The amount of books, blogs, websites and media coverage that ‘Happiness’ gets can only be rivaled with the amount of coverage that ‘Success’ gets. Happiness has become the ‘corner office’ of most of our lives. We are chasing it, looking for it, dreaming of it, and many times missing it. Amidst this chaos, I’ve come across some splendid books rooted in psychology, of course, that help distill and contain enormous information regarding Happiness and convey it in a manner that is easily understood.
One such book comes from Harvard professor, Tal Ben-Shahar. The author taught classes on Positive Psychology and the Psychology of Leadership.These classes were among the most popular course in the University’s history. Tal Ben-Shahar’s book, Happier- Learning the Secrets to daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment, talks about the four types of people and how we can attain the ideal type of happiness.
The author answers some of the most common questions of happiness and sheds light on the impact of those questions too.
When the question is “Why do you want to be happy?” the answer is simple and definitive. We pursue happiness because it is in our nature to do so. When the answer to a question is “Because it will make me happy,” nothing can challenge the validity and finality of the answer. Happiness is the highest on the hierarchy of goals, the end toward which all other ends lead.
Tal Ben-Shahar talks about various psychology studies, comments on the nature of the human existence and further elaborates why people seek out happiness.
A human being, like a business, makes profits and suffers losses. For a human being, however, the ultimate currency is not money, nor is it any external measure, such as fame, fortune, or power. The ultimate currency for a human being is happiness. Money and fame are subordinate to happiness and have no intrinsic value. The only reason money and fame may be desirable is that having them or the thought of having them could lead to positive emotions or meaning. In themselves, wealth and fame are worthless: there would be no reason to seek fame and fortune if they did not contribute, in some way, toward happiness.
This book, simply written and highly applauded, will introduce you to ideas of happiness, compel you to introspect and become a voice of conscious for anyone who is looking to learn more about being happy. As Ellen J. Langer, Author of Mindfulness, says- “Dr. Ben-Shahar, one of the most popular teachers in Harvard’s recent history, has written a personal, informed, and highly enjoyable primer on how to become happier. It would be wise to take his advice.”