Happier asks the question whether we can learn to be happier in life. Based on Harvard’s most popular course on the subject, Tal Ben-Shahar examines what steps we can make in order to bring more happiness into our everyday lives.
Tal Ben-Shahar has been fascinated with happiness throughout his professional life. Taking insights from psychology and philosophy, this book covers motivation, goal setting, meaning and methodology to give us the tools to be happier in work, life and leisure.
Concise and thought provoking, the author invites us to examine what we truly enjoy and cherish in our own lives and use a number of time trusted techniques to improve our overall state of happiness.
Below are some of the key insights from the book.
- All of us can learn to be happier in our everyday lives.
- Happiness is a question of balancing our lives in the present, past and future with the ideal being to be happy with the destination and also with the journey.
- Focussing on the future creates a rat race mentality where we forego present joy whereas focussing on the now creates a hedonism mentality where we forego our responsibility to the future and longer term joy.
- Happiness creates more success and success creates more happiness. This is a virtuous circle.
- Happiness involves both present pleasure and long term meaning. One simple exercise is to break apart your 24 hour day into both pleasure and meaning.
- Happiness is the ultimate currency because it is the only end for which all other activities and currencies are solely means. (Aristotle)
- Goal Setting helps us to identify what gives us both pleasure and meaning in our lives and we should try to be as precise as possible to focus on what we really, really want to do from the locus of what we are capable of doing.
- Despite our intuitions, most people enter happiness creating flow states when at work rather than at leisure. Leisure doesn’t pay without meaningful work.