Srikumar S. Rao presents a broad, philosophical context you can use to contemplate the notion of success. Though he covers complex ideas that derive from global traditions of ancient wisdom, the book is accessible and maybe not quite as deep as it might be, given the topic. If changing your personal “reality” were really as easy as these exercises suggest, the world might be an easier place. Rao includes exercises designed to help you open your mind and confront your preconceptions, as well as a reading list designed to jar loose and challenge the daily “realities” you may take for granted. getAbstract recommends this to those who are new to the genre of self-awareness literature, and who want to find success through contemplating or rediscovering joy and purpose.


“Mental Models”

Like most people, you probably have developed functional explanations for your life-shaping decisions, “mental models” you rarely question. These are the stories you tell yourself to justify your ongoing perceptions about the world. Most of the time, you’re not even aware that you have these ideas, so this is a wake-up call. To achieve greater meaning in your life and fulfill your potential, you want to be more aware of how you are connected to the rest of society.

When did you last experience deep joy or feel profoundly in sync with another human being? To experience such highs, you must intensely desire a more satisfying, meaningful life. You may have to shift your focus from valuing consumable goods to valuing enduring personal qualities instead. Modern society is based on the untruth that having more, always more, brings happiness. But more material goods alone will not bring you greater contentment. Sometimes the really meaningful search is for ways to lead a simpler life with more love in it, not for more things.

The “Ripple” Effect

You know the importance and power of “networking,” but have you considered how powerful it would ...

About the Author

Srikumar S. Rao teaches at Columbia Business School and is the author of The Personal Mastery Program: Discovering Passion and Purpose in Your Life and Work.

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