Books every Indian should read in his early twenties

According to me, if you are in your early twenties and looking for some enlightening books, you must read following books. I strongly believe ten years from now, you will attribute a lot of your success to some of these books. Having read all of them and being influenced by every one of them, I call myself fortunate that I had a company of these great books when I needed them most. I have given online link of every book from where they can be purchased.
I hope you find them useful.
Best wishes.

Wings of Fire: An Autobiography 1st Edition – If you are an Indian, in your early twenties then you must read this book.
This book is an autobiographical novel that tells the  readers a story about unlocking their inner potential. APJ Abdul Kalam does a  great deal to throw light on his journey to igniting the fire within  himself. This book is divided into seven parts. This is then followed by an Orientation, which  contains a quote from the Atharva Veda. After that, the readers are  also enlightened on the incidents that made Kalam what he is today.

  • Unposted Letter – is a collection of short articles that contains deep and profound  reflections on many topics related to life, work, situations, and  attitudes. Each page contains ideas and concepts that can change your view on many things and make your life richer and more  enjoyable. A good read recommended for young readers.

 

  • Letters From a Father to His Daughter – These letters reflect on a variety of topics. Starting from  natural history, the beginning of the earth, and evolution to the varied races of the world, the genetic make-up, the  differences in communities, and races, how these races were formed, and  why people look different. Book also touches upon the topic of civilizations. It discusses the  ancient civilizations, the great cities of ancient times, the origin of  language and religion, the growth of mankind, and the changes in  religion and its current manifestations. Nehru also elaborately  discusses the history of India, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and the  great kings of the past and their kingdoms.

 

 

  • Gitanjali – One of the greatest writers in modern India, Rabindranath Tagore became  the first Indian to be awarded the Nobel Prize, which he received for  his outstanding contribution to Literature. Known for his elegant prose  and magical poetry, Gitanjali captures the essence of Tagore’s poetic  spirit. The poetry of Tagore is soothing to the spirit of the  person who reads it. These poems look at the deepest and the most  spiritual aspects of life with a simplicity and grace that touch your  soul. They encourage you to look at the world around, in a fresh light,  and experience the beauty of creation.

 

Siddhartha – Siddhartha’ is a novel by Hermann Hesse which deals with  the spiritual journey of an Indian boy called Siddhartha during the time  of the Buddha. The book was written in German, in a simple, yet  powerful and lyrical style. It was first published in 1922, after Hesse  had spent some time in India in the 1910s. The story revolves  around a young man who leaves his home and family on a quest for the  Truth. Embarking on a journey that takes him from the austerities of  renunciation to the profligacy of wealth. That leads him through the  range of human experiences from hunger and want, to passion, pleasure,  pain, greed, yearning, boredom, love, despair and hope. A journey that  leads finally to the river, where he gains peace and eventually wisdom.  This is the story of Siddhartha as told by Nobel Laureate Hermann Hesse  in his most influential work.

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Books that shaped my year: 2013

So 2013 is ending and it’s time we introspect and look back at the year. Many of us read the best books/movies/etc lists. So this time I decided to compile a list of books that shaped me in year 2013. These are books which have left a deep impact on me. In my constant strive of the self enhancement, these books have helped me to reach the next level of self evolution. So here is the list:

1. Daring Greatly.

This book is a great resource which helped me in accepting my imperfections. To embrace vulnerability and encouraged me to live the life wholeheartedly.It is written by Researcher and thought leader Dr. Brené Brown. After the great success of her ted talk The power of vulnerability she compiled her work in this book. I recommend it highly to those who are looking for more and better ways of Living.

2. Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking

Susan Cain, author of Quiet is a former corporate lawyer and negotiations consultant — and a self-described introvert. At least one-third of the people who live on our planet are introverts, notes Cain in her book. Although our culture undervalues them dramatically, introverts have made some of the great contributions to society – from Chopin’s nocturnes to the invention of the personal computer to Gandhi’s transformative leadership. Cain argues that we design our schools, workplaces, and religious institutions for extroverts, and that this bias creates a waste of talent, energy, and happiness. Based on intensive research in psychology and neurobiology and on prolific interviews, she also explains why introverts are capable of great love and great achievement, not in spite of their temperaments — but because of them.

Being born, raised and grown introvert, this book greatly helped me in overcoming inferiority complex that was born because of being labeled as Introvert.

3. Willpower : Rediscovering Our Greatest Strength

For years the old-fashioned, even Victorian, value of willpower has been disparaged by psychologists who argued that we’re largely driven by unconscious forces beyond our control. Here Roy Baumeister, one of the world’s most esteemed and influential psychologists, and journalist John Tierney, turn this notion on its head. They show us that willpower is like a muscle that can be strengthened with practice and improved over time. The latest laboratory work shows that self-control has a physical basis to it and so is dramatically affected by simple things such as eating and sleeping – to the extent that a life-changing decision may go in different directions depending on whether it’s made before or after lunch. You will discover how babies can be taught willpower, the joys of the to-don’t list, the success of Alcoholics Anonymous, the pointlessness of diets and the secrets to David Blaine’s stunts. There are also fascinating personal stories, from explorers, students, soldiers, ex-addicts and parents.

4. This Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking

This Will Make You Smarter presents brilliant ideas to expand every mind. What scientific concept would improve everybody’s cognitive toolkit? This is the question John Brockman, publisher of Edge.org, posed to the world’s most influential thinkers. Their visionary answers flow from the frontiers of psychology, philosophy, economics, physics, sociology, and more. Surprising and enlightening, these insights will revolutionize the way you think about yourself and the world.

5. Swaraj by Arvind Kejriwal

Swaraj is a book published in English and Hindi by Arvind Kejriwal, a social activist-turned-politician. Kejriwal questions the present establishment of the democratic framework in India and proposes a way in which he thinks that the people, the opinion makers and the political establishment of India can achieve true Swaraj (self-rule). Book is available for free download here in English and here in Hindi.

Failure as a Success

It ofttimes requires heroic courage to face fruitless effort, to take up the broken strands of a life-work, to look bravely toward the future, and proceed undaunted on our way. But what, to our eyes, may seem hopeless failure is often but the dawning of a greater success. It may contain in its débris the foundation material of a mighty purpose, or the revelation of new and higher possibilities.

In our superior knowledge we are disposed to speak in a patronizing tone of the follies of the alchemists of old. But their failure to transmute the baser metals into gold resulted in the birth of chemistry. They did not succeed in what they attempted, but they brought into vogue the natural processes of sublimation, filtration, distillation, and crystallization; they invented the alembic, the retort, the sand-bath, the water-bath and other valuable instruments. To them is due the discovery of antimony, sulphuric ether and phosphorus, the cupellation of gold and silver, the determining of the properties of saltpetre and its use in gunpowder, and the discovery of the distillation of essential oils. This was the success of failure, a wondrous process of Nature for the highest growth,–a mighty lesson of comfort, strength, and encouragement if man would only realize and accept it.

Many of our failures sweep us to greater heights of success, than we ever hoped for in our wildest dreams. Life is a successive unfolding of success from failure. In discovering America Columbus failed absolutely. His ingenious reasoning and experiment led him to believe that by sailing westward he would reach India. Every redman in America carries in his name “Indian,” the perpetuation of the memory of the failure of Columbus. The Genoese navigator did not reach India; the cargo of “souvenirs” he took back to Spain to show to Ferdinand and Isabella as proofs of his success, really attested his failure. But the discovery of America was a greater success than was any finding of a “back-door” to India.

When David Livingstone had supplemented his theological education by a medical course, he was ready to enter the missionary field. For over three years he had studied tirelessly, with all energies concentrated on one aim,–to spread the gospel in China. The hour came when he was ready to start out with noble enthusiasm for his chosen work, to consecrate himself and his life to his unselfish ambition. Then word came from China that the “opium war” would make it folly to attempt to enter the country. Disappointment and failure did not long daunt him; he offered himself as missionary to Africa,–and he was accepted. His glorious failure to reach China opened a whole continent to light and truth. His study proved an ideal preparation for his labors as physician, explorer, teacher and evangel in the wilds of Africa.

Business reverses and the failure of his partner threw upon the broad shoulders and the still broader honor and honesty of Sir Walter Scott a burden of responsibility that forced him to write. The failure spurred him to almost super-human effort. The masterpieces of Scotch historic fiction that have thrilled, entertained and uplifted millions of his fellow-men are a glorious monument on the field of a seeming failure.

When Millet, the painter of the “Angelus” worked on his almost divine canvas, in which the very air seems pulsing with the regenerating essence of spiritual reverence, he was painting against time, he was antidoting sorrow, he was racing against death. His brush strokes, put on in the early morning hours before going to his menial duties as a railway porter, in the dusk like that perpetuated on his canvas,–meant strength, food and medicine for the dying wife he adored. The art failure that cast him into the depths of poverty unified with marvellous intensity all the finer elements of his nature. This rare spiritual unity, this purging of all the dross of triviality as he passed through the furnace of poverty, trial, and sorrow gave eloquence to his brush and enabled him to paint as never before,–as no prosperity would have made possible.

Failure is often the turning-point, the pivot of circumstance that swings us to higher levels. It may not be financial success, it may not be fame; it may be new draughts of spiritual, moral or mental inspiration that will change us for all the later years of our life. Life is not really what comes to us, but what we get from it.

Whether man has had wealth or poverty, failure or success, counts for little when it is past. There is but one question for him to answer, to face boldly and honestly as an individual alone with his conscience and his destiny:

“How will I let that poverty or wealth affect me? If that trial or deprivation has left me better, truer, nobler, then,–poverty has been riches, failure has been a success. If wealth has come to me and has made me vain, arrogant, contemptuous, uncharitable, cynical, closing from me all the tenderness of life, all the channels of higher development, of possible good to my fellow-man, making me the mere custodian of a money-bag, then,–wealth has lied to me, it has been failure, not success; it has not been riches, it has been dark, treacherous poverty that stole from me even Myself.” All things become for us then what we take from them.

Failure is one of God‘s educators. It is experience leading man to higher things; it is the revelation of a way, a path hitherto unknown to us. The best men in the world, those who have made the greatest real successes look back with serene happiness on their failures. The turning of the face of Time shows all things in a wondrously illuminated and satisfying perspective.

Many a man is thankful to-day that some petty success for which he once struggled, melted into thin air as his hand sought to clutch it. Failure is often the rock-bottom foundation of real success. If man, in a few instances of his life can say, “Those failures were the best things in the world that could have happened to me,” should he not face new failures with undaunted courage and trust that the miraculous ministry of Nature may transform these new stumbling-blocks into new stepping-stones?

Our highest hopes, are often destroyed to prepare us for better things. The failure of the caterpillar is the birth of the butterfly; the passing of the bud is the becoming of the rose; the death or destruction of the seed is the prelude to its resurrection as wheat. It is at night, in the darkest hours, those preceding dawn, that plants grow best, that they most increase in size. May this not be one of Nature’s gentle showings to man of the times when he grows best, of the darkness of failure that is evolving into the sunlight of success. Let us fear only the failure of not living the right as we see it, leaving the results to the guardianship of the Infinite.

If we think of any supreme moment of our lives, any great success, any one who is dear to us, and then consider how we reached that moment, that success, that friend, we will be surprised and strengthened by the revelation. As we trace each one, back, step by step, through the genealogy of circumstances, we will see how logical has been the course of our joy and success, from sorrow and failure, and that what gives us most happiness to-day is inextricably connected with what once caused us sorrow. Many of the rivers of our greatest prosperity and growth have had their source and their trickling increase into volume among the dark, gloomy recesses of our failure.

There is no honest and true work, carried along with constant and sincere purpose that ever really fails. If it sometime seem to be wasted effort, it will prove to us a new lesson of “how” to walk; the secret of our failures will prove to us the inspiration of possible successes. Man living with the highest aims, ever as best he can, in continuous harmony with them, is a success, no matter what statistics of failure a near-sighted and half-blind world of critics and commentators may lay at his door.

High ideals, noble efforts will make seeming failures but trifles, they need not dishearten us; they should prove sources of new strength. The rocky way may prove safer than the slippery path of smoothness. Birds cannot fly best with the wind but against it; ships do not progress in calm, when the sails flap idly against the unstrained masts.

The alchemy of Nature, superior to that of the Paracelsians, constantly transmutes the baser metals of failure into the later pure gold of higher success, if the mind of the worker be kept true, constant and untiring in the service, and he have that sublime courage that defies fate to its worst while he does his best.

Taken from: The Majesty of Calmness; individual problems and posibilities by William George Jordan.

Buy from Amazon: The Majesty of Calmness; Individual Problems and Posibilities

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In the quest of last victory: Book Review

In the quest of last victory

In the quest of last victory

In Quest of the Last Victory is an inspirational story of the Navin Gulia’s perseverance, fighting spirit and persistent efforts to achieve higher goals by stretching beyond what his physical abilities seemed to permit him. Despite complete paralysis of the body, Navin Gulia continued to have aspirations and made every effort to accomplish them. With a single-minded focus and determination, he turned his disability into a life-affirming force. He mastered chess, studied computer science, flew hang gliders and microlight aircraft, and went on to become the first Indian to drive non-stop to the highest motorable mountain pass in the world, the forbidding Marsimik La in Ladakh.With a lifetime of severe setbacks behind him and an impossibly steep mountain incline in front, Navin Gulia knew that if he failed this day life probable would never give him this chance again. The words he had always believed in rang in his ears:

Our body and mind have infinite ability, our ability never restricts us, our thoughts do. If we think we can, we can; if we think we cannot, we cannot.

This is a captivating tale of grit and determination that will inspire and motivate people of all ages.

About the Author
Navin Gulia, adventurer, writer, social worker and motivational speaker, holds a world record for being the first person to drive non-stop to Marsimik La, which at 18,632 feet is the highest mountain pass in the world. In 2007, he founded, and now runs, the Apni Duniya Apna Ashiyana Welfare Society, which works towards the interests of underprivileged children.

Gulia was honoured with the President’s National Role Model Award by Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam in 2006. He has received several other awards and honours, including the Godfrey Phillips Mind of Steel Award (2010), Karmaveer Puraskar from iCongo (2009), Cavinkare Ability Mastery Award (2006), Chief of Army Staff Commendation (2005), The Times of India Global Indian for the Year (2005), Limca Book People of the Year (2005) and State Award for Adventure Sports (2004).

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The Cubicle Manifesto: Book Review

No matter what profession we are in, we spend most of our day-work-time in our offices.

The Cubicle Manifesto: The Perfect Way To Reinvent Your Life

The Cubicle Manifesto: The Perfect Way To Reinvent Your Life

Family, friends, relatives are integral part of our life and we hear a lot of buzz words life work-life balance. The cubicle: a small, compressed, half room where we spend half our lives bored, stressed, and secretly planning holidays. Where imagination and creativity die a slow death and ‘out of the box’ can mean only one thing—leaving the office.

There are many good books and strategies which teach balancing our life after work but very few of them talk about the time we spend in our cubicles.

The book starts with a question,

“How many hours a day do you cubicle?”

Plot of the book:

Mayukh, a professionally successful employee of a big company discovers one morning that his computer has been infected by a virus. And he has enough work on his plate. But strangely and soon the virus starts a revolution that gradually frees Mayukh from the tyranny of pressure and the shackles of stress. The virus guides mayukh towards a better, balanced and joyous life by not compromising his professional successes. It reconnects him with his true self and family, and brings him more success than he could ever imagine.

So if you’ve been spending more time in your cubicle than anywhere else, The Cubicle Manifesto is the revolution that you’ve been waiting for; one that you can start in the comfort of your own cubicle.

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Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions

2011 is saying goodbye to the world. And already people have started compiling the list of best books of the year.

From among many books I read this year, Guy kawasaki‘s tenth book: Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions, is one among best books I will list in my reading list.

It is not possible for me to list this book in any particular genre, if you are businessman it’s must read for you, of you are a student it’s for you too. I Will recommend the book to housewives, corporate employee and everyone.

Guy explains how to influence what people will do while maintaining the highest standards of ethics.Image representing Guy Kawasaki as depicted in...

The book explains when and why enchantment is necessary and then the pillars of enchantment: likability, trustworthiness, and a great cause.

The next topics are launching, overcoming resistance, making enchantment endure, and using technology. There are even special chapters dedicated to enchanting your employees and your boss.

I strongly feel that enchantment will be adopted as valid term in management science very soon.

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Steve jobs and India

Steve jobs enjoys the privilege of being one of the greatest person who walked on this earth. Being an Indian, I always wanted to know about his views on India and Indian people. While reading steve job’s biography I got to know, many aspects of his life and I feel that his life is full of excitement and thrill. Being a perfectionist, out-of-the-box thinker, jobs always took the path less travelled. While being on his search of the inner-self at the age of 18-19 he came across the lecture of indian monk and got impressed by the philosophy of being present in in the present and he conceived the image of India as a land of spiritual reality. And he decided to save enough money to visit India and take the path of spiritual enlightment. So here are words of steve jobs himself of his thoughts about India. Real profound statements.

Coming back to America was, for me, much more of a cultural shock than going to India. The people in the Indian countryside don’t use their intellect like we do, they use their intuition instead, and their intuition is far more developed than in the rest of the world. Intuition is a very powerful thing, more powerful than intellect, in my opinion. That’s had a big impact on my work. Western rational thought is not an innate human characteristic; it is learned and is the great achievement of Western civilization. In the villages of India, they never learned it. They learned something else, which is in some ways just as valuable but in other ways is not. That’s the power of intuition and experiential wisdom. Coming back after seven months in Indian villages, I saw the craziness of the Western world as well as its capacity for rational thought. If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. If you try to calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there’s room to hear more subtle things—that’s when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more. Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before. It’s a discipline; you have to practice it.

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