Dipesh Majumdar

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Book Review - License to live by Priya Kumar

I finished the book in 5 sittings. It is an easy-to-read book. Never will you feel bogged down, bored and not want to finish it... thanks to the suspense that Priya builds and maintains all the way through. The last few pages seem a little drawn out though.

It is about an emotionally bankrupt person who has everything - name, fame, good job, designation, bank balance etc... Yet who feels a vacuum within eating away her life slowly but surely. The depression seems very intense. Often this leads to suicidal contemplation. Then something unexpected happens...

She meets a mentor who guides her into a path of self-discovery through the form of a seven day coaching program. Very unique and different... because it is not something that the participants can only listen to or take notes of and finally write a small question and answer session and be done with. Happy you, happy me...see you bye-bye... till we meet in some other part of the world by some stroke of luck/coincidence... by kind of an abstract design by the creator.

Rather it is a no-nonsense stuff... it is something which entails active participation and absolute surrender to the instructions of the coach. No doubts, queries, whys, hows, whinny, pinnie. Carry out instructions in the same way they are laid out. It involves venturing out into the dark... very difficult and unknown missions and then writing about those at the end of each day. It pushes the participants beyond their limits of self-belief, fear, passion and hunger to succeed... which unveils another form of their own selves and surprises them with their own potential.

The coaching program has a set of rules that the participants are expected to abide by. At any cost. Any violation of those rules spells - DISQUALIFIED. And the hefty amount paid to enroll would go ashtray.

Some of the key lessons (not in the order of occurrence in the book but in the way I could recall) that we can learn from this beautiful book are -

1. You can choose the future as you wish and in accordance to that you have to live your present. For example if you want to be the number one TT player in the world, then you can't live your present by playing chess. The example is my addition!

2. You have to remain in the present all the time. For this you have to take up responsibilities on your own shoulder RIGHT NOW! Nobody should be responsible for what you are, who you are etc.

3. Let go of bitter memories, qualms and guilty feelings from past. Keep only fond memories and achievements.

2. Respect time. So much that you should turn up for your duty before time and consider being on time is as good as being late.

3. Reflect. Write. Think. Revise. Before retiring to bed reflect on your deeds and write about your experience. Make it a habit and preserve all that you write.

4. Many a times you will have to deal with a tough person, for example a tough boss. And you might think that the power is with him... the monster who pulls all the strings of your life and makes your life miserable. However the villain of your life is just carrying out another mission... and which is beyond your control. But your mission is within your control.

5. The sun simply goes by with its duty every day and makes its presence felt even when it is absent (i.e. at night). At this moment I remember a joke which goes like this (this is not from the book)- A man asks a boy which is more important sun or moon...the boy answers MOON. The man asks why? The boy answers... in the day time we don't need light. in the night when it is dark...we need light the most and the moon provides that. LOL.

The review above can never replace the original content and the impact that it can have on you. It is not another clichéd self-help books. It is different. A highly recommended one!

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