About the author:
Shweta Punj is a business journalist, a television host, and a social entrepreneur; and the associate editor at Business Today. A two part series authored by her on outsourcing was nominated for the Best Business Story Award – North America.
My thoughts on the cover:
I love the design, it is simple and understated but it shows, all you need to do when you are down is to turn your life upside down. The thumbs-down becomes a thumbs-up. It is all about perspective.
My thoughts on the book:
“Success and failure go hand in hand in the life of every person.” – That was the first line I read in the book, though it was part of an advance praise quote for this book by Kishore Biyani, founder of the Future Group. I think that kind of set the tone for what I was to read. Yes, I agree wholeheartedly with the quote, and I have experienced both so far in my life on a balanced proportion.
When I have failed, I have felt miserable and wanted to leave trying further. It is part of that immediate reaction phase perhaps. Reading this book has made me realize further that everybody has that phase, be it me or great leaders. And reading their life story has made me at least a little stronger as I continue to write my own each day.
The book has the tales of various leaders in the Indian scene, be it business or sport, film or social service. It speaks of their life story, the obstacles they faced – sometimes mental, sometimes physical, sometimes both – and conquered. I was most inspired by the story of Abhinav Bindra, Olympic Gold medalist and Sminu Jindal, CEO of Jindal SAW. The former inspired because he succeeded first, and then failed under the weight of expectations. He shared why he lost the second time, and I took the point from that lesson. The latter inspired in a very different way. Sminu faced obstacles not only physically but also in social perception. She battled both and won it. It took heart, and she had that.
That’s not to say the remaining stories in the book do not inspire me to do better. They do. And the way this book is organized, with takeaways at the end of each story, advice that we can try to incorporate into our life… it makes it a book worth keeping beside you for those times when you fail and want to give up, or even when you succeed and think of taking it easy afterward. I have no doubt whatsoever that this book goes into my favorites’ shelf, and it’ll stay with me for a long time.
Title: Why I Failed
Author: Shweta Punj
Publishers: Random House India
Price: INR. 199
(Aug 1st, 2013)