Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Soul in the Game

 The Art of a Meaningful Life

by Vitaliy Katsenelson

Book Review

Vitaliy Katsenelson captures the delight in living a life in learning mode. By this I mean that he demonstrates how to be curious about new subjects and how to be open to learning more about subjects we are already familiar with.

He shows us how to grow in sync with the maturity of our children, how to lead a business with a growth mindset encouraging the strengths of colleagues to shine in their role. Vitaliy also shows us the art of personal development in an ever-changing world. He draws parallels between classical music and the pain of learning through perceived failure. The wisdom of his father is woven into the fabric of his understanding of the world around him from an art vs craft perspective.

Vitaliy emigrated to America from Russia and forged a successful career in investing, ultimately starting his own business. His interest in writing began with articles on stocks and became such a passion for him that he began to include life lessons and snippets of classical music in his newsletter and reports. Thus was born his desire to write a life manual as such, for himself, his family and broader society.


My Kindle eReader tells me that I highlighted 56 passages from the book! However, I will highlight just a few of my very favourite ones here:

On relationships:

Traditions are like that. The connecting tissue (dough) of traditions are memories. We string them together when we do things together with our family. This is a part of life that really resonates with me. Time with family, whether our grandparents, parents, siblings, children, grandchildren, partner or extended family and friends is like comfort food to our soul.

On Mindfulness:

Begin at once to live and count each separate day as a separate life. A life bookended by sunrise and sunset. This really struck a chord with me, since we wake up each morning with a fresh outlook, we should not mar it with the mistakes and grudges of yesterday.

On Personal Growth:

Writing also rewired how I observed life around me. I started to pay attention to little things, often turning them into metaphors. This is personal to me because I am only new in the art of writing and I felt this deeply regarding the rewiring of my brain. In observation of life around me and the people in it.

Soul in the Game: The Art of a Meaningful Life ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Reading this book gave me a fresh outlook on my relationship with myself first and foremost. I learnt that I do not need to, and indeed cannot, be liked by every human on this earth and to be okay with that. In fact, Vitaliy showed me how to be comfortable with that. 

Learning about the Stoics was an interest of mine many years ago, but I didn’t research the subject nearly as thoroughly as Vitaliy. The quote that I kept from my study of Stoicism is this: For the Stoics, reason meant not only using logic, but also understanding the processes of nature, the universal reason in all things. They continue: If someone is unkind, it is because they are unaware of their own universal reason, which leads to the conclusion of kindness. The solution: To examine one’s own judgements and behaviour and determine where they diverge from the universal reason of nature.

This follows the gist of Soul in the Game in that we should be examining our own responses and reactions to events before we judge someone else’s. To accept their reasoning is to accept that we cannot always convince someone else to agree with us.

My rating is a solid 5 stars because the book is a deep study on self and life, not only for the author but for the reader as well.

Soul in the Game releases on 21 June 2022 and is available on Amazon:

Deeper insight and resources from Vitaliy Katsenelson are available at the link:

Highly recommended!

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