Media Q&A

Tell me about yourself. What do you do?

My name is Joseph Law, and I’m the CEO of a social organization called Living Greatness and the author of a book by the same name. Here at Living Greatness, we are dedicated to implementing strategies for creating an extraordinary quality of life for individuals and organizations throughout the world. Through our books, conferences and workshops, we offer the most cutting-edge ideas, tools, and practical strategies for authentic success and impactful growth.

What is the book about?

Living Greatness is a book about happiness, success, and purposeful living. I have had the privilege of interviewing some of the most inspiring people in the world. Just to give you an idea of the great minds I’ve been able to tap into, I’ve talked with Jack Canfield, the author of the mega world bestseller Chicken Soup for the Soul; Howard Cutler, who wrote The Art of Happiness; and Edward de Bono, the world’s leading expert on how to harness the power of lateral thinking – finding solutions to problems through a creative approach.

Living Greatness conveys the key attribute to living a successful life: having a holistic, balanced approach to life as evidenced by the choices you make on a daily basis. Some of the topics discussed in the book are discovering the purpose of life; finding and increasing personal happiness; developing an effective mind through meditation; striking a balance between work and leisure; goal setting and time management; improving communication skills; overcoming life’s challenges and action steps; and tools and strategies for implementing your goals.

Why did you choose to write this book? How did you become an author?

For over a decade, I was looking for answers to many of life’s questions, the same questions that all of humanity struggles to understand: What is the purpose of my life? How do I create more meaning and happiness in my life and in the lives of others? To find the answers I needed, I read many books, immersing myself in ancient writings to gain the wisdom and knowledge contained within. Through this process I found peace, meaning and purpose in my life.

When I was in my twenties, I became the divisional general manager of a financial company that has turned over a billion dollars in sales. Even though I had achieved success in the eyes of the world and had attained what I thought I wanted in life, I wasn’t happy, and the meaningful life I was searching for still eluded me.

A soul-searching trip in India in 2007 inspired to write this book, Living Greatness. I knew that I wanted to condense what I had learned over the last 10 years by interviewing some of the world’s leading minds and experts on finding peace, happiness, and true success. I chose the contributors carefully, knowing that I wanted only those who had once struggled, but had found happiness and purpose in their lives. I also wanted them to be well known to the world but approachable enough to speak to readers on a personal level. 

How has your life changed as a result?

One of the biggest changes I’ve experienced is the newfound sense of inner peace, purpose, and happiness in my life. I wake up each day with anticipation that it’s going to be another good day filled with purpose instead of a day that just slips through the fingers like sand while pursuing life aimlessly. Rather than approaching life by wondering What is in it for me? I think about what I can give to others. It makes life a whole lot easier, and it is the effortless way toward finding true contentment.

As a result of these changes, I’m now pursuing something I’m passionate about rather than going through life robotically. I left the corporate world to give up the false sense of security, financial and otherwise, and to shun the emphasis on position and power that once gave me an illusory and temporary sense of achievement.

What is Living Greatness?

Living Greatness is about living a life with happiness and meaning. This does not necessarily mean that we will live like other great men and women in history, nor does it mean that we will make a huge impact on society. Rather, it means living an ordinary life in an extraordinary way. It doesn’t matter whether you are the CEO of the largest corporation or a struggling single mother raising a family on your own. We are all the same. Our society tends to define success in terms of fame, money, or status. I think true success is inner happiness, living with purpose while making a difference and a contribution to the lives of other people.

What are your top five tips for living a great life?

1)       Understand that living a life with happiness and meaning is possible

2)       Define what happiness means to you

3)       Envision what you want in life, not what you don’t want

4)       Know the difference between what can be changed and what cannot be

5)       Take action, beginning with baby steps, to work towards the attainment of your desired outcome 

There are many self-help books in the market today. Why is this book different and unique?

Yes, there are many good books out there, but I think there are never enough because different books speak in unique and specific ways to different people.

I think the unique quality of Living Greatness is its diversity of views presented by a range of experts. Each one of us is uniquely different, and we all learn in different ways. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to life. 

Secondly, I believe what people need today is not another book on theories, but a book that helps them learn from the experience of others who have gone through the same challenges they’re facing and have found happiness and meaning in their lives.  

Lastly, most people are “time poor” these days, meaning they literally do not have the time to trudge through a book that is heavy with theorizing and pontificating. Living Greatness stands apart from the rest because it is filled with practical tools and strategies, broken down into short essays and writings by a variety of contributors, that will help readers make immediate changes in their lives.

How can people benefit from reading the book Living Greatness?

I’m hoping to enlarge the understanding people have of themselves and what they are capable of achieving in their lifetimes. They will have an expanded awareness of life and know what is possible by learning from the experiences of other people. Hope is the fuel that drives all action.

To live a life with happiness and purpose, it may not be necessary to make big changes. It may simply involve a change in the way you look at things, a shift in your attitude, or a fresh approach to dealing with the challenges of life. Readers will be equipped with practical tools and strategies to start making these changes, whether in their work, family or life.

What are the common characteristics of the contributing authors in your book, and what can we learn from them?

I think what is consistent among them is their passion for life. They all have a positive and enthusiastic attitude despite the challenges they have faced in life.

Their focus is not so much on having a job or building a career; instead, there is a purpose, a mission, a calling driving them to greater heights in life. They are obviously very talented people, but they are not better than you and I, simply because we all have untapped potential. The difference is that these men and women have discovered what they are passionate about in life, and they have learned how to apply their skills and knowledge in way that not only benefits themselves, but benefits other people in the process as well. In an extract from Living Greatness, as Jack Canfield states,”I think genuine success comes from discovering what you love to do and finding a way to do it so that it serves yourself and others at the same time.”

Tell me about the various contributors in your book. What can the reader learn from them?

Living Greatness is comprised of a broad council of experts. Among them are a bestselling author, psychiatrist, philosopher, happiness expert, quantum physicist, billionaire business coach, high achievement expert, professional life coach, strategist, meditation teacher, global peace ambassador, and a leading international thinker. From this one book, readers can learn from the insights and hard earned experience of these experts. Here is a list of some of the most well known contributors:

  • Bill Bartmann – a billionaire who was at one time wealthier than Rupert Murdoch. He lost his business empire, and then found meaning in life again.

  • Dr Edward de Bono – the world’s foremost thinker, and the most sought after speaker by major corporations around the world, on how to think and be more effective in today’s world.

  • Jack Canfield – a once struggling high school teacher who went on to write the world-renowned book Chicken Soup for the Soul, which has inspired millions of people worldwide.

  • Marci Schmoff – one of the world’s leading authorities on the topic of happiness, condensing decades of research into simple, practical lessons useful for today’s world.

  • Mingyur Rinpoche – a world renowned meditation master whose brain was tested by science to produce extraordinary calmness under the most extreme circumstances. He will show you how to meditate effortlessly even if it seems you have no spare time in your life for doing so.

How will reading the book solve my practical problems?

You will see life’s challenges in a new way, in a new light. Living Greatness will give you the renewed hope, strength, insights, and expertise you need to change your life. Understanding the essence of life is very important, and you will begin to see that life is a journey and not a destination. You will come to see that the challenges and lessons of life are nothing but tools to make you a better, stronger, and wiser person. This is captured very well in the saying, “Wish not that life were easier – wish that you were better.”

It is important to note that you will not change your life overnight, but you’ll be living your life with progressively more fulfillment, happiness, and purpose when you set your mind toward achieving that change.

What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced, and how did you overcome them?

There have been many. One was giving up the position and salary I had attained in the corporate world in order to pursue an entirely different path in my life. This meant stepping out of my comfort zone, which was frightening at first because, as it is with many of us, my sense of identity was attached to my position and income.

I’ve learned that everything is based on one’s perception of it, and how you look at situations and events in life makes all the difference in how your perceive your life. I embrace this as an opportunity now, to pursue something I truly enjoy while making a difference in the lives of others. I love Fred Alan Wolf’s passage from the book: “I see life as a kind of gigantic wave that we either learn to surf upon or get pushed along by.”

 Who is the most influential person in your life?

There is no one person but a combination. Different people inspire me in different ways: to name a few, Oprah Winfrey, Nelson Mandela, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Mahatma Gandhi, Dalai Lama, Socrates, Jesus, Lao Tzu and Buddha.

What are your favorite quotes?

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

“I’m only a little pencil in the hands of God.” ~ Mother Teresa

Based on the teachings in the book, what are five things anyone can do immediately, starting today, to improve their quality of life?

1)  Understand that it is possible – The concept of Living Greatness is about how one’s life is lived, not how much money, fame or status one achieves, which is how modern society defines greatness. Readers will be inspired to know that living a great life is their birthright, and it is possible regardless of their background. It is about inner happiness and living with purpose. To discover your purpose, follow the advice of Jack Canfield by exploring three areas: 1) What do you love to do? 2) What makes you happy? 3) What comes easy to you?

2)  Create a vision - You need to look at life holistically on every level: your health, finances, career, relationships, and spirituality. Write down and envision what you want for each area and what success means to you in each area. What are your 10, 5, 3, and 1-year goals? Here is some great advice from Siimon Reynolds: “How big should your goals be? Well, they need to be grand enough to excite you, yet realistic enough that you believe you can reach them. I like Brian Tracy’s rule of thumb: you should feel as though you have a 50% chance of reaching your goal.”

3)  Believe and feel – To set the right frame of mind, be grateful for what you have right now instead of fretting over what you don’t have (see the glass as half-full and not half empty). Next, visualize and see the new you. How would you think, feel, and act if you are already successful? This is a paradigm shift for most people, and as Edward de Bono said, “Perception is real even when it is not reality. We react to our perceptions of reality, not to reality itself. Perception controls emotions and emotions control behavior.”

4)  Set up a roadmap – Devise your strategies for getting there, as well as how much time, resources and assistance you will need. Billionaire business coach Bill Bartmann has said that every successful business has a written business plan, and this applies to your life as well. Having a life plan serves as a roadmap that shows you how you can get there (meaning, accomplishing your goals). It doesn’t mean that you are fixated on the plan. Over the course of time, you will need to revise and refine the plan as you deal with the ever-changing nature of external situations.

5)  Take action – Do three things today that will help you create the future you long for. Just take baby steps at first, then utilize the power of momentum to your advantage to keep you going along, taking bigger and more effective strides as you go. As the wise teacher Lao Tzu said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” And remember, life is a process, not a destination…the journey is the reward!