JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Margaret Curley Sanborn, author of The Practical Guide to Happiness: If You Don’t Like How You’re Feeling, Think Again
(Think Again, Inc.)
The “pursuit of happiness” is a human right so basic that it’s named in the US Constitution. Unfortunately for most, it is little more than a pursuit, as happiness is elusive to many. “The Practical Guide to Happiness: If You Don’t Like How You’re Feeling, Think Again” delineates, in a concrete way, the direct link between perception, thinking and feeling.
By using highly relatable stories, readers of the book are able to form a concrete link between abstract ideas regarding how they perceive and think, and how they feel. Realistic characters deal with real-life circumstances to demonstrate how the same situation and events, perceived and thought about differently, can yield different levels of happiness.
“The Practical Guide to Happiness” educates the reader on the number one challenge to their happiness, the human ego. The reader learns about the power of the human ego that makes constantly holding positive beliefs about the future, in the face of the challenges of ordinary life, almost impossible. It explains how the ego will impede and thwart most people who chart a course to manifest the type of results that experts, in leading positive thinking books, cite. It then teaches the reader how to curb the ego, and to Think Again.
By using the Think Again strategies, the user learns to create happiness now, regardless of less than ideal life circumstances.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write “The Practical Guide to Happiness: If You Don’t Like How You’re Feeling, Think Again”?
Margaret Curley Sanborn: I’ve always been a seeker, wanting to understand ‘why’? I remember as a child being told, “You think too much”. I probably did, but I needed to understand why things were a certain way.
I know quite a few people who have read and loved popular books about manifesting your ideal life. But I also know many who have been very frustrated that they haven’t been able to achieve everything they hoped for, and they don’t know why.
Few books address directly the negative narrator you have in your mind. You can create a focused dream, make a vision board and believe good things will happen, but when you go outside to your 9-year-old Hyundai and it doesn’t start, your narrator will happily jump in and trash your dreams.
Happiness that is based on worldly success and possessions will NEVER last, no matter who you are. Real happiness is an inside job. I felt drawn to give readers tools and insights on how to find the happiness we all have regardless of our circumstances.
JP: What sets “The Practical Guide to Happiness” apart from other books in the same genre?
MCS: One of the most unique things about “The Practical Guide to Happiness” is the way it uses real life stories to show the reader how even small changes in perception and thinking can have a huge impact on the happiness in your life.
The reader walks through some of our society’s most common “I’ll be happy when” ideas, such as “I would be happy if I were wealthy” with two different people. Neither one of the two manifests a lot of money, but they see the same life circumstances differently and react to them in different ways.
The comparative stories engage the reader and allow them to SEE how a small difference in thinking can change your life. This is more easily relatable than abstract ideas about negative thinking.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to “The Practical Guide to Happiness” getting out to the public?
MCS: My lifelong search for answers to life’s questions has married nicely with the skills I developed over 25 years as a corporate marketing professional.
In today’s publishing world, no matter who publishes the book, the author is responsible for marketing it. That can be intimidating to someone who has never developed those skills. I am lucky that I have some crossover in my background.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish “The Practical Guide to Happiness”?
MCS: If I am comfortable with the subject, I write easily and fluently. “The Practical Guide to Happiness” really flew. The most time consuming part of the writing process was researching all the scenarios my true-to-life characters found themselves in. I needed to learn more about Type 1 diabetes, infertility, retirement and more.
From the day I found the book outline that I had written a few years ago, to the day the book was published was about seven months.That included all the steps of the publishing process and a lot of learning for me.
JP: What’s next for Margaret Curley Sanborn?
MCS: I’m nearing completion on my next book “7 Things Your Soul Knows that You Don’t”. This book is about how living in this material world alienates us from our Truth, our soul.
Like “The Practical Guide to Happiness”, it uses stories or allegories to depict for the reader how each of the 7 Spiritual Truths comes to play in daily life. Then each of the 7 sections ends with a practical “Try-it-On” exercise, so the reader can see whether a taking a slightly different approach to their world might improve the quality of their life here and now.