Favorite Books of the Year 2018: “Trust Me, I’m Lying” – Ryan Holiday

“Each generation of media has a different cock in its mouth.” – Ryan Holiday, Trust me I’m lying.

😔 I thought I was on top of my media game and was able to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. I WAS WRONG!

📰 😱I knew the situation was bad; I even quit following “the news” 3 years ago because I thought it misrepresented reality to a larger degree than it represented it (and also for the sake of my wellbeing). But Ryan Holidays confessions from his career as a media manipulator paints a even darker picture than I could ever imagine!

👨🏼‍💻Understanding the structure and constraints of click-based media is essential. These structure explains almost everything they do. It’s in the nature of the system.

🥇 The first half of this book is should be mandatory reading (the other half turns into a bit of a rant). This is probably the book that influenced me the most this year!

What was your most influential books this year? 🤔

Read the full list of favorites or check out previous lists right here!

Favorite Books of the Year 2018: “12 Rules for Life” – Jordan Peterson

Life is suffering. How do we deal with that?! We face it, we bare it. Hell is a bottomless pit and in spite of how fucked up and unfair things are, we still can make it even worse. Let’s not do that! What if we instead get our act together and prepare ourselves to face suffering when it comes knocking? That’s the better path. And we all know where we fall short.

Peterson puts the responibility of all the world and all of it’s suffering on the individual. “If we all lived properly, we will collectively flurish.” If we put ourselves in order, maybe we will do the same to the world?

📝 “Aim up, pay attention, fix what you can and don’t be arrogant in your knowledge , strive for humility, be aware of your weaknesses. Consider the murderousness of your own being before condemn and judge others. Maybe you missed the mark? And most importantly, don’t lie! Lying is the path to hell.”

The book is fantastic, but maybe more importantly – it led me to examine the world of Jungian psychology – and what a wonderful rabbit hole it is to dive into!Leading me books like these:

📖 Man and his symbols

📖 King, Warrior, Magician, Lover

📖 Demian (kinda related..)

📖 Women Who Run With with the Wolves

Read the full list of favorites or check out previous lists right here!

Favorite Books of the Year 2018: “In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts” – Gabor Maté

💉 An excellent introduction to the complex problem of addiction. Dr. Gabors is specialized in its study and treatment. His book offers powerful portraits of his patient lives, the story of his own addictive behaviors and the path to recovery.

📝 “As a rule, whatever we don’t deal with in our lives we pass on to our children.”

⭐️ TAKEAWAY: Regardless of your degree of addiction or whether your drug of choice is heroin, TV, food or shopping – reading the stories and research presented in this book will help to shine a light on your own addictive tendencies.

This year I got rid of two addictions: Nicotine (snus) and caffeine. 🚬☕️

Read the full list of favorites or check out previous lists right here!

Book Year in review with @chriserzfeld

Book Year in review with @chriserzfeld:

“This year, I read a lot of interesting books. One of those was “Behave” by Robert Sapolsky. I got a lot of insight into what makes humans tick, and how we are irrational, emotional and out of control creatures in an entertaining way so that book influenced me a lot.

📖 “Behave” – Robert Sapolsky

I also enjoyed “The Laws of Human Nature” by Robert Greene, which expanded my views on people and was a great book to read right after Sapolsky’s book.

📖 “The Laws of Human Nature” – R. Greene

Then I learned a lot from reading Carl Rogers and his book “On Becoming A Person”. Especially the first half of the book.

📖 “On Becoming A Person” – Carl Rogers

I highly recommend you check them out!

The key insights for this year must be those of neuroscience, behavior, psychology, and biology. We humans are not so rational and stable as we think we are. But if we can come to terms with the factor that our hormones govern our behavior, we can begin to catch ourselves when we are about to carry out an impulsive action and stop ourselves before we do something we will later come to regret.

I am looking forward to reading more about psychology, mythology, and human nature next year. I’m also looking forward to writing and publishing more blog posts. I am excited about work in general so that pretty much sums it up!

Thank you for reading, and thank you for supporting Bookstagram. We’ll talk soon. Take care.

Best regards// @chriserzfeld

Favorite Books of the Year 2018: 21 Lessons for the 21 century

What Harari has done here is quite a feat. He has squeezed what could easily been a series of books into one volume, covering topics like:


▪️The resurrection of nationalism.

▫️What to do in a post-jobs world.

▪️The opportunity cost of fighting terrorism.

▫️Why we need a deep understanding of suffering and how to attain it.

▪️What should we teach our kids in school to prepare the for the future?

▫️How to live in the age of biotech, algorithms and AI.

▪️Is religion still relevant?

▫️Do we need a whole new ideology to deal with the problems of the 21st century when liberalism just wont cut it anymore?

▪️Culturism vs. Rasism.


The book is relevant, nuanced and sometimes frightening.


How do I plan do dig deeper into the themes covered in this book in 2019?


I will read ‘Future Presence’ early next year. It’s about human connection in a future of virtual reality.

Read the full list of favorites or check out previous lists right here!

My Book Year in Review – Part 1

⚖️ This year had a rough start with severe work-life balance issues but now I feel I have greater momentum than ever going into 2019.

🛠 I promised myself to make 2018 a very practical year and it has been just that! A lot has been done during the year that I’m very proud of:

✅ – Nicotine free (100+ days in!)

✅ – Established a mediations habit (80 consecutive today)

✅ – Preformed 5 speeches.

✅ – Co-founded a small book club

✅ – Kept my gym and running routine for another year.

✅ – Stoic challenges!

✅ – Started the ’Video Content Club’.

✅ – Did my first Podcast appearance.

✅ – Made new friends!

✅ – One post a week on Instagram.

✅ – Had a great year with my family!

📚 There has also been time for books; more than 40 of them! And the coming days I will post about the five books that stood out the most for me in 2018!

❓What practical actions did you take during the year? I know a lot about your intellectual achievements, now I want to hear about the practical stuff! 🤔

Practicing Stoicism: Voluntary Discomfort (Part 2)

Now it’s time to level things up a bit. Here are my stoic challenges for the coming weeks:

❗️Not drink anything for a day.

❗️Do public speaking.

❗️ Sleep without a pillow for a week.

At least for me all these appear worse to me than only drinking water for and sleeping on the floor (with pillow 😀) for a week. (Actually, I still only drink water it kinda stuck with me.)

One of these new challenges have a slightly different feel to it; to do public speaking.

Voluntary discomfort is not only about gaining appreciation for things you have and preparation for aversion: it’s also about eradicating irrational fears.

One of the most common irrational fear is the fear of public speaking. This is one of my irrational fears. So this month I’m going to put myself in uncomfortable situations where I need to talk in front of large groups of people. Wish me luck!

Follow my progress in my Instagram Stories!

In what ways are you torturing yourself these days? 😆🤔

Practicing Stoicism: Voluntary Discomfort.

I’m back into stoicism again after rereading Seneca and after picking up the so far excellent book, ‘Stoicism and the Art of Happiness’. But this time around I’m not settling with only theory. I want to try some actual Stoic exercises, or more precisely; Voluntary Discomfort.

Why would the Stoics voluntarily put themselves in uncomfortable situations? Well, to develop appreciation and gratitude for what I already have and prepare for future adversity.

Here are some things a stoic practitioner could do:

❗️Underdress for cold weather.

❗️Forgo pleasures such a passing of a glass of wine of watching you favorite show.

❗️Sleep on the floor instead of the bed.

❗️Eat only plain foods and drink only water for a week.

❗️Emulate poverty by dressing in shabby clothes and sleep under a bridge.

❗️Not drink anything for a day.

❗️Reading the comments on articles and videos on the internet to elicit anger and practice equanimity (found this one on Reddit 👍🏻)

❗️ Sleep without a pillow.

You get the idea: Get yourself more uncomfortable than you’d usually be. It’ll make you stronger. You’ll appreciate what you have and eliminate irrational fears.

Or at least that’s the theory. Now I’m going to try it myself for a month or so. See my Instagram Stories for weekly updates! Or wait for my Lab Report . 😀🔬

What experiments are you conducting in your life? 🤔

Raw & Unedited Notes from “King Warrior Magician Lover”

King Warrior Magician Lover was where I took notes like crazy. Such a fascinating read! Here is my full unedited notes:

“In the late twentieth century, we face a crisis in masculine identity of great proportions“

It’s increasingly difficult to point out masculine and feminine essence.

One could look at the disintegration of the modern family systems as the main culprit, but important as that is, it’s not the whole story.

Two other factors:

⁃ Ritual process –

Traditional societies had standard definitions of what makes up boy psychology and man psychology.

Rituals to manhood has been abandoned or turned into pseudo-initiations. The mere ceremonial versions of these rituals don’t have the power to transform ones consciousness.

Lack of initiation into manhood leaves modern society to a dominance of boy psychology.

⁃ Patriarchy –

The other factor is patriarchy: patriarchy are the expression of the immature masculine. An expression of boy psychology and shadow (crazy) side of masculinity. The stunted masculine. The authors see patriarchy as an attack on both masculinity and femininity in its fullest. Boys fear women and boys fear teal men.

The Patriarchal male does not welcome full masculine and feminine development.

The more beauty, maturity, creativity and generativity we display the more envy, and hate we generate in superiors and peers.

Psychologists often assume it’s connection with the inner feminine that is missing. But the author believes it’s actually the connection with deep and instinctive masculine energies.

The little masculine one can hold on to is criticized by feminists.

We dont need less masculine power, but more mature masculine power.

In lack of rituals we have to each find our own way to man psychology and that’s the purpose of the book. To help us on our way.


  • Military
  • Criminal gangs

Two reasons they are pseudo initiations;

  1. they are stunted and skewed and false. It’s patriartical manhood. There needs to be a death. The ego must die. Effective, transformative initiation slays the ego.
  2. absence of sacred space and ritual elder.

Jungians refer to masculine potentials as archetypes, or “primordial images”.

Jung and his successors have found that on the level of deep unconscious the psyche of every person is grounded in what Jung called the “collective unconscious” made up of instinctual patterns and energy configurations probably inherited genetically throughout the generation of our species. P9.

These archetypes are foundational.

– Boy psychology –

We are continually mistaking the controlling, threatening, and hostile behavior for strength.

The divine child

  • story of young Jesus, Moses , Orpheus
  • Superiority complex.
  • All powerful, center of the universe yet weak and helpless
  • Young at heart, well-being and enthusiasm for life.

The High Chair Tyrant

  • hurts himself with limitless demands and grandiosity and reject the very thing he need for life.
  • Arrogance
  • Irresponsibly
  • Childishness (in negative sense)
  • Stalin, Hitler, Caligula.

The Weakling Prince

  • Convincing his parents he is a helpless victim
  • Few friends
  • Little personality

In therapy, men, rarely identify with the Divine child, rather they need to get in touch with it.

When we are extremely tired or frightened we tend to regress into our Child, high chair tyrant or weakling prince.

The Precocious Child:

Precocious: unusually advanced or mature in development, especially mental development:

  • eager to learn
  • He causes us to wonder about the world around us and inside us.
  • Wants to know what makes people tick, as well as himself.
  • Introvert and reflective
  • Also extrovert and reach out to people
  • Can achieve cognitive detachment from people around him earlier than others.
  • Urge to help others with his knowledge.

The know-it-all Trickster

His energy comes from envy. The less a man is in touch with his true talents and abilities, the more he will envy others. Envy blocks creativity.

The trickster have no heroes. We can only admire others if we have a sense of our own worthiness.

⁃ The Oedipal child –

Shadow: mothers boy and dreamer

⁃ The hero –

The grandstander bully

  • impress others
  • Takes risk
  • Not a team player
  • Inflated sense of importance and his own abilities.

The coward

  • can’t stand up for himself in physical confrontation.
  • Acquiesce to pressure from others
  •  Doormat

⁃ Man psychology –

Four major forms of mature masculinity: king, warrior, magician and lover.

We have all archetypes within us. Like board members we need to make all of the heard.

⁃ King –

Kings in the ancient world was often ritually killed when their ability to live out the king archetype began to fail

⁃ The central archetype, around which the rest of the psyche is organized.

Two functions of the king when transitioning from boy to man psychology: ordering and blessing.

”The mortal King’s first responsibility is to live according to ma’at, Darma, or the Tao. If he does, the mythology goes, everything in the kingdom – that is, the creation, the world – will also go in the Right Order.”

The king gives his men and blesses the most competent and loyal ones with opportunity, and recognition. E bestows his blessing.

Being praised has enormous psychology consequences for us. Studies show that our body changes chemically when we feel values, praised and blessed.

Young men today crave blessings from older men, starving for king energy. They need to be blessed for their legitimate talents and abilities.

The king guides and nurtures others towards their own fullness of being. It rewards and encourages creativity in others.

The shadow king: tyrant and the weakling

The Tyrant exploits and abuses others. Merciless. Hates all beauty, creativity innocence, strength talent and life energy

Verbal and psychological abuse. But also physical and sexual abuse.

Malignant= Elak, ondskefull.

The tyrant king is operating in narcissistic personality disorder. Drug lords, pimps, mafia bosses.

He is sensitive to criticism and puts on a threatening front.

The weakling king: lacks centeredness, calmness and security in himself. Paranoid. (The sect leader in Holy hell?)

Abdication syndrome: hallmark of the Weakling. People turn over their own inner King energy to “the Fürer”. Giving power over our lives to .

The Warrior

Alert and mindful. Knows what he wants and how to get it.

As a function of his clarity of mind he is a strategist and tactician. He has awareness of the shortness of life. Every act counts.

The sense of imminence if death energizes the man accessing the Warrior energy to take decisive action.

His control is first of all over his mind and attitudes.

He does not live like most people, he is a spiritual machine, trained to bear the unbearable in the service of a transpersonal goal.

He is emotionally distant as long as a man is accessing the warrior. “Unavailable” or “inaccessible”.

The warrior in his fullness operating without the other archetypes (king and lover) can be disastrous because of his detachment.

The shadow warrior: the sadist and the masochist.

Detachment in itself is not a bad thing but it opens doors to the “demon” of cruelty.

The masochist

Darth Vader

The sadist:

Stay long hours, workaholics, people don’t live up to their standards (nor themselves). Don’t take care of them selfs physically or mentally. Then it’s probably the shadow warrior in you.

“Any work that puts a great deal of pressure on a person to perform at his best all the time leaves us vulnerable to the shadow system if the warrior”

If we are not secure enough in our inner structure, we will rely on our performance in the outer world to bolster our self confidence. 🔑

The Magician:

The energy of the magician is twofold:

⁃ The knower and master of technology

⁃ “The ritual elder” who guides the process and transformation, both within and without.

Merlin, Obi-wan

Initiator of secret and hidden knowledge off all kinds, in himself and others.

All knowledge that takes special practice to acquire the province of Magician energy

An apprentice electrician or shaman are in exactly the same position.

Gnosticism: movement in Ancient Greece seeking deep psychological knowledge. Gnosis=knowledge

Thoughtfulness and reflection. Introversion.

Manipulator &the “innocent”

The man under the power of the Manipulator not only hurts others, he huts himself.

In the fear of making the wrong decision, he makes none.

The passive pole of the Magicians shadow is what we are calling the Naive, or “Innocent”.

The “innocent” wants status that traditionally come to the man who is a magician, at least in societally sanctioned fields. But he doesn’t want to take the responsibilities the belong to the true magician. He doesn’t want to share and teach.

Hides truth for the sake of achieving and maintaining status.

Motivations come from envy of those who act, who live, who wants to share.


The lover is the archetype of play and if “display”, of healthy embodiment, of being in the world of sensuous pleasure and in ones own body without shame.

Feeling a oneness with all.

The artist and the psychic.


The fans and buffs

When we stop to smell the roses..

Any man living in the shadow form of the masculine energies, is possessed by the very energy that could be a source of life and well-being for him, if accessed appropriately. The shadow side works to his destruction and the destruction of others.

Shadows: the Addicted and the impotent

Question for the Addicted lover: “why should I put limits on my sensual and sexual experience of this vast world, a world that holds unending pleasures for me?”

The addicted lover gets lost in an ocean of the senses. Everything makes strong impressions on him.

Pulled here and there. Not the master of his own fate.

Addiction to cigarettes and addictive behaviors.

Monogamy (though not in a simple yay) can be seen as a mans own deep rootedness and centeredness. He is bounded, not by external rules, but by his own inner structure.

The Impotent

Lack of enthusiasm, lack of vividness, lack of aliveness. We will feel bored and listless. Symptoms psychologists call the “flattening affect”.


What today is called patriarchy is really “puerarcy” (I.e the rule of boys) like Lord if the flies. Systems of initiation, previously making mature masculine energy accessible, have broken down.

Active imagination: imaginative dialogue with the archetypical energy forms.

Unwanted energies acting up, like children, really just want to be noticed, honored and be taken seriously. Ones validated, the stop acting up.

Invocation: across masculine energies in fullness in their positive form. Focused imaging.

Look at images of the archetypes and read about the gods that represent the archetypes.

The pyramid, a symbol for the masculine self.

A related technique is admiring. Admire other men, dead or alive. Have contact with older men. Read biographies.

Act “as if”: act the king and all of a sudden you feel like a king.

This book is concerned about helping men to take responsibility for the destructiveness of immature forms of masculinity.


Check out my reading lists for more great books!

Too Busy? Here Are The Tricks I Use to Get More Reading Done!

I don’t get many DM:s but when I do it’s often about questions regarding reading habits.


I’m not a fast reader. To be honest my reading speed was below average last time I checked – but I have a few tips to share on how to get more reading into a busy schedule!


Here are four key ingredients to improve your reading habits:


🔹 Always bring a book 🔹


I always bring books wherever I go. You never now when you get stuck waiting in line, the subway gets delayed or when your friend is arriving late. Opportunities for reading appear more often than you think – if you are prepared for them!


🔹 Audiobooks are your Friends! 🔹


The Audiobook is the most powerful tool to increase your “reading” capacity. Gym time, walks and doing shores – all those times when your hands are occupied can be turned into an opportunities for reading and learning.


🔹 Have multiple books going! 🔹


I usually have 3 to 5 books going at ones. Why? That way I always have something that suits my mood and the situation I’m in. Just have a few minutes to read? Pick up a collection of amphorisnms. 30 minutes? Read a chapter on neuroscience. 2 hours? A historical biography might do the trick!


🔹 Consistency 🔹


Read everyday. Find a time slot you dedicate to reading, whether it’s on your commute, the gym or the first thing you do in the morning. It doesn’t matter when, or how long. Ones you get into the habit you will be astonished by the amount of

books you’ll finish in a year or two. It really adds up!

What’s your best lifehack for getting more reading done? 🤔