Truly Bad Films

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Book Review

How We Choose to Be Happy: The Nine Choices of Extremely Happy People - Their Secrets, Their Stories by Rick Foster and Greg Hicks

Since I am a hypnotist, I often read books for content instead of for the quality of the writing. This book falls into the "for content only" category. The writing is one bus-stop away from Terrible Towers, but - hey - they aren't professional writers. They are researchers in the field of "Happiness Studies," for want of a better term. And in their research, they've found that being happy is a choice.

All the time, in my avocation as a hypnotist, I am holding this vision up for my clients who do not understand that life doesn't happen to you. You make it. You make it every second of the day with the foundery of your heart. If you are constantly pouring slag into your heart, the foundery can't produce anything but low quality scrap. The only way to produce a high-quality, strong and beautiful life is to use high quality metal. This process starts in the mind with high quality thoughts and attitudes. (Yes, I am my mother now. People need to improve their attitudes! Oh, God.)

It's been said too many times to count - life is about choices. Those who refuse to take control usually end up in a 9th Ward tenement wondering how they're going to get out to pick up the welfare check with the livingroom flooded. If you simply allow life to happen to you, it is going to suck in 360 IMAX 3-D. On the other hand, the only thing you can control is yourself, but if you control yourself, you paradoxically control everything around you.

Spiritual leaders have known these truths for centuries, but psychology is finally catching up and acknowledging how profoundly mind set affects quality of life. Luck is a choice (The Luck Factor - 2003). Health is a choice (You Can Heal Your Life - 1984). Prosperity is a choice (too many books here even to name). So too happiness.

This book outlines the 10 step process that happy people use to define their experiences of the world. Good work Foster and Hicks! But they overlook one pretty glaring aspect of happiness acquisiton that I think really needs to be addressed. They neglected to show or discuss just how low on Maslow's Hierarchy of Need a person can be and still manifest "happy." Sure, someone can cope well with a lockup in Dachau, but I'm not sure that qualifies as "happy." I wish they had done some study in this area, because I know how hard it is to change your thinking when you do not have enough money right now for food or lights or rent.

Other than that, I was grateful to read about these studies that prove that positive thinking and self-control do not just make life SEEM better. They actually change your consciousness in ways that make you more aware of opportunities that already exist, and more prepared to create opportunities for yourself or take advantage of gifts when they come your way.

Positive thinking and self-control actually make life measurably better. Yay for self-determination!

2 Comments:

At 9:09 AM, Blogger bunnyjo georg said...

Thank you for sharing this, Liz! I am going to go on Amazon right now and order this book. I'm tired of being unhappy and I know that how I think about my life is at least partially to blame. Although I fall into that not-enough-money-for-necessities category, there's a lot I could be doing to make my life more enjoyable NOW despite my difficult circumstances. All my life I have looked at myself and looked at other people and wondered what I was doing wrong to be so unhappy. I hope this book can show me!

 
At 10:45 AM, Blogger Chai-rista said...

You are a brave & strong woman Bunnyjo. I KNOW that you can change your life into a fun adventure you LOVE, one step at a time!

 

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