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The Pursuit of Perfect: How to Stop Chasing Perfection and Start Living a Richer, Happier Life Hardcover – April 1, 2009
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About the Author
Tal Ben- Tal Ben-Shahar, Ph.D., is the New York Times bestselling author of Happier. He taught the most popular course at Harvard University and currently teaches at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, Israel. He consults and lectures around the world to multinational organizations, the general public, and at-risk populations. He obtained his Ph.D. in organizational behavior and his B.A. in philosophy and psychology from Harvard. For more information visit www.talbenshahar.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
"And he was rich--yes, richer than a king--
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.
"So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head."
In The Pursuit of Perfect, Tal Ben-Shahar explains that many people (as well as fictional characters) fail to lead a full and fulfilling life because they do not allow themselves "to experience the full range of human emotions" and thus limit their capacity for happiness. They need to give themselves the permission to be human...to ground [their] dreams in reality and appreciate [their] accomplishments." Throughout this book, Ben-Shahar refers to negative perfectionism simply as perfectionism and to positive perfection ism as optimalism. "The key difference between the Perfectionist an the Optimalist is that the former essentially rejects reality while the latter accepts it...as a natural part of life and as an experience that is inextricably linked to success.Read more ›
His unique writing style mingles philosophy & the best of academic research in cognitive psychology all together in a persuasive presentation. The exercises are persuasive enough because they all stand on the solid ground of empirical evidence.
What took me in awe were the closing 10 meditations, or better to call them the 10 wisdoms .
In conclusion, a unique work indeed, bringing a deeper and more mature level, for a more happier life.
Author & Book Views On A Healthy Life!
The Pursuit of Perfect: How to Stop Chasing Perfection and Start Living a Richer, Happier Life (McGraw Hill/ Apr 2009) by Tal Ben-Shahar, Ph.D.
Author Tal Ben-Shahar is known for his Positive Psychology and upbeat lectures surrounding happiness. A Harvard graduate, he is also a champion squash competitor, winning both the U.S. Intercollegiate and Israeli National competitions. Ben-Shahar is also known for his bestselling book Happier. He began his search for the happiness while thinking about the subject, as a successful but unhappy athlete, and also as a successful but unhappy professional, leading him into the research of Positive Psychology.
Traveling abroad, giving international lectures has allowed the author to meet diverse groups of people, all in search of happiness. A common barrier coexisting in them all is "the aspiration to a life that is not just happier but perfect." The Pursuit of Perfect Ben-Shahar writes is about what perfectionism is and "about how to overcome this obstacle to a happier life."
Positive Psychology differentiates between positive (optimal) and negative perfectionism. Ben-Shahar points out that the perfectionist rejects failure, painful emotions, success, and reality. He limits himself with worry of failure, producing anxiety and procrastination. The optimalist however, accepts failure, painful emotions, success, and reality; he lives the full scope of the human experience. Though the optimalist may fail, he accepts the reality of the situation and moves forward.Read more ›
Wow. That was incorrect. Ben-Shahar starts by debunking the perfection as a goal (and perfectionism as a attitude), replacing it with the concept of "optimalism", optimizing outcomes against the constraints of reality. He does this fully and from many angles. And thus finding happiness outside of perfection
And then he takes the concept further linking it to deeper philosophical, emotional, and psychological concepts.
I had thought that the notion of abandoning the drive for perfection would be contradictory to my overall approach to life. Instead, I learned that the converse is true. And that has made this the most eye-opening book I've read in years.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As someone that has studied psychology for past decade and now completing my doctorate in psychology I can confidently and without reservation reccommend this book. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Emilio Licea
This book made me realize that I have always been a perfectionist and that it is one of the reasons I have always suffer of depression... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Majo
Outstanding! Well written,witty, and provides much food for thought.
I strongly recommend it!
There are an increasing amount of books out there on the topic of positive psychology but this book is definitely a worth read. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Harry M. Shin
If you are a perfectionist, this book will feel like, "Dear [insert your name]." Comparing Perfectionism with Optimalism, Tal offers a grounded and liberating way of... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Catherine McDonald
I bought this book because I liked Ben-Shahar's previous book so much. Also the subject matter is fascinating and important. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Book Fanatic