Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Rx: just say 'thank you'

We are always on the lookout for "Extraordinary Comebacks", and Thank You Power by Deborah Norville doesn't stint in providing them, e.g.

  • Mountain climber Aron Ralston who had to cut off his arm to save his life. He was able to see the amputation as a rebirth.
  • Bicyclist Anne Hjelle, who was biking with a friend and attacked by a mountain lion who had just just attacked and devoured another cyclist. She sped up her recovery by creating a foundation to give bikes to kids who don't have one, in the tradition of the slain cyclist.
  • A simple, non-violent (no blood) and touching story of one Sal Morales, a terminated TV station personality who took a chance, sent Deborah an email, gets an answer much to his surprise and goes on to correspond with our author by email (we are conducting the same experiment), find his inner resources and a way to salvage his self-esteem through his next series of ups and downs. (It never ends, does it?)

She could have recounted her own story as well, the dust-up some 20 years ago with NBC, and her resurgence as host of INSIDE EDITION.

Deborah is a Christian, and she lets you know, but to her credit, she doesn't beat you up with it, making it easy for readers of all stripes to make their way through the text without having a reaction.

At 150 pages, a slim volume, and goes down easy. A pleasing palette of anecdotes, science (lots of studies are cited) and Deborah, the personality.

Couple criticisms, and very small ones at that: I didn't "get" the story about Norville's tip to a stage manager she meets in Dayton to wear high heels to boost her self-esteem, seems kind of antiquarian and anti-feminist, no?, but I suppose it's a "girl" thing, and we'll give the author her space on that. After all, she is a TV celeb and Georgia Junior Miss (1976). Minor thing. Also, the book needs an index. A little less minor.

But here's the bottom line: if you're grateful for what you have, instead of grieving for what you don't, you're going to change your brain chemistry. More effectively than with Prozac or any of the other drugs on the market.

Hats off to Deborah Norville for reminding us of this simple and powerful medicine available to everyone without Rx and without charge: gratitude. Let's all try it together for 21 days....and make it a habit.....

PS D.N. ends the book with a tip to take the test at to find your "signature strengths." Should say "tests"-- they offer 17! at this writing. Excellent resource, very interesting, worth doing....

PPS One last thing: "thank you" for reading this.