We often talk about various inspirational stuff including commencement speeches which fall in the “inspirational and motivational” category. Here are some of the other books in the same category we’ve reviewed so far.
- Keys – The HLP Way To A Regret-Free Life by Santosh Joshi.
- The Test of My Life: From Cricket to Cancer and Back by Yuvraj Singh with Sharda Ugra and Nishant Jeet Arora
- Unbreakable M. C. Mary Kom : An Autobiography by M. C. Mary Kom
Recently we came across a book named Stepping Stones: Taking Towards the Goal by debutante author Lubhna Dongre. This book also falls into the same category.
|Stepping Stones: Taking Towards the Goal
|Notion Press, Inc.; Published: (1 January 2018)
|# of Pages
344 (Paperback Edition)
3874.0 KB – 324 (Kindle Edition)
Let us take a look at the cover page.
Of course, we cannot judge a book by its cover (Lubhna talked about this saying in this book in detail), but it surely creates the first impression about the book and influence reading and/or purchase decisions. So we must talk about it. The cover page of this book is simple and effective and it suits the content of the book.
Reading this book is like reading the transcript of an inspirational Ted Talk. It is distributed in various segments and each segment has many chapters. The good thing about the book is you can start reading any chapter and you will have no continuity/discontinuity problem. Of course, the recommended way is to read it from beginning to end. But, in case you cannot find time to read the entire book in one go, then you can enjoy reading it in chunks also.
Almost every page of the book contains several lines which can be used as a motivational quote. Here is an example:
Whatever your dream is, don’t limit yourself just because you think it is impossible to achieve for you. But there is nothing here which is impossible for anyone.
Lubhna is very clear in her thoughts and she mastered the art of putting them in right way. For example, we all are aware with the term “comfort zone, but it is little tough to explain. Lubhna explains it in simple words:
Comfort zone is a risk free life when everything is going regularly and comfortably.
A good writer needs to be an avid reader too. Without making yourself rich with vocabulary, knowledge, information, experiences, and thoughts, you cannot express them. Lubhna shares that she is fortunate to be born to the parents who understand this fact. They let Lubhna buy, archive and most importantly read quality books since the early age. When you read her talking about the excessive use of mobile phones, especially by young kids, and why it should be very limited, you won’t be able to stop yourself from giving the credit for such thoughts to her growing up. Of course, her parents have created the foundation which she then started to shape into a thoughtful human being. Here is an assessment she has done about video games in the book:
The other satisfactions we get the videogames to competitiveness. We start to compare ourselves with other’s scores.
Here are some small yet meaningful punchlines from the book:
We are a treasure house in ourselves.
— — —
Your talent mean something to your but something else to others.
At the same time, she assessed the way of living, which the current generation is following, quite nicely. She talked about paying attention towards health and even eating habits. Because without a healthy body, you cannot work effectively. We all know this fact, but, we often ignore it till we reach the point when our body starts demanding attention due to wrong reasons.
In the walk of life, a few people actually give time to themselves.
At the same time, she doesn’t shy away from telling
Everyone is more concerned to look good than to be good.
She advocates the responsibility of returning something to the society for the greater good. She talks about various principles and possible ways of living one should follow. The following quote from the book reminded me a very similar thing Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, keep saying at various places
Work for a purpose.
This is probably the most philosophical line from the book:
It is difficult to live a life of significance and to make an impact on the society, but when one does he/she eventually achieve life’s purpose.
Constant learning is very essential. Here is how she expressed her thoughts about it:
When you stop to learn, you actually stop to live.
— — —
Self learning needs a high degree of motivation an willingness because there will be no one to judge you and teach; everything is to be done for personal betterment and for self improvement and helping others too.
She, however, makes it clear that learning is not just getting school/college degree(s).
Getting good grades are essential but more important is learning and understanding.
Like the above line where you may find a grammatical error, there are a few places where the things could have written in a better manner.
…, they are working hard for their needs and wants to fulfil their needs and their families.
She also fumbles at places when she started talking to the third person and suddenly the next line talks to the second person. Maybe she had recorded her thoughts or written down at places and when putting them together, she forgot to curate them. If such things are taken care of, the book could have been even better. Here is an example:
It is as if she lost her enthusiasm and …
This paragraph doesn’t connect with the next paragraph effectively.
When the author is freely expressing her views, some readers may see a little arrogance in the same. She however humbly explains her point at various places about the same. Some of the lines like the following are really worth remembering.
A wrong decision puts a person at a risk whether it is big or small.
She has contacted a large number of successful people to know their vision about success and how they have achieved it. She approached them to convey something worth sharing which can guide the readers in their journey of success. And she got responses from many such leaders from various professions. There is a segment containing such EMail/Letters which is worth reading. While there are so many political leaders, businessmen, motivational speakers, educationalist and other experts who’ve expressed their thoughts, I will mention those from the leaders of Indian armed forces. It is often considered that they are tough people and while living a tough life and guiding war operations and tactics and living a hard life they might not be getting time for reading or other such soft things. On the contrary, they all are well read, humble human beings. They all, almost unanimously expressed that “there is no shortcut to success”.
Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa mentions a poem by Rudyaard Keepling at the end of his letter. Admiral Sunil Lamba says that Success comes in different forms and hues, and one person’s concept of success different from another’s.. General Bipin Rawat suggest to
- Be honest and never cheat.
- Your parents will also stand for you so always listen to their advice.
- Respect your teachers, they are always your wellwishers.
The author has weaved all these messages and other motivational stuff which inspired her in her writing and attributed the same as well. It is interesting to see author sharing her photographs with some remarkable people she got a chance to meet with and/or influenced her. A small addition to that – her photo with her parents – will make the album complete.
Also, the readers may find book price quite high.
So, there are a few points where the book needs improvement but overall it is a nice read. An important thing which I kept to talk about at last is, Lubhna is a school student and she penned down the book at the age of 14. The clarity of her vision and thoughts at this age is remarkable. I wanted to talk about it at last because, otherwise, the rest of the article could have been read by the reader in that context. Emotions play a vital role in influencing us. And the discussion about book’s positive/negative attributes must be objective.
The book is not only for the youngsters seeking motivation or inspiration. If you read it carefully, you will find several parenting lessons also. For example, the author is living tuition-free life. Her parents didn’t stop her from reading non-course books. Even when there are board exams scheduled, she started writing the book and she was supported by her family. The healthy family environment made the author in growing up as a human being with a clear vision and keep reality check when implementing her thoughts into actions, which is very essential. The author aspires to become an IAS officer in her professional life and I am sure she can have a professional career as a motivational speaker as well 🙂 .
If you are looking for an inspirational and motivational reading experience, this book is a good choice. You may find it a little costly. It is of course not for light/time pass read. It is a book with a substance.
Quick Purchase Links:
- Buy Book From Amazon India – Paperback Edition
- Buy Book From Amazon India – Kindle Edition
- Buy Book From Amazon US – Paperback Edition
- Buy Book From Amazon US – Kindle Edition
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