Book Review: Happiness Is All We Want! by Ashutosh Mishra

[I finished reading this book in February. This is NOT a part of my #FemmeMarchFest.]

The author of this book, Happiness Is All We Want!, Ashutosh Mishra, approached me for an honest review in exchange for a review copy. The title intrigued me and despite knowing it is nonfiction (I’m not that big a fan), I agreed to review it.

Read ahead for my thoughts about Happiness Is All We Want!

The title of the book, Happiness Is All We Want! is simple but true. Whatever we crave for in life, our basic thought process leads us to happiness, be it health, or wealth. There is no limit to what we want for ourselves. In that very breath, there is also the point that many-a-times, we tend to be people-pleasers and don’t pay proper attention to what our body, mind, and soul need.

That is exactly what Ashutosh Mishra has written down in this book.

What I Didn’t Like About the Book:

The first thing that I didn’t like about the book (not what is in it) is the minute print. It is too small to be associated with a book on happiness and health. And that is one of the major reasons why it took me so long to finish Happiness Is All We Want!, over a week. Especially when it is nonfiction, you want the print in your book to be as easy on the eye as possible.

Another thing I didn’t like about the book is it becomes too dragged out for my liking. I am not a spiritual person, so when the spiritual stuff starts, I almost zoned out. But that is just me. A majority of the reading population might just like what the author says.

There are paragraphs in the book that contain sentences with no connection to each other whatsoever. The biggest reason a book becomes enjoyable, be it fiction or nonfiction, is the flow of the narrative. And in quite a few places, the flow just isn’t there. In some other places, there are repetitive, redundant sentences.

And finally, the book is sort of a contradiction in itself. In the first few pages, you are told, “Tell yourself to do this” and “Tell yourself not to do this.” But towards the end, it graduates to the point where it tells us that telling ourselves these lists creates bondage and that because of this, happiness remains elusive.

What I Loved About This Book:

The things that I love about Happiness Is All We Want! far outweigh the things I didn’t like.

Happiness Is All We Want! came to me at a time when I was taking stock of what I had done wrong. I had put on 10 kilos in less than 6 months, felt tired all the time, even though I was technically getting enough sleep, yet felt like I could use more sleep. I’d decided that enough was enough and that I would do something to modify that. I’m still in the process of doing this, come to think of it, though I’ve started on that journey.

During this time, this book helped give me perspective. Given, I haven’t been following everything in it and not much time has passed (almost zilch), but the motivation is there and I know I’ll be abiding by at least half the practical tips in the book.

The author knows the general tendency of the human mind, putting across the bitter truth in easy ways. He knows how fickle happiness can be, like that of a child’s. We crave something, but once we achieve it or acquire it, our attention span wavers too quickly. And this is as hard-hitting a fact as anything else.

The author, through a number of practical tips, advises us the best way to go forward in life. He compares the agitation in our minds to overlapping waves (/thoughts) and the truth of the statement struck me hard! I kept staring at the wall opposite me in such wonder, it took me a few seconds to shake myself out of it.

In dissecting the three parts of a human, (Mind, Body, and Soul), the author shows us how easy it is to compartmentalize and pay attention to ourselves – the most important part of our life on Earth. The mind can be brought into peace by using Yoga, Reiki, meditation, and prayers. Exercise for the body is important to bring it into optimum shape. And spiritual advancement is important for the soul.

Another nonfiction book that I read recently was Rujuta Diwekar’s Don’t Lose Your Mind, Lose Your Weight. And both these books say the same thing. Don’t overstuff yourself. Neither will the starving people benefit from it, nor will your body.

It is so important to understand this difference and understand how to bring ourselves to a level where we find calm and peace. Once you do this, the world will conspire to bring calm and peace around you. And that is what happiness is all about. Happiness from within transcends happiness around you.

Here are some quotes from the book that I found so true that I couldn’t help but jot them down:

The mind has a tendency to care for the physical comfort and demands of our body. Unless it is trained well, it makes us choose the easier or not-so-good options, which may give us short term comfort and gratification but will actually be detrimental in the long run.

The key to a calm mind is to spend some time with oneself.

It is important to prioritise and make a manageable wish-list.

Don’t be mistaken that all the bad things in your life will be completely erased by the power of prayer. It is only that you are much better equipped to handle bad fortune, with this power.

The irony of modern life is that the guy doing the right thing needs to justify his or her actions and not the other way round.

If you were to forget about ‘Karma’ and revert to the path of pure sense enjoyment or evil, the previous good karma will be undone taking you backwards on the path resulting in a wretched existence for ages.

The biggest cause of stress today is the anxiety caused by the fear of future.

You make a beginning, though small. Take one baby step at a time and progress will follow. Don’t get bogged down by the seeming impossibility of the task. If you fail once, try again.

You can also find my review of Happiness Is All We Want! on YouTube:

Rating: 4/5 stars

Picture Courtesy: Goodreads.

Click on the image below (my Amazon Affiliate link) to buy Happiness Is All We Want!

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