Thursday, February 15, 2018

Book Review: Happiness: 'The Happiness Project' by Luke Jackson

Author Luke Jackson has written books on adolescence – FREAKS, GEEKS AND ASPERGER – A USER GUIDE TO ADOLESCENCE, and SEX, DRUGS AND ASPERGER’S SYNDROME – A USER GUIDE TO ADULTHOOD – and now he turns his attention to helping others find happiness in everyday life and though he uses ‘Luke Jackson’ as a moniker (aka Luke Clarke) the message is just as strong as in his other books – in a different direction!

Many may see the title and think ‘Oh, no, not another self help guide book of instructions on how to have a perfect life!’ Stop there, buy this book, and slip back into a comfy chair and just bask in Luke’s very honest and warm delivery of his suggestions for first, defining, and second, incorporating his very straightforward concepts, and then feel the anxiety of your life evaporate.
Luke eases us into his realm of thinking with his definitions of happy, unhappy, change, and manifestation of his steps to gain happiness. These are not rules and regulations but moments to pause, consider the idea, internalize it and then skip along though the remainder of this very accessible and sensitive book. ‘Happiness is an emotional state in which an individual enjoys feelings of joy and fulfillment. Contrary to popular belief, happiness is not the absence of worries and fears; rather, it is the ability to deal with those worries and fears in a positive manner. Happiness is indeed a choice. You may go through a lot of negativities in life, but it depends solely on you whether you want to be happy or not. ‘

What follows is his list of 21 methods of achieving happiness – among them (not to deprive the reader of discovering the dialogue that accompanies each) – surround yourself with positive people, do the things you love, keep yourself physically healthy, meet new people while socializing with friends, travel to new places, keep smiling, challenge yourself, always be grateful, live in the present, treat everyone with kindness and on and on. Not that the thoughts are new (hopefully), but it is the manner in which Luke leads us through his ideas that makes us want to embrace him and his philosophy.

Graduate successful from Luke’s school and feel the difference in the way you view the world – and the way the world views you. Grady Harp, February 16

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.