Resisting Happiness By Matthew Kelly

Resisting Happiness is a religious take on how to live to your fullest potential. Originally, the rough draft for this review was bashing the book for lacking depth or any original takeaways. But after reviewing it again there are a lot of insightful takeaways. It seems like God is referenced every other sentence mixed with little nuggets of wisdom. Overall, the book referenced religion a bit too much for my taste but a quick read with some interesting thoughts. 

Rating: 3/5

Key Takeaways: 

  • This is the paradox that surrounds our quest for happiness: we know the things that will make us happy, but we don’t always do them.
  • No one person can satisfy our immense desire for happiness. And it’s not fair to attach that hope to any one person. So many relationships have died under the weight of this misplaced expectation. 
  • Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle and carrying a heavy load. 
  • Every moment of every day, every situation, every person we encounter is an opportunity to become a better version of ourselves. 
  • It’s OK to be dissatisfied. Being dissatisfied and pretending that we are not is the kind of lie that leads to spiritual and physical illness. Our dissatisfaction is trying to lead us to something better, or something different altogether. 
  • Our lives change when our habits change. New habits bring you life.
  • We live in a culture that says the meaning of life is to get what we want, and that when we get what we want, then we will be happy. We race off into the world to get what we want, but sooner or later we all realize that getting what we want doesn’t make us happy. 
  • It is good and healthy to think about death from time to time. It puts things in perspective and reminds us what really matters. The perspective that death is inevitable reminds us to get busy living. 
  • One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. And that is true not only of things but also experiences and problems. 

How to be a better listener:

1. Look at whoever is speaking. Smile, make appropriate eye contact, and look at the person speaking.

2. Listen with your body. Your body language says a lot about how open or close, interested or uninterested you are in what a person is saying. 

3. Don’t interrupt.

4. Avoid distractions and disruptions. Be present to who is in front of you right now. Try not to be thinking about the next thing you’re going to say; this tends to cause our minds to wander and we stop listening to whoever is speaking.

5. Ask questions. Nothing shows that we are engaged and interested like good questions

6. Make sure you understand what the person is saying. If you’re not sure, or if you think you are sure, it could be helpful to say,

“What I’m hearing you say is…” or

“It sounds like what you’re saying is…”

  • Negative habits of mind, body, and spirit are easily formed. Positive habits of the mind, body, and soul require great intentionality and persistence. 
  • Don’t waste a single Sunday. If you don’t waste Sundays, you are less likely to waste Mondays Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
  • We are all struggling with some thing. Identify your something. Name it. Own it. 
  • You cannot succeed at anything unless you are willing and able to delay gratification. 
  • Be gentle with yourself. When we are gentle with ourselves, when we are patient with ourselves, we develop awareness, and awareness breeds compassion. And every person who ever crosses your path needs a little compassion. 
  • Your friendship with others is not to be taken lightly. You are changing the direction of your friends lives, for better or for worse. Sooner or later, we all rise or fall to the level of our friendships. 
  • When you are discouraged or caught up in procrastination, simply do the tiniest thing to move whatever you are working on forward.
  • The critic’s will always be there, but we need to be careful not to allow their voice is too much space in our hearts and minds.
  • Gratitude anchors us to the present moment, reminding us of what matters most and what matters least. 

Check it out on GOODREADS or AMAZON

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