Here we have the author of “The Forgotten Art of Happiness” giving us an excerpt from his first book trying to show people the secrets he learned about happiness and how to achieve it.
I remember saying “hello” to random strangers while smiling at them when I was a kid. I was labeled “weird” by my parents and teachers until I stopped.
Fast forward to me at twenty-seven; I had an epiphany. I was sitting at my desk and I asked myself, “What do I want out of life?” I wanted a real answer, not a superficial one.
Brian Tracy mentioned the 5 Whys Method, so I decided to use it. Whatever answer I came up with,
I would ask myself “Why?”
“I want to excel at my job.”
“To get more money.”
“To be happy.”
Then I asked, “What else?”
“I wish for a life partner.”
“To share my life with.”
“To be happy.”
I realized that everything I wished for in my life was meant to make me happy.
Applying the concepts of “Begin with the end in mind” and”To be good at anything, teach it”, I decided to write a book about happiness.
Who am I to write a book? I am not an author. Am I even happy enough to write a book about happiness? I researched until this one sentence set me free: “The best thing you can do to be a good writer is to write, write, write, and write.”
I started and never thought about publishing. I was going to write for myself. I needed to study happiness for myself.
I made a promise that every idea in the book would be genuine, tested, and practical. Before I wrote down an idea, I tested it and searched for other people who had done the same.
When I started, the magic began. Research led to a thought. A thought led to an interview. An interview led to a book. A book led to a video. A video led to an organization.
I interviewed people from over twenty countries about how they defined happiness and how they found it. I integrated these interviews into my book.
I felt that the book was writing me. It became effortless and before I knew it the book was finished. It was a four-year journey and I put my heart and soul into this book.
I discovered there are three secrets to happiness.
The first is that happiness has no secret, there are only science and its application.
The second is that happiness does not come from external possessions and activities like money, relationships, or travel. We have been programed to think these things make us happy. I am not saying they should not, I am claiming we should experience many things then choose what makes us happy no matter how insignificant they might seem to other people.
The third secret is happiness does not come from one thing. The most popular question I receive is: What can I do to be happy? There is no one thing. Happiness is a combination of mindsets and activities that we perform daily.
That’s why this book is divided into four parts: Happy Mind, Happy Actions, Happy Body, and Happy Relationships.
Ali’s book is out now in Virgin Mega Stores, Shorouk Bookstores and other major book stores around Cairo.