Below is a consolidation of the books and resources referenced in my Blog:
“Circle of Life” quiz (pdf file)
The “Circle of Life Quiz” is a personal development tool designed to provide a visual representation of how balanced your life is. It breaks life into three simple pieces for evaluation (work, family, self). I liken it to training for a triathlon – in order to achieve the best overall performance, you must equally balance the time and energy you spend training for each event (swim, bike, run).
Sitting Practice Instructions (pdf handout)
This is a self-explanatory 1-page overview of how to get started with a sitting practice. It also includes links to free audio resources for a guided meditation (sitting) practice. This can be useful if you are unable to control your thoughts when doing it on your own.
Top 15 Work/Life Integration Solutions by Mike Mulkey
While I am passionate about the need for integration in work and life, I’ll be the first to admit that there is no quick fix to the many challenges we all face today in this area. There are plenty of books, articles, and videos telling us how to solve it. Here’s a “top 15” list I compiled just in case it can help you in setting some goals for improvement.
+++++++++++ BOOKS ON HEAVEN AND CHRISTIANITY ++++++++++++++++++
Books on “Heaven” v4
I want to qualify this list by noting that I have not read all these books (I marked those I have read with an asterisk). The Bible is the ultimate authority on Heaven, and we should never second-guess it in that respect. But these books provide some insightful reading on the wonder of what awaits us in Heaven. A personal favorite is Intra Muros, written by Rebecca Springer in 1898. There are many other very interesting reads. Enjoy!
Of all the books on heaven that I have referenced, this one was the most captivating to me. Published in 1898, Springer writes of an experience or dream she had while seriously ill in a care facility. It is a short read and quite beautifully written telling how she was able to experience the renewed earth. For me, it reads like poetry of the life that awaits us in heaven.
Heaven by Randy Alcorn
I’ve made my case for this book in my post “Begin with the End in Mind“. Simply wonderful. In the words of Stu Weber (stated on the front cover):
“Other than the Bible itself, this may well be the single most life-changing book you’ll ever read.”
This book was made into a movie in 2017, and I highly recommend both if you have any questions about the historical reliability of the New Testament, and/or claims made by Jesus Christ. Lee Strobel was a self-proclaimed atheist when he began investigating the Biblical claims about Christ after his wife’s conversion.
“A Life God Rewards, Why Everything You Do Today Matters Forever” by Bruce Wilkinson
Wilkinson connects the dots between what you are doing today and what you will experience after you die. It is a quick read and guaranteed to get you thinking more about how what you do today really matters. Forever!
Eric Metaxas is a New York Times #1 bestselling author and is one of my favorite Christian writers. He has written seven books that I recommend: Martin Luther, If You Can Keep It, Bonhoeffer, Miracles, Seven Women, Seven Men, and Amazing Grace. Miracles is a collection of short stories which will definitely catch your attention as well as inspire you to what is possible.
“Too Busy Not to Pray: Slowing Down to Be With God” by Bill Hybels
I combine my time of sitting/meditation with a time of prayer in the early morning to connect with God. This book changed my views on how I should be praying. Hybels is saying that our prayer life is a two-way conversation. Often I am just pouring out my problems and forgetting to stop and listen and understand what He might be trying to tell me. This time of listening to God has been very precious, and I now understand is key to my understanding how God might be working in my life, especially when I don’t see a direct response to my earnest prayers.
++++++++++++ BOOKS ON RUNNING ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Duel in the Sun: Alberto Salazar, Dick Beardsley, and America’s Greatest Marathon by John Brant
This book covers the agony and ecstasy of the marathon race in excruciating detail. John Brant chronicles the 1982 Boston Marathon from start to finish where American’s Alberto Salazar and Dick Beardsley fought it out side-by-side in one of the most epic marathon battles of all time. The first half of the book covers their struggles of getting to the starting line, and the second half reviews how each of their lives was permanently impacted by their extreme efforts on that hot and muggy Patriots Day in 1982.
Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE by Phil Knight
Plain and simple, this book is a fantastic read about how Phil Knight founded and launched Nike into one of the world’s most recognized brands. But inside that story are a lot of wonderful details about how the Eugene became TrackTown USA in the 1960s, soon after Phil ran for the University of Oregon under the tutelage of Bob Bowerman, who became Phil’s business partner. Bowerman in my mind is the hero of the story and gets my vote as the single person most responsible for inspiring the 1970s running boom.
What a story!
Julius Achon is my hero.
This book is an inspirational true story of how Julius went from being a 14-year old Ugandan boy soldier during the terrible Idi Amin era to an Olympic runner and then found his calling with an African children’s charity. I could not put it down!
The author of this book (John Brant) wrote my other favorite running book, Duel in the Sun. Brant is a longtime writer-at-large for Runner’s World and knows how to write about running.
++++++++++ BOOKS ON MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS +++++++++++++++++++++
The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working: The Four Forgotten Needs That Energize Great Performance by Tony Schwartz and Jean Gomes
I happened to run across this book as part of my required reading for the New Ventures West training program, and I loved it! It aligns beautifully with promoting work/life integration. Schwartz offers a plethora of very practical information for those who are too busy working to attend to their core human needs.
Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body
by Daniel Goleman and Richard Davidson
There are more books than I can count extolling the many wonders of meditation. What I liked about this book is that Daniel and Richard sifted through the morass of clinical research to boil out the truth about what meditation can really do for us and how to get the most out of it. I had the opportunity to meet Daniel Goleman at a promotion event for this book and can assure you he is legit. Here is a list of books he has written, including the groundbreaking Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ.
“Care of the Soul” by Thomas Moore
This is a beautifully written account of how to care for our innermost being. Having a firm belief that our soul is what we take with us to heaven in the life hereafter, I found this to be a refreshing view on how to make the most of my life here on earth in preparation for our eternal home in heaven. I completely agree with Mr. Moore’s assertion that our “loss of soul” is a major problem facing us today, which is resulting in many societal ills. The primary takeaway underscored the deep value of quiet time and sitting on a daily basis. According to Mr. Moore, we care for the soul by living life in a way that our inner sense of who we are flourishes.
** My “Top 3” John Wooden books (all his books are good!): **
1) “Wooden on Leadership: How to Create a Winning Organization” (2005) by John Wooden and Steve Jamison. Wooden’s strategies for competitive greatness translates into a wonderful leadership principles book for business or sports. A Wall Street Journal and L.A. Times bestseller.
2) “Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success: Building Blocks for a Better Life” (2005) by John Wooden and Jay Carty. A translation of Wooden’s philosophy with the Pyramid of Success into a self-help handbook based upon each of the blocks of the pyramid.
3) They Call Me Coach (1988) by John Wooden
This was his first, and my personal favorite, as it describes his humble upbringing on a small farm in Indiana, and how his relationship with his father impacted him. It also is the only one of his books which covers the UCLA basketball teams in quite a bit of detail, which I appreciated, having watched so many of those games.
What Color Is Your Parachute? 2016: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers by Richard N. Bolles
Amazingly, Richard Bolles has been updating this book since 1975, when it was first written. In spite of the dramatic changes in the job market today, driven largely by the emergence of the Internet and social media tools like Linked-In, his principals pierce time and are life-changing if properly applied.
The Rhythm of Life: Living Everyday With Passion and Purpose by Matthew Kelly
Matthew Kelly is a New York Times bestselling author who has written a book that truly has a calming effect on those who are living a chaotic lifestyle. His suggestions are simple, but make a great deal of sense. Things like “spend less time doing and more time being” and “focus on being the best version of yourself.” This book made a lot of sense to me.
“Starting Up Silicon Valley: How ROLM Became a Cultural Icon and Fortune 500 Company” by Katherine Maxfield
For those of us who were lucky enough to be a part of the ROLM story, this book is a must-have. And for those just curious to understand how ROLM set the stage in Silicon Valley as a center of innovation years before Apple, Google, Facebook, and others came along, it is a good lesson in computer history.
Bronnie Ware took off her leash and learned to live a life around who she found herself to truly be. This book is a memoir about her journey, which led her to care for the needs of the dying. What was most interesting to me was how her life was transformed by that experience of tending to those who were in their final days on this earth. The top five regrets were interesting, but what I admired in Bronnie’s story was her honesty about too many years doing unfulfilling work and how she was able to break that mold to live the life she felt she was called to. This is not a Christian pilgrimage, but a simple retelling of how one can learn to listen carefully to our internal compass in life.
Here is a quick recap of the “Top Five Regrets” verbatim off her website (in case you were curious):
- I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
- I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
- I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
- I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
- I wish that I had let myself be happier.
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
If you want to understand the man behind the Apple I & II, Mac, iMac, iPod, iTunes, iPhone, iPad, Apple stores and a lot more, this book is a page-turner for you. And it provides a nice backdrop on the history of Silicon Valley during the internet boom years, which continue to this day.
This is a bit of a unique recommend on my part but does tie in partly to my piece on Steve Jobs (Heaven Can’t Wait). It is the coming-of-age memoir of Lisa Brennan-Jobs, who was Steve Jobs’ daughter, although he was not always willing to admit that. This was a very well written and very candid insight into the anxieties of a child who comes into the world as an inconvenience to both her mother and father. Thankfully, Steve Jobs admits to “owing her one” on his deathbed as he realizes he was not there for her growing up.
Measuring Up by Charles P. Lloyd
Contrast the life of Steve Jobs with Charles P. Lloyd, who is my mom’s twin brother. Uncle Charles was an incredible man who impacted my life in so many wonderful ways. He played the role of a second father to me, and I definitely believe I inherited some of Charles’ genes. When I look to heaven I just know he will be one of the first people I see.
Margin the Overload Syndrome: Learning to Live Within Your Limits by Richard A. Swenson
Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble by Dan Lyons
Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang
+++++++++ BOOKS ON SURFING ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Barbarian Days by William Finnegan
William Finnegan truly inspired me with this story of his life-long obsession with surfing, after a long career as a staff writer at The New Yorker and well-known author. It is a remarkable collection of surf stories from his escapades of traveling around the world from the 1960s up to the present. Finnegan debunks that myth of surfer’s not being good writers with a detailed analysis of every surf spot he sees (including San Onofre) in a way that makes it interesting to even a non-surfing audience (hence, the Pulitzer Prize!).
Soul Surfer by Bethany Hamilton
If you don’t know about Bethany Hamilton you are in for a treat! This book is her story, which is about her life as a 13-year old competitive surfer when she lost her arm in a shark attack. It was made into a movie which I also highly recommend (Dennis Quaid and Helen Hunt were excellent as her parents). Her story and faith as she rose back to the top of the world surfing tour is one not to miss. A great read for your young adult kids also, as her bravery and grit were truly inspiring.
The San Onofre Surfing Club, 1952 – 2002: 50th Anniversary Commemorative Album is a treasure trove of pictures and stories and various tidbits of what it was like to be a part of the 50-year history of SOSC. And amazingly, it is now available on Amazon.
Surfing San Onofre To Point Dume 1936-1942 by Don James
This book is a slice of surfing history that you have to see to believe. I ran across it on the shelf at Powell’s bookstore in Portland, Oregon before it had been published on Amazon. The photographs from the 1930’s and 1940’s are an artistic delight of surfing at that time.
The History of Surfing by Matt Warshaw
Matt is a former professional surfer who later became the editor of Surfer Magazine. This book is the most comprehensive, well-written journal on surfing history I have seen, and includes a remarkable collection of photographs. This picture on the cover pretty much captures it all in one shot. Well done Matt!
This movie was all about being stoked with good friends, sharing some of our most precious times together, and enjoying God’s creation. There are two parts to HODADS (the movie):
- Part I – HODADS (surfing): 10:40
- Part II – HODADS (surf stories): 12:50