Saturday, June 18, 2011

Book Review: How To Live In The World And Still Be Happy by Hugh Prather

How to Live in theWorld and Still Be Happy is a book that I picked up well over 15 or maybe 20 years ago.  I remember that edition’s sky blue cover and how it became worn with constant use, and also from being dragged around with me to work and to the beach.  Now the spine is almost illegible as the book sits on my shelf. 

Particularly useful in this book were the exercises to help getting through the day and staying on purpose.  One of them included an invitation to make a list of every contact I had with the world in one day, including those activities such as background television before work, phone calls, and the drive to work.  At first I thought the exercise was pointless and was tempted to move on to something else more spiritually and intellectually engaging.  However, one day I took the time to map out a typical day so that I could apply the second part of the exercise: to cut back on some of the activities.

What a revelation Hugh Prather’s exercise brought to my awareness and how much more living, actual living, I started to enjoy.  I recommend How To Live In the World And Still Be Happy to anyone who is feeling dragged down by life, appearances, work and who is looking for some gentle direction and support in living as a happy person.

There are chapters on money, work, relationship and one of my favorites “What is a Happy Person?” where I found this keeper: The rule is, do not allow the criticism to leave your mind; remove its source, and repair the damage to your mind quickly.

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