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3 Books That Changed My Life

23 Aug

 

When I love a book , I LOVE a book, I get totally addicted to its ideas and my friends have a really tough time having to deal with my admiration for it.

I have decided to “vent” my intense love for 3 BOOKS that changed my life here on my blog. I also truly believe that : A book always finds its reader. In fact any creative work of art always finds its art lover. It could be a painting,a book, a movie, a documentary, a software (yes even a software is a form of art).

So here goes: the 3 LIFE ALTERING books I have read.

 

The books !

The Secret

Author: Rhonda Bryne

Yes, the multi million copy best seller phenomenon, which I believe is now also dealing with a lot of controversy.

 How did the book find me?

I heard about it by chance from my Reiki Master Ashwita’s husband, while I was at their home for my first level Reiki attunement.

How did it change me?

For a good part of my student life, I didn’t know how to deal with an exam. As in, should I expect the best? Should I prepare for the worst? We Indians, are just preprogrammed to expect the worst. I don’t remember “dreaming” about a good outcome or believing in the best ever in my life. It could be that some people are just born with a particular temperament. Or we as a culture or nation or human beings in general are just not positive. We generally lack in gratitude. We just can’t see or enjoy what we have, we automatically and easily see what we DO NOT HAVE.I remember before one of my lab exams, wondering what to think or believe in. Worrying seemed the right thing to do. I believed that if I didn’t worry, I wasn’t giving the exam the due importance. So I decided to worry full on. Being confident about an exam, because I was well prepared,was something unheard of. You HAD to worry and crib about not having learnt enough. It was just the cool thing to do. And then I didn’t pass that particular exam. I was so confused. What did I do wrong? I worried about it enough. I cribbed about not knowing ANYTHING all the time and then why didn’t I pass?

When I started working things were pretty much the same. Yes I got a job, but becoming good at my job, or performing well, wasn’t anywhere near my agenda or anywhere in my goals. (Did I even have a goal?). What about dreaming big? Seriously I hadn’t even understood what that term meant. Dream big how? And then I read Secret.

It revolutionized my life. And everything that I had ever thought about. From believing that being sad and expecting the worst  worrying and cribbing was the normal way to be, it taught me expect much more from life. It taught me to be calm and composed under most circumstances. Most importantly it taught me that worrying wasn’t a natural state. That there is something called attracting the best and there was no limit to dreams. Wow! What a relief that was.

 This must be the book that I have gifted to people the most. Other than very few, most people have profusely thanked me for it.

 Most Vital Point:

Out of all the “blind faith” stuff that Secret is criticized about, the most important teaching that everyone miss out on is gratitude. Gratitude for what we already have. Because it’s too easy to forget to count our blessings. And even more easy to remember what we lack. So though we have been hearing a lot about counting our blessings and seeing the glass as half full. Secret teaches us to be grateful, with step by step techniques. Its one thing to say “Be Grateful” it’s another to give us daily exercises to teach us what gratitude is. And that is where this book succeeds.

So the question would be, did I achieve all my dreams using Secret? Or using the “techniques” they have mentioned? I would like to believe that I am definitely more peaceful and calmer and my unnecessary worry drastically reduced after reading the book. Did every single thing work out the way I “attracted” it, is a matter of a different discussion and I don’t think that’s what the Secret even intends to convey. But dreaming big is definitely a pre requisite to a better life. And the secret teaches us just how to do that

 Negatives, if any?

If as a result of reading this book, anyone end up blaming their thought process for a previous tragedy in their life, would do the opposite effect of what it aims to attain.

 How to use the book?

Read it frequently. Since its learned behavior, we can easily slip back into old patterns of cribbing and ingratitude in no time. Buy a hardbound copy, it’s awesome to touch. And of course it’s worth the cost, it’s worth every penny, so if you can afford it, get an original one from a bookshop.

 

The Feminine Mistake: Are we giving up too much

Author: Leslie Bennets (Editor, Vanity Fair)

Yes that dirty word. Feminism, essentially isn’t all bad as it’s made out to be. It’s just wanting women to have individual lives and dreams like men. Period. And this book has it all.

 
How the book found me:

Long story. I follow Demi Moore on twitter. And she tweeted about an Interview series she was producing, called The Conversation which was conducted by Amanda De Cadenet. (Brilliant! To say the least). In an episode of this program they interview Vanity Fair editor, Leslie Bennetts, who is the Author of The Feminine Mistake. And I heard her speak about it, and I got the book, thanks to Flipkart.

 
How did it change me?

Most of the ideas mentioned in the book, were vaguely present in my mind. But this book gave them structure and defined that most of my thoughts and ideas could be backed up by research. It has been criticized by housewives and people who have chosen to give up their career for their family. While I am not here to debate the topic, this book is a must read for women who are in that frail position of their lives, where they are contemplating leaving their jobs to care for their families and are confused about which way to choose.

 
Most vital point to look out for:

Most women decide to quit their jobs, when they feel paying for childcare will leave them with nothing left of their salaries. This point is discussed in detail backed by some solid data and research saying, how carrying on with the low paying job and paying for child care will in the long run benefit everyone. It also discusses people’s worry about baby sitters/ nannies and child care.

 

Negatives, if any?

Not a very easy read. It is written based on research solely done in the USA, so though most of her ideas are universal, her research isn’t. Also it’s a heavily researched book, for all the right reasons, because no one would believe these, if it wasn’t researched, but that also means we need to see a lot of numbers and % which u can just skip.

How to use the book?

[This is just a review of a book, and again, I am not here to debate which path to choose. But if you are CONFUSED, then read it. If you are sure of your choice, there’s nothing to read or discuss about, is there? If before spending the 1000 Rs you need to get a small idea of what she is talking about, its here.

 

Women and the Weight Loss Tamasha:

Author: Rujuta Diwekar (Bollywood Celerbity Dietician)

 The term weightloss in the subject will definitely attract readers. However, this is not a weight loss book. This must be the first women’s empowerment book ever written by anyone remotely connected to Bollywood. And that is what makes this book not just stand out, but pop out!

 
How the book found me:

Got it as an ebook from Flipkart Ebooks during their promotional offer, and what a promotional offer it was!

 Must read for EVERY Indian woman, it discusses the varying stages of an Indian women’s life, teenage, marry-able age, post marriage, post menopause etc, and how women deal with it. Most importantly how women or girls deal with it in all the wrong ways, and how we always put ourselves last and then our bodies bear the brunt of it, and why that affects weight loss. It unabashedly discusses most of the negative “Indian” mindsets towards women and how those should change, my favorite being how every man wants the “thin, tall, fair” bride and how every girl wants to be her. Girls are made to feel inadequate about their weight and looks from a very young age and how to counter that with healthy eating and not fad diets.

 How did it change me?

I look forward to stop self-deprecating my looks for once. Or my weight.

 Most vital point to look out for:

is that weight loss, which EVERYONE craves for, comes with having self-respect. How many dieticians have told you that?

 
Negatives, if any?

Karisma Kapoor’s 24 kilo weight loss added in the backside of the cover. Was a downer. We aren’t discussing weight loss tips/tricks. So don’t expect a pill to lose 24 kilos (which would have never made the book this unique). Kareena Kapoor’s foreword however, is endearing. The mention of the Kapoor sister’s names all over the book might have been responsible for the 1 lakh copies that it sold, but if you ask me for such a phenomenal book, it was unnecessary. There is also a little bit of hindi thrown in here and there, which I personally loved, but if you don’t know hindi well, you could miss the humour but not her idea.

 How to use the book:

If it is her diet plans that you are looking for buy her before and after books, Don’t lose your mind , lose your weight and Don’t lose out , work out. If it’s your self-esteem issues that you need to work on, read this book.

 
So there!