The Courage to Be Happy | Ichiro Kishimi

Summary of: The Courage to Be Happy: Discover the Power of Positive Psychology and Choose Happiness Every Day
By: Ichiro Kishimi


Embark on a journey to uncover the secret of true happiness and self-reliance with ‘The Courage to Be Happy: Discover the Power of Positive Psychology and Choose Happiness Every Day’ by Ichiro Kishimi. This book summary unveils the core principles of Adlerian psychology, and teaches us how proper education can help individuals become self-reliant. Delve into the significance of respect, why praise can inhibit growth, and how interpersonal relationships can be the source of both problems and joy. Additionally, explore how birth order can influence our personalities, and how love can ultimately lead us to happiness and self-reliance.

The True Purpose of Education

Education is more than just teaching a child how to read and write. According to psychologist Alfred Adler, the purpose of education is to teach self-reliance. This means satisfying our individual expectations and only our individual expectations. We should only carry out our tasks, not intervene in others’. Adler believed that we reach true happiness by achieving full self-reliance, which is achieved by harmoniously integrating into society while simultaneously meeting our own needs. But how does education fit into all this? Adler saw education as essential for self-reliance, as children learn how to be a part of their communities by sharing human knowledge. In the following parts, we’ll explore how educators and parents can raise self-reliant and happy children using Adler’s ideas.

The Power of Respect

In his book, Adler emphasizes the importance of respect as the foundation for strong relationships. He argues that respect is not about recognizing authority but rather accepting others for who they are without judgment. This extends to the classroom, where teachers need to respect their students to foster engagement and create a sense of belonging. With mutual respect, relationships grow stronger, and individuals become self-reliant. Thus, the key to getting people to listen to you lies in building a foundation of respect.

The Problem with Praising and Scolding Children

A child given a magnifying glass for a gift uses it to watch ants, but discovers she can also burn them with the intensified sun rays. Alfred Adler’s approach is not to praise or scold the child’s behavior but to educate them on the value of life. Praising or scolding children could encourage bad behavior by leading to attention-seeking. Parents and educators should instead avoid reacting to problem behaviors with praise or rebuke. Stage one of problem behavior is the demand for admiration and leads to attention drawing in stage two. Resultantly, parents and educators should avoid praising or rebuking children in their care.

The Dark Side of Praise

Praise, often viewed as a positive reinforcement, is not an effective tool for growth as it inhibits growth and encourages unhealthy competition. Adler perceives a difference between competition and rivalry; competition is a constant in our society, whereas rivalry is not. Adler suggests eliminating rivalry from the classroom by declining to create hierarchies through praise.

The Strength in Inferiority

Children may feel inferior, but it’s natural as they are still developing. This inferiority can inspire and unite people towards common goals, like our technological accomplishments. Praising kids for being special isolates them and promotes dependence on others, hindering self-reliance. Instead, we should support them by acknowledging their determination to work through challenges.

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