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.

I like to be happy – it’s the very best way

To start out each morning…

And end up each day!

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.

And often I whistle

As I work in the yard.

Then hardly, if ever,

Is the yard work too hard.

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.

And when problems come

And others grow glum,

I try to be upbeat –

And even have fun!

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:

‘Cause time after time

I’ve happened to find

That just being happy

Begins in my mind.

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.

What lessons have you learned from children’s books? Are you choosing to be happy today?


Matt helps online business owners and brands, small and large leverage the power of partners to grow their businesses. He teaches you how to make money as an affiliate and how to work better with affiliates. Entrepreneurs and companies such as Shark Tank's Kevin Harrington, Zig Ziglar, Ray Edwards, Brian Tracy, Lewis Howes, Shutterfly, Jeff Goins, and Michael Hyatt have trusted Matt to run their affiliate launches.

12 thoughts on “This Book Will Make You Happy

  1. Bret Wortman says:

    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.

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      It’s a shame I didn’t start reading until I was 26 🙂

      My daughter has a library already!

  2. Carol Dublin says:

    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!

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      Get it! I think it’s worth it…you can read it over and over again 🙂

    2. Todd Liles says:

      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.

      1. Carol Dublin says:

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

  3. Todd Liles says:

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

  4. Jon Stolpe says:

    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.

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      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 🙂

  5. Dan Black says:

    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!

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      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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