Joanne Reed is a lawyer by profession who currently lives in Seoul, South Korea. She is also an entrepreneur, a wife and a mother of two teenage daughters. She was born and raised on the French Island of Réunion. She is not an academic, a psychologist or an anthropologist. She is neither a scientist nor an economist. She is an observer. She is a thinker. She is curious about the world and she is curious about people.
As strange as it may sound, writing a book wasn’t something that I always dreamed of doing. It came to me as a sudden and compelling revelation. I realized I had a lot of things to say and the best way to do this was to put my thoughts on paper. “This Is Your Quest” is a self-help book that is shaped like a journey through world history and myriad philosophies, whilst at the same time encouraging the reader to embark on a parallel internalized journey.
Her own journey started when she decided to put her thoughts onto paper embarking on her own Quest into greater fulfillment, stepping outside her comfort zone, overcoming in the process her fear of the unknown, letting instead her curiosity and sense of adventure show her the way.
Joanne Reed is not your everyday writer; she is on a mission to share lessons through stories with the world. The idea was to write a book that would resonate with people from all walks of life, a book that could be a road map for people who are disorientated or lost. Her wish is that the words She has written will have a positive impact on someone somewhere.
This article gives an in depth view on a ‘new thought leaders’ life, challenges and lessons on happiness that we can all learn from.
Inspired By ‘The Quest’
Truth is wherever you are in the world; people everywhere want the same thing. They want to be Happy. So, Joanne made it her personal Quest to try to comprehend this concept of “happiness” through different vantage points, using wisdom & knowledge from her favorite philosophers & influencers. In her book, she invites her readers to embark on their own personal Quest to find Happiness through a better understanding of the much-desired trifecta: money, love and health.
She encourages the reader to have an explorer mindset; explorers are a special type of human being. They have physical endurance, mental toughness, determination, will power, and a deep feeling of purpose; they have faith in their pursuit and live everyday with the conviction of their Quest. But more importantly, she is inviting the readers to turn inwards. Geographical explorations have limits, but the exploration of ourselves as human beings is infinite and when we turn inwards, this is where we find our own treasure.
‘Maya Angelou once said: “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” Writing a book and sharing my stories is a great privilege but it is also a gift; both a gift to myself and a gift to other people.’
How to discover a self-help book that works, WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT INGREDIENT?
People who read self-help books are interested in personal development and self-actualization. Most self-help books are written from the perspective of the author and through their own expertise, knowledge & personal experience in a particular area, and it usually takes the form of a list of rules which the reader should follow in order to achieve whichever objectives they set.
Here are my miracle ingredients that worked for the quest; a change in approach. I aimed for a multi-dimensional angle to the story. By aiming to not tell people what to do and how they should lead their lives; I did not set rules, that they should abide by. Rather lead readers on their own Quest , that will lead them to the right path for them. Joanne shared wisdom and life-lessons that she found through sources in history and myriad philosophies. As a reader you must be ready to work your own path, while shadowing in the footsteps of explorers, philosophers, authors & influencers who succeeded in their own Quest.
Thoughts on a life-changing moment
I was born and raised on the French Island of Réunion. A life-changing moment for me came when I was 20 years old and made the decision to step outside my comfort zone, in order to leave my small island and close family network to study Law at Exeter University in England. I was terrified; but gathered the courage to leave, study, work and see the world; I never looked back. From that point on, I became a “Citizen of the world”, travelling and working abroad became second nature to me.
The keys to achieving true happiness
The Quest for Happiness is something that most people aspire to. Having spent some time thinking about this concept, I came to the conclusion that there is an answer that everyone can relate to, namely, that true happiness is the journey of fulfilling yourself, through Money, Love and Health. Happiness therefore is not a destination, it is a journey.
Don’t wait for the weekend – enjoy each day as it comes. Don’t wait all year for the summer – enjoy each season as it comes. Don’t wait all your life to be happy – happiness happens every day.
In Ethics, Aristotle explored the concept of happiness and the character traits that human beings need in order to live life at its best. The etymology of the word happiness means “living well”. Living well is the ultimate goal that will help you find Happiness; all the subordinate goals such as wealth, love and health are sought because they promote well-being.
So, Happiness is happening every day when you are making the conscious decision to wake-up, dress-up, show-up and do the best you can to achieve your short-term and long-term goals; repeating this process over and over again.
Happiness is happening every day when you engage and connect with people around you, be it your friends, family, life partner, colleagues, boss or strangers.
Happiness is when your body, mind and spirit are in harmony and are your best allies in your Quest. You will encounter, hurdles, difficulties, failure, opposition, but stay the course and continue your pursuit with courage and determination.
Ultimately, the essence of Happiness can be found in things, that we often take for granted, or don’t really understand.
‘The message I am spreading throughout my book is that each and every one of us should be the main actor in our own movie. We should all be the script writer and write our own story. We should be the make-up artist & costume manager. We should be the director and producer of our own movie, get it out there into the world and be the person we really want to be, do the things we really want to do.’
Every person, great or small has important work to do. There is for each and every one of us a goal that we must follow:
A little path that bears our name.
A hand that we must hold.
A word that we must say.
A smile that we must give.
A song that we must sing.
For seldom do we realize the importance of small deeds. For great things can happen if every one of us would brighten up the spot on which we are standing.
‘I made it my Quest for 2019 to help as many people as I can (through the words I have written in my book) to find the path which bears their name.’
The Greatest Challenge; Balancing Work and Life
Time really is of the essence; it is the most precious asset that each person has.’ My priority lies with my family (my husband and my two daughters). Everything else should be organized around them. How you spend your day is how you spend your life. Every single day has only 24 hours that we must make count and make meaningful. We must make the most of time, because it passes very quickly, your days turns into weeks, which quickly turn into months, then years and just like that your life passes by.
I also try to manage my time the best I can and avoid unnecessary distractions. For example, I don’t watch any television. I switched off my television a long time ago. When you take television and other distractions from your daily routine you free- up an awful lot of time.’
Best Advice Yet
‘Maya Angelou is my role model. I named my eldest daughter after her. The best advice I received is from her – not directly of course, but by reading her books and listening to the interviews she gave. ‘
Maya Angelou said: “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from and how you can still come out of it.”
In the Quest, Joanne Reed explained that we have to look at struggle differently. We can’t make things happen if we don’t move forward in the face of adversity. It doesn’t matter who you are, you are never entitled to a result. Victory is a product of the fight and you owe it to yourself to progress through life’s ups and down and keep fighting.
Let’s end with some more wisdom.
My note to self this year is: Listen more to your own advice!