‘How to Win’ was written by Shiv Khera, who is one of the world’s most influential speakers on attitude, leadership, motivation, and human values. His expertise lies in plunging deep into the minds of the audience and winning them over with his insights. Shiv Khera rose to prominence from the very bottom rung of the society. He was a car washer, Life Insurance agent, and a franchise operator before becoming a motivational speaker. He wanted to give something back to the society. He felt that he owed the society. He believes that if he had not been motivated by the speech of Norman Vincent Peale, he might still be washing others’ cars. This thought made Shiv Khera to volunteer his time in the Maximum Security Prisons of the United States of America. He began to teach those hardened criminals, the importance of attitude and self-esteem. When he saw the change in their lives, he decided to bring the same teaching to the outside world.
According to Shiv Khera, the way we feel about ourselves is called Self-esteem. He says that when a person feels good within himself or herself, their performance goes up. Their relationship with the people they encounter improves a lot. Khera believes that there is a direct correlation between the feelings and the behaviour of a person. Thus, he drives home the importance of building one’s self-esteem at the very beginning.
Shiv Khera talks about some methods in which a person may build his / her self-esteem. One of the fastest ways to do it is to help other people who are not in a position to pay back in any way. He cites an example from his life. He talks about the time he volunteered his time to teach attitude and self-esteem to prison inmates. Just two weeks after the programme commenced, an inmate met Khera and told him that he felt good about himself. He also added that he was going to be released from prison in a couple of weeks.
Shiv Khera was pleased and asked him to be specific about one change in his behaviour. The man said that he now read his Bible every day. Khera then asked him what he was going to do after being released. The inmate replied that he was going to try to be a contributing member of the society. Khera repeated the question. The man gave the same answer. Khera asked him the same question for the third time, as he was expecting a different answer. The man was angry and said that he was going to be a contributing member of the society. Shiv Khera pointed out the difference in his answers. The first and the second times, the man said that ‘he was going to try.’ But the third time, he said that ‘he was going to be.’ That made all the difference. If the inmate tried, he might still lose and come back to jail.
There was another inmate listening to this conversation. He asked Shiv Khera how much money was being paid to him for conducting these classes. Khera replied that the experience he got was worth much more than all the money in the world. The inmate persisted him, asking him why he then came here. Shiv Khera gave him a classic reply that would ring true for generations to come. He said that he had come there for his selfish reason, and that was to make this world a better place. This type of selfishness is healthy.
Another inmate approached Shiv Khera and said that his approach to other people’s business was wrong. He said that everyone should mind their own business. Khera replied that it was not so. He said that when a person who is under the influence of drugs drives a vehicle and crashes, if there is a guarantee that he would hurt only himself or herself, then he would mind his own business. But, when there was the possibility of him, his kids or anyone else being run over by that person, it was certainly his business.
Shiv Khera says that more harm has come into the world than good because of the phrase, ‘It is my life, I will do what I want.’ Some people ignore the spirit of the phrase and become selfish. We don’t live in an isolated place. What we do affects others and the society. We must be responsible. There are two types of people in this world, the takers, and the givers. The takers eat well, and the givers sleep well. The givers have high self-esteem, a positive attitude, and they serve the society. A person with a healthy personality will always give to others. Shiv Khera ends with the note that we mustn’t hesitate to give to others, especially to those who cannot pay us back.