Book Giveaway & Author Interview: Find the Upside of the Down Times by Rob Pennington

Welcome to Author Rob Pennington

Dr. Rob Pennington is an educational psychologist, author and award winning professional speaker who specializes in coaching leaders to increase productivity through improved team effectiveness and change management. Trained through the National Training Laboratory (NTL) in organizational development in the early 70’s and a former faculty member of three universities, he is a four-time recipient of the Mental Health Association’s Outstanding Speaker Award and one of Meeting Professional International’s original Platinum Presenters. Dr. Pennington has traveled extensively supporting associations, corporations and government agencies undergoing massive change.


Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.

As a writer I was admittedly anxious about how others would review my book. So I have been pleasantly surprised by the glowing reviews it has received so far.  For instance Jerry Looper’s: and Meredith Bell’s:    I am grateful that the blessings I discovered in my own life are multiplying in the lives of other people as a result of reading this book. 

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book?

Reading “Find The Upside Of The Down Times” will save you the time and pain it took me to learn to capitalize on the positive opportunities in each negative experience.

What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?

I’m going to give three:

2) Have a great group of friends and family that will give you honest feedback and support.  I’ve been blessed with both.  Oh, and one more….

3) No matter how good you and everyone thinks your book is – get an editor!  Get a professional who doesn’t know your voice or your story but knows when you are making sense and when you aren’t.  Your audience will give you the credit for being an even better author than you are!  But you will have led your team, you will have made each decision to take the advice and feedback or not, and so, no matter how many have helped, the final product still belongs to you.

Write a Haiku about your book:

No matter how bad,

There are ways to find the good.

You will have to change.

If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?

To the past, to early Egypt in particular. I am fascinated by what we have lost about what they knew. Take a look at Serpent in the Sky: The High Wisdom of Ancient Egypt by John Anthony West

What is one book everyone should read?

Well of course mine, but beyond that Love Is Letting Go of Fear by Gerald G. Jampolsky and Hugh Prather

What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?

Granola, fruit and soymilk or yogurt

Night owl, or early bird?

Night owl!

One food you would never eat?


Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book?

I like the balance in this song because it starts with: “There is a dark and a troubled side of life.”  It acknowledges that life is difficult and painful.  But it also says that there is a “Bright and Sunny Side, too”.  We get a choice about which one we want to “view”.  And which ever we think the most about, that is the one we will experience more than the other.  It is a simple, direct, profoundly truthful message.  And the tune is great to whistle.  Try it.

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?

I thought about it, and there are lots of place I’d like to visit, but I have lived where I live for 30 years because I enjoy it.  I’m already there.

What is your favorite Quote?

“I need no excuse to experience and express pure joy” – Paul Solomon.   It means that: 1) I can be happy without any reason and still be sane(!), and, 2) Any time I’m not happy it is because I have some excuse.  When I am not experiencing joy, there must be something I would rather have that I don’t have, or something I do have that I would rather not have.  And because of either of these, I believe it is impossible for me to be happy. Paul’s quote reminds me that this is not true, that everyday I am not an emotional victim, that my emotions are mine. And that baring any chemical or neurological damage, how I feel each moment is my choice. I choose to feel good more often. My book is a result of my practicing through many challenges.

How did you know you should become an author?

I’ve been a counselor and a speaker – not an author.  Being used to immediate audience reaction I can tell when I’m connecting or not. I am able to adjust to have the impact I want. For a long time I was afraid that I could not connect to an audience through a printed page.  I discovered I was wrong. I did not know I should become an author until I got over my fear and actually put thoughts on paper.  Now I know I can.  Now, after becoming an author and discovering I can connect and have an impact, now at 63, I know I should be an author.

Who are your favorite authors of all time?

Love Is Letting Go of Fear by Gerald G. Jampolsky and Hugh Prather

Making Peace with Your Parents by Harold Bloomfield M.D. and Leonard Felder Ph.D.

What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?

Frances Fuller, Ph.D., my dissertation chairman, told me never to lose the “little boy’s wonder about life” that she saw in me.  I’ve tried to appreciate and cultivate that sense of wonder and let it grow throughout my life.  I find myself as a result, continually being amazed at the wonder involved in being a human being.  With all our highs and our lows, there is still a striving within us to know what it all means. I think having that sense of wonder is an important part of that meaning.  At least it is for me.

Favorite Food?

A family tradition we have for everyone’s birthday: Toasted Snow Squares.  The birthday person gets to choose the color. Here’s the recipe:

What movie are you looking forward to this year (2011)?

Three Musketeers! The Hobbit!

What was your favorite children’s book?


How do you react to a bad review?

I’ll let you know when I get one. You can

You have won one million dollars what is the first thing that you would buy?

Apple Stock! Unlike the pendulum swing of everything else in the universe, over time it’s just going to keep going up.

What do you do in your free time?

Enjoy being with my family cooking, eating and watching Longhorn football, golf and movies. (See next answer.)

What is your guilty pleasure?

150 inch HD projection TV!

How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?

Took my parents (to whom the book dedicated) out to dinner.

Favorite places to travel?

There is a beautiful place in Slovenia, a small town called Bled with the Alps in the background that is beside a beautiful lake, with an island in the middle of the lake and a church on the island, and a castle on a cliff overlooking the lake (take a look: The best hot chocolate in the world is served at a lakeside cafe.  I would enjoy living there some each year.

Favorite music?

Soft jazz, e.g., Chris Botti, Diana Krall and more lately Straight No Chaser.

Find the Upside of the Down Times:

Psychologist Survives Shooting, Firing, IRS Audit and Death of Spouse to Challenge Others to ‘Find the Upside of the Down Times’. Rob Pennington, PhD, shares his own very personal and honest account of some of the biggest challenges life can throw at anyone. He empowers readers with true stories, inspiring insights and practical tools to help turn their own negative experiences into positive opportunities. Stepping beyond the initial shock and emotional roller coaster of each trial he faced, Dr. Pennington credits faith and support from others. “I discovered strengths I did not know I had and might not have found, had it not been for the challenge,” says Dr. Pennington. “I learned how to turn the worst things that happen to me into the best opportunities I have.” This book is not about theory, but the very real blessings that can be found by anyone in the difficulties of day-to-day life. At the end of each chapter, Dr. Pennington shares specific activities he learned that can assist readers to turn their own struggles into stepping-stones that can lead to an upside of personal and professional growth. With wit and tenderness, with vulnerability and candor, the reader is taken on a journey through many aspects of life, from career and finances to relationships, education, and health. And when tragedy strikes, Dr. Pennington demonstrates through his own humanity that even though we all have difficult times, we also have the ability to rise above them. When the times start to drag you down … Rob’s real world examples show that you can still: • Turn your worries into positive action plans • Turn your fears into opportunities for hope and for help • Turn your life into something better than you thought possible

The Upside of the Down Times was released on May 20, 2011 by Resource International

Giveaway Details:
1 copy of The Upside of the Down Times
Open to US only
Ends 10/30/11

Optional Extra Entry
+1 Follow Rob on Twitter:!/drrobpennington