The author starts off in a rather weak, using the metaphor of the "journey of life" and suggesting that "peace and contentment" can be found by taking a process-oriented approach to thinking. He observes that goal-oriented thinking is a learned process - and that as children people find the world to be a wondrous and enchanting place precisely because they have no purpose in life except to enjoy living.

Attempting to accomplish something means striving and being dissatisfied in the meantime. A person who can play the piano well takes pride in the ability, but seldom reflects on the years of practice it took to develop that skill and the frustration they felt at the difficulty of the learning process. It was an unpleasant struggle.

Much of life is spent the unpleasant struggle to achieve, being unhappy until we have finished something and even then taking a very short time to discover some new thing we want and going through the cycle of unhappiness all over again. We never get to the point where we have achieved all we wanted and can relax and be happy. We seldom appreciate the journey, and feel stressed and unhappy far more often than we feel satisfaction in our lives.

If we could learn to focus on experiencing life - or more aptly, if we can remember how to do that - we can free ourselves from a great deal of stress and misery. We can learn to feel happiness before we have reached the goal, and we can be more able to sort out which goals are worth pursuing. That is the author's purpose in the present book.