As I was growing up, if you met me you might have called me a dreamer-- if you were kind. If you were annoyed, you might have called me a spacecadette. I was often lost in my own imagination, or a book, or a TV show, but to actually pay attention to reality? That was not something I did.
Looking back I feel like my parents were genuinely concerned about this dreamer part of me.
I have vivid memories of my parents saying things like “You can't cut and glue forever,” “Go to plan B, Heather” and “Heather, pay attention.” I was paying attention, but to my own thoughts.
As I moved into my teenage years this dreamer personality morphed more into an idealist. I always longed for the ideal that was written about in fairy tales and that was experienced at the end of movies. In my 20’s I really pushed away from the dreamer part of myself, but that only caused the idealist to come out even more. Idealists are great. We are excited and positive things will work out for the best. The problem comes when things do not work out the way we expect or in an ideal way. As an idealist, when things continue to not work out or to take more energy I thought they would, I become discouraged. Discouragement often leads to sadness, and sadness to depression.
When Jon Gordon wrote The Energy Bus his intention seemed to be to help the business world harness the power of positive energy, but his book has reached so many more than just those in the business world. It has been read by CEOs, doctors, politicians, athletes, teachers,religious leaders, and even the worlds okayest mother.
The Energy Bus is a fable about a man called George who is stuck in the chaos of negative energy. His marriage, his family and his business are a mess because of it. The fable follows George through a few weeks of his life that land him riding public transportation, but where he encounters a person called Joy. Joy is the Energy Bus guru and she trains those she encounters on the 10 Rules for the Ride of Your Life. As she teaches George each rule and he begins to implement them into his daily life, his life starts changing; and George starts changing. He manages to start driving his own figurative Energy Bus and to teach those on his team the 10 Rules. By the end of the book George has found success is his marriage, family, and job because he managed to change his energy.
The Energy bus is a quick and easy read. Since it’s written as a fable it’s like reading a simple story. The author develops the main characters enough for them to be engaging but not so much that it takes fifty pages to know each character. By the end of the book you’ll be rooting for George to succeed and wishing you had a Joy in your life. And if you really buy into the philosophy of the book, you’ll be the Joy from the book.
One thing I really enjoyed about The Energy Bus was hearing about the power of positive energy which is different than the power of positive thinking. Positive thinking seems to be when we hype ourselves up in a ra! ra! kind of way. It can feel fake and forced. This book is about finding positive energy, which is all around us, and getting in touch with that energy to the point where we can carry it with us. There are a few paragraphs about the science of energy and how we are made of energy. I love to research and I did a bit of research on this idea. I found that science tells us we are made of matter and energy. If we were to take all of the energy out of the matter we would be left with the amount of matter the size of a pinhead. The rest of what we are made of is energy. That's a fact. It's not an idea or a theory. With that in mind it makes so much more sense to me that we can control our energy and control our lives. It makes sense that other people's energy affects us and our energy affects them.
I disliked how short the chapters were in this book. It makes the book choppy and less readable. I think there could have been a better way to lay out the story to make it flow more smoothly.
The book is also very cheesy. The cheesiness is a double edged sword though because the story makes the ideas easily digestible and memorable.
The group dynamic on Joy’s Energy Bus are over the top and almost cultist. The riders on the bus chant positive statements together and ride public transportation because they are all apart of this Energy Bus philosophy and want to teach it to other people.
The Energy Bus connected to the idealist part of me that is often discouraged and overwhelmed and also to the reasonable part of me that says, pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get the job done. In the end the ideas are great. Sometimes we have to take the good with the bad and this book is a mixed bag. There are many ideas from The Energy Bus I’ve implemented into my own life and this is a book I would recommend to anyone in leadership of any kind.
Here’s a mind bending article about how everything is made of energy.