Creativity and Personal Mastery

I have started to read the book Are You Ready to Succeed?: Unconventional Strategies to Achieving Personal Mastery in Business and Life by Srikumar S. Rao. I chanced across it because a sample chapter was featured on the Yoga Journal website. After reading a little and then checking out the book site, it immediately struck a cord. I have been looking for something like this since I finished my masters degree — strip away all the external crap and get down to the real basic of self-realization.

Cover pic of Are You Ready to Succeed

Rao comes at the subject of self-improvement (his MBA course is called Creativity and Personal Mastery) with the cool head of a professor of management, the intellectual rigor of an academic but the soul of Buddhist. His course was originally given at Long Island University, shifted to Columbia University Business School and exported to the London Business School. His approach keeps the book from sinking into a New Age touchy-feeliness or guru-style lessons. If anything, he is constantly warning you that if you’re not ready, the course or the book are not for you.

You should also check out the links to news articles and even audio feeds that give a quick read on Rao’s reputation, his MBA course and how the program developed.

You could probably read the 200 pages of the book in a weekend, but working your way through the text, doing the exercises, reflecting on the experience and absorbing it into your life, that can take months. As with Rao’s MBA course, it is just a first step in a long process of liberation.

It has a great reading list at the end of the book: A One-Year Reading List brings together 12 core texts, like Tolle’s The Power of Now, Capra’s The Tao of Physics and Coelho’s The Alchemist. Supplemental readings are organized around themes: Creativity, New Physics and Science, Business and Management, Mind over Matter, Life-changing Books, Paradigm Busters, and Thought Provokers. A few, I already had, but I quickly ordered three of the core texts. Each list entry has a paragraph describing Rao’s reason for including it.

Update: Rao currently hangs his hat at the Rao Institute. He has also published another book and has audio course (resources).