We have a quarterly book club at work. The entire department reads a business book and then we get on a conference call and discuss the book and how we can apply it to our team dynamic and, more importantly, ourselves so we can be better overall human beings. (I work for a seriously awesome company, on a seriously awesome team. But I digress.)
This quarter’s book is The Happiness Advantage, by Shawn Achor. I started reading it on the plane yesterday. And this book, this BUSINESS book that I’ve been asked to read for BUSINESS purposes, made me cry. And cry and cry and cry. (In case you don’t know me, I’m a big crier, and as I’ve said before, airplanes are one of my top three places to have a good cry.)
THE POINT IS: The premise of the book is that we’re taught all our lives to think that we will be happy when we are successful, but it is not until we change our thinking and become happier that we will find success. And there are principles that you can follow to become happier. And it’s not written in a mumbo jumbo “just trust me on this” way like The Secret (although, don’t get me wrong, I am a HUGE HUGE believer in the law of attraction), Achor’s principles are backed up by the principles of positive psychology, extensive research and in some cases, scientific proof.
I don’t have scientific proof. All I have is this: years ago I got a text from My Sweetness. I can still remember exactly where I was. What I was doing. What I was wearing. What I was drinking. What the weather was like. How it smelled and looked outside. How I felt. This text, this one single text, changed the course of my life. It said: “Only we hold the keys to unlock our cages.”
So simple, yet so profound.This became my True North.
Eventually, that text lead me to Karen.
Karen’s mantra is this: Change your thinking, change your life.
Which brings me to why I’m crying on the plane as I read this book.
I’ve read A LOT of business books. A LOT. And if you throw in textbooks, that’s even more books I’ve read about business. And I’ve learned something from all of them. I’ve applied their management principles and their marketing principles here and there. I’ve referenced them when I’ve needed some inspiration.
This book is different. This book isn’t about business. I’m crying because this book is about LIFE. This book is about taking that key and unlocking your cage. I’m crying because I know these principles are true. I believe this book in my heart. I know this, because this is what Karen told me to do and I did it. And it was HARD to change. It was the hardest, most painful, gut wrenching, saddest, refining, defining, awakening, stressful, two-steps-forward-one-step-back process of my life.
I’m crying because I am infinitely grateful for this lesson, the true north that changed everything. I am crying for all of the love that I feel. I am crying because I want to work harder and be better. I’m crying because I don’t want to lose my way and I can’t believe that this book came into my hands as such a beautiful reminder of how I want to live.
I am crying because I hope that My Sweetness knows how grateful I am every single day for that text.
I am crying because I am truly, from the bottom of my heart and the depths of my soul, happy.