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  • Writer's pictureNishant Mittal

12th book of 2020: The One Thing by Gary Keller

I picked up this book due to some unexplainable reasons and soon realized that it was a 'self help' piece for very young people. Instead of lamenting this twist of fate, I changed my perspective and got in the shoes of an early teenager. How would the 13 year old Nishant feel if he read this book? That was my lens for this one. Verdict? Read on.

Self help books, though well meaning, are generally not very practical. They ask you to live a eutopic life like you're some kind of an insect under a microscope. Usually, people read one of these books and feel like they've had a rebirth. They're suddenly like Superheroes ready to turn things around! What happens next is just regular life for a few days and they're back to munching fried chips on the Sofa while watching the dumbest TV show there is. Why does this happen?

Human beings are peculiarly wired and there's no formula for making things work. What works for some can fall flat for others. What most of these books try to do is coming up with a template of success, and then, to back their "methods", cite examples of Batman, Superman, Jeff Bezos, etc. It's not supposed to work.

Despite all that, it's still Important to read some great books in this genre because you'll atleast know what the "ideal behaviour" is. If it goes against your inherent wiring, okay. But atleast know what it's all about.

The 13 year old Nishant would have probably loved this book. I imagine him getting "transformed" for a week before gradually becoming the same asshole that he was. Asshole, but with a few critical differences in self awareness and knowledge. He'll know what "the best" does to reach the top.

Your kids could read this.

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