What is your book about?
Finding Your Way to Happy is comprised of 25 essential life lessons that touch on everything from careers and relationships, to health and life in general. The main purpose of the book is to give readers a new perspective on some of life’s timeless lessons, and encourage them to confront the question: Am I living my life the right way?
Why did you write it?
The idea for my book came out of personal journals that I started in my mid-twenties. I was going through a very rough patch at the time with work, my relationships, and other issues, and wanted to keep a record of what was happening, my thought process, and the lessons I was learning. I never intended to show it to anyone, much less turn it into a book. But as the journal entries began to evolve into useful life lessons, it dawned on me that they could serve a broader purpose by helping others through their own issues.
Who is the book intended for?
The audience I’m trying to reach with Finding Your Way to Happy includes anyone who is unsure of whether they are living their life the right way, and has an interest in self-improvement. The beauty of a book about timeless life lessons is that the advice is universally human, and is applicable to anyone committed to their own personal development. Because of my age, this book will likely resonate most with young adults, given that I have recently experienced what they are living through now, and can fully empathize with the issues they face in today’s world; issues such as choosing a meaningful career, finding the right partner, and figuring out who they are and what they want out of life.
What are some of the biggest regrets you have in life that others can learn from?
That I took things way too seriously for most of my life. That I put the pursuit of money ahead of following my passions. That I’ve been unnecessarily hard on myself at times. That I missed out on certain experiences because it required being spontaneous and deviating from the traditional life plan. That I didn’t listen to my instincts at all times. That I ever held back saying or doing something that would have made someone happy.
What is some essential advice you’d give to someone younger than yourself?
It’s easy to think you’ll always have “more time” and “other opportunities” to do certain things in life, but that’s rarely the case. You have take advantage of the Now, by doing things you may never have the chance to do again – whether that’s telling someone how you feel about them, pursuing a passion, or travelling the world. There are always tradeoffs involved in doing these things, and it takes a willingness to risk rejection and uncertainty, but it’s a small price to pay for getting the most out of life. A perfect example of this is when I left my job as an investment banker to travel in South America. Most people tried to talk me out of it by saying it was risky move and that I’d be screwing up my career track. But I knew it was a unique opportunity that may never come around again. I was single, healthy, and had enough money saved, so there was no reason I couldn’t (or shouldn’t) do it. Of course I would miss my friends and family, and there was always the possibility I wouldn’t be able to get a good job after I returned. But I was willing to risk that uncertainty in order to take advantage of an opportunity that might never present itself again. And that’s how I believe everyone should approach life: Be willing to deviate from the traditional life plan in order to enjoy experiences that may never come around again. The biggest fear we should all have is not living life to the fullest because we’re unwilling to step outside of our comfort zone and risk uncertainty.
Do you believe that reading a book can make someone happier?
Yes and no. My book, or any self-help book for that matter, is never going to be the magical elixir that makes someone happier overnight. Self-improvement in any area of life requires patience, repetition, and real-world practice. But what the right book can do is provide the necessary impetus to get started on a path towards personal development. I’ve read a number of books in my life that expressed something I instinctively believed, but for whatever reason could never articulate or admit to myself. Those books planted a seed in my mind that would prompt me to make long-overdue improvements in myself, which eventually led to greater happiness. My hope is that Finding Your Way to Happy will have a similar effect on people.
What are you working on now?
I just released two new eBooks. The first – Memento Mori – calls on readers to embrace the certainty of death by living life urgently and fully. The second – Book of Revs – is a compilation of 100 simple reminders for improving your life. Both can be found here.