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Lawrence J Danks

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Your Unfinished Life: Finding Happiness and Success Through Kindness
by Lawrence J Danks   

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Publisher:  Helpful Media ISBN-10:  0615242073 Type: 


Copyright:  January 2009 ISBN-13:  9780615242071

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Barnes &
Happiness: Finding Happiness

Be the person you might never have become.There's still time left in "Your Unfinished Life" Find happiness,improved self-esteem and personal fulfillment. Dozens of inspiring quotations to guide you.

We all want to be happy. To most of us that means achieving personal fulfillment and success in one way or another. I'm not speaking of material success, which is certainly pleasant, but of something far more life changing and long lasting, real gratification or what is sometimes also called authentic happiness.

Your Unfinished Life  is all about finding personal fulfillment and finding peace of mind. It's a broadly spiritual,self -help book because it's designed to re-energize, but it's not about religion. It's not about being Christian, Catholic, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, of any other faith, nor does it presume a belief in God or a higher presence. Regardless of her/his affiliation or non affiliation,everyone seeks happiness and self-esteem. While I didn't set it as an objective when I started writing, I was surprised when I completed the book to find that it incorporated wisdom from a variety of cultural and religious traditions and from thoughtful people from very varied walks of life. 

What is suggested in this book is something good, desirable and readily adoptable by anyone of good will seeking to find more personal satisfaction out of life. Your Unfinished Life  is a book of inspiration and motivation, one that contains dozens of inspirational and motivational quotations that provide time tested wisdom, and serve as a powerful guide to living a better and more productive life you can be proud of.  There is great power and satisfaction in knowing that you have the ability to help someone else. It provides the opportunity for personal growth and real self-improvement. Your Unfinished Life
 also contains many touching and heartwarming stories you'll enjoy and remember. 

A number of readers, including some of my high school classmates, have told me that they found Your Unfinished Life inspirational and that it helped them. I hope that you enjoy it and that it brings more happiness to you, your family and friends too and to all who can benefit from the kindnesses.


Chapter 1
Kindness and Happiness

“People often asked me what is the most effective technique for transforming their life. It is a little embarrassing that after years and years of research and experimentation, I have to say that the best answer is - just be a little kinder.”- [Aldous Huxley -Quoted from The Power of Kindness - Piero Ferrucci ]

The search for happiness is a universal quest. It seems only logical it should center around us. Instead, it really centers around others. As English philosopher and social reformer Jeremy Bentham said: “Create all the happiness you can create, remove all the misery you can remove. Every day will allow you to add something to the pleasure of others, or to diminish something of their pains. And for every grain of enjoyment you sow in the bosom of another, you shall find a harvest in your own bosom; while every sorrow which you pluck out from the thoughts and feelings of a fellow creature shall be replaced by a beautiful peace and joy in the sanctuary of your soul.” - [Quoted from Happiness: Lessons From A New Science - Richard Layard]...

How To Have A Happier Life
You are the prospective parent of your own fulfilled self and your happiness. Dr. Martin Seligman, Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, in his book Authentic Happiness says this about true happiness:

“The pleasant life, is wrapped up in the successful pursuit of positive feelings, supplemented by the skills of amplifying these emotions. The good life, in contrast, is not about maximizing positive emotion, but is a life wrapped up in successfully using ‘signature strengths’ to obtain abundant and authentic gratification. The meaningful life has one additional feature: “using your signature strengths in the service of something larger than you are.”

Mother Teresa was of the same mind: “I wouldn’t touch a leper for $1000, but I cure him willingly for the love of God.” It doesn’t necessarily have to do with God or religious faith. It simply has to do with doing something worthwhile for a higher purpose.

Benjamin Disraeli, former Prime Minister of Great Britain, who as a Jew faced great religious and ethnic discrimination, rose to the top by “climbing the greasy pole” as he described it. He noted: “Life is to short to be little”. We should focus on doing important things. How big or little is your life? What else could you be doing that is truly important to you? By changing our focus, we can change our life.

Students in Dr. Seligman’s classes wondered if happiness came more readily by extending a kindness or by having fun. They were asked to engage in one pleasurable activity and one activity involved with helping others. Dr. Seligman reported that “the pleasurable activity paled in comparison with the effects of the kind action.” Kindness or service is not the sole road to gratification, but it clearly meets the standards of being an important source of it.

To determine what your own personal strengths are, read Authentic Happiness and take Dr. Seligman’s VIA Strengths Survey. A version of the test is also available online at Reading his book will provide an improved understanding of your strengths and how they may be best applied in leading you to a happier and more satisfying life.

Take the long term view. Robert Schuller said that we should plan as if we are going to live to be one hundred. Whether we get there or not, having a plan will help us maximize what...

More excerpts from each chapter:

Professional Reviews

Kirkus Discoveries:
Danks invites readers to contemplate the legacies and memories they will leave, sharing numerous passages and summaries from literature and self-help books that direct people to happiness through sharing and kindness.

Man has sought, throughout time, fame, wealth and immortality—but also happiness. Contentment has also been a goal of the author’s, as he summarizes and considers many sources here, from books to film, for readers. Danks argues that we all have time left to improve our quality of life by doing simple tasks. Urging generosity, compassion, selflessness and grace, the book compiles many sources of wisdom into a concise volume, with some tips for everyday behaviors that may guide pilgrims on this path. Danks believes that these positive changes will bring rewards to the giver as well as the recipients, including creating a sort of good karma feedback loop in which practicing kindness can make a person even more thoughtful and aware of their surroundings. Judge less and assume people have good intentions, he writes, and be thankful for the good actions of those around you. The author also addresses situations of which higher income groups may have little understanding, including the approximately 12 percent of Americans who live in poverty, and the aspects that make the leap to middle class so difficult for many. While he provides a couple suggestions to ease their lot, this topic is not completely addressed, nor is the question of how such inequality experienced by all in daily life affects happiness up and down the economic ladder. But Danks also recognizes the largest argument that many people may have against improving their lives—not enough time—and provides references and examples to illustrate how space can be made for kindness. The book concludes with 40 simple actions a person might take to incorporate kindness into daily life.

A well-considered, compact guide to centuries of literature about kindness and happiness.

Reader Views (Paige Lovitt):
“Your Unfinished Life offers both inspiration and insight into finding happiness and success. The author, Lawrence J. Danks, has discovered that the best way to find this is through living a life filled with kindness. In his book, he offers a discussion on how to live with kindness. I was elated to discover that there were many things that I was already doing and I felt I was on the right track. There are also many more actions I can take to further enrich my life by acting with kindness. By doing so, I can brighten the lives of others.

In addition to offering lots of inspiring quotes, Danks also offers a chapter on “40 Ways to Be Kind.” He came up with a variety of ideas I felt would be fun to incorporate into my life. Some were as simple as offering to take a group picture so that the cameraman in a group doesn’t get left out. Another one, which would bring an incredible amount of healing to me, would be to forgive others. It doesn’t mean I have to let the wrongdoer off the hook and offer myself to be mistreated again, it just means that I let go of what happened and move on with my life. Danks points out that this is also healthier for us. His ideas really resonated with me. It is very important to note that while Danks encourages us to be kinder to others, we are not encouraged to put ourselves in positions where we can be taken advantage of. There is definitely a line drawn there.

While reading Your Unfinished Life, I discovered that the more I thought about how I can be a kinder person, the less I thought about what I have missing from my life. I suspect that others will discover this as well. It makes sense, because I believe that the more that we are spiritually fulfilled the less need we will have to fill our lives with material things. I encourage you to challenge yourself with this book. It will offer you tons of inspiration for your journal. One of the best gifts that you can give to yourself or loved ones is a copy of Your Unfinished Life by Lawrence J. Danks.”

Midwest Book Review
“...Well worth reading for those who want to be the person they think they can be.”
Unless one is already a corpse, there is still time to change. "Your Unfinished Life: The Classic and Timeless Guide to Finding Happiness and Success Through Kindness" is a book encouraging readers to embrace change for the better and don't let something like age or obligations stand in one's way to finding true happiness in one's life. Saying that not doing so ends with one having countless regrets...

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