How to Build a Life, Not a Résumé

MindBodyGreen founder Jason Wachob discusses 'Wellth'

'Wellth' author Jason Wachob.

‘Wellth’ author Jason Wachob. (Photo: Instagram/JaconWachob)

For a comprehensive yet simple guide on how to live a healthier life, look no further. Wellth, the first book by MindBodyGreen founder Jason Wachob, takes a holistic approach to happiness, success and wellness. The advice in Wellth is firsthand: a Wall Street expatriate’s personal accounts. Refreshingly sincere and engaging, readers are humbled, surprised and invigorated. Be prepared to shed a tear, start yoga, question your doctor’s advice and eat more vegetables.

How and when did you decide to write a book? The book was inspired from a blog post I wrote on my 39th birthday on November 4, 2013, “39 Life Lessons I’ve Learned in 39 Years.” I woke up that morning and just felt like writing, and an hour or so later I had finished the post and published it on MindBodyGreen. It went viral and a literary agent by the name of Linda Loewenthal reached out, asking me to expand the post into a book. I actually didn’t even reply to her email. I thought to myself, “this isn’t a book, it’s just a blog post!” A few weeks later she followed up, sending a package to my office with a book she suggested I read. It was a runaway bestseller that reminded her of my blog post. I read the book a day later, met with Linda and the rest is history. Throughout the summer of 2014 I wrote whenever I was flying (which was a lot!) and ended up having 50,000 words by the fall. No editing, no rewriting, just pure stream-of-consciousness! I actually think this is the best way to get started—just go for it. I never really planned on writing a book, it just happened. Even thought it was a lot of work, it was also relatively painless. I think this happens when you write from the heart. 

‘This is the book I wish I had in my early twenties.’

'Wellth' will be released on March 1, 2016.

‘Wellth’ will be released on March 1, 2016. (Photo: Harmony Books/The Crown Publishing Group)

Had you been using the term “wellth” for a while already? How did you start using it? Yes, for about two years… it’s funny, as I’m seeing the word a lot more lately—I think it’s very symbolic of where we are as a culture. We’re all seeking a life filled with mental, physical, spiritual and emotional wellbeing. I find it fascinating that “wealth” is derived from the middle English word “welthe,” meaning wellbeing and happiness. Hopefully “wellth” is more than just a play on words and becomes a movement.

You went from being a party-hard frat boy, to a successful Wall Street playboy, to the happy man you are now—committed to your wife and healthy lifestyle. What was the catalyst? Debilitating back pain played a huge role in opening my eyes to the power of living a “wellthy” existence. I went from barely walking with two extruded discs in my lower back pressing on my sciatic nerve and bound for back surgery, to being totally fine thanks to yoga, a spiritual practice and a change in diet. In terms of relationships and being committed to my wife, I think finding your soul mate definitely helps. I talk a lot about soul mates in the book. I actually think we have many soul mates—both romantic and non-romantic—and that we need to rethink our definition of the term. I also think losing my father unexpectedly to a heart attack at age 19 was a huge catalyst—but it took me years to realize it. I write in the book that I believe “mortality makes us confront the reality of our own lives and address things that need to be changed.”

Who do you think would most benefit from your book? I think there’s something for everyone. No matter what’s going on in your life, or wherever you are in your journey, I think you’ll walk away with something valuable after reading Wellth. This is the book I wish I had in my early twenties… but didn’t exist.

You were once a wellness skeptic. What would you say to your old self to open your mind up to living a healthier life? I’d say feeling good is better than looking good and everything is connected—it’s a combination of mental, physical, spiritual, emotional and environmental wellbeing! I think so many books in the self-help and health space are too preachy. They aren’t relatable and just focus on one area. This idea that everything is connected is something I wish I would’ve understood when I was younger—happiness and health aren’t about having a big bank account or looking good in the mirror.