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From the Rat Race to Financial Freedom... A common man's journey
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Happiness Unlimited...How to be happy..always !!
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Dream On...Every setback is a little nudge from HIM to Dream On
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The Autobiography Of A Stock
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Thursday, January 21, 2016

36 Life Lessons from 'The Promise of a Pencil' by Adam Braun

"The Promise of a Pencil" by Adam Braun is a book that depicts the journey of an ordinary man bringing extraordinary change in the society just by the power of his dream and untiring efforts.
The riveting story of how a young man - Adam Braun - turned $25 into more than 200 schools around the world and the guiding steps anyone can take to lead a successful and significant life.

I, hereby, list down the Top 36 of my learnings from this epic book. These learnings are worded and appended in a way that makes it easier for most of us to understand and absorb.

So, here we go with the list of 36 of my Book Lessons from this book that influenced me immensely. 

(1) After your basic needs are met, Money does not matter until you have found meaning in your life.
Money is never the end, but a means to achieve the end. We tend to forget this simple fact since we tend to follow the herd, assuming that the entire herd cannot go wrong. What a big mistake. So go on, chase money but make sure that you set yourself financially free and secure your family. Once you have done that, there is no dire need to work for money. Let your money take care of your needs and you go on and chase your mission or purpose of life.
Recommended Read --> (Book) From the Rat Race to Financial Freedom

(2) Measure your life by purpose accomplished rather than profit accumulated.
How do you track your life today? How do you see whether you are on track to make this life a fulfilling and rewarding experience? By the money in your bank account? Or By the number of real estate assets that you possess? Another perspective is measuring our life by the number of lives elevated.
Recommended Read --> (Blogpost) How To Measure Life

(3) With hard work and persistence, after leaving the herd, massive selfish transformation is possible. 
What can one person do? One crazy person can change the world forever. Yes, it needs a lot of hard work, commitment, persistence and above all - a passion to get it done and the ability to dream big. If you are crazy enough, get set to leave the herd, chase your passion and keep going. Results have to follow. Obstacles have to give way.

(4) Haven't found your purpose yet? Have patience. It exists and hasn't yet been fulfilled. 
Each one of us is sent here on a specific purpose. If you have yet not discovered it, then keep trying, keep pushing for it. Your purpose on this planet is as unique as you are, and you should not rest unless you have discovered it. It will be a pity to live an unfulfilled life without understanding why you were sent.
Recommended Read --> (Book) Dream On

(5) Listening intensely is a far more value adding skill than speaking immensely. Be a great speaker. Be a greater listener.
When you speak, at best you share knowledge. When you listen, you acquire knowledge and become wiser. Be wise. Speak only when definitely required or you see a real value addition. 

(6) When your faith is tested, you have to believe that there will be light ahead and continue moving forward.
You cannot see the entire path as you embark on your mission and its beautiful journey. You have to have trust in GOD for it is HIS mission that is getting accomplished through you. HE will protect you. HE will also test you, but have faith in HIM and your own abilities. Continue to move forward.
Recommended Read --> (Blogpost) Unrelenting Conviction in your abilities
Recommended Read --> (Book) Dream On

(7) Our life, with all its luxuries, is a result of sacrifices by our past generations. We owe so much to them and to the world around us. 
Throw the concept of "self made" out of the window. If you ever thought that you have achieved any damn thing of only your own abilities, then please reset your mindset. There is nothing that we can achieve alone. Every achievement has to have many sacrifices and many scenarios working in your favor for it to manifest in the way you want. Forget about achievements. Whatever you are today - is a result of so many efforts and sacrifices from your past generations, which we so often tend to overlook. 
Recommended Read --> (Blogpost) The World's largest living organism also needs support

(8) A common need that spreads across cultures and countries, among wealthy and the poorest is the need for proper education for their children. Lack of access to education is not just a concern but a crime.
Nothing is going to change unless we change the way we think. And the best way to change the way we think is by changing the way our education system works. If we can ensure the 'right' education for all the children of the world, then for sure, we are doing the right investments. It is with the same reason that I have educating underprivileged children as one of my tools for elevating the society.

(9) The biggest of dreams often start with the smallest of asks. You can start something big no matter how small you begin.
Don't go by the size of the beginning. Go by its direction and whether it is aligned to your inner voice. A sprint runner never starts running from Day 1. If you are on the right path, your small beginning will be supported by the nature. It will become much bigger than you can ever imagine.

(10) Friends are the family you choose.

(11) Speak the language of the person you want to become.

(12) The statements from others that your mission is impossible is one of the surest ways to unite your team into a rebellious outfit that can go on to prove everyone wrong. 
Negative energy is a very powerful energy just if we know how to channelise the same to our advantage or towards the mission of our life. Stuck in a mindless rat race, I had to channelise all the negativity to break free.
Recommended Read --> (Blogpost) The Power of Negative Energy

(13) Find one person from the audience whose lit up the most listening to you. If you can motivate just 1 person in a room in every session, that's enough to create a revolution. 
Recommended Read --> (Blogpost) Can I change the World?

(14) You never realize the value of something until you face the prospect of losing it.
Whether it is life, or our loved ones, it is usually when you are faced with the prospect of losing it that you start valuing it. If we can start valuing them much before, we can live a truly fulfilled life, free of regrets.

(15) When you are a part of something that you truly cherish, you have to defend it against many outside distractions and temptations. Whenever faced with competing opportunities, always be guided by your Values rather than perceived necessities.
Stay focussed on one goal that obsesses you. Your ability to succeed in life will not be judged by the number of 'Yes' but by the number of 'No' that you pose to anything that does not progress you in pursuit of your goal. And if at any stage, you feel you are not sure whether to say Yes or No, go back to your Value System and ask. The answer will be forthcoming.
Recommended Read --> (Book) The One Thing

(16) If you want to be realistic, go somewhere else. This is a place for dreamers.
Dreamers do tend to do things which are extraordinary, which are against the herd and sometimes which are out of the social thinking arena. But that is what makes dreamers rare and special.
Recommended Read --> (Book) Dream On

(17) Creating something new is easy. Creating something that lasts is the challenge.

(18) What seems like overnight success actually takes years of hard work, toil, persistence, setbacks, failures and lots and lots of learning.

(19) Value every rupee you earn. Value every rupee you spend even more.
What you earn does not make you rich. What you save (by controlling your spending) and invest wisely is what makes you truly rich.
Recommended Read --> (Book) From the Rat Race to Financial Freedom

(20) In trying to protect the interests of an organization, never undermine the interest of the employees. They are the organization.

(21) We all make mistakes. It's the weak who make excuses too. 
Make mistakes. Learn from them. No excuses. There is a learning for you in every mistake. There is an art to learn from mistakes as well. Once you understand the art of learning from mistakes, you improve at a much faster pace than you can ever imagine.
Recommended Read --> (Blogpost) The Art of Learning from Mistakes
Recommended Read --> (Book) Happiness Unlimited

(22) Failure is a necessary step before achievement. In fact, it often accelerates it. Biggest opportunities are not found in the midst of success but in the methods through which we address failure.
Failure and setbacks are so vital for ultimate success and glory that they have a direct correlation. More setbacks you overcome, more is the probability of success. It is not the setbacks but the process of overcoming setbacks that makes you stronger and worthy of success. 
Recommended Read --> (Blogpost) Why do we get hurdles while chasing Goals?
Recommended Read --> (Book) Dream On

(23) Make the smaller decisions with your head and the bigger ones with your heart.
The intuition (the inner tutor) or the inner voice is always correct. It is the first voice that you get. Whenever faced with big decisions, trust it. You will be overwhelmed to know that Nature has already planned everything for you.

(24) Change your words to change your worth.
Irrespective of what you think, Words matter. And they matter a lot. Though the communication between two people involves both thought energy and spoken words, it is important that we do not undermine either of these.
Recommended Read --> (Book) Happiness Unlimited

(25) You may be safe but I am free.
It is not about safety. It is also not about money. It is about one of the most fundamental rights of a human being - Freedom. It is about expressing our life the way we love it. Those who are still devoid of it, may never realise the feeling of freedom.
Recommended Read --> (Book) From the Rat Race to Financial Freedom
Recommended Read --> (Blogpost) 3 Corners of a fulfilling life

(26) No one likes someone who is one dimensional.
Have fun, Enjoy your journey. This is as important as passionately pursuing your goals. 

(27) If you want to go faster, go alone. If you want to go farther, go along with some one.

(28) The difference between good leaders and great leaders is in the detail.
Small things do make a big difference. And it is in the power of small things that the great leaders thrive.
Recommended Read --> (Book) The Small Big

(29) Establish or adopt a system where nothing falls through the cracks. Every follow up or response is critical. 
Keep improving every day. Be a better you today, than you were yesterday.

(30) The hardest climbs are the ones that yield the most rewards.
The harder the setback, the stronger it is going to make you - once you have managed it.

(31) The sexiest part of our body is our brain. 
If we THINK, we can achieve extraordinary results. Our mind is a great slave. Its really extraordinarily powerful. If we try and look for a solution, it will present many solutions to choose from. If we think a problem cannot be overcome, it will give us enough reasons to convince of the same.

(32) If your dreams don't scare you, they are not big enough.
When chasing dreams, you are bound to be uncomfortable in an uncharted path. The path will scare you. If not, you are still not out of your comfort zone.
Recommended Read --> (Blogpost) You will need to kick it hard

(33) Organisation growth is rarely linear. You can't look at the past to determine the future.

(34) The single most important factor for a youth is that they don't have the experience to know what is not possible. Your life should be a story that you are excited to share.

(35) The most direct route to Happiness is to create something for someone else.
Your goals, your passion, your mission. But hidden within all this is an unselfish desire to elevate lives around you. If that is what you are chasing, then you are bang on target to live a fulfilling and happy life. If it is still only about you and your goals, then you would need to tweak your ambitions a little bit.
Recommended Read --> (Book) Happiness Unlimited

(36) Inside every single person lies an extraordinary story waiting to unfold 
Each one of us, yes - every single one of us have been assigned a mission. Just that if we could believe in this, and unleash our story to the world, we can together make this world a much more beautiful place to live in. Yes, there will be obstacles sent directly by HIM, but each such obstacles and setback will guide you to DREAM ON
Recommended Read --> (Book) Dream On

Have you experienced some of these earlier? 
Do you have more such Lessons in life which can spark great results? If yes, write to me, and I will update my blog with the ones I feel go well with the topic.

Like the article? 
Do not hesitate to share. It can make a positive impact on someone's life.

Want to read learnings from other epic books that I have read? 

Then you may want to explore Book Lessons link.

We at "Elevate Your Life", believe in spreading life elevating messages across our society, and so are our books.


Manoj Arora
elevate your life...

Books to elevate your life


  1. Good one!! I finished reading 'the one thing' book after reading your blog. That was wonderful book. Now I'll pick this one. Great job Manoj

    1. Cheers Venkatagiri...Happy that it helped you :)