A Book on Escape and Realization

A journey on personal development that is easy to connect to.

I read I’m another you for the first time in 2014 during my second year of undergrad when working on my start-up. And since then, I’ve been back to it multiple times whenever there was a need for motivation to get out of misery.

When I started thinking about Personal Development in college, I went back and forth on multiple books, which suggested steps that could be followed. However, I didn’t find it easy to apply all such action items and follow a schedule. Many such ideas made me feel unreal and superficial. Not that I didn’t find good books in this domain, like Life by Design by Rick Brinkman, I was still looking for a personal experience that I’d feel a close connection to.

At a time when I didn’t have any close friends, and I felt looking for a direction to invest my energy in, my eyes fell on “I’m Another You” by author Priya Kumar in my school library. It gave me a close connection to personal development that I was longing for.

In this book, the author, having lost her business and relationship to betrayals, flies from India to Amsterdam, in pursuit of an escape expecting happiness in the form of freedom. The detailed descriptions of all those moments with a remembrance of repressed memories, restless resentment, feeling of betrayal, and extreme desire for a deep connection with the cosmos that does not judge — is hypnotic and leaves me with want to reread it every-time.

She meets Shamans in the Netherlands and follows various spiritual practices for self-realization and liberation, many of which she finds odd. There’s also a hint of culture shock.

Whenever I read it, I feel hooked as I think they yearn for liberation and the protagonist. I like how the author has focused on outcomes and her thoughts at the time of practice as it does not leave the reader confused as it does not feel advertising any spiritual tradition. The author often goes back and forth as well — feeling freedom, then misery because of little setback — and again — during her stay with Shamans, which I think could be detailed a bit more. Anyhow, they make the experience a lot more realistic to follow.

I’d strongly recommend this book to anyone looking for motivation to steer through harder times in life. I’d also suggest this to anyone looking for a reading of autobiographical experience with a happier ending.