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04 July 2015

Book Review: The Greatness Guide: Author: Robin Sarma

Just finished reading 'The Greatness Guide' by Robin Sarma. OK kinda book.
You don't know what to expect from a Robin Sarma book. While he blazed in with his ' The Monk who sold his Ferrari ', which was new and refreshing with a new author and all that stuff, his latter books have not lived up to the billing, in my opinion. 
This book is preachy. There is a lot of 'you should do this', 'you should be that', 'you should be healthy', 'you should be good'....
This is a small volume of book with 101, what in Spanish language can be called 'Chapteritas', small chapters with an average length of two pages. Each cover one concept. In each chapter, Robin Sarma examines one idea, lightly skims over the same, and move on to the next idea in the next chapter, much like a butterfly in a rose garden.
At the outset, Mr.Sarma says that he is not Guru in the conventional sense of the term. But he is a 'Guru' as in 'Remover of Darkness'. His concern at being tagged a 'Guru' is that due to that tagging reader might consider Sarma to be different from him and decide that his (Sarma's) wisdom is not for ordinary mortals like him.
There is a lot or repetition of ideas in this book. Same ideas are discussed through different words in different sections of the book. For example, the idea that 'One should take care of one's health' is covered ad nauseum, so is the idea that 'you need to be good for your business to be good'. 
I will give three stars for this book, out of five. Much like a decent movie, you can spent some time enjoying the read, but don't expect too much of a takeaway. If you are looking for ideas that will impact you at your core, like 'Seven Habits' did or 'Goals' by Brian Tracy did, you are in for a disappointment.
This is my opinion. If you are a RS fan, you might disagree.
I am giving below some of the lessons and wisdom from various chapters in the book. They are not in any particular order.
So here goes....
'As you live your day, so you craft your life. There is no such thing as an unimportant day'
'Read books. A hand hat put down a good book is never the same.'
'A mind stretched by an idea cannot return to its original dimension.'
'If you want to lead, you need to read.'
'Knowing how to read and not reading is the same as not knowing to read.'
'Get some skin in the game. Participate, do not judge or criticize.'
'Fail sooner, succeed faster.'
'The real risk is in risk-less living.'
'You can't win a game you don't play.'
'Make sure to benchmark yourself against the best.'
'Build relationships. Nothing happens until you are out there.'
'If you want to be happy, do more of the things that make you happy.'
'Until you schedule something it is only a concept.'
'The harder I work, the luckier I get. Noting spectacular was achieved without spectacular effort.'
'Focus plus daily improvement plus time equals genius. Discover your talents and work like crazy to polish them.'
'Listen. Never talk when you can nod.'
'Difference between emotion and reason is that emotion leads to action and reason leads to conclusions.'
'Know what you need to get done over the next days, weeks and months and focus on that. Say no to everything else.'
'Every time you say 'yes' to something unimportant, you are saying 'no' to something important.'
'Burn your boats. Do not take failure as an option.'
'Size of your life becomes the size of your thinking. Stop the 'impossibility thinking' in its tracks.'
'Push the envelope. Do not accept mediocrity.'
'Ask profound question of yourself. Examples are 'Did I dream richly?', 'Did I live fully?', 'Did I learn to let go?', 'Did I live well?', 'Did I take wise decisions?', 'Did I follow them up with bold action?' etc'
'Find your cause.'
'Lead a structured life.'
'Five ways to build your culture. Rituals, Celebration, Conversation, Training, Storytelling.'
'What you are doing speaks so loudly that I can't hear what you are saying. Synchronize your daily schedule with your deepest values.'
'Be a great parent. Lead by example. Inspire and develop your kids.'
'Success and joy and inner peace doesn't just show up. You need to create them.'
'Smallest of action is better than noblest of intentions.'
'Walk the earth ever so lightly.'
'First responsibility of a leader is to define reality. Next is to say Thank You.'
'Connect with your mortality each morning.'
'Go out and play.'
'There are no problems. There are only opportunities for improvement.'
'A mistake is a mistake only if it is done twice.'
'Shadows exposed to light begin to disappear.'
'The day you stop learning is the day you start ageing.'
'Keep challenging to do better, think better and be better.'
'Happiness comes from within.'
'God dwells in details.'
'Build success structure to deliver great quality and consistency.'
'Get serious about building system and you will show you are serious about success.'
'Make success happen.'
'Don't stare up the steps. Step up the stairs (of success).'
'Know what you want. Clarity breeds success.'
'Experience more. Collapse the timeline.'
'Be grateful for what we have.'
'I cursed the fact that I did not have a shoe till I saw a person who had no feet' -- Persian Proverb
'Our outer work reflect our inner work. Reflect regularly.'
'Personal change is a process that is hardest at the beginning. A NASA rocket consumes more fuel at the initial phase of launch than during the rest of the flight. Get up early and spend a 'Holy Hour'.'
'Get great at life. Pay attention to it. Reflect. Engage in it. Connect to it. Have lots of fun.'
'Ask great questions about your life. What needs to improve in my life? How can I be happy? What makes me happy? What is missing from my 'coolness'?'
'Four leadership lessons from a tailor. Improve, Observe, Connect, Adapt.'
'Seven elements of wealth: Inner wealth, physical wealth, family and social wealth, career wealth, economic wealth, adventure wealth, impact wealth.'
'You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your words.'
'Make a dent in the universe'... Steve Jobs
'Will it matter a year from now?'
'Plan your time well. Anxiety is caused by lack of control, organization, preparation and action.'
'Do not scatter your brilliance. Focus.'
'A man who chases two rabbits catches none.' --- Chinese Proverb
'Reflect on what you want to stand for. Identify your cause.'
'Lay claim to greatness. It is never too late to become the person that you dreamed of becoming.'

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