Resisting Happiness (Hardcover)

One Resistance

The alarm clock goes off. It’s time to get out of bed. This is your first decision of the day. Will you get out of bed or hit the snooze button? You press the snooze button and roll over.

What just happened? No big deal, right? Wrong. You just lost the first battle of the day. Resistance just kicked your butt. Resistance has broken your will before you’ve even gotten out of bed. You will most likely be its slave for the rest of the day.

I have been battling resistance my whole life. As we get a little further into this book I think you will discover you have been too. What is resistance? It’s that sluggish feeling of not wanting to do something that you know is good for you, it’s the inclination to do something that you unabashedly know is not good for you, and it’s everything in between. It’s the desire and tendency to delay something you should be doing right now.

Do you ever feel like you are your own worst enemy? Have you ever thought you could accomplish great things if only you weren’t so busy with so many little things? Do you struggle to make decisions with confidence? Are you tired of setting goals and not accomplishing them? Do you procrastinate? Are you afraid to say what you really think and feel? Then this book is for you.

If you’ve ever tried to accomplish anything worthwhile, then you’ve been face-to-face with resistance. You may not have called it by that name in the past, but I suspect you will in the future. It helps to call it by its name. In every moment of every day, resistance is there, waiting to pounce.

The hardest war to win is one you don’t even realize you are fighting, and the hardest enemy to defeat is the one you don’t even know exists. Every day you are at war with resistance.

Make no mistake, resistance is your enemy. It will not quietly go away and leave you alone. You have to slay it like a dragon, and you have to slay it anew each day.

How does resistance manifest? It wears a thousand masks, many of which are so effective we don’t even recognize resistance is behind them. Laziness, procrastination, fear, doubt, instant gratification, self-loathing, indecision, escapism, pride, self-deception, friction, tension, and self-sabotage are just some of the ways resistance manifests its ugly self in our lives and causes us to settle for so much less than God has imagined for us. You cannot become the-best-version-of-yourself unless you wake up every morning ready to slay resistance. It stands between you and the person God created you to be. Resistance stands between you and happiness.

You have to break through resistance in order to accomplish even the smallest tasks. I catch myself in a battle with resistance several times a day.

Here’s a simple example:

I sit down to write, but instead I start checking my e-mail or thinking about what snacks will be required to write something great. This is resistance at work. Sure, I am an accomplished author and have written twenty books that have sold millions of copies, but just like every college student who sits down to write a paper, I will have to slay resistance in order to even get started. The thing about resistance is that it is so simple, so ordinary—and so paralyzing if we are not mindful of it.

This is why most people who start writing a book never finish it. We all know people who are writing a book. I get requests from people all the time to help them get the book they are writing published. They are very keen to speak about the publishing process right now. I always say to them, “Focus first on writing your book. When your manuscript is finished and ready for a professional editor to look at, send me a copy, and then we can talk about publishing options.” More than 95 percent of them I never hear from again. Resistance gets the better of them.

Imagine all the books that are unwritten because of resistance. I wonder if Mozart or Beethoven had an unwritten symphony, or if Picasso and Monet died with their greatest work inside them because of resistance. I wonder how many diseases have not been cured because resistance got between the scientist and the cure. I wonder how many things never got invented because inventors succumbed to resistance. How many men and women didn’t become saints because of resistance? Resistance is a slayer of dreams.

Looking back on today, where did you encounter resistance? It was there, wasn’t it? In fact, if you really sat down and analyzed your day, you would discover that many times throughout the day you were in a tussle with resistance.

We all battle resistance daily: popes and presidents; kings, queens, and the working class; the CEO and the janitor; the rich and the poor; the educated and the uneducated; the young and the old. Nobody gets to escape the battle with resistance.

The first goal of this book is simply to give resistance a name. Once you name it, you see it differently. Things that we cannot name tend to build in mystery and become dangerous. Simply naming, defining, and learning to recognize resistance in the moments of our days causes it to lose most of its power over us. It is no longer a mystery because we have named it.

When aspiring authors contact me for advice, I always ask them a series of questions about their book. One of those questions is: What is the promise of your book? They usually look at me and wonder what on earth I am talking about. But to me, every book makes a promise. A great book delivers on its promise and an average book does not. Learning to overcome resistance is one of life’s essential lessons, and the promise of this book.

The first lesson is that you never defeat resistance once and for all. It is a daily battle.


Resistance stands between you and happiness.


Write down every time you encounter resistance for a week.

Resisting Happiness (Hardcover)

by Matthew Kelly

Discover how to recognize and conquer resistance in your life so you can become the-best-version-of-yourself and experience true happiness.

Also available in Spanish

Resisting Happiness (Hardcover)

by Matthew Kelly

Discover how to recognize and conquer resistance in your life so you can become the-best-version-of-yourself and experience true happiness.

Also available in Spanish
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About Resisting Happiness (Hardcover)

Every single moment is a chance to turn it all around.

Are you happy? It may be the wrong question. Most of us think we are relatively happy, while at the same time knowing that we could be happier—maybe even a lot happier. Ordinary people and the finest philosophers have been exploring the question of happiness for thousands of years, and theories abound. But this is not a book of theory. Resisting Happiness is a deeply personal, disarmingly transparent look at why we sabotage our own happiness and what to do about it.

Are you overwhelmed? Do you procrastinate? Do you sometimes feel like you are your own worst enemy? Are you ignoring your dreams? Have you lost the courage to truly be yourself? Do you feel that your life lacks meaning and purpose? Do you find yourself avoiding the real issues in your life and focusing on the superficial?

Breaking through resistance, Kelly tells us, is essential to becoming the-best-version-of-ourselves and living with passion and purpose.

What is resistance? It’s that sluggish feeling of not wanting to do something that you know is good for you. It’s the inclination to do something that you unabashedly know is not good for you. It’s the desire and tendency to delay something you should be doing right now.

It is resistance that stands between you and happiness. In these pages you will learn not only what it is, but how to recognize and conquer it in your own life.

Product Information


Product Type Media Books

Author Matthew Kelly

Book Format Hardcover


Customer Reviews

5 out of 5 stars
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Uplifting and enlightening

By William on Thursday, July 25, 2019

This book came to me at the greatest time of confusion and indecision in my life. Me and my wife have been married 43 years. We went to put our house up for sale as we had recently moved. I was aware we were on different paths but after all this time who wouldn't be. Well when it was time to go home she told me I could go home myself. Well was I totally surprised NO did I expect it NO. I found the book in the back of my parish and decided I was not happy and hadn't been for a long time, and I needed a change I think the last time I smiled or laughed was 20 years ago after I got hurt and became disabled. Disappointed and withdrawn. This book has given me a new outlook on God, and life, love and happiness. My wife is now going to read the book as she also needs change and happiness. We are back together you can teach old dogs new tricks and God is always with us if are willing to realize it and allow him in. We are only human and we need Gods Blessing to move on and be truly happy.
Thanks great lesson

Resisting Happiness

By Susan Coffey on Monday, May 15, 2017

Once again Matthew Kelly has hit the ball out if the park. This book has been a delight to read and inspirational! It is such a gift to recognize that at 61 years old there is still so much you can learn from others in order to grow in your relationship with Jesus. Matthew gives some great insight as to how to do that in some very practical ways and he shares wonderful insights on how God works on us and through us!

Daily guide to being a better version of yourself

By Beverly on Monday, May 15, 2017

Matthew is like God speaking directly to us. It is like he is sitting next to us and having a conversation with us. He knows us so well. He knows our struggles with wanting to be a better version of ourselves and shows us ways to be a happier person and a better Christian. He doesn't talk to us or down to us. He talks with us about his experiences and how sharing those with us and following his lead, we, too, can become a better version of our self.

Resisting Happiness

By Joan D on Monday, May 15, 2017

One of the best spiritually based books I have read. St. Ignatius used the words, "disordered attachments" as his way of describing Resisting Happiness. I consider this book an updated reference to the same personal challenges that we face as we walk our faith with God.
The approach is so simple, and when we do just as Matthew Kelly writes, our lives become so filled with the love and peace of God.
One of my favorite chapters was Don't Let the Critics Win. It was the most thought provoking choice of words I have read on this challenge in our lives.
God has blessed us with you being in our lives. Thank you, Matthew.

Resisting Happiness

By Theresa Davis on Monday, May 15, 2017

Matthew Kelly put into a fairly concise, easy to read, book all that is necessary to understand the practical steps we need to take to remain in the center of God's will. There and only there will we find true happiness, joy and peace. It is a simple road map that anyone can follow.

Resisting Happiness

By Margaret Palan on Monday, May 15, 2017

I believe I have read all of Matthew's book, and this is my favorite one! Thank you for sharing from your heart, from your past, and where your journey has taken you to at this present time. It is so easy to take the steps he has written & put them into our daily lives. One step & day at a time can change so many lives if we follow the words Matthew has written. I challenge each of you in this year of Mercy to start today...Resisting Happiness can change your life! Give this book to your children, it will be the best Gift ever & last a lifetime!

Resisting Happiness

By Carol Garcia on Monday, May 15, 2017

"Resisting Happiness" is my third Matthew Kelly book. He is such a dynamic writer and true believer that I am also reading, "Rediscovering Jesus" at the same time! I've ordered several books to send to friends and family, as Matthew's ministry helps me tremendously every single day!

Resisting Happiness

By Mike A on Monday, May 15, 2017

In three words, quick, easy and profound.
A delight to read; to the point yet packed with wisdom and heart.

Another Life Enhancer

By Sherrie A on Monday, May 15, 2017

Two of Matthew's other books have literally changed my life ( Rediscovering Catholicism and Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic). This one will also be counted among those! I had no idea as a "bold" Catholic that I am still resisting happiness. Matthew's books are truly inspired by God. As soon as it is available, I will be giving these away too!!! Thank you, Matthew, for all that you do. Your books make it easy for me, as an ambassador, to evangelize.

So Inspiring!

By Valerie on Monday, May 15, 2017

Read this book cover-to-cover on a flight earlier this week, as it was so inspiring! After finishing each chapter, I couldn't wait to see what the next one had in store! One of our flight attendants inquired about it after seeing the cover, so I passed the book forward to her upon exiting the plane (am so excited to share it with others!), so now I'll have to buy a new copy so I can go back over his calls-to-action at the end of each chapter, and put it into practical application in my daily life. 😁

Resisting Happiness

By Norma J Van Amberg on Monday, May 15, 2017

This is the best spiritual-journey and practical-advice-for-life book I have ever read. I took notes reading every chapter and plan to buy copies for my adult children and some friends I believe can benefit from its messages about resistance.

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