Real Happiness For You

Lawrence J. Danks
Assistant Professor of Business - Camden County College, NJ

Author: It's a Matter of Life and Death -
Growing Up in a Funeral Home and What I Learned Since
(Available as an Amazon Paperback or E-book)

"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. " - The Dalai Lama

Finding Happiness

Find Happiness 

Truly happy people can be more effective people. No matter what your current situation is, using the principles of positive psychology , management and other disciplines, you can find happiness, learn how to motivate yourself, put yourself on a positive and realistic road to success, or reinvent yourself into the kind of person you want to be.

This website includes multiple segments of guided readings on happiness and success. This is followed by three of my Lawrence J. Danks books:

-   Your Unfinished Life - Finding Happiness and Success Through Kindness

-    For College Students: You and Your Future - a career and job hunting guide for college students

-    It’s a Matter of Life and Death: Growing Up in a Funeral Home and What I Learned Since  - finding happiness, curing  some curiosity about funeral homes, helping those facing serious illness, and aiding those who are grieving from loss of a loved one and seeking recovery. Some might wonder how happiness can be related to funeral homes and death, but growing up in one it doesn't take long to discover what really counts in life and what doesn't.

Take notes and jot down any ideas you get along the way. These happiness and success resources are simply a starting point to set goals for yourself and to improve your outlook and your life.

Many outstanding happiness and success works are cited here. It's important to experience them yourself by reading from the original sources. The tests contained in some of them are valuable and are an essential element in knowing how to move forward more effectively. Also, what I've read and summarized, may not be as relevant as something else you would see that would speak more directly to you in an original work.

It is my hope that you will refer others to Real Happiness For You  through your associations and through social media, so that the information here may help them too. Check back periodically. The site will be augmented and revised on a continuing basis.

Using These Resources

1. Follow through the material sequentially (which I'd recommend) Under each heading, read the introductory material, then click on the readings in order.


2. Scan the list of segments. Some may not have the time to complete all the reading that's contained here, so if necessary, click on particular sections that interest you. While my goal is to have everyone get the full benefit of all that's contained here, I'd rather have visitors derive some value than none.

The best way to think of these resources is that they are intended to be a "bridge builder", leading you to further detailed and customized study that will help you learn more about yourself and lead to other educational experiences, and also to professionals, who are highly trained and experienced to help you. Reference to the resources shown below is only the first step. It is not an end in itself.

It's important to your happiness and success to seek out a variety of opinions. By the time you finish, you will have had many, including mine. But that's not enough. You need to consult with people who know you best and also with others who are familiar with areas you have an interest in. All the advice you're going to get  is not going to be good. You might also not agree with all of it either. Just take it all in and evaluate it as you go along. Keep an open mind too.

The benefit of these resources, and any further courses of action it leads to, can only be determined by the actual steps you take to improve your life. Just reading about it, while highly worthwhile in creating the proper motivation and frame of mind to help you move forward, is no substitute for setting meaningful goals and actually doing something to accomplish them.

How long should you keep at this?

Keep these two thoughts in mind as you go through life:

Plan To Live To Be A Hundred

The famous motivational speaker, Dr. Robert Schuller, said that planning to live to be one hundred is the proper time reference. (It makes no difference how long you actually live.) The idea is to always have personally relevant goals, or a project, for as long as you live. This will give your life meaning - and meaning helps produce happiness and a feeling of success. (A feature on "Sixty Minutes" indicated that the population segment over ninety years old is the fastest growing one in the country. It's projected to quadruple in the coming decades. You might not make it to a hundred, but you might still get to be a nonagenarian! In any event, you will get more out of whatever time you have left.)

You're Never Done

"How will you know when your work is done?" The answer: "If you're still breathing, you're not done yet."

Always have goals, and keep at them, even if at age ninety, it's simply to speak with two friends a week, check Google News (if it's still around by then), take care of your pet, tend to your herb garden, and fill the bird feeders every other day. Keep Renoir's last words in mind: "I am still progressing."

The famed British polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton is buried on South Georgia Island in the South Atlantic, a region where, in his failure to reach the South Pole, he arguably set the standard for leadership, and engendered loyalty, and the importance of team building. If you ever feel that you've have taken about as much as you can, or that you have failed at something and don't feel good about it, read Shackleton's Boat Journey by Frank A. Worsley, the captain of Shackleton's ship "Endurance". It will hold you spellbound, and in awe, about how much human beings can face and still come out on top, no matter how long the odds are, even though they may not have reached the goals they initially set for themselves.

And what about the "You're Never Done?" part. Let it be said of you, as it was of Shackleton:

"Never the lowered banner, never the last endeavor." Keep fighting until the end. There is much in you to give and a great example you can set for others


I've taught over fifteen thousand college students and over five thousand real estate school students, have diversified work experience, combined with counseling of students, and have done extensive reading on topics relevant to this site. It has helped others. It can help you too. While I've created this resource bank to assist you, I am not a career counselor, psychologist, medical practitioner or attorney. Such questions should be referred to appropriate professionals for assistance.

Recommended Books to Keep You Going

Authentic Happiness Martin Seligman

Flourish - Martin Seligman

50 Success ClassicsTom Butler-Bowdon and his "50 Classics" Series

The Positive Shift: Mastering Mindset to Improve Happiness, Health, and Longevity - Catherine Sanderson

The Happiness Curve - Jonathan Rauch

The How of Happiness Sonya Lybormirsky

Peak - Secrets From The New Science of Expertise - Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool

The Power of Habit - Charles Duhigg

Grit Angela Duckworth

Blink - Malcolm Gladwell

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience - Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi

Happiness: Unlocking The Mysteries of Psychological Wealth - Ed Diener and Robert Biswas-Diener

Thrive - Arianna Huffington

> >  Proceed to "Happiness and Well-Being"  to the right in the directory at the top of the page. Work through topics from left to right.