BACKCHAT finds happiness

My Holland's book launch is at The Brewery Thursday (November 3) at 6pm. By Rod Keers.
My Holland's book launch is at The Brewery Thursday (November 3) at 6pm. By Rod Keers.

My Holland, Shire resident for nine years. French Vietnamese/ writer/ lecturer/ researcher.

Tell me about your new book Happiness is the way? It is an easy read for the general public that includes an introduction to the concept of happiness at home and at work.

What factors affect our happiness? Happiness is basically anchored on how we feel as we go through a range of emotions, all of which are valuable to our state of well-being and comfort. There are many highs and lows that lead to the fulfilment of self aspiration and at length, the happiness we all want to have. Ultimately, our purpose in life and the satisfaction we gain from our pleasurable experiences will define what happiness is. 

Why did you want to write about happiness? We are all aiming for happiness but we don't make time and mind space to take it seriously. We are confused with the concept of pleasure and sustainable happiness. It’s time to slow down and reconnect with what truly matters. It’s a mindset that we need to weave in our daily life: not just on Saturday's.

Where can I find happiness? We don’t buy happiness in shopping malls, but we can invest in time and full attention with others and share those experience with them.

Is this your first book and is it difficult to have one's work published? Yes, it is my first book. I underestimated the challenge ... maybe it was a good move.

Did that make you unhappy? I was not unhappy, just challenged.

Can you give us one good tip on achieving happiness? Living in the present, cherishing what we have rather that what we don't have. Stop comparing oneself to others, because that is a recipe for unhappiness.

Are you having a book signing in Bellingen? Thursday, November 3 at 6pm at the Bellingen Brewery. 20 per cent of the book will fund a slow happiness at work project. I am most grateful to the Bellingen Chamber of Commerce for it's generosity and the Bellingen Co Working Group support.

How would your friends describe you? Positively driven, warm and humble.

Your best childhood memory? Watching wild horses in Camargues in the South of France and eating Crepes Suzette with my family.

Is there anything you try to avoid in life? Talking with people who have no compassion for other people, animals and our planet.

Does that make you unhappy? No … but compassion can make you happy.

Your last big belly laugh was? A silent disco at the Happiness Conference in Melbourne.

If you had the top job what would you do? Teach what is important to all our children … happiness and resilience.

What made you come to Bellingen? Oscar and Lucinda and the church in the Promised Land.

What project are you currently working on? ‘Slow happiness at work project’ in Vietnam.

Is there anyone who gives you inspiration? Refugees when they are not refugees anymore. They teach us a lot if we want to learn from them.

What is your favourite Bellingen eatery? Kudo. This is where I can practice my rusty Japanese! Love the food and the people.

Best coffee in town? Love Matcha green tea at Kudo or Hyde Cafe.

Your best holiday experience? Swimming with colourful fish in New Caledonia.

In the movie Mygate, who would play you? Michelle Yeoh, actor and martial arts expert from The James Bond movie, “Tomorrow Never Dies.” She takes out all the bad guys.

That must make them unhappy? Are we done now?