About This Book

Others share how they found their passion, purpose, and joy in life in these 101 personal and exciting stories that are sure to encourage readers to find their own happiness. Stories in this collection will inspire readers to pursue their dreams, find their passion and seek joy in their life. This book continues Chicken Soup for the Soul's focus on inspiration and hope, reminding readers that they can find their own happiness.

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Five Tips to Finding Your Happiness

Inspired by Chicken Soup for the Soul: Find Your Happiness

By Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Amy Newmark; foreword by Deborah Norville

Everyone wants to be happy — to find purpose, passion and joy in their lives. There are many paths to happiness, as recounted in the 101 personal stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Find Your Happiness: 101 Inspirational Stories about Finding Your Purpose, Passion, and Joy. Here are some tips from people from all walks of life to help you find your purpose, passion and joy:

1. Count your blessings. In the last days of her long battle with osteosarcoma, which claimed a leg and one and one-half of her lungs, 20-year-old Angela Sayers had an epiphany: She was still here, still living. "Life is precious, whether you have a straight road stretched before you as far as the eye can see, or whether, like most people, your road turns and bends into the undergrowth and you have no idea where it leads," says Angela. "Follow that bend, and your heart, no matter where it goes. Mine may go on, to places unmentionable, but everyone’s does, eventually." In the all-too-short time Angela was with us, she taught us what it meant to count your blessings.

2. Pursue your passion. You’re more likely to be great at things you enjoy, so take a page from Alexander Brokaw, a business major who thought being an adult meant following in his parents' footsteps, pursuing a high-powered business career. When a bar fight landed him in the hospital for a possible concussion, doctors discovered a brain tumor. Initially, it was benign, but more than a year later, the tumor became metabolically active and meant radiation. Alexander's time in treatment left him evaluating his career path and reminded him of how much he enjoyed storytelling. With the tumor under control, Alexander returned to college and crammed a four-year creative writing degree into three semesters. "I've come to understand being successful is doing what makes you happy. Life is too short and uncertain to do anything else," says Alex.

3. Be present every moment. Betsy Franz always seemed to be rushing. She'd strap on her seatbelt, put the car in gear, and slam the accelerator in an attempt to make up for the few minutes she had a knack for losing. Betsy says, "The scenery became nothing but a blur as I played chicken with the traffic lights and kept my mental radar on the alert for the men in blue." But one day she ran out of gas. Suddenly she was on the side of the road, watching an amazing sunrise and realizing how much she was missing in all the rushing. Now, Betsy may be a few minutes late to work, but her life in the slow lane means she's completely present, enjoying every precious moment of life.

4. Find joy in giving to others. Shannon Anderson had a heavy heart as she pondered how mindless her family's routine had become — quick dinners, multi-tasking, taking the kids from one activity to the next. So she purchased a journal, labeled it "Our Deed Diary" and held a family meeting. They discussed what a good deed was and began to do unexpected things for others, keeping track of their deeds in the journal. Shannon even extended the project to her first-grade students, and she watched as the school's janitor, librarian and nurse beamed when they received appreciation letters from the students, and how the students would scurry to help each other in many situations. She says her daughters and students know the indescribable feeling of inner joy only experienced by giving to someone else from the heart.

5. Remember, you're never stuck. When JC Sullivan complained to her brother that she hated her job, he posed a question: If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you’d do? She'd move to Italy. For JC this revelation was the catalyst that changed her life. She started saving, paid her debt off as fast as possible and moved to Italy, proving you're never really stuck. "My imaginary lottery win forced me to listen to my inner voice and that imaginary lottery ticket turned into a real plane ticket," JC says.

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