“Jonathan tells it like it is. We are all capable of being in control of our destiny. Sometimes life gets us down, but with some sound advice and basic action steps - we can CONTROL OUR FATE. Great book Jonathan. I'm sporting the swag in style!”
Around the turn of the millenium, I went to a rock festival with my polaroid camera. I met loads of amazing people and one of them was Stephen, the lead singer of Anberlin. The band was only a few months old, but they were already killing it. We spent the whole festival hanging out and a few weeks later their manager called me and asked if I would be their translator when they went to Japan.
This was one of those moments where two choices were before me. My life would be very different as a rock and roll translator. Hard to know if I made the right choice by going to the UK to pursue my DJing career. If I had gone down this other path, I probably wouldn't be a writer now and my life would be quite different. My friendship with Stephen has faded into the sands of time (I doubt his aol address is still active but I blacked it out just to be sure.)
If you haven't had a chance yet, take a peak at their music. These are really high quality guys and their tunes are worth a listen!
One of the most notorious and fascinating experiments of the last one hundred years was conducted by Professor Philip G. Zimbardo. They took two groups of people and assigned some as guards and others as prisoners. The experiment was supposed to last two weeks, but after just six days things were out of hand and Zimbardo shut down the experiment. Dressing up like guards and prisoners caused these people to act out their roles so extremely that things go very dangerous.
Watch the video above of a real experiment subject being "arrested" at the start of the experiment. It looks very real indeed!
Thirty years later, Professor Zimbardo gave an amazing talk about his new theory called "The Lucifer Effect. It's a fascinating to hear him explain why some people become heroes in a moment of great adversity.
If you enjoyed his TED Talk, you might want to go one step further and read his book The Lucifer Effect. It's amazing to see what the most notorious scientist from Stanford is doing these days. If you have ever wondered why some good people go bad, then this book is right up your alley. It's an intense read, but it's worth it.
The first time I saw robots merge into a giant robot was on the cartoon Voltron. These lion robots were forming a giant robot with a sword long before the Power Rangers washed up on American Shores.
After Voltron, there were the Constructicons on the show Transformers. Skip forward 48 seconds to watch these heavy construction machines turn into the evil robot Devastator.
If you prefer live action, here are two videos from the early Power Rangers series of small robots combining to form larger, more powerful robots.
Another early Power Rangers Video.
Twenty years later this song sticks with me. It's one of the best characterizations of shame that I've ever encountered. A nice little early nineties toon. Be warned, this is a Christian music band so the word God does appear in the later lyrics.
When you think of a movie like Jurassic Park, this is the type of dinosaur you envision. You don't want this guy chasing you down the street with those big chompers.
Blunt those teeth a little bit and add a smile. Now we have a dinosaur that you could easily call cute. He looks like a lot of fun and you can't imagine him eating any life animals, let alone a human.
Remove the teeth completely and you have yourself a very huggable dinosaur. Without his teeth, Barney is cuddly and parents are happy to let him spend time with their kids.
One of the best examples of being trapped by a favor. How many meals does it take to pay off a nice Armani suit? Watch this hilarious video to find out.
We often put off decisions because we don't feel ready to make them. Sometimes we need to talk to more people or gather more information. Often we go away to decide and end up doing nothing. But don't be fooled, inaction IS a decision.
"If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice"
Last week at the airport there was another bomb scare...but at first I had no idea. I'm sitting outside the one-gate airport, waiting for for our turn to go inside and check in. I look behind me and see all the locals moving away from the benches, so I ask my wife what's going on.
She tells me that someone lost a plastic bag and they are looking for it.
I think nothing of it and go back to reading my book.
A few minutes later, the SWAT team shows up with a bomb dog. I look around and see that the dog is sniffing a suspicious package about two feet behind me.
My wife and I are the only people anywhere close to the action now.
We finally move away as I realize that my wife mistranslated a pretty important term when she said "plastic bag."
Fortunately, it turned out that someone just forgot a bad, but I'm going to be more careful the next time she translates something!
In 1912, an amateur archeologist claimed to have found the missing link between man and ape. He finally proved that evolution was real. For nearly forty years, people believed that this discovery was real. Only with the advent of carbon dating did other scientists realize that this missing link was actually two skeletons smashed together for the sole purpose of fooling the world.
If you are interested in learning more about Piltdown Man, the science museum that was fooled in the first place now considers the letters between the two fakers to be worthy of viewing.
Find out more at the Natural History Museum.
After writing Control Your Fate, I realize that I got the name of this movie wrong. It's called Gossip, not Rumors. It's a pretty good critique of the way we make decisions. I haven't seen the movie since it was in theaters, which I now see was way back in 2000. If the movie doesn't hold up, I do apologtize!
If you go to Wikipedia for information, then you have a serious problem in your decision-making calculus. Before you trust a source of information, you need to understand that source. Wikipedia is simply a collection of statements by random people on the Internet. Whoever has most recently edited the page controls the message. The content of a page can change multiple times every single day. Despite the naming convention, it is not an encyclopedia. On a single day, the page on acid rain said that it's fake and a few hours later said that it is fatal to humans. (it's not.)
If that doesn't wet your whistle, in 2005 the article about journalist John Seigenthaler listed him as a suspect in the assassination of John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy. This posting was absolutely false and a hoax perpetrated by a random Internet troll.
In this day and age, far too many journalists treat Twitter as a news source. Wikipedia is just Twitter dressed up in nicer clothing. It's still a collection of comments posted online by anonymous people.
You want one more? The guy who started Wikipedia edited the article about himself to mask that before Wikipedia, he was producing soft-core pornography. I can understand why he'd want to hide that, but still...
This books is a horrifying and fascinating look at how the Soviet Union invented the art of disinformation and then used this very tactic to convince the world that it's a French word. (it's not.)
During World War II, the Pope worked tirelessly to protect and guide Jewish people to freedom before the Nazi's could get their hands on them.
The Pope was so popular at this time that all efforts by the Soviet Union to turn the world against him failed. Only after his death were they able to falsely convince the world that the Pope during World War II was an anti-semite.
I found this particular story fascinating because I have seen this false story leak into fiction works. I read a book a few years ago where The Pope being an anti-Semite was a core part of the story. I was kind of shocked and my research led me to this book. Yet another author was perpetuating a false story unwittingly.
This is just one tiny example of how the governments of the world use information to control our decisions.
This book is worth reading but it's pretty tough to realize how many of these hoaxes we have all fallen for.
This book is a MONSTER, weighing in at 893 pages. It's double the length of Serve No Master and 3.5 times longer than Control Your Fate. I love that the author doesn't shy away from some of Patton's biggest mistakes (especially in North Africa.)
This book is really eye-opening. So many of us don't really understand the logistics of the final battles of World War II. But let's just say the British generals were failing so bad that they told the US Army to stop sending gasoline to Patton. They hoped that a tank commander without fuel would stop making them look bad by winning so many battles.
They were WRONG.
Patton was unstoppable and he was so popular in America that he could have easily led the US east from Germany and straight through to Moscow. If PAtton had lived, perhaps the Cold War would never have occured.
But we'll never know because he was killed in a car 'accident' with a drunk driver at the gates to a military base. But was it really an accident? I can't give you all the answers! Use the techniques from Control Your Fate to go out and find the truth for yourself.
PS If you are super lazy, you CAN just watch the movie instead of reading the book.
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You made it all the way down here without grabbing your copy?
This book is the spiritual successor to Serve No Master and is designed to be implemented.
If you are tired of living a life that is different from your dreams, then this is the book that will change everything.
Follow the steps. Change your life. Live your dreams.