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 Bob Young, the author of “That’s What It’s All About: Life Lessons from the Hokey Pokey,” poses with his newly released book at his home in Farmington Hills May 16.

Bob Young, the author of “That’s What It’s All About: Life Lessons from the Hokey Pokey,” poses with his newly released book at his home in Farmington Hills May 16.

Photo by Jonathan Shead

Farmington Hills man writes self-help book based on ‘The Hokey Pokey’

By: Jonathan Shead | Farmington Press | Published May 28, 2019


FARMINGTON HILLS — What started as a simple joke with his friend about the song “The Hokey Pokey” quickly became a profound revelation prompting Farmington Hills resident Bob Young, the chief data architect for Superior Analytics,  to write a self-help book about overcoming fear, healing relationships, facing obstacles, seizing opportunities and more.

As Young and his friend sat around a campfire one November 2018 evening, listening to members of nearby campsites sing karaoke to “The Hokey Pokey,” Young jokingly asked, “What if that’s what it’s all about?”

Before he could finish his sentence, the entire outline of Young’s new book, “That’s What It’s All About: Life Lessons from the Hokey Pokey,” emerged. He pulled out his iPhone and started dictating this thoughts.

Young, who admittedly hates the song, knew that despite this he couldn’t ignore what he said was a divine calling, what he said was a need to follow his muse.

“The big difference was how much was revealed to me in that moment. That’s what blew me away,” he said. “That’s why I knew I can’t ignore this. I have to write this. I don’t know why. All I know is that it was given to me, and it’s my task.”

Over the next three to four months, Young spent time each day writing one page of his book, and no more than that. He knew that by doing so he wouldn’t overextend his inspiration and would avoid possible burnout, though he admits that some days it was hard to subdue his passion to keep writing.

As he chronicled what each of the body parts involved in the song’s dance means to him philosophically, he started connecting the dots to deeper meanings and how they could be applied to a person’s everyday life. The biggest takeaway he found, he said, is about building confidence.

“It’s (in) essence a progression of confidence and investment with the body parts,” he said. “How much was I really going to put in? Am I really going to put my whole self in? You normally don’t go directly to putting your whole self in, but then the moves also had an impact on that.”

Young said that, like the dance, a person first puts in one piece at a time, but they also need to, at times, take their whole self out in order to find a balance in life. Finding that balance, he said, allows you to “shake it all about” — give it your all — in whatever you may be working toward.

Walled Lake resident Kelly LoGuidice said reading the book has helped her gain a new outlook on life and to build better relationships.

“I have a friend who’s been going through a tough time lately, and reading the book helped with looking at the different ways I can help him,” she said. “Using the right-hand technique goes about how you can put your dominant hand in — put your secure side in — but sometimes you have to put your nondominant side in, which means you have to take a risk.”

Young admits that while he felt compelled to write this book, in reality he probably hasn’t written anything profound, and overall it’s somewhat of a funny concept for a book, but that’s why he feels his book is actually accessible and has the potential to help people.

“I don’t feel like I’ve written anything earth-shaking. I don’t feel like this is the best self-improvement book ever by anyone,” he said. “It’s another one, but it’s convenient because you kind of already know it — you just don’t know you know it. That, to me, I think, could have a big impact on people.”

Beyond helping people improve their lives, Young isn’t exactly sure where this book will take him next or how big it will become. He hopes it may lead him to do some public speaking and seminars, that it will be translated into 100 or more languages, and that people who read it will continue to pass it on to others in need of the lessons found printed within the pages.

Overall, Jay Johnson, a partner at Coeus Creative Group who’s worked with Young on marketing his book, believes the book can “help some people to maybe take that first step toward what they want in their life.”

For more information about “That’s What It’s All About: Life Lessons from the Hokey Pokey” or to purchase a copy, visit