Notes from reading: The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius by Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius was Roman emperor and also a stoic aka believer of stoicism, a school of Philosophy that flourished throughout the Roman and Greek world until the 3rd century AD.

The Meditations is his thoughts on various aspect of life as collection of books which are all combined as chapter here.

These are some notes:

  1. All existing things soon change, and they will either be reduced to vapour, if indeed all substance is one, or they will be dispersed.
  2. The best way of avenging thyself is not to become like the wrong doer.
  3. Motions and changes are continually renewing the world, just as the uninterrupted course of time is always renewing the infinite duration of ages.
  4. How strangely men act. They will not praise those who are living at the same time and living with themselves; but to be themselves praised by posterity, by those whom they have never seen or ever will see, this they set much value on.
  5. If any man is able to convince me and show me that I do not think or act right, I will gladly change; for I seek the truth by which no man was ever injured. But he is injured who abides in his error and ignorance.
  6. I do my duty: other things trouble me not; for they are either things without life, or things without reason, or things that have rambled and know not the way.
  7. As to the animals which have no reason and generally all things and objects, do thou, since thou hast reason and they have none, make use of them with a generous and liberal spirit. But towards human beings, as they have reason, behave in a social spirit.
  8. He who has seen present things has seen all, both everything which has taken place from all eternity and everything which will be for time without end; for all things are of one kin and of one form.
  9. Frequently consider the connexion of all things in the universe and their relation to one another.
  10. if we judge only those things which are in our power to be good or bad, there remains no reason either for finding fault with God or standing in a hostile attitude to man.
  11. whatever is profitable to any man is profitable also to other men. But let the word profitable be taken here in the common sense as said of things of the middle kind, neither good nor bad.
  12. One thing here is worth a great deal, to pass thy life in truth and justice, with a benevolent disposition even to liars and unjust men.
  13. He who loves fame considers another man’s activity to be his own good; and he who loves pleasure, his own sensations; but he who has understanding, considers his own acts to be his own good.
  14. It is in our power to have no opinion about a thing, and not to be disturbed in our soul; for things themselves have no natural power to form our judgements.
  15. What kind of people are those whom men wish to please, and for what objects, and by what kind of acts?
  16. Let not future things disturb thee, for thou wilt come to them, if it shall be necessary, having with thee the same reason which now thou usest for present things.
  17. All things are implicated with one another, and the bond is holy; and there is hardly anything unconnected with any other thing.
  18. Everything material soon disappears in the substance of the whole; and everything formal (causal) is very soon taken back into the universal reason; and the memory of everything is very soon overwhelmed in time.
  19. A virtue which is opposed to love of pleasure, and that is temperance.
  20. If thou takest away thy opinion about that which appears to give thee pain, thou thyself standest in perfect security.
  21. Hindrance to the perceptions of sense is an evil to the animal nature. Hindrance to the movements (desires) is equally an evil to the animal nature.
  22. It is not fit that I should give myself pain, for I have never intentionally given pain even to another.
  23. Different things delight different people. But it is my delight to keep the ruling faculty sound without turning away either from any man or from any of the things which happen to men, but looking at and receiving all with welcome eyes and using everything according to its value.
  24. See that thou secure this present time to thyself: for those who rather pursue posthumous fame do consider that the men of after time will be exactly such as these whom they cannot bear now; and both are mortal.
  25. He who does not know what the world is, does not know where he is. And he who does not know for what purpose the world exists, does not know who he is, nor what the world is.
  26. Dost thou wish to be praised by a man who curses himself thrice every hour? Wouldst thou wish to please a man who does not please himself? Does a man please himself who repents of nearly everything that he does?
  27. He who fears death either fears the loss of sensation or a different kind of sensation. But if thou shalt have no sensation, neither wilt thou feel any harm; and if thou shalt acquire another kind of sensation, thou wilt be a different kind of living being and thou wilt not cease to live.
  28. Men exist for the sake of one another. Teach them then or bear with them.
  29. In one way an arrow moves, in another way the mind.
  30. It would be a man’s happiest lot to depart from mankind without having had any taste of lying and hypocrisy and luxury and pride.
  31. the contrary way and attach us to life, to be permitted to live with those who have the same principles as ourse

This is another must buy, read recommendation to everyone reading this post. 

Notes from Reading: Wit and Wisdom from Poor Richard’s Almanack by Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin is considered as father of modern America. His versatile expertise and contribution in Literature, politics, science, philosophy, law and many other areas helped in re-shaping America. He was a prolific reader as well as writer, a true believer of virtues.

In early days he wrote Poor Richard’s Almanack,  it holds true even in 21st Century. It covers Benjamin’s take on various aspect of life, making friends,earning, eating, health and many more.


These are some noted from the Poor Richard’s Almanack:

  1. A Man in a Passion rides a mad Horse.
  2. Anger warms the Invention, but overheats the Oven.
  3. Neglect kills Injuries, Revenge increases them. If you would be reveng’d of your enemy, govern yourself.
  4. You may be too cunning for One, but not for All.
  5. Content makes poor men rich; Discontent makes rich Men poor.
  6. Discontented Minds, and Fevers of the Body are not to be cured by changing Beds or Businesses.
  7. He that sells upon trust, loses many friends, and always wants money.
  8. Employ thy time well, if thou meanest to gain leisure.
  9. Laziness travels so slowly that Poverty soon overtakes him.
  10. Dine with little, sup with less: Do better still: sleep supperless.
  11. A full Belly is the Mother of all Evil.
  12. Eat to live; live not to eat.
  13. When the Wine enters, out goes the Truth.
  14. Nothing more like a Fool, than a drunken Man.
  15. He that would travel much, should eat little. Drink Water, Put the Money in your Pocket, and leave the Dry-bellyach in the Punchbowl.
  16. A full Belly makes a dull Brain.
  17. Fools need Advice most, but wise Men only are the better for it.
  18. To whom thy secret thou dost tell, to him thy freedom thou dost sell.
  19. There are three faithful friends—an old wife, an old dog, and ready money.
  20. A true Friend is the best Possession.
  21. Be slow in choosing a Friend, slower in changing.
  22. The learned Fool writes his Nonsense in better Language than the unlearned; but still ’tis Nonsense.

I would strongly recommend everyone to buy a copy of this book and keep it as bed side story and read it again and again for a better life. 🙂


Damn Right!: Behind the Scenes with Berkshire Hathaway Billionaire Charlie Munger by Janet Lowe

Charles Munger is vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and one of the most successful investor, philanthropist.    

For this  book Damn Right!: Behind the Scenes with Berkshire Hathaway Billionaire Charlie Munger, Janet Lowe(author) did extensive interview/research to bring every aspect of Charlie Munger’s life to the world.  

The book also covers share of failures Charlie had in early days of his career, divorce from first marriage, death of his father and how he lost one of his eye later because of unsuccessful operation.

Charlie Munger studied law, likes playing poker and voracious reader.  He follows Benjamin Franklin way of living life.

I kind of loved authors narrative in each scenario, it was like am watching a movie or sitting next to Charlie Munger and watching all his actions. It will be a hollywood blockbuster in my opinion if gets adopted as story.  

These are some notes from the book, it can be by Charlie himself or his friends, authors or quotes from some of the books from his favorite author.

  • Charlie is generous in the deepest sense and never lets ego interfere with rationality.
  • Hunger for the world’s approval, Charlie judges himself entirely by an inner scorecard-and he is a tough grader.
  • I’ve been associated with Warren (Buffett) so long, I thought I’d be just a footnote.’ Charles T. Munger, when he was first named to the Forbes magazine list of richest Americans in 1993
  • Like Warren, I had a considerable passion to get rich,” said Charlie, who early on earned his living as a lawyer. “Not because I wanted Ferraris-I wanted the independence. I desperately wanted.
  • Being surrounded by right values from the beginning is an immense treasure.
  • Humor breaks the tension, provides psychological protection, and allows them to assert dominance over their circumstances.
  • I play golf with a man who says, “What good is health? You can’t buy money with it.”‘
  • We try to be realistic and smart and logical all the time, but there is another side to it.
  • What you learn from Nancy is never give up on yourself. Just keep working on your stuff.
  • What you learn from Nancy (Charlie’s 2nd wife) is never give up on yourself. Just keep working on your stuff.
  • “As parents, part of their success was in transmitting values, human morality, and ethical codes to their children,” said Emilie (Charlie’s daughter).
  • The investment game always involves considering both quality and price, and the trick is to get more quality than you pay for in price.
  • In order to be truly wealthy, a person needed to build ownership in a business.
  • “Hard work, honesty, if you keep at it, will get you almost anything.”
  • “the lesson of his business life is that you don’t want to do business with people you can’t trust. The economics are irrelevant if you don’t have trust.
  • “Never wrestle with a pig because if you do you’ll both get dirty, but the pig will enjoy”
  • There are a million business traps. You can get sloppy, you can get alcoholic, you can get megalomania, you can not understand your own limitations. There are a million ways to gum it up.
  • Munger and Buffett realized how much easier and pleasanter it was to buy a good business and just let it roll along, than to buy a deeply discounted but struggling business and spend time, energy, and sometimes more money setting it straight.
  • Smart, hard-working people aren’t exempted from professional disasters of overconfidence.
  • “If you just keep pressing on and don’t let anything that happens get to you, your life is so much better.”
  • If you try to predict the future of everything, you attempt too much. You’re going to fail through lack of specialization.
  • When serious problems arise, the reaction of top management must be both swift and thorough.
  • If Warren and Charlie believe in the principle of something, they don’t deviate from it, even if it’s not popular with the individuals around them.
  • You live it in the middle of the field, and you don’t cut corners.
  • Anyone who struggles to make the box of his life larger discovers that the box has walls that must be burst open.
  • I don’t think you can get to be a really good investor over a broad range without doing a massive amount of reading.
  • Every time you think some person, or some unfairness is ruining your life, it is you who are ruining your life.
  • To become a great investor Charlie says  “Each person has to play the game given his own marginal utility considerations and in a way that takes into account his own psychology. If losses are going to make you miserable-and some losses are inevitable-you might be wise to utilize a very conservative pattern of investment and saving all your life. So you have to adapt your strategy to your own nature and your own talents. I don’t think there’s a one-size-fits-all investment strategy that I can give you.”‘
  • Though few companies last forever, all of them should be built to last a long time, says Munger.
  • “It’s … necessary to accommodate a lot of failure, and because no matter how able you are, you’re going to have headwinds and troubles,”

Random Thoughts: On rejection

It was quoted somewhere that “humans are social animal”. We live in this society constructed around us. We live happily in our tribe divided on basis of boundaries, color, race, economies Et All.

While growing up in this society construct we gave rise to  competition in all the domains from education, services to wealth. Even various nations started competing which resulted in rise of Nuclear armaments.

I have limited knowledge about many things and many aspects in life, I will be focussing on rejection in day to day basis for an individual.

We get rejection in many domains, moments and aspects in our life like a few :

  1. Applied for admission to a college: Rejected
  2. Applied for dream Job: Rejected
  3. Saw some guy/girl at bar, approached to make a conversation: Rejected
  4. Looking for potential bride/groom on matrimonial site: Rejected {Physical appearance as reason cited, more of Indian construct}
  5. Applied for funding for startup: Rejected
  6. Applied for presenting at conference: Rejected
  7. Proposed growth vision, plan to my founders from organizations growth: Rejected
  8. Applied for H1B for moving to USA: Rejected

Rejection sucks and some of us end up going in depression and taking extreme steps like committing suicide. This is one part of the story or one side of coin.

Some people get even stronger with rejections, they build a system within them to take this all as learnings. They work much harder and do things which are unachievable, these are the misfits who scares shit out of society’s caretaker.

  1. Mahatma Gandhi and his civil disobedience movement for India’s independence with Britishers.
  2. Martin Luther King and fight for equal rights for people from African origin in America.
  3. Eklayava from Mahabharat getting rejected by Drona for training in archery and making it big by himself.
  4. Sylvester Stallone’s rejection again and again for his movie script Rockey.
  5. Elon Musk after going bankrupt and facing all kind of media trials on Tesla

What made them do it the impossible? What can we learn from them?

In my limited knowledge, all of them were/are self driven and gritty. They must have built a system over period of time while failing again and again.

What do you folks think? Have you ever asked from your inner self these questions? 🙂

Random Thoughts: What is this Life?

What kind of life are we living these days?

  1. Running for salary raise, bonus
  2. Buying new cars/phones/dress even though you don’t need one
  3. Sharing every single update of our life on social media {me included, will take time in fixing it.}
  4. Trying to become like someone
  5. Dying everyday in anger or hope of taking revenge from others
  6. More worried about striking off TODO list
  7. Living a life with baggage of past & hope of future without living present
  8. Fulfilling someone else’s dream
  9. Letting society decide what is right or wrong for you
  10. Running after wealth & forgetting health

Notes from reading: Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

I got to know about this book from one of the podcast where Naval was guest.

As book title says, it talks about us Homo Sapiens.  It gives great deal of insights about :

  1. our origin and why Homo Sapiens survived and others disappeared.
  2. About how agriculture changed our way of living.
  3. Building of great empires.
  4. How religion played significant role in building a society
  5. Slavery  & cause of same
  6. innovation in science & technology
  7. Colonial expansion
  8. Beginning of Capitalism
  9. Consumerism
  10. And much more….

Don’t be surprised if you end up finishing the book in one go. 🙂

The book also gives brief introduction of what is coming next in human advancement like Cyborg, Bionics, Super humans, bio-engineering.

Last not the least, my friend Steve just shared via twitter this interesting piece of information

Notes from reading: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

 This book “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” is collection of his daily entry of Haruki Murakami . He tries to connect his regular running habit and its learning to his way of life.  

He traveled all the way to Athens and on a humid day made run to Marathon village all by himself in heat and traffic. [super crazy :)]

These are some notes from the book:

  • Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. Say you’re running and you start to think, Man this hurts, I can’t take it anymore. The hurt part is an unavoidable reality, but whether or not you can stand any more is up to the runner himself.
  • To keep on going, you have to keep up the rhythm. This is the important thing for long-term projects. Once you set the pace, the rest will follow.
  • I just run. I run in a void. Or maybe I should put it the other way: I run in order to acquire a void.
  • Human beings’ emotions are not strong or consistent enough to sustain a vacuum.
  • Growing older and slowing down are just part of the natural scenery.
  • You can’t please everybody.
  • When you’re young, you really need to prioritize in life, figuring out in what order you should divide up your time and energy. If you don’t get that sort of system set by a certain age, you’ll lack focus and your life will be out of balance.
  • I’m no great runner, but I’m definitely a strong runner. The more I ran, the more my physical potential was revealed.
  • Life just isn’t fair, is how it used to strike me. Some people can work their butts off and never get what they’re aiming for, while others can get it without any effort at all. But even in a situation that’s unfair, I think it’s possible to seek out a kind of fairness.
  • Human beings naturally continue doing things they like, and they don’t continue what they don’t like.
  • No matter how strong a will a person has, no matter how much he may hate to lose, if it’s an activity he doesn’t really care for, he won’t keep it up for long. Even if he did, it wouldn’t be good for him.
  • I don’t think we should judge the value of our lives by how efficient they are.
  • The body is an extremely practical system. You have to let it experience intermittent pain over time, and then the body will get the point. As a result, it will willingly accept (or maybe not) the increased amount of exercise it’s made to do.
  • Nobody’s going to win all the time. On the highway of life you can’t always be in the fast lane.
  • Nothing in the real world is as beautiful as the illusions of a person about to lose consciousness.
  • The most important quality a novelist has to have is: talent, focus, endurance, patience .
  • Most runners run not because they want to live longer, but because they want to live life to the fullest.
  • People have certain inborn tendencies, and whether a person likes them or not, they’re inescapable. Tendencies can be adjusted, to a degree, but their essence can never be changed.
  • As you age you learn even to be happy with what you have. That’s one of the few good points of growing older.
  • If something’s worth doing, it’s worth giving it your best—or in some cases beyond your best.
  • To deal with something unhealthy, a person needs to be as healthy as possible.
  • In most cases learning something essential in life requires physical pain.
  • If pain weren’t involved, who in the world would ever go to the trouble of taking part in sports like the triathlon or the marathon, which demand such an investment of time and energy? It’s precisely because of the pain, precisely because we want to overcome that pain, that we can get the feeling, through this process, of really being alive—or at least a partial sense of it.

Notes from reading: Why do you live With Stress by J Krishnamurti

Spent reading J Krishnamurti lecture which is converted as book title why do you live with stress. It is a very short under an hour reading.

This are some Kindle notes from the book :

  • The common factor of every human being is that they suffer: agony, despair, loneliness, unhappiness, a great deal of sorrow, fear and so on.
  • Each human being, represents the whole of mankind.
  • Until the mind is free of pressure there is no new way of living: you may join communes, start a new way of cooking and all the rest of it, but that is not freedom from pressure.
  • Knowledge is the accumulation of various experiences, various incidents, accidents, dangers, and so on, registered as memory.
  • The brain is extraordinarily old, conditioned according to its memories.
  • Our actual daily life is based on the memories of the past, our relationship with each other, man and woman, friends and so on, is based on the past.
  • All our activities, all our social, moral, religious, the gods, everything is based on thought.
  • Thought has not created nature – the mountains, the rivers, the trees, but man thinking about them makes use of them, like the chair. So thought has created the world in which we actually live.
  • Thought is the response of memory.  Without memory there is no thought. You cannot function radically, or sanely, or logically, or illogically, without thought.
  • Thought has created illusions, which are also reality.
  • Being limited, being broken up, being part of time, thought is never complete. complete order is only possible when thought has realised its limitation and therefore accepts that limitation which has its proper place.
  • We said thought is limited, broken up, part of time, which is the movement of knowledge, therefore utterly, completely limited.
  • Whatever that thought does, being limited, must be continuous disorder. That’s an absolute fact, irrevocable.
  • Thought is really the most mischievous thing in life, the greatest criminal.

Notes from Reading: Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz

Two weeks back I picked up Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz. 

The book talks about enormous options Capitalism has bought us along how it has made decision process more confusing.

  1. People even incase offered rewards tends to escape from taking it when they have too many choices offered.
  2. Companies producing 20-100 types of Jeans expects you  to buy one of those or become loyal to the brand.
  3. People who buy product from big range of catalog seems less satisfied because they feel left out with not buying other available options (opportunity cost).
  4. We have too many choices, too less time to pick what is really important.

Look around yourself and choices we are thrown with:

  • Shopping Mall (Options to buy a pair of Jeans or Shoe)
  • Coffee Shop (with kind of coffee beans or ways to make coffee)
  • Medical, pension plans to select from.
  • Various mobile service providers data/voice plans.

I have been follower of Minimalism,  So when I see these wide range of options I particularly feel I am in process of suffering from decision paralysis.

The book especially talks about two different kind of humans personality a Maximizer and Satisficer.


  1.  Someone who wants best out of any situation.
  2. When it comes to buying choices, he/she will spend hours or even visit 20-30 shops to just buy a Leather Jacket.
  3.   Maximizers are more affected by external conditions in making decisions.
  4. Maximizers posses high IQ
  5. Surprisingly since Maximizers want everything so perfect, that they are the ones even making great choices are unhappy bunch.


  1. Someone who is happy with whatever situation is in hand.
  2. When it comes to buying choices Satisficers are happy with buying just what they want, after that there is no looking back.
  3. Satisficers are not much influenced with marking, offers or billboards.
  4. Satisficers posses average IQ.
  5. Satisficers are the happy bunch when it comes to looking back at life, decisions they made in general.

If you are one such person who is interested in knowing adventures of Capitalism fueled with SHIT loads of options , Behavioral economy and marketing, this is a must read book for you.

Last not the least, go through the TED talk where Barry Schwartz explains about same.

Notes from Reading: First & Last Freedom by J Krishnamurti

Picked First & Last freedom by J Krishnamurti 2 weeks back. The book is collection of his discourse on various topics.

These are some of my simplified Kindle notes from the book:

  1. Relationship invariably results in possession, in condemnation, in self-assertive demands for security, for comfort and for gratification, and in that there is naturally no love.
  2. Relationship means communion without fear, freedom to understand each other, to communicate directly.
  3. Society is the product of relationship, of yours and mine together. If we change in our relationship, society changes; merely to rely on legislation, on compulsion, for the transformation of outward society, while remaining inwardly corrupt, while continuing inwardly to seek power, position, domination, is to destroy the outward, however carefully and scientifically built.
  4. Self-knowledge cannot be gathered through anybody, through any book, through any confession, psychology, or psycho-analyst. It has to be found by yourself, because it is your life; without the widening and deepening of that knowledge of the self, do what you will.
  5. Peace will come only when you yourself are peaceful, when you yourself are at peace with your neighbour.
  6. A mind is not sensitive when it is crowded with ideas, prejudices, opinions, either for or against.
  7. Awareness is a state in which there is no condemnation, no justification or identification, and therefore there is understanding; in that state of passive, alert awareness there is neither the experiencer nor the experienced.
  8. A man who does not demand anything, who is not seeking an end, who is not searching out a result with all its implications, such a man is in a state of constant experiencing.
  9. Have you ever tried to be alone? When you do try, you will feel how extraordinarily difficult it is and how extraordinarily intelligent we must be to be alone, because the mind will not let us be alone. The mind becomes restless, it busies itself with escapes.
  10. To be creative in the truest sense of that word is to be free of the past from moment to moment, because it is the past that is continually shadowing the present.
  11. For the discovery of truth there is no path. You must enter the uncharted sea – which is not depressing, which is not being adventurous.
  12. There is no freedom if you are seeking an end, for you are tied to that end. You may be free from the past but the future holds you, and that is not freedom. It is only in freedom that one can discover anything.
  13. We gossip about others because we are not sufficiently interested in the process of our own thinking and of our own action. We want to see what others are doing and perhaps, to put it kindly, to imitate others.
  14. There are two facets to memory, the psychological and the factual. They are always interrelated, therefore not clear cut. We know that factual memory is essential as a means of livelihood but is psychological memory essential? What is the factor which retains the psychological memory? What makes one psychologically remember insult or praise? Why does one retain certain memories and reject others? Obviously one retains memories which are pleasant and avoids memories which are unpleasant.
  15. Meditation is the beginning of self-knowledge and without self-knowledge there is no meditation.