While happiness is something that everyone wants, there’s rarely much time to think about what it is or where to get it. Happily, there’s no need to journey to a mountaintop village to find it.
In recent years a science of happiness has developed that offers new insights into what happiness is and why some people seem to have it despite their circumstances and why others don’t. If you’re looking for your fair share, here are three good places to start.
10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge and Found Self-Help That Actually Works – A True Story, by Dan Harris
If that title doesn’t make you want to get a copy of this book right away, then either you’re already very happy or happiness is not at the top of your list at the moment. Regardless of what the voice in your head is saying, you will find this book and the story behind it well worth reading.
Here’s an excerpt from Amazon’s book description:
“We all have a voice in our head. It’s what has us losing our temper unnecessarily, checking our email compulsively, eating when we’re not hungry and fixating on the past and future at the expense of the present. Most of us would assume we’re stuck with this voice – that there’s nothing we can do to rein it in – but Harris stumbled upon an effective way to do just that.
…10% Happier takes readers on a ride from the outer reaches of neuroscience to the inner sanctum of network news to the bizarre fringes of American’s spiritual scene and leaves them with a takeaway that could actually change their lives.”
To purchase, click here.
The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance At Work by Shawn Achor
The conclusions in The Happiness Advantage about how happiness works are based on more than a decade’s research in psychology, neuroscience and management studies. Most people believe that happiness will come when they achieve success, or reach personal or financial goals. If I get this or that, then I’ll be happy. The thesis of this book is that the formula is actually backward. It’s a happy mindset that fuels success, not the other way around. Research shows that when we are positive, we become more engaged, creative, motivated, energetic, resilient and productive.
For an enlightening step on your road to happiness, check out “The Happiness Advantage” Ted talk video on You Tube. Perhaps you already have, along with 591,235 other people who have tuned-in since it was first posted. Shawn Achor makes sense and whether you read him or watch him, he’s entertaining and engaging, as is evidenced by the more than a dozen teaching awards he’s received at Harvard University.
To purchase “The Happiness Advantage” click here.
The Happiness Advantage Ted Talk by Shawn Achor
Before Happiness: The 5 Hidden Keys to Achieving Success, Spreading Happiness and Sustaining Positive Change by Shawn Achor
In The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor describes why happiness is the precursor to greater success. Before Happiness is about what comes before both. Before we can be happy or successful, we need to first develop the ability to see that positive change is possible. Only once we learn to see the world through a more positive lens can we summon all our motivation, emotion, and intelligence to achieve our personal and professional goals.
If all of this is not too much happiness for you, here are some further readings that will bring a smile to your face, or at least help get you through the day.
Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert
The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sind in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle and Generally Have More Fun, by Gretchen Rubin (To purchase, click here.)
Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm and Confidence by Rick Hanson (To purchase, click here.)
The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, by Jonathan Haidt (To purchase, click here.)