“Wake Up Happy” by Michael Strahan with Veronica Chambers
c.2015, Atria $26.99 197 pages
Every day, you make countless little choices. Get outta bed or go back to sleep? What’s for breakfast? Blue tie or black shirt? Which project first, what’s for lunch, dinner, after dinner, what to watch, read, discuss?
All day long, you choose one thing over another; in fact, Michael Strahan says that the average American will make 35,000 decisions before bedtime. In his book “Wake Up Happy” (with Veronica Chambers), he explains how one of them can be a life-changer.
If you’ve ever seen Michael Strahan onscreen, you know how easy he makes his job look. He seems comfortable with stars and strangers alike, although he calls himself “a shy guy.” He says he gets nervous, but he knows how to handle himself because that’s the way he was raised.
Because Strahan’s father was in the military, the family lived overseas when Strahan was still very young. “Mannheim, Germany,” he says, “was an awesome place to grow up” because of its small-town feel and because children were truly raised by a village of stay-at-home mothers.
Strahan’s father was busy, but Strahan remembers the frequent one-on-one time he spent with his dad, and the advice that poured forth on those events.
“In a perfect world,” Strahan says, “I’d have 92 [motivational] rules to match my jersey number. But in real life, I’ve found that you need only 18 to get and stay motivated.”
Rule Number One, he says, is to “Be open to everything around you.” What you need, and the help to get it, can “come from the most unexpected places.”
Pay attention, he advises. Don’t make assumptions and never throw away a chance to see what comes.
Remember that the journey is joyful, so take pleasure in it. If you want something, let your determination power your actions and keep in mind that when you’ve given your all, there’s still more to give. He says to know when to bow out gracefully but don’t quit a tough road; instead, know when to “hit pause.”
Take the word “if” from your vocabulary. Listen to music that motivates you. Remember that “bad experiences… often teach you the most.” Keep your sense of humor. “Be excellent. “
So you’re in need of some motivation, but you don’t want something that sounds like a million bees in a hive. Instead you’d like something fresh and “Wake Up Happy” is what you want.
Readers who have come to love Strahan on the field or on TV will be glad to know that his writing is genuine: what you see on the small screen is what you get in this book. This personable style of motivation carries through Strahan’s life story, his careers and his love life, which has been rocky and he’s forthcoming on it all. That no-holds-barred attitude in storytelling lends trustworthiness to the lessons.
This is one friendly book and it’s short enough to read twice. You’ll probably want to do that anyhow because, when you need a book to boost your confidence, “Wake Up Happy” is a good choice.
The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer. Terri has been reading since she was 3 years old and never goes anywhere without a book. Her self-syndicated book reviews appear in more than 260 newspapers.