How Happiness Happens by Max Lucado (Book Review)

This is the first book by Max Lucado that I have read, and I wish that I had started reading from this author a long time ago. I have been missing out! I was so encouraged and motivated after reading this book! I aim to be the “ice cream truck” in my world. I will definitely read more from this author in the future.

How Happiness Happens is a Christian-based self development book which examines the true source of happiness for anyone in today’s stress ridden lifestyle. I was intrigued by the subtitle: Finding Lasting Joy in a World of Comparison, Disappointment, and Unmet Expectations. The author first makes a very clear point that money, resources or pedigree do not determine one’s happiness level. An increase in income does not significantly increase happiness once basic needs are met. The author noted that many multi-millionaires were not much happier than the blue collar workers they employed. Happiness was, however, directly related to how much a person serves others. All of these interesting points (and I assumed the golden answer) were made in the introduction, so I was wondering how the author would further make his point in the rest of the book. Lucado continued to delve deeper into ten “one another” actions which can increase a person’s happiness quotient. These ten actions were based on Scriptures in the Bible and were practical to easily implement into everyday life.

One thing I loved about this book was the incredible imagery that Lucado used to describe Biblical events. He is a master storyteller! He described in detail what might have been the sights, sounds, smells, and thoughts of people and events which occurred thousands of years ago. Familiar stories such as Mary and Martha and Jesus washing the disciples feet were literally brought to life through his vivid descriptions. He took some liberty to portray some events using 20th century examples, i.e. Martha making carrot ginger soup, meatloaf, and mint tea. It was easy to put ourselves in their shoes. Chapters were filled to the brim with heartwarming anecdotes which emphasized his points. I ended up journaling about much of his advice, and it was so easy to implement immediately.

I have been a Christian since elementary school, but I was deeply challenged to change some of my own behavior towards others. One such example was to “greet everyone.” This seems like such a mundane act, but it has the power to impact others’ lives in profound ways. It is very easy to overlook simply taking the time to say hello. Again, all of the actions described are not groundbreaking. They are consistently found throughout the Bible, but Lucado has a way of syncing everything together and adding thought-provoking perspective. He does this very well.

I listened to the audiobook version read by Ben Holland. If you prefer to read this way, you will be delighted by his gentle manner. It sounds like your grandfather sitting on the porch with you re-telling stories and sharing wisdom. The book contains eleven chapters and a bonus next step section with a 40 day challenge.

I highly recommend this book. How Happiness Happens is a gentle suggestion to implement daily activities towards others to fulfill Christ’s commandment to love and produce lasting happiness in your own life and the lives of others. This is one to keep on the bookshelf as a reminder for when you get bogged down by our self-serving and fast paced culture and tend to forget about the joy of serving those around you.

To support the cost of running this blog, I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. I obtained an audiobook copy of this book through local library loan. I received no compensation for writing this review. All opinions are my own.

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