Turning Over New Leaf

Monday, October 29, 2012

10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place (and Staying There)–A Book Review

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Title: 10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place (and Staying There)
Author: Galen Pearl
Copyright: 2012
Genre: Self-Help
ISBN: 978-0-9858462-0-6

Most self-help books instruct people on how to accomplish something previously beyond their control or expertise. Author Galen Pearl advises her readers to search within for the answers to a question of paramount importance to everyone: How does one achieve happiness?

10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place (and Staying There) serves as an internal guide for anyone seeking to enhance his or her life. The author demonstrates through numerous practical examples how to instill lasting happiness – by choice.

This book is replete with insightful quotes that compel the reader to reference the many words of wisdom multiple times on a daily basis. It is presented in a series of short chapters, step-by-step, covering the gamut of human emotions that affect a person’s well-being. Galen presents word-pictures of scenes and events by giving specific details that appeal both to the senses and the reader’s imagination. For each step in her process, her personal descriptions present backgrounds and settings to help the reader realize the way people really are in the episodes being described.

Galen Pearl writes from the heart. She frequently uses exposition and analysis to present her ideas about achieving a lifetime of happiness as clearly and impartially as possible. She supports her wisdom with appropriate quotations from famous people that combine with her personal stories to lend a powerful sense of credibility to her overall plan for self-improvement. For example, in her chapter on forgiveness, she quotes Mark Twain: “Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” The elegance of Twain’s words infused into Galen’s real-life tales provides the reader with an instant memory chip to use on an individual’s quest for continual, lasting happiness.

Step 1 in the process outlined in this book is perhaps the most effective. Anyone striving toward a lifetime of positivity will recognize the need to Give Yourself Permission to be Happy. The whole premise of this book is based on the notion that we all possess the ability to develop lifestyle habits that help secure our happiness. From the outset, the reader understands there is no need to seek or receive solutions. The answers lie within all of us.

Galen bestows on her readers another powerful example of the choice of happiness in her careful explanation of how to Develop an Attitude of Gratitude. Quoting an inspirational maxim from author William Arthur Ward, she reminds us metaphorically that “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”

The simple concepts outlined in this book belong on everyone’s book shelf. The reader absorbs the ten steps to daily joy without pressure or persuasion. The work represents self-awareness in one volume that is sure to be read countless times over. Galen Pearl enlightens her readers. She makes them recognize that like Dorothy in Oz, a lifetime of positivity has always been present in their souls, without the necessity to search beyond one’s doorstep:

And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time
- T. S. Eliot
This book is a must read!

Galen Pearl’s stories have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul and A Cup of Comfort anthologies, and her popular blog, 10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place (and Staying There), attracts thousands of readers every month. Recently retired from teaching law, she regularly leads retreats and workshops on developing habits to grow a joyful spirit. A Southern girl transplanted to the Pacific Northwest, she enjoys her five kids and two grandchildren, martial arts, her cabin in the mountains, and mahjong.



  1. Hi JJ it sound's like a lovely book i might have to check it out. I love your piece of music that is playing on your blog its so peaceful and restful. Enjoy your week, dee :-)

    1. Thank you, Dee. Galen is a wonderful writer, a real inspiration, and the book is terrific!

  2. This sounds like a wonderful book.

    I really enjoyed your background music, too.

    Trying to find your "V" link!

  3. Jenny: Thank you. The book is wonderful. We don't get that degree of positivity today.

  4. I love inspirational books and strive to read many of them. Awesome review.

    1. Miranda: That's one way to stay positive. I do the same thing.

  5. I like the music as well. It sounds like the music I hear while getting a massage.

    I probably could have used this book during the stressful time in my life when I was caring for two elderly ailing parents. The one mantra that got me through many moments of despair was "I am a good daughter."

    1. Ames: I always have a supply of inspirational books on hand. I make it a point to read them regularly. This on is particularly good.

  6. I love books like this, people should always embrace more light in their life :)

    1. Miriam: Yes. We need more of that.

  7. I'll add this to my to read list, JJ...


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