Let me begin by confessing something. I am a complete hoarder of Non Fiction. Self Help books are the first ones that catch my attention in a book store. I am not completely sure about the reasons behind it, but perhaps it stems out of some of my core personal traits.
One of them is the love to give gyaan. Yes, I often get my little high when I am able to see or feel a nodding head in affirmation with my words. That just makes my day. Somehow. I don’t know why.
Indians are argumentative, a part of me also turns to self help books to form those crucial opinions. Not just restricted to current affairs but of life in general. I may still decide to keep that opinion to myself. But I do feel the urge to have an opinion on almost every thing under the sun. Difficult. But desirable.
So why did I pick this book?
Well firstly, it is by Robin Sharma. C’mon who doesn’t know about his immensely successful – “The monk who sold his Ferrari”. It is almost like a bible in the Self Help – Spiritual genre. This author I believe has pretty much created & defined this genre with this book.
He showed America and rest of the wold that spirituality is not really an idea that is restricted to few. It is practical if understood well & very much applicable in our day to day lives. Many of you reading this may still do not care about spirituality or leadership. But I bet you have gone through days when you wished you had some answers to the questions that hovered your mind. Well, I did and that is the reason I went ahead and picked this book.
Why is Leadership an important aspect in each of our lives?
We often argue the fact that some are born leaders and others are just supposed to follow. That assumption is fundamentally wrong.
Unlike what most of us think, leadership is not just a management concept. It is not a subject that should only interest managers or someone who works in a corporate set up. The concept though may have originated from management books , it is very much applicable in our day to lives.
This book talks about 8 leadership lessons as ‘Rituals’
Something that needs to be as ingrained in our lives – like brushing of teeth everyday. Without getting into those actual takeaways from the book, I would say the way the context has been set up in order to establish the need to develop this kind of a thought process is the hero of this book.
We often forget that ‘Self Help’ books are more about making the reader aware of the problem & contextualising the problem than it is to actually offer solutions.
More often the solutions part is something the readers themselves start thinking & applying. That is exactly how I felt about this book.
The way Robin Sharma narrated his life story and introduced the character called ‘Julian’ the monk who has come all the way from Himalayas, who used to own a Ferrari and every toy a man could dream of is quite entertaining. Yes a very hard ingredient to find in self help books.
The way these lessons are taught in a golf course, a stadium etc, makes almost every bit of the book engaging and interesting. My only suggestion would be, don’t try to read the entire book in one go. It cannot happen. This is a book to keep in your book shelf. Go back to it once in a while and read from anywhere, any chapter. doesn’t really matter much.
So, what did I learn from this book?
Well that is a tough one to actually pen down. I can definitely see some basic changes in me after I read this book. I have started to appreciate a lot of things which I earlier used to take for granted.
I have also realised that we live in an age of ‘achievers’. Every damn kid has to be something, reach somewhere, show something worthwhile. We as a society don’t care about people who fail, people who are mediocre, people who are just happy with themselves and try their best to keep people around them happy.
Nobody really wants to be in a sinking ship. But nobody even tries to mend the wholes in the ship or take that life boat or just swim on their own.
Leadership is not just about leading other people, it is first about leading yourself! (And that is my biggest takeaway from the book & a complete original line from me, not picked up from the book).
So, let me leave you with some lines from the book that struck me really hard ;
“I let my family life slip away, I let my friendship slip away, and ultimately let my health slip away. Sure I made a ton of money and had all the toys any person could dream of. But I wasn’t happy, I wasn’t fulfilled”.I hope this wasn’t a overdose of spirituality / ‘gyan’ & the review was helpful. If you haven’t read Robin Sharma yet, you might want to try his first book. It’s good. Really. Ok.. I get it, you are good with fiction only. Do leave a comment below, so that I can really know what you felt!
About the author:
Robin Sharma is one of the world’s most highly respected leadership experts. He is devoted to the mission of helping organisations develop people who Lead without a Title so that they win this period of intense change. His clients include Microsoft, GE, FedEx, IBM, Nike, NASA, Yale University and The Young Presidents Organisations. Sharma’s books such as The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari and The Greatness Guide have topped bestseller lists across the globe and have sold millions of copies in more than 70 languages.
Author: Robin Sharma
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
Release: November 2003
Genre: Non fiction / Self Help
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