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Being Happy: You Don't Have to Be Perfect to Lead a Richer, Happier Life Paperback – October 14, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tal Ben-Shahar is the New York Times bestselling author of Happier. He consults and lectures around the world to executives in multinational corporations, the general public, and at-risk populations. For more information, visit www.talbenshahar.com
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (October 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071746617
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071746618
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #261,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this because I really enjoyed Ben-Shahlar's hardback "The Pursuit of Perfect" and thought this was another newer work. It isn't. The paperback was given this different new title "Being Happy". On the back side of the cover page is the notation "Originally published in hardcover: The pursuit of perfect. copyright 2009". Misleading and disappointing.
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By Lana on January 22, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book to help you get rid of some perfectionistic qualities that makes your life more difficult, get off your chair and take chances and pursue your dreams.
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Being Happy was written to be an interactive experience, and I think that is a major reason why readers will enjoy it so much. Ben-Shahar provides self-reflective activities and "Time-in" questions throughout his book as a way to help readers locate their own maladaptive Perfectionist traits. More importantly, he provides guidance and advice through exercises that educate readers on how to successfully replace these qualities with ones that are more conducive to living a happier life. Whether it is writing a gratitude letter, completing a few short open-ended sentences, or keeping a journal about failure, Ben-Shahar finds creative ways to keep the reader involved. Ben-Shahar makes it his mission to prove to his readers that a Perfectionist can successfully become more like an Optimalist by making simple changes in his or her everyday routine.

In Being Happy, Tal Ben-Shahar provides his readers with the advice and guidance they need to make significant changes in their lives in order to become happier people. Ben-Shahar first helps his readers locate their perfectionist traits, and then guides them on the path to a more Optimalist outlook. He does not make the journey to happiness seem easy, but he does present it as inviting and achievable. If you are ready to invest a small amount of effort to self-reflect and to make personal changes on the quest to happiness, Tal Ben-Shahar will lead you to success!
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Format: Paperback
Book review by Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.

There are a number of reasons why I liked this 228-page (of text) book, the first of which is that it is very well written. Ben-Shahar is an engaging writer.

Second, I found the book educational. Ben-Shahar includes six pages of references, then his four pages of notes are abbreviated, and all his notes come from his references. The way he incorporates his sources throughout the book is smooth and comfortable--not the least bit awkward. It will not take you, as a reader, long to discover that Ben-Shahar is not only well-educated, but the breadth of his knowledge is impressive as well.

Third, I enjoyed his personal insights, stories, and references because they offer additional depth to the book. I thought the idea of moving from a perfectionistic point of view (or approach to life) to an optimalist is reasonable. Also, it is a move that people can accomplish with dedication, patience, and persistence--requirements, obviously, for anyone who wishes to make changes in his or her life.

Fourth, I identify with Ben-Shahar. It is clear that he is a teacher, and I thought his "Time-In" sections and end-of-the-chapter exercises were spot-on. Anyone with a serious desire to shed his or her perfectionistic tendencies to become happier and more fulfilled, will find ideas in this book that will help them change--to move in more positive directions.

I am not suggesting by my comments that Ben-Shahar's material is all new, that it is revelatory, that it is earth-shattering, or involves huge changes in one's life. There is a great deal of common knowledge and common sense here. Often, those who are seeking changes in their lives need assistance.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Following the author's struggles with perfectionism was helpful to examine my own life. The concepts aren't earth shattering but the way the author illustrates them gives you a chance to examine your own life. I like the time in sections for journal writing topics.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is aimed squarely at the perfectionist mindset. Those who aren't technically perfectionists and are seeking ways to enhance happiness shouldn't bother.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This perfectionist found solace and inspiration. The lessons of my childhood -- although the best my well-meaning parents could offer -- well, it's time to re-think and open up to more possibility. I've struggled with feelings of "not good enough". So odd that that message was delivered through assurances that I was brilliant & beautiful & could be anything I wanted. I didn't know what to do when all that "wonderfulness" didn't play out in the real world. I was frozen with fear. Lacking resiliency. It just never made sense that others took things in stride and succeeded beyond what my crazed attempts at doing it all got me. Along with explanations, the author provides exercises to help us along the new path. No quick fix but an opening.

So much more than this in the book. I promise that you will be surprised.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read a number of positive psychology and happiness books, and this one is the BEST ONE I have read by far. I not only am a personal fan/seeker, but am also a professional in this field....I teach "well-being." I think Tal hits the "nail on the head" with this book! I also can say that this book is an EXCELLENT read for ANYONE that suffers from "perfectionism" and/or the feelings of not being "good enough" in life. This book WILL transform you to true well-being, giving you the information and techniques to be able to finally "let go" of all of that pressure. You WILL find happiness through this book, and you WILL spread the word on to others through what you learn. I highly recommend you purchase and read this!!!
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