*This Post contains affiliate links for which I will be compensated when purchases are made.
Happiness… A word about having positive feelings, that can sometimes evoke quite the opposite response in us when we think about just how fleeting it is. I’ve read my fair share of books on achieving and pursuing happiness, many of which offer great tips for the short-term, but it’s often not long afterward that I soon realize the happiness has once again left the building and I’m feeling somewhat empty or sad inside instead, maybe for what even seems like no good or apparent reason.
When I was asked by Dr. Iyabo Ojikutu MD to read her book titled, Permanent Happiness I was immediately intrigued. I’ve seen and read many books on happiness but I had never seen one about Permanent Happiness. And how in the world does one ever experience or actually achieve permanent happiness?!
I’ve thought long and hard about this over my lifetime as one day I can be so effortlessly happy, yet other days are harder and I find myself having a much harder time thinking positively and being happy. And what about those days where they start out great but then that one bad thing happens that turns everything around?!
I’ve heard over and over that the answer is just training your self to be more positive and think of the positive side when those negative situations arise, but this is sooooo much easier said than done, and if you ask me… simply thinking more positively in difficult situations just doesn’t work.
How in the world then do we find happiness and hold onto it? Life is full of ups and downs and it always will be. There is no escaping that. So clearly the answer lies in learning how to effectively navigate through the good and the bad times of our life while still holding onto the happiness. But how do we do that?
In Dr. Iyabo’s book, she successfully tackles this issue and through her own life experience, studies, and personal soul searching, has come up with a brilliant, wise, unique way to tackle fleeting happiness and hold onto it more permanently in our life. She lists just three easy steps we can follow in our lives to pursue permanent happiness and achieve peace. She teaches us how to find balance in our lives, so we are better able to navigate the stress and key life situations we encounter that can easily toss our world upside down if we aren’t prepared to navigate them effectively. Dr Iyabo also shows us how to keep our lives are in balance, so we can effectively let go of the stress and worry that arise when life throws us curveballs, bringing us to a more peaceful state which in turn encourages a more permanent and lasting happiness.
I sat down this weekend to put the book to the test and to see if it really had something more to offer and if it was something truly different than what you find in all of the other happiness books out there (many of which I’ve read).
I cozied up on the couch Saturday afternoon figuring I had a few hours, I would give the book a good start. About 4 hours, and tons of personal notes written later, I put the book down. I had finished. This amazing book had touched and inspired me.
I’m so excited to share with you how this inspirational and knowledgeable book elicited such a wonderful and truly powerful inspirational response in me. You see, I had quite the experience reading this book. About halfway through, I had a powerful “ah ha” moment to a question I had been asking myself only a few nights before and SEVERAL times over my life! It felt like a message written just for me, and finally, an answer had come to me that I had been seeking for many years.
Like I said above, In this book, Dr. Iyabo gives you the three effective steps to finding peace and pursuing permanent happiness and then also shows you how to work this into every area of your life! You don’t just get the useful information, but you also get the guide on how to put this information into practice! You actually learn HOW to navigate the likely problems, situations, and challenges you will most likely encounter at some point through out your life. Everything from career to relationships, raising children, dealing with loss, the death of loved ones, divorce, and more. It’s not just book that teaches you to be more positive. It teaches you the success steps in finding peace and permanent happiness, and THEN teaches you how to use it in every situation, so you’re well prepared to navigate through those challenging life experiences when they arise.
For me, my “ah ha” moment came when Dr. Iyabo talked about how to put these steps into play when it comes to achieving balance and permanent happiness through relationships (our romantic relationships, specifically). Ever since I could remember, the only thing I cared about, even starting out as a child, was finding “the one” and getting my happily ever after. As I grew into a boy-crazed teenager, my focus was still on finding my future husband. I was in such a hurry, that I married at a very young age (25) to a man that “seemed nice and treated me well enough.” But later on discovered he had serious drug problems, which he later passed away from on Thanksgiving of 2014.
I moved right onto my second marriage after my divorce, figuring this guy would be better because he didn’t seem to have drug issues, only to discover he had serious alcohol problems, a scary temper, and he liked to spit out some pretty nasty verbal and emotional things at me after he’d thrown back a few.
At this point in my life, which was not that long ago (2015), I decided I needed to make serious changes. I moved out, divorced my then-husband, and spent some serious time working on myself. I had always had a bit of a spiritual side and enjoyed self-improvement and self-help books, but I soon began to dive in hard to anything I could find that would help me find lasting happiness, specifically with a man.
I got into meditation, I began finding a more peaceful side. I worked hard on myself. I began finding balance. I found in the next year spent alone that I could absolutely be happy all by myself. That I didn’t need a man to do that for me but hoped I would be able to finally find a good man that would compliment my life, and provide me with the companionship I still deeply desired. I spent some lonely Holidays by myself but continued to work on myself. Then in the new year, I decided it was time to start dating again. I wrote a list of my perfect man, which ended up having over 50 items on it! At 36 years of age, I finally knew what I wanted in a man, and I was determined to find him!
Well, once I started dating and entered into another boyfriend/girlfriend relationship, and I quickly found myself with the same problem I’ve always had with men. He wasn’t my match. He was far off and I found myself incredibly unhappy once again. I would lie awake at night more and more wondering how this keeps happening to me? How am I attracting the wrong men when I’ve worked so hard on myself and finally felt I had become this good, loving, whole woman, who had so much to offer the world AND a man! Why aren’t these men matching up?
When I came to the chapter in “Permanent Happiness” on relationships and got to the romantic relationships section. A few pages in I read some of Dr. Iyabo’s wise advice on dating, and I did the mental checklist in my head, “Yep, I do that. yep, Did that. Yep, did my checklist of what I want in a man,” and then there it was, staring me right in the face… The passage that will forever change my life…
“Once you’ve made a realistic list of what you looking for in your partner, you must stick to it. Do not give excuses for your partner for behavior that is unacceptable… Do not ever lower your standards, this will come back to haunt you.” And as soon as I read it, everything in my life regarding the men I’d chose to date and marry all made sense. It became very clear to me. I lower my standards. Period. I have my checklist in hand, ready to meet him, and I meet a guy I like and he fits most of it or maybe even all of it for a bit, then something will happen, some unacceptable behavior, some non-fun part of his personality will be shown to me, my intuition will kick in and tell me, “he’s not it! Move on!” But instead, I make excuses for him. “Oh he is sorry that happened and said he wants to change or that will never happen again so it will be ok.” I talk myself into staying. I really don’t want to go through another heartbreak and continue dating, so I think it will be fine and I keep on dating him! I’ve even had friends and family members tell me they see something off with the guy, or tell me I’m settling, but I don’t listen to them OR my intuition. I thought I knew better than anyone or any feeling deep inside of me. Boy was I wrong. And I’ve learned MANY hard lessons and been through some very awful and traumatic experiences because of it too, that could’ve all been avoided if I had just not lowered my standards.
I’m so thankful I read this book that has deeply touched my soul and given me the answer I’ve so desperately needed and searched for my entire adult life. Dr. Iyabo’s words spoke to me when I needed to hear them most and I feel like I know finally now (after two failed marriages and several failed relationships) what I need to know, to move forward and make the right decision now in choosing the men I date. I need to hold firm to that list, even when it means ending a relationship and it might mean spending a long time alone before finding that right person. I won’t settle again. I don’t deserve that. I deserve someone who is balanced and can treat me the way I deserve to be treated. No excuses.
I have a few books I read over and over because I find so much new wisdom and inspiration in them every time I read them. I know this wonderful book from Dr. Iyabo will be added to this list and one I refer to time and time again as I navigate my way through all of life’s circumstances. It is very easy to relate to, connect to, and understand and is a great book for men and women of all ages, as it helps each of us reduce those interruptions in life that mess with our happiness, and guides us to actively stay on the pursuit of peace to find lasting permanent happiness.
I hope you will be able to find some of the answers you are looking for in this truly inspirational, wise book as well, just like I did! I thank the beautiful Dr. Iyabo from the bottom of my heart for her divine wisdom for sharing her beautiful message and insight with me through this life-changing book.
Interested in picking up this inspirational read for yourself? You can find it Here on Amazon in the Kindle store, or paperback.
Check out Dr. Iyabo’s fantastic blog, The Peace Place Blog, at www.driyabo.com