The Sketchbook of Wisdom

A Hand-Crafted Manual on
the Pursuit of Wealth and Good Life

Dear Reader,

I have been working on a hand-crafted, illustrated book for the past few months.

This is my first book as an author and one I wish I could have read earlier in life. But since no one wrote it, I did. 🙂

The book is almost here (deliveries begin in February 2021), and it is titled The Sketchbook of Wisdom: A Hand-Written Manual on the Pursuit of Wealth and Good Life.

Packed with 50 timeless ideas from Lord Krishna to Charlie Munger, Socrates to Warren Buffett, Lao Tzu to Nassim Taleb, Swami Vivekanand to Steve Jobs, and Sant Kabir to Naval Ravikant – as it applies to our lives today, The Sketchbook of Wisdom is a manual on virtue, happiness, and the pursuit of wealth and good life.

Here are few of the many icons whose wisdom I bring to you in the book –

The Sketchbook of Wisdom is completely hand illustrated by me.

Here are just three full spreads from the book, as they will look finally (except the watermarks) –

A Note from Manish Chokhani - The Sketchbook of Wisdom
Circle of Competence - The Sketchbook of Wisdom
Equanimity - The Sketchbook of Wisdom

10 Things This Book Will Teach You
The Sketchbook of Wisdom is NOT an investing book, so you will not find any secrets to pick stocks or multiply your wealth in quick time. Yes, it contains some timeless ideas on money, but it moves way beyond that.

In the book, you will learn the simple, timeless secrets about how to…

  1. Minimize your risks of being wrong
  2. Solve life’s biggest problems
  3. Discover and live your life’s purpose
  4. Be in tune with the universe within
  5. Achieve life’s true freedom
  6. Embrace your imperfections
  7. Make good decisions
  8. Walk away from bad decisions
  9. Soften life’s terrible blows
  10. Fulfill your biggest dreams

…and much more.

Why Did I Write This Book? And Why Now?
Leo Tolstoy - The Sketchbook of WisdomOn March 15, 1884, Leo Tolstoy, regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time, wrote in his diary –

I have to create a circle of reading for myself: Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, Lao-Tzu, Buddha, Pascal, The New Testament. This is also necessary for all people.

In 1885, he wrote to his assistant, describing his project thus –

I know that it gives one great inner force, calmness, and happiness to communicate with such great thinkers as Socrates, Epictetus, Arnold, Parker … They tell us about what is most important for humanity, about the meaning of life and about virtue. … I would like to create a book … in which I could tell a person about his life, and about the Good Way of Life.

Seventeen years later, Tolstoy, on his deathbed, finished that project that was titled A Wise Thought for Every Day. One insight from the Genevan philosopher and writer Jean Jaques Rousseau that Tolstoy mentioned in this book was –

Real wisdom is not the knowledge of everything, but the knowledge of which things in life are necessary, which are less necessary, and which are completely unnecessary to know. Among the most necessary knowledge is the knowledge of how to live well, that is, how to produce the least possible evil and the greatest goodness in one’s life. At present, people study useless sciences, but forget to study this, the most important knowledge.

Tolstoy also quoted the Vishnu Purana, one of the greatest ancient and medieval texts of Hinduism, that mentions –

There is only one real knowledge: that which helps us to be free. Every other type of knowledge is mere amusement.

The thoughts and ideas contained in The Sketchbook of Wisdom have helped me learn about my life, and about the “good way of life.” The lessons from some of the wisest people I have written about in the book have helped me set myself free from the chains of fear and anxiety, sorrow and worry, greed and envy.

I won’t claim to be living a perfect life. In fact, it is far from perfect. But the timeless wisdom of yesteryears and my willingness to take lessons from it, has helped me walk on the path of sanity and serenity.

That’s the gist of why I have written The Sketchbook of Wisdom, because I now wish to share these ideas and lessons with you. It is not just a book I wish I had read much earlier in my life, but one that I now wish my kids and other people around me read, as they head into a world where age-old wisdom has taken a backseat to the cacophony of information, most of which is fake and that has caused enough anxiety in the minds of the young and all.

I have also written this book with a sense of hope – that the wisdom contained in these pages will guide the reader not just through the despair and vicissitudes of life but also provide him or her the necessary mental tools to grow in life.

There could not have been a better time for me to start this book than in 2020 when the world was ravaged by disease and despair. It is in times like these that we need to go within, quiet our monkey minds and search the lessons from the wisest for answers, and for hope.

Charles Helman Lea said –

The true test of all books is the influence they have upon the lives and conduct of their readers.

I hope The Sketchbook of Wisdom passes this test and exerts a lasting influence on the way you live and conduct yourself. I hope the book, with its timeless wisdom from people who have weathered all kinds of storms, becomes your close companion as you move forward in your life with a renewed sense of hope.

Going back to Tolstoy, when he finally sent his book to the publisher, he wrote in his diary –

I felt that I have been elevated to great spiritual and moral heights by communication with the best and wisest people whose books I read and whose thoughts I selected for my Circle of Reading. To create a book for the masses, for millions of people … is incomparably more important and fruitful than to compose a novel of the kind which diverts some members of the wealthy classes for a short time, and then is forever forgotten.

I am tinier than even a speck of dust compared to the enormity of Tolstoy, but my aim through The Sketchbook of Wisdom is no different. Most of my readers have expected me to write a book on investing. But that would have been, as Tolstoy said, less important and fruitful than writing this book that may benefit a much larger section of the society – if not millions – than just investors.

I now offer this book to you. Read it and discover for yourself the time-tested, practical guidelines on how to live in peace with yourself, and how to live a life filled with kindness, satisfaction, and happiness. Keep this book by your side, and whenever anxiety or worries read their head, turn to these pages. They would never disappoint you.

Praise for The Sketchbook of Wisdom
Here are some comforting words for the book from some of the wisest people I know of in the current times –

This is a masterpiece. You don’t truly understand an idea until you can explain it simply. Vishal understands the wisdom in this book so well he doesn’t need to use many words; a picture gets the point across even better.

~ Morgan Housel, Author, The Psychology of Money

Vishal’s Sketchbook is an inviting, accessible buffet of delicious brain and soul food. Devour it, enjoy it, ruminate on it… and spread the word about it to all whom you love!

~ Manish Chokhani, Director, Enam Holdings

Vishal, through this exemplary work, has given us the template on how to lead a happier and fuller life. Enjoy the book and savour its wisdom.

~ Ramesh Damani, Member, BSE

The Sketchbook of Wisdom is a wonderful journey graced by Vishal’s wisdom, understated wit and sparkling intellect. It is the perfect guide (wonderfully illustrated!) for all of us who aspire to rational thinking and “living the good life.”

~ Sanjoy Bhattacharyya, Partner, Fortuna Capital

Vishal has a unique gift for making the complex, hard work of life simple and fun. With straightforward prose and delightful drawings, readers are entertained as they get a first-class education in philosophy.

~ Barry Ritholtz, Chairman & CIO, Ritholtz Wealth Management

Vishal has a rare talent for taking a large universe of complex ideas, curating the most important, and presenting them in ways that are memorable and impactful. When he speaks, writes, or illustrates, pay attention.

~ Brent Beshore, Founder, Permanent Equity

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Pre-Order Your Copy of The Sketchbook of Wisdom

The Sketchbook of Wisdom

Here are some details about the book –

Language: English
Format: Coloured, Hand-Illustrated
Hardcover: 130 pages
Deliveries Starting: February 2021
Item Weight: 800 g
Dimensions: 22.0 x 1.9 x 30.6 cm
Country of Origin: India

I am self-publishing the book, and it will be in my hands most likely by mid-February 2021. And thus, you should expect to receive it by the end of that month. However, you can reserve a copy of the book by pre-ordering now.

The Sketchbook of Wisdom (Hardcover) is available at a price of Rs 1999 for delivery within India (free delivery) and USD 60 for delivery outside India (includes shipping fee).

I would be happy to see you buy more than one copy, because you would then share them with others and that’s going to make your life better because there will be other people you can talk to about the ideas contained in the book.
Click Here to Pre-Order Your Copy of The Sketchbook of Wisdom
Here’s to hope, happiness, and wisdom for you and everyone around you in 2021 and beyond.

With respect,
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Please Note:

  • In case you face any issues making the payment, please write to me at
  • Deliveries should begin around mid-February 2021. You may expect to receive your copy by the end of that month.
  • All books within a single order will be dispatched to one address only. If you want deliveries at multiple addresses, please place a new order for each unique address that you want the books to be delivered to.
  • Deliveries could be delayed in case of Covid-19 caused lockdown in your location. In such a case, I would look forward to your kind patience and support.
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