I recently had the opportunity to exclusively interview Ari Gunzburg about five random facts about himself, what inspired him to write The Little Book of Greatness: A Parable About Unlocking Your Destiny . Plus what has he learned from his failures. Check out my interview with Ari below:
Loryn: What inspired you to write The Little Book of Greatness: A Parable About Unlocking Your Destiny?
Ari: I actually meant to write an entirely different book! I took my kids to the mountains in Pennsylvania, so they could experience sleepaway camp at their grandmother's camp (they were still too young to go on their own, so it was by working at the camp that they got to experience camp). Turns out it was a good thing we went, as this year was the coronavirus pandemic and I'm not sure when my mother-in-law will go back, if ever. Anyways, I was going to write a different book while we were at camp, and then I found myself working longer hours than anticipated. I was behind the wheel of a car for much of the summer, effectively driving to California and back, and back to California (about 9000 miles) over the course of the summer. During all that time, I had so much time to thing! And that is when I really explored what is the simplest viable system to use to help each of us make our own world a better place. Once I came up with the concept of the 5 Keys To Greatness, I knew that I had to write this book first. I knew that giving the world the ease of the 5 Keys To Greatness was something I had to do as soon as possible. To take you into the writing process a little, I wrote the first part on the plane on a trip abroad, and then didn't get a chance to come back to it for a few months. This was now during the COVID shutdown. I sat down and came up with a rough outline of what happens throughout the book, and then cranked out words every day, until the story was told.
Loryn: What's a lesson you've learned about yourself during this pandemic?
Ari: That it takes a tremendous effort to both limit eating when stuck at home and to increase exercise when we have less opportunities to do so. I joke with friends it is no longer the freshman fifteen we have to be worried about, but the coronavirus twenty! I know for myself I need to make more of an effort to get exercise even when busy, which I am working on as we speak.
Loryn: What did you learn from your failures?
Ari: I learn from my failures all the time. It is a great eye-opener, being able to see what NOT to do, and it helps you to narrow the scope of what will work. Another good thing to realize is that just because a strategy worked for HER or for HIM doesn't mean it will work for you - we are each different and have to play to our strengths. The biggest lesson I consistently learn from my failures is to KEEP ON TRYING. There is no such thing as a failure that should STOP our forward progress - but so often we let it and stop growing and trying. Every time I fail and then find the strength to keep moving forward - I grow. And so can everyone.
Loryn: What's your biggest accomplishment to date?
Ari: Staying married! This is kind of tongue-in-cheek and kind of serious. The silly part has a story attached to it. My grandfather, may he rest in peace, was a real character. Always wise-cracking, giving us a hard time, but with a deep love for all of his kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids. I called him about 6 months after I got married to wish him a happy birthday. When he heard who was on the phone, he asked about me; I mentioned I was living abroad with my wife, and he said, "wow, you're still married!?!" It takes a lot of commitment and work to stay married, especially when raising four small children together. Every day I appreciate my wife and the things she does, and I work to be a better husband. It seems like everything else I do practically is a piece of cake compared to both the wonder and the accomplishment that come from staying in a committed relationship.
Loryn: What's something that not very many people know about you?
Ari: That the force is strong in this one. Ha! Joking. Only close friends of mine really know that I'm a huge Orson Scott Card fan. I have read almost every book he has written, with the exception of a few that are heavily Christian. A few of my favorites by him include The Worthing Saga, A Planet Called Treason, and Ender's Game. Check them out. They are fantastic.
Plus follow him on Instagram @arigunz .