Life Changing Books: Gordon Gekko Meets Buddha in A Personal Favorite


The enlightened one…meet Gordon

I ask the same question to every driven, motivated and successful person that I get in touch with: “What book has helped to define your success?” (You should be doing the same) The first person I ever asked this question to was my uncle, who is the CEO of one of the world’s largest shipping companies.

Based in Hong Kong, I’d been told  one of his keys to successfully navigating the foreign business world was his immersion into the Asian culture by poring through every relevant cultural/business text he could get his hands on.

As we sat down and watched golf at my parent’s house over the summer holidays years ago, he affirmatively suggested a book that has come to define the way I make decisions at work and in life. This book, Thick Face, Black Heart, is a mix between the Art of War, and a spiritual text by someone like Deepak Chopra or Eckhardt Tolle.

The book’s subtext describes it as, “The warrior philosophy for conquering the challenges of business and life.” If you’ve ever wondered how business titans sustainably and ethically climb the ladder with ruthless fervor, this book teaches you the steps to take and the mentality you need in order to act with 100% integrity while hurdling obstacles and leap frogging your competition to rip your goals out of whatever or whoever’s hands may be holding them back.


In my own life, I left my first entrepreneurial position at a family founded beverage startup to head to Washington DC for a completely different career path with the help of the mindset that the author Chin-Ning Chu instills in her readers. It was the unknown path, and as terrifying as that may be, I was 100% confident in my vision. In later blog posts, I will get deeper into the actions I’ve taken, the tough decisions I made and the thought process that I use in order to reverse engineer my goals before ethically and aggressively executing towards the next step as described in this book.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

“Our negative life situations are essential elements for us to fulfill our intended destiny. However, unless we possess the power of endurance to live through the dark of the night, we will not see the glory of daybreak.” 

“The world has a tendency to accept our own judgment of ourselves. By his/her absolute self confidence, the thick-faced person instills confidence in others. They see him as successful and allow him the latitude to succeed.” 

“If you are not concerned about the outcome of a circumstance, you will experience no fear. Whatever the outcome will be, will be, whether you fear it or not.”

…Every book that I suggest in this continuing series are the kinds of books that you re-read over and over again. Books that you keep around with you –  that gather notes and frayed pages.  Buy this book here: Thick Face, Black Heart


(Oh yea… and dad, you were right. I should have read more when I was younger)

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