Sometimes, when I read a truly excellent book, something comes over me. I'm not just talking about a publication that fascinates me, or even one that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. This is the kind where I take notes as I read, because I am inspired, challenged, and in rare cases, even delighted. I become a nuisance to my friends, and complete strangers give me odd looks as I put my entire self into explaining why a particular work is so transformational. I usually end by throwing up my hands at my inability to fully communicate my feelings and end up saying, "Just read it, and you'll understand."
As you have no doubt guessed by now, I have recently found such a book. I read it back in October, and the fact that I am still talking about it is significant, because I have read many pieces of outstanding literature. I have put off writing about this particular book because no matter how well I do or do not convey the information, the message will come back to: "Just read it, and you'll understand.
Rather than crafting a review full of empty superlatives, here are the opening sentences, which do a fabulous job of laying out the key concepts:
"You are stronger than you know.
You are surrounded by potential allies.
You are the hero of your own story.
These three qualities are all it takes to become happier, braver, and more resilient in the face of any challenge.
Here's the good news: You already have these qualities within you. You don't have to change a thing. You are already more powerful than you realize.
You have the ability to control your attention--and therefore your thoughts and feelings.
You have the strength to find support in the most unexpected places, and deepen your existing relationships."
These compeling words introduce us to the book SuperBetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient--Powered by the Science of Games, written by Jane McGonigal.
If you would rather hear the author's TED Talk on the subject, -- The Game That Can Give You Ten Extra Years of Life -- you can listen here.
If you have a SuperBetter story to share, we'd love to hear it. For me, I found that even reading the book was a sort of game. Could I adapt the strategies suggested for someone who is blind? Could I find equivalent games to the ones suggested that would nourish the same abilities? I found that in the vast majority of cases, I could, which felt extremely empowering.
As of this writing, the SuperBetter website and the app work well with screen reading technologies. The book is available on Bookshare and Kindle. I especially like the Audible version, because it is read by the author, whose excitement is both captivating and contagious!
So don't just decide in a half-hearted way to be better. Read the book and find out how you can become SuperBetter, and both have fun and transform your life in the process!