Mianji, in this debut self-help work, lays out a short, simple formula for maximizing life’s enjoyment.
The philosopher Aristotle famously believed that happiness could be measured only at the end of life. Mianji, however, passionately argues for assessing happiness while life is still underway. As such, he advocates approaching life as a game, with happiness as a goal to be constantly measured, monitored and nurtured. In just 33 pages, he simply and succinctly spells out his techniques, combining his own methods and observations with concepts from authors such as Gordon Livingston (Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart), Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) and Danaan Parry (Warriors of the Heart). “Gameplay,” according to Mianji, involves focusing on the four factors that contribute to happiness: health, achievement, love and fun. An abundance of each, the author asserts, leads to happiness and contentment, while any deficit creates unhappiness; conversely, discontent signals that at least one factor is running low and merits attention. Mianji spends time on all four factors, viewing them as metaphorical “accounts” in which people make deposits and withdrawals. Although some observations here are self-evident (drugs, alcohol, gambling and eating unhealthy foods, for instance, are cited as examples of fun that can be dangerous), others are thought-provoking. For example, Mianji observes that people experience life in three-to-five-year stages; the four factors remain equally important in each stage, but priorities shift over time. Fun dominates the earliest stages, he writes, but health takes precedence at age 35. Overall, Mianji shows genuine warmth and displays a worldly, wise understanding of human nature.
A brief book of worthwhile tips on how to maximize the most important things in life.