A few weeks ago I got a message from Soundhaven that pretty much said “you like lists, you should read this book“.
That person is not wrong. I love lists. I have lists for everything – my daily to dos, my weekly tasks, deadlines for work, and of course ultimately there’s my “things to do” list – my bucket list. Without lists I am unorganised and anxious – the very act of writing a list calms my thoughts and motivates me to get things done, and ticking things off makes me happy. They kindly gave me a copy of the e-book version from Smashwords to read.
How To Do Everything And Be Happy by Peter Jones (no, not that Peter Jones, a different one!), is one of those self-help books that promises to change your life. Actually it doesn’t, it promises to give you some tools to help you change your life – very different I guess. But don’t let that put you off!
Peter says right at the start of the book…
If you’re dissatisfied with your life, this book may be for you.
If you want to do something – anything – to increase the amount of happiness you feel, this book is probably for you.
And if you know how to use a pencil, if you own a diary, if you can make a list, if you’re moderately organised, or could be if you had good enough reason to be, then this book is definitely for you.
The writing is very chatty – in fact Peter writes in much the same way I do (I’m going to assume that’s a good thing!), with asides and personal comments, in a very informal style with anecdotes. The book reads at a fast pace so you won’t be spending weeks wading your way through the pages; although there are certain points in the chapters that you’re expected to stop and do something before carrying on – some tasks to teach you how to do everything and be happy.
I do actually think this book is a must read (yes I just recommended a personal development book!). It’s quick and easy going but might just give you a nudge or even better a challenge that will help you achieve what it is you want (or at least work out what it is that you want – after all we can’t complain that we don’t achieve our goals if we don’t actually know what they are, can we?). It is of course one of those books that only makes a difference if you open your mind to what is suggested – but when when you read something like this that is full of common sense (and fairly easy) suggestions that might just help raise a smile, then it’s worth a try.
His idea of regular Boxing Days is one that appeals to me – and not just once a year. As someone who feels good when everything is planned and organised I quite fancy a day a month that’s more spontaneous, some “me time” when I can do what ever I feel like at the time from watch telly to decorate the bedroom (ummmm ok maybe not that). Another idea I particularly like is the one about keeping things that remind you of your everyday life – that fits in well with my Year in Photos project I started last year, and is, in effect, the very reason I started Splodz Blogz in the first place.
I’m not sure how many of the ideas Peter has given me will actually find their way into my everyday life as habits, but one thing he has done is reiterated my need for lists and for planning things (oh and given me some more ideas for my bucket list). It has encouraged me to find my focus and make the most of everything I experience – whether it is something that has to be done or something exciting or extraordinary.
How To Do Everything And Be Happy by Peter Jones and is available in paperback (£8.99) and as an e-book (Kindle version £2.14 from Amazon but other versions are also available).