Friday, January 17, 2014

Book Review : The Choice

Title : The Choice
Author : Eliyahu M. Goldratt
Publisher : Productivity and Quality Publishing
ISBN : 9788185984308

I read 'The Goal' by Eliyahu Goldratt some seventeen odd years back and the thing which stayed with me all these years is how simply the author made the business problems solvable. He defines Theory of Constraints in 'The Goal' and explains various concepts, constraints and bottlenecks through a practical example of Alex Rogo who is finding the problems at his professional and personal life highly overwhelming. 

The well-respected author is looked up to as a philosopher and thinker par excellence. He is also credited as an educator, a scientist and a business leader. Eli goads his readers and listeners to think and approach the problem with fresh look and pull it from hopelessness to feasible progress.

In 'The Choice' Eli elaborates upon his fundamental thought process and beliefs through a stimulating conversation with his daughter - Erfat.
The objective is to extrapolate this approach to every aspect of life in order to make one live a fulfilling and meaningful life and the beginning of doing that is to take full responsibility of one's life. In doing so, one must not aim for the simplicity of life because full life may not be directly proportional to leading a simple life.

Through a case study he lets his daughter peel layer after layer of logically and analytically approaching any scenario and not taking anything as irreparable or un-improvable. Efrat keeps populating her list of revelations  as she progresses under her father's guidance. By the end of the whole exercise, she sees no reason to not agree with the conclusions - people are good; every conflict can be removed rather than compromised; every situation, no matter how complex it initially looks, once understood, becomes exceedingly simple(Inherent Simplicity); every situation can be substantially improved, ever person can reach a full life, and there is always a win-win situation.

While working on developing this simple way of living, one must never lose touch with one's inner humble arrogance. "Humility to have the conviction that you don't know; arrogance to have the conviction that you can develop the knowledge." This simply stated belief if one develops will take care of various fancy feelings and emotions that hinder the path of progress and growth, eventually making the path of living a full life a far fetched dream.

As he suggests to his daughter, the way to make 'thinking clearly' a part of one's being is to - practice it regularly. "To practice you don’t choose a subject and free up the time to do a full analysis. That is not the right approach. You should use any opportunity to try and decipher the cause and effect. Be it a casual conversation with a stranger, a comment from your husband, or something that you are reading. You said that you are constantly thinking, and you are right, but that implies that you should try to constantly think clearly."

This book is highly recommended for all seeking business as well as personal solutions or even for those who are not looking for any solutions. The book is an easy and engaging read and guides the readers through an objective way of problem solving. 

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