Book Spotlight: The JOY of Living: How to Slay Stress & be Happy

One Man’s Incredible Story Offers Hope & Catalyzes Change in Our Nation’s Response to Stress & Mental Health Issues

Motivation is a tough thing to muster after the year we just experienced. Entrepreneurs are struggling to keep business afloat. Healthcare workers are burned out. Parents and teachers are trying to cope. People of all ages are feeling hunger and the hopelessness of isolation. The lasting emotional impact of this year can’t be estimated.

As we begin the recovery process from this traumatic year, philanthropist and serial entrepreneur Barry Shore (known in the media as “The Ambassador of Joy”) is bringing hope and timely actionable advice people can use to manage stress, combat burnout, and cope with the emotional fallout of 2020.

Shore’s ridiculous accomplishments (in business, philanthropy, and his amazing health recovery) are matched only by his infectious enthusiasm and tireless effort to make a difference in the world. He spreads not only joy but also strategies to manifest it and use it for personal wellness and professional success.

A successful serial entrepreneur with TWO multi-million dollar exits and THREE issued patents, Barry was afflicted suddenly with a crippling disease that left him completely paralyzed overnight. But his decision to use this experience to better his life and the lives of others has opened a unique opportunity to find JOY in living regardless of circumstance. 


Before he became the “Ambassador of Joy”, Barry Shore had a career marked by big ideas:

  • He started an internet company in 1999, built on two patents, and sold it to a NASDAQ-listed company within 18 months for more than $10 million. Today, the acquiring company has a $4 billion market cap.
  • He studied to become a gemologist and wholesale diamond dealer. Within 3 years of starting his business, bought and sold over $100 million dollars of diamonds, authored a popular book on Investing in Diamonds, and was approved for the first Diamond-Gem Limited Partnership investment in the State of California.
  • He also had a career in retail and owned a flourishing fashion boutique called FRED on Newbury Street in Boston, frequented by celebrities including Cheech and Chong.

But on September 17, 2004, his life changed forever. He woke up happy and healthy and ended up in the hospital as a quadriplegic…completely paralyzed from the neck down from a rare neurological condition called Guillain-Barre Syndrome (aka French Polio). He spent two years in a hospital bed unable to move, then four years in a wheelchair with braces on both legs from hips to his ankles. He has since made remarkable progress. Today, though he still needs assistance (12 hours per day 7 days/week), he is able to live at home and can walk with the support of a 7-foot walking stick (made by a zen master!)

During the recovery process, Shore became an avid swimmer. Using floatation aids on his legs and tummy (to prevent his body from sinking) and adaptive swimming gloves (because he can’t close his hands) he now swims 2 miles per day 6X/week. Over the past 12 years, Barry has swum more than 7956 miles—about the distance from NY to Mumbai India!

Barry Shore’s desire to bring more JOY and love into the world would not allow him to sit on the sidelines. Shore’s paralysis led him to his next business venture. He created ChangeBowl, a philanthropic platform (which was written about in O Magazine) that enables people to safely and easily send money to their favorite nonprofit charity. The goal is to give one billion dollars to charities by making small donations effortless and meaningful. 

“Choice, not chance, determines your destiny,” says Shore, who after years of recovery decided to go “M.A.D” (aka to Make A Difference) and is now on a mission to transform the world through the JOY of living, every day.

Barry Shore is sharing his incredible story and has actionable advice for the public on how to manifest joy for personal and professional success, combat stress, manage mental health issues and cope with the emotional aftermath of 2020.

After the turbulence of 2020, we need more than just a “feel-good” inspirational story. We need structural support and an actual framework for climbing back to normalcy and coping with the emotional, social, and economic fallout. Barry Shore is the perfect person to show us the way.


The Problem: STRESS…Kills!

Not directly. More like death by a thousand sighs.

It’s insidious. Invidious, invasive, and, if continuous and not stopped, will ruin Your physical, mental, and spiritual being.

Stress is a common occurrence. While You can’t remove every stressor from Your life, it’s possible to manage and reduce stress and maintain your health. This is important because chronic stress can cause mental fatigue, irritability, sleeplessness, obesity, skin ailments, heart issues, anxiety, depression, and gastrointestinal problems.

Yes, that list of symptoms observed across the population tells You that You’re not alone in this battle.

But even when You know the physical and mental effects of stress, You may be unaware of the different stages of stress, known as general adaptation syndrome (GAS). When You understand the different stages of stress and how the body responds in these stages, it’s easier to identify signs of chronic stress in Yourself.

I’m writing this in the year 2020. The world is beset with panic, disease, and economic and societal ruin.

Right now, the most searched word in the world after Covid (and its related causes/cures) is STRESS. It’s affecting everyone.

STRESS is an acronym that I use to describe how to deal with the effects of untoward circumstances. Essentially there are three factors that cause STRESS.

These are and have always been:

• Money

• Work

• Home

Yes, these are universal and constant. Even in the best of times.

There are however two divergent ways to deal with STRESS, both revealed in my insights.

STRESS can stand for: Stomach-Turning Reality…Enabling Self-Sabotage.

There is little need to go into depth regarding each of the three stressors above. It is self-evident that money issues can and do cause tremendous pressures. The same for work. And, certainly, for home/family. Often in times of recession and disaster, these factors are intertwined and exacerbate one another. They truly cause a stomach-turning reality.

STRESS can also mean: Stomach-Turning Reality…Enabling Self-Success.

Same exact situation/s dealt with in a different way/s. Your response to the stomach-turning reality makes all the difference. Struggling is the continual and real test of life. And it’s something we all face every single day.

How You deal with the reality of these issues determines how Your physical and mental wellbeing will be affected. Certainly, You can’t be cavalier. Yet You can utilize practices, tips, and tools to enable You to direct Your mind and guide Your body to avoid falling prey to a pity party which can lead to the use/abuse of medications, alcohol, or to other aberrant behavior.

Mind is the master. Once You grasp this fundamental fact and leverage this powerful tool, You can and will achieve success under all circumstances and vicissitudes.

How do You maintain inner strength during stressful periods?

Consider a submarine. As the ship goes down, the pressure (strength) inside needs to increase to counterbalance the pressure outside. Likewise, when we are in stressful situations, we must make sure our internal strength is adequate to offset the external forces pushing against us.

Anger also produces stress. Have You ever known people whose lives seemed to have a thin veneer of civility and calm, yet once the surface was scratched, anger bubbled up like a volcano? Stress and anger go hand-in-glove.

We also know that there are two types of stress: vertical and horizontal. The vertical is healthy because it pulls You up. Think of a flower on a stem. Without turgor pressure, the stem droops. Without the fluids pushing through the cells, the flower dies. We can grow limp as well. A useful example of the sort of pressure that pulls us up is the sense of awe or reverence of God.

Horizontal stresses pull us apart and create damage. Designing our lives to meet others’ demands and standards is horizontal. All the current talk about self-image leads to horizontal stress. I do not mean that we should have no concept of self-worth. But we want to have a clear definition of self-worth that comes from knowing we were brought into this world for a purpose. That knowledge is a settled knowledge and doesn’t change just because of what others think or say.

In our competitive society there is another prevailing stress—the fear of losing. The specter of losing by our choosing stresses us. When we make one decision, we give up other options. These are the “Y” points. Marriage and career are two of the biggest examples. One of the pitfalls of our current day is buyer’s remorse. “If I choose the left fork and it grows dull, I opt out and choose another road.” This is a mistake. The stress of always looking around for the better option steals the joy of commitment.

The true test of life is never in what happens to us.

It is always in how we choose to respond to situations.

As we’ll learn later in the 11 Strategies, the six most important words You can learn and internalize are:

Choice, not chance, determines Your destiny.

Repeat this. Often. Think about it. Internalize and utilize.

Choice, not chance, determines Your destiny.

Find Barry Here

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