From Publishers Weekly
Though everyone wants to be happier, how many of us can actually define what that means? In his class, "Positive Psychology," one of the most popular courses at Harvard University, Ben-Shahar teaches that happiness isn't as elusive a concept as people think, and can actually be learned; he commits the fundamentals of his course to paper in this primer on getting happy, which he defines as a combination of pleasure (short-term happiness) and meaning (long-term). Divided into three parts, "What is Happiness?", "Happiness Applied" and "Meditations on Happiness," Ben-Shahar provides insight and exercises, prodding reflection in readers ("Do you accept negative emotions as natural?" "Do you see your work as a job, a career, or a calling?") while explicating the relationships among happiness, motivation and goals. Though it sounds simple, Ben-Shahar insists on keen self-awareness and purposeful action to overcome entrenched patterns of despondency and/or disbelief. For answer-seekers, this is definitely a good start.
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Can You Learn to Be Happy?
YES . . . according to the teacher of Harvard Universitys most popular and life-changing course. One out of every five Harvard students has lined up to hear Tal Ben-Shahars insightful and inspiring lectures on that ever-elusive state: HAPPINESS.
Grounded in the revolutionary positive psychology movement, Ben-Shahar ingeniously combines scientific studies, scholarly research, self-help advice, and spiritual enlightenment. He weaves them together into a set of principles that you can apply to your daily life. Once you open your heart and mind to Happier s thoughts, you will feel more fulfilled, more connected . . . and, yes, HAPPIER.
Dr. Ben-Shahar, one of the most popular teachers in Harvards recent history, has written a personal, informed, and highly enjoyable primer on how to become happier. It would be wise to take his advice.
--Ellen J. Langer, author of Mindfulness and On Becoming an Artist
This fine book shimmers with a rare brand of good sense that is imbedded in scientific knowledge about how to increase happiness. It is easy to see how this is the backbone of the most popular course at Harvard today."
--Martin E. P. Seligman, author of Authentic Happiness