This book has been the most inspirational and thought provoking book I have ever read to date. A Force For Good is not my usual type of reading material, in fact, this is the first book blog I have ever written on a non-fiction, but wow, I don’t even know where to begin. I don’t think I can ever write an adequate blog for this book, but I will give it my best shot.
Daniel Goleman, I have to admit, I don’t really know much about this author, but the way he has written this book is simply magical. You get to see the Dalai Lama’s true personality and character through Goleman’s eyes and words. This is not a religious or spiritual book by any means, though a lot of people appear to have put this book in those pigeon holes already. A Force For Good is a collection of keen observations and conversations that have taken place between the Dalai Lama and a number of different people, all from different backgrounds. Most of these conversations have occurred at various scientific meetings and other events around the world. Goleman has recorded details and opinions from others to paint a clear and well-rounded picture of the Dalai Lama. The way in which this book has been written is extremely easy to follow, as much as the science and facts are all there, Goleman has done it in such a way where it doesn’t bombard you with too much information. It doesn’t read like a biography either, it feels more like a gentle journey and a close friend conversing with you, telling you about the fantastic time they spent in the company of the Dalai Lama and his friends. It’s formal without being too formal, and it’s informal without being too informal, gosh, I really don’t know how quite to describe it.
The Dalai Lama does not distinguish between rich and poor, educated and uneducated, religious and non-religious, or man, woman, and child. I’ve learnt many things from this book, including the fact that the Dalai Lama is nowhere near as religious as I thought he would be, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who thought/thinks that. The Dalai Lama is a surprising man with a scientific and logical mind. He talks and thinks just like you and I, but he does so with unlimited compassion for all life. I feel that many of the points Goleman and the Dalai Lama make, I already knew, somewhere deep down in my conscience. However my conscience was quiet or being drowned out before, but now the Dalai Lama has given a loud voice back to my conscience. It’s not that I feel guilty about everything in my life, well, maybe some things, but it’s more that my perception of the world around me has been widened in some irreversible way. I feel like there were some curtains drawn around my mind and the Dalai Lama’s words have flung them wide open.
I couldn’t stop the smiles that eased their way on to my face as my eyes literally absorbed every word (A sign of a very good book in my opinion -C.L.). I now know more about business, psychology, global warming, education, emotions, and the rest of the world. I have to say I was a sucker for one who always saw the negatives in life, particularly with the British media, but now I realize that there are people out there who are doing so much good. I also now realize how easy it is to do good things, even if they are small.
Wise-selfish, Self-Compassion and Emotional Hygiene are new terms I didn’t know before. The Dalai Lama is absolutely right when he says we need to look after our emotions and mind, and train them in order to become better human beings. If we are troubled or ignorant at the emotional level, how can we possibly make positive decisions with regards to our own lives and the world around us? We should look after the world and all of its people because we directly and/or indirectly affect one another. This starts with our children and educating the heart, not only do we wish our children to have good grades, but they could also have good minds and hearts. There has been extensive research done by a number of people who have met with the Dalai Lama, with regards to how children perform at school and how they behave with their peers. It may be a surprise to some but results show, when small changes were made to the school curriculum to include and enhance compassion, through subtle methods and training, that these children actually performed better at school. Goleman includes all of the conversations and mentions the scientific research behind these findings. I found it very interesting and have felt for a long time that the schooling system is out-dated, maybe this is the new approach we so desperately need.
The Dalai Lama’s words are not mere whimsical fantasies, his vision for our world is something he knows will take time to achieve, yet he reminds the reader constantly that we must act now, we can do something, we are not powerless. He doesn’t tell people what to do or give them weightless figures and facts. Everything the Dalai Lama says in this book is backed by true scientific results, and they have all been referenced in a long section of notes at the back of this book (yes I read this book in its entirety – C.L.). There are no secrets, no fabricated conversations, no religious messages, the Dalai Lama has a clear vision for our world, and it is one of true peace. He is an inspirational man, who is more in tune with our inner needs than anyone on Earth. I can’t possibly lie, I loved this book, and it will get full stars from me.
If you’re up for having your mind blown and your conscience moved, then this is definitely the book for you. I think everyone out there would benefit from reading this book, so I have a suggestion, if you buy a paperback or hardback copy of this book, once you have read it, pass it on to someone who is less fortunate than you, so that they may read it too.
I should also note there is a website related to this book which you can go and check out too, http://www.joinaforce4good.org/ I believe this was Mrs Goleman’s suggestion and idea.
From The Current Reviews:
The Good: ‘This is a very important book. The Dalai Lama explains the importance of empathy and education reform for future generations‘, ‘I liked the blend of science and mind in this book. We should all strive to be more compassionate in our lives‘, ‘Totally inspiring book about actions each of us can take now to make a difference‘, ‘Psychology studies consistently serve as evidence for many of the claims made, intertwining spirituality and science beautifully.‘, ‘I didn’t necessarily agree with all of the connections and extrapolations the author made. However, the book made me think – a lot. And it convinced me that I need to do more to make the world a better place.’, ‘this work reveals the revered Buddhist monk as a man of science, a great statesman, and a true leader of people.‘, ‘Very interesting read about the philosophy of Dalai Lama‘, ‘it is so well written and reveals so many of the wonderful things the Dalai Lama supports i highly recommend it’, ‘If you are seeking for ways to contribute towards world peace, need inspiration and assurance… Not a book you can “just read”. It demands “work”‘, ‘Very interesting and informative book’, ‘5*s for the Dalai Lama.’
The Bad (or rather in the spirit of things, the not so good?): ‘“…and the Dalai lama was pleased…” got a little old.‘, ‘It would get overwhelming and repetitive. There is a massive amount of the Dalai Lama in this book, but there was also too much written about studies and experiments. The Dalai Lama is an exemplar person, but this book wasn’t unremarkable.’, ‘the practises were not new to me and as such although I got a new perspective or a reminder, I was expecting more.’
The Darn Right Ugly: (There simply aren’t any, -C.L.)
The Unicorns: ‘This is one I will certainly reread and continue to draw teachings from. A truly amazing read, possible only as one result of a life led with deep compassion.‘, ‘Daniel Goleman writes about the Dalai Lama’s vision for improving our world through compassionate acts that benefit many people. I feel better about the future already.‘, ‘Full of goodness, common sense and clear advice. Inspirational, as always.’
This Book Has Been Compared/Likened To:
A Force For Good has been likened to other books about the Dalai Lama, I would recommend going to the Dalai Lama’s website if you are interested in reading more.
Release date: June 23rd 2015
Age Range: (Suitable for all ages, though I recommend 13+)
Contains: Direct quotes from the Dalai Lama and facts and figures from a number of scientific studies.
Genre: Non Fiction
Awards: (This book should have so many awards -C.L.)
About The Book: For more than half a century, in such books as The Art of Happiness and The Dalai Lama’s Little Book of Inner Peace, the Dalai Lama has guided us along the path to compassion and taught us how to improve our inner lives. In A Force for Good, with the help of his longtime friend Daniel Goleman, the New York Times bestselling author of Emotional Intelligence, the Dalai Lama explains how to turn our compassionate energy outward. This revelatory and inspiring work provides a singular vision for transforming the world in practical and positive ways.
Much more than just the most prominent exponent of Tibetan Buddhism, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama is also a futurist who possesses a profound understanding of current events and a remarkable canniness for modern social issues. When he takes the stage worldwide, people listen. A Force for Good combines the central concepts of the Dalai Lama, empirical evidence that supports them, and true stories of people who are putting his ideas into action—showing how harnessing positive energies and directing them outward has lasting and meaningful effects. Goleman details the science of compassion and how this singular guiding motivation has the power to
• break such destructive social forces as corruption, collusion, and bias
• heal the planet by refocusing our concerns toward our impact on the systems that support all life
• reverse the tendency toward systemic inequity through transparency and accountability
• replace violence with dialogue
• counter us-and-them thinking by recognizing human oneness
• create new economic systems that work for everyone, not just the powerful and rich
• design schooling that teaches empathy, self-mastery, and ethics
Millions of people have turned to the Dalai Lama for his unparalleled insight into living happier, more purposeful lives. Now, when the world needs his guidance more than ever, he shows how every compassion-driven human act—no matter how small—is integral for a more peaceful, harmonious world, building a force for a better future.
Revelatory, motivating, and highly persuasive, A Force for Good is arguably the most important work from one of the world’s most influential spiritual and political figures.
Where to Buy?
If you buy this book, the author has said, after book-related expenses, all royalties will go to nonprofit organizations, including the Mind and Life Institute and the Dalai Lama Trust, to support their good work.
Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence was on The New York Times best sellers list for a year-and-a-half. Named one of the 25 “Most Influential Business Management Books” by TIME, it has been translated into 40 languages. The Harvard Business Review called emotional intelligence (EI) “a revolutionary, paradigm-shattering idea.”
Goleman’s new book, Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence, argues that attention — a fundamental mental ability for success — has come under siege. Leadership that gets results demands a triple focus: on our inner world so we can manage ourselves; on others, for our relationships; and on the outer forces that shape our organizations and society itself.
His more recent books include The Brain and Emotional Intelligence, and Leadership: The Power of Emotional Intelligence – Selected Writings.
Disclaimer: The reviews and opinions above are either from online sources or my own, and have been collaborated together for the ease and benefit of potential new readers. All ratings have been collected from the date of this blog’s publishing and will potentially change in the future.