Saturday, June 22, 2013

Bill Giovannetti Shares the "Secrets to a Happy Life"

Secrets to a Happy Life
Secrets to a Happy Life: Finding Satisfaction in Any Situation
  • Written by Bill Giovannetti
  • Published by Bethany House
  • Released June 15th, 2013
  • 192 Pages, English Language
  • Paperback Edition or eBook
  • Suggested Retail Price $12.99 
  • Available for Purchase Now 
Everyone has a different definition of happiness, but I think it is fair to say that most Americans feel like it eludes them.  So many people I know think that a better paying job, a new home, a certain boyfriend or girlfriend, or even a car will make them happy.  The problem with looking for happiness externally is that the goalposts always move.  

In time a promotion bring stress, a house will need repairs, a new beau will be flawed, and a car loses its shine.  Whatever it is that we think will bring us joy can never provide the peace and serenity that knowing God can.

Of course, that is not to say that we should throw off all of the things of this world - they are here for us to enjoy!  The point that Bill Giovannetti is trying to make with his book is that if the people who feel unhappy shift their viewpoint slightly they might see that they already have everything they need to live an abundantly happy life.  

Secrets of a Happy Life is an interesting book.  The author begins with the assertion that God created us to be happy!  He then tells some stories from his life, goes on to cite a good deal of Scripture and then gives us the example of Joseph (the dreamer and beautiful cloak wearer - well loved by his father Jacob, hated by his brothers, sold into slavery, made to endure hardship, scandal and prison, rose to become the second most powerful man in Egypt, and eventual savior of the same brothers who wanted to kill him) to illustrate how we all have the power to be happy inside of us.  The problem is that many of us do not recognize or take advantage of it.  So, as you can guess, he uses the book to help the reader find this truth, tap into it, and be the keeper of their own happiness no matter what comes their way.

He manages to do this all in less than 200 pages and keep the reader engaged as he covers some rather deep truths.

The Chapters cover what he calls "The Eleven Secrets":
  1. Letting Go
  2. Destiny
  3. Consistency
  4. Loyalty
  5. Endurance
  6. Trust
  7. Closure
  8. Identity
  9. Wisdom
  10. Surrender
  11. Love
The book is introduced with "God Wants us to be Happy" and "What is Happiness?" and closes with "You Can Have a Happy Life" and Acknowledgements.

Each chapter ends with some Questions for Reflection and Discussion making it a good choice for a group study.

I agree with a some of what he writes but this is definitely not a Catholic text.  Ignoring the name it and claim it attitude, I was able to find some thought provoking nuggets.  If you are familiar with Saint Irenaeus, you know that he was named a Doctor of the Church.  That is not a title easily earned.  You have to be a pretty brilliant and well known for your defense and explanation of the truths of the Catholic Faith to get the title.  As I read this book I thought about one of his quotes.

“The glory of God is a human being fully alive; and to be alive consists in beholding God.” - Saint Irenaeus

I do agree that we hold the key to our own happiness, and appreciate how well he illustrates God's love, His mercy, and His grace.  There are a few areas where my belief and the author's don't match up, since I believe so strongly in the Sacraments.  Overall, I think this book can help people who feel the millstone that is unhappiness.