Reading: Sheryl Sandberg’s ‘Lean In’

Internal obstacles are rarely discussed and often underplayed. Throughout my life, I was told over and over about inequalities in the workplace and how hard it would be to have a career and a family. I rarely heard anything, however, about the ways I might hold myself back. These internal obstacles deserve a lot more attention, in part because they are under our own control. We can dismantle the hurdles in ourselves today. We can start this very moment. – Sheryl Sandberg

I got the acclaimed Sheryl Sandberg’s book ‘Lean In’ last June during one of the Bank’s events for the female staff members. Mentor, speaker, corporate titan, Morin Desalu of WIMBIZ, had given a copy each to those who came out tops in the exercises she had engaged the audience in. I was on duty covering the event and couldn’t really jump in on these but I really wanted a copy. My first thought was to ‘find time’ to go to the bookshop or order it online until she announced that anyone who had participated in any of the exercises or felt they deserved a copy should come get one. And so I did, autographed as well. I deserved a copy.

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I just read the introduction today and it has had me nodding several times. Life presents a bouquet of obstacles along with every other thing it offers. But those that truly keep us stranded stem from within us. These arise from what we’ve made ourselves believe or what we’ve closed our minds from considering. There are so many things we deserve to do and have that we don’t even contemplate. The society and institutions do play their parts but if you don’t know that you can want something or have a desire to be something, you cannot demand or work for it.

I am excited about this book. For one, I expect to be challenged even more as I step out to do things that have been ‘in the works’ for years. To find more of self, discover those internal limitations along the way and redirect the force that has kept them locked in for so long. There is beauty and enhanced confidence in discovering strength on a daily basis, even in the small things.

 It took me six months to get to it because I wanted to finish with Gladwell’s ‘Blink’ and then ‘Outliers’ before reading it. I still have a page marker in ‘Outliers’. Towards the end of Last year, I was plugged into tens of ‘TED Talks’. One of those that jabbed me was Tai Lopez’s ‘Why I read a book a day’. How is that even possible? But it is simple. He doesn’t put himself under pressure to finish the entire book. He says, ‘Stop seeing a book as a onetime thing. See a book like a friend’. You can’t know all about a person in one encounter. Same with a book. It’s really too much work and futile to say the least. But a leave a time, find something valuable and use it.

I am taking it one chapter at a time. I may throw in a thriller or subtle drama or one on spiritual growth or romance in the middle. The important thing is making the lessons learnt count.

Do you have books just resting on the shelf? Start reading. Or go buy one.

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