Moving through Grief with Grit, Grace, and Gratitude

By Nicole Avant

“This is not a book about death, this is a book about life—or, more exactly, this is a book about how to live, in gratitude, service, and grace. It's also about grit: how to face the most terrible thing you can imagine and make a choice to move forward in love.” — Nicole Avant In December 2021, during a nighttime home invasion robbery at her parents’ house, Nicole’s 81 year old mother was fatally shot. In an instant, she had to decide whether to let herself be overcome by tragedy, or follow the inspiring example of her mother, who always chose to be happy regardless of the circumstances around her. Though Nicole and her close-knit family were devastated by this senseless loss, Nicole faced a choice, to either be paralyzed by grief or instead, be made anew and inspired by the lives of those we’ve sadly lost. Reflecting on the wisdom her parents had shared and reinvigorated by life’s many lessons remembered during this cathartic journey of reflection provided the inspiration for her powerful and engaging memoir.

Nicole Avant offers hope and inspiration for anyone facing some of life’s most difficult moments. Speaking from personal experience, she shares how to transform pain into purpose and tragedy into love. She writes: “In the face of terrible things, my mother would have said, ‘think you'll be happy,’ just as she did to me in her last text. I think I will be happy; I want readers to be happy, and productive, and to live in gratitude for all the great advantages loaned to us by a loving universe.

THINK YOU’LL BE HAPPY: Moving through Grief with Grit, Grace, and Gratitude (Harper One; October 17, 2023; $28.99) is not a book Nicole Avant ever thought she’d have to write. Before this unfortunate event took place, Nicole focused her time on business, filmmaking, philanthropy and diplomacy. As the daughter of legendary music mogul Clarence Avant and indomitable civic activist Jacqueline Avant, she grew up in a world of glamor and privilege in Beverly Hills, learning from brilliant thinkers, artists, writers, musicians, and politicians. She counted among her friends and mentors some of the most remarkable people of our time.

“My family has been devastated by the loss of my mother,” Nicole writes, “but at every point, I've heard her voice echo in my mind: Make some blessings; find golden, not just silver, linings; let the alchemy of love and service and gratitude keep you alive. We have the opportunity to gain energy from our loved ones who have passed, and take that energy and make it into daily, engaged action that helps make the world a better place.” Painful things happen to all of us and I believe that how we respond is always our choice. This includes not only personal grief, but also the pain we’ve experienced collectively. My belief is that positivity breeds positivity. What kind of harvest do we want for those around us? What kind of seeds are we planting? Who do we allow to motivate us and inspire us? What motivates our behaviors – is it love? If so, we’re more likely to walk in positivity, joy and gratitude, knowing that our love is our blessing.

Some gracious words of praise for

Think You’ll Be Happy

“At some point in every life, we are faced with a challenge that we think we can’t overcome. This book should be required reading for anyone wanting to understand how to trust in the light even at the darkest times. Drawing on her own grit, grace and gratitude - not to mention a deep and abiding faith - Nicole Avant has gifted us a roadmap out of the darkness of her own profound loss and into a life filled with meaning, purpose and service."
Jay Shetty
#1 New York Times Bestselling author of Think Like A Monk
“In Think You'll Be Happy: Living with Grit, Grace and Gratitude, Nicole Avant brilliantly weaves through her family's story and her mother's tragic death, some of the most important cultural themes at this moment in our history — faith, forgiveness, resilience, service and redemption — and she does it all with grace and with the gift of a born storyteller.”
Arianna Huffington
Founder & CEO, Thrive Global
"Unfortunately, I’ve seen my share of people dealing with all kinds of tragedies but never have I seen anyone approach it with such clarity, class and grace as the way that Nicole Avant lays it out in this book. I was angry, I cried, and I screamed as I felt I took this journey right beside Nicole through every page. By the end I was clear that her mom Jacqueline Avant was right…”Think You’ll Be Happy” is a love song to a great woman told through the eyes of the great woman she created. "
Tyler Perry
Entertainment Mogul
“Nicole Avant gives a raw and courageous look into how she found the light in her darkest moment. She reminds us that grief is different for everyone, and we have the power to move through it in our own unique way.”
Cleo Wade
New York Times Bestselling author of Heart Talk
"Prepare to be profoundly moved by this powerful exploration of faith, love, grief, grace, and grit. Nicole Avant’s words weave a tapestry of hope and redemption, reminding us that even in our darkest moments, grace and resilience can guide us towards healing and renewal. An extraordinary and deeply inspiring book."
Bishop T.D. Jakes

About The Author

Ambassador Nicole Avant

Author, Producer, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, and Public Servant

Ambassador Nicole Avant served as the 13th U.S. Ambassador to The Bahamas after being nominated by President Barack Obama and unanimously confirmed by The U.S. Senate, becoming the youngest as well as the first African American woman to hold the position. Ambassador Avant has pursued an array of businesses focused on female and minority owned enterprises as well as philanthropic ventures that honor her parent’s lifelong commitment to the community.  She recently commemorated the unveiling of the Jacqueline Avant Children and Family Center.  In 2019, Ambassador Avant produced the critically acclaimed and award-winning documentary, “The Black Godfather” for Netflix. The film charts the exceptional and unlikely rise of her father Clarence Avant, the ultimate, uncensored mentor and behind-the-scenes dealmaker in music, film, TV, and politics. The film was nominated for the prestigious Grierson Documentary Award, an Emmy Award, two NAACP Image Awards and was named one of the Top 5 Documentaries of 2019 by the National Board of Review. In 2021, Avant executive produced another critically acclaimed and award-winning film, “Trees of Peace” and currently, is a producer on Tyler Perry’s next film Six-Triple-Eight, the true story of the first all-black female battalion to serve in Europe during WWII.

Ambassador Avant has been an active board member for multinational companies and philanthropic organizations, including Best Buddies International, The Bogart Pediatric Research Center, Revlon, LACMA, Soho House, Universal Music Group, and A Sense of Home.

Ambassador Avant has been recognized with several prestigious awards for her diplomatic and humanitarian work including the 20th Annual Trumpet Awards for her dedication to Public Diplomacy and the Black Entertainment & Sports Lawyers Association’s 2011 Humanitarian Award. A former board member of Girls Inc., she was honored with their Women of Achievement award in 2014 and was recognized by UNICEF with its Spirit of Compassion Award in 2018.

Ambassador Avant lives in Los Angeles with her husband Ted Sarandos, Clarence Avant, their two labradors, and is the proud stepmother of Tony and Sarah.