Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Being Happy - Andrew Matthews


It's another round of book review of a classic self help handbook. The book is called Being Happy. Can anyone wondered why doesn't called it Be Happy ? Perhaps the book is about action and not just theory ? I guess so. The book was the international bestseller first introduced in 1988. The version that I've bought is the 57th reprint by the printer. Based on the number of reprints, you know how bestselling the book be.

The book have 6 chapters with various topics in improving your confidence and security. There were a lot of illustrations accompanying each topic drawn by the author. On each topic, there was a summary called nutshells for you to capture the gist of it.

Some important nutshells

Patterns - be positive on yourself and condition
Self image - Think healthy, happy thoughts. Decide to be healthy, be gentle on yourself. Accept and love and acknowledge yourself about what you are (The decision you've done is the best available by yourself)
Pain - cause us to contemplate (change direction)
We become a part of our everyday world - consider seriously changing what surrounds you to be something you want to be
Prosperity - Money mindset that prevents us from becoming wealthy (More of this can be found from Millionaire's Mindset title)

Living in the now
Live, Now - Present moment is the only time you have. Live in the now.
Waiting for things - jump into every oppurtunity.
Forgiveness - Blaming and feeling guilty are equally dangerous and destructive. You may hiding something within yourself and not curing it
Happiness - Can be hard work, you've got to hang on to your treasures and throw out the garbage. Choose what you see and choose what you think.
Dealing with depression - Disaster won't be disastrous if we tackle them one at a time.
Humor - Life is not THAT serious. Let's take humor more seriously
We gravitate in the direction of our dominant thoughts - Law of attraction before THE SECRET

Your mind
Your Subconscious - Daily, we create programmes in subconscious mind. Use like what all successful and happy people people used. If you want to be wealthy, picture those success and prosperity of the ideal result.
Imagination - Exercise your imagination just like your body to have a sharp/witty mind
Mental rehearsal - Create pattern on brain cell for perfect performance. Imagine the best result you want. Make a habit of refining your abilities through imagination.
We get what we expect - You're in control. You decide what you think, put in your mind and what you get back
Listen to those whose lives are working - Mind is like magnet. Continue to dwell on What you want and you'll achieve it. Seen this in most Jack Canfield book
The power of words - Our words affect how we think and how we feel. What we think affect what we say and how we feel and How we feel influences what we say and how we think. It's a vicious cycle and learn to interrupt that
An attitude of gratitude - Our attention is on what we want. As we set our living grateful on what we have, more good will be coming

Goals - Goals are the vehicles whereby we can become someone more than we already are
Limitations - Our limitations are our responsibilities
Problems - It stretches us. Adversity reveals genius while prosperity conceals it.
Mistakes - Mistakes are not really mistakes. It's part of the learning process. Shame is never in having failed, worse is when not even tried
The law of sow and reap - Universe is fair and just. We get back from life only what we put into it.
Risk - We have a choice. It's between really living or merely existing. Life is a risk. So let's get out and face it
Commitment - To get whatever you want - do whatever it takes
Effort - Embrace change. Unless you change how you are, you'll always have what you've got. For things to get better, we have to get better. Today will be much like yesterday unless we put in that effort. Losing hurts, but it hurts even more when you realize that you haven't done your best.
Persistence - For every outstanding achievement, persistence is a common ingredient.
Ask - Getting what you want is having the conviction that you are worth it. One of the best ways to develop your sense of worth is to ASK
Reasons or results - You have but one life to lead. Don't bring your reasons of not doing it to grave

Learning from nature
Children - spend time with children. Learn more about laughter, spontaneity, curiosity, acceptance, resilience, trust, determination and your imagination. They are there to teach us
Keep moving - Happiness and fulfillment in activity. Get involved !
Use it or lose it - Law of use is wonderful, it gives us incentive to practice. Unless we use it, we may not be keeping it
Flow - Go with the flow. Take time off and relax
Release - To create healthy flow, learn to let go things you don't want, won't use and don't need.
How much do we understand - We don't understand everything. If we sometime accept and use what we have, we do ourselves enormous favour. Let's go after the results.

Some points that touch me a lot
1. Law of attraction - This book have a lot of it ! Sometimes I didn't know why when people worry about something and then it'll happen. It's because your mind had sent out the signal and attract those events to you. I'm more careful not to send out those negative energy out
2. Money mindset - When you think about how your parents/friends tell you that money is evil or money don't grow on trees whatever, you associated it with the wrong perception. Instead, think of abundance and think of when you're rich, you can help more people
3. Forgiving others - Sometimes when you forgive your enemy or your foe etc, your life can go on much easier going forward. It's just like driving your car w/o pressing the brake all the time
4. When confront fear, fear disappear - Fear acronym is called false evidence appearing real. Therefore when confront it, it's not as fearful as it be. Take public speaking for example. I used to fear it a lot until I took my Toastmaster program. It's not as hard as we see from outside
5. Affirmations - Another Self Help Guru Anthony Robbins help reminds me of this point. It's another kind of mental exercise in helping you to achieve the goal that you wanted.
6. Effort - There ain't no free lunch. I always remember this chinese saying "In the stage of 3 minutes, there lies the effort of 10 years". All the foundation will help you in your future
7. Use it or lose it - Our mind is very fair, when we use less of something, we will forget it... so simple and yet so powerful. Have to constantly remind our mind often.

The book should have more of
1. Pages are just too few ! Perhaps it's preparing for more of other title.
2. List of action steps you can take that make it easy for people to master that point

Today is important - NOW is the time to start doing !

Based on the year it was published, there's a lot of idea and views on self help that I've found similar on other similar genre of books. I would say if I only found this book much earlier (I encountered the book before during my secondary school days but I didn't get the courage to buy it), my life would have changed a lot for the better. There's never too late to do something in the world of motivation. The author have few other books namely Happiness Now and Making Friends. Look it out in the bookstore...

Overall the book deserved a 8.5 in the list of self help book. Good for reading for all teenagers to adult.

No comments: