Embrace the Chaos: How India Taught Me to Stop Overthinking and Start Living by Bob Miglani
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I love the subtitle of this book "How India Taught Me to Stop Overthinking and Start Living." ... In fact it was the subtitle that hooked me. The actual title, EMBRACE THE CHAOS, turned me off a bit. I don't want to embrace the chaos, even after reading the book! I want peace in my life. As much peace as I can possibly get. So I read the book with a bit of an attitude, struggling against the author's idea of embracing chaos, but then I had to stop and laugh at myself as I read it, because there I was "overthinking" while reading a book about how to stop overthinking. Sheesh.
This book is a short easy read. It's certainly not a manual about rocket science, and I wasn't struck by any epiphanies while reading it, but I enjoyed the stories (modern day parables) about India.
There were several great points that struck a chord with me:
"It all works out in the end. Just accept it." (page xvi)
"What I'm suggesting is not that we sit back and give up on life but that we in fact work harder on the things that we can control: our own words, thoughts, and actions. By making a choice to redirect our frequently wasted effort to control others or the conditions around us, by refocusing that intense passion on our own actions, living in each precious moment, we can begin to move forward into a life we want." (page 3)
“What I had missed … in my search for the presence of God, I discovered only when I was forced to let go of the plans I had made, when I stopped trying to understand why things went wrong and simply accepted it. Instead, I found that presence hidden inside the generosity and kindness of those who notice our effort and help us on our journey …” (page 27)
“I became happier the moment I stopped putting my attention on others. … What I work on changing is me.” (page 86)
However, there were also quite a few religious/spiritual points I disagreed with:
“We have been living in the fabric of chaos all our lives, without realizing it. Chaos determines our birth; our meeting of friends, partners, and colleagues; and some of life’s greatest experiences.” (page 101)
“When you pray to God … Does He answer you? … No … God doesn’t answer.” (page 115)
So if you’re looking for spiritual enlightenment, I would not recommend this book. Instead I would recommend HEARING THE VOICE OF THE LORD by Gerald Lund.
And if you’re looking for a deep, thought-provoking book about how to improve the quality of your life, I would recommend THE FOUR AGREEMENTS by Don Miguel Ruiz.
But if you’re looking for a light, easy-to-read, and interesting book that you can read on the airplane or in the doctor’s office or waiting in the carpool line … and learn a few things about how to stop overthinking, THIS is the book for you.
Bob Miglani shows his personal insecurities while sharing his stories of India, and his humble approach impressed me. I really enjoyed reading this book.
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