(Image from Barnes & Noble)
Are you happy? What makes you that way? What keeps you that way? According to Hank Smith, a popular writer and speaker, humans are hard-wired for happiness. In the introduction to his new book, Be Happy, he writes: "The desire to be happy is ingrained in you. The Lord put it there. You might think of it as His fingerprint on your brain" (2). If that is so (and it is—it's in the scriptures), then why are so many people so unhappy? What makes them that way? What keeps them that way?
Smith proposes that, in most cases, we are what is making us unhappy. By banishing behaviors that lead to unpleasant results, we can create more joyful lives for ourselves. Smith is quick to note that cases of clinical depression are a different ballgame, but for those with garden-variety unhappiness, small lifestyle changes can have a big impact on one's general outlook. Being happier is not about our circumstances, insists the author, but in how we deal with those circumstances. Using examples from scripture as well as counsel from notable leaders, thinkers, scientists, etc. the author offers practical advice on paving a happier path. Everything from meditating to identifying stimuli in order to better control our reactions to it to keeping a gratitude journal to eating better to laughing more to serving other people can help us be happier on a daily basis.
If you've heard Hank Smith speak, you are familiar with his positive, upbeat style. This engaging voice infuses Be Happy, making it a quick, funny read that will keep you smiling. The advice he gives is solid, though, and definitely worth putting into practice. Even people who would describe themselves as naturally happy can find tips to make their existence even more joyful. Overall, this small book is a gem. It's an easy, helpful read that should bring light to anyone who's feeling down. I enjoyed this fun pick-me-up and would recommend it to anyone who needs a little happy in their life.
(Readalikes: Um, I can't think of anything. You?)
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To the FTC, with love: I received a finished copy of Be Happy from the generous folks at Covenant Communications. Thank you!