Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Book Review: Happier by Tal Ben-Shahar, Ph.D.

Happier is a book written by Harvard educator Tal Ben-Shahar.  In spite of his lofty position, it is a relatively easy read.  Ben-Shahar does a couple of things that I really enjoyed in the book; he describes well designed research about "Who are the happy people" and "what do they have that keeps them that way".  He also uses personal stories to animate the realities of daily happiness. 

This is not just a "THINK Happy and You Shall BE Happy" book. Ben-Shahar recognizes that some conditions really do not lend themselves to happiness. And yet, perhaps there are some little tweeks one could make to make life a bit Happier!

He discusses practical ways to be happier in work, relationships, and school. He presents thought-provoking exercises called "Time-In's" that are a wonderful way to interact with the information being presented.

He discusses ways to address the growing problem of depression in our college students. I love his idea of teaching kids how to enjoy learning so college and career choices are not harmful to their emotioal wellbeing.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in taking control of their own happiness. It makes me want to put on some Bobby McFerrin... "Don't Worry ... Be Happy ..."

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