Resisting Happiness Book Summary I Why You Resist?

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Book – Resisting Happiness (Summary)

Author – Matthew Kelly

Genre – Self-help Book

Published in – 2016

Resistance surrounds us from the time we wake up, like trying to influence our first decision whether to get up or hit the snooze button and it keeps following us throughout the day in some or other form.

Loved the way Matthew described Resistance –

The hardest war to win is the one you don’t even realize you are fighting, and the hardest enemy to defeat is the one you don’t even know exists. Every day you are at war with resistance.

About the Book

According to Matthew, every book makes a promise and whether it fulfils the promise determines its success of it. Learning to overcome resistance is one of life’s essential lessons and the promise of this book.

Matthew claims when we resist happiness, we are resisting God. God is happiness. Think about that. The definition of resist is “to withstand, strive against, or oppose.”

Few Key Points From the Book

1) What is Resistance?

  • Resistance is that sluggish feeling of not wanting to do something that you know is good for you.
  • Laziness, procrastination, fear, doubt, instant gratification, self-loathing, indecision, escapism, pride, self-deception, friction, tension, and self-sabotage are just some way’s resistance manifests its ugly self in our lives and causes us to settle for so much less than God has imagined for us.
  • Looking back on today, where did you encounter resistance? It was there, wasn’t it? In fact, if you really sat down and analyzed your day, you would discover that many times throughout the day you were in a tussle with resistance.

2) Your Quest For Happiness

  • We all have been there where we look at others and ask Why would anybody do something so stupid?” The answer is universal and disarmingly simple: People do stupid things because they mistakenly believe those stupid things will make them happy.
  • Do you worry about things you have no control over? Worry destroys happiness.
  • Do you compare yourself with others in unhealthy way? Comparison is a destroyer of happiness.
  • Do you have a lot of self-doubt, or even self-loathing? They are destroyers of happiness.
  • Do you buy things you can’t afford and don’t need? Debt is a destroyer of happiness and a creator of stress.
  • Gossip, laziness, fear, excuses, negative thinking, ingratitude, and jealousy are all destroyers of happiness.

3) Something is Missing

  • Matthew encourages digging dip in to sense that we get time to time that something is missing, instead of avoiding it.
  • It’s okay to be dissatisfied. Being dissatisfied and pretending that we are not is the kind of lie that leads to spiritual and physical illness.
  • Our dissatisfaction is trying to lead us to something better, or something different altogether. If you sense that something is missing in your life, stop ignoring it. Start paying attention to it. God is trying to tell you something.

4) Are You Spiritually Healthy?

  • When your body is hungry, your stomach growls. Your soul has ways of showing you it is hungry too. When, we get impatient with our children, colleagues, or a stranger, It’s sign that our soul needs some attention.
  • When, we are spiritually healthy, we tend to be focused, invigorated, patient, and generous. When, we aren’t healthy spiritually, we tend to be irritable, restless, and discontented.
  • Spend 10 minutes a day conversing with God. Quiet prayer, or however you frame it. Idea is to turn to power higher than yourself and express yourself freely, and seek guidance.
  • As you begin to go deeper and deeper into prayer, God will help you to answer four questions: Who am I? What am I here for? What matters most? What matters least?

5) Get Busy Living

  • As much as we avoid the truth that we are going to die, it still remains the truth. More often we reflect on it, the better it is. It helps in setting our priorities right. Matthew shares 24 regrets of dying people (I wish, I had…) in the book, which are worth pondering upon.
  • It is good and healthy to think about death from time to time. It puts things in perspective and reminds us what really matters. The perspective that death is inevitable reminds us to get busy living.

6) Learn to Listen

  • The hardest lessons to learn in life are the ones we think we have already learned. Most people think they are good listeners, most people think they are good drivers, and most people think they are pretty good Christians. But compared to what?
  • From time to time it is good for all of us to learn to listen. Listen to those you love. Listen to your body. Listen to your conscience and soul. Listen to God.

7 The Power of Habit

  • The word Habits will soothe or irritate you based on what kinds of habits you have cultivated. Matthew explains the habits has huge impact in our life. For better or for worse, they shape our destiny.
  • The path of the least resistance effortlessly creates negative routines, rituals, and rhythms.
  • Negative habits of mind, body, and spirit are easily formed. Positive habits of the mind, body, and soul require great intentionally and persistence.

8) Breaking The Cycle

  • Matthew suggests that it is important to break the cycles of bad habits by acknowledging them first, seeking help and continue to work on changing habits.
  • He also suggests fasting not only of food but of all kinds like sticking to work little longer, listening to someone little longer, having water instead of coke. Fasting of these kinds strengthen the will.
  • Some cycles in our lives can only be broken by prayer and fasting. We need to beg God in prayer to help us overcome the self-sabotaging cycles in our lives.

9) Self-Denial

  • The simple habit of self-denial is a spiritual habit, but it has tremendous implications for our worldly affairs. Self-denial leads to the immensely practical skill of delaying gratification.
  • The ability to delay gratification is intimately linked with success. You cannot succeed at anything unless you are willing and able to delay gratification.
  • Resistance hates discipline. It hates self-control. Resistance abhors delayed gratification and any type of self-denial that makes your heart, mind, and soul strong.

10) Don’t Let The Critics Win

  • Matthews advises to be alerts of critics, which is resistance in disguise. It is so easy to let the critic distract you from what God is calling you to do in the present moment. It is amazing how easily we can allow the critic to rob us of our passion and energy.
  • Regardless of the critic’s ubiquitous presence, we need to be careful not to allow that voice too much space in our hearts and minds.
  • We live our lives for an audience of one: God. If you are doing what you believe God is calling you to do deep in your soul, walk on.
  • When you are discouraged or caught up in procrastination, simply do the tiniest thing to move whatever you are working on forward.

I have also created a video of a few quotes from the book – Hope you like it. Please do subscribe to my YouTube channel – Myread4change


Resisting Happiness will help you clarify what matters and what brings happiness. If you keep answering questions in the book while reading the book, at the end of it, You will have great control over your thoughts, actions, which in turn will bring in lasting happiness.

You may download Resisting Happiness Free E-Book here. If you like this book, you will also like The Rules of Life and How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.

Hope this summary helped you in some way. Please share your thoughts in the comment. I would love to hear from you.

Wish you Happy Life.


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