Review of Search Inside Yourself

Search Inside Yourself is a book that makes big claims – a guide to achieving success, happiness, and even world peace. It is based on a self-development course created by Google engineer turned personal development expert Chade-Meng Tan.

I was delighted to review the book because it focuses on using the development of mindfulness techniques and emotional intelligence to find success and fulfillment at work.

It is rare that the link is made between spiritual development and corporate success and refreshing that this is endorsed by arguably the world’s most successful and ubiquitous organization.

Overall, this book provides a wide range of thought-provoking evidence and practices based on some of the latest scientific research into the way our minds work. There is no doubt that any reader will benefit hugely from committing to growing their self-awareness.

In reviewing this book for TLC Book Tours, I thought I’d adopt the approach of “Searching Within Myself” to see how I felt about reading it, so here goes (see I did learn something):

Excited – this is a book about important ideas of mindfulness, presence, and emotional intelligence. It is exciting to hear how they have had a real impact on the course participants at Google, in the corporate world, and beyond.

There is a genuine passion and commitment in the writing that is infectious – an underlying belief that small inner changes can have huge outer world impact – that is exciting to read.

Challenged – there are some great ideas and practical exercises to help develop myself and grow. I certainly benefitted from the mindfulness meditations which have helped me become more aware of my thoughts and feelings and how to manage them.

I loved the reminders on treating people with compassion and empathy – particularly approaching every person with love and kindness.

This book challenges the reader to grow and the simple exercises have a wide-reaching impact.

Impressed – by the scale of ambition of this book – to spread world peace. It can feel embarrassing and foolish to make the case that inner change can stop wars from happening.

Although there isn’t really a practical blueprint for world peace in the book, working on being a compassionate leader, developing empathy, listening, and managing afflictive emotions will help the world be a much better place.

Frustrated – As a believer in these ideas, this book was preaching to the converted. I’ve always found it hard to inject real humor and levity into the ideas of mindfulness.

Although Search Inside Yourself sets out with this intention, it is packed with (in my opinion) bad jokes and rather unnecessary cartoons. This bit falls into the “nice try” category but doesn’t really add to the book.

One day I’m sure the secret of how to be mindful and funny will emerge.

Happy – I learned a lot of things about myself that genuinely do contribute to a sense of well-being.

The section on stepping back from our emotions and not letting them control really hit home. Understanding the feelings and sensations and how they drive emotions and thoughts allowed me to step back and avoid riding the emotion train.

With more choice over how to react, I can avoid grasping and aversion and that has helped me feel more content and balanced.

Overall, this is a powerful and useful book. The series of exercises are great to work through on your own and can also be effective in groups or organizations.

The investment you make in buying this book and following through with developing your inner self will certainly pay off many times.

So, the job is done and most of the claims are backed up by the content – great work and a great read.