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Resisting Happiness

A hands-on guide to happiness

By Matthew Kelly
  • Read in 12 minutes
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  • Contains 7 key ideas
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Resisting Happiness by Matthew Kelly
Synopsis

Resisting Happiness (2016) is a probing exploration of the reasons we sabotage our own happiness. Drawing on author Matthew Kelly’s deep well of personal experiences, it’s a profound and personal guide to leading a happier and more meaningful life. Happiness, Kelly believes, is a choice. If we want it, we have to choose it. And that means overcoming resistance and negativity.

Key idea 1 of 7

When you overcome resistance you can get more done and lead a more spiritual life.

What is resistance? Take an everyday example. The alarm rings in the morning and you sleepily fumble in the dark and hit the snooze button. That’s resistance at work. And you’ve just lost the first battle of the day.

In other words, it’s that familiar and discouraging feeling that makes you put off things that you know need doing.

Resistance is a major problem, especially when it comes to long-term projects.

Most people who start writing a book, for example, never end up finishing it. Laziness, lack of confidence or just plain self-sabotage get in the way.

That’s something Matthew Kelly knows a lot about. As a published author, he’s regularly asked for advice on how to get a book into print. But most of the people who ask him for tips haven’t even finished writing their own books!

Kelly tells them to get back to him once they’re done with the writing process – and he never hears another word from around 95 percent of his correspondents. These people clearly lost their individual battles against resistance. Procrastination or sloth won out.

So how could these budding authors have achieved full bloom?

Well, one way to start fighting resistance is to name the obstacle. Once you’ve identified the nature of the hurdle you face, it’s much easier to work out how you can get over it.

Another option is prayer.

Take Kelly. He’s a busy guy and spends a lot of time on the road. Constantly encountering new sights and sounds could easily become a source of distraction. That’s why he took up the habit of devoting ten minutes each day to praying.

When he prays, he considers four questions. Who am I? What’s my life’s purpose? What’s most important? What’s least important?

Answering those questions provides clarity. It leaves him with a sense of purpose and reaffirms what he’s passionate about. And that’s a great basis for making better life decisions.

The added bonus? It’s helped him become more spiritually fulfilled.

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