If I were to choose authors whose work relates to each of the book in the series, I would name Ayn Rand and Aristotle for the first book. Not only did each provide groundwork for philosophy, but also Ayn Rand explained the real concept of the hero and leader. Concerning the second book, which is science and theory of the mind, I will point to Carl Sagan, Richard Dawkins, William H. Calvin, David Bohm, and Lawrence Krauss as major influences. The third book, focusing on values and drugs, is greatly based on Ayn Rand (theory of values) as well as own views and current scientific results. I drew a lot from Karen Armstrong‘s books for the fourth book about religion and theology, and the chapter about psychology is greatly influenced by the ideas of Carl Jung, Peter S. Beagle, Joseph Campbell, and Robert Cialdini. While Ayn Rand again provided basic philosophical ideas, modern science and personality theory help us to connect with who we are and what our values actually are. Finally, for the book on art and heroism, I will draw heavily on Ayn Rand, general music theory and a number of authors of motivation books.
Some of the best-known books on leadership include:
- Think and Grow Rich (Napoleon Hill)
- The Greatest Salesman in the World (Og Mandino)
- Awaken the Giant Within (Anthony Robbins)
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Stephen R. Covey)
- The 48 Laws of Power (Robert Greene)
While each of these books and others like them, provide you with tips and tricks on how to become successful, each set success as the ultimate goal. For example, Robbins’ book claims to provide “immediate control of your mental, emotional, physical and financial destiny.”
This is not the goal of the Philosophy for Heroes book series. Instead, this book series encourages you to sit down and think and reflect. Becoming a leader is not done by superimposing a code or mask on your identity or reprogramming your behavior. There are no quick solutions.
You become a hero by becoming a balanced person first – by being true to yourself and discovering your strengths and weaknesses. You have to visit all your past experiences and face your demons and bring them into line. You have to work at solving old emotional or intellectual conflicts. You have to learn about philosophy and science. This book series will challenge you to begin the journey to become a balanced person with a free mind… to follow your own dreams and express your own identity.
Q: I am curious what was your objective in writing this book series?
A: As with many big projects, there were many reasons.
– First, I am always writing since I can think. I wrote my first “book” when I was 5. It was time to summarize all what I have written down over the years.
– Second, I am repeating myself too often when explaining things to others…. I wanted something to point to when asked a question.
– Third, I have difficulties to understand things which I have not literally grasped. I need to connect it with a creative exercise where I explore different views. Writing something down is totally different than just thinking about it because you have to bring your thoughts into order.
– Fourth, I want to learn more about business and leadership. What better way is there than to actually do it?
– Fifth, I think I have a number of new ideas. People are eager to read my compilation. I think I can make a difference in the world
– Sixth, it’s actually my third attempt to start a company 🙂 Earning enough money to cover the costs of writing the books, that would be my ideal 🙂
It goes back to psychoanalysis a hundred years ago. Carl Jung, one of the major figures in that field, found out that we basically have four cognitive functions on which we operate and that we process information in a certain sequence. There is Feeling, which refers to “global thinking,” meaning you include all your life experiences and your values (your ethical system), intuition (situational thinking, including your subconscious), Thinking (step-by-step, conscious, logical analysis), and Sensing (immediate sensations). They can be of the same intensity for someone, but they are “called up” in a certain order, i.e. e.g. “Feeling” personality types evaluate a situation usually first according to their ethical point of view.
Imagine your mind being like a small company of four people representing the four functions. The job goes to #1 always. He might pass it down to #2, etc. Employee #4 might be great, but most of the times he won’t receive any work or has to wait until the work is passed down to him. Different people have a different sequence of functions, and each function can be directed to the inside and to the outside. In the end, you have about 16 different types, with some much more prevalent than others.
That I can positively affect and effect change and people. And the realization that I have choices and that those choices have consequences. Being aware of having a choice is very empowering.
I’m currently working at a medical company as a software architect, connecting patients with their doctors through smart phones and the Internet. It is my day job to finance my writing. I lead a small team there, so I’m used to handling projects. The actual application in mind gives the work meaning.
It is not about selling books, it is about communicating ideas and it doesn’t matter with which medium it will be done. Also, businesses can live longer than that. People construct houses that stand longer than 80 years. They start out with the idea of one day either selling the house or leaving it to their children. The customer of an entrepreneur is not the end consumer, but a possible future investor who will take over at some point. Myself, I’m not the company; I’m just the entrepreneur. While I still work “in” the company, I plan to remove myself bit by bit over the years. It is entrepreneurship. An entrepreneur builds businesses.
The idea is to move away from the concrete. You ask yourself how the company should look in 300 years and thus have to concentrate on the core values. It is kind of weird, but actually a common practice in business. Or it should be at least! We should look for value-based cooperation between people and a moral backbone to rely on in times of crisis.
We have to teach them philosophy. Maybe not every human being on the planet is willing or able to learn, but people who are in positions of being able to make a change need to learn that they can affect and effect change. Others learn the values of their cultural leaders through imitation; not everyone learns by reading. Not everyone has to know the exact reasons for those principles and not everyone has to defend them in a philosophical debate. But some must defend those values, and I am writing for them. We need a few who can defend those ideas, and show others that a better life is possible.
People are taught to sacrifice themselves for their leader (most tyrannies in this world teach that to the people). We aspire to teach them that they form and follow their own values in life.
I discuss the philosophy of Nazism – its roots – in detail in the book. National socialism was about being a part of the people sacrificing for the whole.
My philosophy – or the philosophy of one of my role models, Ayn Rand – is the opposite; it is against putting the values of others before your own. Other people can be your value (e.g., it is not a “self-sacrifice” to care for your child), but you shouldn’t just do what they want without any regard to yourself. Helping others is not about doing what they want, but figuring out how to actually help them. Giving an alcoholic a bottle of beer is not helpful, no matter how much the alcoholic wants it.