Saturday, July 13, 2013

Book Review: Happy This Year! (Will Bowen)

Back in 2006, I became very intrigued by Will Bowen's initiative and subsequent book, A Complaint Free World.  The idea seemed simple enough...ask for a free purple bracelet from their website (you could really use just any old bracelet or even a rubber band) and change wrists every time you complained about something.  The goal was to make it 21 straight days without changing wrists.  Now, I consider myself to be a fairly positive person, so I thought for sure this would be a no-brainer for me.  Imagine my surprise when I found myself having to change the bracelet many times the first day...and the second day...and so on.  I haven't yet completed the program, but I do start it quite a lot!

I was thrilled to get Bowen's latest, Happy This Year! The Secret to Getting Happy Once and for All.  Again, I am generally a happy person, but sometimes life gets in the way.  Bowen offers step-by-step instructions and real-life examples illustrating how your thoughts, words, and actions can all get in the way of your happiness.  He insists that you and only you control your own happiness, and I found myself saying "A-ha!" quite a lot to myself as I listened to the audio book.

Some of the ideas seem a little hokey, like using the word "Abracadabra!" to wipe away any unhappy feelings.  However, there are quite a few helpful ideas here that seem new to the very busy "happiness self-help field."  While A Complaint Free World is still the book that had the most effect on me, there is still much knowledge to be gained from Happy This Year!