As part of my ongoing Project for Individual Excellence (PIE), I have committed to intellectual, physical, creative, and virtuous goals for each month. My ongoing intellectual and creative goals are to read three books per month and to blog at least once a day.
To recap my intellectual goals in the last month, I read:
- Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less (Greg McKeown)
- Worth reading the introduction and first two chapters. The book then falls into being a formulaic business book, with sections starting with "It has been said..." or "So and So once said...". The book probably could have been a long-form blog post.
- The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem (Nathaniel Branden)
- Branden's overview of his conception of Self-Esteem is very good. I found it to be slightly more self-help oriented and less psychology oriented than I had wanted, but still worth taking a look at.
- The Politics of Obedience: Discourse on Voluntary Servitude (Etienne de la Boetie)
- Overall very entertaining and cutting at the idea of consent of the governed. The Rothbard Introduction does an excellent job at boiling down the main points of the essay without keeping all of the era-relevant references.
- The Great Divorce (CS Lewis)
- Lewis at his best. A great, brief read. I read this in a day and will be picking up his space trilogy next.
I also finished, for the first time in several years, Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead, which left me inspired like it never had before. While I had once found Rand's characters to be somewhat unbelievable, I found them to be incredibly realistic and great depictions of what many people in the world are (un)fortunately leading themselves to be -- as in college.
As for my physical and virtuous goals, I am on the road considerably more this coming month and past month, so I have broken it into 3 days of strength training and 3 days of cardio work -- if I can find an MMA or Krav Maga gym, that helps, but is not required per the PIE. Virtuously, I have carried on my abstention from cigars and have added to it added sugar and sugary products (e.g., sodas, sugar in coffee, etc.).