At some point over the past two years as I’ve read more and more mental/self health, professional/personal development books something must have struck a chord as I feel a lot calmer and more put-together than I have in a long time. I’ve noticed that a lot of these books suggest things I am already doing or have utilized in the past and it’s nice to receive the affirmation. It’s also nice to occasionally be reminded of the things that I need to continue working on in order to maintain the calmness.
When the publicist reached out to me with a copy* of this book I wasn’t sure I would have the time, or the desire to read it. However, I set the book on my to-be-read/determined shelf and it stayed there on top for a little over a month. And then when I was having a really rough week and didn’t want to start another book I picked it up to see what it had to offer.
I’m a little torn on the book, but it has little to do with this book and everything to do with this genre. The whole idea of a person telling you how to be happy or how you can be happy (or insert any other state of being) has always been a difficult one for me to grasp. It has become easier as I’ve read a wider variety of these books because I’ve seen different styles. The two types that seem to be most effective are those that draw heavily on a wide swath of examples (more how-to guide) or those, like Saviuc, who base their advice on their own lives and then try to expand to other examples are the most effective.
I didn’t spend any time on Saviuc’s sites (purposefairy.com or mindvalley.com), but it seems like they would be incredibly valuable resources for anyone looking to gain more knowledge on personal improvement.
I won’t list the fifteen things you should give up to be happy, but you can read the “viral blog post” (this phrase got a bit old) that inspired this book. The two that were great reminders for me and that no matter how happy/successful/calm I am I will always need reminding of were: “Give Up Complaining” (who doesn’t enjoy a good whinge) and “Give Up the Luxury of Criticism” (snobservations are SOOO much fun). When I read the following two quotes from the above chapters it was a good reminder that we ALL can do better on something.
“Complaining is a dreadful addiction that creates a false sense of separation between you and the world around you. It keeps you from connecting with yourself and the world at a deeper level. It keeps you stuck in a place where outside circumstances seem to always control you and sabotage your happiness, health and well-being.” (92)
“Don’t look for things to criticize, look for things to appreciate, both in yourself and in everyone you come in contact with. Trust that everyone is exactly where they’re supposed to be, doing the best they know how to do, learning and growing at their own pace. Give everyone permission to live the best they know how, and pray that they will do the same for you.” (106)
There was also a great affirmation in the “Give Up Blaming” chapter that I wrote in my “Life How-to” notebook I keep from all these personal development books I’ve read.
Another thing I thoroughly enjoyed were the quotes Saviuc included throughout the book from authors I’ve read or plan to read including Paulo Coelho, Kahlil Gibran, Haruki Murakami, J.K. Rowling and others. It was great to see many of the authors I think of as incredibly spiritual (in their own way – hello Religion of Harry Potter ;-D) listed in a book about happiness.
Recommendation: The writing is incredibly simple and easy to follow. Even though I didn’t, I would recommend checking out the viral blog post [Purpose Fairy link] the author mentions multiple times before reading/buying and if you think it sounds useful then read it. Even if you don’t there is some great advice in here.
*I received a copy of this book in return for an honest response. No goods or money were exchanged.
Opening Line: “Throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, life for my family and me, in our European home country of Romania, which was transitioning out of Communism at the time, was far from pleasant.”
Closing Line: “Give up and be happy!” (Not whited out as this is a work of nonfiction.)
Additional Quotes from 15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy
“The story of your past doesn’t have to become the story of your life. Your past does not have to be your future.” (xv)
“We are all born gifted; we are all born geniuses. There is something unique, valuable and very precious in each and every one of us. We all possess unique gifts and talents that are meant to be our gifts to the world. And by putting our fears, excuses and limitations behind us, by making a commitment to ourselves to do the necessary work toward remembering who we truly are and toward re-becoming the wonderful and precious beings we were born to be, we will be able to tap into these inner gifts and talents, reigniting our inner fire, rekindling our inner flame and claiming back our genius and our personal power.” (42)
“If there is something you want to do, be or have, and if you feel it in your heart that you and those around you will benefit from your being, doing or having this thing, act on it. Work on making this thing become reality.” (59)
“You weren’t born to blend in. You weren’t born to hide your true beauty, power and perfection from those around you. And you definitely weren’t born to copy the behavior of those around you in the hope that by doing so you will become more impressive in their eyes. So strive to be true to yourself at all times.” (161-162)
“You are the main character int he story of your life, just like everyone else is the main character in their own story. And the relationship you have with your true self, with your inner divinity and with the source of all things should be the most important relationship in your life. Just as it should be the most important relationship in everyone else’s life.” (181)