"In Happy This Year!, Bowen proclaims that happiness is our destiny and birthright, and - even better - we actually are already happy to some extent. We just have to recognize happiness, claim it and expand on it. The philosophy is simple - you must create an awareness of your happiness level and this awareness will lead to even greater happiness. And, just as he guided readers into creating a habit of not complaining, he lays out a way for us to create a habit of measuring and increasing your happiness levels" (press release).
My thoughts: I thought this an ok book. Will makes some good points but I kept tripping on all of his Buddhist references and the complete focus on making yourself happy. He talks about the reason to live ethically: "You don't do this to appease others or even God. You do this simply because the reward for treating others well is your own happiness." As a Christian, this bothers me because as we strive to live a life that pleases God, everything else falls into place. Matthew 22:37 says, "Jesus said to him, '"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'" This was probably the biggest problem I had with the book. Will has great ideas for increasing your happiness level - things like choosing to focus on the positive, rating your happiness intentionally throughout the day and not listening or being around negative things. I like his point of doing things for others because it really is amazing how much we benefit from those acts. "You are a drop in the ocean that is your society. As you act with greater integrity, you raise the overall purity of the waters. Other people will follow suit and you will get to enjoy living in the safety of a more trustworthy society, which research has found to be a key contributor to happiness." Overall, I highlighted a few things I liked but not a book I'll read again.
You can learn more about the book from the website as well as getting the HappyStat app to track your happiness!
I received a copy of this book from The B & B Media Group for my honest review.