Why do I write? I’m not a writer. Now in my seventies, I have only written one book, a non-fiction book, and don’t plan to write another. I wrote the book (with a lot of help) because I had something worthwhile to say. I never learned how to write well, but I did learn how to be happy. I actually took a formal course in happiness and have taught what I’ve learned to others. So, what I say in the book is that happiness is an ordinary skill, like writing or playing the piano, which you can learn.
My book describes what I’ve learned and how I learned it. It also tells of many mistakes I and others have made in our search for happiness. For example, I found self-help books, positive thinking, and affirmations to be counterproductive.
Do you want to be a successful writer? That’s a great goal, but success won’t make you happy. Successful writers, like successful athletes and successful actors, are not happier than other people. Be in the present and enjoy the process of writing. Just don’t expect to be happier in the future when you attain your goal. Will you be happy when your work is accepted for publication? Yes, but that happiness will be short-lived. In fact, academic psychologists have studied lottery winners and found, after the initial euphoria wore off, that they were no happier than before they won the lottery. That’s hard to believe, but it’s true. It is very difficult to find happiness by modifying the external circumstances of your life.
You could probably teach me a bit about writing so that I would be a better writer, but it would take discipline and practice for me to become proficient. The same is true for happiness. My book will teach you a bit about happiness so that you will be a somewhat happier person, but it takes discipline and practice to experience peace of mind, joy, and satisfaction regardless of the circumstances in your life. My book can definitely point you in the right direction.
Why did I write my book? I didn’t write it to make money: The book is priced at under $7.00, so that royalties will never cover my cost of production and promotion. I didn’t write it to attain credibility to promote other activities like teaching: I am retired and have had only had a few students whom I’ve taught for free. I certainly didn’t write it expecting appreciation, admiration, or adulation.
I had four reasons for writing the book. First, I enjoyed doing it.
Second, the book was a labor of love: an expression of gratitude, love, and generosity for those who taught me this invaluable skill of happiness. It is my way to “pay it forward.”
Third, whenever I teach, I am my own best student. Writing the book reminded me of what I had learned and helped me sharpen my skills and avoid destructive ways of thinking.
My fourth motivation in writing the book was to make a minor contribution to the effort of making this world a better place for everyone. The book demonstrates clearly that learning to be happy is not mystical, mysterious, or magical. Happiness is an ordinary skill which anybody can learn. Suppose the art of happiness were taught in schools alongside arithmetic and reading. Imagine what the world might become if people practiced love, generosity, and forgiveness, forsaking greed and the quest for power. Could we have peace on earth in a few generations? What if drug users no longer needed chemicals to find joy and peace of mind?
You can help me make the world a better place by buying the book, reading it, and then giving it away. The book is From Seeker to Finder: Discovering Everyday Happiness by George Kimeldorf. You can find further information about the book at www.fromseekertofinder.com and buy the book at amazon.com.