Everyone is searching for the key to happiness. Author M.J. Ryan thinks it can be found by focusing on the simple things in life; like the love of family and friends, a purposeful career, time to yourself, seeing the awe and wonder around you, using your full powers and talents, and taking a nice rest once in awhile. I really like that last one!
The Happiness Makeover is filled with wonderful and really simple ways to find the kind of happiness that lasts, unlike the kind that is fleeting and fickle and usually associated with buying something expensive you don’t really need or doing something you aren’t supposed to do. Ryan focuses on deep, soulful happiness and she serves as the reader’s own personal happiness coach as she offers suggestions for seeing life in new ways that can rewire the brain and boost the spirit.
Ryan is the bestselling author of The Power of Patience and Attitudes of Gratitude, and owns an international coaching practice, so she is speaking from experience here, and also from her own personal quest for that elusive happiness. Along the way, she found that being happy doesn’t require being rich, or thin, or beautiful. Rather, doing things like clearing out the clutter, finding meaningful work, engaging in life more fully, cultivating friendships, stretching yourself beyond the comfort zone, and seeing the positive get people much closer to joy than any yacht or trophy spouse or millions in the bank.
Each chapter offers wisdom and ideas for putting that wisdom to work in your own life, as well as personal stories of people who have found happiness and overcome challenges and obstacles many of us will face. This book doesn’t break any new ground and often repeats much of what fills most books on the subject, but it does so with a warm and delightful style that will please readers who are sick of getting Dr. Phil’d. M.J. Ryan is great at coaching the reader to move beyond their stuck positions and take actions steps, no matter how small, towards a life that is more joyful and authentic. And she never resorts to name-calling, criticizing or any of that other obnoxious behavior so many “self-help” gurus fall prey to.
The Happiness Makeover is a fast and fun read, and will leave you with ideas, options and choices for finding your own key to happiness. It’s up to you, though, to unlock the door.