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.

Conversations With God! [Book One]

“Love is the energy which expands, opens up, sends out, stays, reveals, shares, heals.
Fear clings to and clutches all that we have, love gives all that we have away. Fear holds lose, love holds dear. Fear grasps, love lets go. Fear rankles, love soothes. Fear attacks, love amends.”

A series of three books, ‘Conversations With God’ is about self who has a lot of questions in mind about life and wishes the omnipresent ‘God’ answer them and help him/her understand the life better. It’s a dialogue between us and the God in a very interesting way. This is a book must for the souls who feel life is a lackluster. To someone who has lost all their hopes on life and is simply clueless about life, this awesome book has a lot to offer.

“Passion is the love of turning being into action. It fuels the engine of creation. It changes concepts to experience.
Passion is the fire that drives us to express who we really are. Never deny passion, for that is to deny who you are and who you truly want to be.”

Walsch weaves the conversation in such an interesting way that keeps a reader hooked and find so much depth and truth about life. Simple yet intriguing!

“The deepest secret is that life is not a process of discovery but a process of creation.
You are not discovering yourself, but creating yourself anew. Seek, therefore, not to find out who you are, seek to determine who you want to be.”

There are a lot of things the book talks about – hurdles in life, love, passion, pain, happiness and the like. In the end, we just get to see the positive aspect of each and everything that happens in life. This is meant to change the perspective of how we generally take things to be. We just evolve out of the entire negativity that we create in our minds and opens doors to a more fulfilling life ahead. Overall, a must read book in the lifetime for each one of us!

“Pain is a result of wrong thought. It’s an error in thinking.”

Of so many favorites lines from the book, the one mentioned below is my personal favorite.

“To live your life without expectation – without the need for specific results – that is freedom. That’s Godliness. That is how I live.”

Happy Reading!

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.

Outliers!

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!

Recommended!