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Life Paths, Living to 100, & Our Top 10 Books

By: Michael Blankenship |

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on”

– Robert Frost


This week we’re sharing 100 tips for living to 100, our 10 favorite books we read in 2021, and why life paths ahead are more important than life paths behind. 

Oh — and if you haven’t yet filled out our one-year anniversary survey, please do. It’ll help us to serve you better in 2022.

THANKS if you already did — you might notice we’ve already made some minor adjustments based on your feedback 😉


Living to 100

Want to live to 100? 

Or at least want to improve your longevity by a bit? 

Here are 100 ways to live to 100 from InsideHook — below are our favorite tips…

  1. Eat until 80% full
  2. Eat slowly
  3. Drink more water
  4. Meditate for 15 minutes per day
  5. Optimize your workplace
  6. Breathe through your nose
  7. Take power naps
  8. Don’t blame your genes
  9. Don’t doomscroll
  10. Live with a purpose

Life Paths

If we could visualize the paths you’ve taken so far in your life and if we could visualize the paths you still could take

Perhaps the whole thing would look something like this. 

I don’t know about you. 

But I sometimes spend far too much time thinking about the past and what choices I could have made… thinking that I messed something up. 

Look at the right side. 

There are just as many choices (opportunities) before us as there are behind us. 

Don’t dwell so much on the choices you could have made… focus on the choices that you still get to make

Your current path can go in a thousand (a million?) different directions. 

It ain’t over ‘til it’s over. 

Top 10 Books

We recommend a lot of books in this newsletter. That’s because we believe that books are one of the cheapest and easiest ways to grow.

And in 2021, Alec and I read over 50 books. 

Below, we share our top 10 picks!

Die With Zero by Bill Perkins

Should you leave money to your kids? How much should you save for retirement? Perkins has countercultural answers to those questions — he believes that we should all try as much as possible to die with zero $$$ left in our bank account. 

I Am a Strange Loop by Douglas R. Hofstadter

How does something as complex as human consciousness arise from something as simple and meaningless as atoms? That’s the question Hofstadter sets out to answer with philosophical metaphors and descriptions that will have you almost grasping the fact that we’re all just “strange loops”, a bizarre occurrence where millions of layers of complexity create self-awareness.

Never Split The Difference by Chris Voss

How do you negotiate more effectively? Voss was a top negotiator for the FBI and, in this book, he reveals simple and effective strategies that anyone can use to get exactly what they want. 

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Humans have two systems of thinking. The first is fast, intuitive, and emotional. The second is logical, slow, and deliberate. How do those two systems interact? When should you use each system? And what does that tell us about how humans behave? Kahneman brings a remarkable amount of experience and research to answer those questions and explain how humans think. 

The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert

It’s not a pretty book. It’s a serious and honest book about humanity’s indisputable impact on the climate and how we are the cause of the most recent mass extinction event. Everyone should read this book. 

How To Think Like a Roman Emperor by Donald Robertson

Want to think more like a true stoic? Robertson’s book is a fascinating and easy-to-read review of Marcus Aurelius’ life. It’s amazing how there are so many modern-day lessons to be learned from thousands of years ago. 

Under The Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer

This is a disturbing book about how a person’s faith can become violent. Krakauer documents and analyzes the 1984 murder by mormon brothers Ron and Dan Lafferty, who killed a mom and infant child because “god told them to.” It’s a deep (and dark) dive into the mormon faith — one that’s well worth attending if you’re interested in the sometimes dark psychology of religion. 

The Coddling of The American Mind by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt

In the U.S., the world is far safer than it’s ever been. And yet, we’re more afraid and cautious than ever before. Lukianoff and Haidt examine why that is, what’s weakening the young minds of our society, and the concerning repercussions for the future.

Talking To Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell 

Why are we often so bad at communicating with one another? In this book, Gladwell brings a ton of research to the table to answer that question… and explain how we can all do a bit better at talking to strangers. 

The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel

Money is one of the main causes of discord in romantic relationships. It’s also one of the most confusing (and important) parts of our lives. How do you think about money and make better decisions regarding it? That’s what this book is all about. 

How To Decide by Annie Duke

We all do it hundreds or thousands of times every week: making decisions. Both little and big. But how do you make quality decisions more quickly and with more confidence? When should you decide slowly? Quickly? That’s what Duke talks about in this book — the science and psychology of good decision-making. 

Extra Stuff

Here is some other stuff we found interesting this last week!

This Week’s Photo

Octavio Passos/Getty Images

“The Brazilian surfer Lucas Chianca rides a towering wave during the Tudor Nazaré tow surfing challenge.” via The Guardian

This Week’s Riddle

Here’s this week’s riddle — the answer is at the bottom of the email!

You see a boat filled with people. It has not sunk, but when you look again you don’t see a single person on the boat. Why?

This Week’s Question

Answer this question — either privately or by replying to this email. If your answer inspires us, then we’ll ask for permission to include it in a future email!

What’s a goal you have for 2022 that you’re excited about? 

This Week’s Challenge

When was the last time you did something new? It’s easy to get into a routine and forget that life has a lot of exhilarating experiences to offer. So this week, schedule a time to do something that you’ve always wanted to do but never done — my wife and I are going scuba diving!

Until next week, 

Mike & Alec

Riddle Answer: All the people were married.

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