15 Books Reveal What Makes You Happy
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Reading helps in making you view new horizons and boosts your knowledge about various things. Books are an opportunity to view our lives from the perspective of those who have greater wisdom than us and they help in stimulating our brains to resolve our problems and struggles. Here are a few books which will make you feel thankful for whatever you have in life and will bring about gratitude and satisfaction in your personality:
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This book is about the struggle of Viktor Frankl who managed to survive the holocaust concentration camps. What do you think kept him going? It was his belief that every occurrence and every human suffering need to have some kind of meaning. If you are struggling through life because of any reason, the words of Viktor will truly give you hope and encouragement.
The economist from Duke University, Dan Ariely is of the view that human motivation and happiness are a lot more complex than we are inclined to believe. It is quite a possibility that employees working in a firm are happier when they receive free pizza from their boss instead of more money. It is up to the managers to find out the reason which will harness the power of motivation for employees so that they do the job well for the sake of doing it in the best possible manner.
Randy is a college professor who has just discovered that he is suffering from a fatal disease and only has a few last days left of his life. At his university, it is customary for professors to deliver the last speech before they leave. This speech would comprise of some words of wisdom and pieces of advice for the students. Keeping his speech entertaining and witty, he reveals how to stay incredibly positive even when you know that death is quite near.
Santos was sentenced to 45 years in prison after being charged with selling drugs. During his time in prison, he worked hard to earn a Master’s degree but his urge to acquire a doctorate was halted by a warden. He used to write books in the prison which educated the students about the criminal justice system in the country. This book is actually an insight into his entire sentence and a representation of his positive attitude during the captive years. He was finally released in 2012 and if he can find happiness while being in prison, you can surely find it anywhere too.
In this book, the journalist Lehrer has taken a scientific dig on the meaning of love. The love stories have not been described with phrases like butterflies in the stomach and fireworks rather, it is how love grows through the daily maintenance tasks. Love has the ability to grow and change on itself without humans having any control on it.
This is the kind of book which makes the reader believe that it has been written especially for him. The writer begins the book by asking a question to the readers how they would spend the last hour of their life if a cataclysmic catastrophe was to eliminate the entire human race. The same question was asked to the celebrities by a French magazine in 1922. While others responded with sad contemplation and indulging in an activity which they enjoy the most, Marcel Proust answered:
Based on these words, De Botton presented a book which emphasized on attaining wisdom rather than attaining success.
Jonathan Haidt highlights the problems of the divided self in this book and describes mind as a wild elephant just like Buddha had used this metaphor before. He has beautifully described the role of God, love, and kindness in our lives and in our pursuit of happiness. Thus, you’ll be bound to reconsider the definition of happiness and what things actually make you believe you’re not happy.
Tal Ben-Shahar was the person who was behind the popularity of Harvard’s positive psychology course. In 2004, only 20 students were enrolled in this course but in a matter of two years, the number increased to a whopping 900 just because of him.
After the success of the course, he made his way to write this book which gives nothing but a beautiful outlook on life. From meditation to gratitude and goal setting, everything has been covered in the book. He has used stories and failures from his own life to explain some really important lessons.
Tolle had been suffering from extreme depression throughout his adult life and after he turned 29, he even started entertaining suicidal thoughts. At one instance, he was struck by some extreme desire to end his life but when he woke up the next day, he was an entirely different person. He felt enlightenment which made him free from all such thoughts.
In his earlier book, he taught what enlightenment is but in “A New Earth” he tells how to achieve enlightenment in daily life by simple actions. He has given beautiful views on pain, success, suffering, adversity, conflict, and happiness. After reading this book, one is never to have a low point in his life because of any major reason.
This book reveals that compromise isn’t that great. According to Voss, he helps the reader in getting what he wants not the half of what he wants. If a person really wants something, they must negotiate in a way that their life depends on it. One must have the ability to coax the person to do as one wants so that one can get their way because compromise only brings a portion of the desired happiness.
It is hard for intelligent people to become happy easily as their intelligence and wisdom undermine their ability to become happy. This is what Raj Raghunathan says who is a professor at the University of Texas. He says that pushing your emotions under the rug is never a good idea because they play a major role in influencing your happiness. Suppose if you have two job offers and you go with the one which is more lucrative, there is still no guarantee that this job will make you happier than the other one. Therefore, one must seek happiness beyond superficial things.
Silverstein depicts in his book that happiness can be found in a simple act of giving. Loving someone and giving them everything you have is a source of joy for any human being. This is a children’s book which teaches a valuable lesson to everyone about unconditional love. It carries the true essence of happiness and how one can find peace and comfort in the art of giving to others.
There are a number of things in our life which we don’t have a control over.
This short book is packed with a number of statements which actually make a person think twice. The book says that we actually become what we think about most of the time. Negative thoughts affect a person a lot more than they actually anticipate. Allen simply says that positive thinking means a happy life.
No matter where your life is right now, you can always turn it in the right direction. You are the author of your own story and have the power to push your limits. Donald had remained rut in his life and was spending most of his time in bed. He was questioning the meaning of life and realized eventually that he will not remain a slave to a pre-written script. With the help of this newly developed mindset, he turned around his thoughts, life, and his actions. Never forget that you have the ability to live a happy, interesting, and peaceful life so heavily rely on it.
29 Books That Make You Happy Long After The Last Page
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A lot of us are affected by the lack of sunshine in the northern hemisphere during winter. This is the time of year that we desperately need some happy reading. There’s nothing more comforting than a good book after a hard day, with a fire in place, cuddled next to your dog or cat, or both. The fact that our lives feel more and more unstable, it’s comforting to know that we can turn to literature to see how others have handled their stress and found peace. Isn’t that why a lot of us turn to books in the first place? Here are 29 books that make you happy that I’m recommending for solace and cheer this winter.
1. Eleanore Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Eleanore is weird.That’s just who she is. When she and her equally weird co-worker, Raymond, save an elderly man who had fallen on a sidewalk, she suddenly finds company. This is a beautiful story that has a quirky imperfect heroine. Sure to bring you a bit of light on a dark day.
2. Beartown: A Novel by Fredrik Backman
A small town on the brink of non-existance. A Jr. League hockey league about to make the championships. “Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.”
3. An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
“This stirring love story is a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control. An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward—with hope and pain—into the future. ”
4. Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah
An inspirational and emotional story of a family that has been defined by war, even if they don’t know it. “Meredith and Nina Whitson are as different as sisters can be and they find themselves together again, standing alongside their cold, disapproving mother, Anya, who even now, offers no comfort to her daughters. As children, the only connection between them was the Russian fairy tale Anya sometimes told the girls at night. On his deathbed, their father extracts a promise from the women in his life: the fairy tale will be told one last time. Thus begins an unexpected journey into the truth of Anya’s life in war-torn Leningrad, more than five decades ago. Alternating between the past and present, Meredith and Nina will finally hear the singular, harrowing story of their mother’s life.”
5. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
“Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart—he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season’s first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone—but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees.”
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6. No One Can Pronounce My Name by Rakesh Satyal
Families keep us sane, and also insane, but there’s always love. “In a suburb outside Cleveland, a community of Indian Americans has settled into lives that straddle the divide between Eastern and Western cultures. Harit, a lonely Indian immigrant in his mid forties, lives with his mother who can no longer function after the death of Harit’s sister, Swati. In a misguided attempt to keep both himself and his mother sane, Harit has taken to dressing up in a sari every night to pass himself off as his sister. Meanwhile, Ranjana, also an Indian immigrant in her mid forties, has just seen her only child, Prashant, off to college. Worried that her husband has begun an affair, she seeks solace by writing paranormal romances in secret. When Harit and Ranjana’s paths cross, they begin a strange yet necessary friendship that brings to light their own passions and fears.” Funny and loving. What more can you ask for?
7. The Wangs Vs. The World by Jade Chang
Charles Wang, a brash, lovable businessman who built a cosmetics empire and made a fortune, has just lost everything in the financial crisis. So he rounds up two of his children from schools that he can no longer afford and packs them into the only car that wasn’t repossessed. Together with their wealth-addicted stepmother, Barbra, they head on a cross-country journey from their foreclosed Bel-Air home to the Upstate New York retreat of the eldest Wang daughter, Saina.
8. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
“On ne voit bien qu’avec le coeur. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.” One sees clearly with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye. This classic reminds us what is important in life. It’s a children’s book but its lessons are valid for adults too. We often need to be reminded what really matters. After all, all adults were once children.
9. The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan
“A charming, clever, and quietly moving debut novel of of endless possibilities and joyful discoveries that explores the promises we make and break, losing and finding ourselves, the objects that hold magic and meaning for our lives, and the surprising connections that bind us.”
10. How to Walk Away by Katherine Center
“Margaret Jacobsen is just about to step into the bright future she’s worked for so hard and so long: a new dream job, a fiancé she adores, and the promise of a picture-perfect life just around the corner. Then, suddenly, on what should have been one of the happiest days of her life, everything she worked for is taken away in a brief, tumultuous moment. How to Walk Away is Katherine Center at her very best—a masterpiece of a novel that is both hopeful and hilarious; truthful and wise; tender and brave.”
11.All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
“In the rolling dales of Yorkshire, a simple, rural region of northern England, a young veterinarian from Sunderland joins a new practice. A stranger in a strange land, he must quickly learn the odd dialect and humorous ways of the locals, master outdated equipment, and do his best to mend, treat, and heal pets and livestock alike.”
12. The Art of Happiness by The Dalai Lama XIV
“If you ask him if he’s happy, even though he’s suffered the loss of his country, the Dalai Lama will give you an unconditional yes. What’s more, he’ll tell you that happiness is the purpose of life, and that the very motion of our life is toward happiness. ”
13. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
“Anna Karenina tells of the doomed love affair between the sensuous and rebellious Anna and the dashing officer, Count Vronsky. Tragedy unfolds as Anna rejects her passionless marriage and thereby exposes herself to the hypocrisies of society. Set against a vast and richly textured canvas of nineteenth-century Russia, the novel’s seven major characters create a dynamic imbalance, playing out the contrasts of city and country life and all the variations on love and family happiness.
14. Halsey Street by Naima Coster
“An engrossing debut, Halsey Street shifts between the perspectives of these two captivating, troubled women. Mirella has one last chance to win back the heart of the daughter she’d lost long before leaving New York, and for Penelope, it’s time to break free of the hold of the past and start navigating her own life. A modern-day story of family, loss, and renewal, Halsey Street captures the deeply human need to belong—not only to a place but to one another. ”
15. Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot
“Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder and bipolar II disorder; Terese Marie Mailhot is given a notebook and begins to write her way out of trauma. The triumphant result is Heart Berries, a memorial for Mailhot’s mother, a social worker and activist who had a thing for prisoners; a story of reconciliation with her father—an abusive drunk and a brilliant artist—who was murdered under mysterious circumstances; and an elegy on how difficult it is to love someone while dragging the long shadows of shame.”
16. Everyone Knows You Go Home by Natalia Sylvester
“The first time Isabel meets her father-in-law, Omar, he’s already dead—an apparition appearing uninvited on her wedding day. Her husband, Martin, still unforgiving for having been abandoned by his father years ago, confesses that he never knew the old man had died. So Omar asks Isabel for the impossible: persuade Omar’s family—especially his wife, Elda—to let him redeem himself.” A story about family and forgiveness and hope.
17.Not a Self Help Book: Misadventures of Marty Wu by Yi Shun Lai
“Mining the comedic potential of the 1.5-generation American experience, NOT A SELF-HELP BOOK is an insightful and witty portrait of a young woman scrambling to balance familial expectations and her own creative dreams.” Creative heroine, family expectations this book has it all for a cozy weekend in.
18. Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings: Poems by Joy Harjo
“In these poems, the joys and struggles of the everyday are played against the grinding politics of being human. Beginning in a hotel room in the dark of a distant city, we travel through history and follow the memory of the Trail of Tears from the bend in the Tallapoosa River to a place near the Arkansas River. Stomp dance songs, blues, and jazz ballads echo throughout. Lost ancestors are recalled. Resilient songs are born, even as they grieve the loss of their country.” It’s probably a little strange that this can bring happiness, but allowing grief and truth to see the light, we can find peace and move forward. While in the darkness, there is happiness.
19. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer
This memoir is a little “old” but having read through this, I have been moved and changed. I am placing this on the list because it gives us hope. Hope for the future if we embrace reciprocity with nature. Happiness in learning from nature. Kimmerer is an Indigenous writer and botanist who brings art to science.
20. A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit
“Written as a series of autobiographical essays, A Field Guide to Getting Lost draws on emblematic moments and relationships in Rebecca Solnit’s life to explore issues of uncertainty, trust, loss, memory, desire, and place. Solnit is interested in the stories we use to navigate our way through the world, and the places we traverse, from wilderness to cities, in finding ourselves, or losing ourselves. While deeply personal, her own stories link up to larger stories, from captivity narratives of early Americans to the use of the color blue in Renaissance painting, not to mention encounters with tortoises, monks, punk rockers, mountains, deserts, and the movie Vertigo. The result is a distinctive, stimulating voyage of discovery.”
21. Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
“The Tao te Ching of Lao Tzu is among the wisest books ever written and one of the greatest gifts ever given to humankind. In the handful of pages that make up the Tao te Ching, there is an answer to each of life’s questions, a solution to every predicament, a balm for any wound. It is less a book than a living, breathing angel.”
22. Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver by Mary Oliver
“Throughout her celebrated career, Mary Oliver has touched countless readers with her brilliantly crafted verse, expounding on her love for the physical world and the powerful bonds between all living things. Carefully curated, these 200 plus poems feature Oliver’s work from her very first book of poetry, No Voyage and Other Poems, published in 1963 at the age of 28, through her most recent collection, Felicity, published in 2015. “
23. Women Were Birds: Fifty Four Variations on Voice by Terry Tempest Williams
A memoir about mothers. A memoir about women. For those who find themselves in grief, in hope, and in search for happiness. “In fifty-four chapters that unfold like a series of yoga poses, each with its own logic and beauty, Williams creates a lyrical and caring meditation of the mystery of her mother’s journals. When Women Were Birds is a kaleidoscope that keeps turning around the question ‘What does it mean to have a voice?’”
24. The Essential Rumi by Jalal al-Din Rumi
“Through his lyrical translations, Coleman Barks has been instrumental in bringing this exquisite literature to a remarkably wide range of readers, making the ecstatic, spiritual poetry of thirteenth-century Sufi Mystic Rumi more widely accepted than ever.
25. The Little Book of Love by Kahlil Gibran
“Kahlil Gibran’s aphorisms, stories, and poetry on a theme remain among some of those best known to Western readers. His views, however, extend to a wide realm of human emotions and relationships–passion, desire, idealized love, justice, friendship, and the challenges of dealing with strangers, neighbors, and enemies. This little book captures love and life in all of their complexities and nuance”
26. The Solace Of Open Spaces by Gretel Ehrlich
“Poet and filmmaker Gretel Ehrlich went to Wyoming in 1975 to make the first in a series of documentaries when her partner died. Ehrlich stayed on and found she couldn’t leave. The Solace of Open Spaces is a chronicle of her first years on ‘the planet of Wyoming,’ a personal journey into a place, a feeling, and a way of life.”
27. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
“With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, Cheryl Strayed would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone after the death of her mother. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.”
And for a little bit of Holiday Cheer:
28. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
As a book that has never been out of print, this story will uplift up and help you through this holiday season by helping you see the true meaning of life. Perhaps it will help you keep the spirit of Christmas “in your heart all year long” that spirit is one of charity, hope, and brotherly love.
29. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
We’re all familiar with the story of Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. However, if you’re not, this lovely coming of age book about the March sisters during their father’s deployment as a Civil War Chaplain in the Union Army will certainly be what you need. Resilience, Grief, Happiness and Love. This book is perfect for winter reading.
What are your favorite books that make you happy?
Can Reading Make You Happier?
Several years ago, I was given as a gift a remote session with a bibliotherapist at the London headquarters of the School of Life, which offers innovative courses to help people deal with the daily emotional challenges of existence. I have to admit that at first I didn’t really like the idea of being given a reading “prescription.” I’ve generally preferred to mimic Virginia Woolf’s passionate commitment to serendipity in my personal reading discoveries, delighting not only in the books themselves but in the randomly meaningful nature of how I came upon them (on the bus after a breakup, in a backpackers’ hostel in Damascus, or in the dark library stacks at graduate school, while browsing instead of studying). I’ve long been wary of the peculiar evangelism of certain readers: You must read this, they say, thrusting a book into your hands with a beatific gleam in their eyes, with no allowance for the fact that books mean different things to people—or different things to the same person—at various points in our lives. I loved John Updike’s stories about the Maples in my twenties, for example, and hate them in my thirties, and I’m not even exactly sure why.
But the session was a gift, and I found myself unexpectedly enjoying the initial questionnaire about my reading habits that the bibliotherapist, Ella Berthoud, sent me. Nobody had ever asked me these questions before, even though reading fiction is and always has been essential to my life. I love to gorge on books over long breaks—I’ll pack more books than clothes, I told Berthoud. I confided my dirty little secret, which is that I don’t like buying or owning books, and always prefer to get them from the library (which, as I am a writer, does not bring me very good book-sales karma). In response to the question “What is preoccupying you at the moment?,” I was surprised by what I wanted to confess: I am worried about having no spiritual resources to shore myself up against the inevitable future grief of losing somebody I love, I wrote. I’m not religious, and I don’t particularly want to be, but I’d like to read more about other people’s reflections on coming to some sort of early, weird form of faith in a “higher being” as an emotional survival tactic. Simply answering the questions made me feel better, lighter.
We had some satisfying back-and-forths over e-mail, with Berthoud digging deeper, asking about my family’s history and my fear of grief, and when she sent the final reading prescription it was filled with gems, none of which I’d previously read. Among the recommendations was “The Guide,” by R. K. Narayan. Berthoud wrote that it was “a lovely story about a man who starts his working life as a tourist guide at a train station in Malgudi, India, but then goes through many other occupations before finding his unexpected destiny as a spiritual guide.” She had picked it because she hoped it might leave me feeling “strangely enlightened.” Another was “The Gospel According to Jesus Christ,” by José Saramago: “Saramago doesn’t reveal his own spiritual stance here but portrays a vivid and compelling version of the story we know so well.” “Henderson the Rain King,” by Saul Bellow, and “Siddhartha,” by Hermann Hesse, were among other prescribed works of fiction, and she included some nonfiction, too, such as “The Case for God,” by Karen Armstrong, and “Sum,” by the neuroscientist David Eagleman, a “short and wonderful book about possible afterlives.”
I worked my way through the books on the list over the next couple of years, at my own pace—interspersed with my own “discoveries”—and while I am fortunate enough to have my ability to withstand terrible grief untested, thus far, some of the insights I gleaned from these books helped me through something entirely different, when, over several months, I endured acute physical pain. The insights themselves are still nebulous, as learning gained through reading fiction often is—but therein lies its power. In a secular age, I suspect that reading fiction is one of the few remaining paths to transcendence, that elusive state in which the distance between the self and the universe shrinks. Reading fiction makes me lose all sense of self, but at the same time makes me feel most uniquely myself. As Woolf, the most fervent of readers, wrote, a book “splits us into two parts as we read,” for “the state of reading consists in the complete elimination of the ego,” while promising “perpetual union” with another mind.
Bibliotherapy is a very broad term for the ancient practice of encouraging reading for therapeutic effect. The first use of the term is usually dated to a jaunty 1916 article in The Atlantic Monthly, “A Literary Clinic.” In it, the author describes stumbling upon a “bibliopathic institute” run by an acquaintance, Bagster, in the basement of his church, from where he dispenses reading recommendations with healing value. “Bibliotherapy is…a new science,” Bagster explains. “A book may be a stimulant or a sedative or an irritant or a soporific. The point is that it must do something to you, and you ought to know what it is. A book may be of the nature of a soothing syrup or it may be of the nature of a mustard plaster.” To a middle-aged client with “opinions partially ossified,” Bagster gives the following prescription: “You must read more novels. Not pleasant stories that make you forget yourself. They must be searching, drastic, stinging, relentless novels.” (George Bernard Shaw is at the top of the list.) Bagster is finally called away to deal with a patient who has “taken an overdose of war literature,” leaving the author to think about the books that “put new life into us and then set the life pulse strong but slow.”
Today, bibliotherapy takes many different forms, from literature courses run for prison inmates to reading circles for elderly people suffering from dementia. Sometimes it can simply mean one-on-one or group sessions for “lapsed” readers who want to find their way back to an enjoyment of books. Berthoud and her longtime friend and fellow bibliotherapist Susan Elderkin mostly practice “affective” bibliotherapy, advocating the restorative power of reading fiction. The two met at Cambridge University as undergraduates, more than twenty years ago, and bonded immediately over the shared contents of their bookshelves, in particular Italo Calvino’s novel “If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller,” which is itself about the nature of reading. As their friendship developed, they began prescribing novels to cure each other’s ailments, such as a broken heart or career uncertainty. “When Suse was having a crisis about her profession—she wanted to be a writer, but was wondering if she could cope with the inevitable rejection—I gave her Don Marquis’s ‘Archy and Mehitabel’ poems,” Berthoud told me. “If Archy the cockroach could be so dedicated to his art as to jump on the typewriter keys in order to write his free-verse poems every night in the New York offices of the Evening Sun, then surely she should be prepared to suffer for her art, too.” Years later, Elderkin gave Berthoud,who wanted to figure out how to balance being a painter and a mother, Patrick Gale’s novel “Notes from an Exhibition,” about a successful but troubled female artist.
They kept recommending novels to each other, and to friends and family, for many years, and, in 2007, when the philosopher Alain de Botton, a fellow Cambridge classmate, was thinking about starting the School of Life, they pitched to him the idea of running a bibliotherapy clinic. “As far as we knew, nobody was doing it in that form at the time,” Berthoud said. “Bibliotherapy, if it existed at all, tended to be based within a more medical context, with an emphasis on self-help books. But we were dedicated to fiction as the ultimate cure because it gives readers a transformational experience.”
Berthoud and Elderkin trace the method of bibliotherapy all the way back to the Ancient Greeks, “who inscribed above the entrance to a library in Thebes that this was a ‘healing place for the soul.’ ” The practice came into its own at the end of the nineteenth century, when Sigmund Freud began using literature during psychoanalysis sessions. After the First World War, traumatized soldiers returning home from the front were often prescribed a course of reading. “Librarians in the States were given training on how to give books to WWI vets, and there’s a nice story about Jane Austen’s novels being used for bibliotherapeutic purposes at the same time in the U.K.,” Elderkin says. Later in the century, bibliotherapy was used in varying ways in hospitals and libraries, and has more recently been taken up by psychologists, social and aged-care workers, and doctors as a viable mode of therapy.
There is now a network of bibliotherapists selected and trained by Berthoud and Elderkin, and affiliated with the School of Life, working around the world, from New York to Melbourne. The most common ailments people tend to bring to them are the life-juncture transitions, Berthoud says: being stuck in a rut in your career, feeling depressed in your relationship, or suffering bereavement. The bibliotherapists see a lot of retirees, too, who know that they have twenty years of reading ahead of them but perhaps have only previously read crime thrillers, and want to find something new to sustain them. Many seek help adjusting to becoming a parent. “I had a client in New York, a man who was having his first child, and was worried about being responsible for another tiny being,” Berthoud says. “I recommended ‘Room Temperature,’ by Nicholson Baker, which is about a man feeding his baby a bottle and having these meditative thoughts about being a father. And of course ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ because Atticus Finch is the ideal father in literature.”
If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann
This was my most anticipated book of 2019, and I was terrified that it wouldn’t live up to my expectations. I adored Kann’s debut, Let’s Talk About Love, and number 96 on my list of why is how body positive it was. When I saw her next book had a chubby heroine, tendrils of hope grew that this might be an author who could write fat characters well. In that regard, If It Makes You Happy exceeded my hopes. I have never read a book about a fat Black queer girl that felt as complex, layered, and authentic. While the primary romance is m/f, the story is embued with queer references. This is the book I desperately wish I’d had access to as a teenager. Reading it was what I imagine a private Lizzo concert might be; absorbing, revealing, and bad ass.
Warning: the absolute worst thing about this book is the title because every time I picked it up, Sheryl Crow’s 1990s hit lodged itself in my brain.
Winnie is a high school senior who has mapped out her future—getting a hospitality degree, taking over her grandma’s diner, continuing her platonic relationship with “ungirlfriend” Kara, and falling in love with someone else in the far-off future. For Winnie’s last summer before college, she wants to do all her favorite things in the small town of Merry Haven. At the top of her list, working at the family diner with precocious baby brother Winston and flaky cousin Sam/Samantha. She’s overjoyed at her flashy new title, Co-Assistant Manager, and how it enables her to smack down entitled customers. It also allows her to assign herself deliveries to Dallas, a high school basketball player and her secret crush.
Winnie’s summertime plans derail when her name ends up in the hat to be Merry Haven’s annual Summer Queen, and Dallas and Kara both volunteer to battle it out for the right to be her official consort. Since the contest has a long history of participants falling in love, the stakes couldn’t be higher. The result feels like the triwizard tournament meets The Bachelorette. If Kara wins, Winnie can relax knowing her friend will help her make a summer of queenly appearances more palatable. If Dallas wins, she’ll have to confront her hope that he wants to be more than friends. Either way, how will Winnie navigate the antipathy between the two people she cares most about?
I worried this would turn into a popular boy deigns to date nerd plot. Instead, Dallas has his own geeky tendencies and seems blissfully unaware of any difference between his and Winnie’s social ranking. The main romantic conflict is Winnie trying to ascertain his intentions, while Dallas figures out whether he can deal with Kara.
In many ways, Dallas is an idealized heartthrob. His parents are wealthy and semi-famous, a French singer and an American football player. He’s gorgeous, effortlessly charming, and happy using that charm to help Winnie surmount her terror of public speaking. He spends much of the book trying to convince her that yes, he’s truly fascinated by her. He’s also self-deprecating, a Korean skincare aficionado, and barely interested in sports beyond acknowledging that his scholarship will allow him to pursue other interests.
“My grandpa played baseball. My dad played football. My mom’s side of the family is full of athletes, too. I was literally born to be good at sports. The only reason why I have all these things in the first place is because collective someones decided my type of physicality is worth rewarding.”
I’ve read several romances with asexual characters, but this was my first with a major aromantic character, Kara. She’s been burned before by friends who ghosted her for boys, a common preoccupation of lovelorn lesbians and one that made me empathize with her. I love reading about chosen families and appreciated how Winnie and Kara’s friendship was depicted as primary, meaningful, emotionally intense, and very queer. They were truly each other’s person, while leaving room for Winnie to also find a romantic connection with someone else.
While Kara might know in theory that Winnie wants a romantic relationship, accepting it is another matter. Kara responds to Dallas’s interest in Winnie as though their relationship is in existential peril.
She tries to sabotage Dallas’ efforts to win Winnie’s heart and lies to Winnie about his interest.
I think Kara will be a polarizing figure for readers. She’s a Difficult Woman™ who both literally and indirectly distracts us from sinking into Winnie and Dallas’ feelings for one another. However, the emotional heft of her friendship with Winnie was irresistible. Kara is a talented baker who makes special treats for gluten-free Winnie and there is no better way to my heart than detailed baking descriptions and characters who show their love with sweets.
Winnie can be snarky and vulnerable but her best quality is her anger. Never irrationally ragey, she’s protective of people she cares about, including herself, and doesn’t hesitate to neatly take down someone who deserves it. Her most memorable target is a fatphobic doctor who makes the mistake of condescendingly lecturing her on her weight, receiving an epic rant for his trouble. Afterward, Winnie is criticized for her outburst by family and neighbors but crucially, she does not change in response. If anything, by the end of the book she’s learned to set even clearer boundaries. She remains unapologetic in her righteous anger, and I loved every moment of it.
I also adored the representation of Winnie’s close-knit family. Her cousin Sam was raised as a sibling, and cluelessly guilts Winnie into joining her daily runs. She’s that relative you love but who fails to notice your lack of interest in their obsessions. Winnie’s brother engages her in loving banter while helping to fight against the constraints of their grandmother’s expectations. Granny is an irascible matriarch who loves her granddaughter but tries to bend her to her will with directives, a diet, and the silent treatment. Much of her behavior felt rooted in respectability politics, worry for Winnie’s survival in an unforgiving world, and a fear of losing control over her family. I found her fascinating and painfully realistic. Granny and her boyfriend need their own book. Meanwhile, Winnie’s parents are compassionate, fiercely protective and funny. They struggle to understand her sexual orientation and later, Kara and Winnie’s non-exclusive queerplatonic relationship.
“My mom had seen Kara give me the ring and thought she had proposed to me. Queer had become lesbian faster than I could say, “No. I haven’t even graduated yet. Why would I get married right now?”
“We had explained our word, ungirlfriend, and all my mom had said was, and I quote, “Oh. That sounds nice.”
Later that night, I’d overheard her talking to my dad. He didn’t sound angry. They were arguing—but in a bewildered sort of way. “But do you understand it?”
“No! We’ll figure it out!”
“I tried to look it up,” he said. “I even asked Twitter. No one knows what that means. How are we supposed to support her if we don’t know what it is?”
“You didn’t see her face. This is important to her. This cannot be like last time. That’s your daughter—she’s just like you and she’s only going to give us so many chances. She has to feel like she can come to us or she’ll stop doing it.” She huffed. “I just want her to have a better relationship with us than I did with my parents.”
“I know, honey. I know.” He sighed. “If this is what she feels like she needs, then that’s it. The end. We’ll ask questions and figure it out later.”
If It Makes You Happy’s main challenge is pacing. Compared to Kann’s previous book, this felt loosely plotted and sometimes devolved into a series of meandering scenes. The book is driven more by character development than plot. Imagine your witty aunt whose tales involve digressions and opinionated vignettes, taking her time to get to the point of the story. This is my favorite type of relative, but in a novel, I want to be reassured that the storyteller is in control of where the story is going. Additional editing could have reorganized the story and considerably improved the flow. Yet there were few scenes I would have cut entirely. For example, here’s a 100% accurate but tangential conversation between Dallas and Winston about race in mainstream Fantasy:
“I’m so tired of Black people being slaves there, too,” Dallas continued. “That’s hard to read, you know? Obvious reasoning aside, it’s impossible to disconnect and just enjoy the story after that because I start thinking, what if the writer is secretly racist and I’m supporting them without knowing it? It just sits there in the back of my mind the entire time.”
“Yeah. Exactly,” Winston agreed.
“And would it kill writers to include literally anyone else? Jesus. I will never understand that one. America is huge, but only white and maybe Black people get to exist in our media? It’s fantasy! They can literally do whatever they want. But no.”
After Dallas is crowned Winnie’s Summer King (not really a spoiler since it’s mentioned in the blurb) the middle of the book sags. The characters remain compelling but the plot sputters as our focus splits between Winnie’s trust-building with Dallas and Kara, adorable dates, and Winnie’s power struggles with her grandmother. Winnie and Dallas’s romance felt overshadowed by family drama and Kara did not grovel enough for my taste. In a convoluted subplot, half of the characters enter a celebrity cooking contest à la Food Network Stars. We get a HFN, but some non-romance plot threads are left untied.
If It Makes You Happy was not the lighthearted YA romp I expected, but it was a beautiful, wise, and deeply healing book about Black girl magic, generational trauma, and love in many different forms. Sometimes, fat heroines have self-esteem issues that are overcome by the love of a man. This was not that book. Elsewhere, fat characters are living their best life and their size has zero impact on the story. This was not that book either. Instead, If It Makes You Happy acknowledges the difficulties of being a fat Black girl without letting Winnie be buried by others’ assumptions. I wish this book better juggled her romantic relationships to showcase and resolve them fully. However, as a coming of age character study that subverts mainstream representations of fatness and Blackness, this book is a success.
15 Best Happiness Books and Are They Worth Your Time?There is a wealth of material out there about happiness.
Perhaps your ‘taste-buds’ have been tempted by reading about happiness – either on this website, in your practice, or forming research.
You would have found that there are some fantastic books on what is a very broad topic. But it can be hard to decide which to read.
The purpose of this article is to provide a summary of fifteen of the most popular and best happiness books that have been written on this topic. Hopefully, by knowing more about what each of these books are about, and (in some cases) by reading a few short reviews of the books, you can decide which ones may take your fancy.
The books have been written from authors including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, to renowned professors of psychology, and even an economist. They explore topics from a wide variety of perspectives, some you may enjoy learning about. It is hoped that you can use this article as a resource to guide your decision as to which happiness book to read. I hope it is helpful!
Before you read on, we thought you might like to download our 3 Positive Psychology Exercises for free. These science-based exercises will explore fundamental aspects of positive psychology including strengths, values and self-compassion and will give you the tools to enhance the happiness and wellbeing of your clients, students or employees.
You can download the free PDF here.
1.The Art of Happiness – Dalai Lama
This book was actually written by a psychiatrist, Dr. Cutler, based on interviews conducted over a period of one week with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
The Dalai Lama, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, is renowned for his personal sense of peace and in this book, readers can learn what they can do to discover this same serenity.
In ‘The Art of Happiness’, Howard C. Cutler puts forward a “western” (i.e. science-based) view of the Dalai Lama’s (a Buddhist monk, also known as Tenzin Gyatso) teachings. It provides an overview of Tibetan Buddhism and the messages from its’ leader the Dalia Lama.
A key feature of the book is the direct quotations from the Dalai Lama. So, what are the Dalai Lama’s teachings about happiness?
Happiness is, according to this book, the purpose of life. Once a person’s basic needs are met, happiness is more the result of the mind rather than events, external conditions, and circumstances.
This book explains that we each hold the key to our own happiness. It argues that, by training our hearts and minds, and by actively working on our attitudes and outlook, we can all achieve happiness.
How does the Dalai Lama suggest we find happiness? Well, he advises readers to pay attention to the things that make us happy and to eliminate the things that make us suffer. Further, by achieving peace of mind in this way, the Dalai Lama says this means we can move away from material goods and to seek contentment and an inner sense of worth.
According to the teachings, all people have the potential to do this. It also presents the idea that compassion is a state of mind whereby a person is not violent, harming, or aggressive. The Dalai Lama says we should show compassion to everybody, and that universal compassion towards the right of other people to be free some suffering is important. He explains that showing empathy can help to generate and foster compassion.
Whilst this book clearly explores spiritual teachings, the Dalai Lama contends that all religions should be accepted and that spirituality is about benefitting oneself through a sense of being calm and feeling happy.
Furthermore, ‘The Art of Happiness’ suggests that happiness can be achieved by ‘systematical training of our hearts and minds’.
Available from Amazon as a hardcover book, audiobook or for Kindle.
2.Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment – Martin E.P. Seligman
‘Authentic Happiness’ was published in 2004, written by Martin Seligman.
Seligman, a psychologist and best-selling author puts forward the idea that happiness is not due to ‘having the right genes’ or ‘being lucky’.
Rather, according to Seligman, true, enduring happiness (i.e. ‘authentic happiness’) is the result of paying attention to one’s personal strengths rather than focusing on perceived weaknesses.
Seligman, who has been described as the father of positive psychology, applies psychological research that has been developing over a long period of time. He shares what he proposes to be the 24 strengths and virtues that make up our psyche. He then explains how to look into the strengths and virtues that each person has. He calls these ‘signature strengths’.
Seligman’s book suggests that authentic happiness is achieved when an individual is able to use their personal strengths in order to improve every area of their life. Seligman has developed resources, including a series of practical exercises, short tests, and a dynamic website program.
Taking these resources, Seligman – an esteemed author – demonstrates to readers how to become aware of their highest virtues and act in accordance with them in a new way.
This book describes how by using their ‘signature strengths’, a person can create a buffering effect against ill fate and negative emotions. However, as well, using one’s signature strengths enables individuals to also make the world around them a better place.
According to ‘Authentic Happiness’, discovering authentic happiness can lead to new, sustainable joy, meaning, and contentment in aspects of life such as work, relationships, and parenting. This book, described as groundbreaking, heart-lifting and extremely useful, explains that happiness can be learned, or, in other words ‘cultivated’.
Amazon has declared that ‘Authentic Happiness’ is the most powerful work of popular psychology in years. Daniel Goleman (author of Emotional Intelligence) calls ‘Authentic Happiness’ “a practical map for a flourishing life”.
‘Authentic Happiness‘ can be purchased from Amazon.
3.Stumbling on Happiness – Daniel Gilbert
This book, written by Professor Daniel Gilbert, was the winner of the Royal Society of Science Prize in 2007. It has been described as very interesting, and funny.
Gilbert demonstrates that most of us don’t know how to make ourselves happy, and he explains why this is the case. All of us wish to be happy, but how do we do so?
According to Professor Gilbert, people don’t know how to predict what will please our future selves. ‘Stumbling on Happiness’ sees Gilbert explain how our brains predict the future and explore whether the brain is able to imagine what it will enjoy.
Prof. Gilbert draws upon the fields of psychology, neuroscience, economics, and philosophy. Gilbert, who is a pre-eminent psychologist, explores another area in this book – human motivation.
Within ‘Stumbling on Happiness’, the author reveals the so-called secrets of motivation. He explores some interesting questions, including: why people order different meals when eating with others, rather than instead selecting what they want; why shoppers who can’t get refunds are happier; and, why even though couples claim their children are a source of joy, they are less satisfied after having their children.
Professor Daniel Gilbert (born in 1957) is a Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. He has previously won a number of awards for teaching and research.
Get this great read from Amazon.
4.The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living: A Guide to ACT – Russ Harris and Steven C. Hayes PhD
Dr. Russ Harris is a medical practitioner with particular expertise in stress management and he trains coaches, psychologists, doctors and other health professionals in the use of mindfulness. This is an easy-to-read self-help book that was published in 2013.
‘The Happiness Trap’, which has been described as empowering and practical, introduces ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy). ACT is a relatively recent approach to psychotherapy that has been developed out of leading research in behavioral psychology.
ACT is centered on a mindfulness-based program designed to decrease stress, conquer fears and find fulfillment. Harris’ book is an international best-seller that has been published in more than 30 countries and in 22 different languages.
In it, Harris explains the myths about happiness and popular ideas about it and suggests that these myths are misleading and inaccurate, and even that in part they cause the widespread experiences of stress, anxiety, and depression. He says that many current psychology programs are, in fact, making things worse.
The title (The Happiness Trap) encapsulates the main argument of the book – that the more people try and achieve happiness, the more they actually suffer in the long-term. Therefore, ACT is suggested as a way to escape ‘The Happiness Trap’. ACT is an innovative new method based on mindfulness.
According to this book, by making one’s values clear and practicing being mindful (in other words, focus on living fully in the present moment), ACT can enable readers to leave the happiness trap behind and discover meaning and satisfaction in their lives.
Mindfulness skills can be learned easily, and are quick ways proven to decrease stress, improve performance, effectively deal with emotions, enhance health, improve vitality and – overall – really improve quality of life!
Harris’ book employs scientifically proven techniques for developing a meaningful, fulfilling life, and can be purchased from Amazon.
5.The Happiness Advantage: How a Positive Brain Fuels Success in Work and Life – Shawn Achor
The author, Shawn Achor, is a lecturer at Harvard University and he co-designed Harvard’s ‘Happiness’ course. He presents over 150 lectures each year on the science of happiness and human potential.
He conducted the largest ever study on happiness and human potential, surveying more than 1600 students.
Based on this study, Achor reveals the 7 core principles of positive psychology that every person can practice to enhance our performance, improve our careers and achieve success at work.
Most people are hoping to be more successful and everyone wants to be happy. Generally, it is believed that, if you work hard, this will lead to being more successful and that becoming more successful will lead to being happy. Achor dispels the myth that we will feel happy if, and when, we become successful.
Positive Psychology suggests that the proposition that we will feel happy if, and when, we become successful is not true. In fact, as Achor explains in ‘The Happiness Advantage’, happiness actually drives performance and success.
When you stop and think about it, this makes sense! I am sure that if we reflect on a time when we felt happy, we will notice that when we are more positive, we are also more engaged, more creative, more able to cope with stress, and more productive.
‘The Happiness Advantage’ is a useful book for those seeking practical advice on the ways to become happier, and also more successful.
To attain that success, visit Amazon for this excellent book.
6.Happiness Is an Inside Job: Practicing for a Joyful Life – Sylvia Boorstein
Sylvia Boorstein, Ph.D., is a practicing psychotherapist and co-founding teacher at the Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California.
She frequently presents at psychology conferences and training seminars, and has written bestselling books – including ‘Pay Attention, for Goodness’ Sake’, ‘It’s Easier Than You think’, ‘Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There’, and ‘That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Buddhist’.
Boorstein considered the following questions when starting to write ‘Happiness Is an Inside Job’:
- How is it possible to remain engaged with life day after day?
- How can we keep our minds in a happy mood, and continue loving, when life itself is complicated, challenging and frequently disappointing?
In this inspiring book, Boorstein details advice that offers warmth and wisdom. She explores how, in spite of the odds being against us, that we can still feel a sense of happiness. From her work over three decades, Boorstein has noticed that the ‘secret’ to happiness is to develop and connect with kindness.
She suggests that happiness is found by being kind – not only to our friends, family, and colleagues, but also towards ourselves, others who we don’t know well, and even people we don’t really like!
Boorstein introduces some key lessons from Buddhism – Wise Effort, Wise Mindfulness, and Wise Concentration. She reveals how engaging with these teachings can move us from feeling angry, anxious, or confused and rather find a state of calmness, clarity, and enjoying living in the present moment.
By developing these qualities, according to Boorstein, we are able to deal with all that we encounter with a sense of balance and intelligence. This, according to the author, helps us have a grounded sense of true contentment.
Boorstein shares her knowledge as a psychotherapist, a spiritual teacher, and her role as a grandmother, to deliver a book that has been described as beautiful and comforting. Her engaging stories will draw in the reader’s hearts and minds. The book also features straightforward activities that can be done whilst the book is being read.
The take-home message from ‘Happiness is an Inside Job’ is that, in reality, we all share this journey – life – that, deep down we all seek to console and love one another and, finally, that the best way to live is to live happily.
Available for Kindle or as an affordable hardcover on Amazon.
7.The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle and Generally Have More Fun – Gretchen Rubin
More than one million of Rubin’s book have been sold! This book was written by best-selling author Gretchen Rubin. Rubin has a weekly podcast called “Happier with Gretchen Rubin”.
She has written on a broad range of topics, including biographies of Sir Winston Churchill and John F. Kennedy. Rubin is a graduate of Yale Law School.
‘The Happiness Project’ details Gretchen Rubin’s year-long investigation into what truly leads to a state of contentment. Fellow author, Sonja Lyubomirsky, who is an expert in the topic of happiness, described The Happiness Project as “a cross between the Dalai Lama’s ‘The Art of Happiness’ and Elizabeth Gilbert’s ‘Eat, Pray, Love”.
This book ties in up-to-the-minute science along with classical philosophy and real-world applicability. Rubin’s book has been described as a compelling, completely related tale of transformation.
The structure of this book is interesting. The book is divided into one chapter per month, and each month Rubin chooses to focus on a different topic. Then, in exploring each month’s topic (for example, February: Improve marriage), she sets a few goals to work on – ‘monthly resolutions’.
‘The Happiness Project’ has been described as relatable and funny, and that it provides motivation to focus on, and work on, goals. It shares a very personal and honest story.
Visit Amazon to purchase this very popular book.
8.The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom – Jonathan Haidt
Jonathan Haidt is a psychology teacher at the University of Virginia. This book is his first for a general audience.
Society relies on so-called truths derived from folk wisdom that has been passed down for generations. This unique book draws from inspiration coming from both science and philosophy.
Psychologist, Haidt, exposes the messages that have arrived as being ‘common sense’ because our grandparents and THEIR grandparents have handed them down…
Think of messages such as “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, “do unto others as you would have done unto you” and “happiness comes from within”.
Whilst we rarely question these truisms, most of us hold onto the idea that we will feel truly happy when we earn more money, or find love, or discover success. ‘The Happiness Hypothesis’ examines traditional wisdom by looking to modern science.
Haidt exposes somewhat provocative ideas such as that virtue in and of itself is not actually rewarding, that extroverts are indeed happier than their introverted counterparts, and that conscious thought is nowhere near as important as we may believe.
‘The Happiness Hypothesis’ has been described as remarkable and original – “ancient wisdom in our time”.
You can purchase ‘The Happiness Hypothesis’ on Amazon.
9.The Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything=Have Everything – Neil Pasricha
Susan Cain, the author of QUIET, described this book as “a two-hour ticket to changing your life”. Pasricha is a New York Times best-selling author of a series called ‘Book of Awesome’.
He was awarded an MBA from Harvard, is eminently popular as a TED presenter, and he also founded the Institute for Global Happiness.
‘The Happiness Equation’ reveals the nine secrets of happiness, and shows readers that to ‘have everything’ one should want nothing and do anything! Described as counterintuitive, this book is also somewhat controversial.
In exploring the secrets to happiness, Pasricha turns a common ideal upside down and presents the ideal in a whole new light. The author then gives step-by-step guidelines and even handwritten notes that detail how to put each secret into place in order to find a happier life.
Pasricha demonstrates some apparently contradictory teachings, such as why success isn’t the path to happiness and how to make more money than a Harvard MBA.
Furthermore, he dispels multi-tasking as a myth and describes how we actually find more choice is we eliminate options. The author acknowledges that even successful people have negative thoughts and that it is not wrong to have such thoughts.
This book combines humor with wise, practical advice. It introduces the concept that a ‘Culture of Enough’ will lead to more happiness than a ‘Culture of More’. It emphasizes that the choices/decisions we make every day contribute to our happiness and that we should prioritize our happiness.
It includes some interesting quotes from esteemed authors, such as:
‘If you become angry with me and I do not get insulted, then the anger falls back on you. You are the only one who becomes unhappy. All you have done is hurt yourself. If you want to stop hurting yourself, you must get rid of your anger and become loving instead’.
‘The Happiness Equation’ argues that external rewards are actually demotivating in the long run, and suggests that happiness can be derived by random acts of kindness, regular walks, and owning and accepting who you are as a person.
For hours of happy reading, purchase this inspiring book on Amazon.
10.Happiness by Design: Finding Pleasure and Purpose in Everyday Life – Paul Dolan
Happiness expert, Daniel Kahneman, described ‘Happiness by Design’, which is a Sunday Times bestseller, as ‘bold and original’. This is Paul Dolan’s debut book.
He is a Professor of Behavioural Science at the London School of Economics. He looks at how to influence behavior in order to improve well-being.
This book answers the question of how we can make it easier to be happy. Dolan argues, by applying recent, significant research that well-being is a result of what we do rather than how we think.
The title refers to ‘re-designing’ our lives in order to maximize happiness. How? Well, according to Dolan, it is about our decisions. He argues that by making informed, deliberate choices without thinking too hard about maximizing happiness, we can discover a life that is characterized by meaning and pleasure.
Jenni Russell (from the Sunday Times) is quoted as saying that ‘few books change one’s life; in 48 hours this has improved mine.’
This book is available on Amazon as a book or Audio CD.
11.The Happiness Factor: How to Be Happy No Matter What! – Kirk Wilkinson
This book, said to be practical and rooted in the real world, was published in 2008. On p. 33, Wilkinson says: “change the way you look at things…and the things you look at change”.
‘The Happiness Factor’ provides a perspective on how to cope with adversity and overcome it in order to discover true, lasting happiness. It explains that we are not defined by our circumstances or our problems.
Wilkinson suggests that every person has the capacity to overcome the set of issues that they are dealing with and to be happy.
Wilkinson uses the acronym P-E-A-S-E-F-U-L to describe an approach to discovering happiness using an unforgettable group of principles that are applicable universally. This approach ameliorates the deleterious effects of stress and other such barriers to happiness.
Therefore, it is proposed that the key to lifelong happiness is overall well-being, satisfaction, and fulfillment.
Purchase this practical book on Amazon.
12.The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want – Sonja Lyubomirsky
Lyubomirsky, Ph.D. is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside. A research psychologist, a feature of this book is that it is solidly grounded in scientific research. It is comprehensive but easy-to-follow.
The book provides a guide for us to find happiness in our lives in the short and long term.
‘The How of Happiness’ reveals what happiness is (and isn’t!), and what we can do to approach the happy life we imagine for ourselves. It explains the notion of the ‘Happiness Set Point’ – i.e. the biological determinants that explain 50% of our happiness.
Further, Lyubomirsky explains that 10% of our happiness can be determined by life circumstances/situations SO, actually, 40% of our happiness is within our own ability to change.
Lyubomirsky reveals more than a dozen “happiness strategies” that are mindful, intentional activities to engage in that can result in a happier life – including exercises in behaving and thinking optimistically when imagining the future, a guide of how to savor the pleasures of life in the moment, and an explanation of remaining active in order to be happy.
‘The How of Happiness’ provides an overview of the multiple barriers to happiness, and how to utilize one’s own unique strengths to overcome such obstacles.
The book includes a quiz that helps readers to identify the actions that will be most helpful to them. Almost all of the factual statements include a citation, and the book also incorporates an evaluation designed to be used to check in with in order to determine whether the happiness strategies. It has been said by some readers that the book is slightly repetitive.
The 12 ‘hows’ to being happy are:
- Expressing gratitude
- Cultivating optimism
- Avoiding overthinking and social comparison
- Practicing acts of kindness
- Nurturing social relationships
- Developing strategies for coping
- Increasing flow experiences
- Savoring life’s joys
- Committing to your goals
- Practicing religion and spirituality
- Taking care of your body
According to Lyubomirsky, by following these twelve strategies, we can find happiness. To read more about it, you can get this book from Amazon.
13.Happiness Beyond Thought: A Practical Guide to Awakening – Gary Weber
Weber has lived a full, successful ‘worldly’ life; however, he has also sought to fully understand life and achieve a sense of enlightenment.
Incorporating Zen Buddhist teachings with current brain research, Weber provides a set of yoga practices that are designed for practitioners looking for a path to enlightenment.
The practices (asana, pranayama, chanting, and meditation) are designed to provide readers with a practical path to awakening. They are simple and easy to follow, developed from Weber’s pursuit of knowledge with Ramana Maharshi – his primary teacher.
Weber shares his ongoing pursuit of Zen meditation practice and the things he has learned about bettering one’s life from the laboratory… which is actually his yoga mat!
To access these enlightening practices, visit Amazon.
14.Happiness: Lessons from a New Science – Richard Layard
Richard Layard is a leading economist. He believes that the income of a society does not determine happiness. His research into happiness is drawn from the disciplines of psychology, neuroscience, economics, sociology, and philosophy.
His best-known studies have looked at unemployment and inequality.
‘Happiness: Lessons from a New Science’ is noted to be the key book in ‘happiness studies’. It puts forward Layard’s argument – that, despite people wanting more money that, paradoxically, income does not lead to happiness.
As society has developed, people have not become happier despite the fact that, on average, incomes have more than doubled over the last fifty years.
Scientific research has shown this paradox in Britain, the US, Continental Europe, and Japan. In fact, compared to fifty years ago, the First World has seen increases in depression, crime, and alcoholism. Layard actually published the second edition of this book in 2011 to adequately reflect the developments since the first publication.
‘Happiness: Lessons from a New Science’ explores the reasons that determine how we make decisions. Rather than the pursuit of happiness, many personal decisions are reflected as economics, on the level of society. This book promotes re-considering our reasons for making decisions by refocusing on goals.
Make the right decision and purchase this book from Amazon.
15.Happiness for Dummies – W. Doyle Gentry
This book is promoted as “Your hands-on guide to reducing stress, being happier, and living a more fulfilling life”.
It was written by W. Doyle Gentry, Ph.D., who is a clinical psychologist, a Distinguished Fellow in the American Psychological Association, and he was the founding editor of the Journal of Behavioral Medicine.
‘Happiness for Dummies’ claims to provide the way to live a life that is meaningful, healthy and productive regardless of life circumstances. It incorporates strategies to alter one’s behavior in order to develop good habits and act in accordance with one’s surroundings.
Doyle Gentry’s book also describes how to determine one’s current capacity for happiness, to live one’s desired life, to overcome barriers to happiness, and look into one’s unique strengths and virtues.
It aims to outline the meaning of happiness at each stage of self-actualization and provide readers with an understanding of why cultivating positive emotions can lead to better health and well-being.
The author aims to dispel the common misunderstanding in the construal of happiness in terms of modern valued outcomes such as wealth, power and success.
This book also promises to its’ audience that by pursuing what they truly wish to, seizing the day, and finding the ‘silver lining’ in everyday challenges, they can improve their spiritual and emotional life and discover meaningful social relationships, as well as learning to appreciate being alone.
‘Happiness for Dummies’ also provides lists of 10 tips of how to raise a happy child, a discussion of common barriers to happiness, and a guide as to which personal habits help to develop happiness.
‘Happiness for Dummies‘ can be bought from Amazon.
A Take Home Message
With such a vast array of self-help and psychology books about happiness on the market, it can be a challenge to try and work out which ones to invest time in. Hopefully, this summary of ‘happiness books’ can act as a guide to the content of these books to help you make a (slightly!) more informed decision!
The books have a variety of foci, from spiritual studies to positive psychology, and even economics. I hope you have found this article to be helpful in summarising the main happiness books out there.
I am very interested in your thoughts… have you read any of these books? If so, what did you think? Would you recommend any to someone with a bit of time on their hands? Please comment below!
We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to download our 3 Positive Psychology Exercises for free.
If you wish for more, our Positive Psychology Toolkit© contains over 300 science-based positive psychology exercises, interventions, questionnaires and assessments for practitioners to use in their therapy, coaching or workplace.
- Achor, S. (2011). The happiness advantage: The seven principles of positive psychology that fuel success and performance at work. Random House.
- Boorstein, S. (2008). Happiness is an inside job: practicing for a joyful life. Random House Digital, Inc.
- Dolan, P. (2014). Happiness by design: Finding pleasure and purpose in everyday life. Penguin UK.
- Gilbert, D. (2009). Stumbling on happiness. Vintage Canada.
- Haidt, J. (2006). The happiness hypothesis: Finding modern truth in ancient wisdom. Basic Books.
- Harris, R. (2011). The happiness trap. ReadHowYouWant. com.
- Lama, D., & Cutler, H. C. (2003). The art of happiness at work. London: Hodder & Stoughton.
- Layard, R. (2011). Happiness: Lessons from a new science. Penguin UK.
- Lyubomirsky, S. (2008). The how of happiness: A scientific approach to getting the life you want. Penguin.
- Pasricha, N. (2016). The Happiness Equation: Want nothing+ do anything= have everything. Penguin.
- Rubin, G., & Rubin, G. (2009). The happiness project. Harper Collins Publishers.
- Seligman, M. E. (2004). Authentic happiness: Using the new positive psychology to realize your potential for lasting fulfillment. Simon and Schuster.
- Wilkinson, K. (2008). The Happiness Factor: How to Be Happy No Matter What!. BookPros, LLC.
Why Reading Makes you Happier
Reading. We read for many reasons. We read for pleasure and entertainment, for understanding and evaluation, or for new perspective and education. In school we were forced to read certain materials whether they were a novel, textbook, or manual. Many of my classmates learned to hate reading. I blame it on the fact they did not get to read what made them happy. They lost the pleasure and entertainment factor. Fortunately, I was surrounded myself with people who love to read and remind me all the time why reading makes me happy.
Reading takes you to faraway places.
I glance out the window and all I see is a gray sky, drizzle, and the sad colors of winter melting in Ohio. Thankfully, I have a book sitting next to me waiting to take me to spring time in mid-April with sunbaked sidewalks, freshly cut green grass, and the promise of a page-turning thriller.
In the last couple week, I have read to learn a little about the judicial system for fun, to sign simple words for a Baby Storytime at work, how President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, and what it takes to make Beef Burgundy to satisfy my hunger. I couldn’t have done that without reading.
After reading several cookbooks, I was inspired to look through my pantry and throw together a dish. I called it “Empty the Produce Drawer Pasta.” I thought it tasted good. It had nothing to do with the recipes in those books, but those recipes certainly helped get the wheels turning in my mind. It happens when I have writer’s block. I start reading blogs, magazines, and books. Eventually, something breaks through and I feel inspired to start writing.
There is a really big push for early literacy–getting children ready to read before Kindergarten. This means reading signs, cereal boxes at the grocery store, reading menus, and, of course, reading books. Reading books about animals, colors, numbers, friendship, family, cars, and more. And if it is a topic, there’s a book about it. Reading not only teaches children to read, but it also prepares them for school and their future.
It also reminds adults about their youth. It takes adults back to their youth. A quick scan of my bookshelf, and I am immediately teleported back to my childhood. Dr. Seuss, Roald Dahl, and Beverly Cleary are just a few of the authors who remind me of some of my favorite elementary school teachers and classes. The Great Gatsby takes me to high school American History and English, a class where I discovered my love of history and the early to mid-1900s. Others remind me of great discussions between friends.
Reading makes me happy.
It makes me want to figure out a way to read faster, if only to be able to finish more books, learn about more places, take on new challenges, and be inspired to reach new heights.
Julia works as a Youth Services Library Specialist at an inner-city library creating programs geared toward teens and children. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism and a Master of Arts in Education. She follows what makes her happy, which typically includes Starbucks, reading, writing, baking, and the Backstreet Boys. You can find her at *stuck at a moment*(magnifythestars.wordpress.com).
About the Author
9780744543742: What Makes Me Happy? – AbeBooksAbout the Author:
Catherine and Laurence Anholt are one of the world’s leading author and illustrator partnerships.-5. With an easy rhyme and lots of clear, detailed line-and-watercolor pictures, the Anholts once again dramatize the small child’s daily life. Like Shirley Hughes’ illustrations, the pictures here can be starting points for kids to talk about themselves. They will absorb vocabulary and concepts as they are caught up in the stories. This time the focus is on feelings. Six boys and girls, including a set of twins, express what makes them happy, scared, jealous, shy, excited, sad (“No one wants to let me play. Someone special’s far away” ). The scenes are sometimes intense, sometimes light, often mischievous. “What makes me bored? Grown-ups . . . moaning groaning eating meeting walking talking.” Hazel Rochman
“About this title” may belong to another edition of this title.90,000 20 books that will make you happier
20 December 2017
20 December 2017Cosmo
A must-read reading list for 2018.A selection of the most practical and inspiring books on happiness.
Andrey Kurpatov “Happy by choice”
Simoron & Simoron “Burlan-do, or How to achieve what is impossible to achieve”
Richard Bach “Illusions”
Alexander Sviyash “Reasonable World”
Deepak Chopra “Power, freedom and grace: a life built on the source of eternal happiness”
Chris Prentiss “Zen Happiness”
Eckart von Hirschhausen “Carousel of Happiness”
Andrew Matthews “Be Happy!”
Pierre Franck “It’s easy to be happy!”
Adam Jackson “Ten Secrets to Happiness”
M.E. Litvak “If you want to be happy”
Tal Ben-Shahar “Learning to be happy”
V. Pankratov, L. Shcherbinina “Smile for Happiness”
Joe Vitale, Genevieve Berend “Making desires come true. 21 magic lessons for a full and happy life”
Maria and Valentin Revnovy “The cat who knows everything”
Deepak Chopra “Spontaneous Realization of Desires”
Alice Wheaton “Forgiveness Act”
Randy Pausch “Book number 0 about dreams”
Denziger, Katherine Birndorf “9 rooms of happiness”
Cat Callan “Bonjour, Happiness! French Secrets of a Beautiful Life”90,000 Read online “The habit of being happy” – by Irina Khmelevskaya
The habit of being happy.12 interviews about happiness
The book is dedicated to my mother,
who inspired me to become a writer
– Do you remember how you got the idea to write this book?
It was in India. We traveled with my mother, and one day we met a happy woman whom I could listen to for hours. And suddenly she was inspired.
Suddenly I saw that there are many happy people around me. And they can share and tell how they learned to be happy in their different circumstances.
Wealthy and not so rich, with doctoral degrees and without, prosperous and with a fate that did not spare them. 13 people – 12 interviews. Each has its own story. People with different mindsets answer similar questions about happiness.
During my first interview, I was crying and laughing as I listened to Elena, a happy woman from Georgia, Russia and India. I realized that if I still find the same people, then my book will be able to touch the hearts of many readers.
I did not expect at all that I would hear the truth of life as it is.I thought that everyone would tell a Hollywood story from the series: everything was bad for me, I went to courses, met a wise man and it dawned on me! Life has changed, and everything has become good for me.
Even happy people have troubles and tragedies. They know how to live with it, they know how to accept it. Everyone with whom I spoke sincerely admitted their weaknesses, their vulnerability. I wanted to become like them, to have the same courage and openness.
I can’t say that I wrote this book, I just got this idea.I am the collector of this book.
– How did you choose people for interviews?
When I travel, I always talk to people. On the street, in a cafe, in a hotel, on a bus. People willingly tell me their stories. I’m listening to. And I find myself wanting to listen to them for hours.
Even when they tell the tragic things that happened to them, I see how they were able to accept them and remain happy at the same time. They can smile at a flower, dance, do great projects, have babies, and enjoy clean sheets.
I can write a separate book about each of my heroes. And even if you are not familiar with them, you will still be interested in reading them. These are ordinary people with unusual stories – just like you and me. Amazing, talented, sometimes quiet, sometimes loud, sometimes full of energy, sometimes calm. They remember about other people, about their family and about all of humanity at the same time.
Editor and assistants who helped process interviews, edit them, cried and laughed as they read them.I believe that this book will be translated into 20 languages and will be read by millions of people around the world. Everyone will find something of their own in it …
May 2018, Moscow
Elena Frolova. Russia – Georgia – India
61 years. Pensioner. Lives in Goa for many years, travels. Dreams of driving a car in Europe
It used to be very easy for me to introduce myself. An employee of a human rights organization. Restaurant director. Head of the Moscow branch of an international company. But all this is in the past.Now I am a person who lives for my own pleasure. When they ask me what I am doing now, I answer that I am once again starting to live anew. And every time it’s interesting.
– What happened to your statuses and titles?
They stayed there in another life. I worked … Interesting projects to which I had to give all of myself. Now I understand how destructive it is. My son is a businessman. He does not know the stupid exhausting work in the office from bell to bell. Many live that kind of life, but not him.He has a difficult job, but his own. Me too! I am happy that I can live my life. My life, mine!
If you answer the question: “Who am I?”, Then I am an absolutely average person, incapable even of languages. She lived in Georgia, but never learned Georgian perfectly. It was not given to me in any way. Now I have started to study English. I understand that I could speak it better, but the language is difficult for me. So what? But I have other talents!
– Tell us about your talents!
I have the ability to transform the world around me.Sounds very opinionated, but it’s true! Many people have changed their lives after meeting me. Perhaps someday heavenly punishment will fall on me, because to meddle in the affairs of God is not our concern. But so far everyone is happy!
“Do not be afraid to change your life for the better!” – my principle and talent. I do not consider myself a psychologist, this is a life experience.
All my life I dreamed of learning how to do three things: sing, paint and walk on burning coals. I thought that only celestials walk on the coals, only artists sing, and artists draw, and I am untalented, this is not given to me.
Beginning with coal mining. Now I am learning to draw. And I succeed! And I also learn to sing, work with the voice. Now I do not think that this is the lot of especially gifted people. Do you want to sing – sing! If you want to draw, draw!
– What has changed?
My way of thinking has changed. I realized that everything is available to me! I realized that these celestials may be more talented, but not better than me. Yes, I will not sing on the stage, but I will sing for myself. Yes, I will not exhibit my paintings at the exhibition, but I will paint for the mood.
Walk on coals – check. It was difficult to overcome this barrier. Sorcerers and magicians are walking over the coals, and who am I? I took a chance, it worked. It turned out that I am also in some way a sorcerer. I realized that I can do much more than I know. This is how self-confidence appeared.
A difficult period once happened in my life when my physical condition worsened. I saw two ways out for myself: either to radically change something, or to accept and slowly die. It’s scary to become disabled at fifty.I didn’t want to live from this thought. Who needs me? I was afraid that I would become a burden to my son. Burned with shame when the metro gave way. Now that I am healthy, it is very pleasant. But then … it was very humiliating.
I approached the line “to live or not to live” and chose to live! I was not ready for vegetation; rather, I would have preferred to give up my life. Or change it enough to live and not exist.
Thanks to friends who brought different books.
– What books did you read then?
A friend gave me a book by Irwin Yalom “Looking into the sun.Life without fear of death. ” This book shook me up a lot. Suddenly I saw myself from the side of a wretched, weak, and in fact I used to consider myself strong. I read several of his books, but this one became the most significant for me.
This book is about people who cross the fifty-year mark. You know, they have more and more suicidal thoughts. There are a lot of such examples. The author describes in detail how he gets them out of this state. And I thought he was right: this is our weakness. As long as we can walk, breathe, as long as we can change something in our life, we must continue to change.That’s all! I took care of myself, my health and slowly, slowly got out.
Over the past ten years, I have received from life two very powerful magic pendel. The first was when I was fired from my job, sick and unhappy. I was then in the hospital in a pre-infarction state. The second, when my son “fraudulently” sent me to India. Across the ocean! These two cases changed me a lot.
Being almost disabled and unemployed at fifty is awful. 2008 year. A crisis. Even young people cannot find work.It’s scary to remember. And my son, who was very worried about me and my health, my internal state, persuaded me to go to India. He bought me a business that I am currently doing.
In India, my transformations began – slowly, through rejection. There is enough pride in me now, but then I was so overwhelmed with it that there was no place for everything else. How do you free up space to fill it with something else? Gradually went to this, spent more than one year. And it happened!
On her first visit to India, she threw out the cane.At first I relied on something else, and then I got used to it. At first she walked like a drug addict, with syringes and medicines in her bag. Gradually, I began to inject less painkillers, take less pills. Three years ago, I got rid of the chronic migraine, which I imitated myself at the age of sixteen. Psychologists tried to work with me, but they managed to get rid of it only three years ago. For the fourth year now I have not been drinking any chemistry, only supporting Ayurveda.
Ira, I won allergy! I am very proud of it! Another reason to say what a fine fellow I am! From the age of thirteen I was allergic to spring bloom, and this year I coped with it.I am usually asked about these achievements, but I do not know how I did it! I realized one thing: everything is in my head. Our troubles, misfortunes, problems, our health, condition, our relations with people and with the world.
As I slowly began to recover, my life and my surroundings also began to change. I rarely come across people with whom I do not want to communicate. And now, if this happens, then I am not ashamed and speak about it. Delicate or indelicate – how it goes. Someone has enough of a polite answer about unwillingness to meet, but someone needs to say head-on: “Hello! Bye!”
Now I understand that all this is very destructive: communication with an unpleasant person, terrible news on TV, terrible books.How can you sit at work where everyone hates each other? As in a serpentarium! But you have to work, smile, pretend that you are happy! I understand now how wrong it is.
When I live in harmony, I wake up and say: “Thank you, Universe!” I am sitting on the seashore in Arambol at sunset and just thank you. Every evening I go to watch the sunset alone. These are my minutes of silence. I can switch off, meditate for a few minutes.
As soon as she began to live by the laws of the Universe, she began to receive gifts from Her.Yes, it’s not easy for me, and I have to work hard. On the other hand, this job gives me pleasure! Over the course of the season, I meet a lot of creative amazing people. I understand that I am changing, transforming. And every season more and more interesting, amazing people come to me.
The Universe takes me to a new round, a new level. For example, you and your mom came to see me. And I have been reading your posts for a long time!
– Thank you! Elena, do you consider yourself a happy person? And what is happiness for you?
This topic interests me too.For example, in moments of meditation on the shore, I say: “Universe, thank you for the happiness to see this ocean, this sunset! Thank you for the happiness of living! ” I say this sincerely. I am happy that I can hear this sound of the ocean, see these people walking.
I cannot say that I am unconditionally happy. There are problems, and big ones. I believe that only a very enlightened person can be absolutely happy every day and hourly, who does not care whether he is happy or unhappy. Or people with mental disabilities who smile meaninglessly all day.We cannot be in high spirits all the time. I think happiness lies in seeing the minutes, seconds, situations that make you happy.
Omar Khayyam has one quatrain, I love him very much:
Two people were looking through one window.
One saw rain and mud.
Other – green ligature foliage,
Spring and blue sky.
Two people were looking through one window.
Most do not know how to enjoy simple things. Look what a beautiful flower! I have now found myself in such a beautiful place and am happy here and now.And this is the main thing for me. I have learned to rejoice and I am learning to be in the moment.
Perhaps in five minutes I will find out some unpleasant news for me. It is clear that I will not be happy at such a moment. But this will not prevent me from seeing the joyful moments again after a while. Happiness for me is to see the world and never stop being surprised!
I am sometimes frightened by the eyes of young people. These are the empty eyes of old people. They know everything, they are not interested in anything. They seek pleasure in alcohol and drugs. They don’t know that pleasure can be obtained from nowhere.The universe is very generous.
As long as I am surprised, I remain happy. As long as I am happy, I live.
– What do you think has changed in you?
In India, I got the opportunity to look around. Before, I had to work a lot, I could not always just get enough sleep. Such people walk around completely “chilled”, excuse the slang, it is even difficult to find another word. They live the life they hate. Communicate with those who are unpleasant. They walk down the street in the crowd, ride in the crush of the subway.
Thank God, I do not have a husband who “drinks blood.” And it was not! There were husbands, but there were no bloodsuckers. Look at our women! They live with unloved husbands and do not try to change anything! That’s what’s scary. Sometimes I want to ask: “What are you afraid of losing? What could be worse? Where is it worse? When you understand that life can be changed for the better, you need to try. So try it! What if it works out! ”
Here I am so impudent – I took it and tried it.
– How did you change your life? What have you done?
When I was fired from my job, I felt disgusting, disgusting, disgusting.I began to sue my employer because he had no right to fire me while I was in the hospital. It even came to some dirty tricks.
I knew about the double-entry bookkeeping that existed at our place of work, and I threatened that if they did not pay me everything that was due, and moreover for the damage caused, then I would publish the documents, copies of which I had. Forced them to pay me a decent amount.
I remember with what hatred I lived. I couldn’t sleep! I went to bed, and I was twisted all over with hatred.Now I never have that feeling. I wonder where it went? I guess I just could handle it. I have emotions, but there is no hatred for anything or anyone. I do not accept rudeness, gallantry, betrayal and unseemly deeds, I can get nervous, but there is no inner sediment left. I sleep well, without internal monologues. Letting go of the situation quickly.
There is anger, rage, anger. These are emotions, they are passing quickly. And resentment is a very petty feeling, it can live in us all our lives.I know women who live with eternal grudge against their husbands. Many people have lived for years with grudge against their parents and friends. They constantly conduct mental conversation with them, cultivate this feeling in themselves. These things are very damaging to us, and they need to get rid of. How? Probably replace these feelings with others. I’m not offended anymore. No one. It is impossible to offend me! To piss off, yes, you can. To offend – no.
How easy it has become for me to live! Perhaps this is my most powerful achievement in working with myself. How can we carry resentment for years? Or a desire for revenge? What a happiness to be free from this burden! If only people could realize this!
When I began to read a lot on the topic of psychology and the work of the brain, I realized that everything is in our head.For example, I decided that I would no longer have headaches. I used everything: auto-training, self-hypnosis, visualization. I worked for a week, on the seventh day the pain was gone. It comes back sometimes, but so insignificant that I don’t even consider it necessary to take pills. After all, I am fifty-nine years old, and the atmospheric pressure has not been canceled.
In the same way, with my thoughts, I treat the whole body. I needed to do several operations, but I canceled them. Although I am very lazy, and, apart from gymnastics and body flex, I do nothing.Maybe I have some kind of flaw? (Elena smiles. – Approx. Aut.). From the point of view of psychology, this may be wrong. But I never went to a psychotherapist.
Perhaps in order for enlightenment to come, you need to get to the bottom. Now I am working with the family. I believe that we ourselves can change our DNA with the help of thoughts, and I am engaged in special practices. I got a lot of diseases and karmic connections from my ancestors, which I still have to understand and understand. The main thing is to believe that my brain is my everything.As soon as I believed it, everything went on very simply.
– Where did it happen – in Russia or India? What influenced you – people, conversations, articles?
Realization began with the book I was talking about at the beginning. Then I began to search for similar articles, to be interested in this issue. This was esoteric knowledge, confirmed by science. I do not go into any magic or “schizoteric”, I just take what my soul accepts. I learned something, believed in something.
When I saw that it worked, I managed to cope with a sore hip joint with just the power of thought.I drew it as best I could, with all the badges, and washed it one by one. I imagined they were getting smaller and smaller and smaller. Unfortunately, my rendering is not very good. Instead, I paint.
Same with migraines! I drew black porridge. I had a picture of the brain. I drew it with a pencil. I went up to her and every day erased this pain with an elastic band. It took me seven days to cope with this scourge. So I found something that helps.
– Lena, thank you! Fantastic way.I have accompanied people who have poor visualization. Now I know how to work with them.
I drew this pain on large sheets of paper. I hung it on the wall with buttons in front of me. I remembered where my black was and washed it. She closed her eyes, but the memory was already erased. Looked again and cleaned up.
And I also began to dance wild dances. It’s good that nobody saw me. At home, she turned on music, and the most different. Could include a shaman tambourine or tango, it didn’t matter.Through the shaman’s tambourine, I spilled out my headache. After that I have a good attitude towards drums, because they helped me. I danced the pain, cleaned it up And then yellow, orange dots appeared on the picture. At the end of the process, my brain turned white and decorated with yellow and orange rays on all sides. On the seventh day of my practice, which I pulled out piece by piece from various sources, the pain was gone. Like this? What is it? I do not know. But it works.
– Elena, as far as I know, half a year you live in India, and half in Russia.How has India influenced you?
Many amazing, unique people from Russia live in India. It is difficult to notice them in Russia, they are dissolved in the general mass. If we now throw a grain of sugar into the coffee, then we will not feel the sweetness. Here in India, we can eat this sugar with tablespoons. Here is a real concentrate of talented people.
There is someone to learn from, a lot of people from whom you can take an example. I know a man who came here to die of cancer. He died for a long time, every season.In the eighth year, the oncology disappeared. And he didn’t do anything. Lively, vigorous, healthy, cool guy! And there are many such people here. India has a different energy.
Sometimes we have a hard time. For example, a storm began. Even before his arrival, we were all overwhelmed. In Moscow, I might not have noticed this, but in India we become sensitive, naked. And the perception is also easier here. In Moscow, every day I would pass by this unique person, I simply would not notice him, would not recognize him.In Moscow we are packed with information, meetings, thoughts, but in India we are open, ready to accept, give, share. And I willingly share the recipe, advice.
What influences us here in India so that we become joyful, open, happy?
Yesterday I was sitting on the beach and caught this feeling. Sunset. People are walking, and the wind blows their colorful clothes, which shine through in the sun. And this is a feeling of freedom, a feeling of wind, freshness, something new. The wind that brings something joyful into my life.
When I leave the house here, I see bright skirts flying, and in Moscow – gloomy closed faces. We are all good, but one at a time. In the crowd, we close ourselves. When I see a lot of faces, I get tired, and after a month I can bark at someone on the subway. If I am in a bad mood, there is no sun, it is cold, then everyone gets from me in full.
– Lena, what about those who live in Moscow? Should everyone move to Arambol? Is there a recipe for people who stay in Russia?
There is a recipe.Moscow and India are two different lives, two different situations. We, living in India for a long time and understanding something, receive a ray of light and warmth that remains with us. And no matter what we mimic in the Moscow crowds, we still recognize each other.
Not only in Moscow, but also in other cities and countries, I was able to convey to people the main thing: “Enjoy life here and now! Rejoice in what you have. And please try to change your life for the better! ” Many people try and they succeed. Many have already left this terrible exhausting job or their disgusted husband, wife, began to fulfill their childhood dreams.
Someone will say: “Are you completely crazy ?!” But if nothing is changed, what is left? Gossiping with your neighbors at the entrance? Watch the nightmarish news on TV and live it?
– Many now say: live in the present. How to learn to enjoy the little things? How do you learn to notice them?
There is a lot of rubbish in India. He is lying all over the place. Someone condemns, grumbles, complains. And I don’t see it anymore. If you don’t like it, take it away.
I remember my first visit. My son threw me here like a kutenka.I didn’t know where I was going, and there was no time to look on the Internet. This is good, otherwise I would never have come here! In the state and mood in which I was, I would not have seen positive news, but I would probably have read the bad news. On the eve of the trip, they tried to prepare me a little: they advised me to stock up on wet wipes, since they knew that I was a squeamish person. And they warned: “Do not be afraid of anything!”
At dawn the taxi driver dropped me off at the guest house. Nobody came out to meet.Some dogs and pigs pounced on me, and terrible dirty guys with toothbrushes walked around. Happy mosquitoes clung to me, smelling fresh blood. It was creepy.
When I looked around and saw all this dirt, I was even afraid to take a step. I could not eat or drink anything. There was so much negativity in me! Probably, at that moment I could kill with a glance. Now we call it cleansing! Then I thought it was poisoning – I was lying and dying. She hated crowing roosters, barking dogs, stinking food with terrible nasty spices.
This went on for a week. On the seventh day, I woke up clean and free, with a slight dizziness, because I had hardly eaten anything during those seven days. And so I heard the birds singing delightfully, I felt an enchanting spicy smell. I left the house, saw the sea and bathed for the first time.
I went to a nearby cafe to find out if they have natural coffee. They had coffee, and they brought it to me right on the beach. He was amazing. I relaxed on a lounger, listened to the sea, drank the first sip and suddenly realized: “I’m in paradise.”
On the way back, I saw this mud again, but this time I raised my eyes higher. Now I say to everyone: “Look half a meter higher!” I transferred this philosophy to life. If I can not notice something unpleasant, then I do not notice. If I can change something for the better, I change it.
When guests come to me, I trash them. I lead them to a restaurant along the back streets of Arambol with jokes and jokes: “There is a pile of rubbish on the left, a heap of rubbish on the right. Look half a meter higher! ” Many have now begun to repeat and quote this.And I smile.
And one more story. It happened on my first visit to India. I went into a restaurant on a hill overlooking the sea and asked for a cup of coffee. I sit and wait. Five minutes pass, ten. I look back at the waiter, and he repeats to me: “One minute! One minute!”
At that time I did not know yet that the “minute” for the Hindus does not mean a length of time. “Five minutes” can be 30, maybe an hour. Then I was naive and impatient. I came to a cafe, there are few people, but they do not serve me! I sit and turn my head.I was annoyed with the joke at the waiter that they hadn’t served me coffee for so long. Do you know what he answered me? That he just didn’t want to bother me to admire the sunset.
Ira, he wanted me to admire the sunset! He saw with what eyes I was looking at the sky. I felt so ashamed! I understood: this is how they live here. It is difficult to be nimble in such a climate. In India, I myself want to slow down and be calm. There is a lot to learn from these people.
Despite their poor, almost impoverished life, they always respond with a sincere smile, from the heart.Heard the music – they begin to dance. These people know how to enjoy the simplest things. Gave road builders a handful of rice with a banana, this is their portion for lunch. They eat and smile: they have food, they are all right!
Now I’m not in a hurry for the waiters. When I watch the sunset, I don’t distract myself with a cup of coffee. Coffee is an extra pleasure afterwards. That incident showed me what really matters in life.
– How many years have you been in India?
This is my seventh season.For the first time I came for three weeks to take business and get to know the country. Leaving, I understood that I would definitely return. I do not say “I have arrived”, I say “I have returned”. We are exactly returning. This is our house. I accepted everything here. Yes – lazy. Yes – dirt. Yes – everything is primitive. I do not like? Leave!
– How have you changed, Elena? What has changed in your character and personality?
Yesterday my friend Vika arrived, with whom we worked together in a public human rights organization. We meet periodically in Moscow.When she visited Goa last year, she was indescribable delight from me. In Moscow, I dress and look differently. A friend says that in India she realized what was discordant in me: inside I’m different. Free, independent, walking barefoot, joyful and happy.
Previously, it was inside, and only sometimes it manifested itself outside. Now I am always open and sociable. I have many friends. But I wasn’t always like this! A friend says she looked at the pictures recently and seventeen years ago I looked much worse.Yes, I have added wrinkles, gained weight, but in reality I became much younger.
Now I often repeat: “10 years ago, when I was an old sick woman … And now, when I am young and healthy …” I remember how old I am. In a year I will be sixty. Not so long ago, I thought that fifty is a prohibitive age, after which it is better not to live. And now I think I’m only fifty-nine.
Now I have only obligations to my mother. The son is an adult, the grandson is doing well.I have enough time and desire to live for myself.
– Why would you be happy?
In order not to be unhappy, as I was most of my life. Happy love happened – good. Then it ended. Work was a real misfortune for me. And the first, and the second, and the third. I didn’t have any special talents to somehow prove myself, to stand out.
I went to work and suffered, felt sorry for myself: “What a mediocre and unhappy I am.” I couldn’t afford much of what I wanted, for example, to buy expensive shoes, and again I felt unhappy.
Enough! I don’t want that anymore! Now I don’t worry that I can’t buy myself shoes. I go barefoot, I like it, and I will definitely do without another pair of shoes.
– What makes you happy every day?
I learned to rejoice and enjoy those ordinary little things that we often do not notice: a beautiful place, a cup of coffee, a waiter in a cafe, the service of which left pleasant sensations. Sometimes I do not remember faces, but I remember that such a wonderful boy or an amazing couple lived with me.I collect these warm feelings.
Guys, learn to look above the garbage! If it interferes, remove it. Get it off the street or out of your head.
For several years in a row we have been cleaning the beach in Arambol. This year, hopefully, they will organize again, and I will go out there with my garbage bags. I won’t be able to cleanse all of Goa. Well, okay! I’ll take as much as I can. It helps me not to dwell on the negative.
If I can calm a crying child or talk to an upset girl in her forties, I will.And if I understand that I can change something, I change it. If I can’t, then I won’t go into my soul with my bare feet. Many people reach out to me. When I can, I help, and sometimes it’s enough just to get coffee, tea or talk.
It is important – I do not delve into any schizoteric practices. And I am not a member of any sects. I’m not anybody’s fan or fan. If I have the opportunity to learn something somewhere, then I do it.
– Lena, are there any specific people who influenced you?
There are films that completely changed my worldview, my outlook on the world when I no longer believed in anything: “The Secret” and “The Great Secret of Water.”I looked at them one by one. From the first episode I believed everything. Immediately I took everything completely.
“The Secret of Water” tells about ice crystals. Now every day I drink the charmed water for love and goodness. I go to the ocean and thank the water for the strength that I receive.
My first teacher is my friend Svetlana Mangaeva. She was doomed, 25 years ago she was discharged from the hospital to die. But she began to learn alternative ways to be healthy. She recovered herself and teaches a simple system of self-regulation of the body to those who do not want to be sick and unhappy.She is over 70, and she travels around the countries, conducts healing practices, does not sit in despondency for a minute, she is a most positive person. I am very grateful to her for everything she gives me. A very wise man.
Here in India I met Andrey Zateev, who saved me from my worst phobias: fear of water and flights. I consider almost every person I come across as my teacher. Everyone teaches me to accept something or see something that I refuse. A negative experience is also an experience.
– Lena, are there any phrases that you repeat to yourself? Which help in difficult situations?
Main motto: “Do not be afraid to change your life for the better!” It has always been this way! “Do not be afraid to perceive life here and now!” I enjoy what is good. With this I go out into the street.
I have a difficult character. It’s hard for my relatives, and even my friends get it from time to time. And now I don’t even remember the last time I did something unpleasant to people. Although yesterday I wrote an angry post about bikers who make me very angry.I want to get the keys out of their ignition locks and get farther away. So she wrote: “Stop and throw the keys into the sea!” At first I regretted that I could not restrain myself, and then I think: “Well, I threw it out and threw it out. Good!”.
Although I don’t like to feel angry. Happiness occurs when we let go of the fear of living and open ourselves up to joy.
– Do you have a cherished desire?
Yes, I want to go around everything possible by car. One. I would start with Europe. Then I would like to visit those places in Russia where I haven’t been yet.I want to be alone and stay where I want. If you want to talk or not talk to people. I want to expand the horizons of perception, I miss what I have already seen. I want to see this world. And I have to celebrate my 65th birthday in Paris. What will I say about this city later? Let’s see …
You can listen to a fragment of the audio interview with Elena here
Natalia Igolkina. Ukraine-Netherlands
A passionate admirer of Irina Khmelevskaya. professional software application tester.indomitable optimist and very positive woman
… I would call myself “radiant”. When I find myself in a new place, I rejoice at everything. I notice this regularly when I see myself on video. Especially when I find myself in the place I dreamed of, or some new event happens. I go every time as if in a fairy tale.
I don’t even know what words to use to describe this state. I admire every moment. And so I see myself from the outside. Many people say that I am always smiling.
I come to get a job, and then I hear about myself that I am smiling.Now I think: “God, when did I smile there? I couldn’t talk at all from excitement. The only thing left was to smile. ”
– What do you do in your free time?
I am reading. Now more on the Internet, but before it was books. There is still no opportunity to buy publications in your native language, and you cannot bring everything here, so it is easier to find them on the Internet in electronic form. I read at any free minute. I take a book in the language in which I want to read now, fortunately, there is a choice.For me, it is still a surprise and luxury – the ability to choose which language to read! Mostly Dutch now.
– How many languages do you know?
Four: Russian, Ukrainian, English and Dutch. I have a crown hobby: I read books in different languages in the following sequence: Russian, Ukrainian, English and, as now, Dutch, and then all over again. All works and plots are different.
Not long ago I could only read short articles in Dutch.And now I have already moved on to books. For now, to the children, but for me this is progress!
Of course, such a hobby takes a long time, but now there is not so much of it. But three days – and the book is read! I want to start reading in parallel chapters, as you do, although this method confused me at first. And now I want to try! Although, the method is probably not that important. I feel a burning desire to read and read. In different languages, no matter what methodology.
– Do you ever think about happiness? Do you consider yourself a happy person?
Probably 360 days a year, I consider myself absolutely happy.And I’m unhappy when I get sick. The perception of life seems to lose its sharpness, and the struggle for survival begins.
– What is happiness for you? How is it expressed?
I have been asking myself this question since I was ten. I remember that my friend and I wrote, exchanged notes, and it brought joy. We were happy.
Now, closer to forty, I understand that happiness is being surrounded by a family, loving relatives, those with whom it is easy to talk and even be silent.
Communication came to the fore.I am very comfortable when I understand a person perfectly. And I want to be understood in the same way.
My family speaks Russian, so it’s easier for me to communicate. But I want people of different nationalities to enter into a close circle, and we could communicate in different languages.
Once in France my husband and I drove into a field and skidded. While we were pulling out the car, I realized that it doesn’t matter where you are, it’s important with whom. And I was on the field with a man who appreciates, loves and understands me.And this is happiness!
In my youth, the criterion of happiness for me was prosperity and the opportunity to realize myself. But I achieved everything I wanted, and now I enjoy communication. And I want to improve and improve its quality.
– What character traits help you to be happy?
Difficult question. For the last year, self-love has helped me. Before, I didn’t really love myself, but rather, I was too selfish. Then it passed. And now I value myself, and in different forms: as a little girl, as a mother, as a specialist.And I try to be aware of this every moment.
At work I am a professional and I am proud of it. At home I am a mom and a wife, and I like it. I am proud of myself, I am sure that I am smart.
A person can be happy, no matter what conditions he is in. Dad taught me this. He said: “There are seven billion of us, and we are all different. When you love yourself, you love these seven billion. You cannot copy someone or become someone else. We are unique. ”
I am grateful to my father for this science.And I am like a drop in the ocean, as a manifestation of a huge world or a ray of endless light. This thought most of all helps to BE, to be aware. At some point HOP! – and the sun shone!
The Ukrainian singer Monatic has a song “We will shine!” The last week we have been singing it with the whole family.
– How often do you sing with your whole family?
Music always sounds in our house. The genres are different, mostly popular. I myself am constantly humming something. Do you remember the movie “Irony of Fate”?
– Do you know when people sing?
– When they are happy!
A good mood is definitely a song.Once she sang romances from films. Not every day, but every two days for sure. Weekends in our family are always with music.
I have no hearing, no voice, I just purr under my breath! Daughter Sofiyka sang in the choir, but we don’t have a feast with songs. It’s just that all life is permeated with music, like air.
– Yes, yes, I mean the purr. Today I rode a motorbike across the island of Koh Samui and sang the same phrase in Spanish: “Mi casa es pequeña y muy bonita”. It means “My house is small and very beautiful.”
By the way, this is a cool thing – to memorize the language, to stretch it out. Sometimes you want to sing on it. I am now studying a poem by Rudyard Kipling “If …” – “If …” It is long and beautiful. And I teach him, teach him, and sometimes I want to sing these words. The pace and music inside!
– So sing. See, I sing Spanish phrases every day. I sing about how old I am, what my name is, that I am happy.
You also dance. You have music in a double performance: both in the voice and in the body.
– Do you think it is possible to learn to be happy? Or is it congenital?
I think you can.You can learn to be both happy and healthy. The mind can be developed, and people like you help to do it.
Today Sofiyka and I came home from school, and she says: “I realized: the older you get, the less you dream.” She is soon eleven, and she already thinks like an adult and notices everything accurately.
Childhood is different for everyone. I know people who had it hard, but they carried their radiance through their whole life. You look at them and do not believe that they once lived badly. They are so radiant.
And there are those who were patted on the head all their childhood, and they walk anxious, gloomy and unhappy. As a child, we have the ability to dream, but then we forget about how to do it.
Psychologists can help a person find a balance, a core, and then he grows his own happiness.
– Do you think young children are happier?
They are unconditionally happy. And when they grow up, they need something specific to be happy. Now I thought: “By old age, a person again becomes unconditionally happy.”
– Do I understand you correctly that when a person grows up, then conditions appear for happiness? What are these conditions?
Usually household items – telephone, clothes, figure … Everything should be better, and even better. I went through it too. And my daughter begins to “climb this mountain.” These are material goals that we set for ourselves. And happiness depends on how much they are realized.
Not so long ago I realized that the answer “No” can also bring happiness. For example, you are waiting for a trip to England.But England doesn’t work, and you fly to Spain. Both are awesome!
Now there are two months left until the end of my contract at work. It may be extended, or it may be necessary to leave. I am waiting for this moment and I do not know which is better.
If there is no contract, then I have already planned so much! I want to go back to Dutch courses, for example. And if it is extended, then I will work. It’s like a game: which wins? What will I get? For me, a bonus is both. And there is happiness, and there is good.
– Natasha, can you tell the story of your happiness?
This is a very short story. It began on May 3, 1979 at 2 am. I was born … And happiness began!
– When did you realize that you were happy?
I change with age. Probably all people change. Ten years ago, I loved everything permanent. There is a cartoon “The Croods” where dad says: “Everything new is bad.” I was the same. I should have known every step ahead. One way is home, the other is to work.For me, happiness was that from day to day everything is repeated.
It was difficult to get out of the comfort zone: to go somewhere, to plan something unexpected. I hated to change something. At such moments I felt unhappy.
Now I also love everything permanent. But now I also love changes. For example, we planned something, planned, and suddenly everything happens not at all the way I wanted. Previously, it would have knocked me out of my rut for a long time. And now I am glad. This is just about the fact that both answers: “Yes” and “No” – bring happiness.
I have a trip to Germany. I’m terribly scared! I don’t even know what I’m afraid of. The road is safe. I know people. And such a drive inside! This is something very new to me. I didn’t understand and didn’t like the feeling of novelty before. And now for me this taste is the taste of life.
Sometimes you want to bring a little risk into your life: skydiving, for example. But a little! When I see people jumping from a height, I get scared. I don’t make up my mind yet. But maybe one day I will want to do it myself.
I want to fill my life with all the best and look for something new.
– What do you like to remember? Do you have moments of special happiness in your life?
I remember my birthday, my eighteenth birthday. Many classmates threw big parties, but it was completely different for me. Sasha, my brother, brought a huge bunch of wildflowers: daisies, cornflowers. I woke up, saw and felt so happy! I felt glad that there would be no guests.No need to cook! And flowers …
All day I lay, read the book, looked at this bouquet and was left to herself. I still remember – how cool it was!
In the evening, girlfriends came, brought a cake, and we drank tea. From this day, I have a feeling of smoothness, unhurriedness, that happy ordinary, which we often do not pay attention to. This day was not bright and eventful, but I want to remember it. The feeling of happiness with which he is saturated. I am surrounded by relatives and friends.Everything is quiet, calm and very kind, at home.
Then, of course, there were billions of different accomplishments and achievements in life: the Eiffel Tower, a trip to the Louvre. These are bright and happy days. But this is the happiness of achieving a result. I put a tick and went on.
And there were no checkmarks on that birthday. Happiness and peace.
– Why would you be happy?
Happiness gives a state of lightness. That state of a super-woman, when there are wings behind her back, and everything works out.When people admire me. When I admire myself and others, there is a feeling of harmony.
And to be happy also means to be healthy. So along the chain, starting with health and ending with a successful business, a good family. So that the kids too are smart, healthy and creative. If a person wants something good for himself, then he wants to be happy.
– You said this phrase: “To be happy means to be healthy.” Can a person who is sick be happy?
These are just our hypotheses.God forbid one day to find out about this! But I truly believe that people who are sick are also able to be happy.
An excellent example is Pollyanna from the book by Eleanor Porter. How courageously she goes through her illness: “If my throat hurts, then my arms and legs are healthy. And I can be happy by the arms and legs. ”
I’d like to believe that this is really possible. And I really don’t want any of us to be convinced of this by our own example.
– What makes you happy every day?
Only today Sofiyka said about it: “I wake up already happy!” And then there are many different events that fill me with even more happiness.Gratitude helps a lot to increase happiness. And I go to bed no longer with a drop, but with a huge bag of happiness. It has accumulated.
There are special moments that I love to remember: the smiling face of my daughter, for example. I often remember her ears. They are very beautiful (Natasha smiles. – Approx. Auth.).
I love to praise myself for something, to thank and think about nature. I love water very much. Rainy days are especially happy. Snow blizzard is generally super! When the sun is out, I rejoice.And when the rain is a wall, and then the sun again. This is happiness! And for me all the weather is good luck.
– Then you probably live in the right country! Does it rain often in Holland?
Yes. And you know, it’s great to have sex in the rain. I instilled in my husband the idea that rain is very good, and everyone in my family loves rain.
– What advice would you give to people? What should they look for to be happy every day?
It is important for me to remember that I am loved, that the little girl Natasha lives in me, and I love her.And the big girl Natasha is loved by her husband.
– I think that if people remember their inner child, they will be much happier.
You helped me a lot then to find him in yourself. When I think that I need this little girl, I imagine that she is not alone, inspiration appears. Sometimes it seems to me that even in a dark room I will feel the creature that loves me, and which I love. I know that this girl lives inside me. She was, is and will be. Loving and beloved.And everything will be fine and easy.
Probably all people tune in to the positive in different ways. Maybe the smell of delicious coffee? By the way, I don’t drink, but I really like the smell. Someone can listen to good music, someone can look out the window to admire the nature.
– Do you think happiness is associated with success?
My trip to Ukraine confirmed one hypothesis, which I recently read: a person should be happy regardless of the results, because the result is achieved.
For example, we are now selling an apartment, for this we had to check out.We were very worried about how everything would turn out, because we have martial law in our country. We tried to tune in to a positive result. Everything worked out well, but there was no happiness! What an irony!
Another example: we moved to a new country for us, the Netherlands. It was also the result of effort, but it was happiness! So, I think it’s not the result.
So is success. I cannot call myself successful in the sense in which it is understood. I am not popular, I have not made any special career.But I think I have achieved a lot in my own life! I do not compare myself with others, but with myself, for example, ten years ago. And I see that in comparison with what was then, I am successful.
They say: “There will be success – there will be happiness.” But when you are successful, you may not be happy. You can lose it along the way. Now, when I set a goal, I understand that “achieving the goal” is not equal to “happiness”. And if there is a failure, then at this moment it is especially important to feel happy.Sometimes it’s the hardest thing in the world …
Life always brings happiness, but you may not immediately recognize it. I consider it the height of skill when I feel happy after a failure or defeat. Only for this one can praise oneself.
– How do you do it?
I can’t say that I succeeded 100%, but over time it turns out better and better.
When I first started my new job, it was pretty hard. I did something, but I didn’t understand if it was right or not.I was scared. I was leaving the office, and so wanted to say to myself: “Well, you are stupid! You don’t understand anything! ” And I said: “Ah! You clever! You are good at everything! ” I looked in the mirror and inspired myself.
She came, sat down, and, you won’t believe, in five minutes everything was decided! When it did not work again, again to the mirror, and so on for the whole month. As soon as the thought appeared: “What a fool I am!” or I wanted to criticize myself, I went to look at myself, correct my hair and tell myself how beautiful I am.
And everything really started to work out. This is some kind of miracle!
It is much easier to rejoice in success. But in times of failure, you can also be happier, more calm. And you can congratulate me, I passed the Dutch language exam.
– Congratulations, Natasha!
Victory is an instant. If you focus only on him, then the feeling of happiness quickly goes away.
And when I think that I am surrounded by relatives and friends, that I am in my house, in my country, then it lasts endlessly.
– Has the Netherlands become your home country?
Yes, yes! I am going to work, and everything around me is dear. Even this rain. We in the family say: “Ukraine is the womb, and the Netherlands is the daddy.” Any family should have two parents, so we are incredibly happy that we found a second one.
– Tell me, are there any other happy days in your life that you remember?
All the days I spent in Paris. From the very word “Paris” something happens inside me. I so dreamed of going there! This year she lived in Montmantre.Homeless people around, the smell of urine … At first I was a little shocked by all this, but I was ready for such contrasts. And I want to go again. I think I will really like the south of France.
Also, Dima and I sometimes arrange trips only together. We spend time like newlyweds. These are also very happy days. The course of life seems to be changing these days. And I really like it.
– Who or what influenced you the most? What made you feel happy? You mentioned dad. Are there any other events, books, people?
Met such a person recently.She helped me open my eyes to the people around me. I was happy and smiling before, but there was still some kind of dissatisfaction inside. Something was bothering me all the time.
Our meetings with you made me more harmonious. Now, when I smile at people, I feel that everything is smiling inside me. Meeting you is one of the brightest events in recent years.
Mom also taught me to be happy, to relate easily to things and events.
Family, parents, my husband Dima and his family played a very big role in making me happy.
– What is the main thing in your life?
Family and communication.
– What is your most cherished wish?
I really want to go skiing. I was not hoping for a vacation in February, and at this time the ski season is just starting. And suddenly, miraculously, five days of vacation appear. It remains to buy tickets and book a hotel.
I want to learn to speak English and Dutch fluently and without mistakes. I read, write, but so far I am not confident. I really want to improve the quality of communication.I signed up and tomorrow I will go to the “Toast master” courses. This is just about improving the quality of the conversation. I learned about this movement in December, I want to participate.
– Natasha, do you want to add something? Perhaps a story to tell?
About children. We lose what they bring us – childish spontaneity. Turn back time! How smart they are – these kids! You need to be guided by them in the search for inner harmony. We must peer, listen attentively to them.
I studied pedagogy and psychology for so many years, and now I realized that education is an exchange of information.We give them one thing, they give us another. I am very sorry that for us it only works in one direction – from adult to child, and turns into something not very pleasant. When this exchange works both ways, then it is happiness.
– Do you have any wish for those people who will read the book? Maybe some advice?
It’s so hard to give one-size-fits-all advice. There are seven billion of us and we are all different. Self-love helped me. Many equate it with selfishness. I often hear it, and I myself used to think so.But sincere love has nothing to do with selfishness. When you love yourself, you cannot harm another.
There is a very simple exercise – say to yourself, looking in the mirror: “Natasha, how I love you!” I have transformed a little, and in a bad situation I say something positive to myself: “I may have ‘blinked’ something, but today my eyes are very beautifully painted.” And this inner self-talk helps. Probably, for everyone it will be his own phrase, something of his own will work.
Many miracles in my life are associated with this practice.For example, I was not invited for an interview for a long time. I said: “I will be invited soon, so I will buy myself a jacket!” I went and bought it, and yes, I was invited for an interview! And this is the second tip. You need to plan an event, and then it will soon appear in your life! Now I do it all the time, and almost everything comes true.
The word is a spell. And when a person speaks it in front of a mirror, the spell becomes even stronger.
You can listen to a fragment of the audio interview with Natalia here
Klaus Springborg.Denmark, Copenhagen
Doctor of Science, trainer, teacher, tangero
I lead groups of therapists in London, Edinburgh, Copenhagen and Totnes, teaching leadership development. The prerequisites for this are very different. One of them, of course, is my Ph.D. from the Cranfield School of Management on Art-Based Methods in Management Teaching. In this study, I have worked extensively with cognitive science and learning theories.
I also studied Buddhism and some modern spiritual systems.I find it very useful, on the one hand, to be familiar with spiritual systems, and on the other hand, to study cognitive science and see how they can be combined. I recently started lecturing at Copenhagen Business School. Before, I was a dancer and musician.
– How do you spend your free time, if you have it?
I play the piano. I also like to walk and listen to audiobooks. And of course I dance tango.
– Do you consider yourself a happy person?
– What is happiness for you?
I believe that happiness is something that we do ourselves.
These are the moments when we are not too busy with all sorts of things. These are the moments when we are not distracted by thoughts of what we should or should not do. I think that happiness is like the air we breathe. It’s like the space around us. It is always there, but we are usually too busy looking for it to pay attention to it.
– Do you pay attention? Can you give examples, please?
It’s a bit like when you were worried about something for a while or were busy with something.And then suddenly, for some reason, he stopped doing it. Then you usually feel lighter, you feel more freedom, you feel more open. You feel this inner lightness and joy. You begin to notice that they have always been. It’s just that the moment you act, you try to do something in this world, you forget about it. Learning to do something while paying attention to lightness, inner joy is a very important practice.
– Is there something special in your character, in your personality that helps you to be happy?
I don’t think there is anything special about my personality.In addition, over the years, I have learned that I should not trust everything that my personality considers important. When I say personality, I mean a collection of ideas and habitual patterns of emotions, thoughts that are already so familiar that you identify with them.
Usually this personality has complete control over where to direct our awareness, what we consider important, what to pay attention to. And for most people, personality becomes one of the main barriers preventing them from noticing that happiness is already here.Therefore, it is good practice to become a little freer from your personality, to be skeptical about it.
Your personality can tell you that a career is very important. She says: “Fight for your career!” And all you pay attention to is a career. In this case, you can say: “Maybe my personality really does not know what is important?” A career may not be that meaningful. You can work on your career, but don’t completely trust the “advice” of the individual. Be a little skeptical.
Or a person may say, “No, no, no! Career doesn’t matter. It’s about the partner. You have to find the right partner. ” You find him, but you are unhappy. Then your personality says, “This one was wrong. You must find another! ” And if you believe in this, you will run in circles. All your attention will be absorbed in finding partners, evaluating partners and attracting the attention of the right partners.
At some point you can stop and say: “This voice in me, which says that the path to happiness is to find the right partner.Maybe he’s wrong? ” Or say, “I’ve been looking for the right partner for decades. And it still doesn’t work. Maybe my personality is telling me a lie? ”
When you start to be skeptical about your own ideas, thoughts and emotions, it is like when the clouds in the sky are slightly parted. You will feel the inner space and lightness, and you will realize that this space and this lightness have been in you all the time, while you were too busy looking for the right career or the right partner to notice it.You believed your thoughts when they said that this is the path to happiness. But in reality, your thoughts do not mean anything.
– Tell me how you became happy. Or have you been happy all your life? How did it happen?
I had a happy childhood, and I remember when it ended. I remember a particular day. Before that, I looked at myself in the mirror and thought: “I heard that there are six billion people in the world. I am incredibly lucky to be myself! ” Because I could have been any of those six billion, but I was myself! I felt that this was the best option possible.It was like “I can’t believe my luck!” That was the feeling! Completely in love. Just like, “Wow! I am me! Simply fantastic! ”
And then one day, when I was about ten years old, I looked in the mirror and this feeling disappeared. I never saw this amazing little boy again. He left. I didn’t understand what had happened, it was confusing.
What should a person of ten years with such experience do? There was no one around who could say, “Oh, yes! I know what is it!” Therefore, I did not talk about it with anyone.I just thought, “Oh! It sucks! But, apparently, this is life. ”
I have come to terms with the idea that you are born, live, die, and then nothing. So, just do your best! Everyone around me believed in it. I grew up in a society, in a family, among people who were strongly influenced by the natural sciences. This worldview prevailed in the 70s, 80s, 90s of the last century in Denmark. So I didn’t doubt him, I just took it for granted.
But one day it seemed to me that something was wrong with it.At the age of 16-17, I began to think that the story about life that is told to me in society has no meaning. Different religions had different stories as well. I wondered, because traditions that have survived thousands of years cannot be completely wrong? Of course, if you are an inveterate scientist, you can say, “Oh, yes! Religion survives because it gives us something to believe in to make the world less scary. ” Or something like that. But for me this explanation seemed too superficial. I got curious.
I wanted to understand more about life and about myself. He began to study various types of therapy, various religions. Received a Master’s Degree in Neurolinguistic Programming – NLP. All this helped me to discover myself. In one of the modules for teaching NLP, we got acquainted with a special technique that was different from other methods.
NLP takes its ideas mainly from the cognitive science of the 50s, 60s, 70s and turns them into therapeutic tools. I love this part of NLP.One of the processes we were introduced to was a transformational concept created by Connirae and Tamara Andreas. This is what their book “Essential Transformation. Finding an inexhaustible inner source ”.
The fundamental idea of NLP is that there is a positive intention behind any action. Sometimes you do something and think, “Oh, this is just stupid! I shouldn’t do this. ” But you can ask yourself the question: “What positive intention is behind this seemingly stupid action?”
For example, you can easily get angry with other people, and then regret that you got angry and angry.But the positive intent behind this behavior is that it’s your way of dealing with feelings of danger. During one session, Connirae Andreas continually asked the client about deeper levels of positive intention. And she noticed that this brings her client into a very interesting state.
The client might say, “I’m getting angry and I regret it.”
And Connirae would say, “What positive intent is behind your anger?”
And the client can say, “I want to protect myself.”
And then Connirae will say, “What is the positive intention behind the desire to protect yourself?”
And the client can say, “If I feel secure, then I can relax.”
And then Connirae will say: “Well, what is the positive intention behind this, and behind this, and behind this? ..”
Or she would ask, “If you already have full protection, what more important thing is that going to bring you?”
And then she noticed that when she asks these questions, people completely relax, they become soft, blissful, and say things like, “I feel love.I feel completely normal. I feel whole. ”
She highlighted the main conditions that people usually face. This transformational process has become special for me as well. There was something magical about it.
After NLP, I moved away from spiritual pursuits for a while. But then I started to miss them. I returned when I met a teacher named Velusia. She spent many years with Osho. She was then working with a guy named Faisal Muqaddam, one of the founders of Diamond Approach.At that time, Faisal separated from Almaas and Karen Johnston and created his own version of the doctrine, which they developed together. Faisal named his version “Diamond Logos”. It is similar to Diamond Approach , but there are some important differences, in particular in the teaching system.
Velusha became my teacher for about ten years. As a psychotherapist and educator, she had a remarkable quality. She didn’t try to fix anything.I started going to sessions with her every other week for several years. Then every third week, then once a month. Now we are friends. And I don’t go to the sessions anymore.
When she worked with me, she almost never objected. Velusha did not challenge, did not correct anything, did not try to change anything. This gave me the opportunity to figure it out myself. My consciousness relaxed and dissolved every time I sat with her.
I felt good doing nothing to feel good! It was amazing:
– I feel alive.
– I feel happy.
– I feel firmly on the ground.
– I have compassion for other people.
– I feel love.
– I feel loved.
It was an amazing experience! You realize that everything that you have done to be in order is exactly what prevents you from realizing that you are already in order. What you are looking for is already here, but you are too busy to notice it.
I realized this, sitting with Velush for many hours and observing my thoughts, emotions and behavior, not wanting to change anything.
– You know, I still don’t understand. You do projects, dance, give lectures, write books. How is this possible? On the one hand, you say that you leave everything, but on the other, do you have a lot of projects that you are busy with?
It is a very common misconception that this kind of meditation practice will make you passive in life. When people hear this, they often say, “If you are fine and everything is fine without your actions, don’t you turn into a person who just sits on the couch and does nothing?”
No.You don’t turn. The thing is, I still want to get the book out. I already wrote it. Editing may not be my favorite thing in the world, but I do it. And the book will hopefully be out in a few months. I am not writing a book because I think that a written book will make me happy. When I finish it, it will only mean that I have written the book. No more and no less.
When you feel completely okay, you can be very active! But you do not strive to do something in order to feel good.You already feel good! You are motivated by inner wealth that overwhelms you, and not by the feeling of emptiness inside that you are trying to fill. This is the difference. You don’t become passive, just your motivation changes.
– Can you be happy and sad at the same time?
Some people think that happiness is the absence of emotions such as sadness. And you will become happy by getting rid of the sadness. If happiness and sadness are opposite, then that makes sense, right?
You start to think, “How can I get rid of the sadness?” And then you try to answer questions like, “What makes me unhappy?” and “How can I change this?” You are carried away by all this, it occupies all your consciousness, and you do not notice that happiness is already here.
You are too involved in the project of finding happiness by getting rid of sorrow. In fact, it doesn’t matter which project you are involved in. Any involvement in anything distracts your consciousness and prevents you from realizing the happiness that is already here.
When my client tells me that he is sad, I say, “Great! Tell me what sadness is like if you don’t see it as a problem? Relax and allow yourself to be sad, but don’t think of your sadness as something that you have to change.Allow yourself to be even sadder, increase your sadness! Greet her, imagine that being sad is your project. ” It helps the client to change preferences, right?
That is, I advise you to go in the opposite direction to abandon the idea with which they came. People often look puzzled at first and exclaim, “What the hell are you trying to say ?!” They came to therapy to get rid of their sadness, and I tell them to greet it and become even sadder.
When they have already become acquainted with their sadness, they remark: “But if I do not see this as a problem, the sadness itself does not seem unpleasant to me! If I don’t try to push her away, then there is no tension. And then the sadness is felt tender and soft, healing the inner excitement. ”
When you are sad and you feel very gentle, it is not unpleasant. Your skin seems thin, fragile and permeable. When you cry, your inner tension and excitement melt, like ice and snow melt in early spring.
You may notice the same thing if you are afraid of something. You’re tense, and once you’re safe, you might start crying. And with this cry, the tension in you dissolves, like tears in a river.
In many traditions, sadness is an incomprehensible, stigmatized emotion. This is taboo. This is considered bad. If someone around you is sad, you try to cheer him up, relieve him of sadness. What for? Because it is harmful? If you yourself do not believe that this is bad, you will feel that in fact this experience is delightful.You will feel more whole, because as long as you reject your sadness, you are rejecting a part of yourself, a part of your own experience.
I think that when happiness becomes a project, it becomes an obstacle to really feeling happy.
– You say that when people are involved in a project, they cannot understand that they are already happy. But I can be happy from participating in this project. That is, I can be in the process, and I can feel everything, and I can really like it.It doesn’t matter if the result is good or bad. I enjoy the process itself!
When I say project, I mean a specific kind of project. I’m talking about those activities where you think, “As soon as I do this, I will feel good.” These are projects that are motivated by a sense of lack, a feeling that something has to change before you feel happy.
People come to me for therapy thinking that as soon as it is over, they will be happy.As if it were a medicine. Or going to the gym: “I don’t like going to the gym, but after I work out for a year, I will have more muscles.”
People think the same about therapy: “I go to therapy and talk about my problems. This is terrible and I am afraid of it. But I walk because it is good for me, and I hope the result. ” When you go to therapy with this motivation, you don’t get much.
The client tells me: “I’m not sure of myself. I want to feel more confident. “I ask him: “Why don’t you want to feel insecure? What do you think will give you a more confident life? ” Usually this is a specific feeling that we can explore. When the client realizes this result, he wonders if this is the purpose for which he came to therapy? This often does not happen.
The client says: “Oh! I will be able to relax! ”, Or“ Then I will feel calm! ”. It’s good. But why not just let yourself be calm?
He wants relaxation, but trying to eliminate insecurity causes more tension, not relaxation! Thus, we often have misconceptions about what we need to do in order to feel what we want to feel.
– Does this mean that people should get rid of all expectations in life?
Having expectations is great! But you don’t need to follow them to be happy.
– How to do it?
For me, it’s all about practice. In Buddhism, this is explained very precisely. They say, “You are ignorant. You don’t know how everything works. And since you don’t know how everything works, because you don’t know the true nature of reality, you either push things aside or, on the contrary, grab onto them.Now one thing, now another. Since you do not understand the nature of reality, you think that happiness lies in things. ”
It’s like if you want milk, you go out and buy a bag of milk in the supermarket. And you have milk! You use the same logic with regards to happiness: you get a partner, a car, a career, and it seems to you that they will be a source of happiness, right? And of course this never happens.
This is “grabbing”. Sometimes it is difficult to grasp the object, and then you ask yourself: “What prevents me from getting this object?” Then you get angry about it, you try to push him aside.Anger, hatred and repulsion come into play. Both grasping and repulsion come from ignorance, from the mistaken belief that you can get happiness by getting something.
If you have been in a spiritual environment for a while, you become a little smarter. And you no longer admit that you expect to get happiness from a career and material wealth. But erroneous logic still works: you think you will find happiness by adopting the right religion, right philosophy, or belief system.
Happiness does not come from loyalty to right beliefs.It’s like a more subtle version of materialism, only, following these beliefs, you grab onto not physical objects, but philosophy and ideas. This, of course, doesn’t work either.
And then maybe you will become even smarter and understand: “Good. Everything we know today is likely to be considered wrong in a hundred years. This has been happening for millennia. ” Everything changes, right! Things evolve, ideas evolve. And now it seems strange to grab onto philosophy, ideas in order to get happiness.
Then perhaps you will start meditating. As you meditate, you will experience wonderful states of relaxation and openness. You start thinking, “Oh, I have to meditate to reach this state. And then I’ll be happy. ” See? Again the same logic!
Perhaps you are using pleasant spiritual words, you can say that you are looking for enlightenment, and this is undoubtedly a worthy thing to seek. But the problem is that you still grab onto something! This means that repulsion will soon follow.You say, “My partner won’t let me meditate. So I have to get rid of him. He doesn’t understand anything. ”
Or maybe someone will step on your toes and you will be angry with him. And you say: “Anger does not allow me to be calm, so that I can meditate and reach the state that I like. Therefore, I have to get rid of this anger. ” And you will begin to reject your anger. This is the same logic! You push something away because you think that it prevents you from finding happiness.
It is very important to be aware of how you are following this logic. Even if you use a lot of bizarre spiritual jargon in doing so.
When people come to me and say, “My anger bothers me.” I say, “Okay. Be even angrier. ” I think it is a deep misunderstanding of Buddhist teachings when they say, “You shouldn’t be angry. Anger is poison to the mind. Hate is poison to the mind. ”
– Is this called “the practice of loving-kindness” in Buddhism?
Yes, the practice of loving-kindness is wonderful! Love, and at the same time, be kind to your anger and hate too.Sometimes people push away anger and hatred by trying to live up to the ideal of compassion and loving-kindness. Of course, anger doesn’t really go anywhere. You just push him into unconsciousness, from where he comes out in the strangest and most amazing way. So we get passive-aggressive spiritual people who know how to cover up their actions with good words so that they cannot be reproached for aggression. This is the same logic of grasping and pushing away.
If you grab something, experiment with the words, “So you had a wonderful meditation experience.What if you never have this in your life again? Just give it up. You will never get it again. ” Perhaps you will answer: “Then I will feel empty. I will be sad and empty. ”
Sad and empty. Just don’t see it as a problem! Don’t push these feelings away. It is the assessment of things as good or bad that makes you grab them and push them away. When you give up the idea that feelings are good and bad, you say, “Oh, such a relief! Such a wonderful world in which we live! He’s magical! ”
– Don’t you think that in this case people will want to get this very emptiness in order to feel happy?
Oh yes, that’s right! Then they begin to grasp at emptiness, as if emptiness were a thing.Here’s the thing: we always turn our experience into an object. The moment we turn it into an object, we decide whether it is a good or bad object, and whether we should grab hold of it or push it away.
The void is so interesting because it looks very different depending on what we compare it to. So sometimes I do this when I teach meditation. I lead people to a feeling of lightness, to a feeling of love. People sit and smile broadly. And then I say: “Now let this state slowly dissolve, cool down and return to something neutral.”I don’t always become popular by doing this (Klaus laughs – Approx. Aut.). Sometimes people say, “Why? We are finally in this wonderful state! Why should we get out of it again? ”
The tendency to grab again!
When you feel love, it’s wonderful. But then when you feel emptiness, you don’t say, “I felt love, and then I felt free and open.” You say, “I felt love and then I lost it.” People call emptiness “loss of love.”But if they did not feel loved before they felt empty, then perhaps they felt tension, insecurity, fear. And then there is emptiness.
Then they praise the emptiness and say, “Oh, this is such a relief! This is getting rid of my insecurity and fear. ” But this is still the same emptiness! Only in one case it was preceded by love, in another case by fear. In the first case, they did not like it, because they considered it a loss of love. In the second case, I liked it, because they felt liberation from fear.But they are one and the same! This is the same emptiness.
We always interpret material and turn it into something. We do not understand what we are doing, and this is the whole problem.
Imagine if we could experience this emptiness at any time, that is, we would have such an ability. Could this be a way to feel happy every day? Void is the key, is it a tool?
Buddhism does not say that feeling empty is the key to a solution. Emptiness is not something that one has or does not have.If we turned it into a thing, then, of course, we would grab onto it! The key to understanding is that the true nature of everything that exists is emptiness. There are several doctrines associated with this in Buddhism. They have a doctrine of emptiness. They have the doctrine of dependent origins and the doctrine of impermanence. They are one and the same, but they are like three different ways of talking about the same thing.
So, for example, as I said before: you feel love, and then you feel that it is leaving. And there is a kind of empty space, you call it the loss of love.Loss of love is that feeling that is associated with love, and not something in itself. It turns out that everything that you experience is nothing in itself. It is something only in relation to other things. So it has no substance of its own.
This is what Buddhists mean when they say that a phenomenon is devoid of its inherent existence. It does not exist on its own – independent of other phenomena. When you begin to realize this, then it no longer makes sense for you to grab onto things or, on the contrary, push them away.
Understanding this dispels ignorance, and when ignorance disappears, the tendency to grasp and repulse also disappears. These actions no longer make sense. You see that there is nothing to grab onto, nothing to push off from. It is very helpful to define things in relation to each other.
But you should not be embarrassed and think that the things that you create in this way exist independently of you. Because then you start to think that they can be a source of happiness, and that acquiring them is a necessary condition for your happiness.It’s like trying to take possession of a ghost, rainbow or shadow, and this leads you to self-destructive actions.
It leads you to try to achieve happiness in ways that distract your mind from the realization that happiness is always there.
– Okay, let’s get back to our questions. What makes you happy every day?
I am happy no matter what.
– Every day, every morning? Do you feel happiness every time, every moment of your life?
Okay, let me explain it differently.Sometimes I sit down at the piano. I like playing the piano. When I sit down and play the piano, I feel happy. Yes. The next day I get up and sit down at the piano. I’m doing the same thing. I play the same piece, but I don’t feel happy. It doesn’t make me happy. As if it worked yesterday and doesn’t work today. Everyone knows about a similar phenomenon.
You are going to hang out with your friends and have a cake. And that is great! You feel like eating cake with friends is a wonderful activity that makes you happy.And, of course, you want to repeat it the next day. But it might not work the next day.
This is confusing, right? Why does it sometimes work and sometimes it doesn’t? We explain this by the fact that something was missing on the second day: “Maybe the cakes were better on the first day? Maybe the first day your friends were in the best mood? ”
However, the real reason is that your theory of happiness is fundamentally flawed. You think that what you are doing makes you happy.No.
Initially, you are happy, and then everything reflects this happiness back to you. When you are happy, everything makes you happy. Even washing dishes. Even simple things. You go to buy food, the sun is shining … And the sun makes you happy. The next day you go to buy groceries, it is raining. And the rain makes you happy! And vice versa. When you are unhappy, nothing can make you happy.
Happiness is not the result of what you do. Happiness comes before what you do.And the thought that happiness comes from something concrete prevents you from noticing that it is already here
– What do you think about death? How do you feel about this?
Various teachings talk about rebirth, but this is not part of my personal experience. I do not know. Sometimes death bothers me, sometimes not. On the days when I do what I like, I worry less. If I am worried about what I am doing in life, then it seems that I am also worried about death.
Who knows? Sometimes I love life.And when I think of death as a loss of life, it worries me.
– Do you watch TV or read news on the Internet or in newspapers, magazines?
No, no. Almost never. Sometimes I watch news from comedians. For example, John Oliver. He’s a good man. There are many comedians now reporting the news. Someone said that they have an advantage over journalists – they don’t have to pretend that they take things seriously.
For example, journalists invite someone who is for, and someone who is against.They argue a little, and very seriously. And comedians have the opportunity to say, “This is just a joke – what’s going on.” So they can deliver news in an interesting and accurate way at the same time.
– Do you have the main desire? A lifelong dream?
The main desire? I don’t know, I don’t know … It depends on the moment.
– Okay, then what would you like from the future?
My future or the future of the whole world?
– Maybe the future world?
Of course, I hope that the knowledge we are talking about here will reach a large number of people.And it is good for people, and society will be different if this happens. This is why I teach at a business school.
– Do you have any personal desires?
Yes, keep doing what I am doing.
– And the last question. What’s your personal recipe for happiness?
Stop believing your mind! (Klaus laughs. – Approx. Aut.).
– What do we need to remember every day to be happy, to feel happy?
I like a healthy skepticism about our thoughts, towards our own mind, towards the conscious search for happiness.
You can listen to a fragment of the audio interview with Klaus here
Knut Lessing, Germany
Businessman, husband, father of two children, traveler
I am from Germany. I am a businessman in the past, I have over thirty years of experience in real estate. About five years ago, I sold most of my properties to a friend in Singapore. Now I am dedicated to health and family. The best thing for happiness is to keep yourself in top physical shape.
– How do you spend your free time?
Now most of the time in my life is free time.How do I spend it? I swim in the pool, do exercises in my yard, read in an armchair, admire the beautiful scenery in my garden. The main thing is me and my family, my close circle.
Running with a dog, doing sports and mind-expanding practices – breathing exercises from yoga and pranayama. I try to get out of my body by practicing lucid dreaming. This is when you realize in a dream that you are asleep. It does not harm the body, and the quality of sleep changes instantly! I don’t run after material things.I’m lucky! I am convinced that material benefits will come by themselves.
I am here and in the stream. This means that I do not have a specific plan, and usually I do not know in advance what I will be doing the next day. I just live and enjoy the moment. Being in the present is something very important.
Everything is fine: clouds, blue sky, pool. It is always warm here, and therefore I am always happy. In bad weather, I jump into the pool, because the temperature there is over thirty degrees Celsius even in winter.
“The Captain’s Daughter”: Questions for Chapters 1 – 5: 1. Why is Pushkin telling the story on behalf of the hero Pyotr Andreevich Grinev? 2. Tell us what the conditions were … education of young Grinev? 3. How does old man Grinev look at military service? 4. What character traits of the old Grinev are revealed in the episode of the conversation between the father and the mother about the letter to the boss of Petrusha? 5. How is Grinev characterized by his behavior in Simbirsk, meeting with Zurin and collision with Savelich, payment of card debt to Zurin? 6.What is the meaning of the title and epigraph to chapter 1? 7. In what features is the portrait of the counselor given? 8. What in this portrait indicates the outstanding qualities of his character? 9. What is the figurative meaning of the sayings between the innkeeper and the counselor? 10. In what actions of Pugachev are revealed his sharpness, knowledge of people and the ability to deal with them? 11. In what actions Grinev showed positive character traits: affection and love for his serf uncle; a feeling of gratitude and appreciation to the person who provided the service; firmness of character? 12.
Make a summary on the topic Krylov and classicism oooooochen I GIVE 50 POINTS
Tvir on the topic “moral lessons of the life of Ivan Frank
Tvir (8ch) BUDLASKA HELP
Write the moral of the fable Trediakovsky “The Crow and the Fox”, please urgently !! & lt; 3
Make up the crosssense young lady-peasant help please
Dubrovsky – a short retelling of the wedding of Mary with the prince90,000 How to be happy when you have children
We know that happiness is in children, but we do not see it in everyday life.Where are our sleep, free time, a moment of silence, finally? This is the Parental Paradox. We have read the recently released bestseller on “how to be one hundred percent happy when you have children,” and share the facts and conclusions. Read to all moms. And dads too!
And no fun
“Sheer joy and no fun” – one of Jennifer Senior’s friends very accurately formulated the parental destiny. The journalist cites data from mass polls that show that parents are not at all happier than childless spouses, and often much less happy.Lack of sleep; chronic tiredness and fatigue; defocusing of attention; home attachment and limited social contact; feeling of guilt for not being “perfect”; eternal disorder in the house. And we have just begun to list it! In 2004, five scientists, including Nobel laureate psychologist and economist Daniel Kahneman, investigated which activities bring the most pleasure to working women. They surveyed 909 working women in Texas. Children ranked sixteenth out of nineteen on the list – after cooking, watching TV, naps, shopping, and even after doing housework.
An hour of sleep costs $ 60,000!
Of all parental distress, lack of sleep is the most unpleasant thing. But most parents-to-be, no matter how many warned them, do not even have an idea about it until their first child appears. These parents think they know what sleep deprivation is. But there is a big difference between constant sleep deprivation and occasional sleeplessness. According to surveys, women who slept 6 hours or less were more likely to report lack of happiness than those who managed to sleep more than 7 hours.The difference in well-being was so dramatic that it even surpassed the difference in feeling between those who earned less than $ 30,000 annually and those whose annual income was more than $ 90,000. In total, an hour of sleep costs $ 60,000. Don’t believe me? Ask the parents of small (and not very young) children.
Why do children drive us crazy?
There is a biological explanation for this. In adults, the prefrontal cortex, which is located in the frontal lobes, is fully developed.In children, it is almost undeveloped. The prefrontal cortex controls executive function, that is, it allows us to organize our own thoughts and, as a result, our own actions. Without this ability, we would not be able to concentrate. But this is what most annoys us in young children: their attention is not focused. In The Philosophical Child, psychologist and philosopher Alison Gopnik compares a lantern and a directional lamp. The directional light illuminates only one object, and the lantern illuminates everything around it.Adult consciousness is directional light. The consciousness of small children is more like a lantern. Toddlers and preschoolers are very easily distracted – like beetles whose eyes are able to see everything that is happening around them. In addition to common sense, concentration, and a system of inhibitions, the prefrontal cortex is responsible for our ability to plan, predict, and shape the future. But young children cannot foresee the future. They live here and now. They really think, “I haven’t gotten a bag of chips now, so I will never get one.”And no piles of chips promised in the future will fix the situation. Moms and dads are convinced that if they manage to convey the logic of their decisions to the children, they will understand them. After all, this is how their adult brains worked for many years before the birth of children. But your three-year-old child will never say: “Yes, mom, you are right, I understand you.” That’s how it works.
We do not have enough flow
There is not enough stream for the parents. Not in the sense of routine or boredom. Flow is a state of being when we are completely absorbed in our occupation and are satisfied with how we cope with it.And life with children is not conducive to this. Any mom will tell you how a carefully planned family weekend (zoo, cafe, games) turned into something unimaginable. We cannot fulfill our plans, and this annoys us and unsettles us. The wide lamppost consciousness of children is almost the opposite of the concept of adult happiness. It is very difficult to immerse yourself in the flow when your main task is caring for children. But it is even more difficult to take care of children and work at the same time. And today many of us do just that.And how difficult it is to work at home when there are children around! Whatever you do in such a situation, guilt is inevitable. Guilt for not paying enough attention to children. And for the fact that you pay little attention to work. In this electronic age, parents experience this kind of guilt all the time. There is always something that they did not pay enough attention to.
Moms in complete disorientation
For most mums, time is fragmented and divided – like a ray of light passing through a prism.For most fathers, time flows in a straight line. When dads go about their business, they only do it. When they take care of children, nothing else distracts them. Mothers, on the other hand, often have to go about their business at the same time as caring for their children. And sometimes they also have to answer phone calls from the boss at the same time. The need to divide and subdivide your time not only reduces productivity, but also leads to complete disorientation. In addition, a woman has a feeling of constant haste – no matter how calm the moment is, no matter how normal the circumstances are, the woman constantly knows that something is boiling somewhere in her and requires immediate attention.Moreover, free time does not relieve the mother’s feelings – on the contrary, at such moments her condition worsens even more. Psychologists assume that mothers constantly live ahead of the curve, because it is on their shoulders that all the most logistically complex and emotionally stressful aspects of raising children fall – care, visits to the doctor, communication with educators and teachers, organizing family vacations, coordinating children’s communication with friends. plans for the summer.
What’s the point?
If everything is so bad, why does almost every family have a child, and not one? Why do people, with an objective decrease in the quality of life, have children? Jennifer Senior quotes psychologist William Doherty, who said that raising children is “an expensive and highly rewarding endeavor.”Happiness is a passion for life in all its complexity, a commitment to life for something greater than ourselves.
To be happy, a person must act. As Holocaust survivor psychiatrist Viktor Frankl put it, “The best way to strengthen and reinforce a decrepit structure is to increase the load on it.” This action can be simple (like teaching Sunday school) or great (like organizing a peaceful protest). It can be intellectual (seeking a cure for cancer) or physical (mountaineering).It can be creative. This action can be the upbringing of a child – “my best poem,” as Ben Johnson wrote in an elegy to his seven-year-old son.
Feeling self and remembering self
Daniel Kahneman divides consciousness into “feeling self” and “remembering self”. The feeling self is the self that lives in this world and must control the events of everyday life. But everything turns out to be wrong. In fact, the remembering self plays a much more important role in our lives.More than anything else, the experience of parenting exposes the chasm between the feeling self and the remembering self. The feeling self tells researchers that we enjoy sleeping, shopping, or answering emails more than spending time with our children. But the remembering self declares to scientists that no one and nothing gives us greater joy and pleasure than our children. Perhaps this is not everyday happiness. In the process of experiencing, our stories may not always be pleasant. They can be completely unpleasant, but they take on warmth in our memories.Should you value your momentary happiness above the global assessment of your whole life? This is already a philosophical question, not a psychological one.
ReadRate recommends other recent books on parenting:
1. How to spoil a child with education. Bad advice. Virginie Dumont
Moms seem to have gone crazy! On specialized sites, they can spend days discussing the benefits of swaddling in the first two weeks of a child’s life and arrange battles over the first complementary food product.And the topic of diapers and potty training drives them to a frenzy! New book “How to spoil a child with education. Harmful advice ”is a mirror that shows us in all its glory, disheveled and with anxiety syndrome. Relax, laugh and understand that diapers or the fact that the grandmother gave the child a spoonful of juice, no one has ever died.
2. Way of the dolphin. How to raise happy and successful children without turning into a “tigress” mother.Shimi Kang
3. How to become a Montessori mom. We grow up intelligently and joyfully. Irina Maltseva
Every parent hears about “Montessori principles” – how they are good and useful for educating a personality. But not everyone has a desire to understand the methodology thoroughly. Alas, Maria Montessori herself is a good teacher, but not an important writer, and the book “Help Me Do It Myself” is very difficult for non-professionals to read.The teacher Irina Maltseva has laid out the basics of Montessori pedagogy on the shelves, having written the book “How to become a Montessori mother. We grow up intelligently and joyfully. ” Very useful reading, helping to establish reasonable boundaries for the child and at the same time not to encroach on his personality.
4. The emotional intelligence of the child. A practical guide for parents. John Gottman
For adults, and so it is very difficult to cope with their emotions, but what is it like for children! The stereotypes of behavior that we used to consider “correct” do not contribute to the development of the child’s emotional intelligence.John Gottman, professor of psychology at the University of Washington, in his book “The Emotional Intelligence of a Child”, suggests paying attention to the education of feelings by developing a system of three emotional zones that children can understand. When there are rules, it’s always easier to act.90,000 The art of being happy: 607 books
The art of being happy
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Smart Reading. Valuable insights from the best books
This text is an abridged version of Daniel Gilbert’s Stumbling Over Happiness.Only the most valuable thoughts, ideas, cases, examples. About the Book The book Stumbling Over Happiness is about the traps of the imagination. Foresight, according to psychology professor Daniel Gilbert, is the most important function of the brain, therefore …
Calm down, damn it! How to change what you can, put up with everything else and distinguish one from
# life is beautiful. Bestsellers on Happiness Without Compromise
Every day the world gives us new reasons for concern.We learn about the financial crisis from the news, read an angry e-mail from our boss, be late for the airport due to traffic jams, or remember an open loan. In such situations, anger, fear and despair (and even hysteria) are quite natural, not so …
Why do we dream. The Transformative Power of Lucid Dreaming
Foreign educational literature
Being aware of your dreams is like gaining access to a source of previously inaccessible fantasies, subconscious signals and creative problem solutions, says New York Magazine journalist Alice Robb.In this book she provides a detailed overview of the new science of dreaming – objective, modern explored …
Cheryomushki. Energy of love
Mid-XXI century. Student Yulia and her friend Denis launch a drone in Bitsevsky forest park to film the criminal actions of CenterNefteGaz from above. Yulia is an eco-activist, she is convinced that the age of hydrocarbons is leaving, and the future belongs to renewable energy sources.However, there is another en …
The clock struck a dozen
Big encyclopedia of a small world
Tatyana Viktorovna Babushkina was more accustomed to being the hero of books than their author. Leonid Zhukhovitskiy wrote about the life of the “IT” club – Aesthetics-Creativity-Communication, created by her thirty-five years ago, in the book “Happy are not born”, Evgeny Bogat in the book “Family Heirloom” and many others …
Author’s fairy tales, written for children and adults.These fairy tales help us to fulfill our dreams, become happy and give us the opportunity to see all the good things that the universe gives us! …
Stop doing that shit. Stop self-sabotage and start living to the maximum of
Gary John Bishop
Books to be read before age 35
Stop looking for excuses – start living! Spent all the money you had set aside on nonsense again? Fell in love with the wrong person? Have you laid on sweets and gained those 5 kg that you lost with such difficulty? Are you striving for a better life but fail over and over again? Maybe it’s time to get out of the castle …
I need the best! How not to ruin your life while waiting for the perfect man
Psychology.M & F
Why are so many smart, beautiful, interesting women in their 30s still single? How to “have time” to get married and have children? What prejudices and misconceptions get in the way of your personal life? Laurie Gottlieb’s new book is a sobering, often funny, sometimes painful, but maximally honest study of women …
Hal Elrod: Magic of the Morning. How the first hour determines your success. Sammari
Smart Reading.Valuable insights from the best books
About the Book What if you could miraculously wake up one day and find that your life has changed for the better? “Magic of the Morning” is a book for people who need a good personal strategy, correct ritualization of everyday life. Author – creator and inspirer of the documentary “Miracles …
Cow wines. Part 1
Modern foreign literature
This book has become one of the most popular and best-selling books in Latin America, and is also included in the curriculum of many educational institutions in various countries, and has been translated into several languages.This is a collection of short stories, parables and philosophical discourses on human values, which are …
I don’t have to shit! Manifesto Against Remorse
Psychological bestseller (Eksmo)
Someone else’s framework prevents you from doing what you can really excel at. They block your energy and motivation! “Ditch the ‘should’ for the sake of ‘want’, the author urges.“Only in this case you will have a real chance to become happy and truly successful!” …
Contemporary romance novels
Based on a true story on the road to happiness. Lines collected from experiences, dreams and naive expectations. This book is part of a story called “The Way to Happiness. Protopchi Yourself”, which describes a long journey, permeated with incredible, vivid acquaintances with men who, like a step …
How to tame emotions and turn fear into opportunities, anger into energy, sadness into talents
Do you think emotions belong to the sphere of psychology or education? The book contains many interesting discoveries from the world of feelings and emotions.The rules and laws by which emotions live are revealed consistently, simply and clearly. Added practical tasks, by completing which, you will learn how to control …
Work with me. Take action and follow me. A compendium of practical recommendations for improvement since
How to be happy? How to heal your body? How to avoid negative emotions? Where to get motivation? The reader will find the answers to these questions in the book, having become acquainted with the practices that have been verified by the author on personal experience and have been successfully tested by a large number of people.And having learned to use them …
Box of eclipses. Trilogy
Instability, hopelessness, the collapse of ideals, uselessness give rise to new moral foundations and principles. The work reflects three existential stages of the substantiation of being. Aesthetic: the meaning of life is pleasure, ethical: the ideal is a sense of duty, religious: the meaning is in serving God through suffering.G …
The fate of an extraordinary person
Each person is unique and individual, we are all different, but very often we experience the same feelings. We all suffer, we all feel sad at some point. It’s time to pull yourself together and start acting! In this book I will not talk about how to magically get rid of the sadness of life, how to find positive …
Just be YOURSELF! Give up on perfectionism and turn flaws into virtues
# life is beautiful.Bestsellers on Happiness Without Compromise
New book by Sarah Knight, author of the bestselling books Magical Don’t Care and Just f * cking do it, about the importance of being yourself. There are always a lot of advisers around: relatives, acquaintances, colleagues – who “kindly” explain how we should live and what to do, at the same time convincing us to push our “oddities” aside …
I promise you freedom
Modern foreign literature
Imagine that the employer is going to fire you and you have only ten days to change the situation, but on the same evening your spouse reports that your union has lost its meaning … Moreover, both believe that it is you who are to blame for everything.However, how can you change yourself? But now a friend talks to …
Christ was a woman (collection)
Contemporary Russian literature
A woman can perish, but she can also be resurrected if she is looking for harmony with the world for a long time and honestly; and if, of course, he believes this world. A daring book about the adventures of Femininity …
Hat with fruit
Short romance novels
Traveling across Europe is a lucky break that not everyone gets.A trip from Berlin to Paris in the company of Anna’s German friend, who is ready to become both a guide and a translator for Lina, is a double success. Lina was looking forward to a two-week holiday, but just before her departure, sad news came – Gert died …
Big encyclopedia of a small world
Tatyana Viktorovna Babushkina was more accustomed to being the hero of books than their author.Leonid Zhukhovitskiy wrote about the life of the “IT” club – Aesthetics-Creativity-Communication, created by her thirty-five years ago, in the book “Happy are not born”, Evgeny Bogat in the book “Family Heirloom” and many others …
Day of happiness – today
Contemporary Russian literature
This largely autobiographical book tells about the personal experience of grief over the sudden loss of a father, using a systematic approach based on various psychological studies.On the way to the restoration of spiritual harmony after the tragedy, the author comes to the conclusion that it is necessary to stop from …
If you want to be happy. Textbook for psychotherapy and psychology of communication
Psychological workshop (Phoenix)
The author, like Kozma Prutkov, believes that a person’s happiness is in his own hands. And if he knows how to communicate with himself, finds a common language with loved ones, is able to manage a group and quickly get used to a new situation, he is doomed to happiness.The author uses his rich clinical experience and psychological experience …
Life is like a suitcase. Smart Tips for Happy Travels around the World and Throughout Life
Maria Letizia Polverini
“Just try to remove something unnecessary from your precious suitcase. If you succeed, then you will be able to remove unnecessary things from your life. ” Maria Letizia Polverini – a writer from Rome, an avid tourist and an expert in smart cleaning – shares her own experience, offers valuable life hacks, …
Yesterday, today and tomorrow
Foreign business literature
Presents 52 lessons taken from Hill’s work that you can master and apply in your life.If you read this book correctly, it will only take you a year to complete your studies. It is written so that one lesson can be learned each week about position, success and …
Brief contents of the book: Hormones of happiness. How to train the brain to produce serotonin, dopamine, endorph
Smart Reading. Valuable insights from the best books
This text is an abridged version of Loretta Breuning’s book “Hormones of Happiness.How to train the brain to produce serotonin, dopamine, endorphin and oxytocin. Only the most valuable thoughts, ideas, cases, examples. About the book Physiologist and researcher of brain structures Loretta Breuning in her book “Hormones of Happiness. As with …
Contemporary Russian literature
Young and successful Maxim, tired of a crazy work schedule, changes jobs in the hope of balancing career and family life.But, the more time he spends at home, the more he understands that the dillies’ expectations were not met. His best friend, in conversations with whom he spends rare free parties …
Reclaim Your Splendor: A Life-Changing Self-Esteem Guide
Healthy self-esteem helps us set and achieve inspiring goals, build strong bonds with people, deal with adversity, and maintain confidence in times of adversity.When we lack self-esteem, we risk falling into a downward spiral, with each turn of which an underestimated sa …
Tenth Island. How I found myself, the joy of life and unexpected love
Hugge. Cozy books about happiness
When you leave work in disgrace, and your boyfriend hints that he is not ready for a serious relationship, you want to hide from the whole world under the covers and do nothing.Or, like the heroine of this book, Diana Markum, you can go to the Azores, where the ocean breaks against volcanic rocks, whales let st …
And suddenly I saw … myself
I am me. He is me too, but earlier, many years ago. The day before yesterday, as well as yesterday, he is – and this is me, but in a body, bodily embodiment. The one who walks by you every day without touching you is also me, and there is the one arguing with you, proving something to you – and this is he, that is, me, but years ago….
Ichigo Ichie. The Japanese art of being happy here and now
Hugge. Cozy books about happiness
Ichigo Ichie is the Japanese art of filling every moment of life with joy. In a literal sense, this term means: what we are living now will never happen again, which means that every moment should be perceived as a true beautiful treasure.Try to let the spirit of Ichigo Ichie into your life …
Zen happiness. The art of loving what is and creating what one wants
Psychological bestseller (Eksmo)
Everything that is done is for the best, such is the Zen law of happiness. This ancient Eastern wisdom seems naive, but by accepting it, you can create a personal philosophy and overcome difficult life periods, fatigue and stress.Change your reaction to events, learn to see the good in every day and …
How to be happy. Well-being Formula
Happiness is the result of right actions. Right actions start with right thoughts, and right thoughts are triggered by right actions. What are we missing in this cycle and why can’t we become happy? How to achieve daily good mood and complete satisfaction in your life …
Best Place Ever – Right Here
Bar on the edge of a dream
The loss of two parents in one day at once turns the Iris universe.She’s only 36, but she doesn’t want to live. To interrupt her suffering, she goes to the bridge, but a desperate step is not destined to happen. Unexpectedly, Iris finds herself in a strange cafe, which she has never seen before. There she meets …
Tales from grandmother’s chest
The author invites readers, young and old, to go on a fascinating journey through fairy tales.Magical stories about princes and sorcerers, about children and animals, about the eternal struggle between good and evil, reality and fiction – all this and much more is fabulously intertwined in the author’s new book. Perhaps …
In contrast to Schopenhauer, I am an incorrigible optimist and believe that life is measured by joys and pleasures, and not by the absence of suffering.You can, of course, say that sweet is NOT bitter, but there is also salty and sour; and in general – who likes what. The world is full of suffering; but – exactly …
Brief contents of the book: Rules of longevity. The results of the largest study of centenarians. Dan
Smart Reading. Valuable insights from the best books
This text is an abridged version of Dan Buettner’s book The Rules of Longevity.The results of the largest study of centenarians. ” Only the most valuable thoughts, ideas, cases, examples. About the book Dan Buettner has collected nine convincing and simple rules of longevity all over the world. The results of the largest study …
Tranquility. How to keep calm
Do you often lose your temper, you are constantly provoked, there are conflicts around you, it is difficult for you to control your emotions, do you break loose, experience stress or depression, constant depression? This book will help you better understand what’s going on.There is no complicated honey …
Happy every day
It’s time for women! A modern woman understands that there are a lot of cases in which she is involved today. However, the main thing remains for her – to be just a happy woman. A happy woman is able to share her happiness with her beloved man, children, the whole world. The book is full of strategic ideas …
Brown-eyed rock climber
Biographies and Memoirs
A story about a strong girl from a provincial town who had an accident at the age of three.Comparing herself to a rock climber, she walked towards her goal, looking for ways to solve the problem that prevented her from living. Sometimes she broke down from powerlessness and injustice, but then, not wanting to give up …
Code of Slenderness. Laws of the Country Slender
In this book, the authors not only acquaint the reader with the language and concepts of the wonderful Land of the Slender, but also analyze in detail the laws governing life in it.Compliance with these laws allows a person to become a full citizen of a new country. All this is the institution of the Order of Slenderness, intended for …
Bride for Dad
Short romance novels
What if you are already over forty, and your own father suddenly decided to arrange a personal life? Moreover, a lady who you hate from childhood claims for the role of stepmother … Oddly enough, Anastasia manages to find a worthy way out of this impasse….
Someone else’s face
Short romance novels
On the threshold of forty years, Sonya fell in love. The man of her dreams turned out to be hopelessly married and, moreover, a fatal handsome man who attracted female looks. To raise her self-esteem, Sonya thought about plastic surgery. However, the subsequent events forced her to change her mind. …
Defeating stress.RELOAD: Recover Smart
The art of manipulation
Henrik Fexeus is a famous Swedish psychologist and specialist in non-verbal communication, the author of several best-selling books and author’s methods. His books have sold over 1.2 million copies worldwide. The new book, co-authored with journalist Katharina Enblad, focuses on topics that …
Viktor Frankl: Say Yes to Life.Psychologist in a concentration camp. Sammari
Biographies and Memoirs
Smart Reading. Valuable insights from the best books
About the book The psychotherapist and philosopher Viktor Frankl from 1942 to 1945 had no name, no personal documents, no rights and no future. There was only the number of the prisoner of the Nazi camp – 119104. “The meaning of suffering was revealed to us, it became a task, the covers were removed from it, and we saw that suffering …
The logic of human life
We all know what we need for happiness: family, children, money, position in society, success, love, education … We work hard for this and often even achieve what we want.But why do people so often feel cheated after getting rich? Why, at the pinnacle of power, a person suddenly discovers that on …
The power of love, smile and kindness …
Contemporary Russian literature
How much is needed to bring up happy and successful children? This book reveals the secret of happy families based on the story of one of them. After all, you don’t need much for happiness … Here, together with the heroes, you will experience the feelings of joy from the birth of a baby, longing from the ordeal of temporary separation … Feel the power of influence …
Vow of silence
Contemporary Russian literature
Galina, an aspiring opera singer, would never have believed that her voice, her divine gift, could suddenly disappear.When this happened, Galina was overcome by despair. However, love can sometimes work miracles … …
Get a decent upbringing, a higher education, a good job, marry someone who is in no way worse than you, have a big salary, a car, your own apartment or house, communicate with the right people, give your children all the best, become a respected person … Why do many dream of …
Through the tunnel: discover the pain of the past to find the courage to live
The life of people who have experienced trauma in the past – psychological or physical – and could not overcome its consequences, is full of emotional pain, they live as if in darkness.Although they can give the impression of those who are satisfied with life and their destiny. At the same time, this is only an external impression, on the very …
What we believe in. Reflections, Prayers and Meditations for a Meaningful Life
Book for the soul
The book “What We Believe” will be your best friend and companion in any situation. In frustrated feelings or in seventh heaven with happiness – open this book and you will find inspiration or consolation in it: depending on what you need at a particular moment.Life and sincere philosophy of Maria Shriver commitment …
Candidate for rejection
Contemporary Russian literature
This is life!
Many people dream of being “not like everyone else”. Anton Borisov is a “glass man” – like everyone else, only better: kinder, smarter, more sensitive, brighter and happier! Especially happier, because he is the one who knows that happiness is to be. And be whoever you want.”Candidate for Culling” – Honest Autobiography …
Year without purchases
Kate Flanders never considered herself a shopaholic. But still, her money went to no one knows where, and the house was bursting with unnecessary things. She was also unhappy. And then she set herself a bold goal: for a whole year not to buy anything except the bare essentials. This book is Kate’s account of her experiment …
Proverbs @ ru.15 minutes of love
Contemporary Russian literature
Proverbs @ ru
You are holding in your hands an illustrated book from the bestselling series “Proverbs @ ru”, which contains the most sensual, poignant and touching parables about love. This edition has one very interesting feature. Each of the 67 small stories will be remembered forever. Everyone sees love in their own way. We sun …
Why are we sick.Luule Viilma’s teachings
Recipes for health
This book will help you to understand the root cause of many diseases, to find ways of cure. For a wide range of readers …
The lotus grows out of the mud. How to Convert Suffering to Happiness
Tit Nat Khan
Tit Nat Khan. Author’s series
The secret of happiness is not to escape suffering, but to recognize and transform it.In this best-selling book, Tit Nat Khan – a wise monk from Vietnam – provides detailed practices to help you do just that. Titus Nath Khan mentions that people tend to shy away from suffering by resorting to distractions, at …
Moments of happiness
In the book “Prometheus” Alex Dubas exposes his soul to the readers, shares his most intimate thoughts, in order to give us hope, like Prometheus.In addition to Prometheus, on the pages you will find Hemingway, Remarque, Theseus and even Grishkovets. “Besides angels, there are demons. And I want to speak about it. Go to …
How to make the weather
Contemporary Russian literature
On a winter evening, an ordinary thirty-year-old boy Mitya Nitochkin went to Chistye Prudy. He is the dreamy invisibility of the greedy metropolis. The New Year brought all the worst: they were fired from work, the girlfriend left and demands to leave the apartment as soon as possible, and the future life is covered with thick fog.They …
Joie de vivre. Secrets of Happiness in French
Hugge. Cozy books about happiness
For many, France is synonymous with pleasure. The French really know how to enjoy life and know a lot about the art of carelessness. Savor every bite, passionately argue with friends at a small table with a checkered tablecloth, experience the intoxicating joy of trips to nature, have the audacity of life …
Modern foreign literature
Janusz Wisniewski studies love as a living organism – placing it in different life situations, changing place, time and characters.He tests love and even dissects it, trying to find an answer to the question as ancient as time: what is Love and is it possible to control this powerful elemental feeling? But everyone …
Extremely gifted – therefore unhappy 🙁 How to use your potential
Psychology. Master Tips
Do you feel too vulnerable, are you easily offended? Do you think that your friends and family do not understand you, or maybe even consider you “strange”? Is it difficult for you to build relationships, and do you often get depressed? Do you have tons of ideas, but you cannot implement them? You are bored with work because you cannot re …
# yavsemogu – epidemic of happiness
Short romance novels
This draft is for those who have long dreamed of changing their lives, living it differently, being filled with happiness and helping others do it.There will be many exciting romantic stories, practices, experiences, support and happiness! Tell yourself “I can do anything!” …
Toxic myths. Stop believing nonsense – find out what really makes life better
# life is beautiful. Bestsellers on Happiness Without Compromise
In his book, psychotherapist and TV presenter Venus Nikolino convincingly refutes well-known psychological myths that not only do not work, but also fundamentally spoil our lives! All these “motivating” quotes like “just love yourself” or “follow the bliss” have nothing to do with reality …
Prize from the oligarch
Contemporary Russian literature
Journalist Marina flew to a distant Siberian city in a festive mood.Firstly, the New Year is coming, and secondly, she has just become a laureate of an award established by the oil tycoon. This means that there is a gala evening ahead, a festive concert and a substantial monetary bonus. However, from the very beginning in …
Look closely, now you will see focus
Hello friend! Have you ever wondered how your life would change if you made a different decision at some point? Have you ever wondered how to make your life happy? In this small book, I share my opinion on the everyday “difficulties” that arise …
Portrait on a T-shirt
Contemporary Russian literature
Despondency, as you know, is a great sin, and even complaining about fate is a pointless occupation.However, we sometimes complain and ask: for what and for how long? Not every person is able to get out of life’s troubles, retaining all the best in himself and not getting embittered. So the two heroines of this story act completely differently, …
The art of happy memories. How to create and remember the best moments
New book by the founder and director of the Institute for the Study of Happiness in Copenhagen, author of the bestselling books “Hygge.The Secret of Danish Happiness ”and“ Lykke. In search of the secrets of the happiest people. ” Do you remember your first kiss? And your first day at school? Or how the first rays of springtime are felt on the face …
A small book of happiness. Where Joy Hides and How to Find It
Ingrid Fetell Lee
Have you ever wondered why we are so attracted to the sunset that we stop to look at its red-orange glow? Or why do people specially go to Japan to see the cherry blossoms? Why many – regardless of gender, age, culture or ethnicity – cannot …
Cozy.The art of feeling comfortable always and everywhere
Hugge. Cozy books about happiness
The word “comfort” can be associated with hot chocolate, crackling fire in the fireplace, snowflakes outside the window – with tangible magic. But what about learning how to feel at home no matter where you are? With the book “Cozy” you can make an uncomfortable situation comfortable …
Hello, meditation.How to get rid of suffering and find happiness
We are always looking for answers to some of our questions. But what if all knowledge is already within us? Close your eyes and see … This book contains brief information on the essence of meditation practices. The author describes his experience and shares simple recommendations to help you start your journey of self-discovery …
Like planning any event or throwing spontaneous parties? Do you prefer a large and noisy company or cozy get-togethers with close friends? With this book, you can easily embody any of your ideas.Celebrity actress and fashion icon Kate Hudson shares her secrets on how to create your own …
Cup with heart
Contemporary Russian literature
Dentist Valentina hated the 8 March holiday. She considered him too hypocritical and “gender” to genuinely rejoice at the tulips on duty from male colleagues. However, the accidental patient made the girl look forward to the onset of the previously hated day….
Planet of the nervous. How to Live in a Thriving PanicWorld
Our world has changed. Despite all the benefits of modern life, we experience and worry like never before. We watch global catastrophes on the screens of gadgets in real time, follow the “ideal” life of other people and run with all our might to stay in place. Right now we need …
Order outside, calm inside.An easy path to harmony
Gretchen Rubin knows firsthand that creating order can make our lives happier, more productive and more enjoyable. But for most, a one-size-fits-all solution and hard guidelines don’t work. This is because we are all different and we all have our own ideas about what order and comfort are. In the new book of G …
Vladimir Yakovlev: “Happiness is a destructive concept”
Nowadays there is another popular theory, which is that everything exists only in our head.You can program yourself, thoughts can be tuned to a certain wave, and you can also send requests to the Universe, and it will surely hear you. Does this idea somehow correlate with your philosophy?
You know, I think this is all complete nonsense. The universe doesn’t have to hear you. My friend, Rabbi Shimon Levin, once said a wonderful thing: “Woke up? Are you breathing? The rest is a bonus. ” The idea that everything can be programmed is based on the desire for control, the flip side of which is self-blame.We do not define the program of our development. It seems to me that it is very important to understand and accept. It immediately becomes easier.
The world is being rebuilt before our eyes. Remember how twenty years ago everything and everyone was getting younger: singers, models, startups? Just as actively, intensively, everything is growing up now – films, books, TV series, magazine covers. The world has changed. Life has changed. And social stereotypes did not have time to change. It is disgusting that we ourselves, “people of any age”, are also somehow not quite sure about our cause.We are the first generation to live without instructions a completely new period of life that did not exist before. We do not have role models, there is no clear generally accepted knowledge of what is allowed and what is not.
What do you think about the increase in the retirement age in Russia in connection with your theory that after 50 all the fun is just beginning? But many perceived it as a “stab in the back” …
It is impossible to take away from people what belongs to them. It doesn’t matter whether it’s about big or small money.Pensions from a certain age belong to people, this is their property, for which they worked. Taking this money away from people is a robbery.
Even if the lifespan has increased, people should not be forced to work longer. It is necessary to create for people real opportunities for professional implementation, if they have this desire.
The fact that the life span has increased does not mean that living after 60 has become easier. Today’s 60-year-olds are living their lives in a new model for the first time.It is not simple. The state should help people in this, and not complicate their life with additional obligations.
There is something that you can save on and something that you cannot save on. The comfort and tranquility of people over the age of 60 is something that cannot be saved on.
Happiness is free
You can learn happiness for free. All you need to do is know what exactly makes you happy and find opportunities to do it.
My Way to Happiness
My path to happiness began with this post, when within one minute I wrote a list of what makes me happy: children, a smiling husband, communication with family, my hobbies.This was the beginning of my awareness of the happiness of .
Then a lot of things were added to this list: sleep, food, self-development, the search and realization of a vocation, etc. The list was long, but as it turned out, my addictions to happiness were no different from the addictions of other people, known for many thousands of years (Ancient Vedas), which are now confirmed by modern research in psychology (positive psychology).
People are made happy:
- pleasure (food, sex, movement, sleep, etc.))
- passion for business, occupation (children, work, personal projects, etc.)
- realization of the meaning of your life (knowing your strongest sides and using them in the name of belonging and serving something greater than yourself).
The first source of happiness – pleasure
These are the most affordable, but also the most short-lived. Pleasures also have a downside – you need to know when to stop, otherwise it is easy to become addicted. You can read more about how to enjoy it right here.
The second source of happiness – hobbies (creativity)
This is more reliable and lasting happiness. Doing what you love, a person can feel happiness for a very long time. The quintessence of such a passion is the state of “flow”, when a person does not notice the time, dissolving in himself (more on this here). However, it is not difficult to go too far in hobby – to become a workaholic or addicted to the positive results of your work.
The only happiness that is inexhaustible in its essence is the realization of the meaning of life – a mission, the goal of which is something greater than yourself.
This happiness most often concerns and is based on one of the virtues – the best human qualities: love, wisdom, courage, moderation, justice and spirituality (you can read more about these qualities in the materials of the happiness marathon, which I conducted on my blog).
The feeling of happiness is not lost in this case, until you lose the meaningfulness of your actions. For example, today I see blogging about happiness as part of my mission in life.
The ability to feel this or that happiness depends on the age and level of development of a person
In youth (up to 15-25 years old) cognition of pleasures plays an important role.A person wants to try everything that the body is capable of. As you grow older, the sphere of passion begins to play a large role in a person’s life. Happiness becomes the opportunity to do what you love, be it work, creativity or raising children. By 35-40 (sometimes earlier – with the birth of children), many people experience a reassessment of values, and they are looking for the meaning of life, mission and opportunities for its implementation.
In any of the three types of happiness that you choose for yourself and which you live, you need to be able to organize your life in such a way as to find the time and energy for what makes you happy.
This is the topic that my blog is about – finding what makes you happy, and finding the time and energy to do this happy occupation. All blog posts are free. I will be glad if you remain my reader.
And of course, for those who came here for the first time, I have a few gifts.
Gift number 1 – for mothers exhausted by household life and work
For mothers who always have things to do – above the roof, and their strength is running out, I have a very informative video based on the materials of the webinar on how to become more energetic, efficient and effective.
You can download it here.
Gift number 2 – for mothers who work or are going to work from home
This is a recording of the webinar “How to plan your day so you can stay energized to work from home”
You can download it here.
Gift number 3 – for those who want to finally pay attention to themselves and their husband.
Recording a webinar on how to find time and energy for yourself and your HUSBAND! You can download it here.
In the comments, you can leave your feedback on my free products, as well as ask a question on the topic of happiness or personal effectiveness, which I will try to answer.
PLEASE NOTE! All the offers that I talk about at the webinars are no longer valid. Take a look at my “Happiness Store” and you will find even better deals 🙂