HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE by Barry Neil Kaufman. Fawcett Columbine, 1991


APHORISMS (explicit assumptions!) from the book:

      [1] Unhappiness is NOT inevitable!

      [2] Even when we are angry, judgmental and miserable, we have the best of intentions!

      [3] We have been systematically taught to use discomfort as a strategy to take care of ourselves. Therefore, we can "un-teach" ourselves --- and begin again!

      [4] Unhappiness is NOT an enemy --- but just a choice! This book is NOT based on a moral imperative. There are no "shoulds" or "should nots" --- just choices!

      [5] When we choose happiness, we choose love and inner peace. We help others on our planet choose it as well --- by our example!

      [6] We can live our dreams --- instead of just dreaming them!

      [7] We CAN make a difference!

      [8] We ARE the difference!



      [1] The way you choose to see the world creates the world you see! (p5)

      [2] You can, in a simple and easy way, access an amazing "attitudinal advantage" within yourself --- once you come to know that happiness and love are choices and that misery is optional or not inevitable! (p7)

    I never knew I could just claim happiness, at any time, as my birthright and not be limited by the condemning evidence of my own personal history and the past! That AWARENESS, which I previously resisted as preposterous, has been a blessing and has changed my life profoundly. It has allowed me in my own imperfect way to be so much more loving, peaceful and useful to myself and all those I help.

    We dared to experiment with ourselves. We dared to live in ways that others might easily dismiss as "unrealistic" or "impossible." Ultimately, we "resourced" and taught each other, crashed through the walls of limiting beliefs, and constructed what we called "a vision to live by!"

    Each day we gathered together for experiential interactions, discussions, intimate sharings and segments for self-exploration. We laughted. We cried. We shouted. We whispered. We challenged each other. We loved and hugged each other. Eventually, we forged a respectful and honoring "family" of dear and supportive friends.

    Remember, as you read, there will be something to decide and something to do --- an easy, but amazing adventure!

1) Living the "dream" --- Our pursuit of happiness and the actuality of becoming happier empowered us more than we had ever anticipated! (p10-20)

    Happiness no longer eluded us. It became the child of our choices and decisions! So awesomely simple! Rather than become passive as our happiness grew, we became more energized, more resourceful than ever before and more capable of translating our ideas into actions!

    Our pursuit of happiness and the actuality of becoming happier empowered us more than we had ever anticipated. We could say easily that living more happily and teaching others to do the same certainly feels good!

2) Creating a "personal vision" to live by (p21-50)

3) The happiness option (p51-93)

    The "happiness option" is the belief that you can experience your own happiness, any time and any place! It is the ultimate attitudinal advantage!

4) Thriving in a "user-friendly" universe (p94-105)

5) Nothing is impossible! (p106-126)

6) FIVE SHORTCUTS TO HAPPINESS! --- implementing the happiness option! (p127-199)

    The "decision to be unhappy" is actually the decision to stop being unhappy! (p129-130)

    Creating the "happiness arc" (p131-133)

    A simple "blueprint" for personal and planetary peace! (p199)

      [1] Making happiness the priority!

      [2] Personal authenticity

      [3] Letting go of judgments

      [4] Being present

      [5] Being grateful

      [6] Deciding to be happy!


    REFERENCES (p205-209)


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR --- Barry Neil Kaufman is the teacher of a uniquely loving lifestyle and vision called the "Option Process," which has both educational and therapeutic applications. Also, Kaufman is the author of many books including "Son-Rise," which is about how his wife and he healed his once-autistic child transforming him into a highly verbal, extroverted, happy teenager with a near-genius IQ, thus changing the lives of his family and thousands of others who were inspired by his success (p225-226)

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