Full Title: Code To Joy: The Four-Step Solution to Unlocking Your Natural State of Happiness
Author: George Pratt, Ph.D., and Peter Lambrou, Ph.D. with John David Mann
Publisher: HarperOne (2012)
Number of Pages: 248
How long it took me to read: 1 week
Where I bought this book: Uncustomary Book Submission
Like a Moth to a Flame
I have recently been going through some life changes; I’ve moved cities and have decided to go back to school. A book like this speaks to how to deal with whatever life throws your way. Plus, a book that deals with creating happiness is never a bad thing.
I propose that the top 5 quotes from this book are:
5. “We learn by trying, failing, correcting, and trying again. But there is a world of difference between knowing that I failed as a specific task and concluding that I am a failure.” (p.43)
4. “The subconscious mind works largely by association. It connects things to other things. In other words, it pays attention to resonance—and it is always working in the background. This means that when we have an experience in our conscious awareness, our subconscious is busy in the background looking for past experiences that resonate with it or that are in some way similar.” (p.85)
3. “When you have self-efficacy, it means the source and center of control in your life is internal, not external. Misfortunes and other external influences cannot completely throw you, because you see yourself as being the cause rather than the effect of circumstances. You cannot always ‘fix’ the circumstance or solve the external problem, but you can always shift how you perceive it. In other words, even if you cannot always solve the problem, you can always solve the dilemma.” (p.137)
2. “The key point is that Heather knew she was pining beyond the point of reason; Ruby knew that she should forgive Joe and move on; Jack knew he was suffocating Greta with his incessant demands. By simply knowing these things is not enough to change them.” (p.57)
…and my pick for the No.1 quote is…
1. “Using your conscious mind is something like standing in the middle of a vast museum at night with all the lights off. There you stand, in pitch blackness, and your conscious mind is the pencil-thin beam of a penlight: you can shine it on any one shelf, any one exhibit, but not on all of them at once.” (p.84)
Conversation with the Reader
While I read, I write, and as I write, I read. Here’s some of what I wrote while I read this book:
“Right away I noticed the credentials and qualifications of the authors. Two have Ph.D’s with numerous quotes on the book cover from all the people they have helped, including athletes and professional singers. The third author has written several self-help and motivational books such as The Go-Giver, which he co-authored with Bob Burg. The list of quotes and recommendations from famous athletes and others in the spotlight implies to me that the information the authors are providing in the book is valuable; why else would someone famous go through their program? I am very interested to find out what makes Code to Joy so special that it’s received all these endorsements.”
“This self-help book is different from other books I have read in this genre. A lot of self-help books are written by people who want to tell you how to be happier and more fulfilled based on concepts they’ve come up with. This book is more scientific, relying heavily on neuroscience (how the brain actually works) and the psychology behind why we think and feel the way we do.”
“The main premise of the book, and what the steps to unlocking happiness revolve around, is the idea that events from our past—even those that go as far back as childhood—can have such a profound impact on our subconscious that they dictate how happy we are today. While not a new idea, it’s interesting to think that we walk through our lives not realizing the importance of our experiences.
“We’re familiar with the idea that a noticeably significant event, like parents divorcing when we were young, can continue to influence our adult relationships. But there could have been an event that was not so significant, like a parent not being there to pick us up from practice one time, that just as adamantly stays with us in our subconscious and continues to impact our current state of happiness.
“The book takes a deep look at some past events common to most of us, of which we may not realize the significance, and explains how looking back on our past is a way to start changing our outlook on the present. In essence, the authors outline a way to find happiness—looking back to tie up those loose emotional ends that keep us from moving on. It’s this perspective that makes Code to Joy stand out from other self-help books and makes me think that it’s worth taking a deeper look at.”
“While it is heavily influenced by psychology and science, the authors’ message is easy to understand. Chapters include checklists to guide you on the right path to unlocking your happiness, so you’re not left with a bunch of information and no way of processing or applying it. The fact that there are steps to the process breaks all of the information down into manageable pieces and leads you on a direct path, which I found really helpful.
“Surprisingly though, towards the end of the book, there are also some meditative and calming exercises introduced to help teach you how to ‘anchor’ yourself to the present, including a test you can do with a partner that walks you through the process of how to test your polarity to see if it is balanced or reversed. (Polarity represents the state of balance of your physical, emotional, or psychological selves.) Testing whether your balance is disrupted is supposed to help you identify any roadblocks to recovery you have rooted in negative experiences. The purpose of the meditative and calming exercises is to help release the negative beliefs associated with past events on more of a subconscious level (rather than by just using the rational mind) and to help you adopt new empowering beliefs. This balance of science and spirituality was refreshing to have all in one book.”
“I like what an original contribution this book is to the self-help genre. Using mostly science and psychology to explain the process of attaining happiness makes it an appealing approach for those who want to learn about a more scientific approach to achieving happiness. The fact that this book largely stays away from religious ideologies and personal opinions (the foundation of so many other self-help books) makes it a book that a broader audience can appreciate.”