Back in February 2022, we first interviewed Dr. Nicholas Spring-Peers for our #CommunityVoices segment, where he discussed his experience of completing his Doctor of Education and how he utilizes self-development and teaches his students to do the same. Click here to view his first interview.
After a couple of hurdles here and there, we are back with Dr. Nicholas Spring-Peers where he has completed his first non-fiction novel “How to Pour Your Glass Half Full” - a guide to living your best life.
This is your second interview with us, how does it feel to be interviewed again?
It’s exciting. It feels nice to contribute to the community and share some of my journeys. It’s always great to discuss knowledge.
My first interview was about my doctorate degree in education. My journey in that since it was during the pandemic, which was a very interesting circumstance. There were a lot of interruptions, and a lot of things happening. We also discussed the impetus to complete it and why I was motivated to do so. We talked about the self-development side of pursuing higher education and pushing yourself to achieve your full potential.
We heard you wrote your first book! Congratulations! Can you tell us about your new book?
It’s a self-development book. It’s called “How to Pour Your Glass Half Full”, so it’s about how to achieve more gratitude, enthusiasm, and happiness in life. It touches upon several different areas. One is thinking about the past, the people who came before us, and how difficult life indeed was. When we look around at our lives now, it is filled with so many conveniences and breakthroughs in technology that have enabled us to live very comfortably and longer. But it’s also about understanding the shortness of life and that life can go by very quickly. And for some people, unfortunately, it can end sooner than expected. A lot of research went into the book, such as academic research, so it’s not just my opinion on these topics. I spent a lot of time looking at journal articles about happiness, mood, and energy. It came down to a lot of compelling findings, such as the way you take care of yourself, the way you sleep, and what you fill your mind with. I wanted to find out all the things that I find effective for me, it may not be helpful for everyone, but I just wanted to share these things that have worked for me, and the research suggests that it could work for others too.
How does it feel to be a published author?
It doesn’t feel any different. Especially nowadays, you can be self-published, which is what I did. If you were published by a big publishing company, it would be a different accomplishment. But for me, I am a do-it-yourself kind of person. I used Amazon which is an amazing tool that gives authors a lot of empowerment to accomplish their goal. They let you self-publish, and they take care of all the distribution. It was great for me to try and do it on my own. I am proud of the final product; a lot of work went into it.
As this is a self-published book, how do you promote your book to the public?
The goal of the book project was really to give back. It got published right after the lockdown. Everyone has been through so much in the community. And I just thought “what a great way to try to give people a resource.” Now, some people won’t read it and that’s fine. I at least wanted to make it an option. I didn’t charge anyone; I just gave it away. It was an opportunity for me to give back and the timing was great because money couldn’t make up for what had happened. People told me “I read your book and it really helped me get through the crazy time we all experienced.” Hearing these things makes it all worthwhile.
What inspired you to write this book?
It’s all about becoming a better version of myself every day. There have been some influential people in my life, not that I have met personally in my life, but Jim Rohn and Tony Robbins have gotten me to see that you are not a victim of your circumstance. You create your destiny. I grew up in a tough environment: in a single-parent family in poverty, and I fought my way out of that. It was self-development that enabled it to happen. Reading and learning that you are in control. You can make decisions that will ultimately lead to your success or failure and it’s no one else’s responsibility to get you where you need to get. That journey has led me to the book because I have taken so much from the field, so I wanted to give back to the field. I hope someone can read my book and get the spark that I got.
Can you tell us about your book journey?
Some days you feel like writing, you get excited, and those days are easy. But it’s the days when you don’t feel like it. Mel Robbins has a great way of looking at it, “you are never going to feel like doing things sometimes, but you still have to do them if you want to achieve something.” The ups and downs were really those mornings when I didn’t feel like writing. But once you get going, the momentum takes over. I love the analogy of a rocket ship. When it takes off, it uses about 95% of the fuel, but once it’s going it uses only 5% because it’s already in motion. And with humans, once you get moving, the energy starts, and the flow picks up. The next thing you know is that 3 or 4 hours have gone by, and you have tangible results in front of you.
There was so much uncertainty during the lockdown. That weighed on me at times. But that’s why I’m so grateful that the book allowed me to take my mind into this project. Since the book is about being happy, the research is all about positive things. It allowed me to put my mindset into really good materials and my mind was there, not drifting away into the struggles that were happening.
There are days when your brain is trying to make things easy. You must not listen to your brain; it’s tricking you to do it the easy way. Nothing great happens when you do it the easy way. Jim Rohn says, “don’t wish life were easier, wish you were better”. When it’s hard, you have to be more disciplined.
As this is such a broad topic, how did you limit yourself to writing only what you needed to write?
I wanted to touch upon the things that I know for sure have enabled me to be who I am. When I made a list, it was about eight things, but the book ended up being way more than that. It’s okay for things to come up because sometimes your ideas come at random times. In the last chapter, I decided to have only ten final things and I couldn’t have more than that. I didn’t want it to be a big book because some people may not want to read it. But you don’t want it to be too small. So, I thought a 300–400-page book is an appropriate amount.
How does this book impact your way of teaching your students?
I actually use it in my business class. We talked about how businesses sometimes outsource other tasks to other businesses. I used the example of my book where I outsourced the book cover design. I wanted to show the cool era we live in. On websites like Fiver and Freelancer, we can access people all around the world, even people who are in poorer nations, so you’re giving them work and helping them get ahead. Instead of using a local person or someone who is in North America, we can use anyone in the world. If you are not good at something, there is always someone else who is good at it and can do it for you!
I want to teach my DP students that they can accomplish anything if they put the work and time in. But you have to watch that fine line of preaching. You want to be relatable. We talked about successful people and where they come from. I’m not a billionaire, but where I came from, my life is significantly better than if I stayed in that environment. You can leverage your strength and move past your circumstances
From your book, what two cents would you like to share with us?
There is so much control we have in the lives that we don’t even know it. We can choose how we respond to things. So, my two cents would be based on Viktor Frankl, “between stimulus and response lies our freedom to choose”. Whatever is happening in your life is the stimulus. How you respond to that, the gap in between, that’s your ability how you choose to approach challenges and difficulties. The book talks about how fragile life is. If it were to end tomorrow, would you complain about the traffic or the Starbucks that wasn’t warm enough? People who have had near-death experiences report that after, they don’t allow these things to bother them again. They realize it’s not worth it.
From becoming a Doctor of Education to a published author, what’s your next step?
Writing the book was a great experience and I realized I love writing. I’ve already started a second book focused on behavioral economics and personal finance, particularly related to expats and the difficulties/challenges we face in saving for retirement. I want to try and help other expats see that our future selves are relying on our current selves more than we may think. I want to write about the strategies that can help us shift our thinking toward a more future-oriented approach, which may help us procure a more comfortable and stress-free retirement!
SCIS. Exceptional Experiences.