Book Review

Book Review: Even Happier

Who does not want to be more happy?
As I was searching for more books on happiness, I stumbled upon this. I have been doing research on happiness for a year now but this was the first time I came across a book which has lots of exercises in it.
I was excited to see the introduction of book and expected a lot of fun. Even though not all exercises are clear and doable, some of them are. I have already tried a few which are mentioned and there are a few which are totally new and some of them are just repetition in different forms.
If you are a newbie, and has no idea about how happiness works, you will not gain much from the book. But if you are already perfect with the basics, it is a good book to practise on being happy to the fullest. The interesting thing about this book is it has a quote for every chapter. Even though some of the quotes don’t produce any effect, overall the quotes make you take action.
The chapters are very short. For some of the chapters, the explanation and terms mentioned have cleared a lot of my doubts. Even though this book is mentioned at week level, you can read it all at once and make notes and plan on the exercises you want to do for the year or lifetime.
Some of the chapters are vaguely related to happiness. But they still provide some value.
This book has been written for adults. If you are still a student, some of the chapters will not be relevant for you.
Important Lessons learnt from the book:

  • A few activities provide joy in the present. A few in the future. But focus on those which give joy both in the present and in the future
  • In order to cultivate genuine intimacy,the focus in a relationship has to shift from the desire to be validated to the desire to be known
  • The best way to increase self esteem is increase our failure coping mechanism
  • Little or no conflict within a relationship indicates that the partners are not dealing with important issues and differences.
  • Make children struggle so that they don’t pay for their luxury
  • Rat racers feel more despair after achieving material success because there is nothing left for them to pursue
  • People perceive their work in three ways: job, career and a calling. Make yours a calling

Why should you read this book?
Just like how we have practicals in college, this book is like practicals in life. If you want to have some fun practising, you should go for it.
Top 10 quotes from the book:
“What you focus on expands, and when you focus on the goodness in your life, you create more of it. Opportunities, relationships, even
money flowed my way when I learned to be grateful no matter what happened in my life.”
“True happiness involves some emotional discomfort and difficult experiences, which some self-help books and psychiatric medication attempt to circumvent.”
“What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him. – Viktor Frankl
“Failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. . . . I was set free, because my greatest fear had already been
realized, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big
idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life. . . . Failure gave me an inner
security that I had never attained by passing examinations. Failure taught me things about myself that I could
have learned no other way. I discovered that I had a strong will, and more discipline than I had suspected; I
also found out that I had friends whose value was truly above rubies. . . . The knowledge that you have emerged
wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You will
never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity.” – J.K Rowling
“To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. Not to dare, is to lose oneself.” —Søren Kierkegaard
“The best way you can predict your future is to create it.” —Stephen Covey
“How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.” —Annie Dillard
“The great end of life is not knowledge but action.”—Thomas Huxley
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?” -Marianne Williamson
“Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen.” —Mark Twain
Top 5 Action Points:

  1. Meaning exercise -Note down all the activities in the day but do only the ones you find meaning
  2. Healing exercise – Write a forgiving letter to people who have hurt you
  3. Do one kind act per week
  4. Take a walk in the nature
  5. Advice from Your Inner Sage – Go forward in time and write a letter to your current self

Books mentioned in the book:

  • The Power of Full
  • Engagement, Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz
  • Passionate Marriage
  • Radical Honesty, Brad Blanton
  • Return to Love, Marianne Williamson

Happy being more happier !

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