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Showing 1-8 of 8 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 12 reviews
on December 31, 2012
In most companies, chances are you work in an environment so steeped in fear you're not even fully aware of it. And, don't think there's much you can do about it.

Well, there is. And it doesn't require you to change your boss, your company, the country's tax structure, or anything else in the environment around you.

It does, however, require you to be open to how you experience the work place...and to have the courage to engage the things that make us afraid as opportunities for growth.

With me so far? But wondering how a book can do that?

Like Awake at Work: 35 Practical Buddhist Principles for Discovering Clarity and Balance in the Midst of Work's Chaos, Fearless at Work enables this shift through a series of slogans. You can read the book cover to cover, but it's easier once you've read the initial chapters to just pick a slogan at random for the day: read it, let it percolate. Do that, and you'll find the day unfolding in a different way. What would have been upsetting might now occur as interesting, amusing, an opportunity to do something you couldn't have before, etc. ...or not; it doesn't always work that way, but maybe it will the next day. Each chapter has a different slogan, illustrated in a charming, perspective-shifting way. The chapters are short and easy to read and add a LOT to the slogan once you're read them--kind of like an Aesop's Fable's experience.

"Don't Count on It" is a good example. Neat slogan...but what does it mean? Think about how many of us keep score, and how score-oriented our world is. But at best, scores are a proxy for the real thing...and focusing too much on them actually divorces us from the juice in life. The author gives us a memorable story from his family that we can all relate to, and then observes "Making deals with our world and keeping score seems so reasonable and appropriate at times, but such a scorecard mentality offers nothing but frustration and, in the end, is a coward's game. The slogan 'Don't count on it' encourages us to fully appreciate the futility and hypocrisy of our scorecard mentality...we choose to examine our false hope of keeping score because it is noble to be so honest with ourselves."

Here's another way to think about it. Suppose you were a well-seasoned executive and senior spiritual teacher all rolled into one. Someone like that would experience our daily frustrations in a different way, right? Maybe with compassion for those around him/her, and also for him/herself...and thereby waste less energy in things that can't be changed, and have more insight into and energy for those that can? Wouldn't it be near to borrow the eyes/ears/heart of such a person from time to time, so we could develop that calm courage ourselves?

That's what Fearless at Work does. Not surprising, given that Michael Carroll is both a high level executive and spiritual teacher.

Enjoy...not just the book, but your work as well. With this and Awake at Work, that's a serious possibility.
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on July 24, 2013
Carroll, a student of Chogyam Trungpa - well-known Tibetan Buddhist teacher in the U.S. in the 70s and 80s - has successfully taken the Shambhala Warrior practices into the world at large, mostly through working with businesses. In the Buddhist style of lists, he offers 38 slogans to inspire fearlessness in everyday life. The 38 are put in five categories: Primary Slogans, Exploring Cowardice, Taming the Mind, Fearless Presence, and Living a Skillful Life.

The first slogan is: Face the Fierce Facts of Life. I love this one. So basic. Its subparts: it hurts to be human, anything can and does happen, we are born and die alone, we are going to die - soon - and when we do, most of the world won't notice and those who do will forget . . . often. This makes me smile . . . broadly, and reminds me of what I love about Buddhism - the no-nonsense realism.

Slogan 27 is to Hold Sadness and Joy. Very wise. Here Carroll talks about noble tenderness and tells a story about rescuing an injured sparrow as a boy, becoming attached to the bird, then seeing it fly off, never to return. There is a built-in poignancy to life that requires a fearless vulnerability to be fully experienced.

This book also has some excellent appendices. I particularly appreciated the ones on mindfulness meditation and how mindfulness cultivates social intelligence. One result is the capacity to give total attention and listen fully to another, understanding the other rather than just making our own point. Another result is learning how to be rather than learning what to do, thereby being at ease with who we are under all circumstances.
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on June 22, 2016
I read a lot on this subject - and work in the corporate world. This book stands out by far from other books on mindfulness. And it certainly stands out from any book I have read in the last eight years with regards to its respect for and opportunity to impact real life. Michael Carroll has written a book that is truly brimming with new and unfamiliar ideas about what it means to be as fearless as genuinely human. And he presents it in an equally gentle as relentless voice of a man with plenty of first hand experience... -- If you are still not convinced, I have shared a longer book review here : [...]
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on March 11, 2015
With all the hype out there about mindfulness and it's supposed path to health and wealth, Michael Carroll cuts through all the fluff and gives a practical approach that any willing person can practice. Great read and tool.
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on January 1, 2014
This is a book of lojong sayings, with little stories about them related to work. I find it very helpful, but be warned: it's not the kind of book to read front to back. Just dip in and out, and you will likely find something useful.
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on June 8, 2013
Wonderfully wise. I pick it up often. Informed by eastern thought, but so many useful practical applications for work and home life. Deeply nourishing. Love this book. Have gifted it to several dear friends, all of whom loved it.
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on January 20, 2015
Very pleased!
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on January 18, 2013
There was a lot to like about this book, especially the reminder that even if bad things happened and you lost your job, you could cope with that. A lot of people construct such events as a disaster, when really it is about their self-image suffering from an over active sense of shame. But the advice tended to boil down to "learn to meditate", which isn't a practical take-away suggestion for the immediate term.
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