Sunday, March 6, 2016

Thank You Power

I’m currently working in a bookshop (part time, mostly to have a little spending money).  I’m not sure how good an idea it is; it’s a little like hiring a kid to work at a toyshop.  There are so many books and so little time.

I found this book, Thank You Power (by Deborah Norville), in the dollar bin at the store.  There isn’t a lot in it to distinguish it from a lot of similar books.  (I think Brené Brown is one of the better writers in this area and I should review her Spirituality of Imperfection someday.)  But it’s a great reminder of the importance of gratitude, has a bunch of scientific studies that back this (and all sorts of other positive stuff) up, and has some pretty good quotes.

Here’s one about how the best way to be happy is to do things for other people (and there are a lot of studies that show this):  “Happiness is a by-product of an effort to make someone else happy.”  (Gretta Palmer)  The converse of this is that directly pursuing happiness is a sure-fire way not to achieve it.

Another way to achieve happiness is to do meaningful work, especially stuff that inspires you.  The quote for this one is: “If you observe a really happy man, you will find him building a boat, writing a symphony, educating his son, growing double dahlias or looking for dinosaur eggs in the Gobi desert.  He will not be searching for happiness as if it were a collar button that had rolled under the radiator striving for it as the goal itself.  He will have become aware that he is happy in the course of living life twenty-four crowded hours of each day.”  (W Beran Wolfe)  Pretty true (if you ignore the sexist assumptions in the quote.)  I think, of course, that the best way of all is to do meaningful work that makes a lot of other people happy.

Finally, perhaps the key thing that can really bring happiness is being thankful.  To everyone and for everything.  It’s an important and often neglected practice.  And that’s why I bought this book.  Even though it may not be the best written book I’ve read, gratitude is the main focus of Thank You Power.  

Being grateful, constantly appreciating others and life, changes us.  We can’t be reminded of that too often.

Quote of the Day: “What if… the secret to happiness was within each of us?  What if a lasting sense of completion, an enduring sense of completion, was possible--simply by changing the lens through which we viewed daily life? …
“Here’s the good news: you’ve got the power right now. … That power begins with two words: thank you.” - Deborah Norville

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