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Build the Life You Want summary

Arthur C. Brooks & Oprah Winfrey

The Art and Science of Getting Happier

4.2 (555 ratings)
17 mins

Brief summary

Build the Life You Want is a powerful guide by Arthur C. Brooks and Oprah Winfrey that encourages readers to take control of their own happiness and success by embracing personal growth and pursuing their passions.

Table of Contents

    Build the Life You Want
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    The true nature of happiness

    Are you happy right now? Take a moment to think about that. If you’ve selected this Blink, the answer probably isn’t yes. You might not be entirely miserable but you likely think there’s some room for improvement.

    Now, consider this question: What’s standing between you and your happiness?

    A multitude of ideas might spring to mind. Maybe you have a dear wish or ambition that’s unfulfilled. Or you might find your work dreary. Perhaps you’re lonely, anxious, or something deeply worrying is troubling you. Any of these things could be perceived as obstacles to feeling happy.

    But thinking this way will keep you stuck in unhappiness. Because the obstacle blocking your path to happiness is actually yourself, not something external.

    Many people don’t realize that happiness depends on how well they manage themselves emotionally. If they let their emotions rule their actions, instead of choosing how to behave, they end up trying to numb difficult feelings with things that don’t fulfill them long term, like money, power, social status, or attention. This takes them away from the three key elements of happiness: purpose, enjoyment, and satisfaction.

    So, how can you avoid getting distracted by faux-happiness idols?

    Well, first, stop thinking about happiness as a search for the Holy Grail. Instead, view it as something possible at any moment of your life – no matter what challenges you face.

    Second, practice taking responsibility for your behavior, instead of letting your emotions rule you. That’ll stop your impulses from leading you to distractions that won’t make you happier in the long run.

    And finally, build your life around what will truly make you happier. That means creating four sturdy pillars that will elevate you, every single day. What are those pillars? Family, friends, meaningful work, and spirituality. Let’s explore each of them in the next sections, so you can start becoming a happier you.

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    What is Build the Life You Want about?

    Build the Life You Want (2023) provides a blueprint for a happier life. Based on scientific knowledge and decades of personal and academic research, it offers practical strategies that you can implement to increase your happiness immediately, regardless of your circumstances.

    Build the Life You Want Review

    Build the Life You Want (2021) by Arthur C. Brooks & Oprah Winfrey provides valuable insights and practical tips for creating a fulfilling life. Here are three reasons why this book is worth reading:

    • It offers actionable wisdom that empowers readers to make positive changes and take control of their lives.
    • By combining personal experiences and research-backed advice, the book provides a well-rounded perspective on personal growth and success.
    • With its compelling stories and thought-provoking ideas, the book keeps readers engaged and inspired throughout.

    Who should read Build the Life You Want?

    • Happiness seekers
    • Lonely souls looking for connection
    • Cravers of purpose and meaning

    About the Author

    Arthur C. Brooks is a social scientist specializing in developing actionable strategies to help people reach their full potential – in all aspects of their lives. He’s a columnist at the Atlantic and a best-selling author of several books, including From Strength to Strength and Love Your Enemies.

    Oprah Winfrey is one of the most respected media figures of today. Philanthropist, producer, best-selling author, and actress, she oversees TV network OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) and the Oprah Magazine. Super Soul – her series of conversations with thought leaders – has been downloaded over 350 million times in podcast form.

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    Build the Life You Want FAQs 

    What is the main message of Build the Life You Want?

    The main message of Build the Life You Want is that you have the power to create a fulfilling and meaningful life through intentional actions.

    How long does it take to read Build the Life You Want?

    The reading time for Build the Life You Want varies, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Build the Life You Want a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Build the Life You Want is a valuable read for anyone looking to improve their life. It offers practical advice and actionable strategies for personal growth.

    Who is the author of Build the Life You Want?

    The author of Build the Life You Want is Arthur C. Brooks & Oprah Winfrey.

    What to read after Build the Life You Want?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Build the Life You Want, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • From Strength to Strength by Arthur C. Brooks
    • Awakening Your Ikigai by Ken Mogi
    • Leading an Inspired Life by Jim Rohn
    • The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
    • Getting Past Your Past by Francine Shapiro
    • Die with Zero by Bill Perkins
    • Podcasting Marketing Strategy by Daniel Rowles and Ciaran Rogers
    • Read People Like a Book by Patrick King
    • The Law of Success by Napoleon Hill
    • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy by Olivia Telford