Dr. Zelana Montminy is an internationally-acclaimed keynote speaker, author and psychologist. Holding Masters and Doctorate degrees in Clinical Psychology with a specialisation in Health, as well as a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell University, Zelana is a go-to media wellness expert. Zelana Montminy is one of Maria Shriver’s Architects of Change, translating complicated research and making it digestible and accessible for everyone. Zelana Montminy is also the author of 21 Days to Resilience, a book which was ranked #1 on Amazon’s hot new releases section for Mental Health. Zelana’s mission is to explore the relationship between resilience, happiness and healthful lifestyle choices. I was excited to learn about her reading habits. Please enjoy my interview with the wonderful Dr. Zelana Montminy…
When someone asks you ‘what do you do for a living?’ – How do you respond?
I’m an author and psychologist.
I am currently reading Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl.
What’s your earliest memory of reading?
Since I was a young child when my memories began.
If you could encourage young people to read one book in particular, what would it be?
What Do You Do With an Idea? by Kobi Yamada – all of Kobi’s books are wonderful. This one explains how to nurture ideas so that they turn into something in a beautiful, simple way.
What is the worst job you’ve ever had?
The worst job I’ve had would be stuffing files in an office. But it taught me patience and perseverance.
Do you read as much as you’d like to?
No I don’t, sadly but true.
What books do you feel are important reading for people on your career path?
There’s a long list of books I’d recommend that would include the following:
Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman;
Civilization and Its Discontents by Sigmund Freud;
Flow: The Psychology of Happiness by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi;
Authentic Happiness by Martin Seligman;
Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goleman;
The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt;
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl;
Strangers to Ourselves: The Adaptive Unconscious by Timothy Wilson;
Drive by Daniel Pink;
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth;
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck;
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell,
The Road to Character by David Brooks.
Is there a book that you’ve read more than once? What is it and why did you revisit it?
Several, I’m rereading Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl now. I hadn’t read it in many years and yet I quoted him in my book, plus my husband had just finished reading it, so it was a great reminder to re-read it. Re-reading classics at various ages in ones life can add a unique perspective.
What book have you recommended the most to friends and family?
What’s your favourite genre of book?
Self-help (primarily because of the work I do) but I’m shifting to loving novels now too.
What do you think a world without books would be like?
A hopeless one with limited creativity and vision.
Is there an author whose writing you’re such a fan of, that you’ll read everything they release?
Malcolm Gladwell. I love how clearly and succinctly he breaks down fads and emerging subcultures. He’s a myth detective, and I feel like I’m a myth buster in some ways in my own field, so I appreciate his work and it resonates.
Do you think digital books will ever completely replace real books?
No, they really shouldn’t. There’s nothing like holding, feeling, smelling and experiencing a book. I actually wrote my own book in such a way as to allow readers to write in it too.
What book do you feel humanity needs right now?
What is the book that you feel has had the single biggest impact on your life?
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. It had a profound impact because it’s not a book about dying, which is what you’d naturally think it would be about; it’s about how to really live well and to our best ability – and I try to remind myself to do so every day. Each of his life lessons are poignant, true and raw, and struck me at my core.
I’d have to also include the following:
…and I could go on and on.
What books or subject matter do you plan on reading in the next year?
I’d like to try more novels.
If you were to write an autobiography – what would it be called?
Don’t Call It a Dream, Call It A Plan.