Saturday, February 24, 2024

Book Review: Overlap: The Heart of Happiness by Trevor J Petersen

Book: Overlap: The Heart of Happiness by Trevor J Petersen

Genre: Non-fiction (self help, psychology, etc.)

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 

It's been awhile since I've actually done a true review here, but I wanted to feature this one a bit more than my norm has been lately. 

This book takes us on a journey to discover the ultimate path to finding happiness. The author first talks about all the ways he's tried, and failed, to find happiness, and then shares this idea that he's come up with called Overlap. He says that the most important thing with regard to being happy is to "overlap" with living things. He describes it like snorkeling... you can drive by the ocean without looking, or sit on the beach and observe, or maybe wade and get your feet wet... or... you can get in and see what's out there and go snorkeling! Passing, Spectating, Wading, or... Overlapping. This is the key to everything! 

He then lays out the "recipe" of 11 steps on how to do this. These include: opening up, valuing, empathizing, relishing, letting go, attending, participating, getting close (proximity,) intensity, netting (gathering) and giving. Each of these ideas gets a lot of space in the book for what exactly it entails with lots and lots of concrete and practical ways you can add overlapping to your life.

And everything is so thoroughly researched and referenced. With lots of stories and pictures to illustrate it all. It's amazing.

At some points I did think... but this is too hard! And what if I struggle to do stuff like this? And then he addresses those worries and concerns and encourages us all to get out of our comfort zone and live life. It's very inspiring and upbeat and awesome. 

And you might wonder what he means by living things, so he devotes a part of the book giving a detailed list on how he defines this. It's obviously people in our lives (and not just people we know of course, but strangers as well... talk to them!) but pets, ourselves, wisdom (literature and arts and music,) food, and nature. All considered living!

I really enjoyed the experience of reading this book and hope others trying to figure out life and how to enjoy it more will discover it and give some of these strategies a try. There's  A LOT to take in, but I think if we can do it just a little at time, and work on something day by day... we can do it!

1 comment:

  1. His overlapping idea sounds a lot like something I learned in DBT. It's called acting opposite all the way. Basically, it your sad, depressed, whatever you want to call it, you usually don't want to get out and do anything. You want to isolate and avoid. The only and best way to overcome those feeling is to act opposite of the urge to not get out, to isolate, and avoid. And, if you truly want to be happy, you need to act opposite all the way.

    An example of the above is that I often don't want to go to things because of social anxiety or depression. Sometimes that includes book club or book events or hanging out with friends. I can act opposite by actually going which will help me feel a little happier. If I want to truly get rid of the negative emotions and feelings, though, I need to engage with others, enjoy the moment and setting, and really try to enjoy myself while I'm there.

    And, I totally get what what you said about it feeling too hard sometimes. I struggle all the time with not wanting to go do something because I think it'll be hard. When I push through those feelings, though, I truly have never been happier.

    Anyway, I'm glad that you enjoyed this book and that it resonated with you. I hope you can follow his ideas and suggestions and that it will help in your life like DBT has helped me.



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