Monday, September 3, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: The Power of Happiness: A Comprehensive Guide to Daily Joy and Well Being

By:  Timothy McKinney
Published July 31, 2012

Wow!  What do you say when you get a book with a title like that!  Everyone wants to be happy, don't they?  Unfortunately not everyone is happy.  Happiness can be elusive.  And really, what is happiness?  Is it a result of our actions?  Our emotions?  Can it be as a result of both our actions and emotions?  In "The Power of Happiness" author Timothy McKinney seeks to help us learn how to become happy people. 

"The Power of Happiness" is separated into three easy to read parts covering the definition of happiness, determining if you are really happy, and how to be happy.  Through the use of vast amounts of controlled research, life examples, quotes at the beginning of each chapter, charts and graphs, questionnaires and even the suggestion of the use of certain foods and physical/mental exercise, along with a touch of humor to get the point across, Mr. McKinney has made this book an excellent tool for achievement of and recognition of one's personal happiness.  There are even questions and lists to be completed in some of the later chapters. 

There are so many quotes from this book I would like to share, but I'll settle on just one:
The secret to lifelong happiness is to really understand that Life Isn't Supposed To Be Easy.  It's not!  Think about that for a moment.  The VAST majority of our unhappiness comes from expecting things to be different than they are.  We as humans are under the false impression that life is supposed to be easy and that when life isn't easy, there is something wrong.  (pg. 59)
Although there was much in Mr. McKinney's book I liked and will personally use, I must admit I disagree with some of his points.  Most importantly I disagree with "The Golden Key" of Emmet Fox from which Mr. McKinney quotes, which basically states that you can call on God and He will solve your problems.  Better yet, you can think the name of God (or any religious icon you want), and just by thinking, you can make your problems go away.  Let me yell this out -- based on what the Bible says, I disagree!  You cannot use God as a talisman or good luck charm.  You cannot think of God or the name of God and your problems disappear!  Just because you may believe in God does not mean that all of your problems will go away or that God will work in your favor.  God says that all things work for His will, not mine. 

I also have to disagree that the goal of life should be our own happiness, although I don't believe there is anything wrong with being happy.  To the Christian, the Bible tells us to put Jesus first, then others, and lastly ourselves.  When our goal is only our own happiness we have missed the point and have become self-serving.  Colossians 3:12-17 gives the Christian virtues, and verse 17 makes this point: 
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
So what are we to do?  There is nothing wrong with being happy or trying to be happy.  But don't make that the goal of your life.  As a Christian speaking to Christians, this is a good book with much great advice and wisdom.  Use this book to help you achieve your goals in life.  However, temper it with God's wisdom.  If you are a new Christian or are not grounded in the Bible, I would have to say it would be best not to read this book.

I received this book free from the author, who requested an honest review of his book.  I am under no obligation to give a favorable review.

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