Is happiness measurable? Some believe it’s an intangible state of mind. Others, like Dr. Alphonsus Obayuwana, disagree, having spent the last 30 years not only quantifying it but also creating missions like the Triple-H Project, devoted to promoting hopeful and happier communities by elevating awareness about the relationship between happiness, hope and hunger.
Happiness, says Obayuwana, springs from a lifestyle based on hope sustained by leveraging the power of five essential human assets: self-esteem and resiliency, moral support of family and friends, economic assets, educational and spiritual assets, and religious beliefs.
He suggests routines that strengthen each; for example, committing oneself daily to “doing something — no matter how small” towards realizing personal goals or to brightening someone else’s day with a kind gesture. To visualize progress, Obayuwana offers “hunger” and “happiness” quizzes that determine how well a person’s lifestyle aligns with his/her goals. The scores can then be plotted on a graph that tracks improvement.
The author’s mathematical approach is based on a simple equation that describes a direct relationship between hope and happiness and an indirect one between hunger and happiness. The foundation of his equation is built on his belief that one can’t be happy while overwhelmed by hunger or hopelessness.
The book shares not only scientific findings but also personal experiences that inform the author’s theories, including those from his medical career (obstetrics and medical school faculty positions) and his days as a major in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. Real-life examples of people who transformed their lives after experiencing a variety of crises offer compelling reminders that hope springs eternal, even amidst great loss.
Sometimes, the narrative can feel overly broad, tackling everything from “How to Pray After a Tragedy, and Why” to “About Knowledge and Intellect.” But readers will find the author’s ideas interesting and useful. And most will come away feeling that nearly any challenge can be transformed with Obayuwana’s guiding philosophy of nurturing hope to achieve personal goals.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.