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Every adult would have gone through at least one self-help book in their lifetime: Author Sheetal Nair

Dr Sheetal Nair's new book, The Monk's Secret, is a summation of techniques used by various psychologists, management gurus, spiritual gurus, and entrepreneurs to successfully manage one’s life in the best possible manner

Written by Jayashree Narayanan | Pune |
March 19, 2021 11:16:31 am
sheetal nair, author interview, indianexpressAuthor Dr Sheetal Nair on his new book and self-help literature genre. (Source: PR Handout; designed by Gargi Singh)

His debut book, The Midas Touch – 99 Pages To Acquire The Art Of Alchemy and Forge Champions, about leadership skills, was a 2020 bestseller. Now, author Dr Sheetal Nair is back with his latest offering — The Monk’s Secret — which is a summation of techniques used by various psychologists, management gurus, spiritual gurus and entrepreneurs to successfully manage one’s life in the best possible manner, especially reflecting on life in a pandemic.

In an interview with indianexpress.com, the 34-year-old — for whom “it is the value of everyday experiences and how we as a race should change our perspectives to deal with life” is what truly counts — explains more about his thought process, the self-help literature genre, and how all of us can learn to “enjoy life”.

Can you describe your journey to becoming an author?

I’ve always loved reading. Being a single child, books were the perfect companion for me. Growing up, Charles Dickens and O’ Henry had a huge impact on me, the way they showed the protagonist’s struggle and their relationships helped me understand how to navigate life. The impact these books, which were published years before my birth, had on me made me realise the power of words. I started off small by contributing to children’s magazines and then later onto reputed publications for my research work. And finally, I struck gold with my first bestseller.

What is the idea behind your new book?

I can say day-to-day experiences. I usually channelise what is happening around me or affecting people in general. Like my first book, The Midas Touch, was written when I realised trainers today had lost the meaning of real leadership, and they kept harping on concepts that had become outdated. My second book was a result of the pandemic and the mental impact it had on people; the negativity which had engulfed us as a race was beyond imagination. I felt that we as a race should focus on the positives and change our perspective. I’m inspired by the people around me and the situations they find themselves in.

The best part about them is that even though it’s a non-fiction work you shall feel that it’s like a story being narrated in first person with live examples for you to read, understand and implement.

Why did you decide to pursue the self-help book genre?

We are going through a time wherein so many changes are happening around us. It’s a volatile and uncertain world or as behavioural scientists call it a “VUCA” (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) world. With so many changes, the feeling that we all are lost is something that our entire race feels at some point or the other and I can vouch for a fact that you can ask any adult point-blank and they would affirm that they must have gone through at least one self-help book in their lifetime. This made me realise that the impact which I yearned to have will be magnified if I start addressing this genre of books. And hence the choice was clear.

There are a lot of self-help books available. How is your book different from the rest?

First and foremost, let me make a controversial declaration: my books are exactly similar to every self-help book you find around the corner. I don’t claim to be a stand-out in content. But, where my books differ is in delivery. Being a trainer and a coach, I have been able to simplify and explain the complicated concepts in a very simple language that can be comprehended by a layman. This is the lesson I learn from my first book which was very content heavy and I ended up curating a book that is both enjoyable as a read while also teaching you concepts that you can hold close to your heart.

Do ‘monk’ and self-help book titles go hand-in-hand?

The idea was to showcase whatever I have learned from my mentors and peers in the book. And I always have felt that these mentors are like my spiritual gurus whose thoughts and ideas have guided me through the thick and thin of life per se, and not too many people were able to acquire the same since their perspectives weren’t the same as ours. These ideas led me to the title The Monk’s Secret.

What’s next?

I’ve started my research on two topics, one which focuses on the impact spirituality has on our businesses, and the other on how our old architectural systems have survived the test of the times.

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