I’ve just heard from my publisher that my book How To Be Happier has now sold over 50,000 copies. Okay, it’s not quite in the Dale Carnegie league, but it’s a significant number of books. And the fact that it’s the most successful of my self-help titles suggests there are a lot of people who feel they’re not as happy as they’d like to be.
I’m reminded of the board game Monopoly where you get given a certain amount of money right at the start. From then on you can sit on your money or you can make an effort to increase it. In real life, happiness is much the same. You start out with a genetic inheritance that gives you a certain level. That comes for free, as it were. If you want more you have to make an effort.
Where happiness is concerned, the first step is to make the commitment that you’re going to make happiness rather than, say, money, or power, your goal. You have to make the decision that you’re actively going to do things to make yourself happier (and avoid, as far as you possibly can, the things that will make you unhappy).
As to what those things are, well, the book is full of ideas. I don’t believe anybody could work their way through it, following all the practical suggestions, without being happier. If you’re one of the 50,000 I’d love to hear from you how you got on. Just click on ‘comments’ at the top of the blog.
That’s great news; so important to spread the word when many people are stressed and worried and don’t take time to even consider whether they are happy or not.
I don’t think though, that avoiding things I don’t want to do necessarily makes me happier. I’ve found the converse is often true. If I start the day by tackling the very thing I least want to do I feel so much lighter, contented and happy with the day and myself.