By: Ali Elizabeth Turner
I am just back from a wonderful conference in Phoenix put on by the Juice Plus Company, a remarkable outfit that found a way 30 years ago to put powdered plants in capsules, and whose corporate culture has been described by one observer as being as “nutrient-dense as its products.” I have been an affiliate for nearly 20 years, and when I say that going to the conferences is like a ginormous family reunion, I mean it from the bottom of my happy heart.
With COVID now being officially in our rearview mirror, the hugs we have been waiting to give each other were especially welcomed, and the fear that we were some kind of walking pathogen was nowhere to be found. There are always outstanding keynote addresses, and this year we were treated to the humor and inspiration of best-selling author and speaker, Jon Gordon. Jon spoke on the topic of “Leading With Purpose,” which is the title of one of his books, but I am going to talk about the one that started it all: The Energy Bus-10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy.
Before you cringe and contract with the pre-conceived notion that this is just a bunch of baseless rah-rah, siss-boom-bah, what Jon is able to do with humor and real-life examples is talk about the actual science of positivity. He is hired by many professional sports teams and corporations to help bolster flagging spirits and energy, and preventing it from being depleted in the first place. And, he does it from the standpoint of emergency measures he personally had to take to keep from “losing it all.”
Once upon a time, Jon was a self-admitted sourpuss. He was whiney, “living in a penthouse in Self Pity City,” and nearly blew up his marriage. His wife came to him one day and said something to the effect of “Jon, I love you, and I can’t do this anymore. You are going to have to do something to stop being so negative about everything.” That was the wake-up call that sent him on a journey to not only learn how to manage his own perceptions, emotions, and resultant behavior, but Jon has gone on to help millions. He is, as they say, “the real deal.”
The Energy Bus is a fable and an easy read. It is the story of a man named George who finds that his car is dead in the driveway, and he is forced to take the bus to work while the car is in the shop. Turns out, the needed part to fix it is going to take two weeks to get in, so George is grumbling about the fact that he is going to be stuck on the bus with total strangers. Turns out, the fellow travelers have all previously been in a similar state, and the bus functions as a rolling rehab center for the recovery to the addiction to negativity. And, I might add, it is an actual addiction, proven to be physically fueled by your internal pharmacy.
George gets busted, George chooses to face down his stuff and “muck his stall,” and while the road back to being who he was always intended to be has some colossal obstacles along the way, he triumphs at work and at home. If you are a certified grump, get this book. If you are only a light-weight grump, get this book. If you are someone who tries to be positive but you are struggling, get this book. It will give you a good reason to get and stay on The Energy Bus.