Not according to the author of the book, Marci Shimoff who apparently wrote chicken soup for the soul(a book I could never finish as a teenager…are those even in print anymore?) and the secret (like attracts like, unlike with magnets). I picked up this book because I saw a counsellor for one session ( I found out I wasn’t covered for her only certain counsellors through the insurance company so I did not return). She suggested this book to me and she seemed like a happy person so why not. I was immediately skeptical with it’s bright yellow cover and the author smiling in that “awkward leaning head on fist pose” every walmart photography photo studios makes you do. She first introduces herself saying that she was never the happy one always unsatisfied growing up compared to her sister. And that she was able to change this which is awesome to hear.
The only problem I have with it as a depressed person, is that I am a happy person especially when around people. I know people that act absolutely miserable and complain about all great things they have in their life. I like to ask these people if they have ever been depressed thinking maybe if I bring it up they will shut up about their burnt toast and “crappy” well paying job and how they will never be a size zero, always a size 4. The response is shockingly that they have never really been depressed before. I have at least 2 friends like this, the complaining and negative outlook never really effects their overall satisfaction in life. They are serious, non-smiling, non-friendly but the never get sad or frustrated the way I do. So I am a bit skeptical at the “whole changing my outlook will change how I feel thing”. It works to some extent but not if the feelings come without any actual bad life events.
Another issue I have with the book, is that it mentions god a lot and faith. I am an atheist and these references in books and self help type things don’t have an effect on me. The funny thing is, she talks about a “happy one hundred” that were studied, and the belief in god or “something bigger than themselves” was a primary belief in these happy people. Nevertheless, I am sure it will help people who feel that way. I still like reading positive stories (I don’t think the bible is positive story, though) just for the happy positive feelings/hope it gives me even if it is primarily religious based.
I do like how she mentions that people can change, which I have seen happen in real life. It is easy to be “stuck in ways” everyone gets like that but we can still get happier :).
Overall, the book combines personal stories from different people and how they overcame certain obstacles, activities, ideologies (forgiveness, gratitude, kindness), has good quotes and is an easy read. I wouldn’t suggest buying any book, used book stores usually are stocked full of self help books (usually unused) right beside a ton of diet/exercise books (unread of course). Or a library might have it.
There is an interesting article written by Ernest Hemmingway’s grand daughter, which she explains that her family is full of mental illness, and how she conquers it by the Sedona Method. http://www.sedona.com/whatisthesedonamethod Looks expensive but it is basically not taking your ideas and thoughts personally. For example, I am fat so I feel sad and just trying to accept them, I suppose, and eventually you will stop thinking them. There are probably other methods that are not copyright just like this! I will look into this method further.