There are plenty of books on self improvement in the market but what sets Burra Venkatesham’s ‘Selfie of Success’ apart is its honest approach to an elusive pursuit in human life. Majority of the self-help books offer tips to achieve your desires and dreams in life. In contrast this book offers different perspectives to success and even draws your attention to its not-so-glamorous side, its pitfalls and the cost it extracts.
Venkatesham, an IAS officer who defied his humble rural beginnings and attained considerable success in his own life, studies success almost under a microscope and analyses its various aspects – its settings, syllabus, summary, signature and even the side-effects. An easy read in terms of language, one can either read it at one go, from cover to cover or delve right in the middle, selecting those chapter, titles of which arouse curiosity or interest. The author employed a unique narrative style, giving the impression of holding a mirror before success to allow self-assessment. The first person narrative becomes a clever ploy since the author personifies ‘Success’ to provide a holistic approach instead of assessing it only in social and economic contexts.
The life stories of acclaimed and famous personalities from diverse realms and age including Mahatma Gandhi, Escobar, Jack Ma, Ramoji Rao, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jackson who have achieved success in their respective domains have been included to provide greater insights to readers. The succeeding real life stories highlight each concept in a subtle way. For, instance in case of Oprah Winfrey, behind the glamour of her fame and success lies a difficult, even abusive childhood. This book serves to educate, inspire, motivate and also forewarn the reader that adopting deceitful methods to pursue success might be counter-productive.
Reviewed by Vijay K Beerval