Resisting Happiness | Matthew Kelly

Summary of: Resisting Happiness
By: Matthew Kelly


Embark on a journey towards a deeper understanding of happiness in this insightful summary of Matthew Kelly’s Resisting Happiness. Delve into topics such as overcoming resistance in long-term projects, recognizing the value of solitude, learning to listen, and discovering your life’s purpose. These enlightening concepts will guide you in confronting your inner fears, helping you to develop healthy coping mechanisms, and eventually leading you to a renewed sense of joy and fulfillment. So, unravel the secrets to happiness and welcome change as you begin this transformative exploration.

Defeating Resistance

Resistance is a common feeling that makes us put off important tasks. Matthew Kelly, a published author, understands the problem of resistance well. He often receives questions from aspiring writers, who never seem to finish their books due to procrastination and self-sabotage. Kelly advises them to name the obstacle, which could make it easier to work out how to overcome it. Another approach is prayer. Kelly spends ten minutes each day praying and answering four questions that provide him with clarity, a sense of purpose, reaffirmation of his passions, and help him make better decisions. This practice has also helped him become more spiritually fulfilled.

Finding Lasting Happiness

In the quest for happiness, people often mistake conventional ideas and material goods for lasting contentment. However, by embracing the inevitability of death and pondering regrets, we can gain a clearer understanding of our true values. Author Kelly realized this while consulting for a hospital and talking to hospice nurses. He started prioritizing things that mattered to him, which led him to find true happiness. Moreover, understanding that everyone faces their unique struggles can help us become more compassionate and understanding towards others as well as ourselves.

The Power of Reading

Reading is a valuable resource that can stimulate positivity and encourage personal growth. In his book, The Rhythm of Life, Kelly shares the 37 titles that have had the greatest influence on his life. These books cover various subjects such as philosophy, theology, psychology, business studies, and history. What sets these books apart is their positivity, which helps Kelly develop a wider perspective on life. Through reading, Kelly learns to strive to be the best version of himself, rather than solely pursuing material wealth. He explains that money alone cannot bring happiness or fulfillment, as evidenced by a scenario where a man who earned money by giving minimal effort felt deflated, while another who volunteered his time felt satisfied after giving his best effort. Ultimately, Kelly believes that reading can act as a friend, providing us with emotional support when times are tough.

Embracing Solitude

The only true answer to loneliness is embracing solitude. Spending quality time with yourself helps you understand who you are. Learning to appreciate solitude is a great basis for connecting with others and becoming a better listener. The author recommends five key techniques to improve listening skills and boost relationships, including making eye contact, paying attention to body language, avoiding interrupting others, being fully present in the moment, and asking questions.

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