Instead of my normal "writing lessons learned" post, today I'll share a book with you that teaches life lessons. It's called The Law of Happiness by Dr. Henry Cloud.
I've been reading a lot of nonfiction lately, and this book fascinated me. Why? It's a book where the Bible and science collide. I'm not a scientific person--I'd say I'm more spiritual--but that doesn't mean I don't have questions about how the two coexist.
What I loved most about this book was how it gave scientific proof for how the truths found in the Bible make people happy. It showed how if we followed the advice given in those ancient pages, we are following a path that's paved with happiness. Life will always have troubles, to be sure, but it's nice to know there's a proven guide for how to keep joy in our lives.
Without giving too much away, let me list three laws of happiness. And since this is a writing blog, I'll even point out how these laws apply to writers!
- Happy people are givers. It's true that giving brings much more joy than receiving. This truth applies when giving tithes at church, or giving clothes to the local homeless shelter. But it's also true when writers give their time to help other writers, or give a kind word to someone who's ready to give up. Giving doesn't have to be expensive. Encouragement is free.
- Happy people connect. It's great when we connect with others in the physical world, and also when we connect with each other virtually. If we're ever feeling alone out here in our little corner of the world, all we have to do is reach out to a fellow writer. They'll know exactly how we're feeling. When we're tempted to isolate ourselves, reaching out is a great way to add joy to our lives.
- Happy people don't compare themselves. This is a biggie for writers, yes? Sometimes it's difficult to not compare ourselves. But...you see that writer over there? The one with the accolades and the book deals and the mega sales? He's on his path and you're on yours. We were each given special gifts that make our stories and writing styles our own. My sentences and word choices will be different than yours. My publishing path will be like no other. Same with you. We each bring something unique to the literary world--let's not compare ourselves to others.
These three laws are just a sampling of the wonderful laws of happiness outlined in this book. I highly recommend it. Not only as a writer, but as a flawed person who's figuring out this thing called Life. The beauty of The Law of Happiness is that it's not all about religion. Sure, it's about laws written in the Bible, but it's also about how science backs up those same theories. If you're looking for a lamp to guide your path, this book is a great place to start.
If smiles were like star ratings, I'd give it five smiles :) :) :) :) :)
Have you read The Law of Happiness? Are you curious about how science and the Bible collide? Do you feel happiness when you give, connect with others, and toss aside comparisons? What else makes you happy?