Psychologist, Writer & Speaker

Join Dia Bondi on Lead With Who You Are as she explores the transformative power of awe with Clinical Psychologist and Author, Jonah Paquette.

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We're diving into the power of awe and how it can transform our ability to lead with authenticity.

In this episode, Jonah shares the incredible benefits, both physiological and psychological, that come with experiencing awe. He provides practical strategies for finding awe in our everyday lives, offering little portals we can step through whenever we need a boost. Unlike other activities, awe isn't guaranteed, but Jonah teaches us how to increase our chances of being awestruck.

So, if you've been feeling stuck in the daily grind and longing for that sense of wonder, this episode is for you. Join us as we explore the intersection of leadership, inspiration, and the pursuit of awe. 

Subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast platform and share it with those leaders and innovators in your life who shine brightest when they lead with authenticity.

  • Jonah Paquette is a clinical psychologist, author, and speaker who focuses on helping people achieve happier, more meaningful lives. His books include Happily Even After, Awestruck, Real Happiness, and The Happiness Toolbox.
  • In this interview, Jonah discusses the role of awe in leadership and life, emphasizing the importance of tapping into the power of being amazed.
  • Dia and Jonah explore the themes in Jonah's work, the focus of his therapy practice, and the leadership workshops he leads. They also delve into why awe is necessary, how it enhances our leadership abilities, and practical tips for finding more awe in our lives.

Subscribe to Lead With Who You Are and join Dia Bondi on this captivating journey of self-discovery and authentic leadership.

For more information about Jonah, to find all his books, and to get Jonah’s weekly Newsletter with resources and updates pertaining to the science of happiness, and his free happiness e-guide, please visit his website.

Watch his TEDx Talks here and here

Check out all things Dia Bondi here.

Dia Bondi  00:19


Hello everyone, this is Lead With Who You Are. I'm Dia Bondi, and on this show, we explore and discover what it truly means to lead with who you are and we're doing it with people who embody just that. And with folks who will help you do that. And today's we have Jonah Paquette. In this Convo we're going to show how aw, yes, aw will help you get things done, be more resourceful and change your state so you can lead with who you are. Jonah shares the physiological and psychological benefits of our and gives us a few ways we can find are in the every day, little portals we can step through whenever we need to. Now unlike other activities, like exercise, and meditation, Jonah says, All is not guaranteed. So listen up and learn how to increase your chances of being awestruck. Let's go. You can ask for more and get it if you ask like an auctioneer. The book, Ask Like An Auctioneer: How To Ask For More And Get It, is coming soon. So go to and get on the list for pre orders now. In the book, you'll learn the power of asking big the one idea that holds us back from asking for more and getting it and the nine ideas I learned from the auctioneering stage that you can use as strategies to help you step into every ask with courage and conviction. Get on the preorder list. Now for preorder bonuses, again, go to now.  Hey, just a quick reminder, you can subscribe to this show on your podcast platform of choice. We're live nearly everywhere. And you can always listen to the show at If there's a leader or innovator in your life, who is it their shiniest when they lead with who they truly are, Please share the show with them. And rate subscribe, and leave us a review makes a huge difference in the reach that the show has when you let everyone else know what you love about the show. Thanks so much. Jonah is a clinical psychologist, author and speaker. He's the author of four books happily even after awestruck, real happiness and the happiness toolbox, all of which focus on helping people achieve happier, more meaningful lives. In addition to his clinical work and writing, Jonah provides training and consultation to organizations on the promotion of well being and conducts keynotes and workshops around the country and internationally. Hello, Jonah. Okay, so here we go. So we are so focused, where do we actually find inspiration and relief from that incredible focus, especially for folks listening to this podcast, who are mostly ambitious professionals that have really serious goals and take what they're doing very seriously, and have a really strong sense of, you know, personal responsibility and so that, that focus can oftentimes take over our lives. So I'm having you on today to discuss the role of all in our leadership and in our life and work and, and how we tap into the power of being amazed, as you say. So in our work lives, we can often feel like everything is on the table. So we're pitching and defending our ideas. We're buttoning up everything around us. So projects really land really well. We're managing the heck out of everything, and we're really getting shit done. And that sometimes feels great, but can start to feel really flat. So why do we need to tap into the power of being amazed. And now that I'm nearly 50, there is a part of me that miss his sort of the odd that I want to felt that I once felt earlier in my career earlier in my marriage early in my parenting, and I'm really often sort of lost to the daily grind. Everyone listening now sort of gets my most, you know, the part of me that almost forcefully finds things to feel inspired and awestruck about but it's not easy on a daily basis to let that enter my life because I am one of those folks who are just so focused and getting it done. So how do I how do we lead and live In a way that taps into something that lifts us up, and why is it a worthy pursuit? And that's what we're going to talk about today. So, Jonah Paquette, I'm so happy to have you here with us today as someone who does a lot of work around how we all can be more awestruck.


Jonah Paquette  05:16

Thank you so much for having me, I'm pumped to be here with you as well.


Dia Bondi  05:18

There's nothing like somebody saying it was like an all expert talking about being pumped. I think about all as like this sort of like open and very like relaxed state, but I'm happy that you're pumped to be here. So I'm in this setup, we let folks know sort of the world of work, the the world that your work sits in around happiness, and this is my word, not yours, but just like wholeness and wellness and mental health. So you have written mucho books. So can you we share the titles already? But can you share a little bit of the titles and maybe what the theme that runs through all of them really is and especially the first book we mentioned in your bio,


Jonah Paquette  06:00

yeah, I think the through line for all of my books I've written four, which I guess does count as mucho,


Dia Bondi  06:07

I guess that's just wrote one and that felt like Mojo but four would be extra mucho.


Jonah Paquette  06:13

Mucho, for sure. I'm a clinical psychologist by trade as your listeners know. But unlike a lot of my field, which, you know, historically traditionally has focused on mental illness, psychopathology, all super important. I've always been fascinated with the other side of the coin, which is how do we live our best life? How do we find fulfilment meaning purpose? I love your word, wholeness, actually, I think that sums it up really nicely, because it's not just about a frivolous kind of feeling good all the time and feeling happy. It's really about finding connection, fulfillment, wholeness, and a sense of belonging in life. And so I've always been fascinated with that. So I think the through line largely focused on what you would be called, like applied positive psychology or the science of well being, but kind of trying to answer some of the questions that have been pondered by philosophers and theologians for 1000s of years, which is like, in this short time that we have is blink of an eye that we get on this planet by how do you find meaning? And how do you get the most out of that? So even though my books have focused on different aspects of that, you know, the themes around gratitude, connection, compassion, or so my book, awestruck, as you mentioned, focuses mostly on that, and the other ones include books like happily even after the happiness toolbox and, and real happiness all focused on


Dia Bondi  07:30

well being and the good life happiness, even after what,


Jonah Paquette  07:34

happily even after, which would be really how do we? How do we find resilience, following hardship, because, you know, if there's one Money Back Guarantee in life, it's that life's gonna knock us down, whether it's illness breakup, health scares, divorce, loss, pandemics. And so I became really curious about how do these kinds of skills for well being that I've always been quite interested in? How do those help us get out of those holes? How do they help us kind of get back up after we've been knocked down? So that was the theme of that book.


Dia Bondi  08:05

I mean, as a therapist, you might have a point of view on this, but I like I spend a lot of time trying to see what's working, especially in my communications work, you know, I come from a premise that like you are your most powerful when you speak from who you really are. So our work is around, you know, tell me and help help let's, let's do some work sort of framing up and naming and claiming a way in which we can say, yeah, that's who I am, even if it feels aspirational. And then speaking from that place, you know, I My work is very well, it's real, it is aspirational, because we're always reaching toward, how do I have the most impact? How do I, you know, speak in a way that is to the world in my leadership in a way that is most aligned to who I am, but also serve the needs of the moment. And it's very much focused on what is working not on what it's not working. And so I get to spend a lot of time in sort of an aspirational place, right, maybe even on the edge of being awestruck by my clients. But when I look around, when I really like, at quiet moments, I'm gonna get choked up about it at quiet moments. Like, you know, I'm maybe folks who are listening are part of a sandwich generation where I'm raising kids and also growing my business at the same time caring for aging parents, and it is a lot and when I look around, really, there is so much difficulty we have so there is a lot of problem that we deal with every single day. You know, I remember when I was a kid, my dad come here on a small construction company, he come from home from work, and I'd be like, you know, what did you do today? Or how's your day and he'd be like, managing difficulties. Like, managing problems, you know? And there's like this very interesting desire for things to be problem free, even with the founders that I work with, you know, they're in the middle of deep struggle. You try to build something trying to you know, scale something up trying to grow teams, and it's just one deluge of difficulty after another. I think that's what I mean when I say like, we are so focused on trying to make something trying to build something trying to get somewhere that we just, we can just bear down. And so in the face of all this difficulty, this strife that, as you say, is inevitably life, especially for ambitious not not especially, I think, for everyone, but for ambitious professionals who just want you know, they're always reaching toward, like, they walk toward their goals and like the horizon, it just walks away from them, you know, because there's always something else to do. Why do we need to pursue ah, what does that help us with?


Jonah Paquette  10:43

Yeah, well, I think one of the fascinating things that I learned in you know, I've always been interested in questions, like I said, around well being and the good life. But the really interesting thing for all for me was I went from in the course of writing that book awestruck, I went from thinking, Oh, this is like a nice cherry on top of a good life sundae. It's nice if you have it, but it's not essential to this is actually an integral part of a whole life. Like we actually need more of this in our life. And part of that was because in learning about this, and there's been this whole science emerging around, you know, the benefits of on wonder in our lives, it turns out that these Wow, moments of life changes, they change our relationships, they change our mood, they shift what's happening in our brain to help us be more focused and more creative. So there's actually these incredible benefits to our health that comes from it in terms of inflammation in our body. So that was, to me, like the most awe inspiring and eye opening part of that process was really learning about how whether you're in business, whether you're a leader, whether you're just been anybody who's listening, really, that if we can find ways to have just a little bit more of this emotion or life a little bit more of those wild moments in our lives, it changes our mental health, our mood, our relationships, our health Orientis to our values more more effectively. So all kinds of incredible benefits that can change us into lasting and meaningful ways.


Dia Bondi  12:05

Okay, so the physiology of it is good for us, you know, you know this about exercise, and we make ourselves go to the gym, even we don't want to, but we're not like, oh, at nine o'clock every day, I gotta go get some all like, we don't do that. And you said a few things. You said, Ah, and then you've said, wow. And it's easy for us to think that is expensive. Wow, is expensive. Because we've been marketed to that, you know, all and wow, are only for that cruise that you went on are only for that moment that you stand at the edge of the Grand Canyon and look into the abyss of life's beauty. I mean, they're like, there there is. And that can feel like, I don't have time for it. Where do we find like, what is our? What is it? And then also, where can we find it in a way that doesn't feel like a chore? Or that we have to write a big check to get it.


Jonah Paquette  12:56

So important to think about. And that was actually one of my main motives and writing my book was really just to send that message that yes, we think of it as those once in a lifetime. flashbulb moments which, by the way, if you if, when those happened to you, great, that's awesome, literally. But that shouldn't be where the story ends. Like, really, the magic is finding it in the everyday stuff, which I hope that we can think about it just a bit too. But first you asked like, Well, how do we even define it, which I think is a good place to start to, because I think we know it when we see it, we know it when we feel it. But I would really say that, you know drawing from those that research this for a living, what a gig, by the way is like studying offer for a living would be like these two separate but connected ingredients. First, we encounter something that's bigger than us. So there's a sense of scale to it, right? which can either be in like the literal realm like looking at a giant grove of redwoods, or the night sky or a sunset, or the idea realm, like you learn about something or you encounter something that kind of like watching a child take their first steps is bigger than you even if it's not in like the way that the Grand Canyon would be. The second ingredient that they talk about is called transcendence, which is that there's something about it, that goes beyond what we thought we knew. It goes beyond the assumptions that we had, it sort of challenges us to rethink what we you know, what we've experienced. So there's an element of newness, freshness, surprise perspective. If you see the same exact grove of redwoods have the same exact view every day, it may not inspire that same feeling of all for the 1,000th time in other words,


Dia Bondi  14:30

okay, so the second part of all sounds like homework. Okay, like, you know, you talked about it in terms of we're getting there folks, but like, what, like you talked about it in terms of, oh, I had the word and then it fell out. This is the thing that happens to me now where like, you know, that feeling where you go to the refrigerator, and you're like, Wait, why did I What was I looking for it? Yeah, it's like it was right there and then it fell out. But you talked about in terms of like a state where you're looking for a state or is it you know, the state that has an impact on your for physiology and other things. But then you just said one component is it challenged us to think differently. And for a lot of folks listening today, the last thing they want to do is a lot more thinking


Jonah Paquette  15:10

and thinking might be putting it to finally, in other words, there's something about it, though that's new. Right? So it's not it. It's something that goes beyond what we thought we knew. In other words, they call that transcendence or accommodation. But the idea is that you encounter something that's vast that's bigger than us. But that also has an element of freshness, an element of perspective that we didn't necessarily have, you know, before.


Dia Bondi  15:34

So that you can hit us back into a feeling it doesn't have to think it doesn't, it doesn't force us to be like, on now, it just thinks that this huge existential problem, right, so it's not work, it's the opposite of work.


Jonah Paquette  15:47

You can look out at the vineyards, you can look up at the sunset, right? And be like, wow, there's something just so incredible about this moment, right in that moment of wow. And it doesn't have to be this analysis that goes,


Dia Bondi  15:58

right, right. Okay, I just wanted to name that because a lot of people listening the show spend a lot of time doing a lot of analysis, and we're not building an Excel spreadsheet for our like our dosages of Aw, that's not what's happening. So, okay, so we've got these two aspects of our and it sounds like, you know, we're really wanting to take these out of out of the assumption that it's something you have to pursue this big, expensive, physically large, you know, that is only available for folks who can write the check that let them, you know, sit in the Sistine Chapel or let them you know, stand, you know, at the, at the base of the Cristo and in Brazil or whatever. So, once I once, if I say, wow, yeah, or something I might want to pursue a little bit more get get some doses of that in my life, because it changes my physiology. What is the other thing you said, it lets you access your values? Yeah, there's


Jonah Paquette  16:55

all kinds of benefits that I'll just kind of breeze through a couple real quick as it might be of interest. So we know that when we experienced this emotion, even in small doses is the really cool thing. It boosts our mood, but in lasting ways. So we might, you know, even a couple of weeks later, we can often feel better. So a decrease in stress and an increase in our overall mood. We feel closer to other people, these have all been shown in experiments, which is really cool, we actually feel more connected to the world around us, we become kinder, more pro social people. So we become more compassionate, more altruistic, after we experience this emotion. It lowers our inflammatory response in our body. So we actually have less chronic inflammation happening in our body, which has all kinds of health benefits. It decreases what's called the default mode network of our brain, which is like that overthinking kind of as you mentioned, this a lot of overthinker is in your in your listening audience that overthinking over analyzing part of our brain that self judgment, that rumination that goes offline, after we experience this emotion, so all kinds of really cool.


Dia Bondi  17:56

Let me jump in right there. Like there's a term that I use in my work. I talk about it in my my book with the guys in the back room, like the the elves in your back room that can work on problems. That in sort of an unconscious state. Like it's very interesting that you talk about decreasing, overthinking, which can, you know, which when I think about overthinking, I think about sort of a myopic focus on one problem, the perseverating. On one thing, this sort of circle thinking about it, we can get less resourceful, we see fewer connections between ideas that can maybe unlock something because we're not in like a bigger passive state where we can sort of free associate we're in like a very gripped kind of state, right. So it sounds like all can be when we pursue or even for a minute that it can open, it can be a gateway for us to access like deeper, non thinking resources.


Jonah Paquette  18:53

Yeah, emotional resources, or sort of a focus on the things that matter and sort of cutting out the noise, which is such a, you know, when that default mode network is active, and it's all that sort of that little sort of inner critic almost that comes up and that monitoring of ourselves that we often do. So, you know, it's been shown to increase creativity related to that, it's been shown to increase novel perspective taking and sort of new ideas. So there's lots of cool, like, benefits that come to our mind to our body, as we said, to our relationships. So a really cool emotion that again, that was the thing that blew my mind was, I've always looked at these moments as like, kind of cool and powerful, meaningful moments to me, but I never realized how important they were. And that's been the whole sort of shift that's happened in my own perspective around on is just the fact that these little moments that you know, brief as they might be, can actually change us in really powerful lasting ways.


Dia Bondi  19:44

So can we be really pragmatic about it? You know, for some of us, again, we might go to the gym for you know, for we might show up at CrossFit for 45 minutes, or we might take our daily dog walk or whatever, because we know it's good for our bodies or we eat the certain thing thing that we don't love, because we know that it's got antioxidants in it, whatever the heck those are. And you know, we do all this stuff. And we meditate, right? I don't, I'm terrible at it. And but folks meditate. And, you know, they pursue that know, even if they don't want to they do it and they know that it's going to bring them something. So is there a thing where I'm like, I gotta go get some art today? Like, do you actually program it into your life to try to access these things that we're talking about here?


Jonah Paquette  20:27

It's such a good question, because and I devote quite a bit of the second half of my book for, for listeners that are interested on having about 60 or 70 Different kinds of small prompts and ideas for pursuing it. But what I always preface it with is like, it's a little different from some of these other things, because there's no guarantees with all but I could go to the Grand Canyon tomorrow. And if my mind is all focused on either my beloved Knicks losing their game recently, or emails that I respond, didn't, you know, forgot to respond to or crappy interaction I had with somebody, I'm not going to experience or even from the Grand Canyon, right, because I'm just not going to be in that right mindset. So what I, what I tend to think more in terms of is like getting more bites of the apple, we know that if I'm just sitting all day in front of my screen, kind of checked out, not engaging in the world not getting outside with nature, not connecting on a human to human level, not learning about things that expand my mind, I can be pretty sure that I'm not going to experience a whole lot of odd in my life. So what we want to do is try to just open that up. But to what we said earlier, like, we don't want to just think of the big stuff those once in a lifetime moments. Like listeners can even do this literally right now. Which is wherever you are joining from wherever you're listening in from, just look around, like your field of vision, literally, in this moment, we're recording this on June 20 26, wherever you are, whatever time like look around and just see how many things would have been absolutely. just mind blowing to someone even 20 years ago, 50 years ago, 100 years ago, 1000 years ago, like, we are actually constantly surrounded by these incredible gifts, these incredible magical parts of our life that we so often miss. So every day like pause and just look around and say like how many things can actually find some Wow, in how many things can I find some wonder, and maybe it's like a changing color of a leaf. Or maybe it's like looking at a cloud formation. Or maybe it's just having a moment of connection with someone you care about No, like, holy crap, I get to have a moment of connection with another human. That's awesome. You know, reading something that just blows your mind or learning about a topic that expands your mind or courageous people that you know, are changing the world and getting inspired by them. Like there's so many opportunities for and I think in some ways, the real shame is that we have these blinders on most of us at least, where we just lose sight of that magic. And I think the real message with all is just kind of rediscovering it. rekindling that a little bit and finding it in ways big and small.


Dia Bondi  22:59

Yeah, really comes to mind. A few years ago, I went on a retreat, and there was a woman who is a, she's a, how to call it like, she's a nature educator, basically, she's naturalist but she is super involved in like, very large, like land Trust's and, you know, she moves, she moves the needle on preserving the natural world for us. And on that retreat, she was a participant, but ended up for some reason, taking us on like, literally a five minute sensory exploration where we just stood out, we like went outside, closed our eyes, and she took us through our senses, and just had us do a noticing activity. And it was crazy to me to notice how much you know, in the exercise, that things around me were coming into my awareness that were always there that I had totally, like, just the sound of the trees, I was, like, didn't realize what they sounded like, until I stopped for a minute. And then I felt really overcome by like, actually, where I was in this ecological zone that I was in, you know, under this huge canopy on the trees under the and it wasn't the environments even looking at it. But the, the taking a beat and looking around and letting something in, that you otherwise just wouldn't recognize is an is a creating an opportunity for AW, not necessarily causing Ah


Jonah Paquette  24:34

100% Being open to it. And that your example by the way, like you might as well been reading my mind because I can remember, um, something extremely similar happened to me and it was like this. Wow, this is all happening here. But I know I normally miss it. And if I wasn't just pausing, slowing down being present, and then reflecting on just my place in this space and just getting in touch with that on both a sensory and an emotional and cognitive level and all those different parts of the puzzle. It's just incredible. And I think we could be anywhere in life, but miss out on those opportunities for all that are all around us. So, yes, go out and seek out the big stuff, if you can, if you have the means but to me the magic is actually in the small stuff. It's in the everyday that we just so often.


Dia Bondi  25:17

Okay, so I'm noticing right now and then we're gonna talk about leadership. But I'm noticing right now like, Okay, how do I do this everyday for sure, I do the thing where I move my body hard everyday, because I like low skill, high effort exercises, in my butt like movements in my body that lets you know, jogging straight up a hill, lifting heavy weights and putting the back down, because they activate the guys in the back room a fair bit like, because my attention has to be on like, I gotta lift this bar right now. So my guys might very well come out to play, you know, when that's happening, because they have space, the rest of my thinking self is shut down, because I got to deal with like, picking up this bar. But there are other times like, as soon as that's over in my day, I'm like, Alright, let's get to it. And my whole day, can be really focused on what I'm doing and how not good enough it is. And how we I've not reached the goal that I want yet. And, you know, just all the grind, right? And I'm noticing like, okay, when I do, where are moments in my day, where there's opportunity to do that, and how might I do it, and I don't even notice it. And one I'm sitting here we're having this recording, I'm sitting at my desk, and I'm in an I have an office outside of my home and a second storey office and in a building on the corner of two sort of busy four lane roads. But it's all the sidewalks on either side, and my office looks out at a at an intersection basically. So I can see like, you know, 50 yards on either side of the intersection, people walking to the intersection standing and waiting to walk across. And one of the things I actually realized I really love to do and makes me feel smaller and less pinned up against what's hard, you know, more resourceful is it if I take a minute and actually notice who's on the street, like I see families with kids, I see, you know, an aged person walking with a shopping bag. And those people have no idea that I'm sitting here, meaning their lives are happening. Whether my life is happening or not. So weird thing to say. But it's like, it gives me you know, that feeling when you travel somewhere and it makes you feel small? Yes. And there's relief in that. It's like that. And that gives me some that that state of all little bit that like, they don't know about me, they don't care about me. And they are busy with the problems in their own lives. And it just brings things into perspective in a second. And I don't have to go anywhere


Jonah Paquette  27:52

I love Yeah. And I think that it checks so many boxes, right? Because it's accessible to you. It doesn't have to be you don't have to travel halfway around the world. But it gives you that feeling of smallness, yet connected to something to this kind of greater experience of being a living being of being a human of living on this planet. And just, it's like you're a spec and yet how cool that I get to be a spec and all of this as opposed to like the existential dread of I go on meaningless and all that.


Dia Bondi  28:16

Yeah, I'm just a spec. It's not I'm just a spec. It's like, Oh, thank God, I'm spec. Yeah. Okay, so how does this help us in our leadership? You know, I hope the stuff that you were talking about earlier, is resonant for all my founders, folks who are, you know, nose to the grindstone and choose to be, you know, they've said yes to doing some really hard, heavy lifts in their professional lives. And it requires a lot of effort, like, there's no effort, I just don't buy the like, if you just then it would all feel better, you know, that that ease is difficult when we're doing difficult things. You know, the notion that this is available to you just to get yourself unstuck, to activate the guys in the back room to put you in those states that give you make you more resourceful. But how does that impact so you can have new assays so you can have, you know, you can be hit with a new idea, you can solve a problem, you can let go so that you can let someone else whatever the things are that might that all might help unlock for you when you're feeling stuck. So But how might this help us in our leadership? I know you do workshops, and talks around this tied to leadership. So why the heck for leadership?


Jonah Paquette  29:28

Because it can sound a little counterintuitive, but a little random at first to be like well, I'm going to get here and talk about on wonder and how that can improve your leadership skills. And people might give you a little strange look at first but you know, when I think about so many of the core skills that good leaders possess or you know, need to make more room for growth in their lives. Like it's actually interesting to me, how many of them map on to particular benefits that have been shown with awe. So like when I think about, you know, obviously in terms of the ability to think in novel and creative ways, well all has been shown to increase our capacity to engage in novel problem problem solving skills and to see solutions to things outside of how we previously did, when I think of the importance of being able to juggle a lot of stress, and to still perform in those situations and are one of the most reliable findings is that it's, it lowers our overall level of perceived stress, and allows us to focus on what's right in front of us. When I think about, you know, the the importance of having connection, collaboration, and Compassionate Leadership is obviously a big thing that's kind of out there. And we're learning so much more about how important that is, well, experiencing this emotion is one of the most reliable ways to shift from that sort of self focus more to that, you know, way of service and being there for others. So connection, compassion, curiosity, all these things get promoted through the experience of all. And of course, as I mentioned, like the default mode network, and the importance of just focus concentration, focusing on that one thing that's in front of you, instead of the 1000 tasks that might be behind you in the background. That too is such an important, obviously, skill for leaders. So when I think about pro sociality, Compassionate Leadership, fostering connection and genuinely like caring about people on your team, as humans, when I think about creativity, problem solving skills, obviously, like alignment with values, as we talked about, these are all, I think, essential for all of us, but I think in some ways have unique and particular benefits for those that are in leadership type roles in whatever setting you find yourself in for sure.


Dia Bondi  31:38

So I plan to be like, okay, don't coach me on how I can get more on in my life, but just recognize it when I sit in this chair and can see, it can watch people sort of living their lives around me, unconcerned, you know, to get access to that. I'm just a speck relief. Like that. I think I got it. I think I'm good. Yeah. You don't have to I don't, you don't have to send me. Because I think I got it. I'm like, oh, yeah, it's right here, I didn't have to go to the Grand Canyon. Although if I have another chance to go the Grand Canyon, I will take you up on it, as well. Yeah, it's the best. And, you know, it is true for me that that that the natural world is a place that is I like this idea that like all is not guaranteed. So we have to kind of do things where the opportunity to have all Can, can be created, like things that let us create opportunities for all and to be awestruck. You know, we I know I can go to the gym, and I'm no matter how grumpy I am, I'm pretty guaranteed that 45 minutes, picking up heavy things and putting them back down, I'm gonna, you know, like, it's an almost a guarantee on the other side of the man, it feels differently, and is not guaranteed. So we'd have to create these opportunities for him to step in and show up for us. And so tell us about the resource guide you have in the resource guide, or the exercises you have in the book austrac that will help us create those opportunities. Can you say a little bit more about those? And where we find them?


Jonah Paquette  33:03

So in in my book awestruck. It's basically a two part book, more than two chapters, but you know, first part goes into all the benefits, like what is all? How does it impact our mind, our body, our relationships, etc. So it's kind of the backdrop of that. And then the second one is basically 10 chapters, each one devoted to a different pathway to experiencing all one of which is like the natural world, which is a big one for me, obviously. But it also includes things like, how do we find it in the present moment, like in the small stuff? How do we find it through other people through moments of love, connection, inspiration? How do we find it through, you know, the arts and creativity and, you know, parts of life that that we can experience it that way. So kind of these different pathways, again, recognizing that no single person is going to experience it the same way as the next person, what gives you a sense of off, might give me a shrug, or vice versa. And that's okay. It's like, I think sometimes people get caught up with like, the shoulds of all right, if like, oh, I, I should be feeling something more than I am. And it's like, just don't be open to the experience. But whatever comes up for you comes up. So I have, you know, those 10 chapters, each with about six or seven different practices, prompts, meditations, visualization, exercise, and so forth, just designed to plant those seeds. And really, at the end of the day, the meta message is just these moments are all around us. And we just want to open ourselves up in small ways to finding them a little bit more,


Dia Bondi  34:31

okay in pure D of fashion because I have such a strong bias toward action. For those of you listening, go grab Jonah's book, get these, get these 10 prompts and the second half of his book and your homework this year is to go through the guide these little portals to opportunities and find two that you can name and claim and say these two are ones that are really resonant for me and add them to your toolbox so it's not doesn't feel like a mystery. It feels like it feels like a tool you can access at any point that you need, you've discovered, what creates an opportunity for all for you. And you can it can be at your fingertips, you don't have to wonder anymore, even though they might cause wonder, you've got no place. Okay, John, so what can people do with you? Where can they find you,


Jonah Paquette  35:22

you can certainly track me down on my website, that's Jonah, Jenna And you can obviously learn more about my work there, my books are all listed there as well, if you go there and actually sign up for my free newsletter comes out every week. And if you sign up for that free newsletter, you can also get a free happiness e guide with 10 different skills for well being attached to that. So that's just all through my website. And of course, you can find me on LinkedIn, Instagram, kind of on all the social networks, and those are all listed on my website, too.


Dia Bondi  35:52

Excellent. Okay, so for bonus round, I'm gonna ask you this question, even though we didn't talk about it very much, which is, what does it mean for you to lead with who you are?


Jonah Paquette  36:01

Yeah, good question. I think for me, it is, you know, I would say probably the most transformative, in addition to all kind of the most transformative kind of skill for well being, because that's my area that I'm fascinated around is, is gratitude. And so for me, it's a lot a lot about leading with gratitude. And I've been fortunate enough to be in leadership positions, always sort of trying to foster a culture of appreciation, and both in terms of how I connect with others, how I you know, what I try to model and embody myself, and also just to feel like to really feel even on a personal level that whatever opportunities have come my way, are certainly not things I'm entitled to. And so to really have a sense of deep appreciation, and recognition for that. So I think leading from that place of authentic gratitude for me is probably the limit there's obviously more but that's probably the main thing I like to keep in mind. When it comes to how I am settings,


Dia Bondi  36:55

a plus for you. Thank you so much for being with me, between between seeing your clients today. I know today is an actual slam facing day for you. And it was a joy sharing the TEDx stage with you. I wish we could have had more time to high five each other and we're doing it now.


Jonah Paquette  37:10

We're doing it now. Better late than ever. And likewise, I was just so blown away by by being able to be in the audience and cheer on your talk that day. So that's awesome.


Dia Bondi  37:20

Thanks so much.


Jonah Paquette  37:22

Thank you.


Dia Bondi  37:24

Lead With Who You Are is a production of Dia Bondi Communications and is scored mixed and produced by Arthur Leon Adams the third. Have a question or an inquiry? Reach out to us at You can like share, rate and subscribe at Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your favorite shows. Go to for the show notes to find our tools, frameworks, content and programs to help you and your team speak powerfully and lead with who you are.

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