Book of the Week #2


I’ve started to try to actively learn from books rather than just read them. I’m posting my book summaries online to keep myself accountable to my “book a week” goal and hopefully to encourage others to read more too.

This Week’s Book Title [Week 30] : How to Do Everything and Be Happy: Your step-by-step straight-talking guide to creating happiness in your life.

by Peter Jones




Audiobook (borrowed from Cork City Libraries using the BorrowBox app)

Read By

The author, Peter Jones

First impressions

The tone of the reader is quite conversational and easy to listen to. Different sections seem well defined and separate in the audio version. There are Action Points scattered throughout the book to encourage you to follow through on what you’ve just heard. There are plenty of lists to make and a diary to organise so those parts were right up my alley. The author makes you delve pretty deep to make some of those lists, and it was quite eye-opening to sit down and think about what I really want out of all aspects of my life.


After last week’s experience of only coming away with only the gist of the book, and having read up on some different learning methods, I tackled this week’s book a bit differently. No more multitasking…this time I had a notebook and pen in front of me and took notes as I listened. Those notes are far too long to transcribe here, so I’ve attempted to cover just the Action Points below. That way, you get a sense of the contents of the book and I get a list of my next steps. I highly encourage you to go read/listen to the book too.

Next week’s book

Before this blog post gets any longer and in case you want to read along with me, next week’s book takes a break from Personal Development.

Ready Player One (Science Fiction) will be released in cinemas soon. I always find value in reading the book before seeing the film so it’s jumping straight in at the top of my reading list.

The Cork City Libraries app allows you to search their catalog and shows you which library the book is available in. If it’s not in your local library then you can reserve the book and they’ll transfer it to your usual library and notify you when it’s ready for collection. I’m crossing my fingers that my copy will be ready for pickup early next week.

If not, I’ll be reading a computer security book called The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of Security by Kevin D Mitnik & William L Simon, available along with a TON of other computer security book for as little as $8 from Humble Bundle until the end of July 2017

Who knows, I might go crazy and try to read both!

Action Points from the book

  • Get yourself a Diary
    • I’m already a scheduling junkie, but if you’re not, the author gives plenty of reason why you should look more closely at where your time is spent.
  • Pre-book your Boxing Day
    • The author recommends scheduling a day per month to set aside to do whatever you feel like doing in the moment – which is what he only originally did on Boxing Day (a UK holiday on the day after Christmas Day).
    • Keep a list of potential Boxing Day activities (that require no pre-planning) and if you’re stuck for ideas when you wake up on your pre-scheduled Boxing Day, you’ll have a place to start).
  • Create an empty Now List
    • Forget waiting to be diagnosed with some fatal illness to start on your Bucket List…do it NOW! Your Now list is a list of things you want to experience before you die e.g. climb Kilimanjaro.
    • Now list items usually require pre-planning (unlike Boxing Day items).
    • Keep mementos of activities and display them where they can remind you that you are doing something with your life and you have happy memories.
  • Create Now List categories
    • Creating categories might prompt some ideas of what to put on the Now list. For example: Food – I’ve always wanted to do a cooking course with celebrity chef X.
  • Schedule a Now List day into your diary
    • You may need to save up for some Now list activities.
    • Need not necessary DO a Now List item on a Now List day, but merely move one forward e.g. book tickets for that concert you want to go to.
  • Create a Wish List
    • Write down ANYTHING you want and as many items as you want. Only limit is the laws of physics. E.g. the “power of invisibility” shouldn’t go on the list, but “date handsome actor X” could.
    • Examine why you want those things e.g. “date handsome actor X” might be “because he’s fit” (trivial) or might have a deeper reason like “I want someone to share my life with”.
  • Pick your most important 3 wishes from your wish list
    • Prioritise your list and pick 3 wishes (or sub-wishes) that could be achieved with a bit of effort in a reasonable time-frame like one year.
  • Re-write those 3 wishes as goals
    • Use positive words – don’t want to focus on negatives.
    • Use personal pronouns – I will.
    • How will you know when the goal is met – measurable.
    • Deadline – realistic but not too far away. Split into sub-goals if necessary. Have a Day of Reckoning at the end of the deadline.
    • Penalties/Rewards – what will happen if you fail to meet your goal or if you DO achieve it?
  • Book regular Goals days into your diary
    • At least once a month if not twice a month. Re-examine where you are with your goals and take the next steps in them.
    • Maybe work on one goal in the morning and another in the afternoon.
  • Use the power of focus by creating a subliminal advertising campaign for your subconscious.
    • Power of focus. Keep your goals foremost in your thoughts AT ALL TIMES. After all, these are the 3 things that you have decided are the most important things in your life.
    • Use cards in your wallet/purse, desktop/screensaver on your computer, fridge magnets/corkboards, read your goals into an MP3 file and play it in the middle of your music playlists.
  • Consider finding yourself a Goals partner
    • Can be fun to work on setting your goals with someone else.
    • When you meet up, you can hold each other accountable.
  • Put a Day Of Reckoning into your diary
    • No point setting goals then putting them in a drawer.
    • Set a deadline and at the end, check whether the goal has been achieved or not. You might fail to meet a goal but you are not a failure.
    • Learn from failures – was the deadline too soon, should the goal be split into smaller parts, do you need to change focus to meet goals in future?
  • Maybe you need to add other “Days” to your diary.
    • A monthly Cleaning The House day
    • A Promo day to promote your business
    • Friends & Family day, so when someone says “we must meet up”, you can slot them in to the next one.
  • Review your “Days” every quarter.
    • See what worked well last quarter and what needs to change for next quarter.

Books Recommended by the Author

I’ll start a Book List page soon. For now, here are the books that this author recommends…

  • Getting Things Done by David Allen
  • What To Say When You Talk to Yourself by Shad Helmstetter
  • 59 Seconds by Prof Richard Wiseman

One thought on “Book of the Week #2

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