What we learned from a ‘democratised’ book sharing session

I’ve always loved books. When my friends and I came up with the idea to host a book club, my past experience where a discussion was dominated by a few people made me cringe.

How can we make it more interactive, inclusive and diverse?

So, we decided to do a democratised book sharing session where everyone is welcome to share a book and its impact on their personal life.

This is the summary of the big ideas we shared (credit to Frankie Kok who took the notes):

1. Surrender to The Uncertainties in life

“When life’s way becomes your way, all the noise stops, there is great peace.” The Surrender Experiment

I shared how ‘The Surrender Experiment’ by Michael Singer taught me the power of letting go and accepting the things that can’t be changed in life. This book helped me gain clarity in the time of great uncertainties and navigate my life from being an auditor to a cafe consultant to a book author and writer.

2. Develop The Unbreakable Pillar in Life

Anas helped us grasp the essence of Stephen Covey’s ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ by explaining it with relatable analogy, graphs and examples. He drew a table to explain “begins with the end in mind” and the importance of building a strong pillar in life that support us no matter what happens to us e.g. job loss, the death of our love one, etc.

3. Great Work, Great Career

Frankie shared how Stephen Covey’s ‘Great Work, Great Career’ inspired him to move from a job seeker to a problem solver who created his own job in Australia. He remind us the importance of digging deep to discover the unlimited potential within us and take actions that are within our control to build a great career.

4. Business Model Generation
Denis shared how ‘Business Model Generation’ was a game changer for him, not only the book helped transform his business, it also helped him to made an important career decision and made him who he is right now. He taught us how to look at the big picture of a business as 9 building blocks and constant experiments and iterate to navigate the uncertainties in business and life.

5. Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future (Zoe)

Zoe shared the stories of Elon Musk, how he achieved the mission impossible and inspired her to read 40 books in a year. Elon Musk philosophy of never surrender in life represents big contrast to Micheal Singer’s idea and sparks an amazing discussion amongst the audience with lessons taken from amazing business leader like Steve Jobs.

We embrace diversities

From spirituality, personal development to entrepreneurship, we explored different school of thoughts in navigating life and career.

This was especially obvious when Frankie asked the group how do we define a great career. The millennials were drawn towards purpose and fulfilment while the entrepreneurs and Gen X focused on sustainability, aka ‘making money’.

We had an amusing moment when Zoe said that Elon Musk definitely wouldn’t surrender in everything he does. This led to further discussion about some of the best entrepreneurs in this era and their unpopular ‘temperament’.

We create our own reality

After listening to people who have lived through different life experiences and books from different authors, I was dazzled by the diversities of beliefs and questioned what is ‘right’.

This session is a great reminder that I need to establish my own fundamental values to be able to assess all the mental models and possibilities this world has to offer.

Do I want to be more like Michael Singer or Elon Musk?

Not all of us want the same thing to call it a fulfilling life. It’s important to know ourselves well enough in the first place so that we hold the power to create our own reality.

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