Book Review: Zero Debt: Break the Debt Cycle and Reclaim Your Life

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Title: Zero Debt: Break the Debt Cycle and Reclaim Your Life

Author: Neeraj Deginal

Page: 112 pages

Plot:  “Yes, being debt-free is POSSIBLE. If I could do it, then, anyone can do it!”Neeraj Deginal

Zero Debts – Break the Debt Cycle and Re-Claim Your Life, is about the author’s ten-year long journey from going neck deep into debt to being absolutely debt-free.

In this book you will learn:

How the author got into debt (circumstances)
How being in debt paralyzed cognitive decision making
How even simple day to day life became complicated
The thought process applied by the author to analyse his situation rationally
Systematic steps taken by the author to become and stay debt-free and the dilemmas faced during execution
Further actions taken to simplify life and plan for a better life

This book seeks to inspire the reader to become debt-free, which eventually leads them to total freedom, be it, financial freedom, emotional freedom or freedom from stress.

Thoughts:  Today in the world of EMI, credit cards and the desire to posses various luxuries, the possiblity of an individual staying debt free is slim. The author in his book ‘Zero Debt: Break the Debt Cycle and Reclaim Your Life’ shares his personal experience of getting into a heavy debt cycle over the years and eventually breaking free from it.

The author starts by highlighting the fact that how families and schools fail to teach kids about managing finances since they are provided for and never have to do so until they start earning. Likewise, the author himself started to manage finances once he started his career. He took various loans to afford a lifestyle and got neck deep into debt.

In the latter half of the book he discusses various ways and methods he adopted to overcome the debt crisis. The methods are very practical and can be adopted by most of the individuals who want to break the debt cycle.

A person with a limited knowledge of finance will be able to read and understand this book. This book is written in a simple language which can be understood by any individual who is struggling with finances and is looking for good advice.

Ratings: 4/5

PS: Thanks to the author and The Book Club for sending me a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review: The Indestructible Brand

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Title: The Indestructible Brand: Crisis Management in the Age of Social Media

Author: Venke Sharma, Hushidar Kharas

Page: 172 pages

Plot:  Whether or not your brand is on social media, your consumers are. They are continuously sharing their good and bad experiences about your brand. Most brands are not prepared to deal with negative feedback which, if ignored, can spiral into a crisis. This book seeks to aid brand and business owners to structure organizations to be crisis- ready. Creating a crisis squad and a crisis playbook, envisioning various scenarios that can occur, and what the brand’s response should be are some of the areas the book delves into. It also recommends preventive measures that can save brands from social embarrassment, and social listening strategies that can alert organizations to a problem before it becomes a crisis. When everything else fails and a crisis is at hand, the focus shifts to executing the playbook, turning the conversation around leveraging evangelists and influencers. Once the crisis has ended, it’s time to audit the playbook and close the gaps, as well as evaluate financial or reputational damage done to the brand, and see how quickly one can recover. 

Thoughts:  I came across this book while browsing through the marketing shelf at Crossword and it caught my eye immediately. In today’s world social media is becoming a medium for consumers to voice their opinions and experiences. It becomes very vital for the brands to understand these mediums and address these customers on the social media platforms.

This book is about managing brand crisis that occur on social media The book offers ample of examples and case studies of various brands which have faced customer dissatisfaction, trolling and complains on social media. The book suggests various methods to manage such crisis and even prevent them.

The book is written in an easy to understand manner with a lot of solutions that can be adapted by the brands. It is simplified with reference images of various tweets, Facebook posts, etc. The book is not loaded with jargons making it easy to understand for a person not familiar to social media. The book is crisp and I was able to finish it in one sitting.

I would recommend this book to the marketing, branding and PR professionals and even the business owners to understand the crisis and take preventive measures even before its occurrence.

Ratings: 4/5

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Book Review: Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

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Title: Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Author: Elizabeth Gilbert

Page: 288 pages

Plot: Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work,  embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.

Favorite Quote: “The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.”

Thoughts: I had heard a lot about this book by Elizabeth Gilbert and I wanted to read it ever since. I had loved ‘Eat Pray Love’ and I was expecting much more from this one. Well, this book is basically about keeping your creativity alive, growing and away from fears.

In this book the author has given creative ideas a life of their own. They pay a visit to an individual at any possible time and place, you grab it or they will visit someone else. There is never a “right time” for creativity. Procrastination leads do a missed opportunity when it comes to creativity. This is beautifully explained with examples from author’s personal life.

The other thing that I liked in the book was creativity’s relationship with fear. Creativity and fear co-exist the more attention given to fear, the more it expands. A lot of times an individual judges his creative output based on the success it will receive. The author advises to not fret about it and just do it. The most important thing is to give in your 100% and the work you produce should be perfect according to you. This particular thought is quite inspiring and comforting for anyone who needs to overcome the mental barrier of being measured by the success his creativity receives from the society.

The voice is narrative and it feels like the author is talking to the reader. There were few highs points for me in the book but I was expecting much more. Few ideas seemed impractical and not applicable universally. For e.g. the author states that getting a higher education in field of your interest is unworthy. Some people have innate talent to do things but other need to brush up their skills and that’s where education is required.

Overall, this book didn’t impress me completely but there are a few gems that can be taken away from this book.

Rating: 3/5

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Book Review: The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success

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Title: The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams

Author: Deepak Chopra

Page: 115 pages

Plot: This is a book you will cherish for a lifetime, for within is pages are the secrets of making all your dreams come true. Based on natural laws that govern all of creation, this book shatters the myth that success is the result of hard work, exacting plans, or driving ambition.

Instead, Deepak Chopra offers a life-altering perspective on the attainment of success: When we understand our true nature and learn to live in harmony with natural law, a sense of well-being, good health, fulfilling relationships, and material abundance spring forth easily and effortlessly.

Deepak Chopra is the bestselling author of numerous books and audio programs that cover every aspect of mind, body, and spirit. His groundbreaking books blend physics and philosophy, the practical and the spiritual, with dynamic results.

The Seven Laws of Success distills the essence of Chopra’s teachings into seven simple, yet powerful, principles that can easily be applied to create success in all areas of your life. Filled with timeless wisdom and practical steps you can apply right away, this is a book you will want to read and refer to again and again.

Favorite Quote: “The past is history, the future is a mystery, and this moment is a gift. That is why this moment is called ‘the present’.”

Thoughts: This is a pocket sized book which I managed to complete in less than an hour. But actual understanding of every aspect will take much longer. Deepak Chopra offers seven laws of success from a spiritual perspective. One should not seek success only in terms of money and fame but from a self growth and self transformation point of view. He sums up the insights of the secret to the overall success in seven laws:

1.Pure potentiality
2.Giving
3.Cause-Effect (Karma)
4.Least Effort
5.Intention and Desire (Intention & Attention)
6.Detachment
7.Purpose (Dharma)

Each law is explained in a compact manner, sticking to the point and yet offering the understanding of each law. There are simple techniques mentioned in the book on how to implement the laws in our daily life. The writing is flowy yet simple and to the point. After reading this book, I became responsive towards the law of pure potentiality and aware of the fact that everything works in harmony with the universe. I haven’t tried implementing all the laws myself but I do look forward to reading it again and trying to inculcate the learnings from this book in my life.

Rating: 4/5

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Book Review: Chanakya in Daily Life

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Title: Chanakya in Daily Life

Author: Radhakrishnan Pillai

Pages: 290 pages

Plot: Life is unpredictable and full of challenges. One wrong step and everything can come crashing down. In such a scenario, one often wishes for a roadmap of life, but how is that possible?

Bestselling author Radhakrishnan Pillai’s much-anticipated book, Chanakya in Daily Life, will help you navigate the rough seas of life and stay on course. Covering all aspects of life from the personal to the professional, it will tell you everything from how to begin your day to how to end it, how to choose the right job, stay financially secure, have a happy married life, raise your children the right way, achieve the perfect work-life balance and much more. Like always, Pillai decodes and simplifies the visionary king-maker Chanakya’s teachings from the Arthashastra and Chanakya Niti to provide solutions for any problem that might crop up in any aspect of your life.

Thus, Chanakya in Daily Life is the perfect guru who expects only one thing from the shishya—a willingness to learn.

Thoughts: ‘Chanakya in Daily Life’ is a non-fiction, self help book inspired by the teachings of the great Guru Chanakya’s book ‘Arthshastra’. Mr Pillai has simplified his teachings for a lay man to understand and incorporate in his life.

The book is sectioned into three parts: Personal Life, Professional Life and Family Life. These sections are further distributed in smaller chapters, explaining various aspects and activities one can undertake to improve his life.

The writing is simple and direct. The language is kept simple to be well understood by anyone. The matter is crisp and the book is not dragged with unwanted examples making it a quick read.

We know most of the things that are highlighted in the book but we never tend to incorporate these things thinking for it to be too trivial and petty.  What I liked the most about the book is the fact how small things can make a big difference in our productivity and overall craft our lives.

This book simplifies the knowledge derived from the king maker himself making it easy for a common man to discipline his life and achieve his overall goals.I would recommend this self help book to all those who are looking for a road map to better their personal, professional and family life in tandem.

Ratings: 3.5/5

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Book Review: Same Souls, Many Bodies

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Title:  Same Soul, Many Bodies

Author: Brian.L.Weiss

Pages: 240 pages

Plot: How often have you wished you could peer into the future? In Same Soul, Many Bodies, Brian L. Weiss, M.D., shows us how. Through envisioning our lives to come, we can influence their outcome and use this process to bring more joy and healing to our present lives. Dr. Weiss pioneered regression therapy — guiding people through their past lives. Here, he goes beyond that to demonstrate the therapeutic benefits of progression therapy — guiding people through the future in a scientific, responsible, healing way.

Through dozens of case histories detailing both past-life and future-life experiences, Dr. Weiss shows how the choices that we make now will determine our future quality of life. From Samantha, who overcame academic failure once she learned of her future as a great physician, to Evelyn, whose fears and prejudices ended after she envisioned prior and forthcoming lives as a hate victim, Dr. Weiss gives concrete examples of lives transformed by regression and progression therapy.

In Many Life, Many Masters we see Dr Weiss unveil the regression therapy and with ‘Same Souls, Many Bodies’ he narrates his case studies with the progression therapy. I had loved Many Life, Many Masters and had to read this one. This book takes us through the various case studies of patients having problems which they have not only experienced in this life, but problems that are being carried on since their past lives. I am a strong believer in existence of souls and the cases in this book appealed to me. The book is easily understood by the people like me who are interested in psychology but have never studied it as a subject. The groundbreaking work in the field of psycho therapy is sure to deeply affect peoples’ lives as they strive toward their future.

If you are someone who believes in journey of souls and a keenly interested in psychology this one is for you. But I would strongly suggest you read Many Life, Many Masters before devouring this one.

Rating; 4/5