Award-winning social scientist and author, Dr. Renu Persaud recently released a new book, The Mastery of You: A Journey Toward the Understanding of Self
Dr. Persaud’s PhD research was on the importance of self-worth in becoming successful. Through that exploration and subsequent study, she has developed a set of tools and techniques to help anyone build confidence. These are now available in her new book.
The Mastery of You contains the formula for successful self-mastery. Simply put, Self-Mastery = Self Worth + Kindness. “My ultimate goal for humanity: the kindness revolution,” says Dr. Persaud. “Kindness will give you the measure of self-importance you want. It will give you the fulfilment you seek. You will feel your best, and this matters.” Dr. Persaud goes on to explain that the greatest form of betrayal is being unfaithful to yourself and failing to fulfill your own needs. You can be at your best for others only when you learn how to take care of yourself first. That is the paradox of selfishness.
The Mastery of You takes you on a journey of self-discovery, guiding you to develop inner self-confidence as you change your point of view from other- to self-centric. Through her deeply personal stories recounts, Dr. Persaud provides a very personal, moving and heart-felt guide to self-mastery.
Here’s what Dr. Persaud had to say about her book.
1) Tell us why was it important to write a book about self-mastery?
I wrote The Mastery of You because of the disillusionment I have felt about the world around us. The book is important in many ways, the foremost being that we must treat ourselves and others with regard and kindness. It sounds simplistic, and it is. Yet our humanity struggles with this. The threats and negativity surrounding us, the erudite disregard for each other is ever present. The proof is in the stress and addictions and pervasive unhappiness that prevail. We have been taught to sacrifice for others and be selfless, and while seemingly logical, this mode of thinking has been destructive. We have placed our gaze toward others, rather than inwardly focusing on our self, first. The book demonstrates how we can change our thinking and how self-regard widens the path toward uplifting our compassion for each-other. We must begin with the self for any type of societal, cultural or political change to be aspired.
2) What inspired you to write this book?
There was not a particular trigger that created the decision to write The Mastery of You, it was a subliminal almost subconscious process. One can say it was a beading together of serendipitous moments in my life. My writings are in the vein toward semper fidelis, that being faithful to the Self is what matters. That I have loved writing my entire life only fueled my desire to share my experiences. Added to my passion to write and communicate my feelings and thoughts, I also wanted to inspire change and show others how to live effectively. I used my own self to exemplify my ideas. We can all write and share experiences because we all have wonderful stories that act as a conduit for teaching others.
3) Did you face any challenges when writing this book? What were they, how did you overcome these?
There were many, confounding challenges in the journey of writing my book. The first being time. The genre is non-fiction so cross checking of facts, locations, dates, records. The emotional challenge of questioning should I share this or that, the reactions of my family. I am in an exceedingly vulnerable space at the moment. I know people are reading and critiquing and drawing inferences about me, and although I shouldn’t I do care about what they think. But, the sacrifice of feeling this vulnerability to help others learn and inspire others was well worth all of my reservations because people have connected and are enjoying the book more than I expected. I am very grateful.
4) How did you choose this particular topic for your book?
The topic of the book was an obvious choice for me. Self-worth and our desires to please others seems contradictory but in my opinion, are complementary. On the one hand, we all want to feel good about our self, on the other hand, we want to please others. Unfortunately, we have been falsely taught by cultural practices that selfishness and selflessness cannot co-exist. They can. Rather than being selfless first, I dispel the myth of selflessness. We must be selfish first. The rest follows. For example, women are expected to be selfless for their roles as mother, daughter, wife, and professional. They are expected to perform these roles at the sacrifice of their own needs. In fact, they have been doing this throughout history. Herein lies the deep-seated problem. I hope that by spreading the message that our gaze for both men and women must be toward the self-first, rather than toward others first will enable change that is effective for an emotionally healthy Self.
5) If there is just one key takeaway readers get from this book, what would you want that to be?
The key takeaway is that we must never be afraid to feel weak, because that too shall pass. Feelings of hopelessness are what enable us to rise beyond expectations. This is paramount. I am proof of that. It is the art of transcending the lows that take us to our greatest heights.
The famous phrase Amor Vincit Omnia — “love conquers all” encapsulates my belief. Love here may refer to others, but in my opinion, it is the love of Self, that conquers all.