A debut guide advocates a meditation-infused approach for the business world.
Roberts constructs her book around what appears at first glance to be an unworkable strategy: adapting the outlook and principles of yoga, where stillness and mindfulness are prized above all, to the business domain, where hard-charging attitudes and practical momentum usually rule the day. The manual’s seemingly conflicted title signals this contrast; as Roberts puts it, “When you overthink things, you disrupt your ability to find your flow.” The key concepts that make this confluence possible, as the author concisely but patiently lays out in the course of her book, are calm and communication—that by working to create a quiet, inner space through “hot” meditation, she’s able to center herself and facilitate the action required by the various management roles in which she’s found herself. Her guide is fleshed out with both extensive glimpses of her own autobiography and wide-ranging echoes and hints of other self-help and business motivation works she’s read. The latter often becomes the manual’s main weakness. The volume displays a penchant for clichés like “just do it” or “be careful what you wish for, because it might just come true,” and a willingness to repeat the kind of self-evident nonsense that’s unfortunately a staple of the genre, as when The Game of Numbers author Nick Murray is quoted saying lines like “We can always learn by doing. We can never do by learning.” Luckily, the bulk of the book is a thoughtful exploration of the sometimes-startling benefits to be derived from importing Eastern meditation viewpoints to the office and the boardroom—and how the yoga and business worlds are in fact more similar than most readers would believe. Roberts points out, for example, that in both realms the old rule of “garbage in, garbage out” is true.
A thought-provoking call to revamp the office by incorporating the surprisingly compatible elements of yoga.