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Vernon Sankey and I met on a Baltic cruise – to be more exact, Vernon and his wife were on the sun deck lounging next to my husband and I while listening to the splash of those in the pool and the rather lively music preceding lunch or dinner – on cruises there’s always another meal about to be served! The four of us had a wonderful time exploring various places around the Baltic Sea, sharing meals together and gazing across the water at the ever changing landscape.

I was delighted to discover recently that Vernon has written a book – The Stairway to Happiness. The book presents a critical look at what happiness is, the levels of intensity that can be attained and the techniques to achieve happiness. Vernon explained that the book combines philosophy, cognitive psychology and spirituality to provide practical guidance so that readers can live a more successful, harmonious and happy life. What an exciting premise!

Me: Why this book and why now?

Vernon Sankey: The material in the book and the advice given, processes suggested, and examples shown have all been extensively used in my years of coaching and guiding others. They have provided many people with a way of dealing with and promoting whatever opportunities they have found and whatever difficulties and stresses they have had to confront.

I decided to write this book now because family and friends have encouraged me to do so. Last year I had some health issues which gave me some concentrated time. So it was all done in about 8 months. I then had to learn how to get a book edited, published and printed and that took another 6 months!

Is there a unifying theme for The Stairway to Happiness?

The unifying them of The Stairway is to enable people to understand the ‘secrets of living a successful and happy life’ hence the subtitle of the book.

What does it mean to you to know that your ideas are ‘out there’ for others to share?

My purpose is to help people. This book is a small step in that direction. It means a great deal to me to have these ideas ‘out there’ in the hope that as many people as possible can benefit and enjoy the happiness that I have been fortunate enough to enjoy.

Looking back, how might the concepts in The Stairway to Happiness have changed your life if you’d adopted them sooner?

I have been living with these concepts and ideas for many, many years and they have moulded my life. I am learning all the time and constantly updating my knowledge and myself. It is a wonderful experience on a journey of discovery. Finding true authenticity is a key: this is only found when what you think, what you say and what you do are in perfect harmony, whatever situation you find yourself in.

Can you briefly explain the notion of a stairway as it relates to happiness?

The framework of this book is in the form of a stairway which takes the reader from the simplest and shallowest form of happiness, ‘instant gratification’, to the deepest ‘the happiness of harmony.’ Happiness is a very nebulous term and tends to be so broad as to be meaningless. I have tried to categorise it and give it substance.

The most encouraging aspect of writing this book, and what sustained me and made it a joy to do, was the knowledge that these techniques work. I use them all the time myself. My children use them and they are applying the appropriate techniques to their children too. They are a guide for our lives.

Thank you, Vernon. We all need more happiness in our lives! I wish you great success.

The Stairway to Happiness by Vernon Sankey

The Stairway to Happiness examines what happiness really is. It explores the different levels of happiness that can be attained and the techniques that can be applied to achieve happiness for oneself, one’s loved ones and other people.

“an inspiring and yet practical book” ~~ Reverend Tina Molyneux, Associate Priest of the Church of England

“The Stairway to Happiness is a fascinating, stimulating and inspiring piece of work. I read it all the way through until I finished it at 2 am!” ~~ Martin Hatcher, Former Executive Chairman, Scansource Communications Limited and MTV Telecoms

“The Stairway’s five steps make intuitive sense and the examples from daily life enable the lessons to be put into practice more easily.” ~~ Lynn Paine, John G McLean Professor and Senior Associate Dean for International Development at Harvard Business School

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M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from Amazon, NookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.