Are you happy? Are the people in your closest circles happy? Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar reveals that in the question itself lies our problem with happiness. It turns out that there is no final destination called happiness, and if we expect to reach such a goal, we will spend our lives in constant disappointment because we have not yet achieved the desired goal of a happy life. Each and every one of us derives happiness from different things and the path to a happy life is therefore personal and spans a lifetime. In fact, the right question is: What can you do today to be happier? It turns out that a lot can be done.
For years, positive psychology was a speculative field that was practiced by self-taught experts and various “gurus”, but in recent decades the study of happiness has developed as a special branch of social psychology and has accumulated a lot of surprising and encouraging knowledge about the ability/skill to live a happy life. The book shows that not only can the happiness level of each of us be improved on an immediate level, but that the most effective exercises are available to everyone and are almost trivial in their simplicity. Persistence in physical activity, gratitude every night, or creating a wish board are some of the methods that the author proposes, accompanied by detailed explanations and extensive research support.
Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar’s course on positive psychology – on which the book is based – started with eight students and became the most sought-after course at Harvard, and at its peak trained more than a third of the prestigious institution’s graduate class annually. The three parts of the book (What is happiness?, happiness at work, school and relationships, and reflections on happiness) are structured in the format of a work notebook, so that at the end of each chapter you will find practical exercises that will allow you to begin to implement the lessons of the chapter as early as this evening, in addition the author has embedded momentary “timeouts” throughout the book to help the reader listen to his inner voice and direct to his personal goals.
Beyond the personal benefit that will accrue to each and every one of us from reading the book, it seems to me that there is a delicate balance here between dealing with lofty goals such as happiness and personal well-being and measured pragmatism that makes it possible to equip the people we accompany with practical advice to improve their lives and make it easier to cope with the economic recovery process.