Book Excerpt from The Practical Guide to Happiness

July 16, 2013 at 12:50 am Leave a comment


I’m hosting an excerpt from non-fiction, self-help book “The Practical Guide to Happiness”. Enjoy the excerpt!

Book Excerpt

Illusion #1:

If I were wealthy, I would be happy



Having it all doesn’t make a person happy. Not having much doesn’t make a person unhappy.

Each person can be happy, or unhappy, both with and without life’s riches. If you look honestly around you, you will find powerful examples of both. What matters is not what you have, or what you don’t have, but the amount of value you place on the having.

Have you ever seen one of those documentaries (the movie Babies is a very powerful example) of young children in third world countries?  Have you seen the joy in their faces?  They have joy from simply being and experiencing the world.  These children, by our standards, have NOTHING. They do not have enough food, no running water, few clothes, uncomfortable sleeping conditions and are surrounded by death and disease. They may be missing a hand, have a club foot or a cleft palate, with no hope of medical care. Yet, when you compare the joy on their faces when they are playing in the dirt, to the faces of American children is a pristine, fun, expert-developed preschool class, there is no doubt which child is truly feeling joyful. Why?

“Well they don’t know any better,” you suggest.

They don’t. So they can’t waste any time or energy pining for what they don’t have because they don’t know what doesn’t exist in their world.  These children are also young enough that they have not fully awakened an insatiable ego that simply always wants more. They simply live with what is, either happily or unhappily.

So can you.

It is entirely possible to be happy in spite of poor health, a tiny apartment, an old car and clothing that is three seasons old.

Let’s look again at two women who experience exactly the same thing, differently.

The Practical Guide to Happiness

Practical Guide to Happiness CovTitle: The Practical Guide to Happiness: If You Don’t Like How You’re Feeling, Think Again

Author: Margaret Curley Sanborn

Genre: Creative non-fiction, self help

The Practical Guide to Happiness: If You Don’t Like How You’re Feeling, Think Again

Can You Learn to be Happy, with Who You Are, Where You Are and What You Have, Now?

If you are willing, YOU CAN, regardless of the cards you have been dealt.

The “pursuit of happiness” is a human right so basic that it’s named in the US Constitution.  Unfortunately for most, it is little more than a pursuit, as happiness is elusive to many. The Practical Guide to Happiness: If you don’t like how you’re feeling, Think Again delineates, in a concrete way, the direct link between perception, thinking and feeling.

By using highly relatable stories, readers of the book are able to form a concrete link between abstract ideas regarding how they perceive and think, and how they feel. Realistic characters deal with real-life circumstances to demonstrate how the same situation and events, perceived and thought about differently, can yield different levels of happiness.

The Practical Guide to Happiness educates the reader on the number one challenge to their happiness, the human ego. The reader learns about the power of the human ego to provide a continuous negative diatribe that makes constantly holding positive beliefs about the future, in the face of the challenges of ordinary life, almost impossible.  It explains how the ego will impede and thwart most people who chart a course to manifest the type of results that experts, in leading positive thinking books, cite.  It then teaches the reader how to curb the ego, and to Think Again.

By using the Think Again strategies, the user learns to create happiness now, regardless of less than ideal life circumstances.

The first half of the book contains engaging stories that directly address the greatest illusions to American happiness, including: personal weight, beauty, wealth, relationships, work, retirement, and child-bearing.

Through these realistic stories, the reader is shown how even small shifts in perception and thinking create happiness and/or misery for the stories’ characters. The stories do not all have a happy ending as shifts in perception may impact the ultimate outcome, but the point of the book is to show the reader that lasting happiness is not tied to people, events or circumstances.

After drawing the reader through interesting examples of how perception and thinking create feelings, the book shifts to a practical guide the reader can use to identify, analyze and change their own negative thinking.  The second half of this book is a detailed guide for changing perception and thinking to increase happiness. This section includes 8 practical actions the reader can take every day to curb their negative thinking, as well as the 6 steps required to Think Again (or change their mind).

Unlike many good books on this subject, The Practical Guide to Happiness does not have a religious bent. Although it acknowledges spirituality and God, it expressly gives readers the ability to proceed from their own beliefs, including atheism.

This book is exclusively focused on empowering the reader to become happier today, regardless of their current life challenges.

Author Bio

MC-Sanborn-BW-author-photoMargaret Curley Sanborn has been a spiritual seeker since childhood. Raised in a staunch Catholic family, at the age of 5, she announced her plan to be the first female priest. That began her lifelong quest for answers to the ”hows and whys” of life; never finding answers that made sense until she discovered A Course in Miracles.

Margaret spent years as a corporate marketing executive, knowing that her passion for writing and spiritual truth would someday wind up in a book.

Regardless of your personal faith, Margaret has been able to translate some of the spiritual answers she has found, into practical guidance on how to live a happier life.

You can find out more about Margaret at


Amazon: Twitter: @ifuthink

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