Whatever our background, culture or race, what rewards us most powerfully and consistently are the most deceptively simple abilities of all: the ability to be kind, to live enthusiastically and creatively, to appreciate and understand experiences different from our own, and to sustain a sense of inner stability and trust even in unwelcome and difficult situations. These are the abilities that, bit by bit, moment by moment, choice by choice, create a life of happiness. But however 'simple' these abilities may be, they are frequently elusive - even in the face of our best intentions. We need guidance and encouragement, many of us, in finding our way back to these abilities, looking at them freshly, and valuing them by learning how to live them.
We are also rewarded when we know how our minds work, how our thoughts and attitudes drive our emotions, reactions and behaviour, and how our values and presence (not our status) affect and even shape the world around us.
Focusing on strengths and opportunities rather than problems, Choosing Happiness is a book that tells readers what they need to know in order to enjoy life, to feel in charge of it, to get on with others and to make the most of their opportunities. In short, how to live life to the full and find happiness.
Stephanie Dowrick is a psychotherapist and the author of several international bestsellers. She is a regular guest on ABC Radio and has been a columnist for Good Weekend Magazine since 2001. She also gives talks and conducts retreats and workshops on a variety of spiritual, psychological and ethical issues. Born in New Zealand, she lived in London for many years where she founded The Women's Press publishing house in 1978. She has lived in Sydney since 1983 and is the mother of two teenagers. Catherine Greer runs her own freelance copywriting business. She was born in Canada but moved to Australia in 1998, and lives in Sydney with her husband and two sons.