Practical Genius - How to be a Featherless Biped
In as bold and controversial a move as when Charles Darwin first published The Origin of Species, I, in my book Practical Genius by Evan Knight, have done for philosophy what Darwin has done for biology. As Darwin discovered that there is rhyme and reason to why animals look and behave the way they do, I have organized and distilled the many concepts of how best to live one's life. More
The fundamental idea of this book is found in "concepts." Concepts, as the first chapter points out, are far more important than the facts upon which they are based. The first chapter goes on to explain that "Universally Useful Concepts" are the gold of the industry of modern success. In the age of the internet, it is useless to memorize tedious facts. Instead, an intuitive grasp of why things work out the way they do is needed. This book takes a good, hard look at success and the way successful people think, as well as the concepts they use. This book is firmly rooted in science and logic.
There is a huge focus on simplicity and practicality in Practical Genius. It is simple enough for a student right out of high school to gain value from; yet it is multi-layered so that an avid self-help reader with an armory of dozens of books on their shelf will be amazed at both the clarification of content they have read before, and the never-heard-of, original content this book has to offer. This book was born from a unique combination of the distillation of 100's of self help books, and practical experience.
Practical Genius uses the metaphor of life being a game. Whenever you sit down to play any game, you really want to know what is going on first. There are certain things you absolutely need to know if you're going to win, regardless of whether your very life is on the line or you're just trying to kill some time before Mom gets home. As it turns out, there are four different levels of knowing how to play any game. Not coincidently, there are four different sections to this book.
1. Rules of the game - We, here on Earth, are subject to some hard and fast rules; and although some of them are obvious (like gravity or social hierarchies,) their implications are sometimes missed.
2. The resources you have - This might seem obvious at first glance, but not when you realize that the average person only uses a small fraction of their resources. For example, people often make the mistake of thinking that they need to own something to use it. Furthermore, it is amazing that so many people seem to misuse their greatest resource...their own minds. This section give people tools and techniques to better use their own brains.
3. Other players in the game - The person sitting across from you is not necessarily interested in your demise. If you truly understand your fellow man, it is surprisingly easy to get other people to work towards the goal of helping you fulfill your dreams. This book give you a clear understanding of why people do the things they do.
4. Strategies - Too often, people jump straight to this step, assuming falsely that they know what the rules are, what they have to work with, and who they are playing against. Once you have a good idea of what is going on around you, there are very specific things you can do that will improve your chances of success in anything.
Finally, just as it takes more than one good idea to get ahead in life, it also takes more than one good idea to write a book. This is the business model used by companies such as Pixar and Google. The average reader may occasionally miss the point of a concept, but they will still find value in many of the ideas each individual chapter has to suggest.