How and why do readers get attracted to titles like ' The Power of Positive Thinking', 'How to Stop Worrying and Start Living', "How to Win Friends and Influence People", "The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success"...!?
Recently, I came across Robin Sharma's inspirational novel The Monk who Sold His Ferrari , and that got me thinking. Why has this genre of inspirational writing become so popular and so hard to resist in the recent years? What makes the likes of Deepak Chopra, Robin Sharma, and Norman Vincent Peale into icons of the reader world overnight? Given that their writing does not have the lure of fiction, what is it about their writing that draws hordes of people to buy their books?
Not wanting to replace a novel on my 'to read' list by one of the aforementioned inspirational novels, I decided to read " Top 200 Secrets of Success and the Pillars of Self Mastery" a short piece in the same genre, and written by Robin Sharma, the author of The Monk who Sold His Ferrari. I could have put all of the 26 pages of the article here, but decided otherwise, since many among the 200 'secrets' are actually truths you already know, or else wisdom that you've heard often enough to be able to say it backwards; what is even worse is that some of those 'secrets' are repeated more than once in the 26 pages.
" Soak in a warm bath at the end of a productive day..." is one of the 'secrets' in this article, which makes me wonder whether these 'secrets of success' are aimed only at those who have the luxury of a tub in their bathrooms.
"Read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey..." is yet another secret Mr. Sharma shares with us, and that makes me wonder if this is how these writers promote and ensure the sales of each others books. There are a couple of others, like James Allen and Dennis Wholey, Mr. Sharma recommends you read, to ensure your 'success' and 'self mastery'.
There are many more of these 'secrets' that I'd like to draw your attention to, if only for some comic relief, but that would be attributing importance to a piece that doesn't inspire literary respect. In fact, a serious reader would be appalled at the sheer presumptuousness of the content of this piece, and at the audacity of the writer for having penned it.
I wonder whether to read The Monk who Sold his Ferrari...