Bound to rise

My Book

Shortly after my first book, there was a general feedback that while ‘I will Survive’ had some memorable stories, it did not have enough insights that addressed specific challenges at our workplace. ‘Bound To Rise’ intends to address many practical difficulties that we grapple with on a daily basis.

How do you shift your mind-set to make significant changes to your life? It is said that our attitude determines our altitude. There is no better place than to find lasting solutions than within ourselves, because often we fight losing battles trying to change others. The business world rewards those who adapt and constantly embrace change. ‘Bound to Rise’ will help you find your sweet spot and make a niche for yourself under the sun.

Why did I write the book?

Today’s business world is struggling to free itself from the ideas that were embraced during the 20th century. As a result there is a high level of dissonance and dissatisfaction that threatens to upset the equilibrium of the workforce. Many individuals feel entrapped and constricted and often yearn to find purpose and meaning amidst this high pressure, high stakes environment. Against this backdrop, ‘Bound to Rise’ is a new voice that is grounded in reality, yet offers hope, meaning and purpose. Often times, the most depressed individuals are not those who are impoverished, but those who have experienced all forms of success and still feel empty. This book is not just about success, it is about finding strength, to build a happier individual who can, in turn, contribute to a larger purpose beyond survival.
‘Bound to Rise’ is endorsed by some leading names in the business world, not just because it fills a need in the marketplace but because it is written by a practitioner who walks the talk.


It started off as a crazy thought. But in November 2009, drawing inspiration from my CEO who had just run the New York City marathon, I decided to run the Philadelphia City half marathon. Later in 2011, I went a step further and also completed the New York City marathon, one of the most challenging courses on the world marathon circuit. From the time I first started training to run the marathon, the lessons that I learnt and the parallels I drew gradually strengthened my conviction that the marathon is a compelling metaphor for our arduous corporate life. It was a discovery that was too momentous to keep to myself, and I felt I had to share it with others.

The Marathon Mindset

The first lesson I learnt was that anyone who wants to run a marathon must re-programme his or her thought processes and attitude. Believe it or not, a marathon mindset is a sporting, yet intense mindset that allows us to focus on finishing well rather than ‘winning’ the race. That is not as preposterous a concept as our conditioning might lead us to believe, for being a winner is about much more than just coming first. Ask any marathoner, and you will be told that the key is to relax your body, put your mind at ease, and keep running. But most important of all, it is enjoying what you do. Likewise, the key to success both in the corporate world and in life is to do well by staying united with the others around you in a spirit of comradeship and enjoying the run.

This takes me back to a strange incident that took place when I was in danger of losing steam during the New York Marathon. Just a few yards before the Queensboro Bridge, probably the toughest part of the course, I was slowing down to a walk. ‘You don’t want to slow down here,’ said a voice that was loud and clear enough to penetrate my ears even with my iPod earphones in them. I turned and saw a beautiful woman striding alongside me. ‘The bridge is just around the corner. Come with me.’, she said with a smile. Till we crossed the bridge, she kept pace with me, and then she raced ahead. We had never met and it is unlikely that we shall ever meet again, but that little act of extending moral support to someone competing in the same race epitomises the true spirit of a marathon runner. Everyone who crosses the finish line is a winner. Till then we are all fellow cheerleaders!

A marathon mindset will not only make you successful but also bring meaning, joy and contentment by defining many aspects of your life. You do not look at everything from the perspective of whether you’re winning or losing, but imagine that you are running alongside others in the larger race of life. Only in a marathon does a fellow runner egg you to keep going.

In a world that places utmost emphasis on winning, even if it is by trampling over others, can running the race really be as important as winning, if not more so? And will such a ‘paced’ approach – that is, a long-term view of your work – help you achieve your goals at all?

Look at it this way. Such a shift in your perspective would radically reposition you for long-term success without your ending up all frazzled and burnt-out in a hyper-competitive environment. Can’t imagine how that is possible? Well, believe me, it is! My own life is a powerful affirmation of this. Through the pages of this book, I shall be sharing with you the secret of living life holistically on your terms, holding your own and actually emerging a winner even in the frenetic environment of today, without losing your mind or your health.

I have distilled more than twenty years of work experience all over the world to offer this alternative, for work was never meant to be a drudgery. It ought to be a compelling expression of all that you are passionate about and a true reflection of yourself. In this chapter, we shall be looking at what the marathon mindset is all about, and later go on to explore why it is unique and how you can adapt it not just to add a special dimension to your life but to change it altogether… and emerge from your ‘cave’. So what are some of the unexpected discoveries you will make when you go for that paradigm shift from a sprinter’s mindset to that of a marathon runner?

    My Book

    Why did I write this book?


    “Sunil’s life story is heartwarming. His style is conversational and he shares his personal struggles and triumphs with candour. It is hard not to get inspired by such real life values not to get inspired by such real life valour. I gladly commend his effort to reach the youth of India.”

    S. Ramadorai

    “I am delighted that he overcame so many odds since his childhood to succeed at a global level.”

    Rajesh Hukku

    “Grippingly written, here is a book that will inspire our young people to aim higher, while also providing practical tips based on Sunil’s own life regarding how actually to do so.”

    Prof. Prabhu Guptara

    “His book is not just about the road ‘from penury to prosperity,’ but about the greater journey to a life of purpose.”

    Joseph P. Kennedy II

    “I have known Sunil for many years. He practices the principles he espouses and addresses these questions by encouraging his readers to consider the paradigms from which they view the world and work. He is a passionate and articulate man who understands the challenges facing many today, and I believe his book will encourage, motivate, and inspire you.”

    Ravi Zacharias
    Author and Speaker

    “Vision without implementation is simply a hallucination. Likewise, a book without an experience that can transform you is just an illusion. Rarely do you find someone like Sunil, so enjoy this exciting book for your own success with integrity.”

    Dr. Bala Balachandran(Late)
    J.L. Kellogg Distinguished Professor of Accounting and Information Management Northwestern University, Evanston, IL., USA

    “Sunil Robert’s Bound to Rise is a short but wise book, filled with thoughtful guidance for young people trying to steer their careers through a turbulent corporate world. I encourage young professionals everywhere to read it. It has the potential to change the way you think, and even more importantly, the way you act. That is its value.”

    Mukul Pandya
    Executive Director/Editor-in-chief, Knowledge@Wharton

    “I believe that if each individual in an organization focuses on performing to their potential, the positive effect on the organization can be exponential. In this context, Bound to Rise is a practical book that draws from real-life scenarios and offers engaging insights to help professionals realize their potential. Sunil draws from his experiences and offers realistic and honest alternatives that urge the reader to look inward in order to propel ahead in their lives.”

    N Chandrasekaran
    CEO and MD, Tata Consultancy Services

    “Sunil is an outstanding example of how an individual can, through passion and diligence, realise his dream, overcoming the inevitable obstacles.”

    Dr. Kiran Karnik
    Former President - NASSCOM

    “This book (I Will Survive) will serve as an inspiration to young people everywhere seeking to achieve something in their lives”

    Ratan N. Tata
    Chairman - Tata Group