Search Inside Yourself

Posted August 27, 2014 in Self-Insight, What We're Reading

Search Inside YourselfSearch Inside Yourself by Chade-Meng Tan

Review by: Brenda Marshall

The Premise: The book is based on the very popular mindfulness-based emotional intelligence program offered at Google. The guiding premise is that “happy brains” create more creative, productive, compassionate and helpful employees, and people and contemplative practices are key. The book focuses on skill development in three key areas: attention training, self knowledge and self mastery and creating useful habits. Right now, the media is filled with stories about the importance of brain science, emotional intelligence and mindfulness and their connection to overall wellness and productivity on the corporate front. It’s easy to get lost in all the ideas. Chade-Meng Tan does a great job of pulling together key nuggets from each domain and summarizing the principles in easy to follow language. Every chapter includes user-friendly descriptions of the concepts and interesting activities to develop the skills. With great headings, and a well organized format, readers can easily jump into the areas that catch their interest first without losing the overall message of the book.

The Bottom-line: What I liked the best about this book is the balance between theory and practice. Each chapter includes a commentary on the concept, complete with references to documented research and several activities to try. For those who need to understand the “why” before they can embrace a new idea, there is just enough science and sprinkling of “big names” throughout to establish good credibility. I’ve gifted it to many of my coaching clients and we’ve worked through the activities together. I could also see a leadership team embedding discussions about the concepts in their monthly team meetings and potentially taking turns leading others through the activities. Chade-Meng’s conversational style, can at times be wearing and some of the cartoons a little hokey, but overall the message is super positive and helpful. As Tan says, “…each of us can develop an extraordinarily capable mind that is, first and foremost, profoundly peaceful, happy, and compassionate.” Hey – and who wouldn’t want that?

Rating: I think this is a great book for anyone. I’m giving it to my mom!


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