Most helpful positive review
63 of 66 people found the following review helpful
Happiness starts inside your head
on April 28, 2012
This is an interesting book and has valuable information for those who wonder why nothing seems to satisfy or fulfill themselves. While I don't think this is a complete guide to how to live a fulfilled life, I'm going to review what IS in this book and not what IS NOT here.
The author, who has had a successful career as one of Google's early pioneering engineers, covers meditation and mindfulness as well as emotional intelligence. The combination of familiar information we all hear touted daily about meditation and philosophical attitudes that derive from Buddhism, with psychological techniques and knowledge of emotional intelligence is powerful stuff. The question is, will every reader be able to implement these concepts? Possibly not--but if you find there are areas of, say, emotional intelligence that you cannot grasp or you cannot seem to master, it's a signpost for you. Perhaps someone, a professional counselor, pastor, teacher or other guide can give you tools to move you past the roadblock.
The text is easy to read and well-illustrated with amusing cartoons and drawings. The book is engaging. Yes, there are many many of these "new-age" how to be happy books, but this one is so clearly written and so concise, I think it has a place on your bookshelf.
The emotional intelligence section, in particular, is laid out as clearly as a roadmap. Self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills are the five pillars. In additional to getting you to a happier state, emotional intelligence can boost your work performance, and improve your relationships. The author chooses a most delightful example of someone who learns emotional intelligence: Ebenezer Scrooge! My fave, A Christmas Carol. Who doesn't love the story of the reformed curmudgeon, who goes from an insensitive, mean, unhappy man who begrudges even a handful of warming coals to his hapless clerk, to the joyfully generous uncle who dispenses his bounty only to find the more he gives, the happier he himself becomes. Great example, and the five steps of emotional intelligence are all there in Scrooge as he transforms himself in the Christmas miracle.
If you are unfamiliar with the concepts of emotional intelligence and of mindfulness and being in the moment, this is an easy-to-read book that can entice you to delve deeper into the subject. And it may be a bit of an "aha!" moment...if I feel unhappy, I can change that inside my head. And if I spread meanness and bad thoughts and actions, happiness is going to elude me forever. Great book. Recommended!