took the family around MARGARET river, Denmark and Albany. It took me so long mostly because the photography is so amazing. The book itself is in 2 parts (Burlesque and the Art of the Teese/Fetish and the Art of the Teese) each of which start from the cover and end in the middle. Apart from the notes, Dita tells such a great story and history of it all. She brought it with her and she’s takes you there by describing the mentality, situation, products and politics.

Fetish and the Art of the Teese notes:
– Great explanation of fetish and how most will picture BDSM when it’s so much more. The word meant, quite simply, “magical charm”. In the art world it means “something that shocks the sensibilities”.
– Bettie Page made famous by a photographer no one remembers his name. I wish the book showed more pictures of all the personalities and fashions she mentioned. How Irving and Paula Klaws made her famous and their story.
– After being turned down numerous times by Playboy she finally got in and had to use a surname and she found Von Treese in the directory which Playboy typoed and ended up as Teese!
– Men wear corsets too. (Google image Mr. Pearl to get a shock!)
– The golden lotus – the mythological three-inch Chinese foot. Once again google image foot binding.

Burlesque and the Art of the Teese notes:
– Different names for a striptease like ecdysiast, slinger, effeuilleuse. To me a stripper bares all for money and cheap thrills while a burlesquer does it for the tease/art/illusion/fantasy/fun. (I will never forget the skill with which Dita dropped her pompoms at one of the Erotica expos in London)
– I’ll try share the powerful picture that had stalled me 8 years to finish reading this book. (Go to 0.52 seconds of this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Me_M-Zv2ChM)
– Burlesque came from the word burlare which means “to laugh at”.
– She includes her ballet experiences in many of her shows. Explains how ballet used to be showgirls and how napoleon himself had one of these private rooms where they get to watch ballet dancers in different stages of undress warming up.
– She devises entire shows based on a single Swarovski crystal. She would sit with Cathrine, sipping Dom Perignon and dream up all sorts – dress, props, corset, setting, etc all for this one crystal.
– Lovely history, stories and evolution of the burlesque scene and ultimately how Dita discovered her signature shows and identity.
– Now this is a great read with breathtaking photography and no one better than the ‘Queen of the New Burlesque ‘ to introduce you to the world. My greatest appreciation to Tasmeem for this present.


Willpower: Rediscovering Our Greatest Strength by Roy F. Baumeister & John Tierney

Click to get the book or audiobook

Big up Big Brandon Carter for the recommendation.

– Most common desire was to eat and sleep. Then sex.
– Carnegie’s Win Friends and Influence People book spent 8 pages on explaining to people how to have that winning smile. Passive bashing of similar books.
– Marshmallow experiment. Successful ones managed to distract themselves for 15 minutes to get another marshmallow. The ones that failed seemed to get in more trouble. The ones with more willpower had higher salaries, more points, better physical health, less issues with drug abuse, etc. So basically self-control in early age showed lots of good things.
– Amanda Palmer’s story of not breaking character by not drinking coffee and other practices for years. She only broke if a couple of times or so. 90 mins x 2 a day.
– Don’t think of a white bear and the monkey mind experiments. EEG experiments.
– Ago-depletion makes a big difference. Fatigue, tired, negative. Signal are things like reacting more sad to sad movies, ice cold water felt more painful, after eating one cookie there was a stronger craving. So look for a change in your feelings about these things. During withdrawal, the recovering addict is using so much willpower to break the habit that it’s likely to be a time of intense, prolonged ego depletion, and that very state will make the person feel the desire for the drug all the more strongly. It’s no wonder relapses are so common and addicts feel so weird when they quit.
– How during exams students would lose this ego. They’d increase their smoking, drinking, shopping, being messy etc. More coffee, less exercise.
– Beeper study: The more willpower expended, the more likely they were to yield to the next temptation. Cash rewards did boost willpower reserves but if it boosts it too much they get used up fast and don’t make it to the finish line if that makes sense.
– Two main points. 1 – You have a finite amount of willpower that becomes depleted as you use it. 2 – You use the same stock of willpower for all manner of tasks.
– 4 uses of willpower – 1 – Control of thoughts. 2 – Emotional control. 3 – Impulse control. 4 – Performance control.
– Focus on one project at a time! Don’t make a long list especially after new years! You will lose.
– Glucose and self-control are connected. Hypoglycaemia was connected to criminals and violent people or such activities. The food gets converted to glucose but does not get absorbed into the body. Surplus of glucose is like lots of firewood but no matches. If it’s high enough it’s known as diabetes. If students were given a healthy snack in the middle they’ll be less rambunctious. Dog experiment where sugar drinks restored their willpower.
– Women are less likely than men to suffer from lapses of self-control but are affected most during the luteal phase of their PMS cycle. It occurs after ovulation (when the ovaries release an egg) and before the period starts. But they are less likely to become criminals or addicts.
– Always eat well or have enough glucose before dealing with things that need willpower. Even sugar tablets have helped reduce the need for cigarettes. Eat foods with low glycemic index.
– Driving with a bad cold is worse than driving intoxicated. If your child has a cold before an SAT test… reschedule. When you’re tired sleep as you’ll end up with less self-control, do more unethical things, etc!
– Even God had to breakdown the creation of the world into daily tasks. But his list he finished and the final task was rest. Our lists keep growing.
– Set a clear goal. We set too many. There are 3 consequences of existing goals.
a) Worrying a lot, over thinking.
b) Get less done, procrastination.
c) Health is affected. More physical, mental issues and anxiety.
– Experiments of people with self-control and addicts. Fast reward, their long term stories were just 9 days compared to 4 years of folks with better self-control. Ignoring long-term goals are not good both physically and fiscally.
– Debate of which is better Proximal/Short term goals vs. Distal/Long term goals.
– Monthly planning/goal setting is best. Daily is time consuming, lacks flexibility and with so many changes everyday it can get frustrating.
– How Drew Carey called up Dave Allen author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity and hired his services … because he’s rich! Dave’s desk is complete absence of paperwork. Even the trays especially the inbox. Done, delegated, dropped or differed. I will be going through this book soon so you can read the notes there. Just do a search or click if the link is available.
– Zeigarnik Effect: Incomplete tasks and goals continue to pop in ones mind. Funny enough if you stop a song halfway your mind keeps thinking of it like it’s an incomplete task. So that’s why it’s stuck in my head! Which is why bad songs get stuck in our head.
– Grrrr. These books and their this study showed this but then that study negated it with this experiment and that experiment hypothesised … JUST GET TO THE POINT! Rant over. I’ll skip over the countless experiments mentioned.
– Mess is good but one mess at a time. Even if it’s getting cat food put it on a list!
– Marathon shopping depletes willpower. Bridal registry helps because it’s registered and things are in order.
– If you have a court case and it’s later in the day … bad news. Judges willpower and decision making will be depleted.
– When you have too much choice you get too picky and wait for something better. Shopping is the opposite, you deplete quickly so sellers market big things first and then towards the end save the impulse buys. How males lose their sense of priority and money when it comes to women.
– Self-awareness also plays a big part. Experiment where kids took more than one Halloween candy when the mirror was not facing them. People getting drunk to do all sorts of stupid things. 2 Step to improve this is 1. Setting a goal and 2. Monitoring your behaviour.
– Public info is also more important which is why all these fitness apps work so well.
– David Blaine’s doing all sorts of weird things so that he became an endurance artist.
– Sitting in good posture and upright helped lots of things.
– Many lefties are fairly ambidextrous.
– Exercises are like using proper words instead of yeah, nah and swearing. Exercise resisting to say them will grow the muscle.
– Exercise increases mental stamina and improved other aspects of life like studies, saving, less smoking and drinking, more chores, less junk food. Even though sometimes working out would mean eating more junk food.
– For men ‘oh heat’, will power is really low. This is where BBC (Big Brandon Carter of YouTube fame) talked about how he masturbates before making choices or how he recommended doing that when you start acting crazy.
– Use pre-commitment to stop you from getting into the bad habits. Making cash punishments help a lot and the more the money the more the success.
– Self-forgetfulness is another technique like how nurses distract you with other stuff and avoid using pain words.
– Talks about how prayer worked for non-believing Eric Clapton and Mary Karr. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has also talked about how to make thing sacred so you honour it more.
– Teenagers risk a hell of a lot to get social acceptance and do it in a cool way.
– The ones who were better at getting support from other people ended up abstaining more frequently and doing less overall drinking. The barbecue law is where you drink with your mates and risk offending people if not, so alcoholics need the same kind of peer pressure in reverse. Religious people are less likely to get into the bad things and misfortunes come to them.
– Bright Lines: These are clear, simple, unambiguous rules. And if you believe that the rule is sacred—a commandment from God, the unquestionable law of a higher power—then it becomes an especially bright line.
– Self-esteem: Grades in 10th grade predicted self-esteem in 12th grade but not vice-versa.
– Narcissists: They need adulation and admiration but don’t require to be liked. Good first impressions but don’t wear well. They are everyone’s favourite person but only during the first few meetings and then slip to the bottom of the rankings. Recently it has risen with USA youth and even their songs full of I and me. (Paras note: One of the reasons I got bored of hip-hop). The exception is in Asian where it doesn’t show up because of good discipline and self-control.
– Confucian concepts of chiao shun, which means “to train,” and guan, which means both “to govern” and “to love.” Chinese parents have two things over their Western counterparts: (1) higher dreams for their children, and (2) higher regard for their children in the sense of knowing how much they can take. Chua’s basic strategies—set clear goals, enforce rules, punish failure, reward excellence.
– The punishment has to be closer to the incident! A relaxed but stern word or two would be the best way to go. Don’t ‘let this one go’ too much or too early.
– Ferber method, or Ferberization, is a technique invented by Dr. Richard Ferber to solve infant sleep problems. It involves “baby-training” children to self-soothe by allowing the child to cry for a predetermined amount of time before receiving external comfort. In this method both child and adult are happier in the long term. Children need and want clear rules and they need to know and understand them. Asking them what goals they have is good too as you can direct them accordingly.
– Money for grades is controversial but it works in the long term. Society will be doing it to them in future anyway.
– Children raised by single parents tend not to do as well in life as children who grow up with two parents. A lack of adult supervision during the teenage years turned out to be one of the strongest predictors of criminal behaviour. When parents keep tabs on where their children are, what they do, and whom they associate with, the children are much less likely to use illegal drugs than when parents keep fewer close tabs. Anything that forces children to exercise their self-control muscle can be helpful: taking music lessons, memorizing poems, saying prayers, minding their table manners, avoiding the use of profanity, writing thank-you notes.
– Most children aren’t being hurt by playing video games, and that they can derive some of the same benefits from the games as from practicing music, playing sports, or pursuing other passions that require discipline. Earn respect through their accomplishments. To acquire skills, they fail over and over.
– 3 Discipline to lose weight: 1. Never go on a diet. 2. Never vow to give up chocolate or any other food. 3. Whether you’re judging yourself or judging others, never equate being overweight with having weak willpower.
– It’s better to make gradual changes because intense diets makes the body hold on to fat thinking there is a famine.
– Conterregulatory eating: Dieters have a fixed target in mind for their maximum daily calories, and when they exceed it for some unexpected reason, they regard their diet as blown for the day.
– Trying to hide your feelings while watching a movie drains your willpower, rendering you more likely to overeat later on in a separate, ostensibly unrelated context.
– Nutritional catch-22: 1. In order not to eat, a dieter needs willpower. 2. In order to have willpower, a dieter needs to eat.
– Plan for battle in losing weight: Things like not keeping sweets out and visible, brushing teeth early before bed to stop from late night snacking. Using techniques like ‘if this, then that’. There is a connection with obese people clustering together like the story of how Oprah lost her overweight friends when she lost her weight. Weighing yourself everyday helps more than weekly. Prisoners gain more weight because they don’t wear tight fitting clothes or belts so they can’t gauge it. Eating in front of the TV encourages snacking as you’re not paying attention. It’s better saying I’ll eat it later instead of never.
– Procrastination: They are healthier overall but the closer they reach the deadline the more health issues they had so it cancels out!
– See last chapter title under Conclusion. Willpower 101 for a quick summary.
– The Planning fallacy: Late and over budget is the norm.

The Decline of the Will
The Comeback of the Will
Evolution and Etiquette
Why Will Yourself to Read This?

1. Is willpower more than a metaphor?
The Radish Experiment
Name That Feeling
The Mystery of the Dirty Socks
Lessons from the Street and the Lab

2. Where does the power in willpower come from?
Brain Fuel
Inner Demons
Eat Your Way to Willpower

3. A brief history of the to-do list, from god to Drew Carey
Which Goals?
Fuzzy Versus Fussy
Drew Carey’s Dream In-Box
The Zeigarnik Effect
Zero Euphoria

4. Decision fatigue
Crossing the Rubicon
The Judge’s Dilemma (and the Prisoner’s Distress)
Choose Your Prize

5. Where have all the dollars gone? The quantified self knows
I’m Self-aware, Therefore I . . . ?
The Quantified Self
Not-So-Invidious Comparisons

6. Can willpower be strengthened? (Preferably without feeling David Blaine’s pain)
Willpower Workouts
From Strength to More Strength
The Toughest Stunt of All

7. Outsmarting yourself in the heart of darkness
The Empathy Gap
The Ties That Bind
The Brain on Autopilot
But Enough About Me

8. Did a higher power help Eric Clapton and Mary Karr stop drinking?
The Mystery of AA
Heaven (like Hell) Is Other People
Sacred Self-control
Bright Lines

9. Raising strong children: self-esteem vs. self-control
From Self-esteem to Narcissism
Exceptional Asians
Nanny Deb and the Triplets
Rules for Babies and Vampires
Wandering Eyes
Playing to Win

10. The perfect storm of dieting
The What-the-Hell Effect
The Dieter’s Catch-22
Planning for Battle
Let Me Count the Weighs (and the Calories)
Never Say Never

Conclusion : The future of willpower: more gain, less strain (as long as you don’t procrastinate
The Deadline Test
Willpower 101, First Lesson: Know Your Limits
Watch for Symptoms
Pick Your Battles
Make a To-Do List—or at Least a To-Don’t List
Beware the Planning Fallacy
Don’t Forget the Basics (like Changing Your Socks)
The Power of Positive Procrastination
The Nothing Alternative (and Other Tricks of Offense)
Keep Track
Reward Often
The Future of Self-control


Revolution by Russell Brand

Click to get the book, ebook or audiobook

The audiobook is like his videos where he is exactly as verbose but you can’t see him. In summary he says lots of things mostly making fun of or going against the system, the sheeple, the biegeists, the squares… while using lots of big words. Hope I remember the new ones. I like how the cover of the book shows LOVE reversed in the title. Short version: A collection of thoughts and ideas to do things differently from quotes to history.

– If you want to understand what’s most important to a society, don’t examine its art or literature, simply look at its biggest buildings. Joseph Campbell
– Explains yoga, meditation, talks about his past addictions and basically lots of content we have already seen in his virals.
– He talks a lot about Joseph Campbell’s philosophy and quotes.
– Entertaining explanation of meditating TM style.
– So I’ve just made it halfway through the audiobook and oh my god… I think Russell’s ramblings should stick to a maximum of 40 minutes!
– I agree with his points on how voting is redundant. His explanation of Liquid Democracy makes more sense.
– Interesting experience with the marines.
– I have to be honest I’m really struggling to pay attentions. He doesn’t sound as fun or animated as in the interviews and quite monotonous.
– He breaks down what Co-op really means and how it works.
– We must organise and disobey because they own both the teams that are fighting and running us around in circles.
– He tells us a number of steps to follow for a well planned revolution.
– If we can vote for reality shows… why not these ‘new’ systems which are way better and have been working where implemented. Structures and resources exist, it’s just the people who benefit from a failing system have scared people into thinking only one way. Habits and all.

You Say You Want A Revolution
1 Heroes’ Journey
2 Serenity Now
3 One Hand Clapping
4 Top Right Corner
5 Is Everybody In?
6 Tiny Problems In Infinite Space
7 A Few Rotten Apples
8 I Am An Anarchist-a
9 It’s Big But It’s Not Easy
10 Ich Bin Ein Monarch
11 A Pair of Dames And A Double Slit
12 Within You, And Without You
13 Spider-Man On Line One
14 Get Money Out Of Politics
15 Spectacular
16 On Earth, As It Is In Heaven
17 War! What Is It Good For? Capitalism. Obviously.
18 U’KIP, If You Want, We’re Awake
19 Piketty, Licketty, Rollitty, Flicketty
20 Submarine
21 Checky The Phone
22 “Corporacide”
23 Co-Operate
24 Plug Me In
25 Give My Regards To The Basket
26 Conversion?
27 Es Mejor Morir de Pie
28 Stick Your Blue Flag
29 Granma, We Love You
30 Manifest Destiny
31 Be the Change
32 Help Me, Help You
33 Worth Voting For?
For The Benefit Of The Tape