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Happiness at Work: Be Resilient, Motivated, and Successful - No Matter What Hardcover – March 29, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Srikumar S. Rao created "Creativity and Personal Mastery," the pioneering course that was among the most popular and highest rated at many of the world’s top business schools. It remains the only such course to have its own alumni association. His work has been covered by major media including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, Time, Fortune, BusinessWeek, the London Times, the Guardian and the Daily Telegraph. CNN, PBS, and Voice of America, and dozens of radio and TV stations have interviewed him.
Please visit for many tools and useful resources.You can follow him on Twitter @srikumarsrao


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (March 29, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071664327
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071664325
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #186,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. Srikumar Rao is a speaker, former business school professor, and head of The Rao Institute, based out of New York. He created the singularly powerful course Creativity and Personal Mastery, which he has taught at a number of leading business schools, including Columbia and the London Business School.

Creativity and Personal Mastery (CPM) is based on ancient wisdom traditions, which Dr. Rao has adapted for modern-day business executives and corporations. He states "CPM can be a powerful transformative experience, and it works because it's based on the ideas of the greatest thinkers and philosophers of the world." The course is designed to change lives, promoting contemplation, self-inquiry, fulfillment, passion, and joy. The unique approach of CPM is unlike typical corporate/business course offerings, and the rewards are deeply meaningful and enduring.

Hundreds of professionals across the corporate world have been altered by CPM; alumni include executives from Google, Microsoft, Merrill Lynch, McDonald's, Chubb, IBM, United Airlines, Allstate, Johnson & Johnson, and others. CPM has had a thriving alumni association since Dr. Rao taught the course at Columbia.

Dr. Rao has authored two books, Are You Ready to Succeed and Happiness at Work, as well as the audio course The Personal Mastery Program, both of which are bestsellers and have been translated into a number of languages. He has received wide media coverage and acclaim, including features in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The London Times, The Independent, Time, Financial Times, Fortune, Business Week, The Guardian, and Forbes; he has also been a speaker for TED, Leading@Google, and Thinkers 50 interview. Dr. Rao has been a contributing editor for Forbes and a featured author for many other publications.

Dr. Rao received his Ph.D. in Marketing from Columbia University, and worked as an executive for Warner Communications, Continental Group, Data Resources and McGraw Hill.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Marelisa Fabrega on December 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Srikumar S. Rao, Ph.D., teaches his ideas about how people can experience more fulfilling lives, both personally and professionally, in an MBA-level class called "Creativity and Personal Mastery", which has been taught at the Columbia Business School, the London Business School, the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley, among others.

Dr. Rao got his MBA from a top school in India, and his Ph.D. in marketing from Columbia University. Having read a lot of spiritual and mystical biographies, he decided to find a way to make those teachings applicable to work and to the corporate world. For those who are skeptical of his teachings, he simply asks them to complete the exercises and apply the concepts for a period of time, and then to evaluate whether their lives have improved.

Below you'll find four happiness exercises taught by Dr. Rao to his MBA students, and which he shares with the world at large in his wonderful book, "Happiness at Work".

1. The "If ... Then" Model

Happiness, explains Dr. Rao, is an underlying sense of well-being. He adds that it's feeling, "I'm OK, I will always be OK, there is nothing that needs to happen for me to be OK, and there is nothing that can happen that will stop me from being OK". In addition, he explains that this is our natural state of being, but we obscure it by thinking that something external has to happen in order for us to be happy.

He recommends that people try the following exercise in order to delve deeper into the question, "What do I need to be happy?". Take out a piece of a paper and ask yourself what you need in order to be happy. Really think about it. Then, begin writing.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By J. McCarthy on March 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I have read many books about positive psychology, optimism, and happiness. I enjoyed many of them. I expected something somewhat similar here, but was surprised to see that Happiness at Work offers a completely different way of looking at things. Srikumar Rao shows that so much of our own sense of happiness is in how we approach things--his advice to stop labeling things that happen as good or bad, for example, seemed odd at first. But when I really thought about it, it made complete sense. Things that seem terribly bad at first might end up taking us in new directions that we wouldn't have pursued had the "bad" thing not happened, and we end up more enriched, satisfied, and more filled with joy. And things that seem "good" often don't really make us any happier in the long run. The book is deceptively simple--an easy, yet profound read with thoughts that really stay with you. I recommend it for anyone who is feeling stuck and unhappy.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Book Fanatic TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I generally don't review books on Amazon although I read a lot and rank them to improve my own recommendations. I could not believe this book had only one review so I'm adding another. I have read many, many personal development, self-help, and psychology books and this one ranks as one of the best. I cannot imagine anyone not getting value from this book. The writing is so clear and the ideas so good it may be the best $15 you ever spent.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By K. Benson on April 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
If you read one book this year, make this the one. This book CAN change your life, completely, for the better, forever. This is not some "smile long enough and you'll be happy" bs book. Dr. Rao has broken down some of the most complicated concepts ever discussed throughout human history related to perception and laid them bare in an accessible format. In other words, you can't help but be helped when you read this book.

If you're interested in questions relating to perception (and if you don't know what that means, you can replace that with: if you liked the Matrix Trilogy), you will LOVE this book. Seriously. Get the book. Read the book. Buy it for your friends.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Wilfrid K. F. Wong on April 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
By now, I have joined the workforce for a decade and a half and I consider myself - after years of learning and finding my way - pretty happy at work. I manage to maintain a good level of work life balance, I have built good rapport with my colleagues, and I take pride in my daily work that contributes at an organisational level. OK, there are ups and downs. But overall, I am contented. So what can "Happiness at Work" possibly teach me? It turns out that there are more than I have anticipated. And throughout my working life thus far, I have met friends who are more prone to feeling angry, envious, afraid, exhausted, disgusted, drained, anxious, betrayed, confused, cheated, frustrated, guilty, humiliated, impatient, inadequate, vulnerable, manipulated, embarrassed, neglected, heartbroken, trapped, fatigue, victimized, resentful, or worn out - borrowing the descriptions from the book. I sincerely wish that they could take some time, read this book, and make a positive change to their lives.

Reading "Happiness at Work" is a journey. The author has divided the book into bite-size chapters filled with parables and advice. The materials are largely derived from his experience of conducting workshops to corporate executives on this very topic. Some of the parables and ideas, I observe, are based on Indian tradition or Buddhism so they could be familiar to some, intriguingly foreign to others. Depending on your background and level of experience (or shall I say how unhappy you are at work in reality?), be prepared to be confronted and you may find yourself denying or not wanting to accept what the author says. I too, at times.
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