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 (109 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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    Summary of 7 key ideas

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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.

    Happier Review

    Happier (2007) by Tal Ben-Shahar is a thought-provoking book that explores the science and philosophy of happiness. Here's why this book is definitely worth a read:

    • It provides practical strategies to cultivate happiness in our lives, allowing us to take steps towards a more fulfilling existence.
    • The book combines scientific research, philosophical concepts, and personal stories, making it a well-rounded and enriching read.
    • With its engaging narrative and relatable anecdotes, the book manages to make the pursuit of happiness a captivating and thought-provoking journey.

    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
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    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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    Happier FAQs 

    What is the main message of Happier?

    The main message of Happier is that happiness can be cultivated through intentional daily practices.

    How long does it take to read Happier?

    The reading time for Happier varies depending on the reader's pace, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Happier a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Happier is a worthwhile read for those seeking practical strategies to increase their happiness. It offers actionable insights in a concise format.

    Who is the author of Happier?

    The author of Happier is Tal Ben-Shahar.

    What to read after Happier?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Happier, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Deep Work by Cal Newport
    • How the World Sees You by Sally Hogshead
    • Great Thinkers by The School of Life
    • Click by Rom and Ori Brafman
    • Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
    • How to Think More Effectively by The School of Life
    • The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles
    • Practical Optimism by Sue Varma
    • 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do by Amy Morin
    • Communicate to Influence by Ben Decker & Kelly Decker