The Happy Mind Summary – February 2022

Author: Kevin Horsley, Louis Fourie

Short Summary
The Happy Mind (2018) motivates the readers to chase happiness and it lies within themselves. Moreover, the book sheds light on the mental processes that are always going on beneath your consciousness.
the happy mind
Source: amazon.com

Detailed Summary

In the book, The Happy Mind, Kevin Horsley and Louis Fourie have shared the secrets of being happy in life. They have motivated the readers to find happiness in themselves and it resides inside us.

Moreover, the authors Horsley and Fourie have emphasized the fact that finding happiness is our responsibility and we should not depend on anyone else to give us happiness.  You’ll find a mix of biology and evolutionary history, as well as the social and financial aspects of happiness, and even a spiritual perspective.

The Happy Mind Key Points

Understanding the reason of unhappiness is important

According to the authors, in order to be happy in life, it’s important to find the reason for our unhappiness first. We need to understand why we are unhappy and what’s bothering us in our life. Only then, we will be able to remove the unhappiness and replace it with happiness.

The book explains the above statement through neuroscience. The book blames our unhappiness on our reptilian brain. This is the same as if each of us had two brains. The “old one,” often known as the reptilian brain, is designed to ensure our survival. Our unconscious instincts, as well as the well-known “fight or flight” processes, are housed here.

The neocortex, or “new brain,” is where our intellectual capacity and rational decision-making abilities are housed. This is the more advanced portion of the brain in terms of evolution. The problem is that this “new brain” is still a servant to the old, instinctual brain in many instances, rather than the other way around. As a result, even though our physical survival is now more certain, we continue to respond as if our anxieties and perceptions of shortage are life-threatening.

Just like an example, we may go through a difficult moment at work that is not a threat to our lives. Our reptilian brain, on the other hand, is unaware of this and causes us to feel as if we are in real danger. To put it another way, humans are naturally programmed to be sad. The good news is that we can educate our “new brain” to overrule our old inclinations on purpose.

It’s our choice to be happy

In the book The Happy Minds, the authors say that we make a choice to be happy in our lives and for that, we have to make an effort. The authors disagreed with the assumption that happiness is magical and it comes unintentionally. Not only this but Horsley and Fourie give you a bucket of practical ideas on how to achieve precisely that in the second part of The Happy Mind.

Moreover, the authors tell the readers that it’s our responsibility to be happy. Rather than acting like a victim of your circumstances, you must take responsibility for your own happiness. Sure, some people appear to have a higher proclivity for happiness than others. It could be because of their DNA or because of the good upbringing they experienced as youngsters. But just because you didn’t inherit those gifts doesn’t mean you can’t work on your own happiness.

The key mental shift here is to consider happiness as a realistic, manageable endeavour over which you have control. One day at a time, you can work on it. Identify and then modify the behaviours, cognitive patterns, and emotional responses that aren’t serving your well-being gradually.

Change starts within yourself

Another great piece of advice that the book The Happy Mind gives to the readers is by changing ourselves and our behaviour, we can bring change around ourselves too. This means that if we want to be happy, we need to change our behaviour and eventually everything starts falling into its place.

What you do or say has an impact on how others react to you, and vice versa. Horsley and Fourie rely on this basic and undeniable observation when delivering this advice. Rather than attempting to persuade others to change their behaviour, concentrate on improving your own. The above prompt becomes the only plausible technique for influencing your environment if you understand the basic rules underpinning human interactions. Consider the possibility that speaking less is the best method to persuade others to listen to you. Similarly, by giving someone your undivided and non-judgmental attention, you may inspire them to express themselves more openly.

Who would I recommend The Happy Mind book to?

The book The Happy Mind is recommended to anyone who is mentally unsatisfied and always blame his fate for the unhappiness in his life. The book will motivate them to start making effort for happiness.