Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “You Can Be Happy No Matter What: Five Principles for Keeping Life in Perspective” as Want to Read:
You Can Be Happy No Matter What: Five Principles for Keeping Life in Perspective
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

You Can Be Happy No Matter What: Five Principles for Keeping Life in Perspective

4.09  ·  Rating Details ·  850 Ratings  ·  90 Reviews
'Five principles designed to achieve happiness in the here and now reveal the importance of thought, mood, separate realities, feelings, and the present moment in finding bliss now rather than waiting for it.'.
Hardcover, 165 pages
Published December 1st 1999 by New World Library (first published 1992)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about You Can Be Happy No Matter What, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about You Can Be Happy No Matter What

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Kellie
Apr 14, 2008 Kellie rated it it was amazing
I really like this book. The author does a great job explaining that thoughts are always passing through your mind and that you choose whether to let negative thoughts affect your mood or let them pass as just thoughts. I am able to recognize that thoughts are not reality and not dwell on those thoughts that are deserving of attention.
Joseph Young
May 28, 2010 Joseph Young rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Summary: negative thinking is bad. positive relaxing is good.

As a positive and often thinking person, I immediately disagreed with this book. The author seems to be reaching out to a society of neurotics, who when thinking about things will only spiral into a chain of negative thoughts. He seemingly reaches the conclusion that thinking during your low point will lead to nothing but negative thoughts, and that here is no way a person can pull themselves out of a funk by thinking. This is horribl
...more
Colleen Mcgunnigle
Oct 17, 2014 Colleen Mcgunnigle rated it it was amazing
I've listened to this book-on-audio multiple times. (Yes, I *listen* to my books rather than read! ;) Richard is warm, wise and brilliant ... and really puts things in perspective. He shares wisdom about how to not take the things people do so hard, which had tended to be a challenge of mine. I wish he were still around cuz I'd hug him! This was a life changer for me.
Kathy
This is another book I read earlier this year and didn't get around to reviewing. It is the kind of book that I generally wouldn't think to pick up and read and I feared it might be a little corny or simplistic or something. It was a quick read, though, and while I didn't agree with every word there was enough good that I got out of it that I was really glad I read it and may read it again sometime to refresh those ideas. I can no longer remember what I may have disagreed with, but I do know it ...more
Noah Bourdeu
Mar 26, 2016 Noah Bourdeu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Law of Attraction and Positive Psychology
This book differed in opinion from a lot of books I have read on the subject of Positive Psychology and Law of Attraction, however, I believed it gave me a fresh new perspective of how I view my thoughts, both positive and negative. In this book, the author explains that our thoughts and moods are constantly changing, and rather than trying to always control our thoughts, sometimes it is best to simply wait until our thoughts return to their positive state. This is different from many books I ha ...more
Lisa Miller Chandler
Nov 23, 2013 Lisa Miller Chandler rated it it was amazing
This book helped me through a very hard time in my life. The writer explained that based on five principles of Thought, Mood, Separate Realities, Feelings, and the Present Moment, and how the reader can use these principles to discover how to focus on everyday joy and inner contentment. The book helped me not to be lead around by my own feelings by introducing me to the idea of separate realities. Positive thinking results in positive feeling & we control our thoughts. This book helps give e ...more
Dustin Crazy little brown owl
A book that can help you see life differently. I also recommend The Happiness Makeover: How to Teach Yourself to Be Happy and Enjoy Everyday. Part One was absolutely amazing, but part two was a struggle for me. I was flying through this until I hit part two which took me several months to finally get through.

Favorite Passages:

Many people mistakenly believe that circumstances make a person. They don't. Instead, they reveal him or her. Our circumstances don't define us; they represent our unique c
...more
Robin
A lot of what Carlson says in this book is common sense, an element that is often lacking in traditional types of therapy. Rather than dwelling upon and analyzing uncomfortable experiences from the past, he suggests focusing upon the immediate present. The book is short and each chapter is short. The message is simple—though implementation will take some practice. The author presents five principles that, when applied, shift a person towards happiness. In practice, a combination of these princip ...more
Tami
Apr 15, 2008 Tami rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For many of us, happiness is a goal that we never seem to achieve. We closely examine our unhappiness and fret over all the issues in our lives. We know in our hearts and our very souls that if we can just earn a little more money, deal with a childhood trauma, or get married that we'll finally be happy. Unfortunately, once we succeed in these endeavors, a whole new set of issues appears and we find ourselves still unhappy.

Life doesn't stop just because we read a self help book or decide to wor
...more
Richard
Jan 14, 2014 Richard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've become an avid fan of the late Richard Carlson's books ever since I read "Don't Sweat The Small Stuff" and have been reading his back-catalogue ever since.

"You Can Be Happy No Matter What" is one of Carlson's earlier books and contained some profound lessons for me. The book focuses on what you think about, your moods and the moods of those around you -- looking at thought, mood, separate realities, feelings and the present moment.

It contains a series of practical tips on how to be happy no
...more
Katie
This book isn't another "think happy, be happy" book. Instead, Richard Carlson teaches how to have healthy psychological functioning in a very simple style. He details what it is, what derails it, and how to obtain it through understanding the mental process and learning to let go of thoughts (mindfulness).

This book should be required reading every school year beginning in junior high. Companies should hold annual workshops teaching it's philosophy. People would understand how to handle their em
...more
Shane Gallivan
Nov 12, 2014 Shane Gallivan rated it liked it
I had to read this book for a class. It had good advice and made me realize problems in my life and thinking. It could certainly help people. I had a bit of an issues with some of his ideas. Overall it was encouraging and a good read!
Dinesh V Raju
Jun 06, 2015 Dinesh V Raju rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great advice

This book is insightful and positive. If you follow the advice in this book, you can definitely improve your life perspective and mood and learn to be responsible for your own happiness!
Omar
Oct 12, 2016 Omar rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading this book. It was concise and coherent. The information presented was very valuable and the examples helped clarify the concepts he was introducing. I highly recommend it.
Kelli
May 01, 2014 Kelli rated it really liked it
A great read and look into the human thought process. My negative thoughts are always trying to get the better of me. Now I have an understanding how to deal with them.
Kandice
Living in the present moment leads to happiness. Our thoughts create our state of being. Great book
Leighkaren
Jun 10, 2015 Leighkaren rated it it was amazing
Real, actual useful guidance that. resonated with me. So many don't. Very matter-of-fact, no-nonsense and practical. I loved it!
Nada
This book should be a required reading for everyone. It's practical, essential and reflective. To be more precise; this is self-help at it best. Mr. Carlson did a marvelous job. What I find compelling about his writing is that he simplify and clarify with no dramatizing and always straight to the point. This is a life changing book when the five principles are understood and implied effectively into one's life.
Many people mistakenly believe that circumstances make a person. They don't. Instead,
...more
Catherine Madry
Dec 06, 2016 Catherine Madry rated it it was amazing
If you need some extra tools under your belt for handling life, you will find about five of them in this book to help you keep things in perspective. These tools will help you navigate life's journey once you realize that happiness is not an elusive destination . . . real life advice.
Michael
Jan 18, 2017 Michael rated it really liked it
Full of great information on keeping your life in perspective. Simple ways of thinking that can improve your happiness. Well written and say to understand. I highly recommend.
Holly
Oct 07, 2016 Holly rated it really liked it
Interesting ideas, helpful but oversimplified.
Lindsay
Oct 04, 2013 Lindsay rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Most of the ideas in this book have been completely debunked by neuroscience. I am not a psychologist or a neuroscientist, but I do like to keep up with the research. I won't take the time to cite all the contradicting research here, but it should be pretty easy to search and find it.

First off, Carlson never defines some of the terms he uses. He uses the words "emotions", "feelings", and "moods" sometimes interchangeably but sometimes as obviously different things. This was confusing to me, an i
...more
Keith Kendall
Sep 10, 2014 Keith Kendall rated it liked it
Recommended to Keith by: Carol
Shelves: self-help
A nice book. A very nice book.

He covers several "principles" devoting a chapter to each of them to explain factors that influence happiness.
1. The principle of thought
2. The principle of moods
3. The principle of separate realities
4. The principle of feelings my calling
5. The principle of the present moment

"Most partners don't give each other the space they need in a low mood; instead they react as if what their partner is saying is carved in stone." (Page 33)

"The quickest way to a higher mood
...more
Kurt
Dec 26, 2010 Kurt rated it it was ok
I really did not enjoy reading this book. It seemed to say the same thing over and over and over again. And what it said was pretty much common sense advice that most people already know -- that our thoughts determine our feelings and our moods which tend to determine our level of happiness: control your thoughts and you control how you feel about your life.

I do give this book an extra star simply because it did shed a little light on the subject for me. It encourages people to nip bad thoughts
...more
D
Sep 01, 2012 D rated it really liked it
This was a pretty good book by the author of "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff -- and it's all small stuff" that put into words common sense advice that really does work. Basically the premise is, if something makes you sad, or mad, or depressed, don't think about it. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. To have a happy marriage, don't think about all the ways your spouse falls short all day. Think about all the good he/she does and how much you love him/her. This book offers amazingly simpl ...more
Lexie Carroll
Apr 11, 2008 Lexie Carroll rated it it was ok
Myy opinion of the book goes back and forth. Some of what I've read has been really helpful at changing the way I look at things (for the better) like living in the present moment; other things I shake my head at and strongly disagree with. Some things I read and said "I can't believe he's saying this" like his claim that talking about the past is really only detrimental to our immediate happiness. Overall his book is way over-simplified and over-generalized. He makes a few good points but overa ...more
Kevin Orpana
Nov 16, 2015 Kevin Orpana rated it really liked it
I'm a big fan of Richard Carlson... unfortunately he passed far too soon... not sure where this book is in the chronology of his writing but I do think its a good one... there are 5 key principles laid out for happiness (Thoughts; Moods; Separate Realities; Feelings; and Present Moment)... and then some application of the same in different areas of life... if you've read a happiness book before the 'separate realities' and 'present moment' concepts will be familiar... some of his thoughts on tho ...more
Nikki Bright
Aug 02, 2016 Nikki Bright rated it really liked it
Pretty solid read. The principles for happiness laid out in this book make a whole lot of sense, and I will definitely be doing my best to integrate them into my life. This book uses many real life scenarios to portray ideas, which is great, but it doesn't use very much data or results from any kind of research, which would be better for my personal comprehension. Despite this, I still recommend this book to any person who desires to live a happy life unfettered by negative thoughts and emotions ...more
Deb
Feb 27, 2009 Deb added it
This book was uplifting. Some of the things I learned from it or agreed with were to look beyond the static, that no person is set in stone, see the person rather than the behavior, see the innocence in other's bad behavior. Find a quiet place that points away from obsessive thinking about problems and people. Thinking is a function that originates inside us and though you cannot go back and start again, you can start from now and have a brand new end. It would be a good book to read now and the ...more
Kirrilee
Jun 23, 2008 Kirrilee rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
I LOVE this book. I consider myself a pretty happy person - this book had a lot to teach me about being happy. I found the concept simple and very powerful. For someone who tends to "overthink" this book has really set me on a path to positive change. All change takes time, I am already seeing and feeling a difference and I have already started re reading it to really get the most from it.
Thank you Mr Clarson!!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
very good book 1 2 Jun 25, 2013 06:55PM  
  • The Happiness Makeover: How to Teach Yourself to Be Happy and Enjoy Every Day
  • If Love Is a Game, These Are the Rules: 10 Rules for Finding Love and Creating Long-Lasting, Authentic Relationships
  • Why Your Life Sucks
  • Positive Personality Profiles: D-i-S-C-over Personality Insights to Understand Yourself and Others!
  • Practical Intuition
  • Don't Sweat the Small Stuff for Women : Simple and Practical Ways to Do What Matters Most and Find Time for You
  • Success Built to Last: Creating a Life that Matters
  • 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace
  • The Five Things We Cannot Change: And the Happiness We Find by Embracing Them
  • This Is Not the Life I Ordered: 50 Ways to Keep Your Head Above Water When Life Keeps Dragging You Down
  • Take Time for Your Life
  • Getting Real: 10 Truth Skills You Need to Live an Authentic Life
  • There Are No Accidents
  • 50 Self-Help Classics: 50 Inspirational Books to Transform Your Life from Timeless Sages to Contemporary Gurus
  • The Skinny on Willpower: How to Develop The Self Discipline You Need To Advance Your Career and Life
  • Simplify Your Life: 100 Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy the Things That Really Matter
  • Happy for No Reason: 7 Steps to Being Happy from the Inside Out
  • The Right Questions: Ten Essential Questions To Guide You To An Extraordinary Life
2693
Richard Carlson Ph.D. was an author, psychotherapist, and motivational speaker, who rose to fame with the success of his best-selling book Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and it’s all Small Stuff (1997).

He met and married Kristine Anderson (Kris Carlson) in 1981 while he was a student at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.

Carlson published his first book in 1985, but became famous when his Do
...more
More about Richard Carlson...

Share This Book



“As our appreciation of happiness in relationship increases, we take notice of the things that tend to take us away from this feeling. One major catalyst taking us away is the need to be right. An opinion that is taken too seriously sets up conditions that must be met first before you can be happy. In relationships, this might sound like 'You must agree with or see my point of view in order for me to love and respect you.' In a more positive feeling state, this attitude would seem silly or harmful. We can disagree, even on important issues, and still love one another - when our own thought systems no longer have control over our lives and we see the innocence in our divergent points of view.

The need to be right stems from an unhealthy relationship to your own thoughts. Do you believe your thoughts are representative of reality and need to be defended, or do you realize that realities are seen through different eyes? Your answer to this question will determine, to a large extent, your ability to remain in a positive feeling state.

Everyone I know, who has put positive feeling above being right on their priority list has come to see that differences of opinion will take care of themselves.”
17 likes
“Happiness is a state of mind, not a set of circumstances.” 6 likes
More quotes…