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  • Julianna Sweeney

A Short Guide To A Happy Life | Anna Quindlen

My dad got a copy for my brother, sister and I one year for Christmas after my mom passed away. This little book has followed me through many seasons of my life now.

It is short, simple, and yet quite possibly the most profound little book I've ever read. It has helped me to look at life from a completely different perspective. To see the beauty in the mundane and to live intentionally.

It's one of those books that you pull out every few weeks or months to remind you of what's really important.


  • The only thing that you have that no one else does is control over your life

  • Learning to love the journey, as opposed to the destination, is the most difficult and rewarding thing you can do

  • There's no use in frantically chasing the next iteration of success if you don't have a life, a real life

  • "Show up. Listen. Try to laugh."

  • "You cannot really be good at your work if your work is all you have."

  • Be ridiculously generous

  • "Turn off your cell phone. Keep still. Be present"

  • We all want to do well, but if we don't do good then it will never be good enough

  • We live in more luxury than ever in human history and yet we are rarely grateful for it

  • "Knowledge of our own mortality is the greatest gift God gives us"

  • Today isn't a dress rehearsal, it's the only guarantee we get

  • "School never ends, the classroom is everywhere"


But you are the only person alive who has sole custody of your life. Your particular life. Your entire life. Not just your life at a desk, or your life on the bus, or in the car, or at the computer. Not just the life of your mind, but the life of your heart. Not just your bank account, but your soul.


I am a huge proponent of self-help and personal development books, but if you don't focus on your life at the present moment, none of the other stuff matters. Make this book a dear friend and you'll always have a reminder of the importance of stopping for a moment to take in the view and be amazed at how far you've already come.


Sending love always,


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