By Thomas M. Loarie

BOOK REVIEW: The Antidote For a World That Has Lost Its Way When It Comes to Finding True Happiness

June 7, 2023
Column: CEO Learnings

J. Budziszewski’s book How and How Not to Be Happy is a refreshing and enlightening read in a world that seems to have lost its way when it comes to finding true happiness. In a culture where suicide, depression, nihilism, fear of the apocalypse, and a denial of God’s existence are pervasive, this book offers a much-needed antidote to the despair that plagues our society.

EVERY person wants to be happy

Budziszewski argues that every human being innately wants to be happy. It is a desire written into the very fabric of our being.

However, despite the fact that many claim to hold the secret to happiness, true happiness remains elusive. The author contends that many offer false views of happiness and, as a result, people are left feeling unfulfilled and dissatisfied with their lives.

The importance of happiness is explored in great detail throughout the book.

The author asks why we desire it, and why it is so hard to define. He also delves into the question of whether or not we are afraid of happiness, and why pleasure does not provide true happiness nor lead to a happy life.

Myths and Illusions of true happiness

Budziszewski also delves into the topic of atheism and why it is barren country when it comes to finding true happiness. He  ICLE-Catholic Education resourcesdiscusses the 13 myths about what will make us happy, including wealth, health and beauty, fame, praise, and power, and offers a compelling argument for why these things do not bring lasting happiness.

One of the key insights of the book is the distinction between being satisfied and being happy. The author argues that we often confuse the two, and as a result, we are left feeling unfulfilled even when we have achieved everything we set out to do. He also explores the difference between happiness, joy, and peace, and why more is never enough.

Made for truth

Budziszewski contends that we feel incomplete because we were made for truth, and nothing in this world will ever satisfy us completely.

He argues that we are all incomplete and have an eternal longing that can only be fulfilled in God. Perfect happiness cannot be found in this life, but there is an eternal longing that can only be found in a relationship with God.

The author’s writing is clear and concise, and his arguments are compelling.

He tackles complex topics with ease and presents his ideas in a way that is accessible to readers of all backgrounds. The book is well-researched and draws on the insights of great thinkers throughout history.

ICLE-resources for Catholic educators and Catholic students

Overall, How and How Not to Be Happy is a must-read for anyone who is searching for true happiness in their life.

It offers a powerful message of hope and encourages readers to look beyond the superficial pleasures of this world and seek fulfillment in a relationship with God.

It is a book that will leave readers feeling inspired and uplifted, and it is sure to become a classic in the field of philosophy and self-help literature. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a deeper understanding of what it means to be truly happy.

Listen to my Interview with the author

The Mentors Radio showYou can listen to my interview of Professor Budziszewski on THE MENTORS RADIO, broadcast worldwide on THE SALEM RADIO NETWORK and IHEARTRADIO and now available on any podcast platform or at



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View Articles Thomas M. Loarie is a popular host of The Mentors Radio Show, the founder and CEO of BryoLogyx Inc. (, and a seasoned corporate... MORE »

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