Book Review: Creating Optimism

Happiness seems in short supply today. There are many reasons for the surliness of the world including financial worries, health concerns, declining morality and troubled relationships on every hand. Plenty of reasons to frown to be sure. If I were a worldly person I would probably be sad too.

The shortcomings of culture are being laid bare daily. It does not and cannot fulfill our deepest needs. Living for God and looking for the coming of Jesus Christ in glory is the best answer for happiness I know. But on a purely secular level there is a book you might come across for reading. Let me give you a quick rundown of Creating Optimism

“Our society constantly tries to makes us into something we are not, with purposes and functions that are not congruent with out real selves. The way we are forced to live is abusive.”

The authors suggest eight fundamentals of happiness. They are:

  1. Connection to others

  2. Autonomy

  3. Self-esteem

  4. Competence

  5. Purpose

  6. Connection to your body

  7. Connection to nature

  8. Spirituality

The remainder of the 203 pages offers insights into these eight areas. As you might imagine I was most interested in what they had to say about spirituality. They write, “Spirituality, along with functional relationships is the ultimate antidepressant.” Certainly we would agree if that spirituality is based on truth. Unfortunately, these authors equate spirituality with a belief in anything spiritual-like. In fact in one example they speak of an antelope god. Perhaps they are being absurd to make a point but the tenor of the chapter does not point to the one true God, Jehovah.

The book does highlight some research into various aspects of spirituality including prayer. But the sad fact is that the book believes prayer is a method whereby the subconscious “tricks” the brain into believing deliverance has come by the divine.

There are some useful aspects to the book as long as we remain outside of the spiritual. But once these two begin to focus on spirituality they show there humanistic sided through and through.

On a scale of 10 I give it a 4. Just my thoughts, yours?

#BookReview #happiness

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