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Happiness Now! Perpetual Flip Calendar: A Calendar to Use Year After Year Calendar – Day to Day Calendar, November 15, 2008
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About the Author
Robert Holden, Ph.D., is the director of The Happiness Project and Success Intelligence. His innovative work on happiness and success has been featured on Oprah and in two major BBC-TV documentaries, The Happiness Formula and How to Be Happy, shown in 16 countries to more than 30 million television viewers.
Robert is a consultant and coach to leading brands and organizations such as Dove, Virgin, The Body Shop, and Comic Relief. He gives public lectures worldwide and has shared the stage with Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Patch Adams, and Paul McKenna. He is the author of the best sellers Happiness NOW!, Success Intelligence, and Shift Happens!
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This calendar was a gift for an elderly parent - trying to 'reinforce' something positive for her each day. Not sure this is exactly what I was looking for. Was hoping for something a 90 year old might relate to and I don't think this is quite it.
Obviously my opinion is not shared by most.
Robert Holden writes at the beginning of the book that anyone can be happy right now...you just have to choose it. Well, that's easier said than done and Holden goes on to explain why people have such a difficult time choosing to be happy. According to Holden, we all have two options in life--either we choose to be happy or we choose to be sad--and most people's choice is sadness, because they don't believe that being happy is a choice. He writes that a lot of our suffering is self-inflicted because we're always thinking that we'll be happy "as soon as...." we get the job, the lover, the money, the car, the house etc., but once we get whatever we think will make us happy, we discover that it doesn't. And that's because happiness doesn't come from things or outside sources, it must come from within. He also compares the way we think as adults versus the way we used to think as children. Holden writes that children, no matter what they are going through, will choose happiness all the time. They focus on the now and not yesterday or tomorrow, and kids will find pleasure in the most mundane things. I wish this section was larger, but he made the point.
Holden also says that another reason we have difficulty choosing to be happy is because of our ego, which constantly tells us that we aren't good enough and that happiness must be earned; and this creates self acceptance issues, which then creates the base for depression, anxiety, addiction and other emotional problems, that begin growing until they become out of control.
He illustrates these points using quotes, folklore, stories from the Bible-Christianity-Catholicism-Zen-Buddha, philosophy/psychology and experience from his own life and the people he's helped (Holden studied Psychology and started "the happiness project" support group).
When I first received the HAPPINESS NOW! book and looked at the cover, I thought to myself,"Oh no, not another stale and boring self-help book!" But once I began reading it, the book was fun, interesting, and easy to understand. Although the book has several references that are found in the bible and other religious texts, it doesn't come off as preachy or judgmental. Holden just takes the positive stories from the different religions around the world and uses them to illustrate the points he's trying to make.
And the book is annotated with a "notes" section in the back--divided by chapters--for those readers who'd like more information/context on the sources he uses.
All in all a great book: simple to understand and yet, not overly simplified to put into action.
Robert Holden avoids both pitfalls with Happiness Now!: Timeless Wisdom for Feeling Good FAST... if you're ready to listen to its message.
The book's core idea is most elegant in its simplicity: happiness is within your grasp, now. The title is actually a bit misleading: "now" is not about "feel happy right now because you are reading this book", but rather about how the secret of happiness is in the "now". The book won't make you feel happy, but it may, in Holden's words, encourage you to happiness.
Throughout the book, Holden uses personal experience, writings from philosophers, poets and religious figures from around the world (and not just the Bible, which I appreciated), and examples from past clinical work with clients to show that deep down, everyone knows how to be happy. Most of us have simply forgotten.
The book takes you through the many facets of happiness: realizing that we already are happy, giving up the search for happiness, the curse of "not being good enough", accepting yourself, letting go of conditional love, the healing process, the importance of love, and lightening your burden.
After reading this book, I had the strangest, yet most familiar feeling: that I knew all of this all long. How easy is it to forget, in our frenzied search for more money, more possessions, more success, more love, that each of us has something inside that makes all those things optional at best.
Have you ever felt a part of you resisting the nature of modern life? Looking for a slower, more meaningful way to relate to the world and to others?
Listen to it. It's happiness knocking at your heart's door.