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How We Choose to Be Happy: The 9 Choices of Extremely Happy People--Their Secrets, Their Stories Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Perigee Trade; Reprint edition (June 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039952990X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399529900
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Foster and Hicks conduct workshops internationally in the development of interpersonal skills. For this book, they interviewed happy people from all walks of life, from the United States to Eastern Europe. The resulting personal stories, writing exercises, and quotes together inform and instruct the reader in the nine principles discovered by the authors in their travels. Foster and Hicks use their nine choices to teach leadership development in the corporate world and also as a diagnostic tool for medical doctors. These choices include the active intention to be happy, accountability, identifying needs and desires, and centralizing goals by creating a dream list. These are followed by recasting (looking at experiences in positive ways), exploring options, appreciating every day, the art of giving, and, finally, exploring truthfulness. Similar to Sarah Ban Breathnach's Simple Abundance (Warner, 1995) and the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, this is recommended for public libraries and consumer health collections.?Lisa S. Wise, Broome Cty. P.L., Binghamton, NY
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Rick Foster and Greg Hicks are professional training consultants with a specialty in developing interpersonal skills. Headquartered in the San Francisco Bay area, they conduct workshops and seminars throughout the United States and internationally, in public, private, and corporate forums, including in such major venues as Hewlett Packard, Toyota America, U.C. Berkeley, and UCLA.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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I gave away all three of my copies of this book so had to order another one.
Marianne Chrystalbridge
I am taking a class on happiness and the one thing that strikes me is that it is a choice and that the more we incline our minds to the positive the better it gets.
Carol Whitney
This book is a good guide on where we need to change our thinking and how to act in ways that will increase our chances, but not guarantee, happiness.
Peter Davies

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

166 of 171 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer on September 16, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I am a happy person. I won't go so far as saying I am wise, but I did not become happier by accident. It was a conscious choice.
I read "How We Choose to Be Happy" to see if the authors had come to the same conclusions I had. They did. I have been carrying a small card around with me since 1996. It says things like "experience & express gratitude," "make happiness a priority," and "be present." It's amazing how many of the choices listed in this book are on my old beat up card. Maybe it's not a coincidence.
In our culture there is this odd belief that you must be an idiot if you're happy. I have no idea how this myth got started but I have found just the opposite to be true. It takes a logical mind to see where choice is involved in our emotions. My life circumstances are not totally how I would like them to be. I decided to not wait for ideal conditions before I experienced joy. I figured out that I could experience happiness WHILE creating the life I wanted. If I waited for everything to be perfectly how I wanted it to be, I concluded I might be waiting a very, very long time.
Get the book. Make it personal by seeing how the choices might apply in your life. Why wait?
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65 of 68 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 30, 2002
Format: Paperback
I wish that I could give everyone this book! When I read this book in my mid-30s, I had come to the sad conclusion that I was somehow incapable of being happy. I had everything I'd ever wanted -- a wonderful husband and two adorable children whom I loved very much, a great job with a good income, etc., etc. And yet I kept falling into despair ... I couldn't figure out how to be happy, and finally decided that my brain was just not "wired" for happiness. But when I stumbled across this book a few years ago, it changed everything. Of course, I still have normal bad days, times when I feel sad or discouraged. But it's different now -- I don't despair -- I know that I'm finally learned how to be truly happy, and nothing can take that away from me now. READ THIS BOOK!!
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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 19, 1999
Format: Hardcover
While many of us work very hard, few of us can sincerely claim to be truely fulfilled and genuinely happy. From analysis of the life stories of many genuinely happy people, Hicks and Foster synthesize a simple yet powerful and practical model for achieving happiness in our daily lifes.
Though "How We Choose to be Happy" is not a psychology book, the Nine Step Model is firmly founded in Human Potential psychology. All we Humans want to be in control of our lives. When we aren't in control we feel powerless, victimized and possibly alienated. When we are in control, we feel powerful, actualized and HAPPY. This well written book helps us recognize a straight forward path toward greater personal control of our lives and the rewarding happiness that results.
I highly recommend for old and young--anyone searching for more complete meaning in their lifes.
Richard Neslund
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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 23, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The author's outline of the "9 choices of extremely happy people" seems fairly complete: intention (to be happy), accountability (for one's own happiness), identification (of what makes one happy), centralization (making working towards happiness central in daily life), recasting (interpretation of tragic or unhappy experiences for redeeming value), options, appreciation, giving, and truth. I like that their "outline" doesn't require one to necessarily rely on a religious or supernatural belief that not everyone will necessarily share, nor do they have a one-size-fits-all approach that equates success with happiness. Although I don't really want some psychologist, self-help author, or religious leader to prescribe a detailed magic formuala for happiness, other people may miss having a detailed course of "what do we do now?" Another weakness (unavoidable) is that the author's acknowledge that perhaps only 50% of happiness is voluntary, the other half may be genetically or biologically determined, that is hardwired into us. Still, we have to start somewhere. I think that the 9 choices are useful to evaluating the way we leading our lives and making some improvement.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 10, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I was somewhat on the fence about buying this book, but the "choose" in the title is what sold me. I'd just reviewed Stephen Covey's concept of proactivity being based on choice and I wondered if this would lead in the same direction. I found it did. My experience with Covey was that he was the business leader who expressed a system that focused on balancing what is best for the individual with the organization goals, as opposed to the barrage of downsizing, MBO, reengineering, etc. books that basically preached focus on the bottom line and the process, forget the people.
This book focuses how an indivdual can change their life via the choices made on a daily basis. The examples of leadership and personnal growth that are chronicled in this book are the bedrocks of both happy lives and successful enterprises. Anyone who has worked or lived among morose, downtrodden and dispair ridden coworkers or family members can see the value and potential in people who come to the realizations outlined in this book. The individual transformations outlined in the book are similar to those I have seen in coworkers and family members over the past 20 years. Also, I can say that the areas in my own life that are not all I'd like them to be are in some way "out of alignment" with a principle outlined in this book. Overall, it is right on target.
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