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Know Thyself

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By Pradeep Singh

Man being a social animal is nevertheless perpetually in search of his inner self. The more cerebral and sensitive of our ancestors have delved deep into their subconscious to fathom what lies there that stirs periodically to lead one’s thoughts away from the mundane only to come back better prepared to conduct one’s self more productively, ethically and stronger to face the challenges of the world.

Starting with the Greeks, the Chinese and the Indians, be it Socrates, Aristotle, Plutarch or Confucius or Mahavir or Gautam Buddha, these elevated souls strove to unravel the workings of the human psyche. Knowing thyself was a lifelong quest with all of them and countless others who followed in their footsteps.

The grip of materialism that became accelerated with the Industrial Revolution has only reached unnerving proportions and today the need to know one’s self is becoming a survival skill.

One such effort has translated into a handy volume authored by a stalwart octogenarian and veteran finance executive with over three decades of experience, including years at the top corporate levels giving him the vantage position to actualise his hard earned lessons about self and self development. Krishan Aneja in his eighty plus years has worn numerous hats, about which he has also published an autobiography in 2015, titled “Karmath Jeevan”.

With umpteen experiences and insights about how the human mind works when faced with adversity, challenges and opportunities, Aneja has now excelled further and come out with an interesting book, ‘Know Thyself’.

In ‘Know Thyself’, Aneja shares several lessons learnt through introspection on day to day dilemmas, both, in personal life and on the professional front. His solutions to overcome adverse situations are those that he has tested himself and refined through introspection and by studying the efforts of legendary philosophers and great persons, whose epigrams he has quoted extensively but most appropriately driving home a valuable lesson.

An area that has special mention in Know Thyself is where he talks about the value of having a Role Model to emulate. But he cautions about eulogising role models and insists that, while respecting the role model, the relationship should be between equals so that one’s worth is not diminished. He also emphasises the need to have good relationships with others as the quality of relationship affects the quality of life.

But, in concluding, where Aneja excels is when he gives a master class in the post retirement phase of a professional, where the dynamics have altered and a new mindset and skill set is needed. Here he offers guidance and words of encouragement to face the world bravely and humanely. Readable, relatable and profitable is Krishan Aneja’s ‘Know Thyself’ published by Notion Press in May 2022.