Book Thoughts by Rachelle:
I’m happy I took a chance on Authentic Happiness in Seven Emails because it was an excellent reminder of so many wonderful concepts I studied in my own college experience to graduate in psychology.
The book is written from the perspective of psychology professor Dr. Wong writing emails to a woman named Vickay. She asks what happiness really is and why people who have so much still can’t find happiness.
Dr. Wong responds in seven emails to Vickay breaking down the mis-beliefs of society and explaining what brings authentic happiness to our life.
The first part of the book dragged and I worried how the format would flow. Much of the studies the author noted were those that I had studied in college and so it resonated with me, but I wondered how the average reader would relate to the book without a background in psychology. I felt that midway through the book, the author hit his stride and was able to convey the concepts in a more relatable fashion with excellent anecdotes on life and the search for happiness.
While reading this book, I found myself trying out the tips suggested, smiling at the gift of taking a warm shower, having diapers to change my baby with, and food staples to make a dinner from scratch. Galindo shows in his book that those same tasks could be viewed in a negative light and I could be feeling sorry for myself for doing laundry, cleaning bathrooms, wiping spit-up off my shirt. The magical gift of authentic happiness is found in a shift in perception.
I loved Dr. Wong’s metaphors for living life Easy, Light, Smooth, and Meaningful taken from a running expert’s wisdom. I found myself jogging one morning while reading the book and thinking about how my day could be Easy, Light, Smooth, and (Fast) Meaningful.
I’d recommend this book because I think that you could definitely glean several nuggets of life-changing wisdom from the positive psychology expertise of Dr. Wong.
Here’s more about the book:
Have you found yourself caught in the happiness trap: in the continual pursuit of happiness? After years of pursuing happiness through money, relationships, and material possessions, Vickay found herself unfulfilled and unhappy. A college course on the psychology of happiness taught by a philosophy instructor piqued her curiosity. On a whim she was inspired to contact the professor for some insights on how to break out of her rut. His ideas forever changed her approach to finding happiness and started her on a path towards living life more skillfully.
It all began with an email, containing a simple question, asked at the right time: How can I be happier?
Authentic Happiness in Seven Emails is the answer to that question. Through these seven emails, the professor shares three key concepts and four critical skills for living a happy life:
- What makes us happy?
- If happiness is a choice, why don’t we always choose it?
- What is happiness anyway?
- How can we experience more peace and less negativity?
- How can we experience more joy?
- How can we be more engaged and satisfied with our lives?
- How can we live a meaningful life and rediscover our sense of purpose?
Specific topics include: the happiness equation; positive psychology; flow experiences; the hedonic treadmill; hedonic adaptation; cultural conditioning and the unconscious mind; mindfulness and meditation; gratitude; negative thinking and the negativity bias; internal locus of control, and much more.
The professor draws on modern psychological research to provide practical tools for experiencing consistent, everyday happiness, but he also raises philosophical questions that will have you discovering your own unique insights on life.
Authentic Happiness in Seven Emails is more than a collection of emails or an introductory textbook to positive psychology. It is an inspirational, thought-provoking guide to the science of happiness and to a life well lived.
Whether over a week, weekend, or long plane flight, what better investment of your time than to learn the basics of the psychology of happiness?
Why not learn how to be happy starting today?
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