The message of this book is essentially the same as many other things you’ve probably read or heard. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, parts of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Sane New World, Song of Solomon; it’s all there. Those are all great works, and it doesn’t do the message any harm to hear it again in a different way – rather, it reinforces it. The message, by the way, is be mindful of what you’re doing, breathe slowly, and don’t worry so much about stuff because none of it really matters anyway.
I did get something new from this book, though: a new definition of a selfless act. Anything you do that you get joy from is not selfless, because you’re getting joy from it. There’s nothing wrong with that – Mother Theresa no doubt got joy from saving orphaned children, and that was great, but it wasn’t selfless. It was a win-win situation for both her and the orphans. A selfless act is something you do for someone else when you *don’t* want to do it, and only they get a benefit. Generally, selfless acts are a bad idea, then, because it’s just going to build resentment or anger or perhaps a feeling of unappreciation within you that’s going to come out on that person later, so what seems like a lose-win situation is actually a lose-lose situation. For this reason, you shouldn’t subordinate your desires to someone else’s except in the most exceptional circumstances.