The one book you should TOTALLY avoid reading

I recently read the book Megaliving! by Robin Sharma. I had earlier written about my experience in doing an experiment described in the book. You know the feeling when you are halfway through a movie and know it is terrible but still continue to watch it to poke fun at every loophole, well that is exactly how I felt while reading this book. After reading this book, I have decided not to waste my time any longer and unsubscribed from his mailing list. Had I not, the neurons in my brain would have paired up and shot each other. So what was so bad about the book that triggered such a visceral reaction in me?

Actually, there is nothing bad with the content of the book, it is the sheer debauchery of words under the pretence of self-help that bugs me the most. There are books stuffed with pages of unrelated information(read Dan Brown’s Inferno where he describes every pebble, pillar and grain of sand) but this is probably the first time the entire book is a fluff piece.

What should have been a 2000 word blog post has been blown to grotesque proportions to add another book to the Self-Help section.

Robin Sharma promises a life of mastery and success through Megaliving! by combining the teachings of the East and the West. The entire book revolves around improving these three areas of our lives:

  1. Mind
  2. Body
  3. Character

The entire book is split into two parts: the first speaks about the importance of identifying goals and how improving these three aspects would help us live a life of glory and abundance. The second part claims to be a 30-day action plan to revolutionise our life. If you thought that only the first half would be a soporific yarn, wait until you get to the second half. To give a gist of the what the reader can expect in the book, let me summarise the key points mentioned in the book:

Improving Mind

  • Breathing exercises
  • Meditation
  • Concentration exercises
  • Reading books
  • Stop gossiping
  • Think positively
  • Visualise your success
  • Affirmations

Improving Body

  • Eat lots of fruits and vegetables
  • Cut down on meat
  • Eliminate junk food
  • Go for a walk
  • Workout regularly — gym, yoga, sport, swimming, etc.
  • Get enough sleep (minimum 6 hours)

Improving character

  • Be kind
  • Practise gratitude
  • Journal every day
  • Be emphatic
  • Be honest
  • Surround yourself with the people who inspire you

Now you might be wondering why I said this book was not worth the paper it was printed on. These are all perfectly good suggestions and I do not have an ounce of doubt that a person’s life will become better by practising these.

The problem is the same thing has been repeated so many times I wonder if a someone fed a paragraph to a computer and it spit out a book with various combinations saying the same thing.

In the second half of the book, Robin outlines a 30 day plan tackling one attribute each day for improving the mind, the body and the character. There is a myriad of suggestions for each day derived from a permutation matrix of the above-listed points. There is no chance that any regular person would be able to tackle all the activities prescribed for a day unless he worked on it from dawn to dusk. Forget having a job, kids, family or any other responsibilities if you intend to try out each activity.

While I have nothing against seeking help to improve one’s life and with the plethora of books flooding the bookshelves each day, my intention is to save time, money and trouble for people who are already in pain and in need of help. What are some of the best self-help books that have truly helped you and how different were they from Megaliving!?

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