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World Travels Lead to Book on Self-Awareness

Business Innovation Expert’s Debut Book is Top-Ranked on

It took me traveling around the world, getting away from all the external noise and having the space to connect with others in meaningful ways to change my conversations.”

— Ida Abdalkhani, Founder & Chief Catalyzer at Ability to Engage



Ann Arbor, Michigan — As she traveled to more than 100 countries, a business innovation expert uncovered a secret to happiness that’s become the basis for her new book — one that, in its first week of publication, ranked in the top 1.5 percent of’s best sellers.

Whether she was chatting with retirees playing backgammon in Cypress or observing women laughing on the beaches of Montenegro, Ability to Engage Chief Catalyzer & Founder Ida Abdalkhani discovered that across cultures, the most joyful people are also the most introspective.

This month, Abdalkhani published “100 Conversation Changers,” a book of daily quotes and guided journal entries designed to increase positive self-awareness — at a time when Americans report feeling stressed and unhappy at alarming rates.

The World Happiness Report in 2016 ranked the U.S. as the 19th happiest country — a sharp decline from its No. 3 ranking just a decade ago. More than 50 percent of Americans report feeling stressed and anxious, according to the American Psychological Association’s 2017 “Stress in America” survey.

And it’s no wonder: The average person has 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts per day, but their busy schedules and technology-centric lives mean they often don’t have time to adequately process their thoughts or make meaningful social connections. Often, they fall into patterns of negativity and self-deprecation, Abdalkhani says.

“I used to have thoughts like that and it took me traveling around the world, getting away from all the external noise and having the space to connect with others in meaningful ways to change my conversations,” says Abdalkhani, who embarked on her around-the- world backpacking journey after resigning from one of Fortune’s Top 20 Most Admired Companies in the World.

Abdalkhani, an adjunct professor at The Ohio State University and the University of Michigan, dusted off her travel journals and photos in an effort to turn her cultural learnings into a guide for self-reflection. She spent more than three months writing “100 Conversation Changers” in conjunction with a creative project she assigned to her students.

“Abdalkhani provides the reader with simple ways to focus each day,” says reader John Mauck. “I certainly recommend the book be used as an opportunity for the reader to stopand reflect. The best part is that the book provides simple questions for each day. If you want to use it over 100 days or just for a reset, the versatility within this book exists.”

Along with quotes, journaling space and mindfulness exercises, each page of “100 Conversation Changers” contains an original photo from Abdalkhani’s travels, from Italy to Uruguay, Costa Rica to Bahrain.

“It is an intentional exercise and a choice to find joy in things,” Abdalkhani says. “I
wanted to share that with others by giving them thought-starters, every day, to create the
habit and the mind shift to the power of choice in forming our narrative about us and
around us.”

“100 Conversation Changers” is available for purchase at

It is also sold at the following locations:
Gramercy Books, 2424 E. Main St., Bexley, Ohio;
The Book Loft of German Village, 631 S. Third St., Columbus, Ohio;

Learn more about “100 Conversation Changers” at

Ability to Engage is an award-winning firm of creative thinkers and strategists that build and catalyze
deeper, more meaningful connections with audiences. A2E helps brands develop marketing
communications, product ideas, brand strategies and consumer segmentations. The A2E team also
develops and facilitates innovation sessions, strategic meetings and team effectiveness workshops.
Clients include start-up companies, international government groups, and some of the world’s largest
and most respected companies in brand and marketing, such as Clorox, ConAgra Foods, McGraw
Hill, PepsiCo, Pfizer and Procter & Gamble.

Ida Abdalkhani
Ability to Engage
email us here

TravelNZWorld Travels Lead to Book on Self-Awareness