HAPPINESS in HARD TIMES is my 5th Andrew Matthews book. Since my college days, I have been collecting his work: BEING HAPPY, FOLLOW YOUR HEART, MAKING FRIENDS, HAPPINESS NOW and then this. Andrew Matthews is one of those self-help gurus that I've always depended on especially when my life gets a bit harder to handle. How many times did I think about ending my life when I was still very young? Thanks to Andrew Matthews, I was able to overcome every big and small hurdle that came my way and came out a happier, better and more blessed me. I'd also like to think that his first book, Being Happy, also saved my brother from committing suicide. Yeah... we were a bunch of suicidal maniacs then.^_^
Happiness in Hard Times resonates very well with a lot of people today, especially since many have been and are still continuously beng affected by the worldwide recession that has beset the global market for a few years now. I, for one, did have a couple of lean months when I thought that things won't be back to where it should be. Even before I got a hold of his new book, I've already been practicing the principles I've learned from his books before, and now that I have a copy of this, the stories (not just by Andrew Matthews but by many of his readers and fans as well) are ever more so inspiring me to live a better and happier life no matter how hard life can get sometimes.
There's this one particular story that I literally cried my heart our during and after reading it (page 34). It's about a woman who was abducted, raped, stabbed 30 times in her stomach and whose throat has been slit from ear to ear and was literally dying right there on the street. But she still managed to see her glass half full and was able to survive it all. Even now that I am writing about it, I am getting goosebumps all over. She is now a successful speaker and she gets to share her story all over the world. Her name is Alison.
Anyway, that's just an example of what this book is all about... that no matter what kind of disaster life throws at you, as long as you're still alive, there's always hope for a better life. Reading Alison's story in particular made me think how small my problems really were/are compared to what she has been through. It's just so amazing, and so are the rest of the stories in this book, which I am reading and re-reading when time permits it. The book helps give me a better perspective on things and makes me feel good about myself and my life, which is really the ultimate goal, as well as the source of all great things --- to feel good... all the time. Even The Secret tells us that. That's what basically the law of attraction is all about.
Furthermore, another very basic teaching that this book gives us is to concentrate on the NOW. "The happiest of people don't bother about whether life is fair.They just concentrate on what they have. They know that the best place to start is always NOW."