Jennifer Hope Conrad named New York Times’ Best-Selling Author; launches book tour
(Kaua’i, Hawaii, 14 March 2018) Jennifer Hope Conrad, Author of The Truck Stops Here, and Founder of The Cratos Group Inc., speaks with us in a rapid fire Q&A about her best-selling book and upcoming North American book tour.
The Truck Stops Here | Disconnecting Your Subconscious Shackles
(a Mindset Shift, not a How-To Guide)
In addition to her new book, Jen has shared her mindset management theory on Ellen, and has a loyal – and growing – group of followers connecting with her via her weekly BLOG, YouTube channel, website and social media pages. Jen also runs monthly webinars where people can connect farther through opt-in 1:1 coaching where Jennifer will speak with you directly, hear your story, and help you identify patterns in your own life, then work with you to create strategies to move past your own repeating challenges. Her mantra is ‘make new mistakes’, because, ‘at least then you’ll be learning new lessons.’
Jennifer is known and respected as a thought leader specializing in horizon-expanding mindset management. This book explores her theory and gives the reader tangible evidence and insight into her thought processes – perhaps more of a thesis actually, that ‘trauma does not have to be traumatic’.
In the beginning…
“Jennifer’s originality and innovation shines through in all she does,” says Mark Januszewski, The Worlds Laziest Networker. “Jen was in town for the Go90Grow session of Summer 2016, it was during this conference that our individual magnificence couldn’t help but collide – the synergy was unmistakably magnetic.”
Mark went on to comment, “Our first meeting was at the Kaua’i Beach Resort in summer 2016…the Fabulous Davene and I had set final preparations underway for the meet-and-greet in the ballroom. For one night (which had a reputation of creating some #LifeChanging relationships and opportunities for our #MKMMA members) both the #MKE and #Go90Grow classes converged, personifying an evening of networking and friendship among some of the most personally aware people on the planet.”
As Jen and I settled in together at the corner table on the Lanai, Mark continued, “we reminisced of the first time that we sat in this very spot…a hot August afternoon in 2016, roasting under the mid-day sun, hearing Jen’s account of the drive into our compound and hearing her list the details of why Kaua’i is as awe-inspiring as it is, brought me back to the feeling when we were first exploring the island. I could see that Jen’s soul was on a similar journey and I was excited to be part of the wonder that I was certain would fill her life in short order. Jen has recounted on numerous occasions over the past two or so years how much that first conversation impacted her…while reminding me that she was careful to not attribute her success to me as ‘the guy!’, but rather as a beacon of light at the end of a long, windy, treacherous trail filled with tribulations and false starts.”
In preparation to turn the floor over to Jen’s #MasterMind team, Januszewski took one last trip down memory lane, and with a sigh of contentment stated: “Over the past year or so, Jen has often commented that from the moment of our initial discussion, her mind set to link the pieces that she described as previously missing as she launched herself towards a goal so lofty; a cause so great, that no fulcrum known to mankind could possess the strength to knock her out of balance with her burning desire. She was committed to finally drawing out the full wonder that had been entrusted to her…and it was quite moving to see her light shine so brightly. I knew right then that I had to get to know her story and, as they say, the rest, as they say, is history.”
And now, a word from her Fan Club…
“Her entrepreneurial vision helped navigate her research and passion through tough times – forming clever strategic alliances, introducing awe-inspiring processes and made sure she investigated every opportunity in an economy that really didn’t support new ideas, change, or…well it really didn’t support anything at all.” noted Sandra Coates, a long-time family friend.
Sandra went on to comment “We are so blessed to be among those closest to her!” she looked over to Jen and flashed a smile so wide everyone in the room could feel the love and exclaimed “Jenny, they don’t get any better than you!” and as she finished her sentence, she approached with a hug so fierce that you’d think their lives depended on the connection of their bodies.
I remember thinking for a mere second ‘That’s what unconditional love looks like’, – sadly, as quickly as I entered that blissful state Jen’s younger sister, Melissa, effectively diminished my euphoria upon declaring prior to any audible pause…“she’s always been a great friend…she taught me how to fight, both in terms of knocking someone’s block off, and doing the same for any other problem in my way!” I thought Jen had some kind of superpower – she never let anything get her down…her focus didn’t change regardless of friends, or situations, or the weather. She knew she was doing the right thing or she simply didn’t do it. Nothing would change that, her course was set.”
Melissa decreed her admiration from underneath a devilishly grin and continued with a sigh as she looked up from underneath her crook’d brow, sporting a smirk that I was positive concealed a million stories, encapsulated with a lifetime worth of trouble to boot! After drawing one deep, staggered breath Melissa continued “Life was always an adventure when we got to experience it through Jen’s eyes! She got herself into – and perhaps more importantly out of some of the most outrageous scenarios!! Never a dull moment, that’s for sure…” she trailed off once again, clearly lost in memories, admission of which was only slightly acknowledged as the corner of her ivory sleeve dipped in to the side of the salsa dish, repeatedly. “The maid is off until Tuesday so who cares…” she muttered as she nonchalantly filled another chip, again dragging her sleeve through the bowl.
“For the most part…” she continued, as she crunched the last few bites of her lime flavoured tortilla chip, “…as I saw it, life was a constant uphill battle for Jen. To me, the majority of it seemed impossible at every turn. I often thought she was nuts to push on – but despite the pain and discomfort and all the bulls**t, Jen never took her eye off the finish line. She never gave up and I’m so proud of her for that!”
Sandra was sitting with her back to the sun, wearing one of those sunhats that you’d expect to see on royalty or on a cruise ship full of ladies who just sat for afternoon tea and crumpets – you know, the ones with the floppy sides. Calmly, Sandra gently raised the infliction in her voice to match Melissa’s – it was as if they didn’t miss a single beat – almost as though one thought was flowing directly from Melissa’s head into hers “Jen’s story has touched so many people! Not only in the 10+ years since the accident, but we’ve traced her influence all the way back to her youth. Jenny has always been a powerful force, one not to be reckoned with – yet never once has she used her suggestion inappropriately, nor meant any harm, instead, she always applies her insights blissfully, following her gut instinct like a compass leading a lost sailor to land…it has been amazing to watch how it has grown, how she has grown and developed throughout her lifetime.” Sandra reached over the table and squeezed Jen’s forearm, prompting Jen to return her smile with admiration and contentment.
“We were thrilled when she decided and ultimately committed to capturing it all into a book” added her Mom, Debora. “I’ll digress for a second if you will allow me, and point out that it wasn’t soon after her return from Kaua’i in 2016 that sharing this story – these experiences – became her driving force in life. She didn’t eat, sleep or breathe if it didn’t move her closer to her definite major purpose, closer to sharing what she’s learned – in essence, closer to the reality that she is enjoying today. Whatever you discussed with her was the missing piece. Nothing could hold her back once she got home (not even the brutal Canadian winters). It is so fulfilling as her Mom, and as her friend and mastermind cheerleader – perhaps most notably the president of her Fan Club – to see her sharing her message and so bravely baring her vulnerability in front of the world – and actually embracing it. I’m learning so much from her.”
Debora continued, “We believe her thinking patterns will change the way the world responds to emotional trauma and will influence and encourage people as they find their strength. Rejecting the societal pressure to assume a ‘victim’ role, instead, embracing the victory of finding the lesson in every situation, of learning, and ultimately, of growing…becoming… evolving! It’s connected on so many levels – the reach is nearly immeasurable!”
Q+A | Part 1: …and also…wait, what!?!
Q: I understand that you were prompted to write this book after a pick-up truck struck you and your daughter while you were walking to your vehicle, is that correct?
A: Yes Mark, we were fortunate to be in exactly the right spot, at the right time.
Q: Hold on…did I hear you correctly…did you just say you were in the right place at the right time? Didn’t you just confirm that you and Sara were struck by a pick-up truck?! Can you walk me through your thought process?
A: Certainly, my thinking is this…if we were one step further ahead we would have been pinned under the truck with no chance of survival, however if we were one step back of where we actually were, there would have been time to push Sara away, and perhaps jump away myself…which sounds ideal, however if that were the case, we wouldn’t have been able to experience all of the growth opportunities that we have had as a result of the accident and our subsequent injuries.
For instance, GlobalTV did a feature on Sara and the technology that saved her life – now we have a YouTube video, nearly 7 minutes long. We’re YouTube sensations! Sara was featured on the Radio-a-Thon to raise funds for the Alberta Children’s Hospital and she’s had countless post-admission visits through the hospital where she’s had the chance to bring a smile to other kids with similar injuries. Not your run-of-the-mill experiences for any child – never mind one who was still sporting single digits in the age category! I mean, c’mon Mark, where can you match that kind of life experience!
Q: That’s something else, Jen, quite remarkable. I understand that one of Sara’s favorite activities with you is a form of rapid fire Q+A, correct?
A: Yes, usually she uses that tactic when trying to compare how angelic she seems compared to something undesirable (read: idiotic, neurotic, selfish or just plain stupid) that her brother just finished doing. In her words, “Mom, quick…without thinking…who’s your favorite child right now!?!” How she manages to get through the entire sentence without busting up is beyond me.
Q+A | Part 2: Incase you were wondering…
Mark: Alright then, let’s run through a rapid fire Q&A, Sara style…
Q: Quick…without thinking…what’s your favourite ice cream?
A: Breyers Mint Chocolate Chip…for sure!
Q: Where’s your favourite place on earth?
A: Kaua’i is a strong contender…but I’d have to say Moraine Lake, near Banff (Lake Louise), Alberta. Only open May – August since you’ve basically got to be a Mountain Goat to get to it, but once you’re there, a lake appears almost as if out of nowhere, surrounded by majestic mountains that basically make you a better person just by being there.
Q+A | Part 3: The Preliminaries
Q: How has moving from being the child, to having children changed you?
A: I cherish the people that surround me…they have given me a safe place to be myself, and remind me daily what it means to both give and receive unconditional love. I am grateful for them every day and love them with every ounce of my being. It’s been said that we are the culmination of the five people we hang around with most – so since family is so important to me, it’s been a mission, and a privilege, to help shape Mike and Sara into independent thinkers. I joke that my goal in life is to create kids who could survive the Zombie Apocalypse…knowing if they can THINK they’ll likely survive. Although I did get swept up in the endless quick sand of the new Mom mantra of give-give-give…I now realize that putting myself first is a sign of strength, not weakness, and it actually makes me a better Mom (and person). I’ve learned to walk the tightrope between giving too much and putting myself first with ease and grace.
Q: How do you see yourself now?
A: I am the perfect trifecta of Brains | Bravery | Beauty – all powerfully combined as a positive influence, creation impact as a role model and thought leader, and living life on purpose and of purpose!
Q: When did you first realize that you could associate any feeling(s) to any situation, at will?
A: When I was 11. I recognized the things I was dealing with had been somewhat cyclical for the last few months (sadly, more likely the last few years) and I performed a science experiment of sorts – if I could change my reaction to the situation/events…would it have any correlation to the outcome? I was astounded at the results, so naturally had to test my theory again…and again…and again…until eventually, I perfected my approach. Naturally then, I had to start all over again!
With challenge comes change, and I am up to the challenge of changing! I accept that life is a process and sometimes perfection is offset by growth. As long as it furthers me in my evolution or understanding, or helps me exercise empathy…even those nasty ones that seem insistent on teaching me patience…I’m game for all of it.
Q: What is most important to you in your life?
A: My Personal Pivotal Needs are Liberty and Recognition for Creative Expression.
I want to know I’ve got all of my commitments met, with wiggle-room for surprises, while providing a very comfortable life for my family which includes fun-money for adventures and new experiences anytime we like.
Regarding Recognition for Creative Expression:
Equally as important, it means a lot to me to hear feedback about how my influence is impacting other people. May I share a story with you about a poem I received from an old-neighbor while Sara and I were in the hospital during our 51-day hospital stay? It meant so much to me that Mandy took the time to share her thoughts around how my words impacted her life – she went the extra mile to print, frame and present it in person.
Q: What is your most prized possession?
A: My most precious asset is the 6-inches between my own ears and its’ guard is fortified by everything I am and all that I want to accomplish. The ability to THINK is the greatest gift I have to give to the world, but more importantly, the greatest gift I could ever leave for Mike and Sara. Intellectual ability and constant growth are the best way I know to prepare them for a straight vertical trajectory in all areas of life and love. Ensuring they have the skills to think independently, setting an example by showing them what it looks like to be true to themselves, is and forever will be, my chief aim in life. It will long survive me and become my lasting legacy.
Q: Why are you so committed to this cause?
A: I have been gifted with abilities to follow my core instinct, exercise empathy and possess vision greater than myself. When combined with my unshakeable self-confidence, life has taught me to embrace the impact I have on others. I put these gifts to work for the greater good, sharing my mindset through inspirational speaking and writing. The whole give more, get more theory – you know!
Q: How do you nourish your mindset to keep you on track?
A: I am wholly responsible for my thoughts, feelings, and actions. I exercise mind over matter, because if I don’t mind it doesn’t matter. While I am not perfect, I am pure, humble, kind and empathetic. While remaining logical and realistic with a birds-eye view, I remain unbiased and free. I remain committed to upholding the discipline and positive self-talk required to continuously ignite the fire in my belly and propel myself towards the purpose I was born to fulfill. The Think and Grow Rich habits have changed the very DNA of my thoughts and as a result, of my actions, and are forming the foundation of my personal philosophy. I wholeheartedly welcome these principles to impact my life in stupendous proportions.
Q: Why are people so attracted to you?
A: I resonate at a very high frequency which attracts people like a beacon (of HOPE). People comment they like themselves best when they’re with me and wonder when they can see me again. I am honored when people state they simply want to be around me, to ‘hear me think’, to catch a glimpse inside my head…it makes me feel like I can fly! It is so great being me!!
Mark: Well, your Jen mo-jo is already rubbing off on us around here. I can certainly see what all the hype is about!
Q+A | Part 4: Because Science, that’s why!
Alright, that gives us some background into why you think the way that you do…now, let’s dive a bit deeper into the science and psychology behind why you think the way you do.
Q: What is the premise of your book?
A: Many people go through their lives being held hostage to the subconscious shackles that are implanted as a result of a traumatic event at some point in their lives. Many people don’t realize (or refuse to acknowledge) that they are making decisions in their adult lives based on an event that occurred in childhood or their teenage years that they attached a negative feeling to, without any regard for the FACT that the feeling we attach to those events, perhaps, holds more weight than the event itself.
(Dedicated to Jennifer and Sara for their strength and courage)
I’ve learned from my friend
And her hospital stay
STOP and smell the roses
Take time out to play
I’ve learned from her fight
Her pain and her tears
Life is for living
Not hiding from our fears
I’ve learned not to rush
But to simply slow down
Life is too short
To be running around
I’ve learned to smile more
And warmly say ‘Hi’
To help brighten the day
Of a stranger passing by
I’ve learned it’s not money
But my family who come first
My life isn’t that bad
Others have it much worse
I’ve learned from her story
And her little girl’s too
Now I pass this poem on
So you can learn too.
Q: Can you provide an example of when and how you implemented this logic?
A: Joann Mundin MD, FRCPC, MSc, Psychiatrist noted:
“I believe that Sara’s parents took very appropriate steps, perhaps without knowing it, to protect Sara from the development of PTSD following the collision. This is because her parents made a deliberate decision to expose Sara to newspaper articles and details regarding the collision. They also honoured Sara’s request to visit the site of the collision upon discharge from the hospital, which Sara did in a wheelchair even while the storefront was still boarded-up. I believe that Sara’s early and repetitive exposure to the events of the collision while she was still in the hospital was a form of Exposure and Response Prevention which served to prevent Sara from going into full-fledged Posttraumatic Stress Disorder specifically related to events of the collision”.
Q: How do you override – or train – your brain in times of intense fear or immense anguish; how do you always find a positive silver lining?
A: That’s a great question! Allow me to answer it in three parts.
First, I believe in the old saying; ‘To whom much is given, much is expected’. I’ve been told that my fearlessness is inspiring in EPIC proportions. My life has been very blessed and I’ve lived a life that many would envy – I mean, many would fear – I mean, it’s perfect for me, regardless of what anyone thinks or doesn’t think. Every step has lead me to where, and who, I am today. I wouldn’t change a single thing about my life.
Secondly, I discovered that that fear and excitement trigger nearly identical neurons in the human brain? Did you know that?! When I realized this, it became apparent that I could mentally frame new experiences with open-minded excitement and run towards them, rather than becoming their victim…therefore I set out to conquer my fear and insisted that instead, I claim victory in all experiences and challenges that life presents.
Finally, I recognized very early on in life that repeat experiences are an opportunity to make different decisions – and sometimes, new mistakes. Persistence towards my DMP does not recognize failure, instead by default, I question ‘What is this teaching me?’. What is the lesson? De Ja Vu’s are simply put a reminder that I didn’t learn the lesson last time, and I need to pay attention and take a closer look at the situation and evaluate – ahead of time if possible – how I’m reacting, why, and what my other options are.
Q+A | Part 5: Have Brains…Will travel.
Q: What’s next for you, Jen?
A: My mindset invites unfathomable opportunity, while my humility allows for maximum growth so I know the doors are open and opportunities abound. I have accepted and embraced the changes to my memory and speech patterns and have embraced HIS master plan for my destiny. My greatest DESIRE is to give back, I am evolving daily and learning to govern my actions accordingly.
I TRUST that continuing to be a good person, doing the right things for the right reasons, and remaining steadfast in my positive mental attitude…I can TRUST that my Liberty; financial freedom will come as a result of getting right with myself and letting my song out for everyone to embrace, or not, and either is quite fine with me. I am the master of my own economic fate. I am the governor of my destiny! The world is as I see it.
I’ll continue to write…spend more time in a hammock…Autonomy has always been on my side…going to continue getting right with myself so I can help others get right with themselves, as well. This experience has been so enlightening. The more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know! I am a life-long student of growth, performance and self-reflection. I remain a curious discoverer!
Q: In 10 words or less, how would you sum up your life…despite everything that life has thrown at you?
A: I am very blessed and highly favored!