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How to Do Everything and be Happy: Your Easy-peasy Guide to Creating Happiness [Paperback]

Peter Jones
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 2011
Every now and then a self-help book comes along that questions the very nature of happiness, shakes the very foundation of all the things you hold dear, and forces you to reconsider every assumption you've ever made.

This isn't one of those books.

'How to Do Everything and Be Happy' is a book for ordinary people. With ordinary lives. It's for people who have been ambling along and wondering why they're not - well - just that little bit happier. It's a book for most people. It's a book for you.

Mumbo jumbo & jargon free, 'How to Do Everything and Be Happy' is direct, practical, occasionally witty, and stuffed full of ways to make your life just that bit happier. If you've got a brain in your head, if you can pick up a pen, if you've got half an inkling about what makes you smile, 'How to Do Everything and Be Happy' will show you how to fit those things into your life and, as a consequence, feel much, much happier.

Product details

  • Paperback: 218 pages
  • Publisher: Soundhaven; 1st edition (May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956885608
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956885609
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 13.8 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 490,102 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Peter Jones started professional life as a particularly rubbish graphic designer, followed by a stint as a mediocre petrol pump attendant. After that he got embroiled in the murky world of credit card banking where a freak accident restructured his DNA and gave him 'fix-it-man' superpowers.

Now, Peter spends his days - most of them, anyway - writing. He is the author of two and a half mildly popular self-help books on the subjects of happiness, staying slim and dating. If you're overweight, lonely, or unhappy - he's your guy. His debut novel, snappily entitled "The Good Guy's Guide to Getting The Girl", will be available any year now.

He doesn't own a large departmental store and probably isn't the same guy you've seen on the TV show Dragons' Den.

You can find out more about Peter Jones, his books, speaking engagements and workshops at

Product Description

From the Inside Flap

Once upon a time I got sold a dream: I would grow up big and strong, marry a blonde (my mother was convinced of this), have children of our own, and live happily ever after in a big house, whilst I held down a job as an astronaut. Or a train driver. Or a fireman. And this wasn't a 'maybe' - something to aspire to - this was my God given right. This is what was going to happen. All I had to do was wait. Not that I was very good at waiting. I'm still not very good at waiting! I wanted this idyllic life now, at the tender age of six - or however old I was. I certainly didn't want to wait until next week or some other distant point in the future.

I must have told my parents this because they would smile and tell me not to be in such a rush. "Peter," they would say, "schooldays are the best days of your life."

I beg your pardon? Did you say "schooldays"? You mean the days I spend at school? The days I spend trudging to and from school in all sorts of weather? The days I spend sitting in boring classes? The days I spend dodging projectiles, hiding from the big kids, being chased, getting into fights? The days I spend looking at Melanie Jones or Karen Henderson from across the room - wishing either one was my girlfriend - sending them notes - watching them smooching with the same kids who'd taken my sandwiches earlier that day and thrown them over someone's fence - those days? Those are the best days I'm ever going to have?

Obviously they were mistaken. They had to be. When my parents' eyes glazed over and they talked fondly of 'schooldays' they must have been recalling the days of their own distant childhood, days sitting around camp fires outside the school mud hut, marking bits of slate with chalk whilst village elders told stories of dragons. Their schooldays were clearly a far cry from the mixture of humiliation, bullying and boredom that I endured. They had to be. Because if they weren't, for schooldays to be the 'best' days they would logically have to be followed by 'something worse.'

Then I got older, and things got worse.

Actually, that's not quite true. They didn't get any worse - not really - but they certainly didn't get much better, and they definitely got more complex.

'Work' turned out to be very similar to 'school' - different bullies, same rules, just as boring. And whereas I was given money in return for surrendering five days out of seven - more money than I'd ever dreamed possible - now there was a slew of people queuing up to take it away from me. What's more, all the things I'd looked forward to buying back when having a pay cheque seemed like the answer to everything turned out to cost roughly double the biggest number I could write on a single sheet of paper. And then there were relationships. Just when I'd got classroom note passing down to a fine art, the game changed completely, and note passing wasn't going to cut it.

I could go on, but suffice it to say, the initial 'dream' seemed less and less likely. It was clear that I was never going to be an astronaut. Or a train driver. Or a fireman. It also seemed unlikely that I would ever live in a big house. Big houses needed big money. I was on small to medium money. Two bedroom flat money. It wasn't a bad flat - a little pokey - but it certainly wasn't what I'd been promised. And then on my thirty second birthday I finally realised there was also a distinct possibility that I might never ever find 'the blonde'.

This was a serious blow. Without the blonde I might never be married, I might never have children - and whilst I could probably cope without being married or having kids, or my blonde actually being a blonde ('female' and 'nice' was more than sufficient) I couldn't imagine being single for the rest of my days. That was unacceptable, and something had to be done.

So, for the first time in my life, I actually started to plan, and make lists, and take control of my own destiny. All the techniques you read in this book are basically an extension of the skills I had to develop to avoid a life of bachelorhood.

And you'll be pleased to know that I found the blonde. Took me a few more years, considerable effort on my part, and a somewhat unorthodox approach to dating, but I found her.

And we did marry.

And when she died in my arms three years later I was heartbroken.

It's a funny thing about losing someone you love. After the shock, the first thing you often feel is guilt. Every cross word, every nasty thought, every lie - they all come back to haunt you. And amongst the demons that were queuing up to torment me was the realisation that I wasn't happy. Even when my wife Kate had finally come along, I still wasn't happy.

Of course, there had been happy moments. Quite a lot of moments. And most of them were in the previous three years, and most of them were down to one person, but they were moments none the less. I wanted to be happy all the time. Not just occasionally. Not just for a moment. And for the second time in my life I decided to tackle a problem in the only way I knew how: by making plans, and lists, and taking control of my own destiny.

Welcome to 'How To Do Everything and Be Happy!'
If you're dissatisfied with your life, this book may be for you. If you want to do something - anything - to increase the amount of happiness you feel, this book is probably for you. And if you know how to use a pencil, if you own a diary, if you can make a list, if you're moderately organised, or could be if you had a good enough reason to be, then this book is definitely for you.

Now then, let me tell you about this dream that I have for you.

About the Author

Peter Jones started life as a particularly rubbish Graphic Designer, followed by a stint as a mediocre Petrol Pump Attendant. After that he got embroiled in the murky world of credit cards until a freak accident with a zip zap machine (remember those?) restructured his DNA at the molecular level and gave him entrepreneurial powers.

Now, when Peter's not filling his days with the things he laughably calls work, he's writing. Even as we speak he's finishing up his debut novel, snappily entitled "The Good Guy's Guide to Getting Girls". It's good stuff. Honest.

Peter lives just a few miles outside London with his cat CJ, who's possibly the smartest animal never to have appeared in a cartoon. From his window he can see France and the Eiffel Tower. Or is that Canvey Island Oil Refinery?

He doesn't own a large departmental store and probably isn't the same guy you've seen on the TV show Dragons' Den.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's self-help, Jim, but not as we know it... 3 Jan 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I wouldn't say I'm an avid reader of self-help books but I have gone through quite a few get-organised-sort-yourself-out titles in the last few years. As I read some of them I would nod along at their common sense suggestions and think to myself "oh yes, very good idea, I must do that..." but strangely enough no action was ever taken.

I forget how I came across this book but I suspect I was looking for a guide on how to do everything, so achieving that AND being happy for the Kindle price of 1.99 seemed like quite good value. And indeed it was. For starters, unlike many self-help books out there, Peter Jones goes beyond telling you what you already know and actually includes - wait for it - original ideas! Now, they're not rocket science, but they are different so if you feel like you've tried everything then just give this book a try and you'll see what I mean.

Like many other books of this nature, there are action points, but in this case they are included in such as way that you actually feel compelled to do them! I genuinely stopped at the point where I was instructed to buy a diary and drove to a Staples store that evening to buy a Filofax. I NEVER do that sort of thing - in fact, normally if someone tells me to do something I tend to do the opposite.

I have now implemented most of the ideas from the book, and am combining them with David Allen's Getting Things Done methodology (as Peter Jones also suggests). As a result, I am more focused and have achieved more in the last few months than I have in the last few years! Originally I was focusing on my home life when I started reading the book, but actually I think there have been improvements to my work life too. My boss certainly thinks so!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, easy to read and motivation 31 Dec 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Really enjoyed reading this book and taking some good tips from the helpful exercises within. It is a very easy read and the author has not over complicated his writing.

I very much like the way he gets straight to the point and is very honest in his methods.

Great price and great book!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I can't live without my diary 14 Sep 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
You have really got to love Peter! Not only did he write me a book I picked up just after I started really feeling the agony of depression and work stress, but he has even taken the time out to "chat" with me via Twitter and therefore providing ongoing support. He's like having my own guru!!

This book (kindle edition for me) is really really sensible advice. It does conflict with other self-help style books that I've read, but I'm now finding a happy balance between decluttering and having trophy space, keeping on top of the house and still giving myself the visual reminders that I need to remind me that it's not all bad and I CAN cope.

I always had a diary, but it didn't have everything in. Now it does, it's on my phone and it's synced to that of my husband, so there are no excuses for double bookings, "forgetting" essential housework or taking my me time. I have ticked off one thing on my Now List (which is also on Peter's as outstanding!) but I am finding it hard to set aside Now List and Wish List time, seperating the two and actually being able to progress anything on either without having any money. I have only managed two boxing days and I am learning how to make each one better (start by having them after rather than just before pay day) and I have been getting lots of "good for you" type comments from friends and family which really does reassure me that I needed something to remind me to think of myself more often.

Peter's writing style is humourous and friendly, like having a chat with your best mate over a pint, so it's easy to see where he's coming from and you find yourself replanning the way you do everything as you go through the book - two days!
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
By BlueCat
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've tried reading a fair few of these "be happy" books over the last few years and normally I find them to be either full of new age mumbo jumbo or way too American in their "rah rah rah" style. So I started reading How to Do Everything and Be Happy with some trepidation.

However, it's actually a book that's perfect for anyone living a normal ordinary life who wants to make the most of every day. From the very first suggestion - Boxing Day, a day every month when you do whatever you want - through to setting goals and actually finding the time to achieve them, this book is full of ideas that you will really want to do, rather than airy fairy concepts that you know will never make it off the pages of the book. In fact, I actually found myself making lists and ordering noticeboards and doing everything in the book as I read it - rather than thinking, "Yeah yeah, I might do that one day ..."

Possibly the best part of book is the last section, where there's a summary of all the concepts the book throws up, along with easy checklists that help you put the concepts into action - because thinking positive is all well and good but it's actually doing stuff that makes happiness, well, happen!

Since reading the book I've already made a Now List and a Goals List and have started saving stuff for my Trophy Board ... and it's already made me happier!

Peter Jones writes in a lovely conversation style so he quickly feels like a friend, or perhaps that bloke down the pub or the gym who knows what he's talking about.

I've already recommended this book to my family and friends, my daughter has a copy, a friend has a copy and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to get more out of life but doesn't think reading The Secret is the way it's going to happen ... this is real life ideas for real life happiness.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars simple and easy advice
Funny and easy to read book with some real detail on the plan. On the surface it looks simple but the diary is a good place to start.
Published 3 months ago by Srjane
5.0 out of 5 stars I keep buying this book...
I keep buying this book because when I lend it to friends they keep it! It's brilliant. Easily readable in a couple of days or even less but so good that you want to keep referring... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars a little gem
this book is worth every penny and then some more. ive read a lot of self help books in my time but was never compelled to pick up a pen and work through the exercises. Read more
Published 4 months ago by GingerNuts
2.0 out of 5 stars Middle of the road
I am interested in the subject but found this book a little lacking in substance. I like the idea of "boxing day" once a month and this suggestion is worth the price of... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Daniel
1.0 out of 5 stars not impressed!
I've no idea how I got this but it wasn't very good and I wouldn't recommend it at all to anyone
Published 6 months ago by brian mowatt
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for me.
Lots of stuff about the Authors life, and while it is quite funny, you kind of want it to get on to practical things to help you. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Kindlekate
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Loved it really motivational thank you. Lots to consider adapt and use in own way. Liked style of writing to
Published 6 months ago by HRH
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish I could give this book 6 stars
My fiancé & I loved reading Peter's book and have scheduled time for regular Now days & D days throughout 2014. Read more
Published 6 months ago by David Moore
5.0 out of 5 stars This is what you call self-help
This is one of the best self help books that I know will really work. What a great read, I couldn't put it down. I am now working through every step of what he suggests.
Published 7 months ago by kelly Ann Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Click the 'add to cart' button - best money you'll spend today!
I bought this book after reading How to Eat Loads and Stay Slim by Peter and Della, it was a no-brainer for me as I really like Peter's work. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Shelley Wilson
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