#Book Review: How Life Imitates Chess by Garry Kasparov | #SmartReads


BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
April 13, 2019

How Life Imitates Chess by former World Chess Champion and grandmaster Garry Kasparov does an incisive job of showing how life is a mirror for chess.  Or is it the opposite?

Filled with much erudition regarding the intricacies of life, How Life Imitates Chess sifts through Kasparov’s career in search for the gems of wisdom that not only helped him become a sharper, stronger, and more intuitive individual.  This book also dives into the importance of quality actions via precise decision making which help individuals rise to meet the challenges of life as they go.

Throughout the book Kasparov carries out a rather trenchant job in detailing many of the data points, or perhaps ‘life-lessons’ is a better term, which helped him grow as a chess player that became a grandmaster, but more importantly, as an individual.  Each of these life-lessons helped him grow in crucial ways, regardless whether it was facing dismal defeats, or manifesting intense resounding victories.

Kasparov makes it a point to go into why constant self-analysis is essential not only to survive in the world, but in fact to thrive.  Self-awareness and peak performance go hand in hand, as many of you know, and because of this he urges individuals to become conscious of their inherent decision making process and strive to polish it to become wiser.

An interesting part from the book are the myriad fascinating stories of individuals, chess matches, companies et al. which are used to drive home lessons to be gleaned from the events that took place within those instances.  These were as thought-provoking as they were entertaining.

Another notable point mentioned in the book is the importance of not becoming your own enemy.  In one instance, the author noted how it’s important to find the nascent stage of a crisis before it becomes a full-fledged crisis.  This might seem obvious at in hindsight, but we’ve all seen the mental state of ourselves or others be overwhelmed by emotions, which therein overrides our logic.  And not being able to use logic is downright disastrous being that in such an instance the mental precision an individual has is only a shade of its true power.

Furthermore, when an individual gets emotional, not only does the amygdala go into overdrive, but “…the logic center processors [neocortex] get almost turned off and blocked.  Adrenaline, hormone levels, and blood pressure rise, and our memories become less efficient.  We begin to lose our ability to communicate effectively, and we turn to a form of autopilot to make decisions.”[1][Emphasis Added]

Hands down, my favorite part of the book, although admittedly there were many intriguing points, was how Kasparov relentless speaks about having to question everythingAs he warns:

Question the status quo at all times, especially when things are going well.  When something goes wrong, you naturally want to do better the next time, but you must train yourself to want to do it better even when things go right.”[2][Bold & Underline Emphasis Added]

This reminds me of poker, as well as many other things in life, where one might make the most ridiculous and stupid choice, and still get rewarded.  If an individual chooses not to question their actions, they will simply not grow. Someone may make a very poor choice, and still end up winning untold sums of money.  When such is the case, individuals rarely if ever opt for introspection to verify that they were correct.  The emotional assumption is that if the money is won…then the choice ‘had to’ be a good one – the correct one.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

Moreover:

Questioning yourself must become a habit, one strong enough to surmount the obstacles of overconfidence and dejection.  It is a muscle that can be developed only with constant proactive [sic].”[3][Bold Emphasis Added]

Another additional point brought up by Kasparov  was about the vital significance not only to move out of our comfort zones, but also to challenge ourselves in creative ways to push us into new boundaries.

Regarding this, Kasparov minces no words:

When we regularly challenge ourselves with something new – even something not obviously related to our immediate goals – we build cognitive and emotional “muscles” that make us more effective in every way.  If we can overcome our fear of speaking in public, or of submitting a poem to a magazine, or learning a new language confidence will flow into every area of our lives  Don’t get so caught up in “what I do” that you stop being a curious human being.  Your greatest strength is the ability to absorb and synthesize patterns, methods, and information.  Intentionally inhibiting the ability to focus too narrowly is not only a crime, but one with few rewards.”[4][Bold & Underline Emphasis Added].

How Life Imitates Chess offers more than ample information for it to be worth the price, and it gives plenty of grist for the mill not only for individuals to ruminate upon, but more importantly, for the incisive development of the individual.

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Sources & References:

[1] Christopher Hadnagy, Unmasking The Social Engineer, p. 166.
[2] Gary Kasparov, How Life Imitates Chess, p. 135.
[3] Ibid. pp. 34-35.
[4] Ibid. p. 170.

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Suggested Reading & Watching:

Logical Fallacies Employed In Every Day Life
13 Great Reasons To Study Logic
How A Generation Lost Its Culture – by Professor Patrick Deneen
A Different Kind Of Teacher by John Taylor Gatto
Socratic Logic by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
Philosophy 101 by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
What Is Education?  The Elite Curriculum – John Taylor Gatto
Breakaway Guide To Censorship, Disinformation, Logical Fallacies & More
How To Read A Book by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren
Social Engineering 101
The True Purpose Of Modern Schooling
Getting Things Done by David Allen
Open-Source Method: Genius Education – Examples | John Taylor Gatto
The Trivium – The Liberal Arts Of Logic, Grammar & Rhetoric by Sister Miriam Joseph Ph.D.
A Rulebook For Arguments by Anthony Weston
A Workbook For Arguments by David R. Morrow & Anthony Wesson
Drilling Through The Core – Why Common Core Is Bad For American Education by Sandra Stotsky & Contributors

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If you find value in this information, please share it.  This article is free and open source.  All individuals have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and  BreakawayIndividual.com

___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, inquirer, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, and freelance writer who aims at empowering individuals while also studying and regularly mirroring subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

7 Phenomenal #Books For #Homeschooling Self-Directed Learners & Autodidacts | #Education

“If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Real books disgust the totalitarian mind because they generate uncontrollable mental growth – and it cannot be monitored.”[Bold Emphasis Added]
– John Taylor Gatto, A Different Kind Of Teacher, p. 82.

BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
March 29, 2019

Education is the most vital component of an individual’s repertoire.  Without it, the individual is like a ship without a rudder, drifting aimlessly amidst the seas of life

For that reason it is imperative to make sure individuals continue to educate themselves, no matter what stage of life they are in.  This is why the following list has been composed.

Each of the books reviewed below offer abundant wisdom from which to learn from.  Considering we are in an age where public schooling is about conformity, division, dumbing people down, and more, it would be wise for individuals to take their own education into their hands.

The books below will help individuals cement a firm foundation upon their intellectual faculties and be able to extract the most out of life and their individual journey.  If you wish to read more about the books, click the link on the book titles to heads towards the reviews.

Book #1:  Socratic Logic V3.1 by Peter Kreeft Ph.D

Out of all of these  7 books, this is hands down the most demanding one.  That said, this book will net the most benefits because it couples into all the other subjects and areas of life, and well as each of your everyday endeavors.   The lessons of this book will be useful every single day.  This is because logic is employed in everyday life in one form or another.

Although requiring considerable effort, the book is a much easier read than Aristotle’s Organnon, while still covering the core dynamics.

Book #2:  The Trivium – The Liberal Arts Of Grammar, Logic & Rhetoric by Sister Miriam Joseph Ph.D.

Historically, the Trivium was taught as part of classical education.  That is no longer the case however.  Because of that it is imperative that books discussing classical education as The Trivium be ruminated upon since the trivium is one of the leading reasons why education decades and centuries ago was vastly superior than it is now.

The Trivium encompasses all aspects of grammar, logic and rhetoric.  This book is a thorough presentation on general grammar (vastly different than what modern schooling teaches), fallacies, syllogisms, a solid logic introduction, enthymemes, poetics, figurative language , all with a hefty dose of examples from which to learn from.

Just as a house cannot be complete without a foundation, an individual’s education, no matter the age, cannot be complete without knowledge of the Trivium.

Book #3:  How To Read A Book – The Classic Guide To Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren

The title of this book is a misnomer and many people overlook it because they ‘know’ how to ‘read’ a book.  Reading isn’t the main focus as much as information extraction – getting the most out of the book, which is much more different than simple reading.

If there is one book you read, make it this one, that is because you read within every day life, and the more information we are subjected to, the more we will read.  Knowing how to get the most out of everything we read, every article, every study, every book, every story and so on, et al., will only help you get and remain ahead of the curve.

This is definitely a must-read book.  In fact, it would be a mistake not to have it because not following many of these tenets would mean an individual is only attaining fractional understanding of all subjects.  The book really is phenomenal and highly recommended.  It’s been popular for decades, and with good reason.

Book #4:  Philosophy 101 – An Introduction To Philosophy Via Plato’s Apology by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.

If you want an easy-to-follow introduction to philosophy that is accessible to everyone but also stimulating enough to get your brain cells churning, ponder this book.  It’s a very unique way of looking at philosophy and should not be overlooked.  It is also much shorter than the previous three books above.

Book #5: 
The Complete Workbook For Arguments – A Complete Course In Critical Thinking [2nd Ed.] by David R. Morrow & Anthony Weston

This book hones your critical thinking skills in a very incredible manner.  Seeing the failure of modern schooling, one would figure for a public school system that continues to fail, one would figure critical thinking would be at the top of agenda to implement within public schooling.

This book is affordable, has ample exercises, uses a very logical and reasonable approach that builds on itself and is easy to follow.  It’s complex enough, but not overly so.  It’s a book that’s referenced often and highly valuable.

Book #6: 
The Imaginative Argument – A Practical Manifesto For Writers by Frank L. Cioffi

Now, this piece by Cioffi brings a fascinating and refreshing outside-of-the-box perspective to argumentation to boot.  The author takes a rather unique approach I’ve never seen before, and one I wished was available in public schooling, but of course isn’t.  The book covers everything from essays, thesis, creative writing, paragraph design, audience considerations, writing prompts, fallacies and more.  If you’re a regular writer of any type, even if it’s not argumentation per se, I would still say this is a must read.  Or at least consider it.  As part of a homeschooling and self-directed course, this is definitely a must have though.

Book #7: Sherlock Holmes – The Complete Stories by Arthur Conan Doyle

And here comes the curveball: learning Logic through fiction!

This one’s an outside-of-the-box suggestion, but with good reason.  Sherlock Holmes hands down is the best book from which to learn critical thinking in fiction form.  If you have any suggestions to add, or better, I would really like to hear them because I am always open-minded and would like to read similar books in fictional form since it allows a reader to enjoy leisure time, while also honing the mind simultaneously.

Holmes uses his usual analytical approach that’s incisive in logic and precise in detail to solve every single case.  Some cases offer more for learning than others, but the book as a whole is something every person should read and is part of an individual’s robust cultural literacy as well.

What we as individuals accomplish in life, especially if you want to live life to the fullest, is directly proportional to what we know and are capable of.  Without robust capabilities an individual is like a leaf in the wind, merely flowing aimlessly in the wind without chosen direction.

This is why it’s crucial to make sure your education stands on firm ground.  Without it, we’re only merely ghosts of ourselves, carrying out only a fraction of what would be possible within our lives.

It’s never too late to proactively continue one’s education.

Seek to better yourself, every single day; every single step, every single breath.

Seek to learn every day, from every person, in every instance.

Not only will that help solidify your intellectual faculties in an ironclad manner, but it will also imbue your life with more meaning than you could ever imagine.

After all, if we don’t continue our education, we surrender ourselves to self-chosen ignorance.

And who wants to do that?

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Suggested Reading & Watching:

Logical Fallacies Employed In Every Day Life
13 Great Reasons To Study Logic
How A Generation Lost Its Culture – by Professor Patrick Deneen
A Different Kind Of Teacher by John Taylor Gatto
Socratic Logic by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
Philosophy 101 by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
What Is Education?  The Elite Curriculum – John Taylor Gatto
How To Read A Book by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren
Social Engineering 101
The True Purpose Of Modern Schooling
Getting Things Done by David Allen
Open-Source Method: Genius Education – Examples | John Taylor Gatto
The Trivium – The Liberal Arts Of Logic, Grammar & Rhetoric by Sister Miriam Joseph Ph.D.
A Rulebook For Arguments by Anthony Weston
A Workbook For Arguments by David R. Morrow & Anthony Wesson
Drilling Through The Core – Why Common Core Is Bad For American Education by Sandra Stotsky & Contributors

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If you find value in this information, please share it.  This article is free and open source.  All individuals have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and  BreakawayIndividual.com

___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, inquirer, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, and freelance writer who aims at empowering individuals while also studying and regularly mirroring subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

#Book Review: Maximum Achievement by Brian Tracy | #SmartReads

BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
March 28, 2019

“It always seems impossible until it is done.”
– Nelson Mandela

“A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts.”
– James Allen

Given the penchant of self-help books guaranteeing everything under the sun, “Never judge a book by its cover” was the first thing that came to mind upon seeing the cover of this book.  Thankfully though, this book was not merely a ghost in a shell.

Maximum Achievement by Brian Tracy is a rather unique approach to create a road to success.

Drawing from a wide-array of fields such as philosophy, psychology, history, metaphysics, and more, Tracy fuses the insights learned through experience and research into this treasure trove of information.  All of this is aimed for individuals to become active in their own self-mastery.

The insights are varied, but critical, for they cover subjects such as an individual’s relationships, mindset, critical decision making, and even interactions with children.  The book features a lot more than that too.

In fact, some of the tips suggested in this book remind me of Neurolinguistic Programming [NLP] books, given the nature of the topic, which is focusing your thoughts into creating new habits in order to bring about profound individual change.  The loose comparison is mentioned to serve as a reference for those that might have read books on NLP or are interested in them.

The one thing that the author homes in on, and does so aptly, is the importance of having a sound mindset.  As the author alludes to often, with proper mindset anything can be achieved.

In fact, in a sentiment that calls to mind the timeless quote by Yoda, “Do or do not, there is no try,” the author states:

“A major turning point in your thinking comes when you change your language from “whether” to “how.”  When you start thinking about how you are going to accomplish something you want, and you simultaneously refuse to consider whether it’s possible or not, your entire mentality begins to change.”[1][Bold Emphasis Added]

Is it really that simple?  Henry Ford seemed to think so when he intimated, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”

A strong mindset is crucial.  In fact, maintaining a keen mindset is everything.  Maintaining a proper mindset should be a key focus of individuals, since creating negative habits can happen a lot quicker than one realizes.  Tracy soberingly notes:

The most dangerous habits you can form…are mental habits.  Because of the fact that whatever you think about continually you create in your life, your negative or self-limiting thoughts hurt you more than anything else you can engage in.”[2][Bold Emphasis Added]

This is something attentive individuals will notice when being mindful of their surroundings and thoughts.  Not only has this happened to me, but I have witnessed it often in family, friends and acquaintances.   Such is the power of the human mind, and as such it should be carefully and thoughtfully employed.

Whether we become our own worst enemies, or we become our best friends is up to us.  The great thing is that we hold the key to the doorway of change.

Maximum Achievement is a terrific read in its totality, made all the more relevant by how high-speed our lives have become, as well as how easy it is for people to get distracted and create poor habits.  Complement this book with Getting Things Done by David Allen, and you will undoubtedly have a great foundation from which to proceed into a better and more rewarding future.  Stay focused, stay productive, and do not be dissuaded by any obstacles that might arise.

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Footnotes:

[1] Brian Tracy, Maximum Achievement, p. 88.
[2] Ibid., p. 91

________________________________________________________________________

Suggested Reading & Watching:

Logical Fallacies Employed In Every Day Life
13 Great Reasons To Study Logic
How A Generation Lost Its Culture – by Professor Patrick Deneen
Socratic Logic by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
Philosophy 101 by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
What Is Education?  The Elite Curriculum – John Taylor Gatto
How To Read A Book by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren
Social Engineering 101
The True Purpose Of Modern Schooling
Getting Things Done by David Allen
Open-Source Method: Genius Education – Examples | John Taylor Gatto
The Trivium – The Liberal Arts Of Logic, Grammar & Rhetoric by Sister Miriam Joseph Ph.D.
A Rulebook For Arguments by Anthony Weston
A Workbook For Arguments by David R. Morrow & Anthony Wesson
Drilling Through The Core – Why Common Core Is Bad For American Education by Sandra Stotsky & Contributors

___________________________________________________________
If you find value in this information, please share it.  This article is free and open source.  All individuals have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and  BreakawayIndividual.com

___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, inquirer, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, and freelance writer who aims at empowering individuals while also studying and regularly mirroring subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.