A book that doesn’t tell you to be perfect

I normally don’t get too affected by moral sermons. No, I did pass those “Moral Science” papers at school, but somehow those idealistic preachings and “pointers to life” from Shiv Kheras, Dale Carnegies and the like don’t survive in my mind for long. I always end up asking myself: what if all the people who read these books really applied each and every advice in their life? Will this world be full of flawless, successful, content people who have never seen any lows, any failure, any discomfort in their life.

The fact is: these sermons are so hefty and impractical, you may probably never be able to practice what they preach. In fact, they almost always tell you to become perfect beings. IMHO, their books wouldn’t have any misprints if the world were so perfect.

The Big MooOn the contrary, this book that I read recently, seemed different. It’s very unlike those books with sermons. “Stop doing things that hurt, ignore what authority figures tell you and…practice, practice, practice.”

Can you imagine such gem of thoughts coming out of 3 jokes that Uncle Shecky tells Ben. Well this is what “The Big Moo” is all about. It’s a book that’s edited by Seth Godin, a compilation of the experiences of 33 people (with names such as Malcolm Gladwell and Guy Kawasaki). But the real highlight of the book, as the tagline says, is that it doesn’t tell you to be “perfect” or something, instead it tells you how you or your organization can become remarkable. The anecdotes and observations tell you how people have just done simple things to remarkabilize their organizations, their lives and their career.

Amongst the many things that I liked in this book is that it’s concise and the articles are crisp, focused and unattributed. You can pick the book and practically start at any page, which is a boon for people like me who hate long mind-numbing chapters and long sittings. The book really dares you to take risks in life and ignore your critics, which is good probably for professionals and organizations alike and shows that good advice can really come from anyone. Picture an advice from a sex-therapist’s coming handy for a marketing company.

All in all, an astoundingly good book for which I must thank Seth, also for the 3 copies of the book he donated to the winners of Indibloggies (and that actually gave me the opportunity to read the book). Proceeds from the book’s sale go to charity so do buy a copy, if you can.

And lastly, an excerpt from the book that I liked immensely, it’s titled ‘What exactly are you afraid of?”

What exactly are you afraid of? Here is a list. You pick:

  • Getting yelled at by the boss
  • Getting fired
  • Not getting promoted
  • Doing the wrong thing
  • Getting caught using the copy machine after hours
  • Not knowing the right answer

Here’s the big news. If your strategy is to lie low, do your job, follow instructions, and hope that nobody notices you, (a) nobody will ever notice you, and (b) you’re actually increasing the chances of something bad happening.

If on then other hand you develop a reputation as the person who is always pushing the envelop, challenging the organization to go to next level and getting your influence to get good stuff done you’ve got the worlds best job security.

You can’t shrink your way to greatness.

God bloggers on the prowl?

David is back with interesting facts about the blogosphere. The figures may not be too accurate but the growth still seems bizarre to me, 70000 blogs created every day. Though the study shows that as much as 8% of these are spam or fake blogs, it is still a huge number! Technorati thinks that lot many Chinese bloggers are on the prowl but I suppose the God Bloggers would take away the crown next time.

The advent of media rich blogs

From their individualistic approach blogs have already emerged as a potent combined force with group blogs and the communities woven around them. Now some thought is being given perhaps to projecting it as your personal space that you would like to share with others, what they term as “social networking”. Audio, Photo and Mo-blogging had occupied a niche space. I am noticing a deliberate discussion on advent of media rich blogs like Bubbler.

I was recently startled to see my geocities sites shrunken to almost 70% of their existence with the hitherto popup Yahoo adverstiments proudly proclaiming the rest of the space. No, there is no X button around to close them. It gave an indication about Yahoo's lost interest in the static pages containing family pictures and recipes. Yahoo 360 degrees proves this apprehension. With Yahoo foraying into the blogging scene, I am unable to comprehend which way it is heading on to. Like Bubbler here too the USP is usage of all kinds of media and sharing them with friends, family and acquaintance. Blogger's individual space is going to be stalked soon.

Update: I think I overlooked that Yahoo does provide the option to shrink, if not close, the advertisement panes at geocities.