Friday, February 16, 2018

Book Review: 'Happy Chasing Happy' by Jerome Isip

Jerome - or rather Jay - Isip is one extraordinary being. He lives is a completely buff, fully tattooed well kept body and combines the roles of entrepreneur, Pro Mixed Martial Arts fighter, author, Investor, life enthusiast etc. all because he chose to create his own dreams. In this very wise, solidly written, at times gut-achingly hilarious book he leads us through his autobiography – a life as wild and mad as any author has confessed – and in doing so he opens our minds to challenges we all face while offering us (he’d never confess this!) some sound philosophy on overcoming the hurdle we tend to place in our lives. His wit is at times acerbic and naughty but he uses it to pull that string on our brains' light bulbs to make us take responsibility for achieving the life we want. You'll not find a book more full of an author's quotes that could (make that `should') be pasted around the space where we cogitate than this.

As is often the case in a well constructed book Jay spells out his purpose in a very solid Introduction: ‘We are all addicted to something. We all reach a point in our lives where our destination is dictated by nothing but an addiction. A point where we have to stand and face our reflection and ask ourselves, how? How did we reach this point of living life as a rodent in the dark, when we all have a light to shine? Because we dread facing the painful situations, we detach from our core of pureness and shift into a dimension of false euphoria. The components of depression, anger, and lifelessness lead us to suppress our emotions with an outside substance, which leads us to a lost land that is directed toward a level of highness nothing else now could replace. We chase the uplifting feeling from the very foundation of our physical existence. We‘re running through the jungle with our eyes wide shut, sniffing for the next appetizing piece of scrap we could feed on. We fall for the bait, but only to find out the scrap is bait from the lions, hoping it would catch some appetizing prey worth eating. We stare into the hungry eyes of the jungle king, in complete fear like the scavengers we are. The panting breath of the lion shoos us away, realizing we are worthless for he wants no part of our peasantry. Our fear descends, and we walk away in relief that we are unharmed, but then we realize that lion used to be us. Somewhere, somehow, we lost ourselves, always chasing the next high in life because we are unhappy with our present being. Our addictions have given us amnesia about our true selves, and we‘ve forgotten what it‘s like to live in ample freedom and power—to live like a lion.’

The manner in which he lays out his life story is a trip through those various addictions he has overcome and how he has ultimately arrived at a happy gratifying life – and how he now uses all of that to help each of us find honest happiness. Jay is a wise man, a born comedian, and the kind of guy you’d love to call your best friend. And he is a hell of a writer! 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.