A Handbook for Life Center Blog

The PERSONAL EMPOWERMENT series that gets results.

Recognition From My Writing Mentor

Thank you to Maureen Ryan Griffin from wordplaynow.com for featuring the story below in her weekly Word-zine.

WordPlay Success Story

What Richard says about WordPlay

In 2001 I decided to put my life experiences and philosophies into words. I wrote the rough draft of a book, but didn’t follow through with it and filed it away for years.  In 2008 I started reworking the book on my own, but made no real progress.

In 2009 I attended a writing clinic that Maureen Ryan Griffin was conducting.  I had known Maureen for years as my wife’s writing mentor. Shortly thereafter I asked her if she would be willing to edit my first book. Maureen helped me craft A Handbook for Life: A Practical Guide to Success and Happiness and it was published in 2010.

Featured Writing

An Excerpt from

A Handbook for Happiness

by Richard London

What is Happiness?

A Handbook for HappinessIn my opinion, happiness is an attitude. You can choose to be happy in any situation.  I believe that you can adopt a general philosophy of happiness in your life.

Abraham Lincoln endured several crushing blows in his life including the death of his mother when he was nine, being foreclosed on by the sheriff, and more. President Lincoln said, “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

Helen Keller had plenty of reasons to be bitter about life. She said, “Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.”

The influential Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon once said, “It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy that makes happiness.”

Your Gratitude List

You might have heard the philosophy, “Happiness is not what happens to you. It’s how you react to what happens to you.” Happiness is a decision. What can you do to help yourself be happy in the face of life’s pressures and challenges? One tool is a gratitude list. Have you ever made one? Do you know how to?

A gratitude list is a list of all the things that you can think of that you are grateful for in your life. The items on your gratitude list can include your health, loved ones, your home, your job, or even the fact that you had one good meal today.

I find it helpful to remember that there is always someone worse off than me and someone better off than me.

Why don’t you take ten minutes right now and write down all of the things you have to be thankful for in your life? I think you’ll be amazed at how a little thing like making a list can fill you with an attitude of thankfulness.

Once you make your gratitude list read it out loud at least once a day. Update it often to keep the feelings fresh.

~ Richard London

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