The Ultimate Happiness "Textbook" for Everyone!
Happiness as a Second Language teaches happiness step-by-step, in the same manner as one would learn a new language. Each chapter builds on the concepts and exercises in the previous one, starting with the most basic lessons, progressing through the intermediate stages, and finally graduating to the more advanced concepts.
In addition, the audiobook contains "Audiobook Bonus" segments at the end of select chapters where the author has created exclusive audiobook content containing additional anecdotes and examples.
It is simple and straightforward, the instructions easy to follow, and the sample situations familiar, touching, often heartbreaking and sometimes hysterical. Listening to this book is the first step in your journey towards a lifetime of happiness.
Some of the work may seem hard, but with time and effort, you can be fluent in happiness.
©2010 Valerie Alexander (P)2013 Valerie Alexander
The author narrates this book. She does a very good job with her performance and her pacing is excellent. Valerie's sincere tone reflects the fact that she speaks as someone who has had to overcome unhappiness in her own life and in her own way of thinking. The examples she uses in the book support this fact.Happiness As A Second Language is for people who need a practical and engaging strategy for learning to be happy in such a way that the everyday challenges of life do not steal away that happiness. The idea of approaching happiness as if learning a language is so easy to understand and to apply. Most people will relate to the real-life examples provided; they will also appreciate the fact that, for the most part, as they follow the instructions in the book, they will feel and be genuinely happy and not have to settle for pretending to be that way.[More insights are available at Just Audiobook Reviews.]
I liked the simple way Valerie Alexander lays out the process of learning the language of happiness and how she shows her own evolution into happiness. I will admit that I listened all the way through the first time without doing any of the exercises. Then I listened again and did try. I didn't find that easy due to the fact that one of the reasons I listen to books is so I can multitask. So I bought the kindle version and now I'm going through the book again, slowly this time, and doing the exercises and making notes.
I liked the fact that even though I already think of myself as a happy person, I gained insight about myself and learned tools to enhance my happiness.
Valerie Alexander did a wonderful job with the narration. Her voice is pleasant to listen to and she sounds so happy.
I make more happiness lists now but sometimes I call them gratitude lists. I tell myself several times a day that I'm happy. I notice things that add to my happiness more often.
I know people who live in a world of misery, not realizing that it can be changed. I will recommend Happiness as a Second Language to any of them who will listen.
I actually wish I’d had this book 7 years ago when a powerful, reflective look in my husband’s eyes let me know that I was indeed an unhappy person with lots of work to do. Since then I have a come a long way but Speak Happiness is one of those books that provides a great foundation for anyone who has realized that it is time to make a shift in their worldview . . . and quickly. The set-up of happiness as a language that we must learn worked quite well and can easily help others to reframe their perspectives about life and living.
My favorite parts? There were lots of golden nuggets strewn throughout this book. Among them were Alexander’s conversation about future happiness where she explains that the only way to happiness in the future is present happiness and her words about “future uncertain happiness”. I also enjoyed Alexander’s commentary on things like learning to receive graciously in order to fuel one’s own personal happiness and the happiness of others who are choosing to give.
Valerie's delivery and tone were perfect for the content in the book. Her emotions seemed authentic and you felt like you were just having a great conversation with her.
I loved hearing Valerie discuss her personal triumphs and ah-ha moments. As the listener, you almost felt like you were growing with her.
Initially, I felt that the conversation was too simple but I was rewarded for my perseverance once the book hit mid-stream. Those who are on a true spiritual quest may be challenged at various points by things like Alexander’s commentary on forgiveness where she explains that release is only necessary for happiness, not true forgiveness. Other challenges were the seeming contradictions presented by things like encouraging readers to move towards achieving happiness as a permanent state but then also acknowledging that sometimes you’re just, “unhappy”. Although I totally got what Alexander was trying to achieve, I found myself wanting to replace the word “happy” with joy or contentment, which I do believe to be sustainable, even when we’re challenged by things like sadness, anger and “unhappiness”.
And perhaps this presented the greatest dilemma for me as in my own personal bias, while I do believe that we can reprogram ourselves to be happier, I think it is still an emotion, which is fleeting and cannot be overvalued in the face of more lasting states such as joy, presence, peace and contentment.
Nevertheless, Alexander packs a punch for those who are in need of a true boost in the happiness department. I particularly enjoyed the openness and candor of her personal stories about her own challenges and the ways that she has learned to reframe her own experiences as well as other wisdom stories about those in her circle that she shared along the way.
This is the first time I've listened to an audio version of a self help book. I was concerned about whether the book would hold my interest while listening to it...but I had nothing to worry about. Valerie Alexander does a wonderful job of interweaving her own personal (and interesting) life story with the tools needed for creating lasting happiness. She has had a lot of highs and lows in her life and clearly knows what it takes to be happy. Overall, the audiobook was easy to listen to and follow. It is just as good as any other audiobook I've listened to in the past.
Valerie Alexander has a wonderful and soothing voice. I truly appreciated her candor regarding her own struggles to find happiness and how it is something she works at everyday. She is very clear from the beginning that it takes work to be happy.
The tools the author provides are simple and straightforward and I have already started applying them to my own life. As a mom to young children, I started introducing them to a couple of the suggested tools for happiness. At bedtime my son and I list things which made us happy that day and we also are on the lookout for our happy colors during the day. The information provided in the book is applicable not only to adults, but also to children, and I really appreciate that. It was probably not an intentional thing on the author's part, but I am glad that it can benefit my children too.
While driving the book gave me tips that I could put into action in that very moment. I also like traveling into a small portion of the author's life with the stories she shared.
Many how to happiness books. The principles are at the same but the delivery of the message makes the book unique. I like how she used learning a foreign language as the format for teaching happiness.
Calm, excited and nurturing.
Respect, Release, Remember and Reward. Using those four words to draw happiness back to your day.
I would recommend this book to anyone looking for easy steps to start their journey back to happiness. Easy read and easy ideas to implement in your life.
I haven't read the print version but I can tell you that the narrator on this audio book is very good and way above average.
I'd say if you like any of Martha Beck's works ("Steering by Starlight," or "Finding your way in a Wild New World," etc.) that you would like "Happiness as a Second Language" - while "Happiness...." is shorter than Beck's works, it's similar in that is it chock full of treasures of wisdom that will lift you up, put you on track and encourage you to live the best life possible.
Ms. Alexander's voice is genuine and comfortable to listen to...not irritating like some narrators’ voices. For those of you that have read a number of audio books you will understand what I mean when I say that you can tell she’s a real person. Her voice is neither rough or unpolished nor overly smooth and affected like so many narrators’ voices are. With that said, it seems unfair to judge any author's works by the quality of their narration.
I was very much moved by Ms. Alexander's honest and emotional introduction in which she tells about her "Evolution into Happiness". She started with the most difficult day in her life and described the turmoil she went thru in the weeks that followed. She finished with the story of how she came to write this book and her story of finding happiness that she so generously shares with all of us. Her honesty hit home with me and I'm sure it will do the same for you. It provided me with encouragement that I'm not alone in the world and led me to the recognition that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
This is a great little book! At 53 I've hit that wall that I've heard about for so long - the Midlife crisis. I recently came to the realization that I’ve been in a rut for literally 20 years (scary). So in an attempt to not go down that hole, I've been reading a lot of books in search of a new perspective & direction. This book is the perfect start to that endeavor and I highly recommend it to anyone that is going through any kind of change. Or on the contrary, I recommend it to anyone who’s not going through a change but who realizes that it may be time for that very thing. It doesn't have to be a midlife crisis - this would be a great book for my niece who just graduated from university, my nephew who just got married and my dear friend who just found out she has Parkinson's disease. Really it’s a foundational book for anyone hoping to find joy in their little corner of this life. Read it- you won’t be sorry that you did.
This was a first for me. I often read business, and sometimes psychology related non-fiction/self-help. But Valerie Alexander brings something new to the table.
First, yes the book is brief, but if you pass this gem up because of that, you've made a huge mistake! The book is full of "life," and life lessons that make the author an authority on the subject of happiness. Her self-narration is terrific, which is often hard to find and her presentation of: "how to get there" is very well crafted.
Coming from a background of 12 years in the field of psychology and therapy myself, it was refreshing to hear a real person talk plainly about life and how she (our author) struggled and learned to do, and think, and act differently.
This is more than just "fake it 'till you make it" talk, it is more of a, "let me show you how to gently, yet firmly and proactively move you out of your comfort zone, so that your satisfaction in life can be so much more!" With the author's enthusiasm to back it all up, you have a "real, straight-talk" manual (that is enjoyable to read or listen) on learning to speak a different life language... a language of "Happiness."
Sure, there are things that I don't agree with in certain parts of the book about how one might go about achieving this "new language," but the message is very solid.
My only question is: When can we expect a sequel?
To me learning the "language of happiness." is like studying Japanese without ever experiencing Japan, (the culture, the sights the smells, the people).
Happiness is the start, now I am left with want of a book on Joy. Something that takes me past learning the language and envelopes my life in such a way that I not only fluently speak this new "life-language," but can live life empathetic to all. To use my language and share with others in struggles, pains and celebrations. And then, after doing so come away and be more than happy and content, but joyful!
Why? Because not only have I've learned a language that keeps my present self happy, but I've also learned how the deeper parts of me are filled with something that the average person will never experience.
So, I guess, as I ramble, I am saying, "YES! Get the book it is well worth the credit." And now... now I want more! I want to hear about how this can penetrate deep into the soul, so much so that happiness erupts into a conciliate, yet fervent Joy!
If our author reads these reviews: I want to say "Keep living, keep writing, because you've taken us to an awesome place, and now I crave more, and your enthusiastic original approach will take so many to the depths and heights, only a select few will ever find on their own."
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