- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Baker Books (March 1, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0801065461
- ISBN-13: 978-0801065460
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #808,394 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Secrets of a Satisfying Life: Discover the Habits of Happy People Paperback – March 1, 2006
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From the Back Cover
Surveys reveal that only 20% of Americans are happy. Are you? Despite our wealth, advanced technologies, and leisure pursuits, we aren't any happier. Clearly the secrets to a happy, satisfying life do not lie in our circumstances. Rather, writes David Ireland, "the secret to a happy life can be found simply in the practice of certain behaviors." By studying the lives of happy people, Ireland discovered certain habits that lead to satisfaction with life. These habits, grounded in biblical principles, can be learned by anyone, regardless of their situation. The apostle Paul wrote that he had "learned to be content whatever the circumstances." These habits include checking our perspective, actively pursuing spiritual growth, cultivating hope, learning the art of forgiveness, and more. Here is practical advice for gaining satisfaction in life, illustrated by insightful and inspiring stories from the lives of happy people. "After reading this book you will finish the final page, close the back cover, and feel something good taking up residence inside you. Permanently!"--Bill Hybels, senior pastor, Willow Creek Community Church and Willow Creek Association "The founder of my tribe (John Wesley) likes to say that 'happiness is holiness.' David Ireland gets to the bottom of those all-important 'habits' of holiness that birth the only life that can both satisfy and serve."--Leonard Sweet, author, Summoned to Lead "In the height of tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other shakings, David Ireland shows biblical principles to give you peace and happiness. This is a must-read for everyone!"--Ché Ahn, author and pastor of Harvest Rock Church
About the Author
David D. Ireland, Ph.D., is heard nationwide on daily radio and a weekly television show, IMPACT with David Ireland. He is pastor of the five-thousand-member Christ Church in Montclair, New Jersey, which he began in 1986 with six people. He holds degrees in engineering, theology, and organizational leadership.
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In Secrets of a Satisfying Life: discover the habits of happy people, Ireland outlines the three main points of his premise: discover the habits of happiness; learn how to practice the habits of happiness; and learn to laugh at yourself.
Habits of happy people are the deliberate responses that have been successfully proven to meet one's needs. Secrets of a Satisfying Life goes on to outline how developing these responses and overcoming the distractions of the past keeps us moving toward the discovery of our life's purpose.
Written in the traditional style of the self-help genre, Ireland continually breaks his thesis into bite-size chunks and regularly restates his main points, all while including plenty of examples and quotes from experts. Its construction makes it suitable for study in an adult Sunday School class.
While Ireland definitely tries to make this book relevant to non-Christians through his extensive use of modern metaphors, discussing concepts that border on new-age philosophies and by giving examples using icons of modern culture (Madonna, Venus and Serena Williams), the work assumes a Biblical belief system in its readership.
Many concepts here will benefit the general public, however readers who are not espoused Christians may find the worthwhile core message difficult to find. The result may be that Ireland finds a reduction of sales in the secondary market (non-religious), as the preponderance of New Testament scripture may eliminate the appeal of this work to the broader audience of spiritual seekers. This limitation dilutes the message that Ireland is trying to send, that we can ALL use these methods.
In the end, what shines through most clearly is Ireland's belief that hope, "a sense of reach that inspires and motivates, is what breeds happiness."
Armchair Interviews says: Secrets of a Satisfying Life says that life is filled with the mundane, and it is by finding satisfaction there that we will be able to enjoy it and find our life's purpose.
While most of these insights aren't startling or innovative, the author's quiet enthusiasm provides the necessary emotional support and encouragement for readers. His ideas are arranged in short, orderly segments with each point being addressed clearly and backed up with real-life stories and quotes. Bible verses strengthen each principle and bring the focus back to God's perspective.
The author has clearly taken the pulse of contemporary culture. His words reveal a sound understanding of the frustrations that most people experience, which forms a solid connection to his audience. His discoveries about happiness come largely from psychologists and behavioral scientists. Scattered throughout these pages are many anecdotes depicting the life-changing principles he presents. The combination of all these elements makes the book interesting and gives it the potential to help people find a measure of true happiness in their lives. Although the author uses many secular sources to back up his teaching, he does return to the Bible as the final authority.
Simply and sincerely written, Secrets of a Satisfying Life balances daily living with the hope of abundant life. - Joyce Handzo, Christian Book Previews.com
Ireland looks closely at statistical evidence that reveals those lifestyle choices of individuals who consider themselves very happy. Bottom line: the happiest people are those who help others. In the wake of "happy" people, researchers have discovered similar characteristics shared by those who demonstrate consistent satisfaction with their lives. Included is the essential quality of developing a realistic perspective on life. The way in which life is seen and interpreted makes all the difference, so one must continually reevaluate personal perspective to ensure accuracy. While good/bad experiences/events happen to everyone, it is those who learn mastery in achieving a healthy perspective who live most "happily."
Ireland recommends asking the following questions when difficulties arise: 1) Am I responding impulsively? 2) Is this the worst thing that can happen to me? 3) What do I want my future to look like? and 4) How can I establish a strategy for happiness as part of the overall solution? He suggests this rule in response to any difficulty, warning that "bad news cannot be responded to impulsively...and a levelheaded response will help maintain a positive state of mind." Further, Ireland notes that individuals must not make the mistake of equating positive thinking with happiness. Rather, "habits of happy people are deliberate responses that have successfully proven to meet their personal emotional needs."
Ireland makes the telling statement that when one looks for the happy man, one will find him not in search of happiness. Instead, the happy man will be found building, writing, educating, growing; in other words, he will be making conscious choices on a moment-by-moment basis to enrich his life and the lives of those around him.
Ireland also discusses, chapter by chapter, the enduring specific happy habits of satisfied individuals, learning how to be content, understanding the value of a hopeful outlook, realizing one's dreams, the odd pairing of happiness and busyness, developing happy relationships, and underscoring the need for forgiveness and the need for laughter.
With practical wisdom for daily life, Ireland exposes the myths and hindrances to experiencing a rich and happy existence. Likewise, he provides step-by-step disciplines for achieving the "happy" life God intends as showpieces of His glory and goodness to humankind.
--- Reviewed by Michele Howe