The Happiness Advantage!

An interesting book that I found and took it up. It talks about the seven principles that can help us perform better in the workplace.

I couldn’t judge what the book might be about going by the title. I was smitten by the theme as I got started by the book. It is all about how ‘happiness’ can actually drive ‘performance’ and ‘success’ at work. It’s a common notion that we think we would be happy when successful. This book would make you think otherwise. And, I couldn’t agree more.


As such, this book is a must read as to how we could imbibe these simple tricks in our lives and see making huge differences in how we see life and work.

This book is also a great tool for all the ‘would-be’ Managers who can actually try to understand the nuances and try them out with the team. Such experiments can truly boost the overall productivity of the team and improve work culture as well.

I strongly believe we need not limit these to just our workplace, but learn to put to use in our day-to-day lives as well.

Shawn lists out these seven principles in a wonderful way and talks about the strategies that could help us implement them. This book is always worth a revisit and such a pleasure to read.

A profound book, perfect for gifting!   

Highly recommended. 


How Emotions Are Made : The Secret Life Of The Brain!

Humans are probably one of the most interesting creations of life on earth. And even more intriguing is the human brain. To a person who is easily enticed by Neuroscience, this book is an easy catch. I picked this up the other day for I had this in mind since long.


This book is a very different book, for it is medical yet very simply and succinctly explained. Lisa Barrett has presented the facts and figures in such a pleasant way that it doesn’t take a medical degree [or, an extensive medical knowledge for that matter] to get through this. For someone who takes pleasure in the study of medicine and related concepts, this book is a treasure. Explained in layman terms, Lisa beautifully weaves her words through the medical terminology and study to finally talk about how emotions define us ultimately.

I recall a small instance of my experiences in life. I was visiting a dentist for my root canal treatment. I have had few dental cases in the past and having borne through the pain that a decayed tooth can put one through, thinking specifically about the pain that might be caused due to the treatment, was pretty obvious. Note that the dentists are professionals enough who take due care in not causing any discomfort to their patients. And I found myself there in the dental chair getting treated with all sorts of needles, drilling machines and the like. I had been under anesthesia effect and I could no longer feel any sensation in the affected area. In spite of all this and the medical efficiency during the course of my treatment, I found myself cringing out of a ‘probable’ pain that the procedure might cause me, based on my earlier experiences. But then, it never really occurred. I realized I have been fooled by the probable pain that had got imbibed in my mind.

This realization made me ponder but with no conclusions. It was when I started absorbing what this wonderful book had to offer, I found myself relating to what I had experienced earlier. There is a concept that our brain works us through based on what is termed as ‘prediction’. Lisa says the brain tries to predict things/facts based on our earlier experiences and tries to build a picture for us and this results in developing the associated emotion which makes us feel what we feel. As such, in my case, my brain seems to have tricked me into believing that I am likely to be caused pain, which in fact was not the case. In such cases where in the result is something different, the brain tries to correct that up based on our experience.

There are a lot of such concepts explained beautifully by Lisa on how emotions are caused and what different emotions can impact us. This leads to a sort of introspection and has the capacity to;

  • Alter our thought processes.
  • Understand the intricacies of our thinking.
  • Apprise us about the impact of an emotion on us and its consequences.
  • Understand how our brain works.
  • Make us understand as to what exactly happens to us as we think.
  • Fathom the potential of this most amazing gift of life.

This book is highly recommended for it is in itself a great piece of work.

Happy Reading! ❤ 

The Road Less Taken!

I was reminded of the famous poem, ‘The Road Not Taken’ when I happened to get a glimpse of this book and wondered what would be so special about this book for the title had already caught my attention. And here, I am just done with this wonderful book by Dr. Scott Peck.

The most distinguishing factor about this non-fiction is the mindblowing way a Psychiatrist can so beautifully weave the pages of a book such as this. This book talks about the major facets of life while diving deep into explaining them out the way he gets to perceive through his practice of Psychiatry. There are lot many instances he puts on the paper to study human behavior and derive conclusions hidden therein. Ultimately, this book will somehow make us introspect the hidden persona we all carry within and make us think the way we tend to behave under different circumstances.

The writing is very simple, to the point, keeps the reader hooked to it and makes him/her look forward to the next section ahead.

Few of the lines from the book that particularly caught my attention;

“The feeling of being valuable-“I am a valuable person”-is essential to mental health and is a cornerstone of self-discipline.”

“Some discipline we can solve only some problems. With total discipline, we can solve all problems.”

“Truth or reality is avoided when it is painful.”

“Love is the free exercise of choice. Two people love each other only when they are quite capable of living without each other but choose to live with each other.”

“It is true that love involves a change in the self, but this is an extension of the self rather than a sacrifice of the self.”

“Genuine love is a self-replenishing activity.”

“The essence of life is change, a panoply of growth and decay.”

“The highest forms of love are inevitably totally free choices and not acts of conformity.”

“One’s feelings are the source of one’s energy; they provide the horsepower, or slave power, that makes it possible for us to accomplish the tasks of living.”

A must-read book for sure for everyone from all age-groups.

The Book Thief!

“Sometimes I imagined how everything looked above those clouds, knowing without question that the sun was blond, and the endless atmosphere was a giant blue eye.”

I am going to talk about a lovely book thief that I met few days back. The Book Thief is an interesting girl, Liesel Merminger, a native of Munich, Germany. As curiosity-arousing the title is, so is the book.

The Book Thief
The Book Thief

The book is set in the bygone era of the World Wars and the Nazis. And, there is Liesel who apparently had been given away to her foster parents, Hans and Rosa Hubermann, after having lost her brother. Amidst the chaos she goes through, an illiterate Liesel finds solace in books. This compels her to steal books for which there are absolutely no regrets about. She tries to hide this from everyone but one fine day, her father comes to know of her habit and helps her with reading and writing. Liesel loves it when Hans reads out the chapters from the books she stole in the midnight.

“But it’s hard to keep them warm when the souls still shiver.”

Then there are accounts of the ongoing rage between the Jews and the Nazis among which Liesel and her family have to bear the trauma of the events that follow. Towards the end, we see Liesel losing out even her foster parents in addition to the Jewish best friend she found in Max. This tragic end also states about her future whereabouts and ends on a very poignant note which goes as – 

“I am haunted by humans.”

A soul-stirring story with an awesome narration, flavoured by the German language at places that makes the read even more engaging.


Guess it’s more than a year that I took up this interesting book yet again. I was not oblivious to the reviews this book by Malcolm Gladwell had received. To say the least, it aroused the least interest when I first took to reading it. I get a feeling that probably I was not matured enough mentally to handle this book and get it over my mind. I used to feel lost when I took it up. Speaking frankly, a book that doesn’t entice me doesn’t get my mind to it, though I don’t give it up – I ensure I finish.

But this time around, I realize I have grown more responsible and experienced enough to take it up again. The sense of accomplishment was losing sight of me. I felt I am not doing justice to what all I undertake. I fail to understand what is that I lack – to which ‘Outliers’ seemed to be the way to my quest to answers, whose caption was even more captivating – ‘The Story of Success’.

And it was one fine day when I stumbled across the book in our ‘Information Resource Centre’ while on the lookout for some other book. The very same night had witnessed me diving into the facets that Malcolm enlists to define and determine all about – Outliers!

He mentions ‘Outliers’ as those breed who are different from the commoners. Though the common people possess the skills they possess, but they are extraordinary and different in their own unique way. This helps them achieve peaks of success that only other wish for. Malcolm further dives deep into various scenarios to bring out the points nexus to the entire concept of being an ‘Outlier’.

Malcolm drives the reader to the fact that the successful ones be it in the world of football or software engineering, are the ones who were born in favorable months of the year – the first five to six months. At least, this is what the patterns depict. The point here being that the ones born earlier often tend to have richer experience than the ones who were born during the latter part of the year because of which they are treated younger to them. Well, being older/elder definitely adds to one’s outlook and persona. He then takes the readers to the fact that kids from rich families get better opportunities and conditions that aid them in excelling in whatever they choose. In addition, they are under the guidance of educated parents who can provide them with the best. And, this is where the other set of people fall short of. To excel, talent is not the only requisite. It needs a good blend of experience and guidance.

Another important facet to add is the dimension of ‘expertise’. One can achieve an expertise based on the hard work, no matter how much lies the talent. Malcolm mentions a very important figure in this regard. He says to master any art, one needs a minimum of 10000 hrs of practice and dedication. The one who attains this magnificent figure definitely rises above the rest.

Learning from failures and inheritance from parents/ancestors play crucial roles too.

The road to success is thus a perfect blend of time, opportunities, experience, guidance, hard work and talent. Malcolm tries to explain all this with varied list of examples.

Interesting Read!