Tag Archives: success

Reading Napolean Hill’s – Keys to Success

Napoleon Hill's Keys to Success: The 17 Principles of Personal AchievementNapoleon Hill’s Keys to Success: The 17 Principles of Personal Achievement by Napoleon Hill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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Having read Think and Grow Rich and quiet impressed by it, this was a natural choice to pick up from my wishlist. Napolean Hill does an amazing job in formulating the idea that we all have heard or seen practiced. However, we never got a chance study and condense them into these 17 principles that Napolean discusses. To mention them , they are:

  1. Have definite goals
  2. Form a team that actively improve by symbiosis
  3. Improve personality
  4. Have Faith with practice
  5. Do the extra work
  6. Be Initiative
  7. Have positive attitude
  8. Control enthusiasm
  9. Be disciplined
  10. Think based on facts
  11. Focus
  12. Inspire – Teamwork
  13. Learn from failures
  14. Be creative
  15. Be healthy
  16. Manage Time and Money
  17. Discipline the habits

This formulation works with any goal. I have personally experienced this by  revisiting some of my personal experiences where I set a goal and achieved it.  Though I had neither read this book at that time nor tried any self-analysis. But after reading the book it turns out true that I have actually followed most if not all the steps mentioned.

It is common sense that we are normally limited by resources at a specific time. Mostly these resources are monetary savings, emotional savings, personal health and accomplishments (read failures), facts available and the level of belief and confidence.

Like we notice with anything else, if we are really good at a particular thing we tend to perform better than the expected normal on other subject. Say , if you are a student in school. If you are really good in English you will definitely notice a great improvement in your social science or history test results because of your English and the confidence that it creates within you.

Habits are nice to have in which we auto pilot most of the stuff that we need done, so it becomes muscle memory than a strenuous mental computation process. This helps us put all the routine task to auto pilot so we focus on goals that need creativity and focus.


There are multiple other books that took some of these principles and expanded upon it.

Habits are nicely covered by Stephen R. Covey

Focus is touched upon by Cal Newport in Deep Work

Norman Vincent Peale had expanded upon power of positive thinking

Everyone has faced faith either by force or by habit, to realize it by applied faith and practice is upon the self. Whenever Napolean says about faith I pass through the paragraphs since I believe in something, that some people call religion. Every person has her/his own opinion and faith. If that works for them then look no further. This is de-facto covered by default.

I could easily relate to having used these principles in some of my job searched. The last search was highly effective. We had an awesome team of job seekers, all from my research group. All planning on graduating and we used to discuss our research and job search alike. Though we had different target graduation dates and goal deadline, we all achieved it. Did our graduation, defended thesis/defense, published it, got a job. The magic of working in groups and discussing is rare. To get such a group at the right time and to nourish and learn from the group was a great learning experience.


Throughout the 17 points listed , one theme is evident. That is control. A person in charge, in control of their destiny plans ahead, plans for failures, assimilates resources, focuses at the goal to be attained and devotes time, effort and resources in relentless pursuit with completely controlled enthusiasm. This is driven by positive attitude supported by discipline in actions and thoughts. This is exactly what the book articulates.

Overall this is a nice read, if you know something just skip that section and the book will yield what you picked it up for.


  • “Sharing” work in the Internet - This post is a book review for “Show your work” by Austin Kleon This is the TVC that comes first to mind about “sharing” Like the boy in ad, whatever our age, we do “sharing” for personal need/satisfaction/benefits , knowingly or not. Austin talks about the value in sharing work online, establishment of personal brand, […]
  • Blinked - Blink: The Power Of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell My rating: 3 of 5 stars View all my reviews I picked this up a second time. Thanks to Buffalo-Erie Public Library System for providing this free facility. Blink takes the reader through some case studies and associated case studies on snap-judgements and its base […]
  • Reading Napolean Hill’s – Keys to Success - Napoleon Hill’s Keys to Success: The 17 Principles of Personal Achievement by Napoleon Hill My rating: 4 of 5 stars View all my reviews   Having read Think and Grow Rich and quiet impressed by it, this was a natural choice to pick up from my wishlist. Napolean Hill does an amazing job in formulating […]
  • Book review: The Score Takes Care of Itself - This book on leadership based on American Football (ഇടികളി) coach Bill Walsh is best read as a leadership case study. The book was gifted to me as an employee by my company.  The style of writing is slow paced and boring. The connection between the real life experience of Bill Walsh as a coach and […]
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  • “So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love”: Book Review - Background My previous reads were “Biography of Steve Jobs: Walter Issacson“, ” Notes on Startups: Peter Thiel“, “Siddhartha : Herman Hesse”  and I can only wonder how this book connects with those. I came across the author Cal Newport due to the Happy Schools Blog. This book arrives in style, for  a job hunter in […]
  • Zero to One: Notes on Start Ups - Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel My rating: 4 of 5 stars View all my reviews I came across this book accidentally. My lab mate had this book on his table for a long time. I see it sometimes on this desk , even now. I […]
  • Great reference for life and sales - How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling by Frank Bettger My rating: 5 of 5 stars… View all my reviews I did not expect to give such a title for reviewing a book that had the ” How to ..” in its title. But the book “How I Raised Myself from […]
  • Narrative of the Blunder termed war - Brig.  J.P Dalvi gives a clear account of want exactly happened at the India- China war (1962), which was less than a war in his book, “The Himalayan Blunder”. The motivation to read this was reading about VK Krishna Menon , the then Defence Minister of India. The title given is great because it happened […]
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Posted by on November 20, 2017 in Book Review, Review, Uncategorized


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Fuel of life : ATP – A Targeted Plan

If you want to achieve something. Plan.

This is THE MOST important and first step to achieve your goals.

It is mentioned in all possible self help books that you can find.

Listing some

Think and grow Rich

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams & Reaching Your Destiny

Jumpstart Your Business: 10 Jolts to Ignite Your Entrepreneurial Spirit
Even “root” once said about PhD advisor’s motto

Decide what you want. Go get it


And Les Brown says that too.

Ambition is the most desired character in any field. That is in one way a natural trait of humans. “Ambitions unlimited” seem to be the genetic motto of humans. But by some circumstances people tend to be mediocre. Ambition boosts once self confidence. The end result of ambition, called “Success” is what people envy about. Never once have I heard people say that I envy someone’s ambition. The mediocre guy pretends ignorance to ambitions or act like a jealous Indian, forgetting conveniently that there is no limit to excel.  They overreact when someone says Plans can fail. They do not see that at the end of a failure there is success.  Thus, in a sequence not planning lead to non-failure, planning is often never done due to fear of failure. Even if texts which are centuries old, Bhagavad Gita, and later literature urge one that fear of failure should not be a deterrent to success.

Knowing this the very next best step to do is to decide. Though indecision, is also a decision. (Remembering Narasimha Rao‘s famous ” inaction is also action”). Some spritual schools may definitely believe in indecision as decision. Also, decision can be reached by this sort of elimination method.

Let us think what a decision can do.

We know that ambitious people have a plan, a focus , a decision. This decision leads to A Targeted Plan = ATP . Like the ATP molecules which are the energy units of the human body cells. A Targeted Plan can change the way of life. As the Inventor Charles Kettering said ” A Problem well stated in a problem half solved” . The decision leads to well stated target. This target leads to single-minded focus. Which helps us to stay organized around this central idea or theme. Focus is essential , as in cameras, to get the clear picture. The decision to follow the target plan, with persistence of effort naturally lead to the desired success. Some people are brilliant at multi-tasking, some are brilliant in coming to a decision fast, some are slow, some are great at choosing the right decision, some are excellent in analyzing the available choices to arrive at the decision. All the further activities are determined by the decided mind.

Ambitious people know their weakness. And work towards bettering it. Decision lets you prioritize and rearrange the tasks at hand. Decisions by ambitious keeps them moving.

Like the great Taxi driver who told about his son’s life.

“A motor without load will burn”

His son, he said, started like him, as a driver. He took bike on loan, paid it off, got a car on loan, paid the loan through his rides; took house on loan and paid it off by hard work. Because of this all banks are happy to lend him money. Because they know he has proven record of repayment on time. He said whatever his son has made is through his own hardwork and persistence, without anybody’s help. The load that he took upon himself , the ambition, made him a successful person that his father is proud of. Without that load of ambition the talents as a human would have burned and become useless.

The ambition of  person can be limitless. In fact, ambition should drive one towards a positive life, made possible by decisions and actions. No wonder truly ambitious people stay focused and achieve what they want.

Ten years back, when I wrote the Kerala Engineering , Agricultural and Medical Entrance Exam, I scored mediocre marks. A family friend asked me why you are not on the top. As was my track record in his perception. I said I was not decided on what I wanted. It reflects directly on the results. This is a fact. This is an experience. At the same time, I have achieved stuff on which I was ambitious, decided what I wanted and stood focused. Come what may, that ends up in success. The good thing about being ambition is same as that of education.

More education paves way for more venues to learn. As ambitions leads to success, that success paves way for more success. It is all a matter of persistence. And all we need is to keep the fuel of life or ATP well stocked in our tanks.


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Posted by on June 16, 2016 in Uncategorized


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Plan to fail; fail to succeed

Testing in various forms are but crude forms to weed out the wrong and promulgate the right way to things. It has been oft repeated and been in advertisements, that you fail faster to succeed sooner. Failing in this way is an art. The trial and error procedure of any test will lead to a systematic manner in which the failure can be arranged for. This systematic arrangement to fail act as a procedure how not to fail. Thus planning your failure is important.


How do you plan to fail? There are some very small steps to be taken.

If you are following a trial and error method of testing, you should be looking at the following:


– List down the number of possiblities

– Track the dependency paths

– Keep all options open

– Draw a tree or chart that gives the complete view of the possibilities and ways.

– Start testing and ticking off the methods that fail.

– Eliminate and get the possible ways forward

– Make a document, if possible with the charts and tracking points for further reference.


Each instance of failure if properly laid down can act as good guiding points for future planning and management. This can also act as a checkpoint where most of the possibilities in one particular branch of dependencies is tracked.

In a bottom up approach of testing by trial and error, in its simplest instance of printing out at every function entry , in software development, the steps mentioned above would be helpful.

But as responsible developers and managers know, they need the architecture or the overall view of the project  at hand for testing. This is top down approach. This makes use of the overall chart or tree that is suggested above. There are some nice presentation software such as Prezi ( which provide such visually illustrative vivid descriptions.


As the maxim goes. Make failure work for you. Let it push you to success. Failure is truly the stepping stone to success.


Also, as we have seen already, only the plan can fail

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Posted by on May 28, 2014 in Uncategorized


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