Okay, I’ve finally been sucked in. Visiting a bookstore to use a gift certificate, a new book (with an Amazon release date of January 1) by Marci Shimoff caught my eye. On her web site she is billed as a key teacher of The Secret, a book I have consistently avoided.
Her new book, Happy for No Reason, summarizes seven ingredients for happiness in easy chapters, a more useful topic. With the Secret I certainly believe the thoughts you hold are critical to the results you achieve. Since there isn’t a lot more in the book judging from what others tell me, I haven’t taken time to read it.
In Happy for No Reason the standard basics about achieving happiness appear: the concept of a happiness set point, physical health, meaningful work, friends, a close love relationship and several others, some of which she reveals in her You Tube video, linked from the book’s site. Very slick. You can pretty much get the ideas in the first few listings if you search "Happy for No Reason" in Google. She calls them seven "steps," but they’re really not steps as much as habits that must work together. Not a heavy-duty book, but with generally solid, comprehensive ideas.
The idea that stood out most as new and different is summarized in a chapter about a step called "Don’t Believe Everything Think." I notice she describes the same concept in a video on her site about The Secret, arguing that many of the 60,000 thoughts we are said to process daily are misleading and that feelings are a better indicator of whether we are moving forward positively or feeling so negative that we will mess things up. This sounds like an interesting idea that bears some further thought.
More than anything I was impressed by the packaging. I see she is even a cofounder a group of 100 motivational speakers who have created a site called the Transformational Leadership Council. It’s a quick list of many big as well as smaller names in the motivation business.
Slick packaging doesn’t mean the information is any less helpful. If anything we can hope that it will encourage more people to take key ideas seriously and use them. We’re all in the process of trying to lay out the most useful, simplest and most appealing ways of getting the same principles in front of people. A good effort. Both her MBA and media training certainly lend power to the message whether or not they make her an expert in these areas.