BR 139: The Art of Possibility by Benjamin Zander and Rosamund Zander

Category: 1 – Read ASAP! (All Categories are 1 – Read ASAP!, 2 – BUY it!, 3 – SHELF it, 4 – SOMEDAY it)

Comments: The reason this book is in the top rung is not because it unearths some revolutionary or novel concept. It is because it advocates a way of thinking that has the power to revolutionize our life. Stephen Covey brought to light our ability to respond to situations (instead of just reacting to them) in his chapter “Be Proactive” but Ben and Roz take it to the next level by imploring us to make finding “possibility” a habit.

Top 3 learnings:

1. Remember rule no.6. Don’t take yourself so damn seriously. I need this on a plaque. šŸ™‚

2. Seeing possibility is a way of life. It’s the learning approach to life – possibility has this magical ring to it. And rightly so.. viewing everything we do from the lens of possibility may be hard work but adds so much in terms of happiness, creativity, fun, and joy.

3. When you make a mistake, say “HOW fascinating.” Again, this isn’t just a cosmetic change. It involves a fundamental change in the way we view mistakes. Hard to do.. but I’m hopeful I will be able to implement it.

Book notesĀ here

BR 138: His Needs Her Needs by William F Harley Jr

Category: 2 – BUY it! (All Categories are 1 – Read ASAP!, 2 – BUY it!, 3 – SHELF it, 4 – SOMEDAY it)

Comments: The only reason this book is not on the “Read ASAP” list is because it isn’t applicable to everyone. If you are married or due to get married soon, I’d suggest reading it. For best results, I’d suggest reading it with your partner.

My wife and I read this on our honeymoon and it’s served as a great way to start our journey as husband and wife. William F Harley completely “gets” marriages having been a successful counsellor for many decades. He does what great authors do – puts together a framework to help you think about what makes great marriages truly great. Fantastic book.

Top 3 Learnings

1. We all require our relationships to meet a collection of emotional needs. Some are much more important than others and men and women typically give importance to diametrically opposite needs. For example, top needs for women are affection, honesty and openness, intimate conversation, and financial support while top needs for men are sexual fulfillment, recreational companionship, physical attractiveness, etc.

2. Great marriages thrive when the needs of the spouse are consciously or unconsciously identified and met. When not met, the disgruntled spouse typically resorts to an affair which meets the need.

3. It’s okay to be “obvious” in trying to meet your partner’s needs. In fact, the obviousness works very well. For example, in the chapter on affection, we saw an example of “affection habits” that a wife wanted in her husband. So, the husband literally put together a list and began working on it every day till it became sub conscious. We are testing it out too and it seems to work really well.

Overall, superb book. We’re very glad we read it and we’re looking forward to “living” it.

Add on Mar 16, 2016: WeĀ did live the book. And, it has worked great for us. We still joke about some of the anecdotes from the book and talkĀ about our needs (from the exercise in the book).