A leading expert on health psychology, well-being, and resilience argues that happiness is the key to fast tracking our professional and personal success.
Everyone wants to be happy and successful. And yet the pursuit of both has never been more elusive. As work and personal demands rise, we try to keep up by juggling everything better, moving faster, and doing more. While we might succeed in the short term, it comes at a cost to our well-being, our relationships, and, paradoxically, our productivity.
In The Happiness Track, Emma Seppala, the science director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University, explains that our inability to achieve sustainable fulfillment is tied to common but outdated notions about success. We are taught that getting ahead means doing everything that's thrown at us (and then some) with razor-sharp focus and iron discipline; that success depends on our drive and talents; and that achievement cannot happen without stress.
The Happiness Track demolishes these counterproductive theories. Drawing on the latest findings from the fields of cognitive psychology and neuroscience - research on happiness, resilience, willpower, compassion, positive stress, creativity, and mindfulness - Seppala shows that finding happiness and fulfillment may, in fact, be the most productive thing we can do to thrive professionally. Filled with practical advice on how to apply these scientific findings to our daily lives, The Happiness Track is a life-changing guide to fast tracking our success and creating the anxiety-free lives we want.
©2016 Emma Seppala (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers
The field of positive psychology can seem a bit airy-fairy unless it's backed up with science and filled with practical advice. This is an excellent book for readers in the field just starting or intermediates. A lot of material on success and mindsets also worth noting.
"Does the book contain references?"
I enjoyed it. It was light reading - listening, really. I was surprised when it ended at chapter 7. I thought I was, at best, halfway through.
Meditation, counter-culture, and many likewise and interrelated topics that were highlighted and skimmed in this book have been a long interest of mine. So, this book felt like the Reader's Digest version of that.
Not horrible, not bad, but I'm glad I got it as part of my audible trial. I don't feel it's worth $16. (I recall that being the price.) Maybe $5. I could see it being $16 in paperback, if the references to the frequently-stated "research shows" were included, since I would like to see that research and go in further depth. I can't with an audio book.
Overall, it's very good light reading. It's almost like listening to a novel. But I'm, at the end, left feeling like I'm leaving the book mostly empty-handed. Don't get me wrong - the overall attitude and advise were invaluable, reminding me to not be so hard on myself, but application and science are not the strong suit of this book. not the audible version, at least.
"Lots of Chicken soup"
Good overall but not for the seasoned veteran. More elementary with a broad range of coverage and not a great deal of depth in any one area. Narration felt a little pollyannish as well.
"Condescending and uninspiring"
I've listened to a few self-improvement books before and overall, this one hasn't floored me with any of its scientific "break-throughs". Most of this information I've already heard in some form or another in other books, such as the benefits of meditation (not breaking news whatsoever). Plus whoever read this book has the most condescending voice I've ever heard, especially when she explains some of the exercises in this book as "so easy because you already have all the tools you need to complete them: your mind" (not a direct quote, but something along those lines). I can't even finish this book it's so annoying. Hopefully Audible will let me return it.
Ugh, overly saccharine and condescending.
Great overall book reviewing the broader strokes of positive psychology. EXCEPT the way the author presents chapter 5, she appears to not understand the difference between Clifton's strengths and Dweck's mindset. The author really does seem to mean a fixed mindset when she writes about the associated dangers, but used the word "strengths" instead of trait or ability. This makes chapter 5 a pretty dangerous misdirection. If you have studied and get the difference, then you'll probably enjoy the rest.
"Thought Provoking, Scientific and Relevant!"
Near the top for this category.
Examples range from CEO's, Nobel prize winners, congressman, and humanitarians. Stories involving military veterans are particularly engrossing.
She has an authoritative voice, that adds concreteness to the scientific nature of the text, but also fits naturally with the lighter and more entertaining parts.
Where to start, each chapter has practical tips and suggestions for living a more happy and successful life. Overall, the idea that success comes from happiness and not the other way around was profound. Also, that sacrificing short term happiness for perceived long-term success, is an endless unfulfilling cycle. This book gives you a way out of that cycle to enjoy what you have now.
This book is for anyone who consistently says there aren't enough hours in the day, anyone who is pursuing or in high-stress jobs or industries, consulting, investment banking, military etc. Honestly, everyone who reads this is likely to benefit and discover a happier and more successful way of life, and everyone should!
Refreshing in a seeming business environment of success or die. The book was an intellectual retreat every business professional should take periodically to touch their humanity.
"Clap your hands"
How can you not feel uplifted when you read a book about happiness? There is so much great, data backed research in here that shows the benefits of focusing on happiness.
A must read for every leader!
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