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YES, according to Harvard University's most popular Lecturer on Positive Psychology

June 2007 - What is happiness? What does it mean? How do we find it? And, once we find it, how do we hang onto it? In HAPPIER – Finding Pleasure, Meaning and Life’s Ultimate Currency, (July 2007, McGraw-Hill, £12.99), Harvard University’s Happiness guru, Tal Ben-Shahar, Ph.D, helps you understand the nature of happiness and reveals how we can all learn to be happier in our daily lives. NOW.

Whether you are a stressed out ‘rat racer’, a pleasure-seeking ‘hedonist,’ or a ready to give up ‘nihilist,’ Happier gives you a complete crash course on the often-elusive subject of happiness to help you live the life you love – and love the life you live.

“Attaining lasting happiness requires that we enjoy the journey on our way toward a destination we deem valuable. Happiness, therefore is not about making it to the peak of a mountain, nor is it about climbing aimlessly around the mountain; happiness is the experience of climbing toward the peak.”
Tal Ben-Shahar.

Using Positive Psychology – the “study of optimal human functioning” and many years researching the works of scientists, scholars and philosophers – Ben-Shahar’s revolutionary approach helps you recognise what happiness really means to you and how to strive for it in your daily life.

With step-by-step practical exercises backed by scientific studies, you can both reflect and understand what really makes you happy and then take real action to start achieving greater happiness in all aspects of your life. This interaction between action and reflection is key, says Ben-Shahar, if you want the book to have real impact on your life.

Happiness shouldn’t just be a “nice to have” or a “I’ll be happy when/if.” Achieving day-to-day happiness really does matter and has an impact on every aspect of our life. Research proves that happy individuals have better relationships, are more likely to thrive at work, as well as live better and longer. Happiness, as Ben-Shahar demonstrates, is life’s “Ultimate Currency.”

Some of the ways we can become Happier include:

* Create an integrity mirror. Find out how you can increase your personal integrity, lead a more authentic – and hence happier – life.

* Identify the things that give your life pleasure and meaning, things that you enjoy doing and that provide you a sense of purpose.

* Simplify your life; ask yourself what you can give up. What can you say “no” to? Commit to decreasing the busy-ness in your life, and through that increasing your happiness.

* Consider the pursuits that challenge you and fulfil your potential.

* Identify your “happiness boosters” – the brief activities that rejuvenate you by providing both meaning and pleasure. Small changes can have significant consequences.

* Ritualise times during which you dedicate yourself fully to things that make you happy – each day and every week.

* Create a “happiness map” to increase our time spent on activities and people that afford you the ultimate currency.

* Generate short-term goals that align with long-term plans.

* Regularly take stock of the things for which you are grateful – large and small.

* Identify external, as well as internal, factors that are stopping you from finding happiness.

* Recognise that happiness, not money or prestige, is the ultimate currency – the currency by which we ought to take measure of our lives.

According to Ben-Shahar, if we want to find happiness we must commit ourselves to working hard at it, for while there is one easy step to unhappiness – doing nothing – there are no easy steps to happiness. We have to work now, and everyday, to achieve a life of pleasure and meaning. You have a choice now and at every moment in your life to pursue - and attain - the ultimate currency.


HAPPIER - Finding Pleasure, Meaning, and Life's Ultimate Currency,
£12.99 ISBN 13: 9780071492393/ ISBN 10: 0071492399
UK Publication Date: July 2007

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About the Author: Tal Ben-Shahar, Ph.D, is an author and lecturer at Harvard University. He taught the most popular course at Harvard on "Positive Psychology" and the third largest on "The Psychology of Leadership"- with a total of over 1,400 students. He consults and lectures around the world to executives in multi-national corporations, the general public, and at-risk populations. Topics include happiness, self-esteem, resilience, goal setting, ethics and leadership. An avid sportsman, Tal won the U.S. Intercollegiate and Israeli National squash championships. He has obtained his Ph.D in Organisational Behaviour and BA in Philosophy and Psychology from Harvard. He was Harvard’s John Eliot Scholar to the University of Cambridge.

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