In his thoughtful and brilliant new book, Derren Brown, internationally bestselling author of HAPPY, considers the value of difficulty in our lives. Perhaps it is in those times when we are forced to cope with adversity that we find the most meaningful rewards. As he navigates middle age, love and small talk, he dispenses with self-help platitudes and wonders if perhaps we need to more comfortably embrace uncertainty. Is anxiety in fact a pointer for growth?
In chapters that take us back to the scene of childhood humiliation, to lonely evenings on tour, to the high stress of a house move, Derren explores that when we feel most alone we are often most connected to others and the flow of life. Guiding us through the ideas of some of humanity’s greatest thinkers, he asks if, rather than focusing on self-improvement, we might instead prioritise a better interaction with the people around us? Learn how to gather ourselves up when we need to and make sure we fully appear in our own lives, rather than watching from the sidelines?
In a book that is both deeply personal and profound, Derren reveal his own moments of anger and frustration, loneliness and loss, and finds surprising sources of consolation and compassion.
Happiness is famously elusive and tricky to define. How then are we to lead happier lives?
In A Little Happier Derren Brown condenses the lessons of his international bestseller Happy into 17 beautifully-wrought, wise and profoundly reassuring mini-chapters, each one challenging us to think differently so as to overcome anxiety in a difficult world.
None of this is real when each of us tells stories about our lives in too tidy narratives that are seldom true and rarely helpful.
We should be wary of goal setting: long-term goals fixate us on a future that may not happen and we may not wish for when we get there.
Our partner isn’t right for us because no-one is. None of us is born for someone else. But perhaps those areas of frequent conflict are useful indicators of where we might ourselves be insufferable.
Life is hard, messy and complex; our friends will probably let us down; most of what has got us here is blind luck and a series of false starts. But if we can learn to separate what we can control – our thoughts and actions – from all else beyond our control, we can find a surer footing with which to greet the world.
“Derren Brown is a mine of wisdom, humanity and kindness – everything we need to sustain and nourish ourselves.”
– Alain de Botton
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Confessions of a