The Happiness Choice

Reading Group Guide

Dear Readers,

Congratulations on your interest in learning more about how to reach a higher level of fulfillment, peace and happiness in your life. I'm delighted that you chosen one of my books and I hope that they will bring insights to your reading group. I trust that you have found the book helpful in guiding you in your path towards achieving a more gratifying life.

Participating in a reading group is a wonderful way to enjoy stimulating conversation with good friends and to discuss and act upon the inspiration that an interesting book arouses. In the sections below, I offer you some thought provoking questions to get your conversations started for each book. In using these questions you may find more ways of looking at issues that you or your friends may not have done so before. My wish is that you will become more motivated to learn about your life purpose and to use what you have already inside of you to achieve your dreams. Good luck and many blessings to you as you become all that you can be.


The Happiness Choice

1. Do you believe that happiness is a choice? Is this why you chose this book? Do you spend much time thinking about your happiness? Did the book show you ways to adjust your life to align with what will make you happy?

2. This book shares many personal stories and the lessons learned. Were you surprised at the level of honesty? Did learning about experts’ struggles and triumphs change the way you feel about the possibilities for your own life?

3. Discuss the ways in which your childhood, the media, and society influence your ideas about happiness, money, health, and physical appearance, relationships, Spirit, and community as it pertains to your life.

4. Talk about one positive influence or role model in your life, either from The Happiness Choice or of your own choosing.

5. The Happiness Choice uses quotations to raise your aware- ness. Which quotation resonated most with you? Do you have one that is special in your own life? Is there one that you have taped to your mirror or on your computer?

6. How can you be sure that it is your inner wisdom and not another voice from outside that you are hearing? Of the many voices that echo in our minds, how do we recognize our own authentic voice?

7. Did The Happiness Choice affect your perspective on life? How has this book encouraged you to see things differently? In one sentence, what would you like to leave as your personal legacy?

8. What do you think about money and other means of exchange? Has it changed since you read the book? Do you feel more able to pursue what gives you joy now?

9. How did you feel when you read, in Chapter 6, Relation- ships, that our current thinking and behavior is strongly influenced by the way our childhood caretakers treated us? Are you less critical in how you treat yourself now? Have you forgiven the people who have hurt you?

10. Do you have a soulmate? If not, are you prepared now to look for him/her? If you have one, are you growing closer or further apart in your relationship? Do the stories in Chapter 6, Relationships give you courage to move forward?

11. Do you have a spiritual belief? How does that help you navigate the challenges of life?

12. Do you believe that your mind affects the health of your body? How did the stories, examples, and insights from the chapter on your body affect your thinking about health and happiness?

13. Who do you regard as your community? How do they help you in attaining happiness? What changes, if any, are you going to make to your definition of community after reading this book?

14. What is your overall impression of The Happiness Choice? Of the five decision areas: your body, money and other means of exchange, relationships, Spirit and your community, which one impacted you the most? Why?

15. What was the one most valuable thing you learned from The Happiness Choice about happiness for yourself?

16. Did you come away with some specific ideas to apply to your own life after reading The Happiness Choice? If so, share with the group what you’d most like to accomplish.

17. Do you have something you wish to share with other readers of The Happiness Choice? Please upload your comments on www.MarilynTam.com.


How to Use What You’ve Got to Get What You Want

1. In reading the book, which of the four principles most appealed to you? Why?
Which one was the hardest for you to follow? How can you support yourself in practicing the principles? How can you ask for support in incorporating them into your life?

2. When you encounter a situation where you have to Tell the Truth even though the risks seem especially high, how can you work out an action plan to keep you on track? Have you been in a similar circumstance when you didn’t tell the truth? What happened in the end?

3. Referring to the principle, Die by Your Own Sword, what were the excuses you've made to yourself when you didn’t do what your research, heart and instincts told you to do? Were you comfortable with the end results? What would you differently now?

4. Is it hard for you to make Big Mistakes? Do you research, plan and follow through carefully on projects and things that is important to you? Or do you react to things as they happen without much advance planning? Can you admit that you are wrong? How do you respond when things do not turn out the way you planned? Are you ready with contingencies when the unexpected happens or do you try to cover up the problem, deny it, or shift blame? What will you do to ensure that you will only make and learn from your Big Mistakes in the future?

5. Making others your Partner(s) sound easy until you encounter someone who seems unwilling to support you; or they may even be actively working against you. How do you engage and involve others so that they can see that there is a common interest in the project? What do you see as the biggest challenge? Where and how can you get help to reach cooperation and mutual support?

6. Do you know what your life purpose is? When did you first have an idea of what it is? Have you followed it? Does your family and friends know what it is? How has it manifested itself in your work, and in how you choose to spend your personal time? Will you do anything differently now that you’ve read this book? How are you going to remind yourself of what’s important for you? How can you ask others to help you remember?

7. What is your biggest obstacle/excuse that is keeping you from getting what you want? How can you remove or reduce that obstacle? What steps can you take right now to move forward towards your dreams? Can you get a commitment from other reading group members to help you with that?

8. Do you have Charisma? How has that affected your life? Can you see how to develop more of it now? What can your reading group members tell you about your charisma level? How can your reading group members help you to develop more charisma and make it a fun project?

9. Do you ask questions on issues before you make up your mind? Are you willing to listen to the answers even if they don’t agree with what you think they should be? What do you do with the information? Are you happy with your behavior? If not, what do you intend to do to change it? How do you think that is going to affect the results you get from your decision making processes?

10. How good are you at follow through? Do you take a project from start to finish with the same care and devotion as when you first got excited about it? Recall a venture when you had excellent execution, what happened? What about a time when you didn’t? What happened? How can you keep yourself on track in the future? What outside support can you put in place?

11. Are you willing to incorporate advice from others and modify your strategy to achieve your goals? What are your concerns around change? How comfortable are you with taking risks? Do you feel that your level of risk taking is appropriate for what you are trying to achieve? What do people that you know and trust think?

12. How open are you to learning new things? When was your last career promotion? Have you changed jobs in the last five years? In the last ten years? Are you happy with your position? What are you doing to broaden your knowledge and experience?

13. Do you ever feel discouraged that you are not making a difference? What do you do when you are in that mood? How can you shift out of that attitude quicker? How can you ask for support from your friends and family?

14. What new resolve(s) have you made after reading this book? What is the biggest insight that you have received from the book? How has the book influenced your life? Has it impacted the way you interact with others? How are you going to ensure that you will practice your good intentions? How can your reading group help?