Harry Edelson is the son of an illiterate Russian immigrant whose father abandoned the family when Harry was an infant. He begins his book this way: “I grew up in the poorest neighborhoodin Brooklyn, which was the poorest neighborhood in New York City, and I was the poorest of the poor.”
But Mr. Edelson had no intention of wasting his life. He tells us, “I consider myself to be very lucky. I have been happy all my life even though I started out as poor as a child could be . . . If you want to be happy, it is all in your mind. So take control of your senses, determine to be happy, and develop a frame of mind that will make you and all those around you happy.”
In Positivity: How to Be Happier, Healthier, Smarter, and More Prosperous, Mr. Edelson reveals his secrets and tips for success from the vantage point of a person who has enjoyed having excellent health, a wide range of knowledge from a fine academic background enhanced by self-education, and fulfilling careers on Wall Street in technology, investment banking, and later as owner of a highly successful business in capital investments.
Focusing on his strong belief in continuing education to increase skills that entertain us and help our careers, he extolls the benefits of being a speed-reader and increasing memory by learning the techniques of mnemonics, and he demonstrates interesting mathematical tricks that work for him.
He also has plenty of good, practical financial advice for individuals of all means; and of course he is expansive on the value of positive attitudes. Mr. Edelson believes without a doubt that you can train your own mind for a lifetime of great happiness
Edelson shares knowledge gained through a lifetime of successful ventures in his first self-help book. He grew up in the poorest section of Brooklyn and worked his way up to starting a venture capital investment firm, so he has firsthand experience of self-improvement. The advice he gives is practical and timely, centering on lifelong learning and the premise that anyone, no matter their circumstances, can make improvements to their life. He gives tips on mnemonics and the art of memorization, speed-reading, solving math problems in one's head, public speaking, and overcoming stress. He identifies happiness as coming from "a certain state of mind," namely one that is purposefully optimistic and focused on the future. He also gives solid financial advice: not spending above one's means, and saving more using simple ideas and practices. Edelson has put together a thoughtful and concise resource, though his prose is sometimes clouded by a superior tone, and by utilizing Edelson's ideas, it seems entirely possible to enjoy a better life, starting now.