Unleashing the full capacity of your people

Book Review: How to be Happy, Dammit!

We at Bovo-Tighe still find great inspiration from a book first printed a decade ago called “How to be Happy, Dammit” by Karen Salmansohn. 

It captures a number of themes that we emphasize in all of our work with clients:

  • Your own attitude determines how successfully you interact with the world around you (work and home.)
  • You choose how to respond to stress and shock, and that choice affects your results.
  • A positive attitude is as contagious as a negative attitude, and you are free not to catch the negative virus others put out.

As the author quotes:

“Happiness is not about what happens to you, but how you choose to respond to what happens.”

“Happiness is not a thing, it is an activity.”

You have a choice each moment of the day to decide what action to take:

Dwell Examine
Fulminate Consider
Hate Appreciate
Jealousy Inspiration
Messy Work-in-progress
Conspire Plan
Lash out Move on
Freeze Stop-Start (over)
Judge Evaluate, analyze
Why? Why not?
Disengage Engage
Whine Compliment
Hinder Help


These are simple, fun verbal games to play, but such simple shifts in approach make a huge difference in how you go about your day-to-day human interactions. And they are catching. The more consistently positive you are, the more it rubs off on those around you. And the more you attract the attention of like-minded people.

Every silver lining comes with a black cloud around it, so get on with dealing with the issues, solving the puzzles, overcoming the hurdles, and bringing your team with you by inspiring them with your own change in mindset.

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