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The Happiness Tree: Grow Your Happiness by Cultivating a Healthy, Creative and Purposeful Life Paperback – December 3, 2015
About the Author
Shane Eric Mathias Shane's insights have arisen from the examination of his own colorful life experiences, through which he has developed a deep understanding of the human condition. His approach is fresh, helping his readers to develop Self Mastery primarily by strengthening their connection to Nature.
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Anyone looking for a quick fix to find happiness will find this book disappointing, and rightly so in my opinion. As the author points out early on: “But as you will learn, happiness requires action on your part. It is a state of mind that is nurtured and cultivated. The good news is, it’s not just a matter of luck: YOU are actually in control.” With this explanation, Mathias is not raising unrealistic expectations from this book, and is laying the ground work to offer suggestions on how to work toward seeking greater happiness.
The book proceeds by describing numerous aspects affecting happiness, organized within the four major “limbs” of Love, Health, Freedom, and Purpose. A few of the topics (“Branches” and “Canopies”) under the limbs include Friendship, Relationship, Body, Creativity, and Generosity. There are many more and with each topic, Mathias describes the concept and its relation to the larger part of the happiness tree. Within these descriptions, he will provide historical perspectives, examples, or personal experiences to illustrate the concept. There is a tremendous amount of information and ideas laid out in this book.
Within my frame of experience, most (if not all) of the topics covered with The Happiness Tree could become (and probably already are) the main topic of an entire book by themselves. This book, however, provides sufficient insights that should you need additional detail, you could seek it elsewhere. Mathias’s book does not purport to be an entire treatise on these subjects. And in fact, this book could be overwhelming in its ideas. The value in this book, I believe, is providing an overall structure to the many aspects that contribute to living a happier life. And to that end, I believe this book succeeds.
I think the reader should consider reading through this book relatively quickly, mark pages that resonate, and then keep it as a reference. For those seeking greater happiness, identify those areas within the first read that need your attention and re-read those. As time goes by, you would undoubtedly go back and read either the same topics or different topics that again pertain to your greater happiness.
Overall, a good book and do feel my time was well spent in reading it.
Also, unlike other books on attaining happiness, this one covers every aspect of our modern human life, from health, to self love, relationships to finances. But it doesn’t mince words. The author tells it like it is.
For example: there is a section that covers how to cope with the ending of an important relationship. So many of the feelings and experiences he describes are ones that I have felt, but could not put into words. Furthermore, and what I like most about this book, is that he doesn't come off as some academic, citing statistics and studies, he describes how he coped with challenges in his own life and what he learned about himself and the world we all live in. That is what makes this book so personal and powerful. I now truly feel like I have new, practical tools to use in the pursuit better choices and a lasting happiness.
It has already helped me to see myself and my own life journey in a new, refreshing light
I have recommended this book to many of my friends and I heartily recommend it to anyone reading this. This book is a rare gem that you will return to again and again for truth, support and guidance.