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Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment Hardcover – May 31, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
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“I define happiness as ‘the overall experience of pleasure and meaning.’ A happy person enjoys positive emotions while perceiving her life as purposeful. The definition does not pertain to a single moment but to a generalized aggregate of one’s experiences: a person can endure emotional pain at times and still be happy overall.”
~ Tal Ben-Shahar from Happier
Tal Ben-Shahar is brilliant. And so is this book. His Positive Psychology class at Harvard was the most popular class on campus and, after reading his book, I can see why.
The book is really well written and PACKED with a great overview of why happiness matters along with scientifically supported Big Ideas and exercises to help us rock our greatest lives. Truly amazing.
Here are some of my favorite Big Ideas:
1. The Four Archetypes - Rat racers, hedonists, nihilists and happy peeps.
2. The Ultimate Currency - Is happiness.
3. Happiness Rituals - Start 'em up!
4. Negative Rituals - What will yours be?
5. Expressing Gratitude - Is a very good thing.
And is now a good time to start following your inner sage?
More goodness— including PhilosophersNotes on 300+ books in our *OPTIMIZE* membership program. Find out more at brianjohnson . me.
It really helped me to see that happiness is not a destination, but it is experienced in the day to day.
I think this book will definitely help you become “Happier”.
The guidelines work for anyone. As long as you can read and understand English, there is something meaningful for you in this book. No one is too worthy or unworthy to lead a happy life. So, enjoy the read and put it into practice and see the magic unfolds.
This work does an excellent job of putting people's issues in the context of the empirical research regarding what makes us happy. Rarely, in a book of this nature, do I find myself inspired to do the exercises. I have never felt moved to change my daily life habits based upon something I have read. Yet, as the result of reading "Happier", I have done both.
For anyone who is looking for a little guidance on how to improve your happiness, which is probably all of us, I would strongly recommend this book. The only caveat is that I would suggest slowly reading every page and actually doing the exercises, in writing. This is not the type of work that one can just breeze through and get the full benefit of it. But I think the extra effort will pay off.
Ben-Shahar's uses his own life experiences, hypothetical cases, and metaphors to concretize the theory. I particularly liked his quadrant of the rat-race, hedonism, nihilism, and happiness. This captures more of the nuance of what kind of life (or rather one's perspective on life) is more likely to lead to happiness.
Ben-Shahar's advice is practical and doesn't rely on quick fixes or some formula. It's intellectual work. It's about thinking about one's values and the hierarchy of those values: find out what is important and how to balance these in your life. It is also about finding the balance between past, present, and future. Living in the past or living for the future is not a recipe for happiness. One needs to be present, but can't forget their past or their future either. None of this is easy to do: but the pay off of a happy, fulfilling life is worth the work.