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TL;DR: Not only is Britt Reints’ inspirational book “An Amateur’s Guide to the Pursuit of Happiness” the #1 secret to improving your relationship, but it’s also the #1 secret to improving your life as a whole. Trust me when I say it’s a book you won’t want to put down.
If all of life’s stresses (work, family, health and, of course, relationships) have seemed to suck all of the happiness out of your life, you’ll want to read Britt Reints’ book.
Reints, a happiness coach and inspirational speaker, poured her heart and soul into “An Amateur’s Guide to the Pursuit of Happiness,” a page-turner that puts her mistakes and triumphs front and center in order to keep others from making the same mistakes and help them find happiness.
The inspiration behind the book
Since its summer 2013 release, “The Pursuit of Happiness” has been the go-to book for thousands of people who needed to feel happy again.
After going through several trying, personal experiences, including a separation, marriage counseling and a reconciliation, Reints had a lot of advice for friends, family members and even strangers who found themselves in similar situations.
So she decided to put all of those tips into one place – a book.
Reints compares her book to the foundation of a house. The concrete guidance she offers gives people the base they need to achieve happiness so they can continue to add on to it for years to come – just like a house.
“I wanted to share the things at that point that I already knew in a certainty,” she said. “This was the basic foundational stuff, some universal truth, that people could take and build themselves a sturdy foundation and go on and make their own stories after that.”
How happiness can improve your relationship
One of the main points in the book is open communication, which includes accepting and owning up to how you’re feeling and directly stating what you need from your significant other in order to help you get to the happiness you want.
Reints said telling your partner, “This is what I need and I’d like to be able to get it from you,” keeps responsibility in balance, but it also ultimately puts yourself in charge of fulfilling those needs.
“It makes yourself vulnerable and opens yourself up to an opportunity for intimacy from somebody else,” she said. “It leaves the responsibility of stating your needs and getting your needs filled by somebody on you.”
Reints said this responsibility also goes both ways, and she has two rules for helping someone who needs something from you:
- Don’t give help unless it’s asked for.
- Only help people who help themselves.
According to Reints, these two rules keep us from becoming overbearing partners and help create healthy boundaries in dating or any relationship.
“You start to recognize how many unfair demands you’re putting on your partner,” she said. “The second part with the helping is realizing how much we shove our way in sometimes in trying to fill our partner’s needs and make a mess of it.”
Achieving happiness in the real world
Reints, who has been reading self-help books since she was 11, said most books only offer general tips for achieving personal goals, but she wanted to take hers a step further.
She focuses on providing readers with tangible and practical ways to improve their lives.
“When I talk about happiness in the real world, I’m talking to people who are, ‘Yea, these ideas are great, but tell me what it actually means so I can make a difference in my life now,'” she said.
Reints breaks down higher level concepts by giving readers examples of what they can actually do to make their lives the ones they want to live.
“We focus so much on our thoughts, which is important, but when you’re interacting with people on a day-to-day basis, we’re not mind readers most of us,” she said. “So changing our thoughts isn’t always enough to make a meaningful difference, especially in our relationships.”
How to maintain happiness
Reints, who happily lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her husband and two kids, said while her life isn’t full of happiness all day, every day, it’s something she always strives for.
“For me, first of all, happiness is a combination of peace and joy, so I think the longer I live and the longer I keep getting to know myself better and the more I keep working on things like acceptance, the stronger that inner peace will become.”
When she’s struggling to get back to that inner peace and joy, she takes the time to recognize and acknowledge that she’s not feeling happy, which she said is the most crucial part of the entire process.
“I think that’s an important step people miss, and that makes everything you try to do from that point on kind of a mess,” she said. “That first step of acceptance is diagnosing the problem a little bit and figuring out if it’s even something that needs to be solved and if so, how.”
The book’s impact on readers
Reints said while she’s received a lot of great feedback, including offers to speak at national conferences, it’s the response from readers that means the most.
“I save the direct messages on Twitter and the emails and stuff like that,” she said. “Those are the things that really keep you going.”
“An Amateur’s Guide to the Pursuit of Happiness” can be found on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.