Friday, July 6, 2012

The Joy Compass by Donald Altman

New Harbinger Publications
Released: September 1, 2012
168 pages
Buy here.

This is a self-help book that is dedicated to helping readers create a more joyous existence for themselves.  In order to do this, Altman lays out eight things to incorporate into everyday living: laughter, gratitude, forgiveness (of self and others), music, meditation, affirmation, being present in the moment, and social connections.  Altman also emphasizes being more connected in general to one's mind and body, as well as doing every action with focused intention.

This book is short and sweet, but that does not mean that it should be zipped through.  Altman provides a lot of exercises that relate to each chapter, all of which involve journaling to some degree.  Many exercises are action-based and take no more than five to ten minutes.  They include a period of written reflection about the insights gained from the exercises.  Some exercises take longer, up to a week, in order to get readers to make note of certain behavioral or thinking patterns; reflection periods for these exercises involve considering what to change, what to keep, or what to add to these behavioral or thinking patterns that will increase one's joy.  Other exercise involve making lists and sometimes rating items.

All the exercises work toward making readers aware of what is creating or preventing joy in their lives, and Altman's advice is practical and easy to engage with.  Regardless of how much joy you may already have in your life, give this one a read and maybe try out some new activities to increase that joy and your connectedness to the world around you.

Rating: 4/5

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