The first book on your punch·list is Be The Sun, Not The Salt. I had the opportunity to meet the author, Harry Cohen, and hear his session about his book at the Holman Drive22 event in Miami Beach. 


The book, Be The Sun, Not the Salt, by author Dr. Harry D. Cohen, is rooted in the understanding of the Heliotropic Effect, the scientific understanding that all living systems are drawn towards life-sustaining energy. Just as a plant on the windowsill tilts towards the sun, we are attracted and drawn to people who express qualities that energize us. These people referred to as Positive Energizers. 

Instinctively, people tend to stay away from negativity as it draws energy away from us. Much like salt poured on the roots of a tree, the tree eventually dies. It’s better to be the sun and not the salt. 


The book is a quick read. What’s is the purpose of the book? Simply put, it helps people be better people. Granted, people need to read the book to get the benefits of the lessons. Each chapter is intended to help the reader engage in positive everyday actions. 

Take, for example, the interaction between two coworkers on a project. One coworker may be having a bad day and respond to the other person with a snarky remark, a salty parley, and (if they have read the book) will come back to the person they “salted” with negativity and apologize with a sincere demeaner and be a better person. We all have bad days, so give each other slack when communicating and do so with kindness and positivity. 


Be a beacon of kindness, do the right thing, respect people’s feelings, be helpful, apologize well, know when to hold the salt and take the high road, make your words count in a conversation, keep your cool, smile and move one, and most of all, learn to be an Olympic listener.

The book provides tips for living an authentic life and exuding gratitude to others and always doing the next right thing. Practice being the sun, leave the salt. 


Harry Cohen

Start with simple acts of kindness. Hold the door open for someone. Give up your seat on the bus. Say hello to someone and smile. It takes little energy to make someone feel good. Don’t complicate matters; keep it simple. 

The best line from the book that resonates with me is “Don’t waste your time and energy arguing about stupid stuff.” 


The book is not a magic pill that will suddenly change how you interact with people; changing to be more positive takes practice and it will benefit everyone in your circle of influence and beyond. 



Be The Sun, Not the Salt

For More Information:

To learn more about Harry and the idea behind the book, plus the opportunity to sign up for his newsletter, visit

Modern Contractor Solutions, August 2021
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