Archive for September, 2010

Living with Confidence in a Chaotic world
September 27, 2010

 

In today’s world, if there is a certain attention getting word, if there is a word that capture anyone’s imagination in this turbulent, noisy environment it is Confidence.  Since it is written by a Pastor and a Theologian, you’d quite naturally expect Dr. David Jeremiah to be a dispenser of hope, but the contents of this book are certain to stir you cover to cover.  Whether it is quoting the personal journey of Bobby Jindal or drawing from empirical evidence, he makes a compelling case of how people all over the world are gravitating towards the spiritual quest after many years of futile intellectual chases.  When your world falls apart, not only do you need intellectually compelling answers but hope, comfort and assurance that can lift  your soul. 

He loves alliteration. Using a series of phrases around Staying Calm, Staying Connected, he builds all the ten chapters with the recurrent message of how when crisis strikes, personal or national, one can lean on God’s word, nature and his promise to sail through.  Interesting nuggets are interspersed throughout to make the book interesting ” For instance in the chapter on “Staying calm” he cites the beaufort scale when Calm is the lowest measure and the highest notch is hurricane.  “Everyone talks about the weather”, he quips Mark Twain but nobody does anything it, as he closes the first chapter and reminds the readers that Jesus said “Dont let your hearts be troubled, Believe in me”

“Catastrophes ought to teach you compassion” he exhorts in a typical shepherdly tone. In the chapter on Stay Compassionate, he reminds us of the fact that we are all in it together. Life, the cauldron of suffering has an inscrutable way of catching all of us off-guard. The book is not just packed with scriptural exhortations that can ocassionally lull the reader into familiar contempt, the illustrations are rivetting like the story of PLO sniper Taas Saada.

Probably because of his day job as a preacher and teacher, Dr. Jeremaiah’s calling card is simplicity. There are no profound metaphysical mysteries explained, no conundrums cracked, Merely engaging stories and principles that inspire and reinforce the hope of glory in the life of Christ Jesus.

The rest of the chapters, Staying Constructive, Staying Challenged,  Staying Connected, Staying Centered, Staying Confident, Staying Consistent, Staying Committed, and Staying Convinced follow a similar pattern of story telling and applying scriptural principles.

There are two groups of people who could immensely benefit from this book. Those who have had a crisis, and those who are likely to have one.  Thank you Pastor DJ.

Knock out entrepreneur knocks your socks off
September 20, 2010

I loved George Foreman’s style of writing. Simplicity and Humility are two hallmarks of this book. He stays close to the boxing ring metaphor through out, understandably and some of the stories he narrates to make a point border on the incredible.

He is a role model as a sportsman and a businessman, so I was curious to see how he views his life, his legacy and business among other things. I must confess that I was not disappointed.  When the competition gets vicious he strikes not neccessarily in the same manner he gets it, but in a more tactful manner to seize the advantage. He lays out life’s lessons for young entrepreneurs, executives or young people. The book is full of wisdom, as it engages you in a conversational tone. 

George you knocked my socks off…

Outliers
September 20, 2010

OK – this is not a brand new book but I was fascinated enough to re-read and put out a post. This book liberated me from many pressures as a parent, student, teacher, learner and above all a human being. Gladwell is an interesting journalist. Not exactly an oxymoron, but he writes well.  He debunks the myth that geniuses are born by tracing out young hockey players or even young chartered school students. He contends that often we choose the mature ones in an age group and classify them as talented. Because of that labeling and other pampering through extra TLC, these “talented” ones rise to the top.  So he contends that they have as much to be grateful for the opportunities showered on them, as their native talent. 

He talks about the minimum effort needed to be good at something – Playing the piano, skateboarding, playing chess or  any discipline that requires certain amount of practice. He identified that a player requires 10,000 hours before he can master the game.

I have another 9999 hours to go before I become a master blogger