Book Review-The 7 Joys of Life

The 7 Joys of Life
The Publisher, New Delhi
Price Rs 495

The book begins with a chapter on self-knowledge, which is so lacking in the modern society. We are so busy learning about objects and other people, we forget to make an attempt to know ourselves. We do not know our innermost desires, our deepest passions and what gives us intense joy or grief. We are not aware of the working of our mind and emotions. Often we don’t like the way we are headed, yet we refuse to do what is required-going within. We rather search for answers here and there, not even aware of the treasure called human soul.
Then we are guided to the second step in the journey of connecting and falling in love with ourselves. It is such an irony that we are busy running after relationships yet feeling insecure all the time of losing them. We think that relating with ourselves is the last priority though it should be the first. The author rightly points out that meditation has wrongly been associated with stress. Meditation is a source of joy and meditation is simply the art of living in the moment. Once you fall in love with yourself, you are bound to develop a charisma.

The third step is crucial too as it is about discovering our deepest passion. There are two interesting personal stories of how Dr Amit and Nihar discovered their deepest passion. There are two interesting contributions here; one on career filled with passion and purpose by Rory Kelly Connor and one on our fears of change by the well known John Murphy.

The fourth chapter focuses on developing wisdom and intuition, badly needed in our confused times. Here two topics are particularly interesting viz. handling office politics with wisdom and why leaders must be good actors. People in developing countries are more likely to stereotype and be judgmental of others which has been discussed in the end. The fifth chapter discusses the relationships aspect. Important factors affecting relationships which have been discussed include respect affection principle, attitude, ego and love. Jennifer Sertl’s contribution on corporate consciousness becomes very relevant as organisation support is critical for employees to discover their passion and contribute more meaningfully to the organisation.

In the sixth chapter Andrea Sobotka’s contribution on connecting with plants and animals is quite interesting keeping in mind the nature deficit in our city lives. The last chapter on pampering ourselves has unusual topics like breakthrough coaching, laughter yoga, peak potential and greatness. Meredith Kimbell’s contribution on how leaders can spread joy and Dr Nagpal’s poem, “No Fear, No doubt” in the epilogue really touch the soul.
The best thing about the book is that it simplifies the complex concepts of spirituality and makes personal growth and meditation appear joyful to the reader. The 18 contributions from 6 countries across 4 continents add to the spice and flavor. The drawback in my view is that most of the contributions are from western part of the world and more contributions from eastern part could have provided more balance and richness to the book.

Jeevan Nair
Author & Formerly Principal Correspondent-Hindustan Times

Originally published in Spiritual Lounge E-magazine (Page 23, July Issue)

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