Chicken Soup for the Indian Soul: At Work by Jack Canfield
The byline says 101 stories of Entrepreneurship & Creativity at the workplace. This is what made me pick up this book Chicken Soup for the Indian Soul: At Work for reading. I have never been able to discover so many creativity stories in Indian corporate world. Though I am sure there are many more for entrepreneurship. So jumped on to see what stories the book tells. And this byline could not have been more wrong.
It contains ordinary stories that happen all around us, to us all the time. You are down and someone’s cheerful words pep us up and you are back on our track. Someone gives you an insight that proves useful. You go out of the way for completing a professional assignment and feel inspired about it. You get support from your family and friends for pursuing your career and you feel grateful for that. When you face a tough situation at work and you come out of it flying, you feel proud of yourself. You have situations where you have to choose between family and work and the dilemma kills you. And whichever you choose, you feel guilty for the other. And you overcome personal tragedies to chase your dreams.
You see someone quite different from you, like say someone who is always cheerful at work and are thankful to him or her for making the workplace more tolerable. You get insights while going through a challenging situation and you carry that insight with you for the rest of your life. These are everyday inspiration stories. Most stories are not life changing. One of the common themes across many stories is of leaving a well-paying job, usually in IT and taking up writing as a career. They talk about practical and social difficulties of taking an unconventional choice of career and dealing with the lowered finances. But as the storytellers say, if you keep following the success does come eventually.
Most stories are about human relationships. Some of them involve entrepreneurs, but not really the creativity or even entrepreneurial part of their stories. It is the human grit and determination angle of their stories. These are stories of people finding their calling, of people learning and inspiring. But have nothing to do with creativity and innovation, at least not the way I had expected them to be. This is the first Chicken Soup Series book and probably the last that I have read, so not sure, may be this is the format they follow for all the books.
Looks like the aim was to have exactly 101 stories, so there are few people who have multiple stories. Some of them are professional writers and have written 3 stories out of the same experience. A dental doctor takes the same context to tell three or four different stories, the same goes for the editor of a women’s magazine and one of the co-authors.
I found this book Chicken Soup for the Indian Soul: At Work, to be written for absolutely first time reader, a notch below the average self-help books. You may end up reading them if you know someone whose story appears there or like me if you get attracted to the catchy title.