Review of the Book of Joy : Lasting Happiness in a Changing

“If the feeling of joy was an actual person, I’d have them locked up in my room for eternity,” one lady had blurted during a conversation. 

She had been drinking though, so her thoughts were probably not as clear as they should have been. One thing is certain, however: she desperately needed to find joy.

In a world filled with so much, how can you find joy?

The book of joy written by Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, and Douglas Abrams provides a practical basis for developing and sustaining joy.

This article contains a review of the book of Joy.


The weeklong insightful l conversation between the two gurus: Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu highlights eight qualities as being the pillars of joy:

1. Perspective

In Dalai Lama’s words, in the book of joy review “For every event in life, there are different angles.”

Taking on a kindly perspective enables you to understand the feelings and needs of others, this allows you to become empathetic. Looking from different angles gives everyone a fair chance to be heard and considered.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu referred to this as taking the “God’s-eye perspective.”

Read: The power of Now Book Summary | 2022 Review

2. Humility

This second pillar is a dynamic virtue; it is a criterion for self-development.

Humility helps you recognize you’re not worth more or less than any other person. It helps you accept your imperfect state while simultaneously working on building the best version of yourself and influencing those around you positively.

The Dalai Lama mentions in part a prayer which could rightly serve as a reminder: “whenever I see someone, may I never feel superior.”

3. Humour

Studies have shown that a good sense of humour can improve mental and physical health, boost attractiveness, and improve leadership skills.

Both the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu are said to be as much a comedy duo as two venerable spiritual leaders, laughing at themselves, their imperfections as humans, and at life’s troubles.

RELATED:  How Does Grubhub Make Money? | Full Business Model

The ability to find humour in any situation makes it a lot easier to sustain joy even in the face of adversities.

4. Acceptance

Not being able to accept reality only yields more pain where there’s already a pain. Acceptance is the recognition of reality or of a process or condition without protesting it.

To practice acceptance, acknowledging your flaws, strengths, and weaknesses become necessary.

Eventually, acceptance will help you adapt and grow even in unfavourable conditions. 

5. Forgiveness

Studies have shown that forgiving those who have wronged us lessens the amount of anger, hurt, stress, and depression we most likely will experience.

Holding on to resentment and anger will only cause us more pain and heartache, giving the offender power over us.

In the Dalai Lama’s words: not reacting with negativity or giving in to negative emotions, does not mean that you do not respond to the acts or that you allow yourself to be harmed again.”

This is one pillar of joy in this book review.

6. Gratitude

According to Abrams, “gratitude is the recognition of all that holds us in the web of life and all that has made it possible to have the life that we have and the moment that we are experiencing.”

Gratitude moves us to appreciate what we have rather than what we don’t have, its association with happiness helps us feel more positive emotions and build stronger relationships.

7. Compassion

The Dalai Lama said, “When we think of alleviating other people’s suffering, our own suffering is reduced.” 

This sympathy for both others and self is compassion.

Compassion makes it easier for us to interact with others, and health-wise, it slows down heart rate, reducing the risk of heart disease.

Research has shown it has a neurological basis, activating pleasure centres in the brain.

8. Generosity

Acts of generosity with the expectation of nothing in return have proven to be good for both physical and mental health.

RELATED: Review 2022: How Does it Work | Pros & Cons

Generous persons are happier within themselves, consequently cultivating sustainable joy.


One burning question served as a guide for the book of joy review.

The stories and spiritual practices both the Dali Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu shared revealed the answers to the burning question: How do we find joy in the face of life’s inevitable suffering?

Read: 15 Best Love Story Books in the World | 2022


The book of joy is best described as a deeply spiritual, self-help book, not exactly a religious one since its content appeal to spirituality in a human sense despite the interfaith discussions it gave rise to.


The book of joy is not the type of book I would usually go for since I’m not particularly inclined towards self-help books. However, I found it very insightful, humorous, and of course helpful.

The book is on a week-long conversation between the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu about how we can find joy even in the face of inevitable suffering.

It basically has three parts, and it began with Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Abram travelling to Dharamsala, India, where they met the Dalai Lama.

Both gurus shared stories and life lessons that go back in memory lane as Douglas Abram shot at them with various questions about suffering, life, and death.

The second part of the book laid out the eight pillars of joy. And finally, in the third part of the book, they shared daily joy practices.

I believe the book of joy met its objectives which include the provision of a practical basis for the cultivation of joy, as well as the sustenance of joy after it is found even in the face of adversities.

RELATED:  Puts Vs Calls: What's the Difference and Similarities in 2022

It also clarifies that it is almost impossible to know the good if we have not experienced the bad.

I recommend this book of joy for people who are searching for joy and would like to look from the different angles life provides; it is my honest review.

It certainly is the type of book which can be read repeatedly, having something new to give each time.

FAQs of Review of book of joy

How does the Dalai Lama define joy?

The Dalai Lama defined joy as resilient, enduring happiness.

Who was the narrator for the book of joy?

Douglas Carlton Abram narrated the book of joy.

What is the purpose of the book of joy?

The book’s purpose is to provide a practical basis for the cultivation and sustenance of joy.

Can I get the book of joy in paperback?

Yes, the book of joy is available in paperback.

How many pages are there in the book of joy?

The book contains 368 pages.


In the review of the book of joy, both the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu had their own share of suffering, enduring hardship, and exile, yet they have cultivated and sustained deep joy.

We can all find joy, sustain it, and radiate it. It is never too late, because just as the Archbishop said: “every day we create and re-create our lives. This is the power we yield. No dark fate determines our future.”

So to the lady, I mentioned earlier, and all others who are looking for joy, read the book of joy. This is our honest review of the book of joy.



Leave a Reply
You May Also Like