Gopi Kallayil works for Google in Silicon Valley, but he was born in a tiny village in India long before the advent of the internet. His background in a country where meditation and yoga are considered an essential part of life, not extras, inspired him to bring practical wisdom to the craziness of modern life. In this book he shares that wisdom. He makes no claim to greatness; he’s just a man who has worked out ways to keep a balance between his inner and outer life, and this humility and ordinariness is part of the charm of this book. He tells stories that illustrate his points in an easy natural style. It’s as if he’s speaking to us directly, and it makes us feel that we know him. Reading the book is both a helpful and enjoyable experience.
There is much good practical advice here for keeping one’s sanity and sense of connection with the spiritual plane while engaged with modern technology or high powered jobs. One that stands out is to do one task at a time. Multi-tasking is generally held up as a good thing, but Gopi tells it as it really is. We don’t focus on any of the tasks fully, so we don’t do as good a job as we’d do if we were focusing fully on one task. It’s also more satisfying to complete one task well, than have several tasks that are incomplete because we’re doing several other things at the same time. I found his advice in this area enormously helpful for my work.
He mentions, among other things, getting enough sleep, stepping aside from the computer to eat, and taking time out for solitude, silence and meditation. These are probably not new ideas to most of us, but they are things we may forget or let go due to time restraints. Gopi emphasises that we work and feel better if we give them time in our lives.
I also found the book unexpectedly inspiring in his enthusiasm for the beneficial aspects of the internet in bringing the human race together and in his examples of how if you trust and relax you can make seemingly impossible things happen. I was left feeling that Google must be a great place to work.
5 stars and highly recommended.