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Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (and World Peace) Paperback – September 2, 2014
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“Google engineer, Chade-Meng Tan’s book shows that to avoid certain kinds of results, you need to change the conditions that give rise to them. If you change the habitual patterns of your mind, you can change their resulting attitudes and emotions and find peace and inner happiness.” (His Holiness the Dalai Lama)
“This is a book offering much good advice. I most appreciate Meng’s insight that expressing compassion for others brings happiness to oneself as well.” (Jimmy Carter, Former President of the United States)
“I applaud Chade-Meng for daring to undertake the writing of a book on “Emotional Intelligence,” within which lies the essence of knowing oneself. The practices he offers will help improve our lives and in the process lead to a world where greater peace and happiness is possible.” (S.R. Nathan, Former President of Singapore)
“Combining timeless wisdom with modern science, Chade-Meng Tan has created an entertaining and practical guide to success and happiness.” (Deepak Chopra)
“Search Inside Yourself is a practical guide to the fundamentals of emotional intelligence. This book has the potential to change lives and deliver happiness.” (Tony Hsieh, New York Times bestselling author of Delivering Happiness and CEO of Zappos.com, Inc.)
“This book and the course it’s based on represent one of the greatest aspects of Google’s culture—that one individual with a great idea can really change the world.” (Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google)
“There is more to be discovered inside of ourselves than we will ever find by searching anywhere else, and the challenge is in learning how to look. In a simple and plain spoken way, Meng has crafted an elegant invitation we can all use to take that journey.” (Scott Kriens, Chairman, Juniper Networks director, 1440 Foundation)
“This is a guidebook to help you Search Inside Yourself, as Meng’s training program at Google was called, to find inside yourself the knowledge, skills, and motivation to apply to your own life as you search for meaning, peace, and love.” (Larry Brilliant, President of the Skoll Global Threats Fund)
“Our friend has made an awakening contribution to this Over-Information Age. I recommend it to those aspiring self-mastery, attention training, spiritual wisdom, and the path of the wakeful life through enlightened living. Seek, and ye shall find. This is one of the best places to start.” (Lama Surya Das)
“When I visited Qom a couple of years ago, a Grand Ayatollah gave as his parting words to me: May you find what you seek. I have long thought about what the Grand Ayatollah said. Chade Meng’s book has pointed me in the right direction.” (Brigadier-General George Yeo, former Minister for Foreign Affairs, Singapore)
From the Back Cover
From the Groundbreaking Course at Google
Whether your intention is to reduce stress and increase well-being, heighten focus and creativity, become more optimistic and resilient, build fulfilling relationships, or just be successful, the skills provided by Search Inside Yourself will prove invaluable to you.
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-There is absolutely nothing new in this book. The author has simply rehashed the work of the introduction writers Goleman, Kabat-Zinn and of several other authors.
- The meditation exercises given are standard Buddhist meditation exercises that have been in print for many years. Some appear to have been copied almost verbatim from the above mentioned authors. (I am surprised Google allows an employee to publish non original material)
- The other exercises he uses in his Google course "Search Inside Yourself" ("one on one listening", etc) are standard New Age techniques that have been in place for many years.
-The book is written in a straightforward style, easy to digest for the newcomer.
- If the book has helped anyone to find a happier life, then it is overcomes the criticisms listed above.
This was one of my first exposures to mindfulness, and it was refreshing to find something that spoke my language. Instead of all the mystical BS, Medical Jargon, or Boring long winded words that make no sense, the book explained why Mindfulness works, and how you can use it. The book is based on a course that was internally developed at Google, called Search Inside Yourself. This has now Branched into an outside organization, called Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute, or SIYLI. Cheng-Meng Tan was the one that pioneered the course, and later institute. And he has serious programmer chops.
What I have found is there are two different schools of Mindfulness. They both have similarities, but they have a bit difference approach.
- Medical as a way to reduce pain. the idea being you get rid of future and past pain, by focusing only on the present pain. You have now reduced your pain by 2/3rds! Jon Kabat-Zinn is the god father of this movement, and his classic book is Full Catastrophe Living (Revised Edition): Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness
- Buddhist, that often has a more mystical point of view. Your breath is often the focus, but there is a philosophy behind it.
I have attended a Medical type mindfulness class, as well as one by SIYLI, and a couple of meditation retreats by a Buddhist Monk Bhante Yogavacara Rahula, who has an amazing past, and a few other seminars including one by Jeremy Hunter of the Drucker School of Management. They all have had value, but the book Search Inside Yourself explained the why, which made it click. Mindfulness has been an excellent tool for reducing stress. I view it as giving your brain a mental break, which helps a tremendous amount and your mind is a muscle, and it needs exercising. Mindfulness is a great way to exercise your brain!
Given the amount of neuroscientist-level jargon needed to establish credibility, I had to continually put the book down after a 15-20 pages to digest the information. I also used that time to try the recommended activities, which were a welcomed reprieve.
Overall, it's a worthwhile read, but it's likely much easier to get certified through one of their "SIY" conference seminars. I don't get through many books if I have to muscle through them, but something kept bringing me back to Meng Tan's work.