Book of the Month: Joy from Within by Ched-Meng Tan

Why is it so important to be happy before you get rich? How is peace of mind related to joy? Why celebrate the success of others? And how to maintain kindness and composure during times of failure? These and other questions are answered in his book Joy from the Inside by Ched-Meng Tan, a former Google engineer and now a self-help expert. This book may not change your life, but it will help you see more joy in every day. The most interesting and close to us quotes from the book are in this post.

Material prepared by: Nadezhda Nazaryan

Happier, even happier

“If you were unhappy starting your career as a middle-class, then making your way into the global financial elite will add to your unhappiness as the states of mind that make you unhappy — greed, cruelty, paranoia and self-doubt — will only intensify. Likewise, if you were initially happy, then becoming rich is likely to increase your happiness as well. Because the states of mind that made you happy – generosity, kindness, and peace of mind – will also multiply and bring you even more happiness.

This is why learning to be happy is always useful, and especially before becoming successful. This will help you not only achieve success, but also later enjoy it to the fullest. “

Remaining kind during times of failure

“The ability to see yourself destroyed, worthless – and feel pain, despair, hopelessness of trying to cling to the good when you are surrounded by bad; to survive all the suffering of a human being without losing composure and kindness – this is an inexhaustible source of faith in yourself! Moreover, if you can see the pain and despair in yourself and retain enough composure and kindness, even for a small amount of joy, so that its rays break into the very core of grief and suffering, then you will forever get rid of fear and will be firmly confident in your strength and courage. … This is the highest level of confidence you can achieve. “

Towards the unknown

“Everything new requires change, and this is always scary. My close friend Scott Criens, the former CEO of Juniper Networks, compared it to aerial gymnastics: at some point you have to let go of one trapeze in order to fly to another, which means that you remain in the air without support for a few moments. But if you do not dare to do this, then you will not fly! Great new opportunities often require abandoning the familiar and safe in order to rush towards the unknown and frightening. This requires two factors: self-confidence, which allows you to boldly dive into an uncomfortable situation, and developed self-awareness, which gives a clear idea of ​​your own values, priorities and life goals. “

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Peace of mind that will change your life

“The first, most basic and perhaps the most important benefit from training the mind is the ability to bring your thoughts to calmness at any time. Gradually, with practice, you will learn to achieve this calmness every time you meditate while sitting. Moreover, very soon you will realize that you are using the same skill more and more confidently, not only in sitting meditation, but also in other, “non-special” moments. This alone may be enough to change your life. “

5 minutes to calm the mind


Sit down so that you can remain alert and relaxed at the same time (whatever that means to you). The eyes can be kept open or closed.

Anchoring (1 minute)

Focus gently on your breath, or on your body, or on any object that might catch your attention for a while. If attention gets distracted, gently return it to the anchor.

Rest (1 minute)

Let your mind rest. If you wish, imagine that the mind is easily held in breath, like a butterfly on a flower. Or say to yourself: “I don’t need to go anywhere and I don’t need to do anything, just rest.”

Genesis (1 minute)

Move from doing to being. Sit for no purpose. Just sit and feel the present moment for a minute.

Free choice (2 minutes)

For the remaining two minutes, practice one or a combination of the three tried and tested methods that you like best.

After repeating the described practice several times, decide which of the three methods suits you best. It will become your primary way to calm your mind.

Strong but soft

“Remember how soft and yet strong it feels when you look at your child or your beloved pet? In such a look, all the power of attention is concentrated, and at the same time it is soft and gentle. It is necessary to direct the same strength and softness to the object of meditation – in this case, to the breath. Imagine that you are holding a titmouse (the one that, if I’m not mistaken, is better than a pie in the sky). You hold her so gently that you cannot harm her, but at the same time, you are strong enough and confident enough that she cannot fly away. “

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See a portion of joy

“Every time, realizing that you are experiencing joy, even a subtle glimpse of it, just know that it is joy – and that’s it. Such is a simple, useful practice. Seeing joy is like noticing blue (or any other) cars on the road. There are blue cars all the time, but you don’t pay any attention to them. However, as soon as you join the game “Who will count the most blue cars”, you will find that they are literally everywhere. In the same way, joy, even if ghostly and fleeting, can be found at any moment of life. “

More gratitude – more joy

“Being able to admire the blue sky and green grass is wonderful. In fact, everything in our life is beautiful and valuable that seems pleasant to us, because in the blink of an eye we can lose anything. I could lose my health, I could be fired, I could go blind in an accident, a war could break out, and human civilization itself could perish. Gratitude opens our eyes, and the clearer we see how beautiful the most ordinary things around us are, the less likely we will begin to take them for granted. “

To be happy for others

“Altruistic joy can be a real miracle. After all, if we easily notice when someone is doing well, which means that we are able to rejoice in the happiness of others, then, therefore, we can rejoice a lot and often. In our company, for example, there are two promotion cycles each year. A lot of my colleagues (not me!) Get promoted. And if the success of others brings me joy, then, therefore, I will be very happy all year. And so it is! “

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“Whenever you devote your time and efforts to something good, doing any actions generated by altruism, stop and think:“ I am doing this unselfishly. And these very intentions make me happy! “

“Whenever you think of a good, inspiring person, stop and think:“ It’s so good that this wonderful person lives in the world. ”

Don’t blame others

“If the cause of your emotional pain is due to the actions of another person, it is best to show that person loving kindness. Remind yourself that you are similar to him in at least three ways: he is, like you, a person; he, like you, wants to be happy; he, like you, wants to be free from suffering. Keep that in mind and don’t blame him. “

Don’t blame yourself

“Treat yourself with kindness and compassion. See yourself through the eyes of your best friend. Your best friend will almost certainly convince you that you are not at all as bad as you think you are. And to be objective, he (or she) is closer to the truth than you are. Keep that in mind and don’t blame yourself. “

Life is like a miracle

“Take everything around as a miracle. Zen master Tit Nat Khan expressed this very poetically: “The real miracle is not walking on water or air, but walking on land. Every day we are gifted with miracles that we do not even pay attention to – blue skies, white clouds, green leaves, our own eyes full of childish curiosity. Everything in this world is a miracle. ” Or, as less poetically, but more funny, Louis CK once remarked, addressing people dissatisfied with the service on board the aircraft: “Didn’t you become a part of the miracle of human flight without doing anything? You were flying! This is amazing! Any passenger on any plane should exclaim every second: “Oh my God! How amazing! You are sitting in a chair in heaven! ””.

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