Monday, February 27

Breakfast Tea & Bourbon: A Novel That's Also a Treasure Hunt

Have you ever wanted to discover some buried treasure? Maybe as a kid, you'd take a prized possession, dig a hole in the backyard, and create an entire map to find it a few days later. Breakfast Tea & Bourbon by Pete Bissonette takes that to a whole new level. Not only is it an entertaining novel, complete with self-help tips and bourbon recipes, hidden inside the pages are clues to a treasure hidden somewhere in the United States worth $50,000.

"I printed out a big map, closed my eyes, twirled my finger, and pointed to a spot," Bissonette said. "That's where the treasure is hidden." 

For his part, Bissonette is not giving away any hints to where the treasure is hidden despite people's best attempts to get the truth out of him. He's enjoyed seeing how people have gone about searching for the treasure, which also includes a $5,000 donation to their favorite charity and 100 bottles of wine delivered to their door.

"A class of fifth graders is reading it as a class and sharing where they're going through the book," Bissonette said. "I've also heard from a North Dakota nursing home. If they figure out where the treasure is one of them will send their son to dig it up."

The novel is an entertaining read in and of itself – Bissonette suggests reading it at a leisurely pace the first time around, then go back and look for clues – but it also provides a few life lessons that we could all benefit from. It's something Bissonette has been practicing and advocating with his company Learning Strategies for more than 30 years. The company teaches people all over the world a number of things, including ways to improve memory, enjoy more success in your career, and eliminate behaviors like procrastination or self-sabotage.

Pete Bissonette
One practice that Bissonette really emphasizes is how to savor the moment. Taking a walk in the woods is one such way to just appreciate the beauty around us, but even more common things like really engaging in a conversation or not letting a distraction – say, people holding up their cell phones to record a song at a concert – prevent you from enjoying what you came to see. The book also provides the "Meaningful Rule of Toasting." If you've ever been to a wedding or other gala event where you need to clink glasses, you can relate.

"It's always so quick. We clink our glasses and we're already moving on to the next glass to clink. We don't make a connection with anyone," Bissonette said. "It can be uncomfortable, but make eye contact with who you're toasting. It makes it much more special. I like to bug my eyes out really wide – the person on the other side will then similarly bug their eyes out as a natural response and then we've made a connection."

Want to see some lessons from Learning Strategies in action? Once you purchase your book, share the proof of purchase on their website and you can get one of their "Paraliminal" releases, a technology that helps you make changes, whatever they may be.

Check out a copy of Breakfast Tea & Bourbon – who knows? You may just find yourself digging up a treasure worth more than $50,000. And if you want to send a few dollars or a bottle of wine my way, I certainly won't complain. Cheers!