I don’t like to talk about myself. Just ask the journalists who’ve interviewed me recently and complained that I needed to stop asking them so many questions, so that they could ask me a few.
But something happened to me in November 2014 that I simply have to talk about. It was an awakening of sorts. I realized that the way I’d been living my life, tuned to the constant drumbeat of worry, was making me sick, miserable, and would probably kill me.
It was a low time in my life, to say the least.
I’d come to a dead end, a failure I felt sure I could never recover from. I even considered whether my husband, children, and the world would be better off without me.
It was bad.
And then, in desperation, I grasped at the last straw I could come up with: a 30-day experiment in the laboratory of my own mind. The Joy Plan was not born from joy! It was a last-ditch attempt at salvaging the vestiges of my broken confidence, spirit, and future. I never actually thought it would work.
But it did. I mean, WOW, did it ever. And it didn’t even take that long! Once I cracked the code—once I figured out how to harness the neurobiology of joy and apply it in simple ways every day—my life morphed before my very eyes.
This. Shit. Works.
So I started by writing down what I was doing so I could remember if I forgot. And it got kinda long. And then I decided to write an article about it, but it kept getting longer. And then it just kept going, and going, and keeping me awake at night, and telling me: this is a book, and you have to write it!
I don’t like to talk about myself, but The Joy Plan is more than just my story. Although I’m the farthest thing from a self-help guru, I believe in the power of words and stories to transform. And with my story as the backdrop, I’ve been told by everyone who’s read The Joy Plan that they feel transformed. I am humbled, but I really had no choice. The Joy Plan wanted to be written, and I believe it chose me as its messenger.
This may sound trippy, but if you read Elizabeth Gilbert’s BIG MAGIC, you’re familiar with the concept of ideas choosing you. And perhaps you’ve experienced this yourself when you were tossing around an idea, letting it court you while you weighed your options. Gilbert hypothesizes that eventually, if you don’t accept its invitation, your idea will move on to find someone who will.
I wrote The Joy Plan because it was an idea that would not leave me alone. I couldn’t stop my hands from writing it. However, I live The Joy Plan every day because IT WORKS. Not because of magic, because of science. (Although who’s to say what magic really lies beneath all of our cold, hard science anyway?)
In the end, why it works doesn’t really matter. What matters is HOW DO YOU ACTUALLY DO IT??? And that’s what this book is all about.
I am so excited to share it with you. And nervous. Really nervous.
But mostly excited.