FAIRFIELD — Two Fairfield authors are hoping their new book, “Start Here,” will find its way into many Christmas stockings and serve as a guide for New Year’s resolutions.
The book’s focus is on leading a fulfilling life. It was spurred by the 40th birthday of one of the authors, Jaja Jackson.
“I needed to figure out why I was alive and what was going to provide me meaning in the second half of my life,” he said. “If I didn’t understand the meaning and purpose (of life), I’d just flop around.”
A student of psychology for years, Jackson also studied humanities as an undergraduate at Harvard University. The married father of two daughters, 6 and 8, Jackson currently works as a director of property management.
His co-author Jennifer Grimes, the mother of boy-girl twins in the seventh grade, has a doctorate in educational psychology. The two lived in the same area and met at a health club.
Jackson had a draft of the book and found he needed the expertise of a psychologist with a doctorate and approached Grimes. She could meld her knowledge of scientific studies on happiness and assessment tools with his personal experiences.
“It seemed a natural extension for me (to get involved),” Grimes said. “In my work, my goal is to help people be more successful.”
The pair stressed the book is not a cookie-cutter approach. Readers take quizzes to determine what’s important to them and how to actualize their purpose.
“Start Here” should serve as a template, both Jackson and Grimes said.
Grimes and Jackson heard from other professionals who plan to use “Start Here” in their programs. Among them is a therapist who is starting a support group for women in transition.
A woman told Grimes and Jackson that she read the book, took the quizzes and was going to purchase copies for her family for Christmas. This is what the authors want to hear.
Jackson said he’s read many self-help books, but they ended up on the bookshelf after he was done.
“They didn’t inspire me or require me to act in a different way,” he said. “We wanted a user-friendly guide, so you can act and start to see the changes.”
The authors noted that many people are seeking happiness, which is good. However, it’s an emotional state that will change, they said.
The goal is to create a fulfilling life, one that includes the ability to recover from setbacks. “Start Here” includes a chapter on how to bounce back when life throws a curveball.
The book can be found at www. thestartherebook.com.
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.