Tahsin’s Recommended Books: Self Help and Success

Classics / Modern Classics

  1. Unlimited Power by Anthony Robbins: Best book on NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming).
  2. Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins: A sequel to Unlimited Power.
  3. The Success Principles by Jack Canfield
  4. The Power of Focus by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Les Hewitt
  5. Goals! by Brian Tracy
  6. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill: Self help classic originally published in 1937.
  7. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
  8. You Can Win by Shiv Khera
  9. The Art of Living by Reader’s Digest
  10. Getting The Most Out of Life by An Anthology from The Reader’s Digest


  1. Meditation for Dummies by Stephan Bodian
  2. The Monk Who Sold his Ferrari by Robin Sharma

Creative Visualization, Mind Techniques

  1. The Silva Mind Control Method by Jose Silva

Neuro-linguistic Programming

  1. Neuro Linguistic Programming for Dummies by Kate Burton and Romilla Ready

Hypnosis, Subconscious Mind

  1. Hypnotherapy for Dummies by Mike Bryant and Peter Mabbutt
  2. The Power of your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy

Life Coaching

  1. Life Coaching for Dummies by Jeni Mumford

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

  1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Dummies by Rhena Branch, Rob Willson

Time Management

  1. How to Get Control of your Time and your Life by Alan Lakein

Emotional Intelligence

  1. The EQ Edge: Emotional Intelligence and your Success by Howard E. Book, Steven J. Stein


  1. Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss
  2. Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss

TahsinVersion2 or Tahsin Version 2.0: How? (2013)


The idea Tahsinversion2 is from Human body version 2.0 in “The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology” [1] by Ray Kurzweil. Tahsinversion2 indicates improvement in all aspects of life (if not exponential, at least linear with a high constant factor!). Tahsin version 2.0 or Tahsinversion2 is the next stable version of Tahsin!

I have always been a voracious reader of Self Management books. I learned tons of ways of improving myself in different spheres of my life.

My deep appreciation of human psyche, deep knowledge in Psychology, Neuroscience, Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence guides me.

In 2011-12, I found out that by changing lifestyles, I could have better health and get younger.

Last year (2013), when I thought about continuous self improvement in every possible direction, I compiled a list of areas worth improving.
People change. So do I. But this list (compiled in 2013) is obviously a starting point.

Some of you might find some of the areas in your lives worth improving. Give it a shot!

Self management

  • Set short term goals and accomplish them. (Write down problems, topics related to your goals so that you think of them when you wake up and in your free time and able to keep focus all day.) Work backwards from the goal / goals to your current position. Identify problems. Plan. Try to control impulses, change habits (brain state control, Mindfulness, Emotional Intelligence). Keep scores. Try to gradually get more done in less time.
  • Use feedback to your advantage. Keep scores. Go through your day and find out how you could improve it.
  • Learn time management. Clock your activities. Try to complete tasks in lesser time. Create distraction free environment and time.
  • Practice focused persistence. How do you maintain the brain state that made you think of being persistent on a particular task? Remember and write down the factors and their emotional values that made you think of being persistent. One way is to form habits.
  • Confidence – Faith {“I can do anything” attitude} {Only a strong mind has complete faith / is supremely confident and a strong mind is a capable mind.}
  • Creative visualization {“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true [or the possibility of a better life than what it is now] that makes life interesting.” Using thoughts, images, imagined situations [one single thought/image works best] (Lucid dreaming).}
  • “The happiness advantage” {The happier you are, the more motivated and energetic you are, the better your brain works.}
  • Inspiration
  • Self-control {brain state control, Mindfulness, Emotional Intelligence}
  • Associating positive emotions/feelings with the task at hand. + Curiosity).
  • Identify the habits that are holding you back, need to be changed and change them.
  • Use mind mapping software. (XMind, FreeMind, mindmeister)
  • Always check if you feel happy, optimistic, focused, motivated, and energetic (Use Mindfulness, Emotional Intelligence). Do you feel doubtful, shy, nervous, lacking in confidence, any blockage to thinking? Make yourself happy, focused, motivated, and energetic. Don’t do what you feel you ought to do (notice if you are building lists of reasons for doing unnecessary things). Rather do what you should do, what should happen.


Individual growth

  • Analyze (taking everything into consideration, asking how, why) & actively learn from everything you read, everything you see around you and all your experiences. Try to explain everything in terms of general principles / simpler constructs. Discover patterns wherever you look, whatever you think. Solve math problems, model things around you with mathematics / models {model thinking} / science.
  • Try to find creative solutions for everyday problems (better way of doing things) (Feynman) (learn from “design of everyday things”). (New / improved tech / scripts-software / apps / devices / machines, shortcuts)
  • Work-study-think 90+ hours a week.
  • Courses on Udacity, Coursera, EdX.
  • Learning Math, Engineering, Science: Wikipedia [Why Wikipedia? Image – Diagram (I learn Engineering and Science mostly from Diagrams and Images) Use Hyperlinks for Just-in-Time (JIT) learning.]
  • Language proficiency goals: English. Bangla. Spanish. Hindi. Arabic. Hebrew.
  • Know everything there is to know about America.
  • Read biographies. Learn history. (Are there patterns? Large time scale cause-effect relationships? Plan by higher power?)
  • Practice speed reading.
  • Consider taking part in trivia quiz contests/shows, US memory championship, US puzzle championship.
  • Read / think everywhere – all the time.
  • Learn more about education and learning. (Experiment with tutoring)


Social Life

  • Improve your ability of real time social cue and psychology processing. Try to understand people and society intimately. Find collaborators (online and real world).
  • Identify social problems. Devise solutions. (Study social entrepreneurship, social business, Organization / Motivation.)
  • Become a true “inverse-paranoid”. Try to see the positive in everything. Sincerely believe that whatever happens, happens for some good reason (at least in the long run) according to God’s plans. Don’t get lost in the forest, but climb higher and take a view of the forest and figure out how the forest might change with time as a result of different actions and interactions.
  • To understand others put yourself in others’ shoes. Try to view the situation from others’ perspective. Don’t micro-manage – think in long term. Think several steps ahead.
  • Learn from your own and other people’s mistakes. Make every mistake an opportunity for learning.
  • How do you build a magnetic, charismatic and authoritative (with necessary humility) personality? (Study Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Body Language. Try dealing with people with different personalities and backgrounds differently.)
  • Tweet, Blog (Get feedback.) Later: Ebook – App, Book, Linkedin.


Spiritual Life

  • Rely on no one other than God / Spirit of God. Always keep the possible nature of ultimate reality in mind even while you are living your day to day life. (Practical reality <> Ultimate reality) (Science, Engineering, Social Entrepreneurship <> Dark sides of society)
  • Spend more time praying (and meditating {practice mindfulness; imagine-feel-senses-observe-reason-learn-create}) (Creative visualization; Law of attraction; Imagine & feel; Pray for others; Gratitude {Imagine-feel how life could have been if you didn’t have some of the things you have. Now, feel happy and express gratitude.}; Think about God-ultimate reality).
  • Pray and work on: increasing intelligence, knowledge, wisdom, creativity; increasing strength, courage, toughness, stability; purifying heart/soul. Pray for others. Express gratitude. Ask for guidance.
  • If you eagerly accept life after death, you have no fear, no worry, no doubts, nothing to lose.
  • As long as you are sincere in completing your duties & responsibilities, you have no fear of death. After life could be even better.
  • Express gratitude to God for all the blessings while praying.


Leadership Personality

    • রাষ্ট্রনায়োকোচিত Attitude (Attitude that is expected from the leader of a Nation). জনগণের পাশে থেকে জনগণকে নেতৃত্ব দেবো। 


  • তোমাকে কত মানুষ পছন্দ করে, তুমি কত মানুষের আশা, স্বপ্ন, প্রত্যাশা ধারণ করছ – এটা সবসময় মাথায় রাখবে।
  • Be the smartest – lead from the front.
  • Strength, Courage, Toughness; Ready to sacrifice life; no doubts, no fear, no worry, nothing to lose.
  • Authority
  • Responsibility
  • Humility & Empathy
  • Deep thought, bold action
  • Body Language



A sense of authority and a sense of empathy. From authority and empathy comes responsibility.

Daily routine

  • Every morning energise yourself by creatively visualizing your enormous potential across different sectors. Remind yourself over and over again throughout the day.
  • Practice mindfulness.
Intellectual Life

Goals Set By Others

[November / December 2013]
Be the defining character of our time. (US Catholic Church)

Take Artificial Intelligence to the next level. (US Catholic Church)

Physical-Digital Computing pioneer. (Sergey Brin)

Grow yourself to be the smartest Economist in the world. (Dr. Yunus)


My Mental Toolbox

From My Mental Toolbox

Self Management

  • Passion & Confidence, Faith. “The happiness advantage”.
    • Go through your accomplishments.
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Concentration. Meditation. Mindfulness (Reflective Thinking). Classical Music.
  • Killer instinct directed towards problem solving, creative purposes and accomplishments. People who can’t use anger / aggression towards creative purposes / problem solving, “transfer the anger to his wife, children, subordinates, store clerks, waiters and other people who cannot defend them against him. This is the mechanism that lies behind scapegoating, racial prejudice, exploiting others!”
  • Willpower (Mindfulness).
  • Big Picture Thinking.
  • Collaboration
  • Creative Visualization (Always have goals in your mind. Start from goal – visualize backwards.) + Faith
  • Gamify the process of achieving goals. (Let internal feedback motivate you. Use feedback to your advantage.)
  • Awareness of ultimate reality.

Thinking Tools 

  • Study the problem, not the tool.
  • Find patterns.
  • Do brainstorming.
  • Sequential Processes
  • Game Theory (Considering the opponents, co-operators)
    • Studying the psychology of everyone involved.
    • Big Picture Thinking.
  • Creativity Tools
  • Ask Questions.
  • Mathematics (reduces complexity by creation of symbolization, structures, mechanization of procedures)
  • Data Analytics & Statistics
  • Algorithm, Computation & Automation

Evolution of My Dreams and Realizations

My first ‘Aim in life’, as far as I can remember (It was 1988 / 89; I was 2 or 3), was to become a milkman. I mean, it wasn’t about being a milkman. I wanted to become the honest person appreciated by my parents – a milkman. So, what I truly wanted to become was a plain, simple, honest person. 


Next, I wanted to become a building mechanic. I used to stare at people who built houses in awe. My uncle sent me a toy Mechanical Tool Box.

My next major change in aim occurred when I wanted to join the Military (age: 4-5). Each night, I used to stay awake until the National Anthem with the National Flag was played on BTV and give salute. I watched a Television program depicting Military life. One of my uncles quipped: “The secret: Tahsin wants to become the President!”.

My mom told me of an incident that took place when I was a baby of few months old. One day, General Ershad was delivering a speech (who was then the President). My mom was studying for her exams. I was lying right beside my maternal Grandfather. My Grandfather suddenly started praying loudly: “God, grant my wish and guide my grandson to become the President and lead the Nation.” My Grandmother called my mom, “Come! Quick! Look how your dad is praying for your son!”     

During my First grade, a serial had an enormous influence on me: “The sword of Tipu Sultan”. Tipu Sultan and Hyder Ali were my childhood heroes. The serial drew me to History. I was deeply influenced by another historical novel during 3rd / 4th Grade – “Khun Ranga Path”. Besides History, books on General Knowledge were among my favorites from an early age. My father bought me my first “General Knowledge” book (Encyclopedia) around 5. Then I discovered “General Knowledge” books (Encyclopedia) in my aunt’s house. Later, I started buying Encyclopedia myself. I used to stare at the Globe of the world and fantasize (
Grade 3 / 4). I fantasized first becoming a King of Ancient Bengal, then King of Myanmar (Burma) and later lifetime President of Kazakhstan. 

I remember playing computer games at one of our relative’s house during Fifth grade. Almost everyone around me wanted to become a Computer Engineer at that time. So I thought I should try to become one myself – a Computer Engineer. 

During my middle school years, I was a voracious reader of novels. Reading novels was the most fun activity I could think of. I could understand different writing techniques employed by novelists. Becoming a novelist, writing great novels was my dream during 7th to 10th grade (1999 – 2002). For living, I would become a Physician or Engineer or Architect. That was my plan.

During 9th / 10th grade, I made up my mind to study Medicine (there was huge encouragement from my parents) and become a Physician besides writing novels.

When I read a book on Psychology (my mom’s book on Educational Psychology from her M.Ed. course), I understood that an intense interest in the workings of the human mind was the chief reason I wanted to become a novelist. Moreover, Literature could only depict subjective human experience, but the objective theories of Psychology applied to all humans.

I thought that I could become a Physician and specialize in Psychiatry or Neurology.

Studying Psychology helped me understand the essence of Science: To understand experimentally provable General Rules that govern everything we see around us.

Studying Psychology books gave me the confidence that: I can come up with original ideas, and that I should question what is written in books.

Trying to understand the theories of Psychology in terms of my own experiences and what I see around me, made me aware of the connection between Real World and the world of Books and Theories.

As I later diversified and ventured into different branches of Science, these realizations and understandings proved invaluable.

One day, as I was preparing for my high school (11th grade) Entrance Exam (later it was decided that Entrance would be based on results of matriculation exam), a Chapter on different forms of Energy from my Physics book grabbed my attention. I thought: maybe I could work on both Psychology / Neurology and Physics. I went through my 9-10th grade Physics book. I bought and read other books (Undergraduate level Physics Textbooks, Stephen Hawkin’s A Brief History of Time and others).

I thought and wrote down my understandings and realizations. I tried to come up with new Theories myself.

Physics taught me to understand “everything” in terms of fundamental constituents and few fundamental laws that govern things we see around us.

Physics made me realize the necessity of learning Higher Mathematics.

Mathematical Olympiad was gaining popularity in Bangladesh at that time (it was 2003). I bought Books and started solving problems.

One of the books published at that time was “নিউরনে অনুরণন” (“Resonance in neurons”). The idea for the name: it’s better to create resonance in your brains’ neurons by solving Mathematical problems rather than leaving the neurons idle!

I found out: the more I worked on problems, the better I could think! My Neurons really were resonating!

My interest in Psychology helped me appreciate brain function improvement and Mathematical Problem Solving. I discovered ways of improving brain function myself.

It was an amazing realization – I could become anyone I wanted if I worked in the right way.

Other Sciences started grabbing my attention.

Psychology drew me to Neuroscience – the Biology of what happens in the mind. Physics led me to Cosmology (the study of the evolution of the Universe) and some of the books described evolution of our planet and Biological evolution. Evolutionary Biology was among my favorites.

At that point, I saw my future as a Scientist: trying to understand the truth and decode the Laws of Nature.

I became interested in Computer Science and Engineering as I read an article portraying the field of Artificial Intelligence. The article was written by Dr. Ali Asgar included in one of his popular science books (Grade 11). I bought Undergrad Texts on Artificial Intelligence and started reading.

Psychology and Neuroscience always grabbed my attention. So when I found out that there is a subfield in CS that tries to emulate intelligence on computers, I got hooked instantly. 

Later, I participated in International Mathematical Olympiad, and met people who were serious participants in programming contests and I felt that I really liked contests and competitions. Besides, computation seem to be everywhere – required in almost every branch. I could do Physics and Biology on Computers. I read an inspirational book (“Medhabi Manusher Golpo” – Prof. Dr Kaykobad) which depicted lives of eminent Computer Scientists and students of Computer Science. The choice was either Physics or Computer Science and Engineering, but my parents wouldn’t let me study Physics. Choosing Computer Science and Engineering also made sense when I considered practical aspects. I thought: I could still pursue my multi-disciplinary interests besides studying CSE at college. 

The Majors I considered at that time included: Computer Science and Engineering, Physics, Mathematics, Neuroscience, Nanotechnology / Nanoengineering & Bioengineering / Biomedical Engineering.

[If you find my life and my understandings interesting you might like Looking back and connecting the dots.]

Lets move a few years forward … During March / April 2013, I thought, I should analyze and understand and learn from and codify everything I see around me – just as I did with the sciences and engineering. I started with the political situation in Bangladesh. I wanted to figure out what would happen if I start my own Political Party. Next, I applied my analysis to other domains: Mechanical Engineering, Economics, Computer Science.
I come across new understandings and realizations almost on a daily basis. I look forward to share my newer understandings at sometime in not too distant future: “Living to tell the tale”, truly!

Win-win: Law of Attraction applied to collective

Law of attraction applied to individual

According to the law of attraction, if someone wants something deeply enough, visualizes and feels it, then the universe creates opportunities so that he / she can turn it into reality. To many, this might be just another “New Age” nonsense. 

But is it? 

All the religions teach us to pray to God for the changes we want to see, for the wishes we want to be fulfilled. We see Muslims praying with their hands stretched and many crying (deeply feeling) to God. In the Holy Bible, we find “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” – Matthew 7:7. 

And when we try to understand people all around us including ourselves, we see everyone of us daydreaming a world where our deepest wishes have come true. We “visualize”, we “feel”, we create our own world. 

And what happens when we want something deeply enough? 

We begin to notice more of the opportunities that come our way, that were always there but unnoticed – but that’s just the logical side of it. Many of us have also had the experience of sudden deep wish fulfillment. If it is really the case, then God’s laws might be more general than what many of us think they are – not just limited to believers of a particular religion, not just limited to a particular way of doing things, but for everyone of us and in general more general. (The generic nature of prayer / wish follows if we accept that God knows everything that goes on inside our minds.) 

It’s worth mentioning that, we can pray and wish only for opportunities. We have to take necessary actions to make the best use of the opportunities that are presented to us.

Law of attraction applied to collective

Now let us suppose that the law of attraction is indeed true. 

Suppose two persons “A” and “B” want “X” (whatever it is), – but only one of them can have it. If “A” has it, then “B” loses it and vice versa. Then the universe has to decide what to do. But suppose both “A” and “B” want “X” and both of them can have it at the same time. Then there will be more chances of their common wish “X” coming true. (Imagine, 2 persons pulling a cart instead of one alone.) Now imagine a group of people praying deeply for something that is good for the group as a whole. If the law of attraction holds true, then there will be more chances of fulfillment – in fact, the force should be several times stronger. (Imagine, 1 person pulling a cart versus a lot of persons pulling the same cart.) 

How can we utilize it? 

We can begin to shape our desires so that the outcome is desirable not only to us, but at the same time, to others. Then even if the law of attraction doesn’t work automatically, we can still pull off together with greater force!

This is what Napoleon Hill meant when he mentioned “The master mind”.

My own belief is that, God designed the Universe in such a way that morally obliged people win the most and are happier and what is good for all is the best option for an individual. And that is what it is ought to be if we assume that a benevolent God designed the Universe.