Johnson Cook

Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

Johnson Cook - Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

Motorcycle Mondays – Start Your Engines


Pirsig Honda Motorcycle

Robert Pirsig and his son, Chris

My post on the book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig drove a lot of positive comments online and offline, and I was happy to hear that it spoke to people. The book was borderline life-changing for me, and some of the ideas in it are profound and memorable.  I consider it a “life-accelerating book.” So I’m going to take the Monday posts for a while and write a series called Motorcycle Mondays.     In these posts, I will share some of the important ideas that are expressed in the ZMM book.

To kick off the series, I want to share one of the key sections in the book. I can’t possibly say this any better than the author, so here you go:

“I think that if we are going to reform the world, and make it a better place to live in, the way to do it is not with talk about relationships of a political nature, which are inevitably dualistic, full of subjects and objects and their relationship to one another; or with programs full of things for other people to do. I think that kind of approach starts it at the end and presumes the end is the beginning. Programs of a political nature are important end products of a social quality that can be effective only if the underlying structure of social values is right. The social values are right only if the individual values are right. The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there. Other people can talk about how to expand the destiny of mankind. I just want to talk about how to fix a motorcycle. I think that what I have to say has more lasting value.” -from ZMM by Robert Pirsig

To me, this says it all. This is what matters. This what I want my personal and entrepreneurial WHY to be.   Some of the tips on fixing motorcycles you are really going to enjoy.   My initial list of ideas I look forward to sharing is below.

  • Can you Define Quality?
  • Gumptionology
  • Map of Gumption Traps
  • Stuckness. Get Stuck.
  • Commercial Mechanics vs. Doing it Yourself
  • Value Rigidity
  • Ego Gumption Trap
  • Anxiety Gumption Trap
  • Boredom Gumption Trap
  • Impatience
  • Truth Trap of Yes-No Logic
  • Tools
  • You’ve Got to Live Right Too

If you’ve enjoyed the book yourself and have other favorites, please post them in the comments and I’ll be happy to spend as much time as it takes on this book!

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