Smile: The Astonishing Powers of a Simple Act (Kindle Single) (TED Books Book 9) Kindle Edition
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I think of myself as a happy person. Sure, I've had my share of unfortunate and difficult circumstances. And I've got my own demons to battle. But overall, I'm happy.
Then I started following just one little piece of advice from this book - the first thing in the morning smile until you feel happy.
I quickly discovered that my mind wanted to start prepping for my day. Smiling wasn't in the picture. Planning, solving problems (real or imagined), and figure things out were my default activities. But I kept working my way back to a simple smile.
I noticed my days were going smoother and with less stress. That's a result that most people would pay a lot to get. It's here for the price of this book plus a few hours of reading. And the determination to actually try what he's suggesting and see how it works for you.
Thanks, Ron, for doing the work and writing this book.
Gutman reaches back to Darwin, the Bible and Mohamed and forward to describing recent research using the tools of 21st century science to show folly of underestimating the power of the simple smile.
The book fell seriously short on only one point for me. It describes many research results but does not provide clear references to the modern research. It thus provides readers who wish to understand this research more clearly or who wish to follow the future work of these researchers with few resources to do so. Perhaps a revised version will provide references. That's not that big a deal. Most people won't care.
Otherwise, the book is well written, though slightly repetitive at points. Don't let this or the lack of references stop you from reading it or buying it for a friend.
I wish I could give a copy of this to everyone I know. :)
I loved the Dandelion List and realized I had my own I had never enumerated. Smiling is so much easier when one has a reason, and noticing the things that predictably made me smile in life was an exercise in gratitude.
We focus so much on depression, I appreciate the value of focusing on smiling. In motorbiking and road-racing, a maxim for safe driving is that "your car goes where your eyes go".