Experiment: A Week of Reflection, Stillness And Planning.

How can a week of planning and reflection help you steer your ship the right direction?

One thing that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time is to take a week each year where I focus solely on reflection and planning.
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Ideally, this would be a week where I locked myself in a cabin, alone, with a few note pads, a pen, and some carefully chosen reading material. Isolated and disconnected.
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The stay would help me realign, reflect and evaluate the year that’s gone by and what to do with the months ahead.
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This has not been working out with my current life situation. But you can’t wait for ideal conditions because then nothing will ever get done. Therefore I will do a scaled down version of the project this year.
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⭐️ THE SETUP: ⭐️
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🔸 1 week of focus.
🔹 Start off with a day, alone, at a spa hotel to slow things down. (Best Christmas gift!! Thanks!).
🔸 Very Limited Internet use.
🔹 All down time dedicated to meditation, reflection, planning.
🔸8 hours of sleep for optimal creativity.
🔹Limited input from books, podcasts, tv etc.
🔸Limited output in terms of content creation, messaging, DM:s and everything else. (Have prepped 😉).
🔹 No alcohol.
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⭐️ DESIRED OUTCOME: ⭐️

🔸 A detailed 6-months strategy.
🔹 Review of journals, notes and events from the last 12 months.
🔸 Tons of ideas for new projects.
🔹 A deeper understanding of where I’m heading.
🔸Updated and re-evaluated short, mid and long term goals in all aspects of life (Health, Wealth, Relationships and Purpose)
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In 2021 I’ll do the real thing with cabin and whole shebang 😉 (No, not the punk band. I’m doing this alone.)
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⁉️ How do you ensure you are steering your ship in the right directions? What tools do you use? ⁉️

How did it go? Here is the full report!

Challenge: Public Speaking – Getting over the aversion of speaking in front of a crowd.

“All great speakers where bad speakers at first.” – Emerson.

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Fear of public in front of a crowd is not a problem if you don’t plan to share anything. But a lot of us can clearly see the value of transmitting our knowledge verbally but struggle with stage anxiety or inability to communicate efficiently.

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The Lab Report – 014 – “Public Speaking”

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THE MISSION:

To combat my aversion towards public speaking I joined a speaking club, Toastmasters, with the goal of writing and presenting 10 speeches in front of a room full of people.

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SHORT TERM EFFECTS: ⭐️⭐️

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– People at the club was friendly and supportive. Seeing me maybe reminded them of of what a mess they where when they started out.

– it was dreadful the days before my speeches. I noticed myself wanting to practice all the time and I became irritable when I couldn’t.

– The day of the speech I couldn’t concentrate at work at all.

– The feeling after the speech was an endorphine high!

– I struggled in all aspects; picking subject, structure, gestures, delivery.

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THE PROCESS: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

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– An endeavor like this demands a huge energy investment. It takes a lot of time to prepare a speech.

– The learning curve is enjoyable. For each speech you feel a noticeable improvement.

– There is advantages is to seeing yourself on video. How you imagine yourself acting and sounding are not always aligned with reality.

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LONG TERM EFFECTS: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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– Finally, after 10 speeches, I can see myself as someone who can stand in front a crowd. And it doesn’t make my stomach turn.

– I can communicate with more clarity, I use the tools I’ve learned to get, and keep, peoples attention to a greater degree than before.

– I’m less bothered about being in the center of attention.

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FINAL VERDICT: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Taking care of my anxiety around public speaking is one of the best decisions of my life. It’s benefits and the way it changes your self-perceptions spills out to other aspects of life. —

I still got ways to go, but it’s a start!

⁉️What anxieties limits you? 🤔⁉️

More experiments right here!

New Experiment: Trying out Hunting

I have had my hunting license since 2000; I never used it! I have made two video games about hunting; I’ve never been out hunting!

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When my father-in-law who is a dedicated hunter realized I had a license lying around then things got real. He became very excited about this and wanted to show me the ropes. I complied.

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Regardless how you feel about hunting it has been a big apart of human life for a long time. Probably longer than other classic activities like prostitution, tax collecting and the elder complaining about the laziness of the young.

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The hunting I took part in was for small game with dog handlers: roe deer, hogs, fox and hare.

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🔸 I see a lot of similarities between a Zen meditation introductory course I took once and this hunting experience. Sitting alone, in silence—yet it’s a group activity. And both experiences includes pauses with hot beverages. Though, I assume, the crew I hung out with would probably dismiss a meditation session as hippie nonsense.

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🔹 Nature is so quite. All I can hear is my tinnitus.

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🔸 Holy shit, the pulse went way up when two deers approached me within shotgun range.

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⚖️ VERDICT:

The overall experience was really cool. Especially since I was the only one on the team who saw animals. Unfortunately I was such a N00b I didn’t realize that when the dogs barked; then it was time to pay attention! Instead I poured coffee and ate sandwiches while the prey came my way 🤦‍♂️.

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I loved the nature experience and the thrill of the hunt. But I need to do some deep thing long about the ethics of it. On the one hand it is a much cleaner way of getting meat than through the meat industry; but I’m not sure eating meat is ok at all? (though I blissfully ignore this inner hypocrisy daily as I stuff my face with meat.) 🍖 . And could I even pull the trigger?

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Another experience knocked of the bucket list! ✅

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⁉️What are you knocking off your bucket list this year?! ⁉️

(Ps. No, I didn’t kill anything, except preconceived notions about what hunting is about.)

You can find more experiments here!

Thoughts on: “The Drunkard’s Walk” by Leonard Mlodinow

There were two chance events that stood out to me that night I waled out of the murky cellar bar in central Stockholm where I had discussed this book with four other non-fiction junkies.

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The 1st coincidence was that during the cause of reading the book, one of the group members had unknowingly ended up at a family dinner with the author. Only when seeing the book in the household, and mentioning she was reading the book, the fact became obvious.

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The 2nd coincidence was that during

a discussion about the properties of true randomness—it’s tendency towards repetition- another attendee showed a tattoo he had made all over his left arm, displaying long slithering snake of quantum generated random 1:s and 0:s.

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What are the odds of that? 🤷‍♂️

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📝 Regression toward the mean:

In any series of random events an extraordinary event is most likely to be followed, due purely to chance, by a more ordinary one.

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📝 Randomness clusters: here is a random series of 1:s and 0:s. Notice the repetition. Let’s say you are a reasearcher and get random numbers to work with and you end up with a sequence with overwhelming repetition. This is not unlikely. When do you start to doubt the randomness of the sequence?

0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 1

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📝 “If you want to succeed; double your failure rate.” – Watson

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📝 Apple had to make their iPods shuffle function less random because people experienced getting the same song twice as ”un-random”.

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⭐️ TAKEAWAY:

Since chance seems to play a bigger role in life than we like to admit, the number of chances you take and the number of opportunities you seize matters.

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⚖️ VERDICT:

The basic concepts of randomness is laid out in this books and how they are often overlooked. We are also served a great history of how the science of probability evolved.

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I recommend this book if you enjoy the work of Nassim Taleb and/or find joy in logic and math problems. Suitable for an aspiring know-it-all!

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3/5

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⁉️ How do you maximize exposure to “luck” & chance?⁉️

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Photo: bombsaway_

For more great books and reviews: check out the Reading Lists.

Thoughts on: Atomic Habits by James Clear

Let’s face it, successful people and unsuccessful people have the same goals. It’s the systems and strategies you put in pace that makes the difference between the two.

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“You don’t rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the levels of your systems.”

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James Clears book is the ultimate guide to the WHYs and HOWs of those systems.

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🎭 IDENTITY:

Improvements are only temporary until they become who you are. You are not just going to read a book; you are going to become a reader. You are not going to run a Marathon; you are going to become a runner.

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🏞 ENVIRONMENT:

Make bad habits difficult to perform and good habits easy: prep your gym bag the day before and put by the front door. Bring a book everywhere you go. Move candy and snacks from the kitchen to the cellar. Remove the batteries from the remote after watching tv if your struggle with bingeing.

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🚦 SYSTEMS:

Stack new habits on top existing ones! “After I brush my teeth, I floss”

“After I finish’s my morning coffee, l journal for 5 min.”

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🔁 REPETITION:

Don’t ask yourself HOW LONG it takes to build a habit but HOW MANY TIMES it takes to build a habit. Start small and get the reps in.

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📈 PROGRESS:

One of the most satisfying feelings is to make progress. Habit trackers and other forms of visual measurements can make your habits more satisfying by providing clear evidence of your progress. “Don’t break the chain”: Instagram is a habit tracker for me (“visual reading progress”) and to keep a streak alive (“posting at set intervals”)

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⚖️ VERDICT:

The one-stop-shop for habit building.

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4/5

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⁉️ What habit did you build that you are proud of?!⁉️

For more book reviews and good reads, check out the Reading Lists!

Thoughts on: The Road to Wigan Pier by George Orwell

The book has two parts; the 1st part is a sociological investigation where Orwell lives a ‘fly on the wall’-existence among the miners of an industrial town in northern England. He wants to experience life of the real working-class life first hand. A class whom he and his fellow half-bourgeois socialists claim to fight and care for.
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The 2nd part is a argument for how and why socialism is failing and what to do to get it back on track again.
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What stays with me is the account of the former; the unemployment, the poverty, the filth; the self-limiting mindset of the deprived, and the horrible working conditions of the mines. But also Orwell’s honest, sober and often beautiful worded observations.
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📝 “..the place is like hell, or at any rate like my own mental picture of hell. Most of the things one imagines in hell are there — heat, noise. Confusion, darkness foul air, and, above all, unbearably cramped space.”
The working conditions in the mines made me feel sick.
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📝 How disconnected isn’t my work life from the miner of the Industrial era? Me with my Xbox ONE Dev-kit on my adjustable standing desk and my free lattes at the touch of a bottom? Not to mention the free massage? You know, we NEED them, because office work is HARD on your body! right?! 🤷‍♂️
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📝 Why can’t the bourgeois see themselves as the equals of the working class?
“The lower class smells”, Orwell concludes “It is queer how seldom this is admitted.”
A physical feeling like smell is harder to overcome than the other dislikes he argues.
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⭐️ TAKEAWAY:
We would be wise to attempt to isolate the qualities in people we look up to and cultivate them in ourselves. I admire Orwell’s willingness to immerse himself in the working class life and his willingness to change his mind. I want adopt this trait further in my own life, but I’m not sure how to go about it…yet.

⚖️ VERDICT:
When I close the books for 2020, one of the images that will linger in my mind is the image of miner walking for miles in the dark cramped space of the mine to his designated spot for the day.

I found this book so powerful and humbling. A catalyst for personal reflection. A remarkably bold and honest book.

5/5

For more great books and reviews, check out my reading lists!

Thoughts on: Never Spilt the Difference by Chris Voss

Except for a few naturals, most of us hates negotiation at first. We get nervous, our hands sweat and our thinking breaks down.
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But it’s not really the person across the table that scares us; it’s conflict itself.
Humans are made for living in tribes and getting along with the group is a natural priority for most of us.
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I’m avoid conflict. I avoid negotiation.
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“The first step to achieving a mastery of daily negotiation is to get over your aversion to negotiating.”
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This book changed my view of negotiation; I’m now in love with it! And a mostly due to the fact that we created Book Club/Implementation Group around this book where really put the tactics into immediate use in real life situation alongside our theoretilcal studies.
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📝 The Pinocchio Effect: The number of words grows with lies. When people lie they use more words.
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📝 “No, is the start of negotiation, not the end of it.” The truth of this simple statement became clear to me when I payed attention to how I negotiated with my son. Once I had said “no” to one of his request was usually the time when I would opened myself to hearing him out. That’s when I was ready to consider the possibles and we could work something out together.
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📝 The real meaning of ‘no’:
🔸I’m not yet ready to agree.
🔹You are making me feel uncomfortable.
🔸I do not understand.
🔹I don’t think I can afford it.
🔸I want something else.
🔹I need more information.
🔸I want to talk it over with someone else.
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⭐️ TAKEAWAY:
The Accusation Audit is a favorite tool of mine that I used a lot recently (swipe for example). “You make a list of every unreasonable, unfair, crazy, ridiculous accusation your gut instincts are picking up that the other side might say about you.” When we acknowledging negatives they lose their power.
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⚖️ VERDICT:
If Atomic Habits is the definite book on habit building than this is definite book on negotiation. It can seem a bit manipulative, but if you see past that—and make an effort to use the tools in this book in everyday life with no delay—then it might be the most valuable reading you will do this year.
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4/5
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⁉️ What are your favorite negotiation tactic?⁉️


For more amazing reading experiences then check out my Reading List!

Thoughts on: “The Netocrats” by Bard & Söderqvist

I tried to explain this book to a colleague before christmas break; how it utterly fashinated me, even though I feel I only understood it partly, and how it had provided me with a new lens with which to see the world.

It must have caught his interest, cuz when I got back to work we had lunch and he told me he had devoured the book and was working his way through another work by the same authors, Digital Libido, and was enthusiastically urging me to do the same.

The book, written in 2000, talks about a new paradigm. The transition from capitalism to informationalism in the wake of the internet era and how, like any genuine revolution means that the whole Darwinian system of punishment and rewards are restructured, introducing a new over and underclass.

The idea of this new system, the Netocracy, was invented in the 90:s is re-invented in this book by contemporary Internet philosophers Alexander Bard and Jan Söderqvist.

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📝 Before we ran away from strangers that looked strong. Now we engage them and gain mutual benefits.

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📝 The Consumtariat: Consumption rather than production is the role of the new underclass.

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📝 Politicians are selected based on their value as entertainment and what narrative they can fit into. They are elected to to feed the headlines.

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📝 Money will follow attention, not vice versa. The only hard currency on the net is attention.

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📝 Knowledge, contacts and exclusive information replaces capital for the netocrat.

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📝 “Technology plays its own hand”

Take the clock: innocent enough of an artifact. But this infernal little machine, with its introduction of second and minutes, have retrospectively given a whole new meaning to our perception of time.

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📝 “Giving birth is simply not fashionable anymore.”

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⭐️ TAKEAWAY:

Great book to read before reflecting on how to navigate the 3rd decade of the 21st century. Is what you do professionally raising in value or is it losing its value in this new paradigm?

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⚖️ VERDICT:

A must-read and total mindf*ck. Being outdated is one of the strengths of this book. Because now, 20 years after the books release, we can see its predictions manifest in everyday life.

5/5

Check out my Reading Lists for more great books!

Thoughts on: A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

Time travel, the beginning of the universe, wormholes and string theory. Considering the complexity of some of these topics it is strange that the book has become an international bestseller. Though, I read somewhere that it is one of the most gifted books; but also the least read.


📝 Children dare to ask questions adults don’t: “Why do we remember the past and not the future.” 👶 Be more like a child.


📝 “The increase of disorder or entropy is what distinguishes the past from the future, giving a direction to time.” 🕰


📝 “There could be whole antiworlds and antipeople made out of antiparticles.” My mother used to say that I shouldn’t be so “anti” everything to me when I was a teen. I guess I was one of the antipeople Hawkingtaled about. 👩🏽‍🎤


However, if you meet your antiself, don’t shake hands! You would both vanish in a great flash of light.


✅ TO DO LIST FOR MANKIND: Come up with a complete and consistent theory that combines quantum mechanics and gravity.


⭐️ Most fascinating to me was to learn about the Event Horizon, which is the boundaries of a Black Hole, and Thermodynamic Arrow of Time.


⚖️ VERDICT:

I have read it twice now and it was actually harder to follow the second time. Probably because I did it on audio and the complicated ideas—at least for my limited understanding—made more sense when they where accompanied by pictures, graphs and illustrations. It think there are more accessible books on the topic that N00bs like me should prioritize. The book is too much at times.

3/5


What your favorite book in the genre⁉️

(For me it’s probably Deep Simplicity, a fantastic book about what happens at the edge of chaos. Check it out!)

For more more great reads and insights–check out the Reading Lists.

Thoughts on: The Life of Greece by Will Durant

When I first posted my goal of making Ancient Greece the focus of my studies this year, I someone cautioned me that it might be too much to deal with in such a short time.

It was only after getting a few hours into this book that I understood what she/he meant: it’s impossible to take all this in within a year. It would take a decade to cover only one aspect of Greek civilization fully; lifetimes to cover it all! Ramming everything into my head was like trying to catching a waterfall with a bucket.

I changed my approach to the book and saw it as a buffet. I got a small taste of everything and noted down where I wanted to explore more.

Now I’m looking for further reading on:


📖 Pericles, “the most complete man Greece ever produced.” Big words. I want to know more.

📖 Diogenes, he lived the cynic lifestyle to the fullest. Fascinating man! Did you know that there is a condition known as Diogenes Syndrome? It’s characterized by extreme self-neglect, social withdrawal and lack of shame.

📖 Sparta: The crazy strict and tough lifestyle intrigues me. Is David Goggins actually the last Spartan?

📖 Archimedes: “Don’t disturb my circles!”. From Levers, to Pi, to the formula for calculating the surface area of a sphere, but also: war machines! I need to know more about this genius.

📖 The March of the Ten Thousand: Durant calls it “one of the great adventures in human history”. 🧐


📝 Schliemann: A crazy archeologist, obsessed with The Iliad, and determined to uncover Troy. Which he did!


💭 🤷‍♂️ Checking one book of the Reading List and you end up with an even longer list…


⚖️ VERDICT:

“Greek civilization is alive. it moves in every breath of mind that we breath. So much of it remains that none of us in one lifetime could absorb it all.”

As I reach the summary and conclusion of this book I’m in awe and my eyes tearing up in gratitude for this beautiful account of life in Greece.

4/5


Whose your favorite among the ancient Greeks? ⁉️🤔

For more great Non Fiction– check out my Reading Lists