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Color Your Life Happy: Create Your Unique Path and Claim the Joy You Deserve Paperback – November 19, 2015
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"Effectively employs real-life examples to model self-acceptance."-Kirkus' Reviews
"Flora Morris Brown contributes another great work to the field of positive psychology. From the cover to the content, her words shine. Pleasant voice and writing style." Judge, Ben Franklin Awards, Independent Book Publishing Association
Her book is filled with ideas on how to start adding happiness to your life, from tiny steps to whopping big life changing ones, but they're all sound and quite inspiring. You might want to bear in mind that the author had her third child while working on her Ph.D., giving her nearly super-human stature in my mind, but I think that's part of the magic in this book. "-Jack Magnus, Readers' Favorite
About the Author
Flora Morris Brown, Ph.D. is an author, speaker, and publishing coach. She is a Professor Emerita from Fullerton Community College where she taught critical thinking. The author of ten other books across several genres, she lives in Anaheim, California.
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In exploring the themes of positive psychology, the founder of the movement Dr. Martin Seligman was highlighted. The Oprah Winfrey Show continued and lead the way, following the principles of positive affirmation, higher self-esteem for happiness and well-being. Oprah's magazine and website still operates on these principles today. 8% of our happiness is attributed to outside circumstances as education, employment, marital status etc. 40% of our happiness is within our control through attitude and outlook
In spite of living among the most wealthiest, progressive, greatest country in the world the US ranks #16 of citizen happiness, according to a research study (2008), the highest level of happiness was listed in Denmark the lowest in Zimbabwe. Dr. Brown shares the story of 17 year marriage, she and her husband had 4 children, she credited his support and influence to continue her education, yet they separated in 1986. In spite of the pain following her loss and adversity, Dr. Brown also listed the life examples of Helen Keller (1880-1968), Stephen Hawking (1942-), and Nick Vujicic (1982-). All three of these individuals faced profound disabilities, yet were able to thrive and attain achievement to inspire others.
Dr. Flora Morris Brown is a retired Professor Emeritus from Fullerton College. She lives in Anaheim, CA. Special thanks for the promotional value e-ARC for the purpose of review.
As it so happens, this year coloring books for adults have become "in." The times are proving Flora Brown right.
Why would adults want to color coloring books? They don't have to learn the motor skills but even adults feel a need of coloring things the way want them to be. Of course the sun is bright and yellow, but artist Marc Chagall painted suns (and cows and horses and skies) in all kinds of colors and expressed his art this way.
I thought a lot about Marc Chagall's artwork when I read this book.
Like Chagall's work which at times almost looks like a puzzle put together of colorful pieces, Flora Brown's book is put together out of bite sized chapters that lead us to ponder about happiness in general and the specific happiness we are looking for.
There were quite a few things I didn't know,
"... It wasn’t until 1981, when Dr. Diener earned tenure at the University of Illinois, that he was finally free to conduct research on happiness. Even then, however, to ensure that his work would be respected as scientific study, he chose to call his topic subjective well-being rather than happiness. He still worked in obscurity and was viewed with skepticism by the academic community, which dubbed him Dr. Happiness..."
"... Time Magazine reported in its January 2005 issue that 78 percent of Americans were happy most to all of the time, 16 percent were happy some of the time, and 8 percent were seldom happy. Eighty percent said they generally wake up happy. Seventy-five percent considered themselves optimists.
Most Americans believe we live in the greatest country in the world, yet in a report on happiness by Inglehart, Foa, Peterson, and Welzel (2008), we ranked number sixteen. Denmark was at the top of the list, Zimbabwe at the bottom..."
Starting from there Flora Brown takes on a journey to explore our own thoughts about the topic.
Four problems with the concept of happiness:
1. We don't seem to know what happiness is.
2. We don't know what makes us happy.
3. We aren't sure we even want happiness.
4. Happiness requires making efforts and taking risks.
" Color Your Life Happy" lives up to its title because it never gets scientific but feels like an awesome, interesting discussion at fireside about a topic which is interesting to all of us. The author has thought about her topic lengthily. She began writing a blog about it, then a first book in 2009 and finally this all inclusive book. It feels like one of these positive thought collections all of us like to have on our night stands. The reader can open the book on any page, in order or at random, to find an interesting tidbit, a thought provoking statement, or a comforting thought. Opposite to other books about the topic, this book doesn't preach the typical, "Do this and you will get happy," philosophy, it is refreshingly entertaining in a non-demanding way.
The author presents from the starting point,
"... No one person has all the answers. We all view life differently, based on our experiences and perceptions..."
Of course, you may have heard a lot of what is in this book before, but it is the presentation style of "... you can do this, this isn't that hard..." that gives "Color Your Life Happy" a refreshing appeal. This author does not dictate.
So, was I happier when I finished reading the book?
Yes, I was because it gave me hope that many people will find a new book they can actually follow. I see so many driven people who keep running after goals, "if I only accomplish this and that I'll be happy." "Color Your Life Happy" will show them that they can be happy now.
(I received a free copy of this book in return for an objective and unbiased book review.)
'Gisela Hausmann, author & blogger