Books That Inspire: Resisting Happiness

Reading is a fundamental way to gain new ideas and perspectives. Every couple of months we will be featuring a book that we liked and share some of our main takeaways with you. First up is a pick by Jason Bush, Lead Prospect Developer. Read on to see his choice and what he took away from it.

Resisting Happiness, by Matthew Kelly

As the author notes, this book is a true story about why we sabotage ourselves, feel overwhelmed, set aside our dreams, lack the courage to simply be ourselves, and how to start to choose happiness again.

More than a good association with our core value of being Happily Different - a core value in which we truly are happy for being different - this book looks to bring us back to the simple things that make us happy. To do this the author talks initially about why happiness eludes us. And the short answer to this is, resistance.

Every day when the alarm clock goes off, and we hit the snooze button, that's resistance. When we choose to fill our day with activities that aren't the most important thing we should be doing, that's resistance. Not doing something that you know is good for you, that's resistance. When we find ourselves avoiding the real issues in life, and paying attention instead to the superficial stuff, that's resistance.

Throughout the book the author provides real examples of things that we do every day to look inward, instead of outward. It's natural human behavior to be most concerned with ourselves instead of others. But when put others first, happiness abounds.

Some examples he gives, both in our personal lives and in the workplace, are things like being an active listener. This includes: looking at whoever is speaking, listening with your body, not interrupting, avoiding distractions and disruptions (put the cell phone in your pocket), asking questions, and making sure you understand what the person is saying.

Another example is how we spend each hour of our day, and the motivation behind our time. He draws a nice parallel to hours spent "working" versus "volunteering". Generally when we view our time in the "work" context, it's with the mindset that compensation (generally monetary) is the result. Whereas with time that we "volunteer", the compensation is satisfaction that we did something to benefit someone else, without concern for the amount of time it takes. That makes most people happy!

Near the end of the book, the author summarizes a consistent thread in the book, Luceat Lux Vestra, from the Latin phrase, "Let your light shine". As he describes it, each person lets his or her light shine in different ways. Every person has a perfect mix of talents and abilities. It's when each of us lets our light shine to its fullest potential that we experience true happiness. And when that's happening on a regular basis, look out!

Liz WhittenComment