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Don’t Worry; Be Happified

Updated: May 25, 2022

Dr. Ed Leoni Provides a Fresh Approach to Achieving Well-being

By Michael Heath /

A Guide to Restoring Your Authentic Voice and Reclaiming Your Life!

Many self-help books are stock full of information but are lacking in ways to put the advice into practice. People sign up for success workshops, attend personal development seminars, listen to motivational speakers, hire life coaches, and read the countless books available on bettering their lives. All have positive messages and very good teachings but is that enough?

Self-help Options

I am a bit of a self-help junkie and have read or listened to Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Victor Frankl, Napoleon Hill, Tony Robbins and many more. All have taught me things and without question my life is better because of their work. And there is no shortage of motivational gurus to choose from. Peruse the self-help aisle of any bookstore and one sees that there are many authors pushing their own angles on how to improve lives. A good portion are taking past approaches (theirs or someone else’s) and repackaging them behind catchy titles. That explains why I do not get too excited learning about another self-help book. Happified, on the other hand, is a book that takes the genre to a new level.

The Motivational Crusade Abyss

Dr. Ed Leoni is a college professor at the Southeast Missouri State University Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation who has devoted decades to studying the self-improvement movement. One result of his research was discovering a lack of any true follow-up in most personal performance approaches. What he and his students found were that people spend lots of money attending events, listening to tapes, and reading books. They get all pumped up believing they are on the verge of a dramatic life change. Then they drive away from a seminar or put the book down only to return to the same old self-defeating routines. To give people a path to achieving what they learned Leoni wrote a book titled Happified: A Guide to Restoring Your Authentic Voice and Reclaiming Your Life!

The author found that vague feel-good concepts of thinking positively or reciting daily affirmations have little effect. Instead, Leoni attempts to change the paradigm by employing quantifying tools like timetables, measurements, lists of obtainable goals and behavior passports. A keystone of the system is a ten-step program steering the person toward becoming happified. Each part is devoted in some way toward changing the user’s mindset and inner dialogue. One example is understanding how much time and energy is wasted on worrying. Leoni points out that studies show 80 percent of what people worry about never happens and 10 percent has already occurred. He recommends disciplining thinking by purposefully steering thoughts away from worry and replacing it with happy notions. Doing so returns control of their mindset so that time and energy are not wasted dwelling on events that are unlikely ever to happen.

Stress is Good

Edward Leoni

Leoni believes that stress gets a bad rap and invokes a paradigm shift in people’s response to pressure. He points out that stress rides shotgun with challenge, getting people off the bench and into the game. He even uses the analogy that stressed guitar strings produce beautiful music. When people are in control of stress, high performance can result. It is distress, i.e., the inability to manage stress, that is bad.

People Have Choices

The world is full of people who never achieved their full potential with lots of blame to go around. Social conditioning, well-intentioned parents, little inner voices, cultural norms all contribute to steering people away from pursuing their passions. These roadblocks to true life paths can be overcome. Leoni provides mechanisms and guidance that not only take a person toward short-term happiness, but a more permanent state of being Happified.

To purchase Happified by Ed Leoni go

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