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Happy for No Reason: 7 Steps to Being Happy from the Inside Out
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 18, 2008
Written by the author of the best-selling Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul: 101 Stories to Open the Hearts and Rekindle the Spirits of Women (Chicken Soup for the Soul), this is one of the most popular happiness books around. While the author isn't a bona fide positive psychology researcher, that's not necessarily a bad thing when it comes to happiness books- although opinions vary.

Some people think that the best happiness books are written by the positive psychology researchers themselves- because they know the info the best. On the other hand, there are excellent happiness books around written by non-happiness researchers, such as Finding Happiness in a Frustrating World -penned by a physical therapist who began studying happiness after wondering how some of his patients in the hospital could be so happy- despite being so sick or faced with a grave prognosis. Sometimes its nice to get a non-happiness researcher's point of view- to avoid the inherent biases that people have when they discuss and write about their own research. You be the judge- on to the book.

The idea presented is to get the reader to become "Happy for No Reason"- which the book defines as true happiness that isn't dependent on external circumstances. You can then take a questionnaire to see how close you are to being "Happy for No Reason."

So if you're not quite there yet, how does the book intend to get you there? By several ways:

-you'll learn three guiding principles that will help you get past the common blocks to happiness
-you'll learn how to apply the "Law of Attraction" to being happier (the author was featured in the mega-bestseller The Secret which focuses on this law)
-you'll learn about a seven-step program to become "Happy for No Reason". Each step has three "Happiness Habits" with corresponding exercises.
-the author interviewed 100 happy people and shares 21 of their stories that define what it means to be "Happy for No Reason"- stories reminiscent of the "Chicken Soup" series.

A few comments. First, having read much happiness literature, readers should know that some of the things the book suggests you do to become happier ARE research based, such as focusing on gratitude (readers can check out Emmon's book Thanks!: How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier for more on expressing gratitude), while other advice, such as "trust life's unfolding" have NOT been shown to increase happiness levels in controlled trials.

Also, it should be obvious by my brief synopsis that the book has a lot of stuff for the reader to "do" in order to become happier. And, if readers "do" the exercises and become happier, the reason they're happier is because of the things they've done. This kinda goes against the whole point of the book- which is to show us how to become happier for NO reason. This confused me a bit.

Logic aside, there's plenty of value in this book. Happiness books written for the popular read seem to fall into one of two general categories. They're either mainly based on scientific evidence and give you research-tested techniques OR they primarily give you advice and things to think about to help you "reframe" your thinking. Happy for No Reason: 7 Steps to Being Happy from the Inside Out seems to fit in the latter category- and for that I can recommend it to happiness searchers everywhere. Happy trails!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Love, Love, Love this book! Marci does something in this book that I have seen many other brilliant authors do in books on the topic of success. Like Napoleon Hill in "Think and Grow Rich" and Malcolm Gladwell in "Ouliers", Marci studies and interviews people who exemplify the quality they are writing about. What better way is there to discover the secrets that make people successful than finding out what traits they have in common. In "Happy for No Reason" Marci interviews 100 people who are Happy for no Reason and discovers what it takes to raise your "happiness set-point". She then lays out a 7 step process to help you do just that. I write a Stress Buster Tip of the Week for clients and this book has given me material for a year!

Krista Hearty
[...]
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on October 24, 2010
This book is in the genre of spiritual/self help. It manages to synthesize all of the recent information on these topics and create meaningful and very specific strategies for attaining peace and happiness. There are also very useful onine tools and exercises included. Overall, Happy For No Reason was the best book I have read in this category because it includes all areas of personal growth and discusses them thoroughly and offers the means to achieve improvement. Most books give a general idea of strategies but not specifically what to do and how to do it.
Shimoff writes concisely yet completely in clear, well understood language.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2009
This is a well writen and amousing book.Strate talk that the reader can easily understand. Packed with useful info.
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Do yourself a huge favour and get this book!! I wish I had read it ten years ago. It has changed my life! Happy Reading :)
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Life is filled with ups and downs. Every so often, we have those wonderful, almost magical, moments that are particularly sweet. In one instant, we are completely filled with joy. Everything is right with the world.

Then, something happens. The moment fades. We are back to just being ourselves. The joy is quickly forgotten. We go back to our mundane lives.

I think we've all wondered what life would be like if we managed to keep that wonderful feeling. We know, of course, that happiness brought on by things or events doesn't last. Still, wouldn't it be great to just be happy for no particular reason, to just be completely at peace.

Happy for No Reason looks at the things in our lives that contract and expand our feelings of happiness. The premise is that when we feel the world is full of possibilities, we are much more at peace. Therefore, in determining what parts of our lives are limiting these feelings, we have a place to start working. A pretty good place to begin.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2009
I would say that if you've already read authors such as Tolle, Katie, Adyashanti, etc., then there is no reason to buy this book.

However, it might be a good book for those unfamiliar with spirituality, with what some people call "non-dualism", not identifying with the "self" and its stories.

If happiness is independant of circumstance, then happiness is independant of reading this book and doing its exercises.

If you really think you should at least give it a chance, even though you're familiar with spirituality, then get it at the library first.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2009
Read almost any book on how to live a fulfilling life--including my own book--and you will be told that happiness is something that comes from within. It is basically a choice, and that choice is not dependent upon outside circumstances. Making that choice can be a challenge, however. There are many things that can inhibit your ability to choose happiness. And that's where HAPPY FOR NO REASON can help. In this remarkable book, Marci Shimoff not only spells out all the traits that happy people have in common, but she also provides some very specific techniques and exercises to help you get over anything that may standing in the way of your happiness. I highly recommend this wonderful and helpful book.

Steven Lane Taylor, author of Row, Row, Row Your Boat: A Guide for Living Life in the Divine Flow
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Great book
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on December 7, 2014
nice book
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