” Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom” – Albert Einstein.
At times while reading the book, you might feel low or discouraged but for sure you will understand your worth and the value of freedom. The book is about the Author – survivor Viktor Frankl, his horrifying experiences in the Nazi concentration camps and his Psychological approach which finally helped him survive after immense hardships and cruelty around. He also strongly recommends one to find the actual meaning in life.
The Author actually survived from a trap and situation where chances of dying was more than living. He returned to his birth place Vienna after his camp Turkheim was freed and the book is all about his three horrible years of experience in the mentioned camp. He shares that all the people around, including him believed that they can succumb to death any moment during their stay at the camp. Facing the hardships and surviving helped the author share his experiences with others after being liberated from the camp. His major teaching is that man should find meaning in life even though situation is not favorable and person is going through lot of suffering. He terms this as Logotherapy and his sharing made him popular considering modern Psychology.
The best thing about this book is that it is not at all complicated and the techniques shared are also interesting as well as worth implementing in actual. One minute management, the basic concept of this book is a management methodology that can make employees happy and productive with one-minute interactions.
Principles like honesty, integrity, being proactive etc are important for success and also the author shares three exciting techniques which can be quick but the impact can do wonders for the team, managers and the Organization as well. The first point is that employees can be handled with care and respect. Point two is how reprimanding someone for their performance should take no more than a minute and finally how to review an employee’s performance goal in one minute.
I found it interesting that how timely appreciations and praises for even small achievements can motivate an employee and it can result in more efficiency and productivity from the same person. Does not matter even if the praise and appreciation for any person is short and quick.
Simple and classic book. Easy to understand and so relatable. It was worth the time to read this book and have a good discussion over the same. A lot of ideas discussed in this short book are very easy to replicate in our work culture too. Many things mentioned in the book are followed by me and some of the leaders I work with and it has indeed made difference in team spirit too.
One other good part of the book is the way it is narrated in form of a story makes it interesting and fun to read. It was not a regular preachy self-help book and that was one major plus point for me.
My takeaway points:
– To become a nice but effective manager, one should manage himself and the people also.
– To succussed sooner manager must be both result-oriented and people-oriented.
– To look at our goals — to look at what we are doing — to see that it matches our goals.
– The one-minute praising works better than focusing only on what’s wrong.
– Punishment doesn’t work with someone who is learning.
– To re-direct inexperienced people who are still learning by setting one-minute goals to make sure they understand what’s expected of them and what good performance looks like.
Book name: The One Minute Manager
Author: Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson
The book is like a parable which talks about a young man searching for a manager who would lead well in this changing world. He travels many places and meets many managers some of who are results-oriented while some are people-oriented. He feels the most effective ones are those who manage themselves and the people they work with well. This helps both the people and the organization. He finds such a person and decides to meet him. This manager teaches him strategies for one-minute management. Therefore, this book is divided into three sections one for each type of secret and how one applies it.
- One minute goals
- One minute praising
- One minute Redirects
Towards the end, this young man applies these secrets and himself becomes an effective manager.
Learning: The summary given at the end of each section explains in short how to apply these secrets. I liked the word Redirect for feedback. It feels you need to take U-turn and rework. One minute of praising is really good. “Right after someone did a great job, tell them that they did well in that specific instance”. Similar to the one minute praise, you should use it right after the mistake was made and be very specific. To show there are no hard feelings, include a note of appreciation in your criticism.
This form of criticism works well for three reasons:
- Your employees feel that their mistakes are being treated fairly and not with injustice.
- You both clear the air instantly and avoid dwelling on bad feelings.
- You remind your employee of their own worth and the valuable part they play in the organization.
Good learning and reiteration of what we are doing at school but still why do people fear to give or take feedback needs to be rethought.
My takeaway from this book – To put our thoughts into action. Our thoughts are the seeds for our growth. Good thoughts and actions are never the results of bad results. Likewise, bad thoughts and actions are never the results of good results. One’s thoughts also affect one’s physical health. One must have a purpose in life. Our thoughts must be linked with the purpose to accomplish it. One can only rise, conquer and achieve it by lifting up his thoughts.
I can connect – ‘As a Man Thinketh’ with the book – ‘Secret’.
“We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far” – Swami Vivekanda.
The book ” As a Man Thinketh” by James Allen focusses mainly on thoughts and the impact of thoughts on a person. He believes good thought can never produce bad results and bad thoughts can never produce good results. A person’s action is highly dependent on circumstances but that’s where control and good thoughts can influence a person’s action.
When a person begins to reflect upon his condition and questions himself diligently about his own existence as well as establishment, he actually becomes wise and implements his energies intelligently and converts his thoughts to meaningful actions, issues and results respectively. The author suggests to delete all the impure and useless thoughts in mind and instead convert right, pure and useful thoughts to action.
It is evident in the book that suffering is always the effect of wrong thought in some direction and it is surely an indication that the person is out of harmony with himself. The circumstances which a man experiences are the outcome of his own mental inharmony.
Hateful and negative thoughts can convert to habit of accusation and violence which can lead to injury or unwanted circumstances, whereas good and positive thoughts can lead to activities full of kindness, grace and take one through favorable circumstances.
The book – As a Man Thinketh by James Allen basically talks about 5 important key courses in our lives. They are:
1. Our thoughts are seeds that create our world – Many of us believe that our inner thoughts are secret and powerless. But the author James Allen has the opposite view—he says our thoughts shape us in more powerful ways than we expect. Our ways of thinking are a major force that slowly bends the course of our lives in a certain direction.
2. Our circumstances are shaped by our character – It’s us who should be deciding how to respond to the given situation.
3. Our desires direct the world we create around us – I have heard the line – “You always have a choice” many times through various means, but never really gave a serious thought to it till now.
4. We must earn things, not just wish for them – I would like to put it this line as – We must earn things and not just wish for them – because we deserve it.
5. Our thoughts even affect our physical health – Well this need not be explained much as we all have definately faced it in this recent times.
Overall, I felt that most of the key lessons are being practised – but not consistent. I guess this is a good reminder and time to pick up from where I left.
The book talks about how our thoughts are the prime factors that influences our actions. Good thoughts yield positive action and bad thought leads to futile efforts. Our mind is like a garden. Good thoughts can be cultivated in the garden like healthy seeds. These positive thoughts have a positive impact on our body which can not be attained sans the continuous purity in thoughts. One need not be a saint or opt for toiling efforts to the so-called cleaning of mind and body rather follow the simple procedure of devoting oneself in practicing these pure thoughts. Thoughts have a natural inclination towards the purpose of one’s life. It can act as the driving force, as the light throughout the tunnel for someone to aim their journey, to accomplish their goals in life.
Thoughts give the dreamer a vision, an aspirant the target, the sailor his port. Positive thoughts keep the body and mind in a sound form and ultimately shapes the future of an individual. Ultimate calmness and control over life are not achieved by materialistic gain rather a better control over the mind. He who has control over his thoughts and can channelize the same will have the answer to life’s most difficult questions.
Though the book overall has impactful content, I feel it initially hits the bulls-eye with the message it tries to convey but later loses the focus due to repetition. It also has a typical flavour of the books of moral science found in our traditional curriculum where things are taught black and white rather grey. If I compare it with other self-help books like “road less travelled” or “the 7 habits of highly effective people” that I have read, though the content is quite different, these books show multi-dimension of the problem to the reader and make it more realistic and convincing for the reader to associate with more real-life connection whereas “As a man thinketh” is more idealistic and theoretical. Overall, the book has a message that can be learnt and applied effectively.
Book: As a Man Thinketh
Author: James Allen
Key points from the chapters:
1. Dive deep in your inner soul and watch, control and alter your thoughts. Try understanding the effect of thoughts on yourself and study it. With patience and practice, you can work on your thoughts.
2. We cannot directly choose our circumstances but we can choose our thought indirectly shaping the circumstances.
3. Disease and health are rooted in thoughts you have. Fear and anxiety brings in ill health and disease. It is important to change thoughts to attain peace.
4.A legitimate purpose should be set and the focus should be set on that purpose. Even if the mind wanders it should be brought back to the purpose one has.
5.Achievements are results of definitely directed thoughts.
6. Cherish your visions and your ideals.
7.Calmness is a result of long and patient self-control.
My learning: You are the master of your own thoughts. Whether to control it or let it wander is in our hands.
Need to work on: Controlling thoughts as at times it becomes difficult to control them in certain situations.
There are a lot of people who say thoughts change your life and to some extent, I have experienced it but that is not all. There are many other factors that influence an individual. Attaining peace inside seems difficult at times. Maybe try the above points from the book and see what happens. It’s worth a try.