There are several self-help books available in the market in different languages telling you how to succeed in life. I have also read many of them and found them to be similar in various ways – containing the same kind of preachings and enlightening the readers (the failed ones or the ones who perceive themselves as failed). However some time back, I came across a book which is totally different, more readable and enjoyable and reaching straight to the heart of the reader without hurting him in any manner. This book is originally written in English titled as ‘Get Set Go …’ but since I have read the Hindi version, I am reviewing the same only. The Hindi version is titled as ‘Kaamyaabi Kaise …’ or how to succeed.The book has been written by a husband-wife duo – Swati Lodha and Shailesh Lodha with their name being displayed jointly as Swati-Shailesh Lodha underscoring clearly the unanimity in their thoughts and vision and the oneness of their identity. Swati Lodha is a management guru whereas Shailesh Lodha is a multifaceted personality with a plethora of talents in him. He is a well-known Hindi poet plus a popular TV actor (plays the title role in the sitcom – Taarak Mehta Ka Oolta Chashma being aired on SAB TV relentlessly for the past five years) plus a TV anchor (anchors Waah Waah Kya Baat Hai program on SAB TV) plus an author plus a management guru. Years back, his show ‘An Evening with Shailesh Lodha’ had gained immense popularity in the USA. Just like the husband-wife duo has penned this self-help book together, the same way they run an institute of management training and personality development which is known as SWASH (the full form of this word is ‘Skills Wit Attitude are Shaped Here’). This book is an extraction of their knowledge, experience and thoughts.As said earlier, this book reaches straight to the heart of the reader. Why ? Because it has been written straight from the heart only by the author-duo. They have brought their own experiences with people and situations in the words of this book. While going through the various chapters of the book, the reader feels like talking face-to-face to some Agony Uncle or Agony Aunt who is able to peep into his / her heart and then discuss his / her problem or heartburn. Since certain chapters have been written by Shailesh, the male author and certain others by Swati, the female author; the first person tone (in which the whole book has been written) changes accordingly at the relevant places.
The authors do not preach something. They only show the mirror to the reader and let him see as to who he / she actually is. The book starts with the line – ‘The way to success is always under construction, the journey to success is relentless.’ Being successful in life is not a one time job. This is not the end of the world once achieved. This is a continuous journey which can be performed only by developing own personality the right way, giving it the desired (and the desirable) shape. And thus this book does not stress so much on getting success as on amending own personality for the better. The only message given by this book is – ‘Identify yourself and change yourself to become a better one’.
Before explaining anything else, the author-duo has elaborated the definition of failure. Failure does not mean shattering of dreams seen, it means seeing no dreams at all – assert the authors. Very true. A successful person has to be a visionary. Why the director of a movie or a play is the most significant member of the crew concerned ? Because he is the one who visualizes in advance what is going to appear before the audience after the completion of the product.
From the viewpoint of the theme of the book, the authors have classified the people into four categories – 1. Raw Failures (who are no better than a mannequin whose present, past and future is bound to be the same), 2. Sophisticated Failures (the zealously jealous who follow the maxim of ‘sour grapes’), 3. Pseudo Successful (the proud pretenders who are bragging, arrogant and judgmental), 4. Real Successful (who believe in vision and action instead of bragging).
The success equation stated by the authors is – Positive Thinking + Power Thinking = Success. God has given us the most precious gift in the form of our brains. Let’s use it optimally, conserving our energy for positive, productive and desirable thoughts and acts instead of expending it casually in negative, non-productive and undesirable ones. The authors have established through illustrations how optimal utilization of our fertile mind can make wonders.
The authors advise to make comparisons just the way a mirror does. That is, better compare yourself with yourself only instead of comparing with others. They assert loud and clear – Never say, ‘I am the best’, say instead, ‘I am second to none’. Perfect ! For everybody is unique and he / she should capitalize upon his / her unique strengths after identifying them properly. Who is perfect ? None. And who is a total loss ? None again.
As per the authors, criticism should be like a burger – soft + hard (the essential part) + soft (again).
The authors have maintained a down-to-earth approach throughout in the book and instead of going idealistic, they have clarified that there are certain things for everybody which he / she cannot do. He / she had better identify them and save time, energy and resources by not diverting them towards such things. ‘Nothing is Impossible’ is true but in the general sense, it has to be moderated in the context of specific people and situations. ‘Refine what you have, forget what you don’t’ is the mantra given by the authors in this regard.
The authors frankly admit the reality of life and the world that salesmanship is equally (if not more) important than talent and hard work. Sometimes the less talented and less deserving ones overtake the more talented and more deserving ones because of their clever salesmanship. That’s how the world runs. The authors have not asserted anything for those who are not able to sell themselves and thus do not get their due. Here the reader has to read between the lines and understand on his / her own. All the same, for those who are desirous of fame, the authors have given the fame equation – Talent + Self Marketing + Opportunity = Fame.
The authors have termed change as a continuous crusade. Change is inevitable. However it’s the basic human instinct to prevent change. We aren’t interested in any change until it comes on our head and there is no escape from it. There are two kinds of changes – 1. change for the sake of change, 2. change for the sake of betterment. Definitely, it is the latter which is needed for success. In this regard, it is to be kept in mind that ‘I cannot change anyone but myself and none but myself can change me’.
The authors affirm that no true achievement can be availed if it is not attached to one’s heart. It’s the heart that creates the desire which in turn drives the brains towards its fulfillment. But this desire should be a passion and not just an impulse.
This highly interesting book is meant for not only those who are striving for success but also those who consider themselves as successful in life. It is a page turner which keeps the reader hooked throughout. Those who are interested in reading this stuff in English, can read its original English version (Get Set Go …).
So my friends, only three words more from me to conclude this review.
Get ! Set ! Go !
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