This Book Will Make You Happy

There is a children’s book that has condensed hundreds of years of psychological research into a book that can be read in one potty training trip.

Let's Be Happy P.K. Hallinan

“Time after time I’ve happened to find that just being happy begins in my mind.” P.K. Hallinan
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It’s called Let’s Be Happy by P.K. Hallinan and it sums up all that has been said by William James, Martin Seligman, and decades of positive psychologists and other gurus. As far as impact on my life and ability to inspire, I put it right up there with Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss in the Must-Read Children’s Books category.

If I gave too many snippets, I’d give away the whole book and likely incur the wrath of the publisher. It is, after all, only approximately 300 words long and the pages are made of cardboard. But the message is strong and the wisdom, though simple, could not be more right.

Who wouldn’t want to start out the day happy? In fact, it might be the single most important thing you can do all day. If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, then what you do with your mind in the first fifteen minutes is even more important.

Are you laughing out loud early in the morning?

Are you smiling?

Are you grateful for something that happened yesterday or is going to happen today? Or someone who loves you?

And why not go to bed that way too? You will sleep better and wake up happier. It is truly cyclical and compounding.

When is the last time you whistled at work? Or hummed? Or just smiled for an extended period of time?

For some of you, it was this morning. Or yesterday. For others it was last month…or last year. But the book is right…when you choose to smile, work does fly by, even work that is otherwise not enjoyable.

You can decide to let others drag you down, or you can decide to be happy. It really is your choice.

Circumstances will try to bring you down. Their success is up to you. Past failures will creep into your thoughts. Doubts will drown out your positive self-talk. Fear will paralyze you. But none of these can overpower your happiness or take away your joy:

In your mind. Whatever is there will rule the day. Happiness, sadness, fear, guilt, confidence…it all begins in your mind.

The book ends with a reminder that happiness is contagious and serving others is often the greatest source of happiness there is.

I couldn’t agree more.

Question: What lessons have you learned from children’s books? Are you choosing to be happy today? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • Amazing wisdom to be found in children’s books…. Kind of like that old saw about how everything I needed to know in life, I learned in kindergarten.

    • It’s a shame I didn’t start reading until I was 26 :)

      My daughter has a library already!

  • I am definitely choosing to be happy today! It’s been a struggle lately, and I’ve needed daily reminders – but rhymes are a terrific way to stay upbeat. Might need to get this book. Here’s to smiles!

    • Get it! I think it’s worth it…you can read it over and over again :)

    • Carol, I struggle with it to. It helped me to understand that it is part of my nature. The same part that strives for greatness. If you like, I will provide an Advanced Insights Profile to you as a friend. It is amazingly beneficial.

      • Thanks Todd – sounds interesting. Always looking for ways to improve!

  • Who can forget Aesop when it comes to children books? The tortoise and the hare is the best. Be patient, the race is long.

  • The Chronicles of Narnia was one of the first books I remember as a kid. The books (especially The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe) introduced me to redemption with such clarity.

    • I didn’t get into CS Lewis until after the age of 30…and it was the movies and his non-fiction books. I can watch the movie in 2 hours or read 8 pages in 2 hours :)

  • Man I love “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” by Dr. Seuss. My aunt bought that book for me when I graduated College. It’s full of great insights. I’ll have to buy “Let’s be Happy” for my son.

    Children’s books are full of some great life principles we all can apply. Very creative post!

    • Definitely get this one Dan.

      I had never read it or Oh, The Places You’ll Go until we had our daughter. As I was reading OTPYG the first time, I was struck by how applicable it was to people of all ages, including Fortune 500 CEOs and more!

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