Chris Jericho shares stories and helps readers in 'No Is a Four-Letter Word'

Chris Jericho's latest book, "No Is a Four-Letter Word: How I Failed Spelling But Succeeded in Life," features many stories of Jericho's life during his tenure in the wrestling world. Nick Laham for ESPN

He once called himself the man of 1,004 holds, and even though it was said in jest in an attempt to make himself look better than Dean Malenko, the nickname is forever tied to Chris Jericho. While he certainly didn't know that many different holds -- and some of us still wonder what the "moss-covered, three-handled family grudunzle" looks like -- if Jericho were to write a list of 1,004 creative endeavors he's involved in right now, he'd have a much better case.

At age 46, Jericho has recently taken his first extended break from WWE in almost two years. He has been touring the world with his band Fozzy, whose single "Judas," released in May, has been their biggest mainstream hit by any measure, including a top-15 spot on Billboard's mainstream rock charts, heavy play on rock and metal stations, and over 9.2 million views on YouTube. He also has his twice-weekly podcast "Talk is Jericho," rolling with guests from all different walks of life.

At this point, finding creative outlets that people connect to has just become a way of life for Jericho.

"The more diversity I have in my career, the more longevity I have because of it," Jericho told ESPN.com.

Between all of those day-to-day responsibilities and other projects in the works, Jericho was able to work on his fourth book. After releasing New York Times-bestselling autobiographies in 2007 ("A Lion's Tale: Around the World in Spandex"), 2011 ("Undisputed: How to Become the World Champion in 1,372 Easy Steps") and 2014 ("The Best in the World: At What I Have No Idea"), Jericho sought out a new challenge and format -- the world of "self-help" books.

If that label gives you any pause, don't get too nervous about it.

In "No Is a Four-Letter Word: How I Failed Spelling But Succeeded in Life," Jericho continues to tell the same kind of fascinating stories from his life that made his first three books a success, but they're organized under 20 "principles" that highlight how Jericho found success in life.

As someone who has rarely been risk-averse, at least in public life, Jericho embraced the new challenge like he has so many others in his life.

"I was actually pretty excited about it, because I think I had done that to death at the time -- autobiography, autobiography, autobiography," Jericho said of the change in book format.

Thus far, it seems taking a chance has paid off.

"It's actually pretty funny, because the first-week sales of 'No Is a Four-Letter Word' were double the first-week sales of 'Best in the World.' So I'm pretty confident that I made the right decision. I like the idea of doing it this way as well; it was a lot more exciting for me because it was something a little bit different. I like changing things up and doing things differently."

Each of the 20 principles are associated with a rule to live by and a real or fictional person (or group) -- ranging from Yoda to "Stone Cold" Steve Austin -- that Jericho most closely associates with teaching him that particular lesson.

The first chapter of the book is dedicated to a character from "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," though it's certainly not the one that tends to immediately come to people's minds.

"The Mike Damone Principle -- act like wherever you are, that's the place to be ... I always kind of use that mindset," Jericho said. "So I came up with that principle -- I've got a great title and a great principle. Now I had to come up with stories that fit that."

Jericho doesn't shy away from mentioning moments when he himself didn't immediately follow the principles he laid out; with the Mike Damone Principle in particular, he looked back at the lead-up to his WrestleMania match against Fandango in 2013. It took the advice of The Undertaker to set Jericho back into the right mindset.

In most cases, the names and the rules were set into place and then the stories followed. But Jericho, whose previous books had success because of his passionate style of storytelling in regard to his most vivid memories, realized that a few principles had to work in the opposite direction, building out from the story itself.

"For example, when I met Keith Richards, via an assist from Jimmy Fallon and Vince McMahon, I was like, 'That's a great story, I really want to tell it. What kind of a principle can I come up with for that one?' And that's where I came up with the idea of -- instead of focusing on why something can't work -- focus on why it can work and make it happen."

Wrestling plays a key role in the book, with chapters dedicated to McMahon, Austin and Brian Pillman, but a few other principles that didn't make it into the book also had wrestling hooks of their own.

"I think it started with like 26 concepts and then edited it down to 20, because some of them are similar to others, and some are just boring," said Jericho. "There actually was the 'Bob Backlund Principle: Save Your Money.'"

Even James Ellsworth made it into the book, piggybacking on the Ronnie James Dio Principle as the "Ellsworth Edict." That chapter as much as any other explained a lot about Jericho's approach to this stage of his WWE career, and how deeply he commits himself.

"That's something I learned from Ronnie James Dio years ago, when he was signing autographs for a whole crowd. I was like, 'You always do this?' And he said, 'Yeah, you give people their moment. You'll never remember, but they'll never forget it if you're nice,'" recalled Jericho. "It's something I always try to keep in mind."

It shaped the way he interacts with fans in a big way. Jericho described going out of his way to accommodate fans seeking autographs during a WWE Middle East tour, and how he dodges fans but still gives them "their moment" when he's in the midst of an evil turn on WWE TV.

But he also applied this principle to an opportunity for visibility he gave to Ellsworth shortly after his initial run on TV, when Ellsworth was one of the undersized guys who was immediately destroyed by Braun Strowman.

"We were just kind of laughing at him earlier in the day ... didn't have a chin, probably weighs about 140 pounds ... what is that guy thinking? I watched his squash match and saw him get the s--- kicked out of him, and I realized he was actually pretty good. I did a little research and realized that he actually did know what he was doing -- he'd been working for a while and had a little bit of a career -- and I called him."

He congratulated Ellsworth for his work, and even had him as a guest on "Talk is Jericho." Ellsworth was actually brought back a few months later as a surprise tag team partner for AJ Styles, which turned into an unlikely yet entertaining series of matches against the then-WWE champion. Ellsworth was eventually signed to a full-time WWE contract, competed for the WWE championship and continues to appear on WWE TV to this day.

While that's a life that was directly impacted by Jericho and his core principles, notes from fans are already pouring in to thank Jericho for his book and the message it sends. As KISS's Paul Stanley points out in the foreword, "it's too simplistic to think that someone can tell you how you, too, can become successful, it can nonetheless be a source of inspiration to find your path by knowing how others have found theirs."

In that regard, Jericho pulled off everything he wanted to when he began writing "No Is a Four-Letter Word".

"I didn't want to do some kind of a boring, kind of a psychology essay -- I wanted it to still be a Chris Jericho book filled with the ridiculous stories that my books are known for, but just have a little more of a focus," Jericho said. "When it's all said and done, I'm really glad that I did it, because a lot of people are getting some inspiration out of it, getting some lessons from it for their own lives from the little things that I did to make my own dreams come true."