Resisting Happiness Book Summary I Do You Resist Happiness?

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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 form.

I loved the way Matthew described Resistance –

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

About the Book

According to Matthew, every book makes a promise, and whether it fulfills the commitment determines its success. Learning to overcome Resistance is one of life’s essential lessons and the security 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.”

Key Points From the Book

1) What is Resistance?

  • Resistance is that sluggish feeling of not wanting to do something 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 ways Resistance manifest their ugly self in our lives and cause us to settle for much less than God has imagined for us.
  • Looking back on today, where did you encounter Resistance? It was there. If you sat down and analyzed your day, you would discover you were in a skirmish with Resistance many times throughout the day.

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 an 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 destroy Happiness.

3) Something is Missing

  • Matthew encourages digging deeper into a sense that something is missing occasionally 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 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 a sign that our soul needs attention.
  • When spiritually healthy, we tend to be focused, invigorated, patient, and generous. When we aren’t healthy spiritually, we tend to be irritable, restless, and resentful.
  • Spend 10 minutes a day conversing with God. Quiet prayer, or however you frame it. The idea is to turn to power higher than yourself, 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

  • It remains true as much as we avoid the truth that we will die. The 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 is worth pondering.
  • It is excellent and healthy to think about death from time to time. It puts things in perspective and reminds us what matters. The view that death is inevitable reminds us to get busy living.

6) Learn to Listen

  • The hardest lessons to learn are those 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 suitable 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 that patterns have an enormous impact on our lives. For better or for worse, they shape our destiny.
  • The path of the least resistance effortlessly creates harmful routines, rituals, and rhythms.
  • Negative habits of mind, body, and spirit are easily formed. Positive habits of the mind, body, and soul require intentional persistence.

8) Breaking The Cycle

  • Matthew suggests breaking the cycles of bad habits by acknowledging them first, seeking help, and continuing to work on changing habits is essential.
  • He also suggests fasting not only of food but of all kinds, like sticking to work a little longer, listening to someone a little longer, and having water instead of coke. Fasting of these kinds strengthens 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 processes in our lives.

9) Self-Denial

  • The simple habit of self-denial is spiritual, but it has tremendous implications for worldly affairs. Self-denial leads to the efficient 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 self-denial that strengthens your heart, mind, and soul.

10) Don’t Let The Critics Win

  • Matthews advises to be alert of critics, which is Resistance in disguise. It is so easy to let the critic distract you from what God calls you to do in the present moment. It is incredible how easily we can allow the critic to rob us of our passion and energy.
  • Regardless of the critic’s ubiquitous presence, we must 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 do what God calls you to do deep in your soul, walk on.
  • When you are discouraged or procrastinating, 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 – I hope you like it. Please 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 and actions, which in turn will bring in lasting Happiness.

If you like this book, you will also like The Rules of Life and How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.

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

I wish you a Happy Life.


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