Books

books, Great People, mindset, Reference Guides, Youngsters

Books are a man’s best friend….so the saying goes.

For me books have always been a huge treasure where I have spent a huge fortune. Till I bought my tablet, physical books were what I bought and there are more than a 1000 books in my house and I have also given away another 200 odd books.

Since I bought my tablet I have moved towards buying books on kindle for 3 reasons, the space for keeping physical books has fallen in my house, I prefer to not use paper because it reduces our forest cover and last but not the least, it appears on my Kindle immediately. When I ordered physical books, I had to wait for about a week or more before I got the books delivered to my home.

Some books leave a very strong impression on me and I write about those in my blogs as I read the books.

Last few days I have been reading Steven Kotler’s The Art of Impossible. This is an amazing book. Its very dense with.a lot of knowledge packed in it with lots of data to back it up. If you like to read non-fiction books, especially in the area of human performance then, Steven Kotler is among the few authors I would highly recommend. This is another book which is going into my categories of reference guides.

Now coming to the main point of this post.

Steven actually gives out a Return on Invested Time of reading various formats of written material. I am giving his logic below because I have not come across any author giving such a clear and concise argument for reading a book.

As per him for reading

  1. a blog post which generally takes 3 min – the author would have spent about 3 days to build the content.
  2. an article in a magazine, that would take about 20 minutes to read, the author would have spent about 15 days of research
  3. a book which takes about 5 hours to read would have knowledge of maybe 15 ears of research.

While most blogs are free to read, include this one, you have to spend a little amount of money to buy a magazine, but you have to spend a decent amount to buy a book. The argument which Steven is placing is that for the 5 hours that you invest and the cost of buying, you are getting a bargain for the 15 years that the author invested in getting the knowledge in place.

I have never bothered about the cost of buying books as an issue because since my childhood, my parents inculcated the habit of not compromising on buying knowledge.

But this argument changed my way of looking at reading a book. With the 15 years of knowledge that the author puts in, you are accelerating your learning process so dramatically. That’s why most of the great people have reading lists and recommendations. However the learning would only if you have a growth mindset. Chances are that if you have a fixed mindset, you will not even pick up a book to read.

For the younger generation this could be an eye-opener. The only other way I can think of shortening your learning curve would be attending a live training where you can interact with the coach and other participants.

Let me know in the comments below if you also think alike.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Persistence trumps Genius

Great People, Habits, History, persistence

I didn’t know what to write today. I was way too exhausted, having had a long day at work.

This word persistence was playing in my mind for a long time today. So I just started writing. As I started writing more and more examples started coming in my mind of whether great people in history were geniuses as we attribute them to be or were they persistent.

Was Michaelangelo persistent or a genius – was David a master piece because Michaelangelo had a vision for David – if he had not kept chipping away at the stone consistently day-in and day-out, he would have not realized his vision.

The Sistine Chapel ceiling would not be so amazing if he had not persisted in doing those paintings.

Look at Edison or Einstein in the scientific arena, they were persistent in their work. No doubt they were brilliant in their own right but that brilliance would not have seen the light of day, if they did not put in the work.

Having said this, identifying the leverage points and then doing the work will anyway give much better results than just doing “donkey”. Persistence does not mean wasting energy in entropy.

If you focus your energy on the key points and then work, chances are you will trump genius any day.

Till next time.

Carpe Diem!!!

The good people in Paris

Great People, Karma, travel

Yesterday I wrote about how in my opinion Good Karma has helped me in far off places like South Korea.

This time I will narrate one of the many situations which I encountered in Paris.

My family and I were visiting Paris in 2018. In Paris the best way to travel around town is using the Metro. However one of the challenges of using the metro you need to understand the inter-change because all of them are marked in French. I had been to Paris multiple times earlier when I was a very small kid along with my parents and elder brother. Since then I had the intention to take my family to Paris since I find it very beautiful.

We were staying at a relative’s house which was in a suburb of Paris.

On this day, when this incident took place, we had taken the cruise on the river Seine and after a late evening walk to Trocedero to have a look at the Eiffel Tower we were totally exhausted.

So we walked over to the metro station and identified the station where we had to do the interchange to take the metro to our stop. Once we reached the station where we had to do changeover to the other line of the metro we could not find the exit from which we would get into the station for our metro line.

It was quite late in the night, we were exhausted and there were no one to help us identify the location and we kept going round in circles. Even though Paris is relatively safe for tourists, when you are with your family in an unknown place and its kind of late in the night, you tend to get a little anxious.

The other challenge is that Google Maps at that time would get confused in identifying French locations because we were using the English interface.

While the three of us were moving around, un-noticed to us, on the station there was a person who was cleaning the platform. He saw us walking around 4-5 times around the same point with map in hand.

He came to us on his own. He didn’t know English. We didn’t know French. But he sensed our anxiety and worry.

In his own sign language the person asked our issue. We showed him the location we had to go to and metro line we had to take. He simply asked us to follow him in his sign language.

Leaving his broom in a closet, he led us through a flight of stairs and then about 5-7 minutes of walking to the point where the escalators to the other platform were located. That’s when we heaved a sigh of relief.

This gentleman pointed to the escalator. We thanked him profusely and tried to tell him in English how grateful we were, but he only understood the “Merci” , waved as if he had done nothing spectacular and walked back to go to his location to clean up the platform.

People do try to help a lot in Paris especially when they realise you are coming from India to see their country and don’t know their language.

Like I have said earlier, inspite of all the negativities the politicians and the news may make you believe the world is a pretty decent place and you will find good people in all places.

Till next time -stay positive stay enerrgised.

Carpe Diem!!!

The tide will turn -2

Affirmative action, Great People, History, travel

In some of my writing you may find a lot of content about positivity, about being hopeful, about living in the moment etc. In one of my earlier posts, I had written a short post on the “tide will turn”. This is the second one. I will share other inspiring stories of how people used adversity to grow in life.

This is not the first time that the world has faced challenges. At different times there have been epidemics, recessions, wars and resulting recessions. But the human race has always been able to come out of these situations stronger

A lot of you, especially the people in America would have heard of John D. Rockefeller. At one time he was the richest man in the United States and founder of the largest oil company -Standard Oil – at that time. Today’s Exxon – Mobil owe their beginnings to this company.

But I am not here to talk about Exxon Mobil

What most people don’t know is that John D. Rockefeller was a book keeper before he got into business. And did you know when did he start his career…..in the year 1855 he took his first job at the age of 16.

1857 was an eventful year in 2 countries. In India, the uprising for freedom from the British empire took place at multiple locations across the country and was the beginning of the end of the British rule in India 90 years later in 1947. Similarly in the US, the financial panic of 1857 started out from Ohio and spread to Cleveland etc. What followed was a depression for quite a few years.

Rockefeller however, instead of getting scared, kept his cool and looked for opportunity to learn. He saved his money and kept observing how the market behaved. Eventually he used the vagaries of the market to build his wealth.

If you have read Snowball the biography of Warren Buffet you will see a lot of similarities. Both have gone to become the richest people of their time.

Both have gone on to donate so much of their wealth for good causes.

While there are questions about the way Rockefeller conducted his business, what is remembered most is the fact that he was the richest man of his times and that he donated so much of his wealth to noble causes.

I have been personally impressed by the industriousness and individual sacrifices that great American leaders – in business and politics – like Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, George Washington Abraham Lincoln made to take where America stands today. I would recommend any young person to read the biographies of the great American business men and political leaders.

While I still believe that there is nothing to beat the advances and knowledge Indians had so many thousands of years back, you also need to give it to initial Americans who founded this great country and wrote the constitution of democracy 250 years back.

That’s the reason, after showing my family the historical landmarks of India, when I took my family to the US, I ensured that we went to the Capitol Hill and took a tour inside where they explain the whole formation of the Senate and Congress etc.

In NewYork city I ensured that inspite of the Christmas crowd, we went to the Rockefeller building and saw the lighted Christmas tree.

Great nations and great people come out stronger after every crisis.

Take this time to become stronger, observe the bends in the road so that you can meaningfully navigate when this time passes – as it always does.

Till next time.

Carpe Diem