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 (Gallery Books).
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 continue moving forward and growing, the negative feelings won’t drag us down or hold us back, says Pasricha. We have the ability to consciously change our thought process, and Pasricha provides us with “Nine Secrets to Getting Stronger and Living an Intentional Life.”
I love Pasricha’s thoughts on resilience and couldn’t settle on who this book was best suited for: my son, husband or mother! Pasricha hits the nail on the head when it comes to adjusting your outlook on your own life, other people and the world around you. He puts a positive spin on what we might typically see as failure, bad news or the short end of the straw. Opportunity awaits us around every corner. 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.
I had the chance to ask Pasricha some questions.
You have a glass-half-full outlook (and a quick wit). How much of that is inherent in your personality and how much is attributed to the work you put in and telling yourself a different story?
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 was the only brown kid in my school. The nerd preservation system kicked in! But there is a baseline. Positive psychology researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky has posited a model saying 50 percent of our happiness is genetic, 10 percent is circumstances, and 40 percent is intentional activities. I’m really cranking on that 40 percent (the self-therapy bit) but … yeah, I mean, I don’t know where I am on the 50 percent. Likely decently high.
Do you keep a journal?
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 long-form journal that I just use to process “lumps in my stomach” or things that I’m getting stuck on. (I use this maybe two to three times per week.)
3) I subscribe to ahhlife.com—a free online email journal that prompts me to write an entry whenever I set it to do so, which is Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 9 p.m.
In You Are Awesome, you give us nine secrets. How many did you start off with before you whittled it down to nine?
At least double that! I think the second or third draft still had about 13 or so.
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?
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).
What books do you read for inspiration?
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. 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 2,000 years ago but sounds like an email from a friend today.
You Are Awesome is now available for purchase.