We humans are confusing at times; constantly questing after happiness, but without a clear definition of what it is we’re seeking. Happy Today encourages readers to look at life as it is today and start mining happiness from the present moment.
Author Steve Haverly attempts to tackle many big ideas here. Happiness is contingent upon openness to change, living in the present, having open and honest relationships, good health, a grasp on your personality type and how to work with it constructively, etc. He draws on his background as a martial artist and firefighter to provide some illustrative examples of these and other themes.
Some of his ideas are well explained. A conversation with his wife, wherein she reveals that she’d never considered how their marriage would change when their kids were grown, leads to constructive discussion and planning for quality “empty nest” time. A chapter on visualization is both thought-provoking and playful, and uses Arnold Schwarzenegger’s rise to fame as a rallying point; from weightlifting to action stardom, he claims to have visualized the outcome he wanted, then “lived [his] life into this picture.”
The trouble arises from the author trying to tackle so much in so few pages. None of these ideas has room to be explored in depth, so we’re hustled from topic to topic while never absorbing much information. Additionally, the writing regularly goes from conversational to muddled (“Happiness of being will slip from your grasp as long as you harbor unforgiveness in your heart”), which can make for a challenging read from time to time.
Despite its hit-and-run approach to a broad subject, Happy Today is invitingly upbeat. Readers who simply want an overview of ideas to help explore their own pursuit of happiness may find this introduction helpful.
Also available as an ebook.