Surviving your serengeti - Book Review

Self-help books are of a strange kind. As I dusted my childhood book-racks looking for them inside my cranial nerves, I found several books which made me squirm with disbelief. Oh God! Did I read this?A strange sense of dispossession engulfed me as I looked at the covers of my trove of american self-help books, sumptuous fast food items stuffed with super sexy ideas, industrially processed with 99.9% fat and 0.1 % nutrition to achieve what it takes to live my big fat american dream.

My gullible mind had become addicted to these fast foods with the dangerous hope that the next big success in life was just inches away from the sexy formulae with a cute acronym I was mastering in my latest book. The aversion for such foods now seems inevitable as I began to grow up learning with bruises, facing the real reality which demanded skills which were seldom found in those sterealized books.

When I received Surviving your serengeti from my dear friend Kevin Small for blog review, I dropped my baggage and looked at it afresh. As my hands caressed the silken smooth cover of the book, there was something intense about the fierce cheetah at the center with its penetrating eyes which made me to pause and reflect at the wildness of my serengeti I have created in life with my fears, dreams and passions. Although serengeti reminded me of wild lands with predators baying for blood, as I began to read the fable, I was touched by its beauty and simplicity, pregnant with wisdom in one of the amazing spectacles of nature with millions of animals running a 1000-mile journey of survival in the largest migration of herd animals in the world. 

 As I began reading the wondrous journey to the gorgeous Serengeti plains of East Africa, with interesting insights about the nature and wildlands of Africa, I could not help but fantasizing my dream trip to Africa into the wild.

The fable illustrates seven instinctive skills in seven chapters to master personal and business life using the beautiful metaphors of African Animals. The metaphors stand refreshing with its simplicity without being resorted to a formula or a three-step mantra which could be mastered at the end of each chapter meant for every skill. The chapters however seem disconnected making the fable look like episodes highlighting the skill of the day. The fascinating thing about a metaphor involving animals' instincts, as I had written earlier, is that their survival depends on holding to these instincts. A cat knows if it doesn’t behave like a cat, it will die. The author beautifully shows us the mirror to look into ourselves through the animals which survive harsh conditions in the wild and find out our instincts which would help us survive and excel in this challenging world.  The skills are however presented one dimensionally leaving you hungry with insights into what it takes to imbibe these skills. I also couldn't fully appreciate with the way risk taking skill was presented using the mongoose. The author refers risk taking in post-facto terms where it seems like a well-planned, calculated move. It reminded me of the whole myth surrounding courage. When somebody does a courageous act, at the spur of the moment, he simply acts instinctively. Its only after the act we tend to label it courageous. In the same vein, its impossible to take a risk fully comprehending the pros and cons involved. Post-facto, we may want to delight ourselves in analyzing how calculated our risks were. 


At a time when zillions of self-help books, available for every human activity, come  packaged with high testosterone content which leaves you charged up until you get back to your real world, this book's unpretentious simple message gives you the space to examine the reality. 


 You can take the quiz to discover your instinctive skills  at www.WhatAnimalAmI.com.
Information about the book as well as the author’s blog can be found at www.SerengetiBook.com

To buy the book click here

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