Personal Reflections – Creating Know Your True Self
With the recent release of my new book, Know Your True Self: The Formula to Raise Human Consciousness, I can't help but reflect on its creation, and while this story could be a book of its own, I wanted to highlight some key milestones throughout my journey.
The origins of Know Your True Self trace back to a training program that my father, Robert Petrossi, had created during the early 1990s called the Science of Living. It integrated life-skills education with topics such as learning how to learn, personality types, and stress reduction. When he created it, I was exposed to so much information in the emerging school of positive psychology. As a result, through my teenage years, I read books like Flow, Emotional Intelligence, and the Art of Happiness, among many others.
The book that stood out to me the most was one Robert had given me on astral projection when I was around 13. My bedroom was not equipped with the proper soundproofing and such to leave my physical body and travel through space and time. Still, I would try and soon come to find out that through deep meditation, the nature of existence felt utterly different.
During this time, I worked with Robert as he founded a Marketing and Sales training company. At an early age, I assembled training manuals, organizing his transparencies for the old school overhead projector. I would travel with him on business trips when time permitted and took on more responsibilities within his family-run business over time. I cherished these experiences because I got an inside look at the business community from a very young age. I was drawn to the psychology of marketing communications, sales, and the personal development of employees.
After graduating from high school, I studied Psychology and Organizational Communications at Fairfield University and began to question the nature of existence deeply. I remember looking up into the stars within the universe, pondering the true nature of myself and my purpose on earth. I excelled in many of my classes because I already had exposure to required readings but chose not to pursue a career as a psychologist because I could not pass statistics.
Fortunately, I found my way into the world of advertising, working as a strategist. I had the luxury of working with organizations with deep research teams, which was terrific because I could be involved in qualitative, quantitative, ethnographic, segmentation and neuroscience studies without having to figure out all of the math.
I spend the next 15 years in advertising because it fueled my passion for understanding people and how to connect them to brands through cultural relevancy. In addition, I was fortunate to have some fantastic mentors in the space that helped me grow both strategically and creatively.
In my spare time, I worked with Robert on the Science of Living, a project he had taken up again after retiring around 2008 due to cancer. I say a project, but he was working 12 hour days for years. He would send me detailed notes from every book he read, call me to discuss them, and when we got together, go deeper into complex topic areas within spirituality, psychology, the sciences, and philosophy – and of course, I loved it.
We would often talk about me taking over the Science of Living, but to be honest, I was having so much fun in the world of advertising it was hard for me to justify the transition from my role into a new field of work. I had climbed the ranks to become a Sr. VP of Creative Strategy and Development. I led a team that was distilling research and data into rich human insights, strategies, and creative concepts to shift human behavior across all aspects of culture for some of the worlds for recognized brands.
Then around 2017, Robert was diagnosed with cancer for the second time, and multiple surgeries over more than a year left him in dire straits. Without going into specifics of all the internal damages caused, he was untimely told he would be on feeding tubes for the rest of his life. Over the next few months, as he adjusted to living on feeding tubes, he pursued his relentless quest into the nature of existence, and it was at this point when The Science of Living transformed into Know Your True Self.
I could not sit idle anymore. The energetic pull was too strong, so I decided to follow my heart and resigned from my job to founded PTNL (abbreviation for potential) and began full-time working on Know Your True Self.
I had no idea how long the project would take, but I knew It was one I had to complete and one that I wanted the chance to work on with my father while he was still alive. From the start, we hit a nice stride working together, and, for the first time, we were able to collaborate on rather than solely discuss the principles contained in Know Your True Self.
We stated with mounds of content in different formats that Robert had aggregated over the years as draft manuals and sample guides. It was a collection of wisdom we had shared over the years from countless sources of inspiration and now began the journey of sculpting it into Know Your True Self.
Miracle time. A few months after we started working together, my father's stomach began working again, something doctors said would never happen. Although Robert was able to eat, he was still in rough shape, but we had a great routine working together remotely through screen share, and I could see how much the collaborative effort was helping him heal.
Then about a year into the project, I got sick, and doctors could not figure out what was wrong with me. Some said I had MRSA, others possible fibromyalgia, but I knew it was severe because, for six months, I could barely move, riddled with chronic pain and inflammation. But, I, like Robert, did find comfort working on the Know Your True Self during my temporary illness.
Tired of doctors, I sought to heal my energy system from the inside eliminating all dairy, soy, gluten, and other potential allergens from my diet. Within a couple of months, I had recovered. Phew.
I published a first edition of Know Your True Self in 2020, a few months after coronavirus hit because I wanted to get some feedback from readers. We were considering a few different options for formats and content approaches. This real-time focus group of readers was able to provide us with such valuable, honest input. With it, I spend the next eight months optimizing Know Your True Self for a launch before Mental Health Awareness month, 2021.
Know Your True Self is not like any book I have ever seen. We have distilled core human truths and valuable insight into a simple formula designed to help humans help themselves. We have so much knowledge into the human experience but, unfortunately, live in a culture that chews and spits our content without ever fully digesting it.
Know Your True Self helps solve that problem through its unique layout, approach to content, and self-reflection. As stated by Amir Ghannad, author of The Transformative Leader, "James Petrossi has given us a wonderful guide which contains a series of easy to digest, bite-sized lessons that culminate in a profound model for raising human consciousness." Thank you, Amir.
Completing the book is just the begging of this journey for me. I founded PTNL with the vision of creating a more consciously connected world, and over the past couple of years have had limited time to take on new clients because developing Know Your True self has been my top priority. Now I look forward to helping organizations and leaders realize their potential by raising their level of consciousness.
If interested you can purchase a copy of Know Your True Self here: