My Favorite Book and the Science of Gratitude - Sage B. Hobbs

Sometimes I feel like I have so much I want to share with you, I don’t know where to begin! Life is full of opportunities to reflect and learn (even when we wish it would stop throwing us another “life lesson”)!  

So for today, let’s start with just 2 things, from which I hope you can glean some nuggets of wisdom.

First, I recently read a study that found that “less than half of adults read a book for pleasure in 2022.”  

This makes me so sad. And a bit worried.  

For me, reading a great book is one of life’s truest pleasures (I know that’s not the case for everyone, my kiddo with dyslexia included). But I find it is pure joy to curl up with a book, sink into a story, get to know “people” I may otherwise never meet, and have scenery painted so vividly with words that it feels like I’ve traveled the world.

But also, books can be the best teachers of empathy – a key component of emotional intelligence, and an essential element for effective leadership. 

Lately, I’ve been haunted by my favorite book of 2023 – Demon Copperhead by the exquisitely talented Barbara Kingsolver. (I’ll need to write another blog that is just about my love of this book!) In short, the characters are deeply human, the long history of class struggles in our country is illuminating, the beauty of nature is brilliantly revered, and the horror and hope of humanity is… haunting.

Second, I’ve been reflecting a lot on the science of gratitude.  

With my clients, many of whom are dedicated (and exhausted) school leaders, we’re always looking for strategies to better lead our own lives (both personally and professionally).  If you’re trying to help solve the world’s messy problems – it’s SO important to figure out how to balance that struggle with your own wellbeing (and I’d even say prioritizing your happiness).  

As my work with leaders grows (and I myself get older and more burdened by the world’s challenges), I look for evidence of what works. For tested tools that give me hope and solutions. A gratitude practice is one of those tools, which I’ve been using for years. Here are some of the ways that I use this tool and a bit of the research behind why it works.

As always, a million thanks for being a part of this conversation with me. If you know someone who could use a reminder on the importance of empathy and gratitude (or just a great book recommendation), please forward this email to them.

Lastly, I invite you to try it out – Read a book for pleasure!  Do some gratitude-ing!  

You may be surprised by how these two things impact your life and your leadership in transformative ways. 

With courage, curiosity, and the endless championing of true connection,



P.S.  Calling all school principals! There’s some important support coming for you soon. Please email me at, if this is you (or share this post if you know someone who may want to learn more about it!)

P.P.S.  If you (or your organization) are interested, here are 3 ways that I can help. Please email me with any inquiries.

  • “Communication for Connection: The Untaught Piece to Success and Wellbeing” Keynote speaking on campuses, conferences, and companies.
  • Leadership coaching that supports you in leveraging your strengths and building your capacity. (companies often sponsor leaders to participate)
  • Team training and development that builds trust and connection, leveraging Emotional Intelligence.