HAPPIER by TAL BEN-SHAHAR (Ph.D)
Can you learn to be happier?
YES .... according to the teacher of Harvard University's most popular and life-changing course. One out of every five Harvard students has lined up to hear Tal Ben-Shahar's insightful and inspiring lectures on that ever elusive state: HAPPINESS.
Whether you are a stressed out 'rat racer', a pleasure-seeking 'hedonist' or a ready to give up 'nihilist', Happier gives you a complete crash course on the often-elusive subject of happiness to help you live the life you love - and love the life you live.
..... Outer back cover.
FIRST SENTENCE Chapter 1: The Question Of Happiness): I was sixteen years old when I won the Israeli national squash championship.
MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 36): To be happy, we have to feel that, on the whole, whatever sorrows, trials, and tribulations we may encounter, we still experience the joy of being alive.
MY THOUGHTS: A cynic as far as most 'self help' books go, having received this one free in a newspaper I admit curiosity got the better of me.
Amazed that there are any individuals out there who invest time and, even more surprisingly, money, trying to figure out if they are truly happy and, if not, what they, with the aid of this book (priced at almost £14), can do to rectify the situation, it would be all too easy to make fun of the message of 'Can You Learn To Be Happy? Happier' and so I'll stick to my opinions on the writing of the book.
According to one academic one of the most popular courses at Harvard university, though hardly what I'd describe as rocket science 'Happier' is a short, very readable book that, thankfully not overly scholarly, is written in such a way as to be accessible to all.
Set out in three parts ('What is happiness?' 'Happiness applied' and, 'Meditations on happiness') this is a concise largely 'sensible' read with easily 'doable' exercises which, if nothing else, got me thinking.
Great as an introduction to the discipline of Positive psychology, I can't help but think this might not be taken as seriously as it might be due to the whole 'self help' feel to it.
KEEP IT OR NOT?: Not one for the shelves.