We are all in a pursuit for happiness. We seek happiness like a cat and his tail. I found this gem of a book by Francois Lelord. Francois Lelord is a psychiatrist who is now an international bestselling author of this book: Hector and The Search For Happiness.
The story is about Hector, a successful psychiatrist, who went all around the world, from China, Africa and to the United States to search for the real meaning of happiness. Psychiatry is a specialization that is close to my heart and given the chance, I would have loved to be trained in that field too. So it is very interesting to have a psychiatrist doing some research on happiness and learned what he found out on his journey. Francois Lelord told the story in a child-like voice that you would be mistaken for a moment that you are reading a children’s book. Though very far from a book that kids would or should read, it has topics of sex, prostitution, drugs and adultery in the book. Rather than blatantly saying that “they had sex”, he would write, “they did what people do when they are in love”. Hector is a very funny character. You would know that he has a good heart and a very curious fellow. He is also has a deep weakness for women. He has interesting friends and seem to attract a diverse type of people to be his friends & acquaintance.
Along the way on his trip, Hector managed to make a list of observations about happiness. Let me share you a few points on his lists:
- Making comparisons can spoil your happiness
- Happiness often comes when least expected
- Happiness is not attaching too much importance to what other people think
- Happiness is a certain way of seeing things
Though he has a bullet points that I completely disagree on especially this one:
- Happiness could be the freedom to love more than one woman at the same time
Hector also came across a professor in the United States who is conducting a happiness study and experiment. He said that his findings showed “Single Men are much less happy than Married Men”. I showed it to my husband and he said totally agrees with that statement. (Woot! Woot!). Also that religious people who practise their religion are happier than everybody else. The professor also shared that being happy is also like a gift or a skill. Some people are better in being happy than others. Also a factor of genetics like how your brain was developed as well as how you were brought up by your parents. Yes, nature and nurture. I am not sure Hector ended the trip with answers how to find happiness and he did learned a lot of lessons from the trip as so did the readers.
I am happy to learn also that this cute little book is going to be a movie to be released on 2014. It stars Brit actor Simon Pegg as Hector and joining him are Rosamund Pike, Toni Collete, Stellan Skasgard and Jean Reno. I can’t wait to see it! But for now, I encourage you all to read this book as well as his subsequent books about Hector’s journey: Hector and the Passage of Time, Hectors and the Wonders of Friendship & Hectors and the Secret of Love.