The Angel Inside, by Chris Widener, is one of the best inspirational books I have ever read. The book integrates life wisdom into a fictional story that a young American businessman, called Tom Cook, has travelled to Italy to search for meaning of life and he meets a mysterious old man who teaches the young man to follow his passion by showing him the art and life of Michelangelo.
Tom Cook just turned thirty, recently dumped by his girlfriend, and regarded to have zero career potential by his boss. He lives a life chosen by his parents and he is disappointing his parents and himself. He takes his time away from the United States to do soul-searching. In his final day at Florence, he meets an old man, who tells him a story,
“One day, Michelangelo was working on the marble that would become David, and a young boy came by and asked why he was working so hard hitting a rock. Michelangelo answered, ‘Young boy, there is an angel inside of this rock and I am setting him free.’”
Then the old man tells Tom there is an angel inside him, a person of beauty and a person of power, and that he is valuable just for who he is. There is a masterpiece within each of us, waiting to emerge. It is important to follow our passion, be confident in our strength, master the details, think big, start from small, plan well, take swift action and persevere on the journey.
Many people looked at that marble but saw nothing. But Michelangelo envisioned that the marble could become a masterpiece, the great David.
At the end, the mysterious old man turns out to be Michelangelo himself and disappears like an angel. The book is educational and entertaining, and better to read in one sit.
At this point, I reminded that I left a comment for a book review of “The Diamond Cutter ” in the blog Awake Your Authentic Self: Everyone is a diamond in rough; he can’t shine just because he hasn’t met the right diamond-cutter.