Bestselling author, podcast host and TED speaker, Neil Pasricha, has charisma and positivity that emanates from the pages of his new book, You Are Awesome.
We will all experience challenges and often face failures, but if we look at them in a positive light, appreciate what we have learned and move on, continue moving forward and growing, the negative feelings won’t drag us down or hold us back. We have the ability to consciously change our thought process, and Neil Pasricha provides us with “9 Secrets to Getting Stronger and Living an Intentional Life”.
I loves Pasricha’s thoughts on resilience and I couldn’t settle on who this book was best for, my son, my husband or my mother! Neil hits the nail on the head when it comes to adjusting your outlook on your own life and on people and the world around you. He puts a positive spin on what we might typically see as failure, bad news, short end of the straw. Opportunity awaits us around every corner and behind every door. It is just a matter of being able to see the good, be resilient, keep on going, and put yourself in the best situations to encourage success.
With smart stories and examples, we get advice on how to overcome negative feelings and how to take control of our lives. You Are Awesome is a quick and uplifting read – a great gift for everyone in your life!
Q & A with Neil Pasricha:
Q: You seem to have a glass half full outlook (and a quick wit) – how much of that do you think is inherent in your personality and how much is attributed to the work you put in with what I will call “self therapy” and telling yourself a different story?
A: A lot is self therapy! I think the wit was sharpened at a young age as a way to avoid being bullied. I was tiny, I had thick Coke bottle glasses, and I was the only brown kid in my school. The nerd preservation system kicked in! But, to your point, sure, there is a baseline. Positive psychology researcher Sonja Lyubirmirsky has posited a model saying 50% of our happiness is genetic, 10% is circumstances, and 40% is intentional activities. My point is that I’m really cranking on that 40% (the self therapy bit) but … yeah, I mean, I don’t know where I am on the 50%. Likely decently high.
Q: You speak to large groups in person, and through your books, Ted Talks and Podcasts. Have you ever coached individuals and have you received any feedback from people who embraced your process?
A: Not formally, no, although after my speeches I almost always say onstage “And I’ll be the last to leave tonight!” And I mean it. Which means after the stage is packed up, and the AV team is leaving with big heavy suitcases, there are always a few people with the longest / toughest / meatiest questions lingering towards the end. Those often end up as deeper conversations. We get into it! I listen, ask questions, offer them my energy, offer them my love.
Q: Have you ever thought about creating ongoing seminars or workshops for people who, after reading your book, need more formal assignments and exercises to implement the ways of thinking over time?
A: I have but I’m a big believer in following your passion. I did a lot of that kind of work at Walmart. I spent ten years there in a variety of HR roles across learning, training, leadership development, that kind of thing. It wasn’t a huge passion for me. I loved the writing, I loved the standing up and teaching, and I think I do both those things now. I have experimented with creating a couple of classes with places like Teachable and CreativeLive but it’s never quite worked. Lots of people email me asking if they can use concepts from my books in their workshops or classes and I always just reply saying “Sure, go ahead.” I value karma over copyright.
Q: Do you keep a journal?
A: Yes! Three of them actually:
1) I start my day with Two-Minute Mornings. (I will let go of…, I am grateful for…, I will focus on…)
2) I have a deeper wide-open longform journal that I just use to process “lumps in my stomach” or things that I’m getting stuck on. (I use this maybe 2-3x a week.)
3) I subscribe to ahhlife.com — a free online email journal that prompts me when I set it to which is Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 9pm.
Q: In You Are Awesome, you give us 9 secrets. How many did you start off with before you whittled it down to 9?
A: At least double that! I think the second or third draft still had about 13 or so.
Q: You tell a story about a guy you meet on a plane who tells you a secret. After running into him once years later, you never saw him again. Do you ever wonder if he has read any of your books and if he will recognize himself in You Are Awesome?
A: I’m not sure! Although I was careful to anonymize enough of the story so that it *could* be a number of people. He literally is just “the bald bearded consultant” in the book and, let’s be honest, there are probably a lot of those. (Ha).
Q: What books do you read for inspiration?
A: I love reading and rereading “On The Shortness Of Life” by Seneca. I actually buy the Penguin Classics edition in bulk and hand them out and I keep one in my suitcase to crack open whenever I land in some hotel room and feel a bit stressed. It adds tremendous perspective because it was written 2000 years ago but sounds like an email from a friend today.
About the Author:
My name is Neil Pasricha (PASS-REACH-AH) and I’m the New York Times-blah-blah bestselling author of YOU ARE AWESOME, THE HAPPINESS EQUATION, and THE BOOK OF AWESOME series. My books have published a lot of languages I can’t read, spent eight years and over 200 weeks on bestseller lists, and sold millions of copies. I run the award-winning podcast “3 Books” (www.3books.co) which is my epic 15-year quest to uncover and discuss the 1000 most formative books in the world…. 3 books at a time. (Sample guests: David Sedaris, Judy Blume, Malcolm Gladwell, etc.)
But, anyway, it didn’t start out like this. Ten years ago my wife left me and my best friend took his own life in the span of a few weeks. I channeled my energies into writing a blog called 1000 Awesome Things to cheer myself up. (And I gave a TED Talk about it called “The 3 A’s of Awesome”)
The blog took off and won the Webby for Best Blog in the World two years in a row and scored over 50 million hits.
What was I doing during all this? Working at Walmart. I spent a decade as Director of Leadership Development there and developed a passion for managing and developing people when studying at Queen’s (2002) and Harvard (2007).