BOOK REVIEW: Discovering Your Optimum ‘Happiness Index’ (OHI)



A Self Directed Guide to Your Happiness Index (HI) (Including Questionnaire and Self Improvement (SI) Templates)
Errol A. Gibbs and Marjorie Gibbs
AuthorHouse (286 pp.)
$19.95 paperback
ISBN: 978-1-5049-8319-8; April 22, 2016


A comprehensive study examines the nature of true happiness—and the quest to find it in modern society.

The authors’ nonfiction debut operates on the assumption that human happiness is an extremely complex and multilayered thing rather than a simple response to circumstances. It’s an inner compulsion, as the Gibbs husband-and-wife team clarifies: “Something innate within the human spirit cries out for something deeper, something more lasting and something more profound than material things to bring us to a more sustained state of happiness.” The book anatomizes dozens of aspects of happiness—social, spiritual, moral, physical, and intellectual—and ranges them along a methodology designed to help readers quantify their own specific happiness indexes. The authors are empathetic but also cleareyed, and they cast their inquiries over many kinds of societies, assessing all the various pragmatic factors that can determine a person’s happiness. “We have seen,” the authors write, “how…happiness takes flight due to poor nutrition, deficient diet, failing health, inadequate housing, and education, underpinned by the lack of money.” The authors’ analyses of the origins and deployment of happiness are uniformly thought-provoking, although their importation of religious elements can at times be confusing. For instance, they list as “non-religious” economic principles such prompts as “stay focused,” “learn new skills,” and “repair rather than replace,” and as “religious” economic principles dictums like “guard against the impulse to be unfair,” “be generous with excess wealth,” and even “exercise justice and mercy”—with no real elaboration on why the former are secular and the latter religious. But such categorical confusion is rare in a text that’s for the most part exceedingly precise about the sources and textures of happiness, from the key role that education plays to the part that the improvement of general human rights has served to increase joy globally. The liberal use the authors make of their own personal experiences adds an element of warmth to their systematic appraisals, and their compartmentalized grid work for assessing personal happiness should give seekers of contentment a great deal to think about.

A complicated but intriguing breakdown of an emotion many take for granted.


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Book Review: Discovering Your Optimum “Happiness Index” (OHI)
Reviewed by: AVRAHAM AZRIELI *


A Self-Directed Guide to Your “Happiness Index”
(HI) (Including Questionnaire and Self- Improvement (SI) Templates)
© 2016 Gibbs, Errol A. and Gibbs, Marjorie G.
ISBN: 978-1-5049-8319-8; April 26, 2016
Published by AuthorHouse
$19.95 Paperback (286 pp.)

Discovering Your Optimum “Happiness Index” (OHI) by Errol A. Gibbs and Marjorie G. Gibbs is a rare flash of brilliant originality in the overlapping genres of Self Help and Spirituality. Successfully fusing personal narratives, academic investigations, original creative concepts, therapeutic process and methodology, and practical ‘takeaways’ for the fortunate reader, this is a must-read not only for the happiness-seeking person, but for anyone interested in the betterment of human society. Perhaps risking an oxymoron, we dare to say that Discovering Your Optimum “Happiness Index” (OHI) is the most serious examination of happiness in recent times.

The desire for happiness seems to permeate modern life, but it is too often confused with the obsessive acquisition of material possessions and social status. Authors Errol A. Gibbs and Marjorie G. Gibbs set out to explore a basic yet multifaceted and complex question: What is happiness? Not only its origins, its secrets, and its enhancement, but on a personal as well as global level (in their words): “This book introduces a revolutionary new perspective on “Optimum Happiness” (OH), for human survival as a viable species, which is a “higher value” proposition than mere “Happiness.” In our opinion, the authors succeeded in delivering on that goal.

Discovering Your Optimum “Happiness Index” (OHI) investigates happiness on many levels, connecting it to major life events (the common milestones in a person’s life—childhood, schooling, marriage, family, career, as well as social interplay and social class), as well as examining the effects of wealth and status. But perhaps the ultimate contribution of this cardinal work is the development of the idea that each person has a unique, optimal bundle of happiness, collating the oddly shaped pieces of the puzzle that makes each person’s singular life—spiritual, moral, social, intellectual, financial, and physical—which together combine into a ‘full picture’ of happiness.

Notably, while “Discovering Your Optimum ‘Happiness Index’ (OHI) explores the most fundamental questions of human life, the text is highly readable and easily accessible to the everyday reader. The authors share relevant experiences from their lives and personal journeys, while also leading the reader on a journey of discovery and exploration. The work draws from rich and varied sources, and provides some of the most potent (and beautiful) quotes from history’s best thinkers. Our favorite: “The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” ― Socrates (469-399 BCE).

Compounding the benefits of this book’s wonderful examination of happiness in all its stunning human colors, the authors do not shy away from providing the reader with well-founded pathways to self-improvement that would be unquestionably beneficial—truly a multi-tiered gift that can change one’s quality of existence with a healthier and happier life. There are personal examples of what makes the authors happy, self-assessment and improvement opportunities, and breathtakingly broad discussions, quotations, citations, and sources, as well as practical tools, questionnaires, lists and exercises.

In summary, this is a brave, deep, and exemplary detailed work that investigates happiness in all its aspects, charts new grounds in understanding happiness, both individually and socially, and provides a wealth of solid resources for readers seeking real, substantive, and lasting personal happiness. Truly indispensable and highly recommended!

* Avraham Azrieli’s latest novel is “Deborah Rising” (HarperCollins 2016), the story of the first woman to lead a nation in human history.


Julie’s Bookshelf

Midwest Book Review
Discovering Your Optimum “Happiness Index” (OHI)
Errol A. Gibbs & Marjorie G. Gibbs
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781504983198, $19.95, PB, 286pp,

Synopsis: Over the past century, the world has experienced exponential growth in academia, human knowledge, science and technology, and financial and material wealth. Human beings have made significant progress in religious understanding, space exploration, medical research, and in the treatment and eradication of some common diseases such as smallpox, measles, yellow fever, and polio (poliomyelitis).

The thoughtful observer could envisage a “new” world that blossom’s into a “new era” of high civilization with peace and prosperity, and hope and happiness. Instead, humanity has been ushered into the “global village”, observably unprepared to manage national and international challenges that seem to suffocate hope and happiness of many.

Discovering Your Optimum “Happiness Index” (OHI) is a book that puts forward that a “materially driven life” may bolster ones’ lifestyle, but one’s lifestyle is not fundamentally intrinsic to happiness. It contends that the potency of “Optimum Happiness” is a higher imperative of happiness underpinned by the “Spiritual” and the “Natural.”

This book is not essentially a scientific treatise on happiness, but it presents a “new” narrative that will engage individuals in the fields of psychology, sociology, and other social science disciplines. The discourse is an alternative approach to the “Search for Happiness,” based on multigenerational family life experiences, nurturing children, experiential knowledge, intuitive, intellectual and empirical observation, and global travel.

Discovering Your Optimum “Happiness Index” provides the reader with a broad spectrum of inquiry into the influence of human attributes, achievements, and customs on one’s health, well-being, and happiness. The “Happiness Index” methodology will take the reader on a journey of discovery where he or she can find happiness in the midst of plenty (wealth), likewise in the midst of scarcity (poverty). Regardless of your station in life, Discovering Your Optimum “Happiness Index” will help to brighten your path to happiness”, not merely as a lifestyle, but as a “life of fulfillment”.

Critique: A potentially life enhancing, life changing read, “Discovering Your Optimum “Happiness Index”” is exceptionally well written, organized and presented, making it very highly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as both community and academic library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections.

Julie Summers
Midwest Book Review