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The Happiness Makeover: How to Teach Yourself to Be Happy and Enjoy Every Day Hardcover – May 10, 2005


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Advance Praise for M. J. Ryan’s The Happiness Makeover

“This book is like happy electricity—connecting us all to our joy, which we continually forget how to access.”
—SARK, author/artist of Make Your Creative Dreams Real

“A wonderful blend of motivation, inspiration, and explanation, The Happiness Makeover is a recipe for enjoying today and all your tomorrows.”
—David Niven, Ph.D., author of The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People

“Happiness is at the fingertips of every person on the planet. In The Happiness Makeover, M. J. Ryan provides example after example of people learning how to choose happiness. She offers wisdom from the ages and provides practical insights and advice on how you, too, can achieve happiness right now. A fun and enlightening book.”

—Barry Neil Kaufman, author of Happiness Is a Choice and cofounder of the Option Institute
“While we all want to be happy, we’re not always sure that we know what happiness is or how to have more if it. This wonderful book answers both questions. It’s based on the wisdom of the ages, and is informative, upbeat, and a delight to read. Keep it handy."
—Hal Urban, author of Life’s Greatest Lessons

About the Author

M. J. Ryan is one of the creators of the Random Acts of Kindness series, which has sold more than one million copies, and the author of Trusting Yourself, The Power of Patience, Attitudes of Gratitude, and many other titles. The founder and longtime publisher of Conari Press, she is currently a consultant with Professional Thinking Partners, where she specializes in coaching executives on issues of life purpose and leadership. She is a popular speaker and a contributing editor at Good Housekeeping. She lives in Walnut Creek, California.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; First Edition first Printing edition (May 10, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767920074
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767920070
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.2 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #780,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

M.J. combines a practical business perspective gained as a CEO of a publishing company with a strength-based approach to help clients reach professional and personal goals. Using methodologies from positive psychology and neuroscience, she is able to quickly identify a client's underlying thinking talents and helps them efficiently use them to overcome challenges and maximize success. She has coached many high level executives as well as entrepreneurs and individuals around the world who want lives of greater purpose and success.

Her clients include Frito Lay, Microsoft, Royal Dutch Shell, the U.S. military, Hewitt Associates, SRAK (a joint venture between Shell and the Saudi Arabian National Oil Company), the Cowell Foundation, the Boys and Girls Club, and the town of Paradise, Ca.

She is the author of many best-selling books including her latest ADAPTABILITY: How to Survive Change You Didn't Ask For and THIS YEAR I WILL...How to Finally Change a Habit, Keep a Resolution or Make A Dream Come True.

www.MJ-Ryan.com

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Virginia Allain on May 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This title intrigued me after reading about it in Life Magazine. Ryan is a life coach who says you can teach yourself to look on the brighter side of life. Sure your life may be complicated and sad things happen, but apparently you can train your brain to be more upbeat.
One exercise was to make a list of three good things from each day. Maybe it's just something small, like "I'm glad that I didn't lose my temper when my boss reprimanded me." Maybe it's focusing on the beauty that is around us, like "Seeing the egret fly by was a treat."
Eventually this attitude adjustment will become a routine part of our thinking. Sure can't hurt to try.
I signed up for the daily e-mails (happiness boosters) from this author. They're great and remind you to put into practice what you learned from reading the book.
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Donna on May 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Despite the affluence of the Western lifestyle, many people aren't happy, and the numbers of unhappy and depressed people is ever increasing. Seemingly we don't know how to live our lives in a satisfied way - how to draw contentment, happiness, maybe even a little joy, from our lives on a daily basis.
This little book has so much wisdom to offer on this topic. It is a true gem drawing from Eastern and Western wisdom traditions, including positive psychology and is a blend of philosophical, spiritual, emotional and practical perspectives.
It contains very readable short chapters, 17 looking at what stands in the way of living happier lives, and then 36 on real, practical ways to improve one's happiness.
These can range from learning to think more optimistically, working out and embracing what your "flow" activities are, practicing gratefulness, finding your "tribe", revelling in life's simple pleasures, and the ultimate wisdom: "what are you waiting for?" The author quotes Lao Tzu - "this is it", our life is now, and happiness is for today, not tomorrow, or when we have some particular set of circumstances in our life that we think we need.
There is page after page of practical wisdom in this little book - and once finished, it can be kept close at hand, to be picked up again and again, to take in something new, or to refresh oneself if need be. There is enough practical wisdom in there to keep a person working joyously on enhancing their life's contentment, happiness and joy for the rest of their life!
There is finally a section containing 22 "instant happiness boosters", and also an excellent bibliography for further reading if desired.
You can also join a mailing list for a "daily happiness booster" - a daily email with an excerpt from one of the chapters - it's a great way to keep refreshed on what you have read and may well be trying to put in place in your daily life.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By MammaBear on June 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I have read other books on positive thinking and happiness but somehow this is the book that clicked with me. The author pulls from many different disciplines ( psychology, religion, spirituality, philosophy, science) to illustrate and support her thesis. I think this is why it seems to go beyond the regular "self-help" type book for me. I found myself thinking about the book in various situations throughout the day and was able to really apply the things being said (especially with my children). I think its honest and real. I did not find it sappy or pollyanna like so many books on this topic run the danger of being. I have recommended the book to friends and look forward to reading more of M.J. Ryan's works as this was the first I have read.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amazonian on January 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I picked this book up at my local library in the "New Books" section. Boy, am I glad I did. I am only halfway through this book, but I have learned SO much about happiness. I have read zillions of self-motivation books, etc over the years, and NONE of them explain the road to happiness like this one. I will purchase this book, because I know that I will want to dog-ear and revisit this book over and over again. Highly recommended!!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sionnach on February 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I can't say enough to recommend this book to anyone dissatisfied or uninspired by other self-help books, particularly on depression. Other books focus on the problem and how to survive and maybe, if you're really good, get back to normal. This surprises you with the not-so-obvious to some of us Obvious - there's actually a wide range of happy space beyond normal. It avoids making you wallow in the problem all over again just to solve it, something that's turned me off in the past, despite my desperation to get out of depression.

For reference, I've been suffering with severe depression for the past 2 years, and in the past two months alone have lost my major relationship, daughter, 2 friends, and changed jobs. I picked this book up on a whim and it's been the ONLY book that worked for me. It's written in bite-sized chunks, so you can pick and choose what ideas feel right for you. It's written in an engaging not clinical way. Give it a try!
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25 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Design Fan! on May 25, 2005
Format: Hardcover
There is nothing new in this book. That doesn't mean it's bad, but all it offers is a simplistic (but helpful) rehash of what you've probably read a thousand times or more. It's sort of a two-step "Eliminate the negative, accent the positive" approach, to paraphrase the old song. Nothing wrong with it. If it helps you, fine, but the book and its little process offer nothing original.
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