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If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Happy? Hardcover – April 26, 2016
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“This book highlights how some of the very things that make us smart and successful can also undermine our happiness. It’s a practical, engaging read on how to lead a fulfilling life.”
-Adam Grant, author of Give and Take and Originals
“Raj’s book presents a clear perspective on what it takes to lead a life of happiness and fulfillment. What I like most about the book is that it proves, using rigourous science, something that I have long held: the recipe for a happy life is also one for a life of service and success. This is a book that everyone, and particularly the smart-and-successful, should read and assimilate.”
-John Mackey, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market
This book is a landmark contribution to the burgeoning literature on leading fuller, happier, more fulfilling lives. With a scholar’s sensibility, Raj brilliantly marshalls extensive research evidence that supports his simple yet profound prescriptions for better living. I have no doubt that this book will come to be regarded as a classic in the field; it will help change countless lives for the better, as Raj’s online course is already doing.
-Raj Sisodia, co-author of Everybody Matters and Conscious Capitalism
“Tell a man a joke and he’ll be happy for a moment. Give a man Raj's book, and he’ll be happy forever! While you are at it, get yourself a copy of this excellent, well-researched book. It will make you smarter and happier.
-Peter McGraw, Director of the Humor Research Lab and co-author of The Humor Code
"A compelling and highly profitable read. Get this book, mark it up with highlighters and practice, practice, practice. Your life WILL improve."
-Srikumar Rao, author of Happiness at Work, TED speaker and consultant.
"This is an empirically-grounded, practical, and fun-to-read book that will help you get the most out of your life and find the happiness you really want. A must-read for anyone searching for the true meaning of success."
-Kristin Neff, Ph.D., author of Self Compassion
Raghunathan gives you the tools you need to lead a more satisfying life. He roots his recommendations in good science, and then provides a wonderful set of tools to put you on the path to long-term path to happiness. Better still, even reading this book is a joy.
-Art Markman, Ph.D., author of Smart Thinking and Smart Change
“This book will help you keep the upbeat approach to life that will open the door to undreamed of possibilities. Definitely a keeper!”
-Barbara Oakley, Professor of Engineering, Oakland University, and co-instructor of the most popular MOOC ever—Learning How to Learn
"How important do I think it is for you to read this book? Let me just say that if you are smart and successful and yet feel that you aren’t as happy as you could—or want to—be, I wouldn’t just recommend that you read this book. I would say that you owe it to yourself to drop everything else you are doing and start reading the book now!"
-Marshall Goldsmith, CEO-coach and author of Triggers
About the Author
Raj Raghunathan, Ph.D., is Professor at the University of Texas McCombs School of Business, where he relies on themes from psychology, behavioral sciences, decision theory and marketing to explain consumption behavior. He serves on the editorial board of Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing, and Journal of Consumer Psychology. He is also one of the fourteen faculty members of Whole Foods founder John Mackey's Academy of Conscious Leadership.
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Top Customer Reviews
I'm sure the question on your mind is this: hey, if you're a psychologist already, did this book actually make YOU happier? The answer is yes, it did! Two caveats, though: Prof Raj gives a number of self-tests in the book so you can see exactly where you stand on the concepts he's discussing. It's necessary to actually take those self-tests yourself, not just go with a preconceived notion about yourself that might be wrong. And when Prof Raj discusses the exercises he recommends, don't just skip going and doing them on the website, thinking "I get this without doing the exercise," and turn to the next chapter. I can assure you that actually spending time completing the questionnaires and doing all the exercises is the key to becoming happier. It's all within your reach.
One final comment: how many of us have finished a self-help book and promised ourselves we will stick with the new insights we learned, only to discover a month or two later that we are no longer practicing those great new mental habits we learned about? SPOILER ALERT: Prof Raj has a chapter at the end of the book where he guides you on how to make your new learning permanent, in just a few minutes of personal reflection each day. Having finished Prof Raj's program over nine months ago, I can tell you that I still follow his prescription of daily reminders and that has made all the difference. Happy learning!
I am an intellectual type, and a romantic type, and have long been searching - intuitively and instinctively - for what brings me the most happiness. What path? What attitude? Is there a specific religion that will resonate with me? I have followed Joseph Campbell, mythology, several religious teachings, the makers of great art, fine literature, comedy, adventure, and money. I have really and honestly tried for four decades to sooth myself and find happiness. By the way, I am a reasonably happy person.
I have found certain strong clues on the way to my quest for happiness. For example, Grandfather Vanderhoff in the movie classic "You Can't Take It With You" is an excellent example of a happy man. Watching that movie connects me to the spirit of happiness. Also, Joseph Campbell tells us to 'follow our bliss' as advice for life to lead us to happiness.
Both of these leaders: Grandfather Vanderhoff (fictional) and Joseph Campbell (real) have helped shine a light on how to be brave and value happiness above money. However, they have not really answered the difficult nitty-gritty questions about how to do that.
This book, "If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Happy?" answers the nitty-gritty questions about how to value happiness above money, above superiority, above control, and above all the other temptations in our culture and in our own pre-wiring that subtly pull us away from happiness.
Raj has pointed out what the problem is. I'm not saying he has answered all questions for all mankind regarding happiness. But I can honestly say he has, in my opinion, pointed more accurately and more clearly and specifically to what makes us happy than any other writer I have read, ancient or modern.
Raj's book is a true treasure.
When determining a book's worthiness, I often ask myself, "If I were stranded on a deserted island and could only have ten books to read for the rest of my life, would this be one of them?" I guess you can imagine what the answer is regarding Raj's book.
In fact, I actually continue to read the book again after reading it once. Raj urges us to do the exercises in the book that bring happiness, not just to read the book. And I think this is key to the book's value. It doesn't just point out what causes happiness by saying it (even though that alone is astounding!), but he gives us exercises we can do regularly to train ourselves to value happiness and kind of get in the habit of making happiness-producing choices. So the first time I read the book, I simply absorbed the information and made notes and was astounded. The second time I'm reading the book, I'm taking the time to learn the exercises and to practice them.
I can honestly say, even from reading the book once, and even moreso from my second time through with doing some exercises, I am a happier person. I have learned, with relative accuracy, what it is that makes me happy and what it is that doesn't. And I am CONSCIOUSLY AWARE of that, not just kind of intuitively familiar. In other words, I can accurately state, in sensible words, what things make me happy and unhappy. And that is thanks to Raj.
Here are some of the things that make me happy:
*Moving towards something that excites me, taking steps towards some exciting goal, big or small.
*Remembering to value something for how much I like it and enjoy it, irregardless of its monetary price set by others
*Avoiding materialistic signs/billboards, and places where materialism is glamourized
*Remembering to control myself internally, and avoiding attempts to control what is around me too much in others
*Having a positive attitude about humanity, and having some faith in people, and avoiding thoughts that people are wretches and life sucks
*Doing giving and kind acts: like buying ice cream for my coworkers, or buying a gift spontaneously for someone I love
*Placing trust in others which they can easily prove they are worthy of, and avoiding thoughts that people can't be trusted
*Placing boundaries on my habits of giving to others and on helping others so that I am helpful, but smart in how I do it, so it is not straining to me.
All of these things I learned from Raj's book. And by the way, the summary of how to live an 'abundance-minded life' rather than a scarcity-minded life towards the last part of the book is wonderful. He tackles the tough issue of how to actually live a trust-filled, positivity-filled life in a world which doesn't always support that notion. So Raj is no dreamer. He has his feet on the ground and actually gives us real answers of how to apply happiness principles to an imperfect world.
And one more thing, I love that he uses scientific experiments to back his theories. This is truly special. Otherwise this would just be another philosophical book that sounds good, but which may or may not be true. Raj can show you, through siting actual scientific studies, that his thoughts about happiness are true.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
can be use for self lerning (snd reference for article)
after a year still readind itRead more
I recommend it to everyone that is interested in a better~beautified everyday-life quality!Read more
When I took the course on Coursera ("A Life of Happiness and Fulfilment"), my happiness level on time 1 was 16 (unhappy), on time 2...Read more