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Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (And World Peace)

4.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,162 Ratings  ·  225 Reviews
With Search Inside Yourself, Chade-Meng Tan, one of Google’s earliest engineers and personal growth pioneer, offers a proven method for enhancing mindfulness and emotional intelligence in life and work.

Meng’s job is to teach Google’s best and brightest how to apply mindfulness techniques in the office and beyond; now, readers everywhere can get insider access to one of the
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Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 24th 2012 by HarperOne (first published 2012)
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Community Reviews

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Thomas Holbrook
Oct 15, 2012 Thomas Holbrook rated it really liked it
When a trusted friend suggested I read this popular book, I was interested but leery of reading – yet another – “step-by-step” plan for meditation. Typically, books on deepening one’s awareness or spirituality or devotional life are old plans retreated to appear as “new information” with the requisite (and obvious) reminder that daily adherence to the plan is required. This book’s power lies in it stating the truth that living and life are to be found the moments of “mindfulness.” Search Inside ...more
Si Barron
Jan 31, 2016 Si Barron rated it did not like it
Shelves: informative
Search Inside Yourself by Chade-Meng Tan

This book looked enticing. I am interested in meditation and concentration techniques and this promised to be an enthusiastic exploration by a keen intellect. How could one resist a book claiming to be “The Secret Path to Unbreakable Concentration, Complete Relaxation and Total Self-Control?
However I had to abandon it largely because of the style and unconsious elitism of the author, a man who wears his corporate credentials on his sleeve.

Chade-MengTan is
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Tony DuShane
Apr 29, 2012 Tony DuShane rated it it was amazing
Shelves:
The Dalai Lama is a blurb whore. I'm actually writing a review of this book and that will be my lede.

I haven't finished the book, but it's good stuff. Mindfulness. Meditation. It's very important for us right now....more important than ever in this land of what I like to call GENERATION MARSHMALLOW.

If anyone else uses that term, tell them it's from me....more essays on these drones who play video games and can't stand a moment of time in a line or driving without telling four square where they a
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Winnie Lim
Jun 11, 2012 Winnie Lim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: life-changing
Read this in two sittings, one during dinner and one after dinner-induced food coma.

I picked up this book because I was curious what would one of the most famous Singaporeans (at least in tech) write on the intangible subject of Happiness.

I was not disappointed and actually the book turned out to be way beyond my expectations.

He advocates using mindfulness meditation as a tool to increase happiness and creativity, gives plenty of scientific evidence and statistics to prove that meditation is
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Todd Nemet
Oct 27, 2014 Todd Nemet rated it it was ok
Shelves: on-hold, audio
Couldn’t hang with this book after somewhere around the third chapter. Just too painful. I don’t know what I was thinking getting this book.

Well, actually I do. I figured maybe it would be a nice change to give mindfulness a try instead of my usual state of slowly being consumed in a fire of all-consuming rage. Further I figured that since I worked at Google for six-ish years maybe a class designed at Google for Google employees would be well-suited for me.

I was vaguely aware of this class when
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diane
Nov 19, 2013 diane rated it really liked it
To people who meditate regularly, the beginning of this book will be things you already know (well, I assume so - I meditate regularly, and fee that the start of the book was a refresher course). But the science behind the examples was interesting and reinforced my commitment to meditate regularly.

And then it changed. This book took the practice of meditation and explained how it helped you at work. Like. For reals. No, really for reals.

And then it just... kept going. It kept building on the i
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Jessie Young
Sep 13, 2012 Jessie Young rated it it was ok
I read this book after reading a review in the NYT. The review was actually more of a feature on the author than a review, but the topic seemed interesting and he has definitely done good work.

In the end, I didn't love it. I think that the whole "look at us we work at Google that is so hard" thing didn't work for me. Because I know people who work at Google and trust me, there are much harder jobs. I do agree that people in the workplace are too stressed these days and we need to deal with it, I
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Pavel
Oct 28, 2014 Pavel rated it liked it
Některé myšlenky jsem shledal velmi inspirativní. Připojím několik citací:

Viktor Frankl: Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness.

UCLA lab of Matthew Lieberman: There is a simple technique for self-regulation called "affect labeling", which simply means labeling feelings with words. When you label an emotion you are experiencing (for example, "I feel anger"), it somehow
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Jess
Mar 20, 2013 Jess rated it really liked it
I believe mindfulness works. I believe these techniques work in a supportive corporate environment. I wish more corporate environments were open to encouraging the overall health of employees, but I don't know if they will be unless they see a bottom-line need for it. Since this comes from Google, it carries more authority than it would from a start-up that can get by with a "hippy-dippy" approach to work. But he doesn't justify the money reason enough, I think, to convince companies that have a ...more
Alisa Bowman
Jun 01, 2012 Alisa Bowman rated it really liked it
I write about and teach meditation. As a result, many people ask me for a good, easy-to-read guides for beginners. Search Inside Yourself delivers. The author adapts several standard Buddhist meditations for the work setting, and he blends Dharma teachings (never really calling them Dharma, though) with the fields of psychology and specifically emotional intelligence. The book is easy read and left me with several take-aways, even though I've been meditating for years. For instance, I particular ...more
Kevan
Jan 29, 2015 Kevan rated it really liked it
The author has developed a course at Google designed for its engineers, during which he leads employees through an extremely accessible adaptation and explanation of meditation practices, emotional intelligence, and mindfulness. As a result, principles which are often cloaked in much depth or complexity are now laid bare with simple break-out exercises, illustrations and storytelling, designed for cynical, linear-minded readers.

The first read was great, and will help me know which pages to flip
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Charles Eliot
Aug 24, 2014 Charles Eliot rated it it was ok
I read Stephen Hawking's book "A Short History of Time" many years ago. Despite being very brief, "A Short History of Time" had developed a fearsome reputation as one of the great unread best-sellers. Somewhere around page 20 I realized why. Hawking went to considerable pains to avoid using equations, and he claims that the concepts can be understood without any math. Hogwash. I've struggled with the math and physics of space-time and general relatively enough to have a rudimentary understanding ...more
PattyMacDotComma
Apr 27, 2013 PattyMacDotComma rated it liked it
A visitor brought this along, so I borrowed it for a few days. I am an ardent Googler, so I figured I owed it to Google to read a book by one of their engineers on how he proposes to save the world.

Pleasant read, excellent suggestions and like a lot of things in life, easier said than done. Relax and pay attention and relax and help people and relax. Oh, and help them be at ease in life, too. Something like that. I'm poking fun, but with affection. I liked it.

I'm old enough now that a lot of wh
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Walter Burton
Apr 21, 2013 Walter Burton rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
I recommend this book to people at several levels. First from the personal development level, the practice of both the meditation practices and his description of how to apply mindfulness in everyday interactions is great.

On the business level these skills when applied gives you the added edge of distance even in the most tense of times. This is critical in today's ever changing world where what we expect is often very different from what we get, you can view it not as a personal attack by the
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Lalita
One of the best books I've ever read. I read the Kindle edition, but am now going to buy the hardcover in addition, to more easily do the meditation exercises. (Interestingly, it also mentions the book "Good to Great: Why Some Companies make the Leap and Others Don't" many times in the context of leadership and describes paths towards achieving it).

What I also loved about this book is that it is an engineer's perspective on meditation and the science behind it. I thought his explanations of som
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Marcus Clark
May 06, 2015 Marcus Clark rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-help

SEARCH INSIDE YOURSELF, Increase Productivity, Creativity and Happiness by Chade-Meng Tan

Chade-Meng Tan is a Google engineer who with the assistance of some Zen Masters and some friends, devised an extraordinary mental program: Search Inside Yourself. Chade's work at Google has been science-based, developing the incredible programs that go on inside Google headquarters. Google has long been at the forefront of creativity, thinking of new ways to do things. This easy-going, unpressured work-envir
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Suhrob
Feb 17, 2014 Suhrob rated it it was amazing
The starts with some slightly off-hand recommendations by Dan Goleman and John Kabat-Zinn from which I had an impression that Meng is a somewhat annoying guy. He does have a bit silly sense of humor (at least for me not the good kind of "silly"), but reading through the book and watching some of his talks he seems like an actually nice guy.

The book is aimed at "engineers" i.e. western, well-educated, science-affine audience, but in fact it is not technical at all and widely accessible.

The first
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Tandava Brahmachari
Nov 23, 2014 Tandava Brahmachari rated it really liked it
This book is basically a guide to developing emotional intelligence in a way that everyone can apply to their jobs and to the rest of their lives, and in a way that can even be used as a curriculum for corporate programs. It uses some simplified mindfulness meditation practices (I like how he introduces them as "the easy way" and "the easier way") along with a variety of other introspection and communication exercises. There are even scripts provided for leading the exercises right out of the bo ...more
Liz
Aug 10, 2012 Liz rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Jon Kabat-Zinn for the work environment. So he offers "short cuts" to meditation as well as more formal instructions. I found the parts about managing emotional triggers in meetings useful. He also has some good reminders about how important it is to have a positive outlook about a person you meet even though you might have heard some unflattering things about them; some good practical empathy tips; and 'mindful' ways of handling difficult people and situations.
Anshu Malee
Feb 09, 2015 Anshu Malee rated it really liked it
Seeing the title it seems like, the book must be some vast spiritual book, with deep meaning and ancient methodologies relating to finding your soul to attach( poor vocab :) ) it with infinity. But it aint that so, it is a simple book written by some engineer about knowledges and practices to train our mind, what we call meditation.

To be precise, this book is simplification and scientific interpetation, and simple illustrartion of the old teachings in a easy and understanable manner. It teaches
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Justin
Sep 28, 2014 Justin rated it liked it
Meditation for Mercenaries.

I think this book is a good but not great introduction to a narrow section the self-improvement genre. It's kind of a collection of tidbits from the fledgling, slightly obsessive neuroscience wing that requires having hard data (however imperfect) to back up the idea of the benefits of meditation. For using meditation specifically for improving yourself, "getting ahead in life" and getting along with people, this book definitely has some useful ideas, although as the
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Greg
Dec 20, 2012 Greg rated it it was ok
If this were my first self-help/psychology book, I would probably have loved it. But the author makes so many references to books I've already read (Mindset, 7 Habits, Difficult Conversations, The Artists Way, even basic yoga principles), that there was very little new information. So while the information is useful, I have to give it a two-star "okay" for the lack of news, and his corny jokes.
Nicholas
May 29, 2015 Nicholas rated it really liked it
A very modern and secular understanding of meditation. Worth it for the clearly laid out and diverse meditation exercise alone, but also a transformative book for someone looking to dig more deeply into the practice - especially as related to productive focus and collaboration.
Daniel
May 09, 2015 Daniel rated it really liked it
Shelves: audible
I found the book light hearted, interesting, entertaining and ambitious (trying to solve world peace). This book isn't for everyone. It's essentially promoting mindfulness via meditation and providing taste of the science that backs it up. It"s written by an early Google engineer and I found him easy to identify with (being developer myself). Some of the metaphors he uses (like bringing things into higher resolution) are tech inspired but for me excellent and elegant. I listened to this in audio ...more
Lauren
Jan 15, 2015 Lauren rated it it was amazing
This book is fantastic.

I think the majority of folks that aren't liking the book, simply don't like books on meditation and mindfulness. As it has been mentioned, you can read the book but that doesn't change you. You have to do your homework afterwards.

What I like about this book versus others on the topic is that it keeps things light, while still giving you the science behind why meditation is good for you. You can really hear the positivity in Chade-Meng Tan's voice jump off the page.

Overall
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Darrell
Jul 07, 2015 Darrell rated it really liked it
Wonderful book on meditation, maybe the best I've read so far. Talks about why, how, when. I didn't really read the second half because it dealt a lot with how to apply it in a workplace setting which kind of bored me.
Joanna
May 01, 2015 Joanna added it
I think I will never get used to this 'no child left behind' way of writing where you repeat and rephrase over and over again. i agree with the book main concept and am a meditation addict, but still it was boring
Yomna Zaki
Jan 05, 2014 Yomna Zaki rated it really liked it
The first book to finish reading in 2014, even though I started it in 2013. This book was recommended and lent to me by one of my eleventh grade students. I was a bit skeptical at the beginning, and thought that it's another one of those self-help books. I only read it to talk about it with my student, and OH MY GOD it turned out to be one of the most insightful books I've recently read. Everything in the book is backed up with research, and that was perfect.

I learned about "Mindful Meditation"
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Armin
Jun 08, 2014 Armin rated it really liked it
The big plus of this book is that Meng manages to combine the essence of mindfulness practice, emotional intelligence, happiness psychology, self-assessment techniques, and Zen Buddhism into one harmonic and very practicable guide to medidation. And all that without being esoteric, dull, or too scientific. Even though it covers a rather large range of wisdom techniques and related topics, it is written very clearly, to the point, and in an enjoyable way.

Since I read Meng, I have read several ot
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Luca
Oct 17, 2015 Luca rated it it was amazing
What a really great book. So many insights and so much material worth reading and really doing. You know how you sometimes have a feeling when you read a book that the book should have been much shorter when you you are having a hard time finding a few great insights ?

Well, this book is packed with lots of insights, exercises, and explanations from some of the best sources on the subject. I have taken so many notes I already know I it will take me awhile to go through them and sort them out. I a
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Chade-Meng Tan (Meng) is Google's Jolly Good Fellow (which nobody can deny). Meng was one of Google's earliest engineers. Among many other things, he helped build Google's first mobile search service, and headed the team that kept a vigilant eye on Google's search quality. His current job description is, "Enlighten minds, open hearts, create world peace".

Outside of Google, Meng is the Founder and
...more
More about Chade-Meng Tan...

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“The key is to let go of two things: grasping and aversion. Grasping is when the mind desperately holds on to something and refuses to let it go. Aversion is when the mind desperately keeps something away and refuses to let it come. These two qualities are flip sides of each other. Grasping and aversion together account for a huge percentage of the suffering we experience, perhaps 90 percent, maybe even 100 percent.” 2 likes
“He describes three types of happiness: pleasure, passion, and higher purpose.1            1.    Pleasure: This type of happiness is about always chasing the next high. It is the rock-star type of happiness because it is very hard to maintain unless you are living the lifestyle of a rock star.            2.    Passion: Also known as “flow,” where peak performance meets peak engagement, and time flies by.            3.    Higher Purpose: This is about being part of something bigger than yourself that has meaning to you.” 2 likes
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