GET HAPPY NOW

GET HAPPY NOW - Ten Steps to Happiness

Q & A

This section mainly includes Q & A on the book. Some questions however may be about the author too. In case you have any queries that are not covered here, you are welcome to write to Jagmohan Bhanver on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Alternatively, you may write directly to him at Jagmohan.bhanver@iifmonline.com

What is Get Happy Now about?

At a very basic level, Get Happy Now is about understanding the various things that may conspire to make us unhappy and how we can address these. But more importantly, the book actually shows us that happiness lies within us. It is we who cover the inherent joy within us under the burden of how we see our problems and the choices that we make in life.

Therefore, if we can learn to control how we see a problem, most of the problems no longer appear as problems. Secondly if we choose how we want to react to the problem, that choice may actually make the difference between being happy or unhappy.

The book covers ten of the most frequent challenges we face in life that may make us lose our natural joy. Each of the ten sections has anecdotes and stories that will help clarify the author’s point of view and make it easier for the reader to understand what they need to do.

Oh my God! This looks like serious stuff…

LOL….Life can either be serious or funny. It depends on how you see it.

To answer your question, the book does cover a lot of situations that may be serious simply because those things may combine to make you unhappy. And that’s serious stuff isn’t it?

But the book covers these issues in a way that makes otherwise serious and heavy things fairly lighter and interesting to read about. The whole idea is to be a happier person isn’t it? How can that be serious stuff?

How has the book been written? Is it the same old boring way that other international authors use in self help books?

Be careful. A lot of those authors might sue you and me both for that statement.

On a serious note, I think a lot of authors have done a marvelous job of writing stuff that helps people like you and me. However, Get Happy Now is different because it doesn’t preach. So in this book, I am not sitting on Mount Everest telling you what is wrong with your life. On the contrary, I have shared several incidents in my life where I made mistakes and ended up being unhappy.

Moreover, the book has been structured around real life questions asked by real people who needed help. Therefore, the writing style is more like me talking to these people. That makes it easier for people to identify with the issues and the suggestions in the book.

How long will I take to read the book?

That’s an interesting question. If you read it at one go, you may finish it in 3-4 hours. However, most of my readers tell me that after they have finished reading it the first time around, they have reread the book several times, one chapter at each sitting.

This is not a book that you finish and leave alone. The readers who have got the most out of it are people who have gone back to it from time to time, depending on the nature of the problem they are facing in their life at a particular moment.

You speak at various international forums. Is this book meant for the international audience or will it help an Indian reader too?

Life is not restricted to a particular country. Neither is happiness! These are universal experiences. I have drawn from my experiences in India and elsewhere in the world. However the recommended solutions are as universal as the problems themselves. Any person with the desire to be happy will benefit from this book.

How did you decide to write this book?

Actually this book was never meant for publication. I wrote this at a very early age and it was a compilation of my experiences and those of others around me. By the time I was in my twenties, I started counseling people informally. And every time I thought a person would benefit from something I had written that was relevant to his life at that moment, I would hand them an extract from the book.

And then something strange happened. I had people coming back telling me how the extracts from the book had helped them face their problems. And these people shared the stuff with other people they thought could benefit from it. Over a couple of years, there was a large community of people trying to persuade me to get the book published. Finally when I was in my thirtieth year, and planning to take a sabbatical from my banking career, I approached one of the leading publishers in India. The Chief Editor at the publishing house was kind enough to read it personally and within a week of submitting the manuscript, I had a letter from them confirming that they wanted to publish the book. And that is how Get Happy Now was born in 2004.

How has the book done so far?

The book was published in 2004 when hardly any Indian readers were keen on reading nonfiction. And whatever nonfiction they read was from international authors.

Therefore, it came as a welcome surprise when Get Happy Now hit the Top Ten bestseller list within a week of being launched. And it stayed there for a significant time. The book was also one of the fast moving titles on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Apart from this, the book has been consistently bought at all my Dynamic Living seminars in India and elsewhere too.

Writing a book like this would make you some kind of a Life Coach isn’t it?

Titles such as Life Coach and Motivational Guru are more of semantic. Every time I have been referred to as a Life Coach or a Motivational Guru, it has been a source of amusement and concern for me. Amusement, because my mother still treats me like a ten year old. And concern, because I realize I have made more mistakes in my life than most other people. And I know for certain that I will make several more before I finish the journey of life. Giving a person fine sounding titles is like saying that person has done whatever it takes and is completely infallible. I can’t claim that honor yet.

But yes, I am a little more aware than a few other people about my own weaknesses and strengths. And that definitely helps when I am coaching someone or counseling them.

How long did it take to complete the book?

I spent seven years writing the book. After that it took me eight years to decide I wanted to get it published. Once that decision was taken, it took a week to get a confirmation from the publishers. And within two months of that the book was launched in the market.

Have you changed as a person after writing a book like this?

Yes, I try not to repeat the same mistakes I made in my past. Yet, I find that I continue making new ones at a startling pace. I guess that’s what my father calls “Learning”

Who would you say has inspired you in your life?

First and foremost, it would be my parents. I was diagnosed with Brain tumor at a very early age. I remember thinking even at the age of eight, that my parents grew closer as they faced this trauma together rather than letting it tear them apart. And they never let me feel that I lacked anything because of this health problem. Consequently, I never believed I was any less than anyone either. They made me what I am today.

The other person who has inspired me significantly is a historic figure and some people mistake him as a myth. Krishna! The man who became more than mortal; and whose deeds compelled us to turn him into a God. The biggest learning from this incredible person is that I try and stay focused on what I need to do rather than worrying about whether it will happen or what the consequences might be.

Is this why you finally decided to write a book on Krishna?

Yes, I had been toying with the idea of showing Krishna’s human side to the world for several years. But my work and other responsibilities did not allow me to start this venture.

Finally, a few years back, I knew I had to write the book. Once decided, I began my research on the subject and the more I learned about Krishna, the more I became certain that this was a historical figure rather than the mythological person we have been led to believe all these years.

Towards the end of 2013, I completed the first volume of the Krishna trilogy. Its called The Curse of Brahma and it is scheduled to be launched by Rupa Publications in the latter part of 2014. The other two volumes of the trilogy are ready and will be published over a period of time.

Would you like it if readers want to be in touch with you or would that be considered an invasion of your privacy?

Well, I love interacting with people. This was one of the main reasons I left a lucrative banking career a decade back. The idea was to have more time and freedom to interact with people, without having any specific agenda in mind.

I would therefore be very happy to interact with people on any of the social media platforms where I am present. The preferable ones would be Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.

 

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