Book Reviews

Stay Sane in an Insane World

How to control the controllables and thrive

Author: Greg Harden | Book Review: by Marlene Caraballo.

In today’s fast-paced and often chaotic world, pursuing a positive mindset (and sanity) has become more essential than ever. Greg Harden’s book “Stay Sane in an Insane World” offers a practical perspective on navigating life’s challenges with grace and wisdom. I found this book easy to read, and more importantly, I could feel Harden’s words giving me a motivational kick in the butt.

Harden’s writing style is approachable and relatable. He doesn’t position himself as an all-knowing guru; instead, he shares his struggles and successes and those of the many athletes he has coached who achieved exceptional results despite their challenges. His authenticity sets the tone for the entire book, making his suggestions on thriving in life easy to digest and absorb.

What I love about “Stay Sane in an Insane World” is its grounded advice. Harden doesn’t dwell on abstract theories but offers actionable steps and strategies to, as he says, “control the controllables.” He presents guidance on mindfulness, self-identity, stress management, and fostering a positive mindset—tools that are invaluable to all of us and don’t only apply to exceptional athletes like his mentee, Tom Brady.

Harden’s book underscores the significance of self-care and self-identity. He encourages readers to prioritize goals and maximize effort. He explains to his mentees and the reader to always strive to give everything you do your absolute 100 percent best effort because even when one doesn’t reach that goal, one will land somewhere much closer than without that mindset. He demonstrates this with several true stories about well-known athletes, describing how they had challenges to overcome, but he was able to help them focus only on what was within their control. The results are extraordinary. He makes the reader feel that the same philosophies apply to us all.

Coach Harden with Tom Brady
Coach Harden with Tom Brady

“Greg never allowed me (or anybody) to play the victim. If it was to be, it was up to me.” “More than 20 years later, I still think back on Greg’s teachings. Quit focusing on all the things you can’t control. Focus on being the best version of yourself.”  ~Tom Brady, seven-time Super Bowl Champion, five-time Super Bowl MVP

Harden preaches self-love and self-acceptance as keys to replacing self-defeating attitudes and behaviors. He describes lessons and tools we could all use to face difficulties, learn, grow, and emerge stronger. Through stories, Harden provides readers with valuable insights into top athletes’ strategies to overcome challenges and perform at their best. This unique perspective adds depth and usefulness to his guidance. He underscores the importance of cultivating a positive mindset, which can reshape how we perceive and interact with the world. 

Harden’s words remind us that, even during difficult times, we can find silver linings and turn adversity into an opportunity for growth.

“Stay Sane” offers foundational advice for anyone striving to find peace with their past, achieve their absolute best, and maintain their mental well-being in a world that often seems overwhelming. 

I recommend this book to anyone seeking functional strategies to feel inspired and who could use a bit of coaching to believe in what’s possible.


Marlene Caraballo

Marlene Caraballo is an intuitive life coach, writer, speaker, and spiritual mentor, who works with women looking for soulful guidance to clear what’s blocking them so they can build confidence, master their mindset, and chase their dreams. She lives in rural Orange County, NY and is mom to three grown sons. She shares mindset tips at and blogs about life after fifty at Contact her at or on Instagram @_marlenecaraballo_.

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