When Gregory Smith stumbled out of a New South Wales rainforest in 2000 he was close to death after living as a hermit in the wild. Determined to turn a wretched life into one worth living, Gregory stripped himself bare emotionally, psychologically and spiritually to undertake an extraordinary personal reconstruction. Today, with a PhD to his name and a loving family by his side, Gregory has overcome a life of homelessness and despair to become one of society’s great teachers. He is a senior lecturer in the social sciences at university, a government policy advisor and an advocate for the dispossessed and downtrodden the world over. And yet he doesn’t consider himself to be happy. “It is far more attainable, satisfying and fulfilling,” says Gregory, “to simply be contented.” In Better Than Happiness, Gregory shares the mental strategies and practical steps he took to go from a friendless and futureless man to ‘the most contented person I know’, and how the life lessons he learnt might help you turn your life around too.
This review was published in the DEC/FEB 2024 issue of The Art of Healing.