This is published by Action for Happiness, probably the biggest UK network focussed on happiness.  It may be stretching things to call it a book; it’s a 28-page free download from their website, www.actionforhappiness.org.  

Along with the ten keys, all helpful, the book suggests ways to use them, for example creating a local group, or sharing them with a work team.  What’s missing for me is cues for a deeper, more systemic exploration of ways to handle bigger issues in one’s own life and the wider world.  

Although exercise is one of the keys, contact with nature as a source of relaxation or insights is not mentioned.  And the Resource section is highly academic, at odds with the basic tenor of the book itself.

Great Dream is actually a mnemonic for the ten keys (Giving, Relating, Exercising, and so son). Their approaches are all sound and simply presented, and each comes with a question, a couple of action ideas, and an inspiring quote.  Here’s Resilience, as an example:

What has helped you bounce back from difficult times before?

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms: to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances” Viktor Frankl

Action Ideas:

  • Ask for help today.  Confide in a friend, talk to an expert, reach out to a colleague, ask a neighbour to lend a hand.
  • When something is troubling you, do something you really enjoy.  Shift your mood and bring a new perspective on the problem.

This is useful as a very basic intro, but no more.  There are better resources than this on the Action for Happiness website.

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