Life Upgrades

What’s does it mean to be the total package? It means being both physically and mentally strong. Life is made of two “worlds” the physical world and the mental world. In the physical world we should strive to be as strong and as capable as possible. In the mental world we should strive to obtain as much good knowledge as possible! To help with the mental world, I will list pieces of media that have changed my life. Check back often as I will continually update my recommendations. Also please feel free to recommend any pieces of media that have changed your life.

Life improvement books:


  • The Art of LearningAs you can probably guess by the title this book is about learning. But it is much more than that, it is a book about how to become a master (at your craft) as quickly as possible. This book was written by Josh Waitzkin who was a child chess prodigy becoming a national champion at the age of 9. If you have seen the movie or read the book searching for Bobby Fisher, it is about Josh. So for many years Josh was the best chess player on the planet and then later in his life having no martial arts experience quickly becomes a Tai Chi Chuan push hands world champion. That’s right, Josh has become the best in the world at two different disciplines and discovers that his true talent is not chess or martial art but learning. In this book Josh discuss his process of learning. My favorite part is the chapter called “smaller circles” which discuss “depth not breadth” and reminds us that sometimes mastering the basics is more important that knowing a lot of techniques generally. It is like the Bruce Lee quote: “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times”. These days Josh is a high level “coach” working with some of the highest performers in the sports and business world.


  •  Start with Why: This book can be summed up with one statement; “Nobody cares WHAT you do, they only care WHY you do it”. Honestly this maybe the most powerful book I have ever read. This book explains why some companies and individuals perform much better than others, and the reason…they start with why! This book uses real life case studies such as Apple, Southwest Airlines, Kodak, and even the Wright brothers. Trust me if you are looking to take your life to the next level you better read this book ASAP! Author: Simon Sinek


  • The Rise of Superman: – Have you ever been in the “zone”? The zone, or flow as it is described in the book is a state of optimal human performance. To experience the flow state is too almost have an out of body experience where difficult tasks become relativity easy.  Have you ever played basketball and felt like you could not miss? Have you ever sat down to write a paper and ideas “flowed” with such ease that it felt like the book wrote itself? These are all examples of flow. Not only do I love this book, I realize I am a flow junkie and after reading this book I have made it my personal mission to get into the flow state as much as possible. Read this book and then come join me on the other side 😉 Author: Steven Kotler


  • 4-hour work week: – This is the first book that truly inspired my entrepreneurial spirit! It also taught me about a completely different way to look at life and how not to get caught-up in the “rat race”. Why wait till you are in your 60’s to retire and enjoy life? Should we really spend our prime years working at jobs we hate, just waiting for a better life in the future? If you are passionate about life and ready for a change this is a must read! Author: Tim Ferris


  • Mastery: –  Too many people choose professions based on job security and/or pay. Stop chasing money and security and instead follow your heart and your passion! Once you discover your passion, become a master of your craft. If you follow your passion not only will you be happier the money will soon follow. Even if it doesn’t who cares you will be living the life you are supposed to be living! Mastery is extremely inspirational using real life examples from Leonardo Da Vinci, to Einstein, to Freddie Roach! Read this book and become awesome! Author: Robert Greene


  • The War of Art: This is not the Art of War, this is a different book. The War of Art has been a very influential book in my life. It has helped me become much more productive and also help me better understand peoples excuses. This book has also inspired me to write about self-sabotage behavior seen in the fitness world.The book talks about the unproductive force coincidentally named resistance. Resistance is the force that distracts you from your true calling. It is the force that makes it very easy for you to sit down and watch an entire marathon of Jersey Shore instead of working on your craft. Resistance main objective is to stall your personal growth. So the war of Art help you identify sources of resistance, because once identified you can use the power of resistance to your advantage. If you are serious about taking your life to the next level I highly recommend you read this book ASAP! Author: Steven Pressfield 

Side note: I get audio books whenever possible. I find they are much more efficient and I can learn while doing routine tasks such as cleaning, preparing food, driving, etc.

Fitness/Nutrition books:

  • Catching Fire “How Cooking Made us Human” by Richard Wrangham – This book presents a fascinating theory about human evolution. According to Wragham, it was the shift from eating raw foods to eating cooked foods that led to our humanity. Cooking food led to a smaller digestive tract and larger brains. This a a great book and it will make you more aware of our modern eating habits as well!
  • Zen Mind Strong Body by Al Kavadlo – I found that I really related to the philosophy of this book. First, this book is about having an open mind (beginners mind) when it comes to fitness. Which means there is no right path, just a path that is right for you. Second, it is about being present (mindfulness) in not only your workouts but everyday life. Third, it is about having fun and giving yourself a since of purpose as to why you are working out in the first place.
  • The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson – This is the first book I read about the primal/paleo diet and it literally changed my life! It changed not only the way I thought about food but it changed the way I though about everything in my life, from sitting in traffic, stressing about “non-sense”, and finding better ways to exercise.
  • Omnivore’s Dilemma – A fascinating book about corn, mega mono-crop farms/feedlots, the importance of eating local, and food quality! This is the book that inspired Food INC!
  • Good Calories/Bad Calories – This is a long book I recommend the audio addition but by far the best book on straight facts about everything you would ever want to know about food! This book is great if you want to conduct your own research
  • The Vegetarian Myth – Quick warning this book has almost as many bad reviews (1-star) on amazon as it does good reviews (5-star). So that means you will probably either love it or hate it. Either way it will make you think about food, especially from the sustainability/ethical argument.
  • Jared Diamond, “The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race,” Discover Magazine, May 1987, pp. 64-66.

Suggested Documentaries:

  • Culture High – Ok here is the challenge…I challenge you to watch this documentary and then tell me that: 1) The government has your best interest in mind when they make laws and policies and 2) That the government is not highly influenced by the dollar of major corporations. This documentary is much deeper than just Marijuana. But the tide is definitely changing as of November 4, 2014 Oregon and Washington D.C. just legalized Marijuana!  
  • Terms and Conditions May Apply: Well privacy is officially dead, and the worst part we gave it away to corporations, who then give it over to the government. This is a documentary about the user-service agreements used on Internet sites such as Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, etc and this maybe the craziest documentary I have seen because it is happening right before our eyes and no one is doing anything about it! 
  • Jiro Dreams of Sushi: – This is the story about a real life Master. Jiro Ono is an 85-year old Sushi master. Jiro has been chasing “sushi” perfection for his whole life  and as a result is considered the best Sushi chief in the World. Jiro’s dedication to be the best and attention to detail is very inspiring!
  • Transcendent Man: – This is a fascinating documentary about the growth of technology. Moore’s law states that computing power basically doubles every 18-months, which basically means technology is growing at an exponential rate. This means your cell phone today has more computing power than NASA did back in 1969 and they sent a man to the moon. As technology gets smaller, faster and cheaper, we get closer and closer to a technological singularity where man and machine become one. Mind=Blown 🙂
  • Bigger, Stronger, Faster: -Amazing film about the use of performance enhancing drug in pop culture. 
  • Food INC: – Probably the most popular “food” documentary ever. Based on the book Omnivore’s Dilemma. You will never look at “factory” food the same way.
  • King of Corn: – In my opinion this documentary was more shocking and even more impressive than Food INC! You will never look at food/politics the same way!
  • Fat Head: – Yes it starts out a little cheesy and it is definitely a low budget film but the “carbs are the enemy” message is outstanding!
  • Zeitgeist: – There are 3 Zeitgeist films, warning these movies are a bit on the conspiratorial side, but whether you believe the information presented or not, if you watch with an open mind these films will definitely change the way you view the world. I can’t recommend these three films enough
  • Black Fish: – Very eye opening documentary about a Killer Whale living in captivity named Tilikum, who killed a few different trainers.  But this is really a story about these beautiful, an extremely smart animals (Killer Whales) living in captivity and living in sub-standard conditions. You will never look at Sea World the same again! A must see!  blackfish movie

Great Websites (Health):


  • Joe Rogan – Working out, MMA, Drugs, Conspiracy Theories, Aliens, Motivation, Life improvement, did I miss anything? These podcast are simply amazing!
  • Bulletproof Radio – This podcast is the #1 ranked “Health” podcast on iTunes. Great information on health and bio-hacking.
  • Ben Greenfield – Ben Greenfield maybe the number 1 bio-hacker/athlete. Ben tries to maximize performance in everything he does. His podcast are facinating.

I have gave you some recommendations, now I want to hear yours! What pieces of media have changed your life?


4 thoughts on “Life Upgrades

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