Home » Book Review » Book Reviews: Does Good Karma Make Good Business Reading?

Book Reviews: Does Good Karma Make Good Business Reading?

Americans really love books about simplifying life. They honestly believe that life—and that includes corporate life—can be streamlined and rationalized to make things function more smoothly. You know, the way they do things in India.

6-Books

Embrace the Chaos: How India Taught Me to Stop Over-Thinking and Start Living is an exquisite example of this genre. Once upon a time, author Bob Miglani, a sales rep turned angel investor and inspirational speaker, had a good job. Things were going well; but then, he started over-thinking. He started stressing. His career stagnated.

One day, he decided to accompany a friend on a business trip to India, where he had grown up. The experience would change his life. His friend was overwhelmed by the sheer madness of daily life in India, where nothing ever seemed to run on time, where nothing could be controlled. But Miglani was not overpowered. He just loved the place.

A classic, Type A in the United States, Miglani quickly adopted a more mellow mindset when he returned to his native land. Trapped in a taxi in a monstrous traffic jam, he simply sat back and relaxed. When his flight to Delhi from the sacred mountain got canceled, he learned to go with the flow, to chill out, to stop trying to make sense of things. He allowed himself to just enjoy the ride. Or, in that case, to enjoy the lack of ride, as it had been canceled.

When he got back to New Jersey, Miglani was a changed man. He had embraced the chaos, and the chaos seemed more than ready to return the favor. This illustrates one of the strange paradoxes of modern life: It is possible to go to India and return to New Jersey a changed man. But it is difficult to return to India after having experienced enlightenment during a trip to New Jersey. The Garden State is just not that kind of place.

About Joe Queenan

Joe Queenan is a regular contributor on business issues, corporate culture, and financial follies to Barron's and The Wall Street Journal.