30 life lessons for your consideration
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30 life lessons for your consideration

When Jonathan turned 40, he decided to take matters into his hands, turn his life around and rediscover himself. The result is a book of what he refers to as life-lessons, #FORTY – be the change. Adam Brimmer caught up with Jonathan Shaw, who is perhaps best known as one of the founders and the main movers behind Teatru Unplugged, to find out more.

When did you decide to write a book and was this something you always dreamed of?

When I turned 40 the catalyst was not about the age itself but that of starting a new decade. This, in turn, heightened my awareness and kick-started a sense and a need of self-discovery. When I turned 42, I decided to let go of my business interests and take time off to work on myself. I must highlight that I was not going through a crisis – actually, quite the contrary.

I was in a good place but I felt that something was missing. This is when I started to write my thoughts and reflections on a number of life concepts and lessons. I did not decide to write a book to be published, it was more of a personal notebook.

How do you describe #FORTY – be the change?

The book is meant to make you go through a personal, thought-provoking process. There are 30 life lessons which I have picked up along the years, including some which I still struggle with. Each life tip has relative scenarios and an exercise which the reader can work upon. This is a book which the reader can pick up and put down as they please, and read it in no particular order.

Forty years – what made it a special decade?

Some think that 50 is the halfway mark, but this is not the case. If we take an average life at 76, then at 40 you have already embarked on the second part of your journey. Yet, while every age and number is special in its own way, there is something particular about hitting the 40s. This, at times, is a harsh reality that is not about ageing but rather about purpose, and one’s search for fulfillment.

How do you feel that this has changed your life?

It takes change to create change, and this change in turn creates growth. It’s not all smooth and easy, of course. We all have our own issues and insecurities. Over time, these merely just change in nature. Writing the book has helped me achieve a sense of objectivity about these things. But it’s a double-edged sword as, the more you learn and discover, the more you find yourself questioning everything.

When did you start working on the book?

Around three years ago and I wrote it over a period of around nine months. Yet, it was only when Chris Peregin and Jo Caruana enticed me to consider publishing, that the project as a tangible book effectively took off.

What was the biggest challenge in putting your thoughts to paper?

Initially I did not plan to write a book, so I was just writing and going along with the flow. This made it much easier. Nonetheless, the challenge presented itself when I decided to work on the content to structure it as a book. I wanted to work on this in a different manner to the usual, and we had a number of sessions whereby we discussed and challenged my thinking and concepts. This was fun, enriching, yet time- consuming. Mikela Fenech Pace was then the catalyst to edit and add value with her input to help make it what it is today.

And the biggest satisfaction?

Without a doubt receiving genuine and positive feedback from a reader.

Who will enjoy the book?

The act of enjoying something is subjective. Hence, the question should be; who should read the book? This book is not just for those turning 40, or who are in their 40s. This book is for anyone who believes that we have the capacity to enhance our awareness and use change as a catalyst for growth.

#Forty – be the change is available from Agenda and WH Smith bookstores, Midsea Books and Amazon.com.

Instagram: @fortybethechange

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