WRITING STYLE: 4/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 3/5
Say No To Happiness discusses various aspects of life and the way of addressing any hurdles that cross our path. In this book, Madhu Namboodiri deliberates on the basic element in the human world that is the source of all the unhappiness and failures; the hindrance in our path to living a “dream life”.
According to him, Success does not rely on luck. It is based on our goals. Again, not the goal to be happy but to live realistically with little or no pretension. A genuine effort and a practical mindset prepare the ground for success in different areas and fulfilment of desires.
The author believes his achievements in cricket, business, or even relationship to be based on this approach. He confesses – when he realised that a person seeks authenticity and not happiness for a fulfilling life, it changed his life for better.
He believes that happiness is based on selfishness. Even if we give love and compassion to another being rather than asking from this World, we are still being selfish! It may still be a pretence of love or of being charitable. In this process, one actually becomes more selfish rather than selfless.
Again, by understanding the pull of ‘maya’ or desire to conflicts, we are not to reject it from our life but accept its existence and realise its expressions in our life. The author further discusses many life thoughts and events in an attempt to change the meaning of happiness and help the readers lead a much more fulfilling life.
The author believes that happiness is an ingrained desire, an overhyped goal. So, he decided to jump out of the “happiness paradigm”. In this book, he discusses his experiences with the model of happiness and how he came out of it and how that decision changed his life. He reflects on the potential of spirituality underlying in the most mundane aspects of human life that requires no leaders to show the path when life’s experiences can teach the ultimate truth for actual fulfilment from life.
In Say No To Happiness, Madhu Namboodiri deliberates about the personal struggles in his life and how he got out of it. He discusses his rendezvous with spirituality in search for a deeper meaning to life. However, the mechanical lives and routines and the planned goals and desires may not be able to help us develop according to our potential. At one point in time, even the spiritual writings and ashram visits seemed just a trend to him. According to him, if a person comprehends where one stands, only then is he able to improve himself. He explains that any conflict can be transcended only when we have a revelation of a higher truth.
He understood his conflict to be due to the growing wish list! He explains that the wish list makes us desire for better things although we have the necessary commodities. We are always comparing our lives, demanding more luxuries with the limited resources we possess.
Taking the example from his life he says that as his wish list became short, he felt more fulfilled. The principles propagated by the author may seem distant and tough to be followed initially. This may be due to the presumed ideas of happiness and fulfilment that is ingrained within individuals by various agents of socialization. But, according to me, the author provides a practical solution that can be followed and results tend to appear in the long run.
The beauty of the narration in Say No To Happiness is that the author slowly unwinds the story of his life through certain meaningful conversations in between as well as answering the questions that a reader might have.
Such a narration helps the reader to peek into their own life and make some changes; a way of enjoying life while performing duties.
The cover of the book has a glossy finish and also, it has a pristine feel to it with a beautiful combination of white, purple and aqua green shades that is relatable to his discourse on leading a simple and harmonious life.
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