Viet Hung offers an appealing collection of blog posts in The Happiness Journal: Your daily Inspirational sips toward reaching happiness. They are presented with humility and a disclaimer about the author’s translation of the text from Vietnamese to “very simple English.”
Hung’s goal is “to inspire everyone to have a positive, well-rounded, peaceful, meaningful, fulfilled, energetic and intense life.” Each entry, he writes, “is like a thoughtful sip of coffee.”
The book is divided into three sections—“Sensing Happiness,” “Happiness in the Workplace,” and “Seeking Your Own Truthful Happiness”—bookended by a brief foreword and epilogue and filled with dozens of posts written over the course of a decade, many no more than a page long. One exception is the longer “Five things I learned from my entrepreneurial journey,” which runs ten pages.
Most of the entries discuss Hung’s observations about various topics—from victim mentality and ego to stillness and, of course, happiness. They occasionally include a story, email conversation, or QR code to be scanned for a guided meditation.
The writing is simple but sensitive (and mostly free of grammatical errors), starting with the first post about a nun who cared for more than 50 orphans and “differently abled children” and endearing us to the author right away. A kindness theme organically surfaces throughout, and the messages exude a learned wisdom.
In “Whose fault is it?” Hung explores the blame game we humans are apt to play: “We criticize others in order to relieve our fears and to temper our anger at the chaos of life.” Responding to a staff member who asked if he was afraid his employees would lose respect because he doesn’t keep his distance, Hung writes, “Leadership doesn’t come from your position—it comes from what you can do for the people around you.”
The Happiness Journal is designed to be savored in small doses. It’s a simple book that will leave readers feeling refreshed and uplifted with every “sip.”
Also available as an ebook.