"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference" - Robert Frost

October 28, 2013

Book Review: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens (Part 1)

Also one of the best books I've ever read.
Buku ini ditulis berdasarkan karya ayah si penulis (Sean Covey), yaitu Stephen R. Covey, yang berjudul "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People".

Let me tell you: this book is AWESOME!
It is written to guide teens, to be some kind of compass for teens to face the real life.

Sean Covey believes in the importance of habits. How habits can make you, and how habits can also break you. He reveals the seven habits happy and successful teens do.

The book itself is divided into four parts
On part one, we'll learn about paradigm and principles.
Part two is a kind of self-mastery (he called it "private victory"). It's how you build your strong-self. Three habits are discussed in this part. (Habit #1 Be Proactive, #2 Begin with the End in Mind, #3 First Things First)
Part three is about public victory. Habit 4, 5, 6 are discussed here. (Habit #4 Think Win/Win, #5 Understand first, then to be understood, #6 Sinergize)
Part four, the last one, is habit #7: Sharpen the Saw.

This book is well-written and really not boring to read at all! Eventhough it's written 'teens', the content is still relevant for those whose ages beyond teen (especially for those who are still not used to read non-fiction books). Ans then there's this "Baby Steps" part at the end of every chapter to make us understand more about what we've learned from what we've read, and to apply it in real life. So exciting!

Now now, I'm only going to give you a quick review about part one. Check it out! ;)
(P.S. I'm sorry if I write it gado-gado-ly with both English and Indonesian ya. Hehehe)

Paradigm and Principles: What You See is What You Get

So, what it Paradigm actually?
Paradigm's other name is perception. Paradigm is the way you see something, your view, your belief.
Paradigm is like an eye-glasses. The lens will affect how you see everything. And thet's why what you see is what you get.
Kata Sean Covey, we usually have three kinds of paradigms: about ourselves, about others, and about life.
Satu hal paling penting yang harus kita ketahui tentang paradigma adalah: Apakah paradigma yang kita punya membantu kita? Atau malah menghambat gerak kita?
If we want to make a big change in our life, the key is to change the paradigm.

About Principles
In this book, it's written: if you want to know what your paradigm is, you can ask yourself: "What's the booster source in my life? What do I mostly think about? Who/what is my obsession?"
Whatever it is that's most important for you will become the center of your life.
It can be friends, things, parents, school (lol), boyf/girlf, or anytyhing. But sometimes it's all not stable.
Like, when you depend your life on friends, think about this: what if they leave you? they got someone better to be their friends? they move to another city? they change? they stab you at the back?
Or, when you depend your life on things you have, I love how he puts such quote from anonymous: "If who I am depends on what I have, and what I have has all gone. then who am I?"

That's why Covey thinks we need a more, waaaaay much more stablething to be our center of life.
And what is that? Yes, you know it already. It's principles.
Dan "prinsip" itu sebenarnya apa sih?
Jujur, hormat sama orang lain, rasa bersyukur, itu prinsip. Integritas itu prinsip. Tanggung jawab, rasa sayang ke saudara atau siapapun, itu prinsip.
Principle never fails. 
Covey says: mendahulukan prinsip adalah kunci untuk lebih sukses dalam hal lainnya
Dan kalau kita melakukan sesuatu yang nggak sesuai prinsip, prinsip itu -cepat atau lambat- akanme ngejar kita. (Sejujurnya saya sendiri sudah pernah mengalami ini.)
"Untuk setiap masalah, carilah prinsip yang akan menyelesaikannya."

 *to be continued*

Jadi, tadi itu review saya tentang bagian pertama. See ya on part two!

October 23, 2013

Book Review: Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources by Martin Lings

punya saya warna merah, indonesian version hehehe
One of the best books I've ever read (so far).

Berawal dari cerita tentang kakek Nabi, Abdul Muththalib (yang namanya berarti: abdi Muththalib), hingga lahirnya Abdullah, ayah Nabi, pernikahan Abdullah dengan Aminah, lahirnya Nabi Muhammad dan perjalanan hidupnya sebagai pedagang, saat Nabi pertama kali mendapat wahyu, saat umat Islam hijrah ke Madinah (betapa beberapa umat Islam harus meninggalkan Mekah dengan diam-diam karena tidak diperbolehkan mengikuti Nabi), perang-perang yang terjadi untuk mempertahankan dan memperkuat Islam, hingga wafatnya Nabi dan diangkatnya Abu Bakar sebagai Khalifah.

I'm amazed at how Martin Lings gave us the most-detailed book ever written about Prophet Muhammad's life. Bahkan sampai ada percakapan antara Nabi Muhammad dengan orang-orang di sekitarnya, dan ucapan pengikut Nabi tentang Nabi. Ternyata, beliau (Martin Lings) menulis ini dengan memanfaatkan berbagai sumber (he was a historian, though, but still, this is a masterpiece!).

hen reading this book you'll surely feel happy, touched, blessed, sad and really grateful about Islam.
Saya pribadii mengalami semacam 'moodswing' ketika membaca buku ini. Kebahagiaan ketika Nabi lahir, feel proud of him when struggling to become entrepreneur (ketekunan dan kepercayaan yang dia dapat dari orang-orang hingga beliau mendapat gelar Al-Amin), merasakan kegigihan dan kesabaran beliau dalam mempertahankan Islam. Saya menangis ketika membaca wahyu (surat) yang diturunkan pada Nabi di peristiwa-peristiwa tertentu, ketika perang, Nabi menyemangati tentaranya untuk 'stay strong' dengan berkata "Jangan takut, jangan bersedih, sesungguhnya Allah bersama orang-orang yang sabar menghadapi cobaan". The saddest part yaitu di detik-detik beliau meninggal, saya seriusan nangis.

Buat yang pingin memahami Islam lebih dalam, dan juga buat yang lebih pingin sayang sama Islam, buku ini recommended banget!

Book Review: Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Outliers is Malcolm Gladwell's third book (the first that I read hehehe).
 It reveals the unusual secrets of success. Usually, success stories are related with dream, faith, hardwork, patience, zero-to-hero thing, and all. But as Malcolm Gladwell reads more and do researches more, success is not just that!

Can you imagine how your birthdate can be your chance to succeed?
How high-IQ people are not all successful?
How luck factor happened to make Bill Gates world's richest man?

And outliers is not all about success thingy. It also reveals weird facts too. The word 'outlier' itself means (as written in the book) "the people whose success achievement is beyond normal, following a weird and unexpected logic."

Ever wonder of why Asian kids are smarter than American/European ones? (yes, we are smarter than them, guys!)

I'm actually amazed at how Malcolm Gladwell writes such an informative, thesis-like writing and how he makes the readers to not easily get bored when reading the book. In fact, I wasn't get bored at all!

For those of you who don't know what to do, and want to read an easy-to-read yet fruitful book, you must read this.