Monday, January 16, 2006

BOOK REVIEW: Secrets of a Satisfying Life: discover the habits of happy people

What makes a person happy? Is there a secret to happiness that can be taught? David Ireland believes there is and that by studying happy people and the healthy things they do, we can discover a prescription for happiness.

In Secrets of a Satisfying Life: discover the habits of happy people, Ireland outlines the three main points of his premise: discover the habits of happiness; learn how to practice the habits of happiness; and learn to laugh at yourself. Habits of happy people are the deliberate responses that have successfully proven to meet one's needs. Secrets of a Satisfying Life goes on to outline how developing these responses and overcoming the distractions of the past keeps us moving toward the discovery of our life's purpose.

Written in the traditional style of the self-help genre, Ireland continually breaks his thesis into bite size chunks and regularly restates his main points, all while including plenty of examples and quotes from experts. Its construction makes it suitable for study in an adult Sunday School class.

While Ireland definitely tries to make this book relevant to non-Christians through his extensive use of modern metaphors, discussing concepts that border on new age philosophies and by giving examples using icons of modern culture (Madonna, Venus & Serena Williams), the work assumes a Biblical belief system in its readership.

There are many concepts here that will benefit the general public, however readers who are not espoused Christians may find the worthwhile core message difficult to find. The result may be that Ireland finds a reduction of sales in the secondary market (non-religious), as the preponderance of New Testament scripture may eliminate the appeal of this work to the broader audience of spiritual seekers. This limitation dilutes the message that Ireland is trying to send, that we can ALL use these methods.

In the end, what shines through most clearly is Ireland's belief that hope, "a sense of reach that inspires and motivates, is what breeds happiness." Life is filled with the mundane and it is by finding satisfaction there that we will be able to enjoy it and find our life's purpose.

See my review as it is published at Armchair Interviews: Secrets of a Satisfying Life

No comments: