With the weight of the world on our shoulders, it can feel hard to keep up with life. Between work and home responsibilities challenges can obstruct our vision and take us to dark places. I caught up with author Jason A. Samuels on his book “50 Steps to Happiness” to learn the best way to have bliss no matter the circumstances. Drawing from inspiration around him, JSAMS shares how we all can take a positive approach to living our best lives.
Q. How long did it take you to write your book?
A: It took about 4 months. I was trying to write during my lunch break. I would pray about it and think what should I put here. I just went with the flow of it. When I got to 50 steps, I was like I’ll stop right here. I didn’t want to go too far and calculate on the time limit for me to write the book.
Q2. What was your motivation, your fuel behind writing 50 Steps to Happiness?
A: Well, I’ve been working in healthcare my whole life, actually since 16 years old. I’ve seen people cause their own sadness. They worry, focus about the wrong things and hang around the wrong people. That’s why you’re never in a good mood because you’re embracing negativity. You’re putting negativity in your soul and this is why you’re not never really in a good mood. So, I wanted to put something together for everybody that was easy to read and could help. I want people to be happy and don’t make life harder on themselves. I prayed about it first. After paying attention people like coworkers and friends I seen why he or she was never in a good mood. They weren’t putting happy thoughts inside their minds. I want people to be in a good mood.
Q3. I’m about to ask you an off the wall question. Would you consider negativity or sadness to be more prominent in the African-American community?
A: It’s all races, it’s all across the board. I love everybody, but to be honest no matter their color anyone could hang around the wrong group of people. Eating the wrong foods in your body can make you sad and cause you to bring on your sadness. We get tunnel vision when we’re worried about everybody else. And not just black people do this, all people do this. 50 Steps to Happiness is a book for everybody to look inside themselves and see what it is that’s causing you not to be happy.
Q4. When did you first realize that you wanted to be an author?
A: I went my own way, in my own direction. I fasted and prayed. I asked God, what’s something I can do that I can create my own lane? We call people too much and try to find out what they’re doing. I thought, prayed again and it came to me to write a book. I’ve been working with people my entire life. People ask me, Jason why are you so upbeat? They tell me I never seem like I’m bothered. It’s just the way I handle things. Although it’s common to me, it may not be common to a lot of other people. Well, we’re all raised differently. I just decided [to take what I know] to write it down and put it in a book. I like for people to be happy, have fun and enjoy life. Everything will be ok and we’ll all make it. The way you think about things helps a lot, just follow the vibes.
Q5. It was mentioned in your book that people are the best teachers. In particularly you focused on the elderly. What do think the elderly has to offer more in terms of knowledge, life and being happy?
A: A person that is 90 years old has seen and been through a lot. They have wisdom about situations that you’re going through. So, who’s the best teacher of life? The best teachers are people who’ve already done it. I embrace the person who’s wise, upbeat and friendly. I ask them to teach me. I would be a lie if I told you that every old person is like that. Some people only have age with them. However, it’s a lot of people out there who understand life a certain way. Those are the people that you want to be connected to to help you along the way. Basically, you don’t know how long the Lord will keep you here. If you talk to the older generation it will help you out a lot. It’s best to find out what you can, to help yourself get by.
Q6. So will you be writing another book? What is your next project?
A: I’ve started my clothing line for the city [Winston-Salem, NC]. It’s to bring people together. It’s called We Are Winston. There’s something for family reunions, fraternities, sororities, but we never had anything for our city. I thought we’re all from Winston and I’ll make something for us. We can recognize each other, let ourselves and everyone know that we are one family around here. I decided to start the We Are Winston brand. And yes, I thought about writing another book. I’ve actually started. But, I am getting this We Are Winston movement going right now.
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