Nationally syndicated talk show host Hugh Hewitt’s newest book, The Happiest Life: Seven Gifts, Seven Givers, and the Secret to Genuine Success (Thomas Nelson), doesn’t release until January 7, 2014. But Breitbart News had a chance to speak with Hewitt exclusively about the book, which discusses the keys to human happiness: encouragement, energy, enthusiasm, good humor, graciousness, gratitude, and patience.
“I have no claim of expertise on the conditions that produce human happiness,” Hewitt writes in his introduction, “other than having been, for the most part, very happy throughout my life. I have, however, made a career for the past twenty-four years of interviewing people for radio and television….whether it is President George W. Bush or Julie Andrews, Michael Dell or Justice Stephen Breyer, or any of the other of the thousands of interviewees, they all began life helpless and will all end it dead; and in between, they will have hoped to be happy for at least some of the time.”
He concludes: “Happiness, real and genuine happiness, is the essence of a life well lived.”
So, how does someone strive for happiness? It doesn’t start with material success or career success, Hewitt says. Hewitt points out that career fulfillment isn’t as necessary for happiness. “Careers are small parts of large lives,” he tells Breitbart News. “Some of the happiest people I know don’t care for or about their careers at all.” And material happiness, he says, can either “destroy or it can amplify happiness. As I write in the book, it is a neutral factor. Show me a man or woman who is wealthy but has lost their children. They may return to happiness, but it won’t be because of wealth and wealth will not save them from the awful depths of sorrow when they experience that worst of sorrows.”
In Hewitt’s view, “genuine, deep happiness requires congruence with the purpose God has set for you.” That doesn’t mean that non-believers can’t be happy; Hewitt says, “People without faith can be happy. Witness the wonderful Christopher Hitches, 70 times a guest on my show and always ebullient.” But “without question,” he says, religious living tends to lead to a happier life.
So, how can a child be trained to be happy? That task is impossible, Hewitt explains. But, he adds, “you can teach them to be generous and welcoming, profligate with laughter, open to live, and intent on earning – genuinely earning – their success, and these are all preconditions to happiness.”
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.