Monday, October 30, 2006

My attempt at book reading

I am a poor reader and there are hardly a few books, I can claim to have read completely. Most of the books did not make it past the first 25 pages. My attempts to read non technical books started about a couple of years ago . I started with some popular fiction titles. Most of the attempts failed to last longer than 15 min. After buying about 10 books and having failed to read any of them completely, I figured fiction was not something I loved to read. I felt I had a liking for philosophy and tried to my hand at a few books on philosophy. The same disturbing pattern of loosing interest within 15 pages into the book continued. Still, what ever little I understood from the writings of Emerson and Betrand Russell, opened up a new way of perceving my life.

My first claim to reading a book completely came shortly afterwards when I read and reread the "The conquest of happiness " by Bertrand Russell. The book definitely enabled me be more happier than I was, prior to reading the book. My thirst for understanding this human emotion was not satisfied yet. Then I had the fortune of watching Prof Tal's course on Positive Psychology. I think this was one of the best moments in my academic development. This course mentioned Nathaniel Branden and his literature, quite a few times. This prompted me to read Brandens " Psychology of self esteem". I think this book can be the best gift you can give to anyone you care about. Branden's understanding and presentation of the concept of self esteem and the way it is interlinked to our personality demystified a number of false notions and beliefs I carried all my life. I believe, a majority of humanity carry these false beliefs and sabotaging practises and this book is an excellent tool to discover and overcome them.

Since I read this book, I am trying to implement 2 practises, which according to Branden is essential to improve out self esteem.

1) Be Self assertive: For the first time in my life, I am trying to be consciously aware of my desires and feelings. I am trying to spend most of time, being myself instead of trying to be someonelse . I dont feel scared or embarassed no more to say 'I dont know' If didnot know something. I am not scared to say ' I donot agree' if i did not agree with some one's point of view.

2) Be Self Consious : I am trying more than ever to be self conscious of my actions and the events happening as a result of my actions. I am more willing to consciously analyze the reasons of some unfortunate events in my life. I had been avoiding the reality so far and was repressing the rational evaluation of my effort so that I would not feel guilty for the inadequacy in my effort to set things right. Little did I know that, this behavior was a definite recipe for disaster.

I have benifited immensely by reading this book and would recommend to any one who wants to better understand why things happen to him, the way they happen and how he or she can make things happen rather than wait for them to happen.

Thank you Branden for this amazing work

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