I think I was expecting facile tips like something out of a consumer magazine. Instead, author and professor David Toffley's brief book BEING HAPPY is about achieving self-actualization. The idea is that if you live in the present and by your own code, you will be more than happy. The book is divided into 12 main sections:
-- Experience things fully, vividly, selflessly: be mindful (present) and accepting of your circumstances; awaken your inner observer, and forget about time
-- On-going choice between safety and risk : risk offers growth, be mindful of your choices
-- Let your true self emerge: be honest with yourself, follow your intuition
-- Listen to your own tastes: don't rely on other's approval or disapproval to regulate your behavior
-- Use your intelligence: do what you do well, whether it's big or small
-- Make peak experiencing more likely: by being more honest with yourself, you can be more internally consistent, and therefore actualized
-- Know Thyself
-- Summary of characteristics: a paragraph-long recap
-- SA people are like this: what being self-actualized looks like in practice; basically, being independent, thoughtful, capable, stalwart, and appreciative
-- An example: a peak experience brought on by taking time to notice moss.
I had heard about self-actualization before, and was intrigued by the book, but it left me wanting more. How do you achieve each particular step? What do they look like in action? The example at the end really moved me and made me wish there were more examples scatted throughout.
If you are not familiar with the quest for self-actualization/enlightment/satori, this book is a decent primer that may whet your appetite for more. If you are familiar with these concepts, then I doubt this book will tell you anything new. In short, if the concept intrigues you, then get the book - you have nothing to lose and potentially much to gain.