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The Resilience Project: Finding Happiness through Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness
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The Resilience Project: Finding Happiness through Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  447 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Hugh van Cuylenburg was a primary school teacher volunteering in northern India when he had a life-changing realisation- despite the underprivileged community the children were from, they were remarkably positive. By contrast, back in Australia Hugh knew that all too many children struggled with depression, social anxieties and mental illness. His own little sister had ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published November 19th 2019 by Ebury Australia
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Average rating 4.44  · 
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Annaleise
Jan 01, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. It's well presented but as with most books by people who usually speak (rather than write) I think it would come across better as a talk rather than a book. Nonetheless, it's an important message and really does make you think about why it is that we have such poor rates of mental ill-health in Australia where we are so privileged.
Jessica Fealy
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-help
I loved this story, so Australian, so relevant and so necessary! Made me laugh out loud while listening on my walks and gave me so much to think about and easy ways to implement in my own life - the process of gratitude, empathy and meditation. Such a down to earth and kind bloke and loved the way he has woven his love of sports and family into this story. Highly recommend listening.
Kathryn Robinson
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
A great reminder about the essence of what makes us happy. From Hugh's stories it also interesting to learn how disconnected we can get from our own reality.
As a school teacher I'm eager to bring some of the strategies mentioned into my classroom.
Shane Overington
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Confronting, engaging and excellent food for thought recommended reading for anyone and everyone.
Melanie Jayne
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
By far my favourite book of 2020 so far! An easy and uplifting read. This book had me laughing and at times be on the verge of tears. I can’t wait to share GEM - Gratitute, Empathy and Minfulness with my students.
Michael Clark
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Interesting read about the man behind the resilience project. Full of humour and some very touching stories
Michelle
Jan 11, 2020 rated it liked it
An easy to read book by a nice guy which says all the current wisdom about positive psychology in a fair dinkum good bloke Aussie way:)

Hugh was a primary school teacher and a passionate cricket player who had an epiphany moment in India, encountering children who seemed genuinely happy and grateful, despite having much harder lives than their Australian counterparts. Combining his Indian experience with psychological research and his sister's battle with anorexia, Hugh set up a company giving
...more
tricia ann fairlie
Resilience

Perfect book and so needed by us all to salvage ourselves and be the support to others. I have loved every page of this books and the message and learnings Hugh presents. Wonderful read and hope to live your teachings very truly and pass the word to anyone who will listen thank you Hugh. You are the greatest teacher
Bettina Deda
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It’s been a while that I devoured a book within a few days. The Resilience Project - Finding Happiness through Gratitude, Empathy, and Mindfulness by Hugh van Cuylenburg was one of those. It arrived as a surprise in my monthly #bookabuy subscription, and I was instantly captivated by the title.

Gratitude is one of my personal values, and I have been practising mindfulness and meditation for many years.

The Resilience Project is a mix of memoir and self-help book. The author tells the story of his
...more
Moz
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
I'm not big on so-called "self help" books. I read so many years ago that I find them all much of a muchness. But I read an article about this author and how he came to start this project and it piqued my interest so I bought the book. (That says a lot because usually I would get a book from the library but in this case, there were so many people waiting in line, I chose to buy it instead of waiting.)

It was an easy read but very different to what I imagined it would be like. I thought it would
...more
Jasky Singh
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great storytelling and engaging book. Very well written. The principles are those that are ones recited in any other self help book/article about happiness, so nothing ground breaking to learn here. The application of some of those Gratefulness, Empathy and Mindfulness (GEM) principles, which would have been incredibly valuable to expand on, was left out and barely touched. There was more personal stories, which were engaging but didn’t live up to the promise of the book.

The one application I
...more
Cameron
Feb 11, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Josh Watt
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook, self-help
I listened to the audiobook version of this book and it's been by far one of the best books I have come across. Hugh gives us a raw insight into his life and how he came to adopting a life of gratitude, empathy and mindfulness. The intensity and engagement of his story telling has something that is relatable for everyone throughout the book, and if it isn't tear jerking enough for you it reminds us of our morality when we are forced to question how good we actually have it here in Australia. I ...more
Jeni
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-read
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Allie Way
Jan 21, 2020 rated it liked it
At first, this was challenging to get into. But overall some good reminders on why it’s important to stay grounded in the present and genuinely care for the people around us. Don’t underestimate the impact of simply asking someone how they are, and caring about the response.

A big theme in the book is the growing impact of mental health, which is forecast to affect one in five people in the world by 2030. The author shares personal experiences of resilience and the impact that practicing
...more
Kate
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
As a teacher who grew up in the same area as Hugh (I was a frequent visitor of the cinema where he used to work!) so there were lots of relatable moments for me.

I would have loved to hear more of the curriculum elements to implementing the program, but I completely understand that this isn't the purpose of the book.

It is great to see how popular the program (and ones similar) is becoming in schools in Australia as it is really drastically needed!

I'm also keen to try the 21 day gratitude
...more
Kandyb
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks
9/10
I am all about these GEM principles.
I have been doing this for a while but not really having an overall name for it.
I loved this book and Hugh sharing his stories.
How are things like meditating and being mindful "hippie" and "weird" when there is scientific studies to prove how they improve your wellbeing?
I want everyone to read this book and really take it in, so they can really feel the rewards and be happier.
Robin Friesen
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
My daughter heard the author speak and loved it. Thought I would be interested. She suggested I do his 21 days of gratitude exercise. Everyday for 21 days write down 3 things that you are greatful for that day. It works! It trains the brain to look for positive experiences during the day. Then she gave me this book for Christmas.
Kate Page
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is essential listening or reading. I listened to this on Audible which I would highly recommend because Hugh is a brilliant storyteller and narrator.

Hugh's approach to finding happiness is simple and effective, backed by science and research and with loads of examples of its results in action, that Hugh generously shares throughout this book.

Hugh's storytelling is heartwarming, real and entertaining. There is nothing dry about this self-help book and his concept of GEM (Gratitude, Empathy
...more
Julie Garner
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: motivation
A nice and uplifting way to complete 2019.
Hugh has written the story of how his Resilience Project came to be and how it has grown from strength to strength. You will laugh. You will most definitely cry (if you have a soul). But hopefully, most importantly, you will start to want to life your life the GEM way (Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness).
Susanne Mills
Feb 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow!! I absolutely loved this book, I was dubious to begin with having done several mindfulness books but this tops the list. Honest and thoughtful, he doesn’t shy away from mental health issues. I’m hoping to bring some of these techniques to the students I teach as well as myself and my teenage daughters. Fabulous book :)
Robin
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this inspiring book about the author's experiences in India that became the basis for The Resilience Project. It's well written in a frank and engaging style and like all good stories, there's struggle and hardship as well as success. Most of all, it's a story of hope. Very thought-provoking and potentially life-changing.
Jen
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Everyone should read this book. Hugh is a great story teller, authentic and honest. His personal experience with family breakdown due to mental illness adds such a realness to his campaign.

Listen to the audio book, as I did, so you can hear Hugh telling his stories.
Kate Credlin
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Incredible! Has definitely given me a reality check. This book is for everyone and Hugh would have to be one of the most selfless, driven and genuine humans around, we all need to be a little like him.
Sally
Feb 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a must read. Hugh’s story is a great one to be told and the resilience project is an exceptional idea to help all of us view of world and wellbeing differently. I am taking these lessons and suggestions on board for sure!!
Bec
Feb 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Reasonably good advice for the generally healthy. Easy to read. Even though the writer is careful to say practicing the advice in this book is not a substitute for professional mental health support, I am concerned that this program may be overly simplistic especially for those who are suffering
Taylor
Jan 23, 2020 rated it liked it
I love the overall message of the book and will definitely practice these things in my own life, however you could get this from read about 10 pages. The author does a lot of name dropping and patting himself on the back. Well written though.
Kate Cornfoot
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read this book with a smile on my face (and a few tears too). The key message of the book is there in the title - Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness - and it's a powerful approach to teaching kids (anyone really!) how to be happier, feel more connected, and have a more positive approach to life.
Maria Bell
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was the most amazing book. l loved every minute of it, Hugh has such a message for the world, what a humble beautiful person he is. He has touched so many people and such an inspiration. One of the best books l have read, and so fantastic to see this book going global.
Sarah Trow
Feb 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Compelling

I couldn’t put this book down. I have suffered from mental illness for awhile now and you don’t realise the impact it has on your family. Thank you Hugh for putting a smile back on my face I am forever grateful and would love a follow up on Stanzin.
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