From Where I Sit – Cause and Effect

We all know about the principle of cause and effect. Do this and that will result. Read on for a recent real world example from my life.

Monday evening, I read the Edmonton Journal and saw Liane Faulder’s nearly full-page interview with Neil Pasricha. He is the New York Times best selling author of The Book of Awesome and its sequels and spin-offs. The interview appears as a teaser for his talk the next evening as the headliner of LitFest, Edmonton’s Non-Fiction Festival. It also plugs his latest book, The Happiness Equation.

I text Hilary wondering if she has a connection to free tickets. She doesn’t. But she’d be happy to go with me. I say buy tickets. Since I was already going to be in the city for other appointments, it would be no problem staying a bit longer and possibly spending the night if the weather deteriorates.

We barely have time to gobble down takeout Chopped Leaf salads before we head downtown for the talk at the Winspear. We get an awesome parking spot in the library parkade, cut through the Citadel, and we’re there. Take our main floor aisle seats and chat it up with the couple next to us.

Neil Pasricha, who has done TedTalks and spoken around the world is good. He has the right mix of humour, useable content, self-deprecation, storytelling, and timing? bada bing. We are awed by the story of his incredible success. But, we’re quickly disabused of the idea that success and happiness are the same thing. This disconnect in his life led him to review 300 studies of happiness. This book, the result of that research, was also a gift to his then unborn son. He spoke for an hour, then took questions from the audience. Hilary, bless her soul took notes on her phone and captured a lot of the meat.

The applause was still dying down as we peeled out of there and headed to the lobby. I held a spot in the autograph seekers line while Hilary tore over to the book buying line. This was a strategy she learned at a David Sedaris event that didn’t go as well. Volunteers wrote our name on a tiny sticky if we wanted an inscription. Another volunteer made sure it was stuck on the title page. The same volunteer wondered if we had a phone cued up for a photo.

We were very close to the front of the line. I was surprised and miffed at how long each person was taking to get through. don’t these people know he’s a busy guy? Our turn arrives. We hand over our books. He asks Hilary why she came. My mom told me about it. Why did I come, he asks me. The Journal story and the synchronicity with other things I’m focusing on in my life right now. I loved your talk, I say. Hilary just got me into podcasts and you mentioned podcasts, so which ones do you listen to? “Oh, which ones do you listen to?” he asks.

“Ahh, Soul Feed, Beautiful Writers, have Hay House but haven’t listened yet.”

“I haven’t heard of those; let me write it down,” he says. “Here’s the one I like, The Good Life Project,” he says as he writes it down for me. Hilary says he reminds her of Jerry Seinfeld. He says It’s not the first time he’s heard that. “Why do you think so?”

“Your mannerisms, some of the expressions you use,” she replies.

A real guy acting real. Not going through the motions; not just tolerating the very people who enable his success as an author and a speaker but engaging in a two-way conversation. Gotta say I’m impressed. And I can’t wait to dive deep into this book. It’s coming to my Canmore retreat.

To recap: see an intriguing call to action Monday night; find a willing, like-minded companion; expend time and money on Tuesday night; enjoy the gift and the memory of the event forever. Pure cause and effect, from where I sit.

Hazel Anaka’s first novel is Lucky Dog. Visit her website for more information or follow her on Twitter @anakawrites.