In early May 2017, I got a phone call from my colleague Dave Stuart while I was coaching at a JV tennis match in Big Rapids, MI. Dave and I like to joke around so I probably answered in a flippant way, but his tone seemed a bit more serious than usual. He continued on to explain the reason for the call was he had just recommended to our superintendent that I go to a workshop taking place in Chicago called The Orange Frog.
An interesting piece to this scenario is that Dave had just written in a blog to never “pass the buck”. Even with this being the case Dave knows I someday see myself as some level of administrator and convinced me that being trained as a a future trainer at The Orange Frog work be to my benefit. (Jumping ahead and leaving out details, I think he was both correct and the training on positive psychology came at very good time for me on a personal level.)
Upon my return to school from the tennis match, Dave hooked me up with one of his copies of The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor. In the book Shawn Achor explains that his passion for writing this book was to connect common readers to the work of psychologists. Being a science minded individual, I really enjoyed the reading for its analysis of research studies pertaining to positive psychology and for the good sense of humor Achor carries throughout the book. The content does seem common sense, but I feel as though the way the research is mixed with concrete examples and techniques really does poise the reader to put Happiness in the forefront of their life. I have been recommending the book to many people. Everyone seems to be okay with the idea of adding more happiness in their life. If someone offers a way to be happier, not many people say “No thanks, I am maxed out on happiness!” Perhaps a bigger take away is that several societal norms are at the root of our unhappiness. I think the more people there are who get exposed to some of this research, the more willing organizations, and society as a whole, will be to start changing in a positive way.
After making quick work of The Happiness Advantage, I gave The Orange Frog parable a quick read in preparation for the training in Schaumberg (not Chicago). The training was very good and (as I mentioned earlier in this post) something I felt I benefited from on a personal level right away. Being one of seven trainers for The Orange Frog has been a needed push in a professional life and it has been really nice to meet more people in our district. I plan to write more about The Orange Frog training in the future after another round of training have been completed.
In early May 2017 a friend and colleague “passed the buck” and I am grateful. After reading The Happiness Advantage and getting some encouragement from another colleague, Erica Beaton, I began the largest literature journey I have ever been on. In four months I think I have read, or listened to, 12 books ranging in topics from motivation to pure research to walking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). One of my aims with this blog is to help capture some of my key connections from each these books and encourage others to seek out their own literature adventure. Peace.