Book Picks – Joy on Demand: The Art of Discovering Happiness Within, by Chade-Meng Tan

“Meng continues to further his goal of promoting a better life grounded in happiness for his fellow human beings.”

~Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States

Joy is the root of happiness.

Joy is a sustainable state that fuels our creativity and inspiration for innovation.  It strengthens our ability to attract friends and to get along with people.  Learning to cultivate joy is the fundamental secret to success. In this long-awaited follow-up to the New York Times bestselling Search Inside Yourself, Chade-Meng Tan shows us how anyone, no matter where they are, can access this source of happiness.

Meng writes, “If you have been unhappy, or you are happy and aspire to be even happier, know that your happiness set point can be upgraded. I know because I did it, I have seen many others do it, and scientific studies have measured it. Of course, Buddhist monks and other contemplative people have been doing it for thousands of years, but it’s not something in the water in the Himalayas, it’s something you can do too, wherever you are. I think the main problem is most people aren’t aware that it is even possible. Or, if we’ve heard of it, many of us think it is unattainable so we don’t even try. We don’t know it’s something that every single one of us can learn.”

The path to joy on demand is through mindfulness, but it doesn’t have to be a lot of work, take a lot of time, or require you to abandon all your possessions and live in a hut on a remote island. In Joy on Demand, Chade-Meng Tan reveals the innate contentment that we all possess, and how to tap into this natural, infinite capacity for joy. The best part is that the benefits extend to every aspect of life—our brains work better, our bodies function better, we achieve greater success at work, and we find ourselves highly attractive to the people around us. The more we exercise this skill, the more familiar we become with joy, the more we effortlessly gravitate toward it, and in so doing create a sustainable sense of wonder and contentment that can carry us throughout our entire life. (Holding for applause.)

 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 (Jolly Good) President of the Tan Teo Charitable Foundation, a small foundation dedicated to promoting Peace, Liberty and Enlightenment in the world. He is a Founding Patron of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE). He is also a Founding Patron of the World Peace Festival, and adviser to a number of technology start-ups.

Meng earned his MS in Computer Science from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He went to Santa Barbara mainly for the beach, but didn’t mind the graduate degree either. He considers himself a Buddhist “on most weekdays, especially Mondays”. He is an avid meditator, because meditation facilitates in him inner peace and happiness “without doing real work”. Meng occasionally finds himself featured on newspapers. He was featured on the front page of the New York Times and delivered a TED talk at the United Nations. He has met three United States Presidents, Obama, Clinton and Carter. The Dalai Lama gave him a hug for his 40th birthday. His personal motto is, “Life is too important to be taken seriously”.

Meng hopes to see every workplace in the world become a drinking fountain for happiness and enlightenment. When Meng grows up, he wants to save the world, and have lots of fun and laughter doing it. He feels if something is no laughing matter, it is probably not worth doing.

Paperback: 15.99