Sunday, June 14, 2009
Although all M.J. Ryan's books are great, I thought her last book, This Year I Will was a masterpiece. This book is about how to make changes we want to see happen in our lives—losing weight, changing jobs, getting organized—and it combines optimism and encouragement with some real, for-sure scientific evidence about how the brain works and why we are motivated to do the things we do with some compassionate understanding. Kind of like having an awesome mother with a Ph.D. in neuroscience who mixes a mean margarita while she cheers you on and dispenses spot-on advice—powerful, intoxicating, but also subtle and non-judgmental.
Her latest book, Adaptability: How to Survive Change You Didn’t Ask For, addresses change of a completely different kind—not happy, proactive change like New Year’s resolutions, but change that is forced upon us like getting laid off from our job, losing our retirement money in the stock market, seeing our business implode—in other words, the stuff that many of us are going through right now.
M.J.’s publisher, Broadway Books, pushed this book through the normally snail-paced publishing process quickly because this is a book that we need immediately. To quote Broadway,
“In her book, (M.J.) teaches the fundamentals needed to become a master of change, These essentials will allow you to accept the need to adapt and become aware of your internal resources…and learn how to get your brain on your side.”
The back of the book has my favorite section—20 Quick Tips for Surviving Change You Didn’t Ask For. Here are a few of my favorites:
• Because feeling in control is so crucial to resilience, and unasked-for-change can leave us feeling very out of control, try asking yourself this question during the day: What am I free to choose right now?
• When considering options, before you say something won’t work, consider how it might work. Try it on for a while.
• Get out and help someone else. When we focus on someone else’s problems, we put our own in perspective. If we focus on helping others, panic diminishes.
• What really matters here? That’s a question that will help you keep the change in proportion. A woman who lost her house was told by her minister that what she needed was a home, not a house. It helped her move to a rental with greater peace and perspective.
For the other 16 Tips, you will just have to buy the book. Or better yet, go to M.J.’s talk at Towne Center Books in Pleasanton on Wednesday, June 17 at 7:30 p.m.
See you there!
Posted by Kathy Cordova at 5:20 PM