Sunday, January 4, 2009

Analysis of (Wings of fire) book


Name of the book; Wings of fire
Written by; Arun Tiwari

This book is an autobiography of APJ Abdul Kalam, ex-president of India known as the president of the people as well as a great missile scientist and rocket engineer. This book is a bit difficult to read especially for non-science people because the book carries many scientific terms which makes it a little bit complicated to understand easily, but over all it is an interesting and very advantageous book to read.


In this book Dr. Kalam has talked about various other matters besides his life’s story and achievements. He doesn’t talk only about his life and achievements but conveys a very deep message that inspires people and gives remedial steps for the educated, experienced and senior people (especially to today’s leaders and mangers) in order to improve and develop.
In fact that is one of the main reasons which encouraged me to analyze this book through my cognition. From my point of view APJ Abdul Kalam wants to convey the following messages to the people of the world, not I suppose only to Indians through this book;


1. The possibility of achievements in everyone’s life
Every thing is possible to be achieved for anyone and every human being has got the capability and competency of doing some or the other thing the only things an achiever requires are; first the desire of doing something within him, second the belief that he can achieve it and the last but not the lest is the expectation from what ever the achiever does. So I can conclude that we all are equal regardless of class (economic status), culture, language and etc if we cultivate the above mentioned forces in ourselves.


2. The relationship in between spirituality, science and achievements
Actually science is sourcing from the religion itself only but unfortunately people misperceive it. The spirituality protects us from depression while achieving our goals and relieves us, as well as gives us patience against failure and difficulties. It gives us hopes of achieving our dreams. He himself is a very spiritual person, as he mentions through out the book. (The quotes are given at the end)


3. The leaders & leadership, the managers & management
A leadership of trust is required for leaders to develop the competencies of the followers and allow them to do things by their own in order to get motivated and learn by their own, from their own mistakes. Interact with the followers discuss and exchange the views and problems instead of giving directions, and involve them directly in problem solving. This is what leadership is!

As I went through three forth of this book, I found Abdul Kalam as a great leader and manager of the nation rather than a scientist and an engineer even though he is a real engineer (So he is both a successful engineer and a transformative leader). The way he inspires the nation and each and every individual of the society through out this book in a very wise and patient manner is incredible.


Even through out his life he has always focused on, how people should achieve their goals and how they should be led. He has pointed out some of the weak points of the Indians for example; “What makes life in Indian organization difficult is the widespread prevalence of this very contemptuous pride. It stops us from listening to our juniors, subordinators and people down the line”.


When talking of management, he is an excellent manager knowing all the things required for a manger. He has talked about hands on and hands off approach, in order to mange the performance of a specialists’ team. He better knew how to manage the teams and teem-members; he has mentioned many times in the book in various ways that how people can be led and managed. There are more to tell about his personality.


And I would conclude by saying that; Abdul Kalam is not only an engineer or scientist but he is a great transformative leader and a successful manager as well.

The followings are some of the quotes I found interesting from wings of fire book;

1. Those things that hurt instruct. (from Benjamin Franklin)

2. To success in life and achieve results you must understand and master three mighty forces; a: desire, b: belief, c: expectation

3. All reasonable men adapt themselves to the world, only few unreasonable ones persist in trying to adapt the world to themselves. All the progress in the world depends on these unreasonable men and their innovative and often non-conformist actions. (George Bernard Shaw)

4. I wonder why some people tend to see science as something which takes man away from God. As I look at it, the path of science can always wind through the heart. For me, science has always been the path to spiritual enrichment and self-realization.

5. A good plan violently executed right now is far better than a perfect plan executed next week. (General George Patton)

6. The best way to win was to not need to win. The best performances are accomplished when you are relaxed and free of doubt.

7. I often read Khalil Gibran, and always find his words full of wisdom. “Bread baked without love is a bitter bread that feeds but half a man’s hunger”–those who cannot work with their hearts achieve but a hollow, half-hearted success that breeds bitterness all around. If you are a writer who would secretly prefer to be a lawyer or a doctor, your written words will feed but half the hunger of your readers; if you are a teacher who would rather be a businessman, your instructions will meet but half the need for knowledge of your students; if you are a scientist who hates science, your performance will satisfy but half the needs of your mission.

8. I have always considered the price of perfection prohibitive and allowed mistakes as a part of the learning process. I prefer a dash of daring and persistence to perfection. I have always supported learning on the part of my team members by paying vigilant attention to each of their attempts, be they successful or unsuccessful.

9. To succeed in your mission, you must have single-minded devotion to your goal.


10. To live only for some unknown future is superficial. It is like climbing a mountain to reach the peak without experiencing its sides. The sides of the mountain sustain life, not the peak. This is where things grow, experience gained, and technologies are mastered. The importance of peak lies only in the fact that it defines the sides. So I went on towards the top, but always experiencing the sides. I had a long way to go but I was in no hurry. I went in little steps–just one step after another–but each step towards the top.

11. “God can do tremendous things through the person who doesn’t care about who gets the credit. Ego involvement must go,” writes [Robert] Schuller. “Before God trusts you with success, you have to prove yourself humble enough to handle the big prize.”

12. It has been my personal experience that the true flavor, the real fun, and the continuous excitement of work lies in the process of doing it rather than in having it over and done with.


13. Life is a difficult game. You can win it only by retaining your birthright to be a person. And to retain this right, you will have to be willing to take the social or external risks involved in ignoring pressures to do things the way others say they should be done.


14. Total commitment is the common denominator among all successful men and women. Are you able to manage the stresses you encounter in your life? The difference between an energetic and a confused person is the difference in the way their minds handle their experiences. Man needs his difficulties because they are necessary to enjoy success. All of us carry some sort of super-intelligence within us. Let it be stimulated to enable us examine our deepest thoughts, desires, and beliefs.

15. I have used the word ‘flow’ at many places without really elaborating its meaning. What is this flow? And what are these joys? I could call them moments of magic. I see an analogy between these moments and the high that you experience when you play badminton or go jogging. Flow is a sensation we experience when we act with total involvement. During flow, action follows action according to an internal logic that seems to need no conscious intervention on the part of the worker. There is no hurry; there are no distracting demands on one’s attention. The past and the future disappear. So does the distinction between self and the activity.

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Neha Sharma said...

This is the most inspiring book I have ever read. Great salute to the man for his contribution to Indian Rocketry.I would like to recall few lines from book.
1. What you imagine, is what you transpire.What you believe is what you achieve.
2. A good plan executed violently right now is far better than a perfect plan executed next week.
3. Once your mind stretches to a new level it never goes back to its original dimension.
4. Adversities always presents opportunities for introspection.
and the most inspiring line is..

"We all are born with divine fire in us.Our efforts should be to give wings to this fire and fill the world with glow of its goodness."

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