Virginia Pothier is the co-author of The Happiness Journey and co-founder of Hapacus, an organization built to promote the science of happiness.
What themes does your book explore, and is there a particular feeling or experience that you wish to evoke in the reader?
The Happiness Journey is an introduction to the science of happiness, an emerging field of research of how our brains help (and hurt) our pursuit of happiness. Groundbreaking discoveries are being made by psychologists, sociologists and neuroscientists on how we can make our lives more meaningful, enjoyable, and fulfilling. The themes of The Happiness Journey include:
- Emotions – Our emotions provide us with richness, passion, and excitement, but can also create confusion, anxiety, and stress.
- Thoughts – Our thoughts are the authors of our life stories, the conductors of the present, and the shepherds of our future, yet they are often mired in the past and our own worst critic.
- Choices – Our choices determine our experiences, and our experiences define our lives yet few of us understand how, and why, we make decisions.
- Relationships – Our relationships are what science of happiness researchers call, “a deep truth,” and yet many of us struggle to maintain, let alone develop our current relationships.
The Happiness Journey is written to help readers experience multiple “ah-ha” moments as they come to understand why happiness is so elusive, and how their brains contribute to the slippery nature of happiness. Along with these moments of enlightenment, readers are introduced to scientific techniques that help them retrain their brains. The feelings we strive to evoke in readers of The Happiness Journey include hope, optimism, and a firm conviction that lasting happiness is achievable.
What prompted you to be an author and were you influenced by an actual person, artist, or genre?
I have always had a passion for reading and writing, but knew my first book would have to wait until I had something to say. When years of witnessing loved ones struggle with anxiety and depression collided with my discovery of the science of happiness, I knew I had something to say. The Happiness Journey is the culmination of all the concepts that changed my life, my family’s lives, and the lives of millions of people around the world.
If you could compare your book to any other existing works, which ones would it be and why?
Like the science of happiness itself, The Happiness Journey makes science personal. The scientific side of The Happiness Journey could be compared to Dr. Martin Seligman’s Authentic Happiness and Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky’s The How of Happiness. The personal side could be compared to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love or Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now.
Tell us about your latest work and what inspired you
My most recent work has been focused on finding ways to make The Happiness Journey more experiential. Our brains learn best by repetition, but how do you “practice” concepts? That is the question I wrestled with. The result is the development of four companion workbooks (Emotions, Thoughts, Choices, and Relationships) designed to help readers of The Happiness Journey practice and reinforce the concepts they read. I love talking with people passionate about the science of happiness and personal growth.
Thank you, Virginia, for granting this interview
Thank you for giving us an opportunity to share this book, and Hapacus, with your audience.
Review of The Happiness Journey
“Based on cutting edge science, we have uncovered concrete strategies that people can use to experience greater happiness and meaning and more satisfying relationships. Bob and Virginia Pothier have created a manual for people to learn these strategies. The writing, illustrations, and playful metaphors transform complex scientific research into simple, sticky ideas. This book offers a window to changing the amount of well-being in this world.”
~ Dr. Todd B. Kashdan
Author of Curious? Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life, and Designing Positive Psychology.