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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Got Happiness?
I've read a lot of happiness books and those written for the popular read always seem to fall into one of two general categories. Some of them, like Finding Happiness in a Frustrating World, are based on scientific research and what has positively been proven to make people happier in controlled trials. Yet others take a less scientific approach and try to make you...
Published on 3 Jan. 2009 by Beth

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings
I have mixed feelings with respect to whether or not this book is helpful.

I bought it thinking it would be an extension or development of ideas that I have previously found useful - the biggest one being that happiness is within you, all the time. and it's true, the author does expand these ideas. And yet, I found my buoyant mood somewhat damped on reading...
Published on 18 Aug. 2011 by MousieTongue's KM


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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Got Happiness?, 3 Jan. 2009
I've read a lot of happiness books and those written for the popular read always seem to fall into one of two general categories. Some of them, like Finding Happiness in a Frustrating World, are based on scientific research and what has positively been proven to make people happier in controlled trials. Yet others take a less scientific approach and try to make you happier by re-framing your thinking through wisdom and enlightening stories- which is just what you'll get in Happiness Now!: Timeless Wisdom for Feeling Good FAST.

Now while I'm a little more biased towards the scientific approach, let it be said there is MUCH to be gained by reading a book like this. It's what I like to think of as a "cognitive therapy" approach to making one happier. Cognitive therapy is a type of psychotherapy that helps people overcome their problems by identifying and changing dysfunctional thinking- which is just how I feel this book accomplishes its goal of trying to make people happier.

One interesting point of the book is that happiness is a decision, and that you can have it right now- hence the title of the book. Of course if it was thar easy, you or I wouldn't need to be reading a book about how to be happy, now would we? Therefore, the bulk of the book is spent discussing obstacles that get in the way.

To that end, one of the many quotes in the book goes like this, "A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes." And changing your attitude for the better is definitely one thing this book succeeds at. Happy trails!
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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful reminder that happiness is now, 4 Dec. 1999
A wonderful book reminding us that happiness is inside us now, but we are looking for it outside us, in the wrong places. Using a beautiful blend of spirituality, psychology, poetry and stories, Robert helps us identify and undo the conditioning that we have all accumulated that blocks our awareness of what is already inside us. Without doubt, one of the best books I have read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It works!, 13 Feb. 2010
By 
N. Simmons "lovelily" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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I am currently separating from a long term partner, supporting (physically and mentally) a loved-one who has relapsed with a serious illness we thought was pretty much gone, finding/buying a house and dealing with a possible redundancy at work. This book 'earths' you, reminds you that we are here now, not tomorrow, not yesterday. It really helps with my peace of mind. I need to read a few paragraphs every night, and I actually go to bed early sometimes, just so I can read more. I've read heaps of these kinds of books, including The Power of Now, which is great, but this is almost like a meditation, and I think will be more accessible to a larger audience. The message is to accept yourself now, and 'Happiness Now' really does 'bang it home!'.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings, 18 Aug. 2011
By 
MousieTongue's KM (UK) - See all my reviews
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I have mixed feelings with respect to whether or not this book is helpful.

I bought it thinking it would be an extension or development of ideas that I have previously found useful - the biggest one being that happiness is within you, all the time. and it's true, the author does expand these ideas. And yet, I found my buoyant mood somewhat damped on reading this book, and had to turn to techniques I have learned from other books to restore it. So, it obviously is not successful in its objective for all people, not even those who buy into the basic premises.

I agree with most of what he says, but for me the main weaknesses are:

1. It continually tells you that you can choose to be happy, but doesn't give you any practical suggestions for how. There are actually some simple techniques that can help you find your inner happiness, but it's not as simple as simply pulling yourself up from your bootstraps and choosing it (at least, not for those of us who have struggled with depression). It's close, but not that close. Until you learn the techniques for identifying internal happiness (mainly meditation techniques, but also techniques for directing and calming your thoughts and quieting the "chattering monkey"), advice along the lines of "you can just choose to be happy" can be extremely frustrating. You end up thinking, "I know I should be able to just be happy, so what's wrong with me that I can't do it?" - it's just something else to make you feel bad about yourself.

So, weakness #1: very short on practical guidance

2. It's very spiritually oriented. If you are not a spiritually-oriented person, you may end up feeling totally alienated by this book, and as if you are on such a different wavelength to the author that he can't possibly have any thoughts that are of value to you.

3. It's repetitive.

I think the reason it made me feel down reading this book is: if someone continually drives home the message that you don't need anything external to yourself, and all of your joy is to be found internally, through acceptance of God as part of yourself - if they do this with no practical applications to help you get in touch with that joy - then the logical conclusion is "what is the point of being alive?". If the sensory world is an illusion and a distraction, and you have an eternal soul which is part of God, then why bother with the pain of a physical existence? The founders of ACIM (which he references frequently) evidently reached this conclusion as well, as they committed suicide.

Lucky, I have read other books which have taught me how to connect with my inner happiness, so I was able to restore my equilibrium and didn't stay down.

Still, even given all those weaknesses, I still felt there was a lot of truth in there, and some people may find this very helpful, at least as one step in the process that you can find happiness within yourself.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is It Just Positive Thinking?, 8 Oct. 2007
Many books out there exhort us to think more positively or to be better visualizers in order to manifest happiness in our life. "Happiness Now" is able to get beyond those suggestions to truly analyzing what holds us back from being happy in our life. What is it within our psyche that conspires against happiness?

Just when we start to enjoy things in life a mental cloud decides to stop the happy vibe. Why on earth would we do that to ourselves?

Holden spends time analyzing these and similar questions and in the process you become more informed about what's really going on in your mind and how it contributes to losing the happy vibe. This book is excellent for allowing you to gain insight into your own thinking process and how it can sabotage your happiness.

This is a must-have book for anyone wanting to understand how your thoughts keep you from your happiness. I also liked "Nexus: A Neo Novel" - a great novel about a spiritual journey through depression and The "Feeling Good Handbook" - a mood therapy book - for more insights.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that's a best friend!, 14 Mar. 2008
By 
C. Talbot (Grantham UK) - See all my reviews
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What a treasure this book is, just like a best friend, - loving, compassionate and will always be by your side. This book gave me a new way of thinking and a realisation that everything I needed was already with me, I'd just forgotten! Robert Holden writes in a way that can speak to us all in an inviting, sincere, loving and often very humorous way. He offers new aspects of happiness to look at, different channels to explore and all in all it is all so beautifully simple. Believe me, it's a book you can't be without and will want to have as a perfect everyday reminder of who we really are and especially when we hit those wobbly moments.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an excellent, must read book, 18 Feb. 2008
By 
Steve Jakab (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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Robert is a talented and witty writer, and in this book he shares the true secrets of happiness, and dispells the myths about happiness being something to pursue, or something 'out there'. I've read many books on happiness and personal development, and this one stands out miles from the crowd. A real treasure. Buy it!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Artificial, 9 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Happiness Now: Timeless Wisdom for Feeling Good Fast (Kindle Edition)
Having been recently bereaved, this book was recommended. I would NOT read this if you are grieving. Beside that, it is Pollyanna - ish. Maybe Robert Holden has some good points but they are poorly conveyed & he uses every opportunity for self promotion...hardly spiritual! I found no comfort in this book & certainly no inspiration.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The only book about happiness & peace with yourself that you'll really need!, 26 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Happiness Now: Timeless Wisdom for Feeling Good Fast (Kindle Edition)
I've read a lot of books on this topic & this is the one that stands out for me. In some ways the title - about feeling good fast - can make you think it is going to be superficial stuff - but it is quite the opposite. Robert Holden addresses the fundamental spiritual nature of our being to show that we have often lost our real selves in the world & makes a v good and gently supportive case for getting reconnected with our real selves so that we feel peace with who we are. It is really about learning self love, and he recognises that any "symptoms" (e.g. depression, anxiety, addiction etc) are all manifestations of a lack of self love. He is wise, highly experienced, funny and loving in person, and this all comes through the book.
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "It does what it says on the tin", 29 Oct. 2007
By 
Happiness Now, "It does what it says on the tin", what a fantastic book!!!
NO jargon, no must's, should's and ought to's, Robert guides us through the art to happiness with sensitivity, reality and love. We are "allowed" to be wherever we are at the time without feeling guilty that we might not be "doing it right", and we are given the lifeline that we have everything we need inside of each of us to be who we really, truly and powerfully are. How relieving it is to know that there is nothing outside of us that can make us happy and that we can choose in any moment how we want to be, that's a big one and a constant reminder to me. Read this book it will change your life.
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