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Foreword to Embrace the Chaos

Charlotte Ashlock Posted by Charlotte Ashlock, Executive Editor, Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.

Charlotte Ashlock is a crazy idealist trying to make the world a better place! 


Foreword to Embrace the Chaos

by Richard Leider

Our lives are more chaotic than we’d like. And that’s not going to change.

Finding meaning through the busy routines of work and life is never easy. Our daily lives often lack a sense of purpose-a reason to get up in the morning-and appear to serve no apparent end. That can change, and this book helps us make that change.


To change, we need to push the pause button to see beneath the surface to the place where we know not with just the mind but with the heart. There are steps we can take to enhance our ability to pause and reflect on our lives.

Bob Miglani offers us simple, practical steps that will help us overcome our hurry sickness-being stressed out, burnt out, or just plain stuck.

But first, let’s look at the cost of hurry sickness.

When I reflect upon the necessity for introspection in my coaching work, I get the response from my clients: “Who has the time?” or “I’m too busy.” That is the precise problem. Hurry sickness-always going somewhere, never being anywhere-is numbing our conscious awareness of what’s really going on in our lives. Our very sense of humanity, or our full presence in our own lives, is being hijacked by busyness.


The first step to recovering from hurry sickness is to read this book. It helps us unmask our illusions. It helps us confront what parts of our busyness are expressions of our real purpose in life. When we lose touch with our purpose, we lose our perspective on what truly matters. And mattering matters, to all of us.

When chaos grips our lives, we’re forced to reflect. At times when things are going smoothly, we may not sense the need at all. This book awakens us to the reality of the new normal: pause now or pay later.

Bob teaches us that we’re never alone in our journey. When we’re hurrying, we rarely really know anyone. In order to know people, we must listen to their stories. We live in an age when we rarely have the time to listen, or to hear, each other’s stories. So, we live on assumptions that we know each other. This book is filled with funny, surprising, even moving stories. Bob’s own stories of his experiences in India are worth the read alone. And they will help you recall your own story and listen to the stories of others.

Bob advises us that remembering the impermanence of life daily helps us to bring greater purpose to our step. He counsels trying to meditate amidst the chaos. Try this. Tomorrow morning, get up a little earlier. Mind over mattress! Before you start your day, sit quietly for five minutes and take three deep breaths. Breath one-just be present. Breath two-be grateful. Breath three-read a paragraph of this book. Picture your day. Picture the possible purpose moments, or times when you can serve a cause, a project you care about, or a person you love. You cannot control the chaos. You can control you. One day at a time. One breath at a time.

Embracing the chaos helps us slow down to the speed of story. It teaches us how to find fulfillment and meaning in a stressed out world. It teaches us to live with chaos, cope with it, deal with it, accept it, and move forward.

-Richard Leider, best-selling author of Repacking Your Bags, The Power of Purpose, and Life Reimagined.

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