Book Review: “The Angel Inside” by Chris Widener

I picked up this book from the new book section of the library. The title was catchy and the book was short. So I picked it up and read it.

This book reminds of the “Goal” book with similar style that turns the learnings into a story line. It’s about this guy, Thomas, of 30 years old, who has been working in a profession (CPA) that does not bring out his passion. He was fortunate enough to meet this old guy in Italy, who guided him using the David sculpture of Michaelangelo as the stepping stone. The learnings are summarized in the following (or p.92 of the book):

1. Find the Angel (gift/beauty) within you. Know your strengths first or see the beauty inside (like Michaelangelo saw in the marble that was used for the David sculpture.

2. Follow your own passion. Like Michaelangelo did; he turned away from his father and found a mentor. “If you do not follow your passion, you will always be unhappy.”

3. Be confident (have faith) in your strength. As “David” was portrayed by Michaelangelo as a confident warrior in front of Goliath. Indeed, having the confidence seems to be the right first step or you’ll never start.

4. The beauty is in the details. The fine details are what separate the experts from the novices. Michaelangelo sculptured fine details in the “David” sculpture and truly show his crafts. In other words, one must walk the talk.

5. The hand creates what the mind conceives. (Mind over body). Michaelangelo was first a writer that perceives how he wanted the “David” sculpture to represent before he started the work.

6. Plan and prepare. The artists frequently sculpture a ‘test run’ or a small sculpture before embarking on a new statue.

7. Start with swift action (like pick up the hammer, aim, and strike the marble). One must start. “Action is the beginning of accomplishment.” Don’t let “fear of unknowns” or fear of succeeding get in the way.

8. Embrace the stages of chipping, sculpting, sanding, and polishing. Reading of the “classic” books, authored by people who already passed away may be very helpful because their contents stood the test of time. “Sanding” of life wears us down but they give us substance and make our lives meaningful. “Every negative situation can bring a positive outcome if we look for it. Those who are successful are those who can turn adversity into achievement.” Yesterday, I happened to be checking out Forbe’s richest 20 people in the world. I counted nearly half of top 10 list dropped out of school, including Bill Gates. It goes to tell you that trial and tribulations bring out the best of people. “Polishing” (looking good) will always come last.

9. Sometimes success takes years, so be content.

10. No one starts with the Sistine Chapel. (Don’t expect big, quick accomplishments).

The storyline may seem a bit corny but the teachings are deep. For those who have yet to find their passion, this book is a great boost. For those who are pursuing their passion now. The last few lessons can serve as great encouragements to “hang” in there and continue to push forward.