PHUKET: There is no single key to happiness that will work for every single person out there, which is what makes Lisa Cypers Kamen’s holistic approach to understanding where we are on the happiness scale, and where we want to be, so insightful.
‘Are We Happy Yet? Eight Keys to Unlocking a Joyful Life’ is a hands-on guide to changing the way we understand what makes us happy and how we can continue down that path. Though I cringe at the term self-help book – what book doesn’t put us on the path of self help? – Ms Kamen quickly connects to her readers, as she encourages us to help ourselves and treat ourselves as we want to be treated.
“If I were to ask you what makes you happy, would you be able to answer? Don’t worry if you could not. You’re not the only one who’s struggling right now to find your happiness, and how can you find it if you don’t quite know what it looks like?” writes Ms Kamen.
From the beginning, Ms Kamen has her finger on the pulse of the middle-class world dominated by people who seem to have no reason to be unhappy: they have The Job, The Life Partner, The Beautiful Kids, The House and The Car, but they’re missing something.
With an increased awareness of the suffering in the world brought about through 24-hour news and globalization, it’s hard to take our problems of divorce and depression toe-to-toe with genocide, starvation and refugee crises – yet we are still unhappy. Drawing lessons from upheavals in her own life: divorce, loss of investments, homelessness with two children and so on, Ms Kamen lays out a simple path toward self-mastery in her book.
By sharing her personal battles with depression, Ms Kamen avoids sounding like a lecturer, but rather sounds like a dear friend, who knows that her path to happiness might not be yours, but that there are some universally applicable guidelines that will steer you toward discovering joy rather than simply avoiding pain.
Before jumping in on her eight keys to happiness, Ms Kamen provides exercises for each reader to establish their unique foundation for building a happier life. There is the ‘Happiness Factor’ and ‘The Positive Currency Bank’.
“Discovering your H-Factor is a means to uncovering our authenticity and showing up for life by giving ourselves full permission to experience unadulterated,” writes Kamen. Think about the happiest viral YouTube videos: Double Rainbow Guy, Cup Staking Girl, The Guy Overly Excited About Trains and so on. That’s the sort of unadulterated happiness we want, right?
Plainly written, concise and insightful, Are We Happy Yet? has the potential to adjust our attitudes toward happiness as we look inward at what we can do day in and day out in its pursuit.
“You see, happiness is our birthright, but not our entitlement. Each of us came into the world happy. It is human nature. Entitled to be happy? Who said? Entitlements are for those of us who believe we are owed something. Some outside source does not grant happiness to us. Happiness is ours to claim at any time and any place, regardless of external circumstance,” concludes Ms Kamen.
So, step up to the plate, read the book, do the exercises and allow yourself to harness the transformative power of self-mastery as you become a happier person.
Lisa Cypers Kamen presents ‘Harvesting Happiness’ every weekend on Gazette Radio. To purchase her book on Amazon, click here.
— Isaac Stone Simonelli