on 27 November 2012
Action-based happiness is a marvellous concept. With a superb array of stories, anecdotes, quotes, experiences, definitions, recommendations, tips, Liggy shows that happiness is something we have control on. We spend indeed an inordinate effort making ourselves unhappy. Next time we are paid a compliment, instead of politely declining it as our parents taught us to do, why not acknowledge it, relish it, roll ourselves into it? In the patchwork of our lives, a small grey square will become vividly coloured; a bit like the transformation of Pleasantville. Splendid!
My favourite chapter is Bounce Ability. Many authors write about resilience but this is the first time I read about bounce ability; something that really speaks to me. As my years passed by, I never had a difficulty with resilience but I had a strong feeling that I was not bouncing as high as I used to. And it was not improving. It is probably just an impression; I certainly can bounce over that wall that looked far too high.
I like the way the book is written; it packs a lot in 200 pages. I like the great optimism that does not forget reality. The format is also convenient to refer back to a specific subject. How to be Happy could actually be a handbook for Zest for Life.
What is the chapter that you love most?
on 5 November 2012
I came across this book unexpectedly. I have been fortunate enough to never suffer from depression. I grew up in a supportive & loving environment & have always considered myself to be blessed with a happy nature. So I was not expecting to find so much of value and interest in this wonderful book.
If, like me, you are leaving the relatively carefree days of your youth behind, no doubt you will find middle & later life brings with it far more complex issues that need to be faced, like illness, bereavement etc.
This book is easy to read and well structured into 12 interesting & far reaching chapters, each of which begins with an amusing story. It is full of good ideas & great quotes ranging from Aristotle to Tolstoy and beyond. It has plenty of humourous & uplifting anecdotes and is engaging and enlightening. It shares Webb's own personal experiences, including tales from her work with the UN, travelling to places like Afghanistan & Ethiopia, along with the wisdom of others & plenty of positive psychology.
I found this book to be a timely & realistic reminder of all the basics that add up to the heart of what we are ultimately striving for - a happy and meaningful life.
Buy it and enjoy it yourself before passing it on to someone you care about. It's also great for angst ridden teenagers, struggling to be at ease with themselves in the fast paced, consumer led society we live in.
How to Be Happy as a self-help book is not unique in the advice it gives, however, this book is far more than that and from page 1, reading it is like a breath of fresh air.
The subject matter in itself is intriguing, as happiness is not easy to define unlike, wealth, health or material success. Most people when asked what happiness is have no idea and it is a subject that has exercised the minds of philosophers over the ages. The answer is not all that clear but has a lot to do with having a balanced approach to life.
The author reflects and considers just how people's emotional well-being is affected on a daily basis by outside factors such as work, relationships, life, love, drama and trauma. The book gives useful tools and helpful hints on how to deal with what everyday life throws at you.
This is may not be the answer to all your problems but gives food for thought and consideration to strategies that may improve your all round well-being and therefore improve your chance at being happy. Definitely worth reading.
I have read a lot of self help books over the years - I think it is fair to categorise How to Be Happy as a self help book. I must confess to being something of a cynic where they are concerned. So often they are restating the obvious, going over old ground, or just beating out one or a very few points at length. However, this book is far more than that and from page 1, reading it is like a breath of fresh air.
The subject is intriguing. It is not nearly so easy to define happiness as, for example, wealth, health or material success. The author starts off by considering what exactly it is, which is a subject which has exercised the minds of philosophers over the ages. The answer is not all that clear, but has nothing to do with the pursuit of material goods and a lot to do with having a balanced approach to life.
The author goes on to consider various factors which may contribute to the happiness of the individual. These are, for example, De-stress, Managing Change, Positive Relationships and Life Balance. It is easy to see that if we do not get these areas in balance, they are likely to inhibit our search for happiness. The presentation is very clear, the message is split down into bite sized chunks, and the key points are reiterated at the end of each chapter. There are also some nice thought provoking examples along the way.
I thought the content was very comprehensive and there was plenty of food for thought. This is not a book which ends with a series of conclusions. It is more a detailed consideration of strategies to improve mental and physical well being and hence improve one's chance of being happy. The author herself has suffered the occasional bout of depression and has clearly made an in depth study of the subject. This is a worthwhile read for just about anyone.
on 7 October 2012
Sometimes it's easy to lose sight of the fact that we are responsible for our own happiness. Instead we seek happiness from relationships, jobs, family and material possessions as if they owe us. Yes, these factors can and do make us happy, but only if we have the right attitude towards them in the first place. And the expectation that happiness is a right and will just happen without some thought and effort on our own part is what I think stands in the way of that happiness for a lot of people, including myself. And it did stand in my way before I read this book...
Liggy Webb has put together a comprehensive set of common sense, easy-to-implement tools and strategies to inspire and encourage change for those in pursuit of happiness. Those of us seeking guidance back to a more positive frame of mind are often too low and despondent to come up with effective happiness-inducing exercises and coping mechanisms ourselves. Thankfully the author of this book has done it for us. When I'm not feeling at my best, most positive and cheerful, the last thing I want to is to be preached at to be happier, but I do still seek out self-help books. This book stood out in that it managed to inspire, encourage and motivate me towards feeling more happy and content without preaching, patronizing, making me feel a failure for not being naturally happy, or making me feel that the changes I needed to make were unachievable.
Direct, to-the-point and easy-to-read, illustrated with inspiring stories and quotes and underpinned (but not bogged down) by authoritative research, this book is the perfect instruction manual on the manufacture of one's own happiness. Each chapter is summarized with a concise bullet point list of top tips, and the author makes implementation of change straightforward and, most importantly, achievable in bite-sized chunks.
This book has been remarkably beneficial to a number of facets of my life, including work, relationships and family. It has without doubt done what it promises, and has shown me how to be far happier, more confident and nurture a positive attitude that has, incredibly, shone through to the extent that people around me have commented on how much `better' I seem. Try it and see!
im not normally one for self help books as they tend to be full of unhelpful silly phrases and sayings which only tend to talk down to the reader but this book caught me on an off day so i ordered it hopeful of some ideas.
i have to say for the most part its a good and helpful book , yes it has quotes and sayings that claim to help you feel positive which i dont feel add anything, they simply make you think for a few mins but you forget them as quick as youve thought about them but what this book did do was allow me to see where sometimes i and in fact all of us go wrong in what we expect from the world and from others around us.the bulk of the book is more than engaging and i only skipped a few small parts which held no interest personally to me but i did actually read the book all in one afternoon as i couldnt put it down. ive learnt a fair amount about myself and others i spend time with and am hopful it will help me to make some changes. i have also passed it to my teen daughter and she has already said it makes vaild points to her so fingers crossed some happier people.
all in all not a bad self help book
Nothing wrong with reiterating common sense and that catalyst may be sufficient for many to address some basic ways to mitigate unhappiness e.g. Avoid negative thoughts. Full marks however for recognising that depression is a medical condition and may require professional help beyond what a self help book can achieve.
It should always be stressed that there is no shame in seeking professional help but this book may, for less complex conditions, be sufficient to assist the reader improve their mental outlook.
A means of being happy? No, not in a read of a coupleofhpurs but it is easy to read, contains nothing earth shattering but a useful restating of some simple ways to reduce those negative thoughts.
If you have read my other reviews you will know I have read 100's of self help books over the years. I am a business consultant, peak performance expert, entrepreneur and University lecturer amongst other things. As such I read books in order to improve my knowledge and the advice I can give others. I ordered this book via the Vine programme in the hope I may end up learning something new about how the mind can create happiness.
The saying, "A mind can make a heaven out of hell or a hell out of heaven" is something I strongly believe in. We are in fact masters of our own happiness through the way we view the world around us. I started reading about how cognitive belief systems can control the world we see many years ago when I read Psycho Cybernectics by Maxwell Maltz. The premise of this book is that the way a person sees themselves affects the self esteem and so affects every part of their life, including the ability to be happy. How to be Happy looks at the ideas of "self made" happiness and looks at different stimuli, which can create unhappiness in certain people. The author uses stories at the beginning of each chapter to illustrate her points in a very clear manner. Each chapter is littered with ideas of how to create more happiness in our lives. The book looks at virtually every sphere of life and has tips and solutions for most situations.
It is a clear and easy read. The question you should be asking is, is it worth reading and are the ideas any good? There is very little new information in this book that cannot be gained by reading other books. I have to say Maltz's work is still the definitive guide on how the mind can create a hell out of a heaven. I also feel that reading a good book on self esteem issues and perceptions of personal failure, such as Whats Stopping You, will also help your understanding what determines happiness. Liggy has written a good book and I found it an enjoyable and motivating read, I just feel some people may need more depth to the analysis of what makes them unhappy and more ideas on how to resolve these issues.
Great read, clear and concise but you may need a bit more explanation to achieve the goal of happiness in your life than this one book can achieve on its own.
on 30 October 2012
I have read this book and met Liggy at one of her workshops.
I liked this book. It's a very accessible with short chapters allowing you to dip in and out and just select the area you want to focus on or think about. Each chapter focusses on an area of happiness and generally they have some helpful advice or an exercise that supports the proposition.
A word of caution. It's not heavyweight; this isn't neuroscience or a treatise on advanced psychology. I also would suggest that you probably have to be open to the idea of being happy to enjoy it. I got the book on the back of attending a workshop and it was a very good way to take the learning out of classroom and into real life. I am pretty confident that the book stands up on its own without the workshop and is an easy primer for anyone looking to up their happiness quotient.
on 18 July 2012
Liggy Webb has become a thought leader on wellness in the workplace and she has now turned her attention to the (slightly) broader subject of happiness, building on her previous books. She writes very simply and directly and it is easy to follow her ideas. Dotted throughout the book are some great stories and quotes which illustrate her points beautifully - I particularly like the story of the horse that gets turned into a camel. In today's frenetic world, with economic disasters piled on natural catastrophies, it is easy to forget that being happy is within us all - this book is a beautiful reminder of that and a handbook for achieving that goal.