The Road Less Travelled and Think and Grow Rich are two books that I have read several times and that have greatly impacted my life in terms of how I think about success and how I have developed myself as a person over the years. The Road Less Travelled in particular has been instrumental in shaping my views about life, spirituality and living by the truth. Many decisions I have taken would have no doubt been very different had I not read these books.
I thought I would share some key lessons in summary form, that could also help you on your journey.
The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck is a book that combines spirituality and psychology to help readers live a more fulfilling life. The book focuses on the importance of self-discipline, personal growth, and a willingness to face and overcome obstacles in order to achieve true happiness and inner peace.
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, on the other hand, is a classic self-help book that focuses on achieving success and wealth by developing a positive mindset, setting clear goals, and taking persistent action.
Here are some key lessons from both books:
- Self-discipline is key: Both books emphasize the importance of self-discipline in achieving success and happiness. Peck argues that self-discipline is necessary for personal growth and that we must be willing to delay gratification and work through difficulties to achieve our goals. Hill similarly stresses the importance of self-discipline in achieving success, urging readers to cultivate habits of persistence and determination.
- Overcoming obstacles: Peck believes that life is difficult, and that we must face our problems head-on in order to grow and achieve happiness. Hill also emphasizes the importance of persistence and perseverance in overcoming obstacles and achieving success.
- Positive mindset: Hill argues that our thoughts and beliefs shape our reality, and that we must cultivate a positive mindset to achieve success. Peck also stresses the importance of positive thinking, but cautions that it must be balanced with a willingness to face reality and deal with problems as they arise.
- Goal setting: Both books emphasize the importance of setting clear goals and taking action to achieve them. Hill outlines a step-by-step process for setting and achieving goals, while Peck stresses the importance of developing a sense of purpose and direction in life.
- Personal growth: Peck argues that personal growth is a lifelong process that requires self-reflection, self-awareness, and a willingness to confront our own shortcomings. Hill similarly emphasizes the importance of personal growth and self-improvement in achieving success and happiness.
Overall, both The Road Less Traveled and Think and Grow Rich share similar themes of self-discipline, perseverance, positive thinking, goal setting, and personal growth. By combining the lessons from both books, you can gain a more holistic understanding of what it takes to achieve success and happiness in life.
“You are all you can be. Go on and be it!“
What we believe is strongly influenced by our desires and perceptions of life. Sometimes when dealing with other people we may be stuck between believing their actions or their words when there is a mismatch between the two. What do you do in such cases in order to properly navigate life and make the right decisions?
Many researchers, particulary emerging researchers, in their passion for their particular research areas fall into the trap of trying to do too much all at once. As a result, their research is not focused and may even have trouble attracting funding. Here are some things to consider when deciding on your research topic and getting it laser focused.
It is important to know exactly when you need to settle on a research approach. Sometimes there can be conflict between using qualitative methods or quantitative methods or using a mixed-method approach. At such times, it is important to reflect on what the purpose of your research is and how you want the two methods to work.
The saddest song I ever heard is actually a song I don’t know. I must have been 14 or 15 years old when I heard it. Night after night, day after day I heard it play in the bedroom across to mine. It was sad. On repeat. It gutted your soul and you could feel the pain in it. The only three words I remember from that song are:
“Baby come back”
It was my parents female friend playing it. It was on repeat because she could not sleep. She could not sleep because she was in excruciating physical pain that she could never escape. But that song spoke of a pain beyond the physical. An intense emotional pain. I was young, and had never experienced love nor that level of pain, but I felt it. It has haunted me since.
She came to visit us as a last hope to stay alive. She had come to Malawi in the hopes of finding a traditional healer that could cure or help her. Stories were rife in those days about such cures for her condition. Her legs were severely swollen. She could barely walk. In my medical school days years later I realised she must have had Kaposi’s sarcoma. It was one of the opportunistic infections brought on by HIV.
I knew then in my teens that she had lost her husband a while back. She had also lost her daughter, a beautiful girl who had been born blind due to German measles infection. Her greatest pain was no doubt losing them more than the physical pain she was enduring.
I had brief memories of her in my younger days – cheerful and full of life. I remember Mum going to visit her in her days in the UK with another friend of hers. The pictures looked like they had fun.
But here she was – in pain and unable to sleep. Unfortunately she came when my parents were out of the country. As the oldest child, they had left me some money to use for emergencies and cautioned me not to use it for any other purpose. When she asked me for some of it in order to go and get help for her condition I could not find it in me not to give it to her. She got the money and went on her quest before my parents came back home. I remember taking a scolding for that when they returned. But I was glad I helped her, even though something in me told me it was futile.
She only stayed a few days with us. I heard that she died barely a week or so later. That song echoed in my head and in my heart.
“Baby come back”
In my thirties when I suffered from severe nerve pain in my legs and could not sleep for days, weeks, months, those words haunted me in the night. I could relate to her pain, though something told me hers was so much worse. I heard the words:
“Baby come back”
That song has come to symbolise suffering to me. Torment. Melodious yet inciting so much dark emotion. I have never heard it since I was a teen. Searched for it, but cannot find it.
Which is just as well. I am not sure that when I hear it, I will be able to hold back the tears.
“Baby come back”
Yet, there was hope. Not for her, but for so many after her. That was in the days before antiretroviral therapy for HIV. It has prevented so many people from suffering the same fate. One can only be grateful for the progress that has been made in this area and the fact that for many who are HIV positive now, life is almost as normal as before. What a change.
Thinking of her just brings the reality of HIV in those early years. Behind those statistics are very personal and touching stories – people and their lives, hopes and dreams. The countless others affected by their loss.
I my work, I try to remember that always. These are not just numbers. I have found in traveling across the world that there are many professionals who see it this way too. You can see it in their passion and dedication to this work, often in tough conditions.
I was young and did not know what to do or say to help. If I could go back, I would go in that room, hold her hand and say:
“It will be alright.”