3 Favourite Novels of Bill Gates will make you rethink about life

More than a book reader, I am a book collector. My week does not pass without checking book recommendations. I developed this obsession for the fear of missing out on the good books. Also reading the recommendations by other writers, it gives me a confidence that the books I am reading are going to help me in life.
During one such hunt of mine, I came across the list of favourite books of Bill Gates. I was surprised that a person like Bill Gates spends his time on reading novels which are usually meant to lose yourself in a fantasy world when the real world is full of problems. The only times I ever finished a novel by reading it over night was for thrillers. Here I was reading novels I don’t even know which genre they belong to without taking a break. No doubt they were worth the time of Bill Gates.
So what are they?

1.Hyperbole and a Half

By Allie Brosh
Print Copy
I did not know that human emotions can be narrated in a funny way until I read this book. I could relate to almost all the irrational things mentioned in this book. I did all of them at different points of my life. Yeah! I was foolish just like her. Everyone goes through the bad. But the way you narrate, the way you perceive it makes all the difference. I can look at my past behaviour and hate myself for being so lame. But she looked at herself with a lighter heart and made her readers laugh till their stomachs hurt. Everyone who saw me read the book thought that I was hysteric. To summarise the book in a sentence, it is a book which touches upon the deep aspects of human behaviour and even tells you how to correct them. It is just that you should not read it superficially but look at the deeper meaning the author wants to convey.

2.The Rosie Project: A Novel by Graeme Simsion

By Graeme Simsion
Print Copy
Don’t read the plot before you read the book. It is a book which needs to be read with an open mind. If you are an introvert who is working on improving life quality, you will relate to it totally. The author shows that you can become an expert in anything just by being curious and learning the details of it. It reminded me the way I pour through books and learn everything by reading. Self-learning is a skill which is in demand in the current world.

3.The Rosie Effect: A Novel by Graeme Simsion

By Graeme Simsion
Print Copy
It is the continuation of the previous book. This book tells you about the practicalities of life. It shows you how difficult  it is to lead a perfect family life with your organised schedule. It tells you how knowing psychology and thinking from others perspective is the easiest way to solve problems in life. Insecurities in life will only make life harder and not easier.
Both the books by Graeme Simsion will make you laugh hard at life. I am eagerly waiting for the next book in this series.
Which novel made you rethink about life? I want to read many more such books. Do let me know in the comments section.
Happy reading!

How to deal with Rejection

Girl Friend : (At the end of 7 years of a relationship) – It is all over !
Boy Friend : Feels dumped

Interviewer : You are not selected!
Interviewee: Feels rejected

I : Can you please help me with this?
Friend: I am busy!
I : No one wants to help me

The situation might be different. But the emotion felt was the same. Were they actually rejected?

Dictionary defines rejection as a refusal to accept a proposal. Doesn’t the other person have the freedom to accept or refuse our proposal? Yet we feel so much pain. According to Guy Winch,the author of “Emotional First Aid”, a rejection inflicts as much pain as stabbing in the chest. A person who takes a pain killer feels a lesser amount of pain than a person who does not during rejection.

Why does rejection cause so much pain?

In ancient times, man was a part of a tribe and rejection from that tribe meant denial of food and other resources. This led to the strong response system by the brain for rejection.
The above mentioned situations are worth feeling the pain. But surprisingly, we feel pain for even small amount of rejection too.  A social experiment in which a ball was not tossed to the player when it was being exchanged among 3 strangers caused as much pain as being dumped in a relation.

Rejection affects us in a lot of negative ways:
  • Affects our thinking
  • Floods us with anger
  • Erodes our self-confidence
  • Destabilizes our sense of belonging
What is the solution for such a big problem?

Will hating the other person help?

The solution is simple. Recognizing that rejection is self-inflicted will solve the major part of the problem. As I mentioned before, the other person has the choice to behave based on his circumstances. It is your choice to decide how to take it.

Maybe that girlfriend was suffering from a terminal disease and did not want you to feel depressed for a lifetime by marrying you?

Maybe the employer who interviewed you did not require as good as a skill set you possessed?

Maybe your friend was actually in a crisis situation when you asked out for a help?

Whatever might be the reason, you can choose to think it in the positive light.

Action list for handling rejection:


  • When rejection barges into your brain, don’t welcome it by saying “Hi! How are you?” instead say “You are not allowed in here”. Tell yourself that others might have been in a tough situation when they rejected you.
  • Every day write down a few good things about yourself. Explain in detail why you think you are good. When rejection makes an entry, open this list and read it to yourself
  • Replace the feeling of rejection with a positive feeling. If your friend is not ready to talk to you, spend some time with your siblings. If your team left for lunch at the office without calling you, ask your parents for a surprise lunch with you.

After you feel better, evaluate yourself truly. See if you actually need to improve on the metrics on which you have been rejected on.
Rejection might look like an everyday affair. But if it is not attended on time, it might devastate you mentally! So please take care.

Note: The above post is only meant for handling everyday mild rejections. Please see a therapist if you have been facing rejection for a major time in your life.
Happy loving yourselves!

September in Review

I can’t believe that 9 months have already passed. This is the 6th month under review. Time flew fast. Today when I look back I have done a lot of new things which I would not have done if not for this accountability.

How did September go?

30-day Positive Challenge
This was a much needed challenge for me. It changed the way I deal with life. Not a day went smooth. Probably life was like that previously too. But as I was mindful, I am able to pinpoint it now. It was a true test of being positive in the negative and I successfully passed the test with a few failures here and there.
Sub challenges of positivity:
I learned to smile more. Whenever I was verge on going into negativity, I forced a smile on my face. I put a reminder on my phone which asks me to smile. When I greet someone, I did it with a big smile on my face.
Even though I don’t read novels, I read two which the website claims as Bill Gates favourite books. They were Rosie project and Hyperbole and a half. I laughed so much throughout the books. They are amazing and are a must read. Rosie project was more about how a nerd launches a project in search of a life partner. Hyperbole and a half was a funny book with a deep meaning.
Gratitude journal:
I wrote at least one thing I was grateful for everyday. Most of the times it was for what my mom did for me.
Affirmations and Creative Visualization:
I was doing them on and off. At one point, I felt that visualization was preventing me from taking action because my mind thought that I have already accomplished the task for the day. I need to learnt the technique better before I implement it.
Watching a funny video a day:
I watched it for two days. Later on, I just could not find something of my taste. This requires deep hunting.
I did this for the first few days. Later it just slipped my mind because of the too many activities I was doing.
Food tracker
I avoided eating the small chocolates for the guilt of writing the processed food in my tracker.
Ted Talks
I have not watched ted talks every day. But I did watch them on most of the days. Even though all of them did not provide ideas, the ones which did give the ideas were life changing.
I spent more time on searching for books to read than actually reading the books I searched. I did not like a lot of books. I just read bits and pieces from multiple books apart from the three mentioned above.
I published 11 posts against the planned number of 15. Even though I wrote more than 11 articles, they are still in draft stage. I am just not able to bring structure to them.

Goals for October:

It is one of the ways to be more happy and lead a more fulfilling life according to Brene Brown, the shame researcher. It also a good way to get some exercise. I want to dance for a few minutes three times a week. This also gives me a chance to learn steps to my favourite songs.
Even though I try to be, I am not really an organised person. My handbag is the biggest clutter. I can’t even find my ID card in it on a few days. I wear the same clothes every week because they are the only ones on the top of the shelf. I can’t find a file in my computer because I don’t have good organizing habits. A lot of frustration in my life can be eliminated if I learn to be more organised. It is not only about organizing it but also learning to keeping back things at the same place. Even though it is said that clutter enhances creativity, I want to try being an organised person.  
In order to write better, I need a good vocabulary. I use Knudge me app to learn new words. But what about synonyms of common words? In one sentence, ‘play’ might be apt but in another sentence ‘act’ might be apt. It is important to be able to recollect what is the best word that can fit in a sentence. I am going to take one word a day and do this exercise for next 30 days.
Creativity exercise:
How many ways can you use a brick? Write down your creative ideas in 90 seconds. I want to take an arbitrary object daily and write its uses to expand my creativity muscle.
Expand my knowledge:
You are not really smart if you are uni-dimensional. My friend requested me to write 200 words on ‘Which company will I invest in for 10 years apart from FMCG?’. I went blank. I did not know where to start from. That incident drove me to start learning basics of finance. In order to learn finance, I will

  • Read one book on it
  • Do one course on it
  • Learn one term per day from Investopedia
  • Search for the best blogs on it
  • Find a site which allows mock investing

I almost forgot that Coursera exists. A lot of courses are now only for premium members. Before they start making the courses I want to do inaccessible for free, I want to do them. I registered for four of them. My goal is to spend at least 10 minutes a day in learning.
I felt flattered when my colleagues complimented me for the way I speak in Tamil now. I feel sad that my learning has become stagnant. In order to expand the ways I can learn, I want to learn tamil alphabet this month.
How was your September? What are your plans for October? I am waiting to hear you in the comments section.
Happy October!