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Review: Happiness is something you really can catch – by shifting your attitude

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Lately, you've noticed that everyone runs when you enter the building.

You have to admit that you've been grumpy for quite some time now. You've tried to blame it on the weather, the economy, personal problems, but the fact is that grouchy is your new normal. Even clients have noticed.

So what can you do to remove the black cloud that surrounds you? How can you find the contentment that you had eons ago? In the new book "Get Your Shift Together" by Steve Rizzo, you might find a roadmap.

Years ago, Rizzo was a comedian, and just about the time he was hitting the pinnacle of his career, he realized how totally unhappy he was. When he heard a motivational speaker talk about attitude, it hit him: Happiness isn't just something the Declaration says you can pursue. It's something you can really catch.

The way to seize happiness has to do with attitude, but Rizzo says that "changing" your attitude is harsh. Instead, he says you should shift it, by taking tiny steps. Start tomorrow morning by thinking about the things for which you're most grateful.

Throw out the "I'll be happy when…" thoughts and focus on being happy now. Do that by living in the moment, because "happiness can only be experienced in the present." Enjoy the process of life, which is the "ultimate success," far better than any raise, corner office or promotion.

You will, says Rizzo, have many choices throughout your day, and choosing your attitude is "empowering." Also remember that situations are not what determine quality of life — it's how you respond to them that matters.

Use humor to shift your perceptions by looking for laughter. Don't buy into old childhood labels. Remember that what you think is what you get, but just because you say it to yourself doesn't make something true.

Exhibit kindness. Watch out for a bad-day "snowball effect." Understand that smiling isn't required all the time. Always remember that you're just where you're supposed to be.

Although there is a bit more U-Rah-Rah than I can normally appreciate, and though there's a fair amount of repetition for such a small volume, "Get Your Shift Together" otherwise isn't too bad.

Rizzo makes a lot of good points in this book, and I liked the way he emphasizes "shifting" attitude. That really does sound easier than a full-blown change, even though change is what he says you'll teach yourself over time by following his ideas.

I also particularly liked the celebrity tales that Rizzo offers, including one that's so profoundly sad, it'll break your heart.

Overall, despite its occasional chirpiness, I think "Get Your Shift Together" could change your 'tude, even if only just a little bit. For grumpy, growly, grouchy you, it can help, because shift happens.

Contact book reviewer Terri Schlichenmeyer at

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