Considering I have been writing TV and book reviews for years – decades actually – you would imagine nothing would surprise me at this point. But, at this very moment, as I pen this book review I am also humming that monster hit song from 2013, “Happy,” by Pharrell Williams.
That said, let me immediately advise you to pick up the #1 Best Selling Self-Help book, 7 Paths to Lasting Happiness, by author Dr. Elia Gourgouris. Better yet, get your loved ones copies as well (trust me when I tell you this is the perfect gift), and make this reference guide a permanent fixture in your at home (or office) library.
You will not want to be without it.
7 Paths to Lasting Happiness, a genuine must read, truly teaches and inspires, and it does so at a time when we all can certainly use some basic tools and insights on how to live happier and more fulfilling lives. Since we all, after all, should strive for peace and contentment, this book offers the keys to reaching that goal through a combination of exercises, basic solutions, expert quotes and just plain advice from a man who has made a career out of inspiring others.
As suggested by Dr. Elia, I did a slow initial read of 7 Paths to Lasting Happiness, consuming one chapter at a time each day on these seven paths: Love Yourself, Be Grateful, Extend Forgiveness, Follow Your Passion, Nourish Your Spirit, Create Loving Relationships, and Serve from Your Heart. Since I did not want to miss anything, I read it a second time in a more succinct fashion. And, chances are, I will revisit this book many more times in the future (as I am sure you will too).
Broken out in 10 chapters, you can immediately pinpoint the areas you may need some guidance focusing on.
The Concept of Happiness
According to Dr. Elia, happiness is healthy, happiness is being connected to other people, and happiness is living with intention and purpose. In essence, happiness is success! All these things, and so much more, are obtainable through the basic principles you will learn in this book about this positive state of mind from Dr. Elia.
For myself, I found the concept of extending forgiveness as the most imperative. Who, after all, has not had to deal with letting go of negative energy? Then there is what might sound a bit complex: having a healthy relationship with yourself, which is the foundation of personal happiness. And, in the fifth path, Nourish Your Spirit, Dr. Elia goes one step further by focusing on the connection between our minds, our bodies and our spirits.
Different chapters, of course, will resonate for different readers, each with a particular theme, each with a specific game plan, and each offering a major step forward in achieving that ultimate goal of eternal happiness. But before I dive any further into the specifics of this well-intentioned and important publication, let me offer some insight on the person behind the words, Dr. Elia Gourgouris, and why he is in essence the “Pharrell Williams” of the Self-Help category.
Dr. Elia Gourgouris
Dr. Elia is a retired psychologist formerly with his own private practice, and the former author of weekly advice column Ask Dr. Elia. At present, he is an Executive Coach, a keynote speaker, founder of The Happiness Center, and an Executive Producer of freshman family-friendly reality series “Cash Cowboys”.
Dr. Elia was born and raised in Athens, Greece until he was 11, when his family of four relocated to Santa Monica, California. He is a graduate of UCLA, with a PhD in psychology at the California Graduate Institute.
His fascination with spreading the concept of happiness began as a pre-teen in California. “Boys and girls would come and talk to me and they would tell me their secrets; kind of like what a therapist actually does. They’d ask for advice and they trusted me!,” remembered Dr. Elia. “When I realized you could build a career out of it, I decided to go to school and study psychology and I never looked back.”
“My motivation in writing this book was to simply help people,” he added. “I want people to live their lives to the fullest, in their relationships, in their work, and in their personal lives. I want to bring the best out of them that they don’t even know they possess. And I want to truly make a positive difference to as many people as possible.”
Spoken from a man who, in today’s busy world, is an anomaly of sorts (and I mean that in a positive sense) what struck an immediate chord while reading 7 Paths to Lasting Happiness was the personalization of the content. I felt like it spoke directly to me, particularly through its Points to Ponder, Questions to Consider and Take Action steps at the end of each chapter. The practical strategies he offers are something we can all relate to, and I particularly like all the great quotes sprinkled throughout this book.
“Obviously I do not have the monopoly on the intellectual property on happiness. The concept of happiness has been written about since Aristotle,” noted Dr. Elia. “But what I can offer is how to build on the basic foundations to create and sustain a more fulfilling and joyful life. When we are happy in our lives the possibilities are endless.”
–To order a copy of “7 Paths to Lasting Happiness,” click here
–For information on The Happiness Center, click here
–To hire Dr. Elia as an Executive Coach or keynote speaker, click here
–For information on: “Cash Cowboys,” click here