There was a time when I used to read a lot of self help literature. Almost for a couple of years they acquired a major part of my reading list. That was the time of self doubt, fear about future and the time to built up that much required confidence among chaos. And they served the purpose. At least some of them did. But then I grew tired of them, they all sound the same. Most of them lay out a program to create the path to success. Lot of theoretical statements, step by step procedures, complicated exercises, personality development techniques to built up an artificial surge of confidence... Once I had a discussion with a good friend about the use of such books and finally we arrived at the conclusion that, though we never tried to follow any of those success formulas they offered, we still had imbibed some of their positive advises which has helped us tremendously.
All these thoughts were running in my mind while I received the mail to review Prakash Iyer’s book The Habit of Winning for Blogadda’s book review program. Also to speak frankly, the terms Habit and Winning on the title was a big turnoff. There are scores of books with similar titles, many of which I had started and discarded even before completing a dozen pages. But then what captured my attention was the tagline “stories to inspire, motivate and unleash the winner within”. The word stories became the deciding factor and I put down my name also for consideration.
Now, after reading the book, in less than a day, with just two sittings, 150 pages yesterday and another 100 today, I feel I did the right thing. The book is much different from hundreds of similar self help titles inhabiting the shelves of book stores and libraries. It reminded me of the first self help book that I read- Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People. What made him different from other motivational writers is his emphasis on the principles. His argument was that unless we have a character built on strong principles there is no everlasting success. Prakash Iyer also gives emphasis on making the foundation right through building up of solid principles to make the way forward.
Another strong point of this book is that unlike other titles, instead of making a course program with one step following another, the author tries to make the readers themselves to chart their journey to be a winner. I feel this is much effective than providing an instant formula for success, because here the reader will be able to think for themselves and individually apply different thoughts presented in the book to their lives using their own reason. Another benefit is that the commitment of reader will be for themselves. It will not get faltered as the reader himself try to find the way using the principles outlined as told by Mr R Gopalakrishnan in the foreword.
The book consists of eleven sections consisting of small chapters, nothing more than 5 pages. Each section deals with different steps that are required to live a healthy and successful life in harmony with surroundings. Chapters consist of stories and tidbits of wisdom that drives home the point to the reader. The stories, some of them taken from real life with real heroes in them and some from old parables are much effective in illustrating the point writer is trying to make. Prakash Iyer uses his experience of decades in sales to charter a motivating and enlightening journey for the reader.