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The Unexpected Path to Success, Happiness, and World Peace: A Review of Search Inside Yourself by Chade-Meng Tan

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

Have you ever wondered how some people seem to have it all? They are successful, happy, and peaceful. They have fulfilling relationships, meaningful work, and a sense of purpose. They are also able to handle stress, challenges, and conflicts with grace and wisdom.

Search Inside Yourself.pdf

What if I told you that you can be one of those people too? That you can achieve success, happiness, and world peace by cultivating your emotional intelligence and mindfulness skills? That you can learn from one of Google's earliest engineers and personal growth pioneers how to apply these techniques in your life and work?

If this sounds intriguing to you, then you should read Search Inside Yourself, a book by Chade-Meng Tan that offers a proven method for enhancing mindfulness and emotional intelligence in life and work. In this article, I will give you an overview of what this book is about, who the author is, why you should read it, and what are the main takeaways from each chapter. I will also provide you with some FAQs at the end to help you get started with your own search inside yourself.


What is Search Inside Yourself?

Search Inside Yourself is a mindfulness-based emotional intelligence training program that was developed at Google by Chade-Meng Tan and a team of experts in neuroscience, psychology, and meditation. It is based on the premise that emotional intelligence is the key to success, happiness, and world peace, and that it can be learned and improved through mindfulness practice.

The program consists of three parts:

  • The foundations of Search Inside Yourself, which cover the basic concepts and skills of emotional intelligence and mindfulness.

  • The practices of Search Inside Yourself, which offer practical exercises and tools to enhance your self-awareness, self-management, empathy, communication, and leadership.

  • The fruits of Search Inside Yourself, which explore the benefits and applications of emotional intelligence and mindfulness in various domains of life and work.

The program has been taught to thousands of Google employees and other professionals around the world, and has received rave reviews from participants who reported increased productivity, creativity, resilience, happiness, and compassion.

Who is Chade-Meng Tan?

Chade-Meng Tan, or Meng as he is affectionately known, is one of Google's earliest engineers and personal growth pioneers. He joined Google in 2000 as employee number 107, and worked on various projects such as Google Search, Google Ads, and Google Mobile. He also co-founded the philanthropic arm of Google,, and initiated the project to create a culture of innovation and creativity at Google.

Meng's passion, however, is to help people achieve happiness and peace through personal development. He is an avid meditator and a student of various wisdom traditions, such as Buddhism, Taoism, and Christianity. He is also a certified teacher of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and a founding patron of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University.

Meng is the author of three best-selling books: Search Inside Yourself, Joy on Demand, and How to Be a Leader. He is also a sought-after speaker and trainer who has delivered talks and workshops at TED, the United Nations, the World Economic Forum, and many other prestigious events and organizations. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential and inspiring figures in the field of mindfulness and emotional intelligence.

Why should you read this book?

You should read this book if you want to:

  • Improve your emotional intelligence, which is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions and those of others.

  • Enhance your mindfulness, which is the quality of attention that is aware, nonjudgmental, and present.

  • Boost your performance, creativity, and innovation in your work and career.

  • Increase your happiness, well-being, and satisfaction in your life and relationships.

  • Contribute to a more peaceful, compassionate, and harmonious world.

This book will teach you how to do all that by following a simple, practical, and scientifically proven method that has been tested and refined by thousands of people from different backgrounds, cultures, and professions. You will learn from Meng's own experience as well as from the stories and insights of other experts and practitioners who have benefited from this program.

This book will also entertain you with Meng's witty, humorous, and engaging style of writing. You will find yourself laughing out loud at some of his anecdotes and jokes, while also being moved by his sincerity and wisdom. You will feel like you are having a conversation with a friend who cares about you and wants to help you grow.

Main Body

Part One: The Foundations of Search Inside Yourself

Chapter 1: Even an Engineer Can Thrive on Emotional Intelligence

In this chapter, Meng introduces the concept of emotional intelligence (EI) and explains why it is important for everyone, especially for engineers and other technical professionals. He defines EI as "the ability to monitor one's own and others' feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one's thinking and actions." He also cites research that shows that EI is a better predictor of success than IQ or technical skills.

Meng then describes the three components of EI: self-awareness, self-management, and social skills. He argues that self-awareness is the foundation of EI because it enables us to recognize our emotions, thoughts, values, strengths, weaknesses, and motivations. Self-management is the ability to regulate our emotions and impulses, adapt to changing situations, and pursue our goals. Social skills are the abilities to communicate effectively, understand others' perspectives, build rapport, and collaborate with others.

Meng also introduces the concept of mindfulness and how it can help us develop EI. He defines mindfulness as "the moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment." He explains that mindfulness can enhance our self-awareness by making us more attentive and curious about our inner experience. It can also improve our self-management by helping us calm down, reduce stress, and cope with challenges. Finally, it can boost our social skills by making us more empathetic, compassionate, and respectful towards others.

Chapter 2: Breathing as if Your Life Depends on It

In this chapter, Meng teaches us how to practice mindfulness through breathing exercises. He explains that breathing is a simple, natural, and powerful way to cultivate mindfulness because it connects us with our body, our emotions, and our present moment. He also points out that breathing can influence our mood, energy level, and mental state.

Meng then guides us through two basic breathing exercises: mindful breathing and deep abdominal breathing. Mindful breathing is simply paying attention to our breath as it flows in and out of our nostrils, without trying to control or change it. Deep abdominal breathing is breathing deeply into our belly, expanding and contracting it with each inhalation and exhalation. Both exercises can help us relax, focus, and calm our mind.

Meng also shares some of the benefits of mindful breathing, such as:

  • Detoxifying and releasing toxins from our body

  • Releasing tension and relieving pain from our muscles

  • Relaxing our mind and body and reducing stress

  • Improving our mood and emotional state

  • Massaging our organs and improving our digestion

  • Increasing our energy and vitality

  • Improving our posture and alignment

  • Enhancing our immune system and preventing diseases

Chapter 3: Mindfulness without Butt on Cushion

In this chapter, Meng shows us how to practice mindfulness in everyday life, without having to sit on a cushion or meditate formally. He suggests that we can use any activity or object as a focus for our mindfulness practice, such as walking, eating, drinking, listening, speaking, or even brushing our teeth. The key is to pay attention to what we are doing or experiencing with curiosity, openness, and acceptance.

Meng also introduces the concept of informal meditation, which is a way of bringing mindfulness to any moment of our day. He explains that informal meditation has three steps:

  • Stop what you are doing and take a few mindful breaths.

  • Bring your awareness to your body sensations, emotions, thoughts, or surroundings.

  • Resume what you were doing with a renewed sense of presence and clarity.

Meng recommends that we practice informal meditation several times a day, especially when we feel stressed, bored, or distracted. He says that informal meditation can help us:

  • Break the cycle of habitual reactions and patterns.

  • Cultivate a sense of gratitude and appreciation for the present moment.

  • Improve our concentration and memory.

  • Enhance our creativity and problem-solving skills.

  • Increase our happiness and well-being.

Chapter 4: All-Natural, Organic Self-Confidence

In this chapter, Meng teaches us how to develop self-confidence through mindfulness. He defines self-confidence as "the belief that one has the ability to meet life's challenges and to succeed." He argues that self-confidence is not something that we are born with or that we can fake, but rather something that we can cultivate through practice and experience.

Meng then shares two methods to boost our self-confidence: self-compassion and success journaling. Self-compassion is the ability to treat ourselves with kindness, understanding, and forgiveness, especially when we face difficulties, failures, or mistakes. Success journaling is the habit of writing down our achievements, accomplishments, and positive feedback on a regular basis.

Meng explains that self-compassion can help us:

  • Avoid self-criticism and negative self-talk.

  • Reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.

  • Increase resilience, motivation, and learning.

  • Enhance our relationships with others.

Meng also explains that success journaling can help us:

  • Acknowledge and celebrate our strengths, skills, and talents.

  • Build a positive self-image and self-esteem.

  • Create a sense of progress and achievement.

  • Foster optimism and hope.

Chapter 5: Riding Your Emotions Like a Horse

In this chapter, Meng teaches us how to manage our emotions through mindfulness. He compares emotions to horses: they are powerful, beautiful, and useful, but they can also be wild, unpredictable, and dangerous. He says that the goal is not to suppress or ignore our emotions, but rather to ride them like a horse, with skill, balance, and grace.

Meng then introduces the four steps of emotional management: identification, understanding, acceptance, and transformation. Identification is the ability to recognize and name our emotions as they arise. Understanding is the ability to explore and analyze the causes and effects of our emotions. Acceptance is the ability to embrace and allow our emotions without judgment or resistance. Transformation is the ability to change or channel our emotions into positive actions or outcomes.

Meng explains that emotional management can help us:

  • Reduce emotional reactivity and impulsivity.

  • Increase emotional stability and balance.

  • Enhance emotional intelligence and empathy.

  • Improve decision making and problem solving.

  • Express our emotions in healthy and appropriate ways.

Chapter 6: Making Profits, Rowing Across Oceans, and Changing the World

In this chapter, Meng shows us how to apply mindfulness and emotional intelligence to our work and career. He shares stories and examples of how these skills can help us achieve success, happiness, and world peace in various domains, such as business, education, healthcare, sports, arts, and social change. He also provides some tips and tools to integrate mindfulness and emotional intelligence into our daily work routine.

Meng explains that mindfulness and emotional intelligence can help us:

  • Enhance our performance, productivity, and innovation.

  • Improve our communication, collaboration, and leadership.

  • Increase our motivation, engagement, and satisfaction.

  • Reduce stress, burnout, and turnover.

  • Create a positive work culture and environment.

Part Two: The Practices of Search Inside Yourself

Chapter 7: The Power of Empathy

In this chapter, Meng teaches us how to develop empathy through mindfulness. He defines empathy as "the ability to sense other people's emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling." He argues that empathy is essential for building trust, rapport, and understanding with others, as well as for fostering compassion, altruism, and social responsibility.

Meng then guides us through three levels of empathy: cognitive empathy, emotional empathy, and compassionate empathy. Cognitive empathy is the ability to understand another person's perspective, thoughts, and beliefs. Emotional empathy is the ability to feel what another person is feeling or to resonate with their emotions. Compassionate empathy is the ability to care about another person's well-being and to take action to help them if needed.

Meng explains that empathy can help us:

  • Improve our social skills and relationships.

  • Enhance our emotional intelligence and communication.

  • Increase our influence and persuasion.

  • Resolve conflicts and disputes.

  • Promote diversity and inclusion.

Chapter 8: The Art of Conversation

In this chapter, Meng teaches us how to improve our conversation skills through mindfulness. He defines conversation as "a form of communication between two or more people who are exchanging information, ideas, feelings, or opinions." He says that conversation is an art that can be learned and mastered through practice and feedback.

Meng then shares four principles of effective conversation: listen deeply, speak authentically, ask powerful questions, and offer useful feedback. Listen deeply is the ability to pay full attention to what the other person is saying, without interrupting, judging, or distracting. Speak authentically is the ability to express yourself honestly, clearly, and respectfully, without hiding, exaggerating, or offending. Ask powerful questions is the ability to elicit more information, insight, or action from the other person, without leading, manipulating, or interrogating. Offer useful feedback is the ability to provide constructive criticism or praise to the other person, without blaming, shaming, or flattering.

Meng explains that conversation can help us:

  • Build rapport and trust with others.

  • Learn new things and gain new perspectives.

  • Create value and generate ideas.

  • Solve problems and make decisions.

  • Inspire change and action.

Chapter 9: Three Ethical Principles for a Better Life and a Better World

In this chapter, Meng teaches us how to live ethically through mindfulness. He defines ethics as "the principles of conduct governing an individual or a group." He says that ethics are important for creating a better life for ourselves and a better world for others. He proposes three ethical principles that are based on mindfulness and that can guide our actions and decisions: do no harm, do good, and purify the mind. Do no harm is the principle of avoiding causing suffering to ourselves or others, either intentionally or unintentionally. Do good is the principle of promoting happiness and well-being for ourselves and others, either actively or passively. Purify the mind is the principle of cultivating wholesome mental states and eliminating unwholesome mental states, such as greed, hatred, and delusion.

Meng explains that living ethically can help us:

  • Align our actions with our values and intentions.

  • Enhance our self-confidence and self-respect.

  • Strengthen our relationships and reputation.

  • Contribute to a more peaceful, compassionate, and harmonious world.

Chapter 10: If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him

In this chapter, Meng teaches us how to deal with challenges and difficulties that may arise in our mindfulness practice. He uses the famous Zen koan "If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him" as a metaphor for overcoming attachment, expectation, and dogmatism in our journey of personal growth. He says that the Buddha represents any authority figure, belief system, or concept that we may cling to or rely on for our happiness and well-being. He says that killing the Buddha means letting go of any external or internal crutch that may limit our freedom and potential.

Meng then shares some common obstacles and pitfalls that we may encounter in our mindfulness practice, such as boredom, doubt, frustration, distraction, sleepiness, restlessness, resistance, confusion, or fear. He offers some practical tips and strategies to overcome them, such as changing our posture, attitude, or focus; using positive affirmations or mantras; seeking guidance or support from others; or simply accepting and observing them with curiosity and compassion.

Meng explains that facing challenges can help us:

  • Deepen our mindfulness and emotional intelligence skills.

  • Develop resilience, perseverance, and courage.

  • Discover new insights and perspectives.

  • Grow as a person and as a practitioner.

Part Three: The Fruits of Search Inside Yourself

Chapter 11: The Joy of Laziness

In this chapter, Meng teaches us how to enjoy laziness through mindfulness. He defines laziness as "the state of being idle or inactive, without any intention or purpose." He says that laziness is not necessarily bad or wrong, but rather a natural and healthy part of life that can bring us joy and peace.

Meng then guides us through two types of laziness: intentional laziness and unintentional laziness. Intentional laziness is when we deliberately choose to be lazy for a certain period of time, such as taking a nap, a break, or a vacation. Unintentional laziness is when we find ourselves being lazy without planning or expecting it, such as when we are bored, tired, or sick.

Meng explains that enjoying laziness can help us:

  • Relax our body and mind and reduce stress.

  • Recharge our energy and vitality and improve our health.

  • Reward ourselves and appreciate our achievements and efforts.

  • Reconnect with ourselves and discover our true nature and desires.

Chapter 12: Envisioning Your Work and Your Life

In this chapter, Meng teaches us how to envision our work and life through mindfulness. He defines envisioning as "the process of creating a mental image of a desired future state." He says that envisioning is a powerful tool for achieving success, happiness, and world peace, because


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