Acknowledgements and Thanks

I would like to thank and acknowledge all the people who made the publication of Avoiding the Enemies to HAPPINESS possible.

This book came about from an idea that a good friend of mine, David McCombe generously shared with me. It’s an idea David is passionate about. The story about how he came to this idea is quite impressive and inspirational and I’d like to share it with you.

When David was a young lad, growing up on the little isle of Bute, off the rugged west coast of Scotland, there came a time when he was ready to leave the nest and venture out to the wide, wild world. He would eventually travel to London, get a job, and meet his lovely wife Linda and move to Australia to start a family with her. As a young lad of 17, with amazing wisdom and insight for his age, he decided that he would look around at the people he knew and what they were doing to make themselves happy or miserable. He compiled a list that he called ‘the enemies to human happiness’ and decided he would systematically and carefully remove and beware of these enemies to happiness in his life. He called this process ‘Avoiding the Enemies to Happiness.’ In their place, he would continuously search for and study those things that produced happiness. In this way he would give himself, and the people he loved, the best chance for happiness and success in life.

When I met David, many years later, our shared passion for human excellence, psychology and personal mastery lead us to a natural discussion about happiness and its enemies. Together we designed this book and went about studying the science of Positive Psychology so that we could bring the latest research about happiness to David’s deep and important insights. My background is both in Science (I have advanced degrees in Applied Physics and Computer Engineering), Psychology and a Masters Certification in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). I also have experience and expertise in writing, training and adult education and I’m the co-developer of the amazing new field of human excellence known as mBIT (multiple Brain Integration Techniques). So it was a natural fit for David to offer me the book idea. For this and all his great ideas, passion and input, I sincerely and deeply thank him. Our many nights of brainstorming and research were an absolute delight. David also interviewed and wrote the ‘Notes from the Field’ section for Psychologist Dorothy Rowe. It’s a great interview.

I would also like to thank, acknowledge and express my immense gratitude to all those people who agreed to support this project by being interviewed for their thoughts and ideas on happiness. Each chapter has a ‘Notes from the Field’ section that contains interviews with people who are exemplars of happiness and excellence in my opinion. They are people who have much wisdom and advice to offer and include (in no particular order) Robert Dilts, Judith DeLozier, Dr. Dorothy Rowe, Dr. Mick Webb, Dr. Deborah Rozman, Edward de Bono, Suzanne Beecher, Peter Fischer, Sogyal Rinpoche, Jan Roberts, Dr. Timothy Sharp, Tammy Van Wisse, Thomas “Sully” Sullivan, Marvin Oka, Mere and Ellie.

In addition, I’d really like to thank the many, many people who shared their feedback, advice, thoughts and reviews and helped with the action research of the exercises. In particular I’d like to thank Carole and Arvo Soosalu, Fiona Soosalu, Philip Jensen, Prof. Suzanne Henwood, Jan Marsh, Allison Staggard and Pauline Wong.

I’d also like to express thanks and respect to the developers and leaders of the fields of endeavor this book is based on. Thanks to Prof. Martin Seligman for all his great work in Psychology and his most recent creation and development of the fascinating and important field of Positive Psychology. Thanks also to Dr. Albert Ellis for his magnificent work on Cognitive Psychology and Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy. In addition, my thanks go to Dr. Richard Bandler and Dr. John Grinder, the original developers of NLP. For me, NLP continues to be one of the most powerful and insightful understandings of human process and excellence. And a special thanks to my colleague Marvin Oka, who worked with me to develop the new and exciting field of mBIT (multiple Brain Integration Techniques). Thank you.

I’d also be remiss if I didn’t thank the following authors and researchers for their very kind permission to quote or reference their excellent work: Prof. Eugene Gendlin, Dr. John Gottman, Gavin de Becker, Stephen Elliot and The Institute of HeartMath,. I’d also like to acknowledge that Coherent Breathing® is a registered trademark of Coherence LLC and that HeartMath® is a registered trademark of the Institute of HeartMath.

Also, special thanks to Alyssa and Murray Finlay of Artifact Design Group for all their fantastic art and graphics design work.

Finally, my deepest love and gratitude to both my parents Carole and Arvo and to my beloved Fiona, whose support, encouragement and wisdom is evidenced throughout this project and book. Thank you. I love you all!

And thank you also to all the readers of Avoiding the Enemies to HAPPINESS, I hope the book makes a positive difference to your life and helps you avoid the enemies to human happiness, replacing them with strategies for success, wisdom, purpose and meaning.