The Books of 2018

Books by Oinam (2018)

I have a fascination with the novel by Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things. It is that one novel which I remember while starting to read serious fiction. Of course, I went through the usual teen-romance, teen-detectives, et al before I outgrew them soon enough in my early days. This year, I decided to re-read her book and it took me a really long time to finish it.

For quite a while, I’ve been practicing minimalism. Sometime last year, I decided to experiment with the idea of “essentialism” instead of just plain minimalism — stick to the essentials but pick the best possibilities in it. I like to consider minimalism as one of many ways to essentialism. I re-read Joshua Becker’s book – Simplify. If you’re into minimalism and want to explore more, you should also watch, Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things.

My target for 2018 was to read about 50 books but ended up short at about 40. Some were re-reads and it was a good decision. Going forward, instead of trying to read more, I’ll experiment with re-reading good ones and going deep into them — less but more quality time with each book.

I also continued with the habit of including physical versions of the books that I read. That is one way to make my daughters learn and practice “reading books”. Reading on a Kindle makes them feel like I’m just looking at another screen.

I have lined quite a list of interesting books for this year.

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Business Philosophy from Richard Branson

Richard Branson

Photo by ian_fromblighty

Richard BransonA British industrialist, best known for his Virgin brand of companies.

Today morning, while reading the newspaper Mint, I came across an article — Five rapid-fire questions about business philosophy from Richard Branson of the Virgin brand.

What struck me were few subtle points about entrepreneurship. Let me rephrase those few points that you might find it useful, not just to your entrepreneurial journey but to the way you do things in life. Of course, we all have read, heard of many good advise; this too is one of those good ones and hope it finds its place in your heart.

I’m not writing or re-writing the philosophy of Richard Branson here, but rather pulling out the subtleties that I liked most. I hope you will like them too.

  • Never look back in regret; move on to the next thing. The amount of time and energy you waste dwelling on failures would be better off being channeled into another project.
  • Do not criticize other people. It’s a poor reflection of your own character.
  • Be foolish! Make a fool of yourself and be in the front for people to notice you and your work. Face problems upfront and be there in the battlefield.
  • Take risks. “The brave may not live forever — but the cautious do not live at all.”
  • There are no such things as failures. Just be quick enough to learn that something is not going well and either change tack or close the business. Many entrepreneurs who succeeded, have skirted very close to ‘failures’.
  • Do not dwell on regrets, move on to positive things.