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Happy This Year!: The Secret to Getting Happy Once and for all
on 7 April 2013
When I first started reading this book I decided I must have read too many books about being happy. I felt a little jaded and as though I'd read it all before but I persevered because I liked the book's style. The author writes in an infectiously happy way and I could feel my mood lightening as I kept reading. I found it very interesting that half your happiness is inbuilt - that is how you are and you probably can't change that bit. Only ten percent is attributable to life events and how your life affects you leaving forty percent which you can influence. Nearly half of your happiness status is within your control and you can affect it by your thoughts, your feelings and your actions as well as your habits.
It is all too easy to get stuck in a negative frame of mind and quite difficult to get out of it if you are a naturally pessimistic person. But it is possible to change your thinking and your actions and this intriguing book shows you how. If you find the news depresses you then don't read or watch it. Even if you don't read any news at all you will still find you get to know the things you need to know. Read inspirational stories on the internet instead of doom and gloom. There are plenty of websites listed which you can explore as well as plenty of other books to follow up. I was intrigued by the idea of going twenty one days without complaining about anything - could you do it?
Complaining can lower your happiness - much better to count your blessings. I think what struck me most of all about the book - and it is worth reading just for this idea alone; you cannot be happy if you do not act with integrity. It's something which resonates with me because I do have standards which I try and live up to and it does make me feel happy when I manage to live up to those standards. I'm the one who points out a mistake in change given to me even when the mistake is in my favour. I'm the person who tells the hotel they've undercharged me and the shop when they've put the wrong price on the shoes I've bought. Even though it costs me money - it makes me happy.
Helping other people or doing something nice for them does make you feel happy and that feeling doesn't detract from the help given. That doesn't mean you have to spend all your time helping others to your own detriment but it does mean that kindnesses done for others with no hope of reward can boost your own happiness. Forgiving someone for an act they've done against you will make you feel better. That doesn't mean you have to be friends with that person - just that you stop holding onto the resentment and the hatred. Being happy is nothing to do with what the government of the day does or even what the weather is like - it is everything to do with how you think and what you do on a day to day basis. You can be happy whether you're rich or poor and you need to enjoy the moment not be constantly saying that you will be happy in the future.