Happier Book Summary - Happier Book explained in key points
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Happier summary

Tal Ben-Shahar

Can You Learn to be Happy?

4.3 (92 ratings)
15 mins

Brief summary

Happier by Tal Ben-Shahar is a self-help book that emphasizes the importance of happiness and offers practical strategies for achieving it. It provides insights to increase our wellbeing and how positive psychology can help us.

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    Happiness is the utmost human goal and a strong contributor to success.

    Most people have heard the classic mantra coined by the reggae sensation Bobby McFerrin: “Don’t worry, be happy.” But have you ever considered why people hold happiness in such high esteem?

    For starters, most people consider happiness a valid life goal. If someone asks you why you’re doing something, and you answer that it makes you happy, your answer is valid in and of itself and can’t be challenged.

    All other responses, whether they’re related to fame, money, power, respect or any number of other things, are secondary to happiness, which is the ultimate goal. If you were to say that you were doing something for money, someone might ask, “Why do you need money?”

    In other words, regardless of whether people are working towards money or any other external goal, in the end, these aims are merely steps on the path to happiness. Just consider someone who wants money to afford more surfing vacations and a great underwater camera. For him, money is simply a tool to get the things that will make him happy.

    There’s nothing new about viewing happiness as the ultimate goal for humans. It has been the focus of philosophers throughout the centuries. David Hume, the eighteenth-century British philosopher, said that all human pursuits from the arts to science to law exist solely to enable people to achieve happiness.

    Not just that, but happiness and success are also deeply intertwined. Research on well-being conducted by psychologists Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ed Diener and Laura King has even found that happy people do better in different areas of life and work like relationships, health and finance.

    How come?

    It might be because people with a positive outlook see the world as an inherently positive place, which makes them open to good things happening. So, whether you see happiness as an end in itself or a step along the path to success, there’s no doubt that it’s worth pursuing.

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    What is Happier about?

    Happier (2008) is a guide to living a more meaningful and pleasurable existence. These blinks will challenge you to identify what matters most to you and to reflect on how you can make that a bigger part of your life.

    Best quote from Happier

    Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence. Aristotle

    —Tal Ben-Shahar
    example alt text

    Who should read Happier?

    • Students who are preparing to choose their career paths
    • Educators and parents who want to encourage students to focus on happiness and meaningfulness
    • Anybody who feels a bit stuck and is looking for true change

    About the Author

    Tal Ben-Shahar is an American and Israeli writer and university lecturer. His courses in Positive Psychology and The Psychology of Leadership were the most popular in the history of Harvard University. Among other books, he’s also the author of Being Happy: You Don't Have to Be Perfect to Lead a Richer, Happier Life.

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