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Last Updated on November 9, 2020

13 Best Happiness Books For Living A Happier Life

13 Best Happiness Books For Living A Happier Life

One of the most incredible things about happiness is that many people are still searching for it despite there being a wealth of knowledge on the subject. In fact, one of the large portions of self-improvement books could easily be devoted to happiness books—books about being happier and living a happier life.

While that could be a testament to how many of the books aren’t that helpful, there are definitely some diamonds underneath all of these books. Below I’ve sifted through the numerous happiness books and put together a list of books that are popular and cover this topic in the best way possible.

Before getting to this list of happiness books, here are the criteria that we’ve used to sift through the numerous books on happiness.

  • Perspective – Because there are so many happiness books to pick from, perspective is one of the most valuable pieces here. Every person’s views of happiness and living a happier life vary, so it’s vital to find books that are outliers to traditional positivity books and blogs. This list will offer unique perspectives from many different people.
  • Realistic Thinking – When people think about happiness or happy life, one of the first things to come to mind is visions of large houses or fancy cars. This way of thinking is old as many of the more prominent happiness books focus on a meaningful existence. A good way to think about this is that a good happiness book will get you to think realistically.
  • Explorative – A happiness book will get you to look deeper at yourself and your way of thinking. It shouldn’t shy you away from that possibility or distract you with something else.

1. 10% Happier

    One method that many people suggest when looking for happiness is meditation. Many people have sung praises about how meditation has changed their lives, and it is the one habit they encourage other people to do.

    While meditation is great, many people still don’t quite understand it or can’t wrap their heads around it. This is where this book comes in. Dan Harris’s 10% Happier is an excellent book that provides a unique take on meditation. Instead of focusing on what many other bloggers have tried to explain in posts, Harris talks about meditation in a unique way.

    Buy 10% Happier here.

    2. The Happiness Project

      One of the best happiness books you can pick up is this New York Times bestseller. It definitely deserves it as the author, Gretchen Rubin, spent an entire year of her life testing out various theories on what it means to improve your happiness.

      Based on the year-long results, she begins to record her findings in this book to show what actually works and what doesn’t. It’s remarkable because when it comes to advice, we know there is a lot out there to sift through. And while Rubin isn’t going to be able to cover all of it, her insights may help you in finding more happiness in your own life.

      Buy The Happiness Project here.

      3. Thrive

        Arianna Huffington, the owner of The Huffington Post, is a remarkable woman when you look at what she’s had to go through. In her book, Thrive, she shares her own medical and emotional crisis that pushed her to make a massive change in her own life.

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        Oftentimes, to be happier, it’s important to handle problems constructively. Whether you are in a rut or not in your life, there are definitely some problems that are nagging at you. This book could provide you with a new perspective on those problems and help you thrive.

        Buy Thrive here.

        4. Present Over Perfect

          There are many blockades to people’s happiness, of course, but more often than not, they’re barriers that we place ourselves. One of the most common ones is perfectionist tendencies. Sometimes, you won’t make a move unless you are guaranteed to succeed. Or maybe, you spend too much time working on something to ensure it’s perfect in your own eyes.

          These tendencies can get in the way a lot of the time and Shauna Niequist is all too familiar with it. It’s why she wrote this book. She had these perfectionist tendencies like many of us, and she spends a lot of time helping those in this situation live in a completely new way.

          Of course, it’s not easy. As Niequist explains, the change requires courage, simplifying your life, and saying no to a lot of things. But through this book, the process can help you get in touch with your own self and mitigate these tendencies from your life, too.

          Buy Present Over Perfect here.

          5. The Art of Happiness

            Published in 2009, this book was written by Dr. Cutler based on the interviews that he conducted with His Holiness the Dalai Lama—arguably the happiest and most loved individual in the world.

            The interviews Dr. Cutler did back then lasted an entire week, and the two talked about the Dalai Lama’s personal sense of peace and happiness in the book. Through these interviews, the goal of this book is to help readers reach that same level—or get some new perspective on happiness.

            On top of that, Dr. Cutler puts forward his own science-based views along with the Dalai Lama’s teachings, providing a fresh insight into what it means to be happy.

            Buy The Art of Happiness here.

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            6. Authentic Happiness

              Written by Martin Seligman in 2004, this book is still relevant to the matter of living a life with more happiness. Seligman is a psychologist and best-selling author who puts forward the idea that happiness is not a result of having the right genes or having to be lucky to achieve happiness.

              According to Seligman, true and enduring happiness stems from paying attention to your own strengths rather than your perceived weaknesses. While that sort of advice is thrown around a lot—don’t focus on the bad, but the good—this book goes beyond stating the obvious and provides practical advice that is backed by psychological research.

              Through the book, Seligman shares 24 strengths and virtues that form our own psyche. He then explains how to identify the ones that each person has and how to leverage them in every area of your life. By doing this, you can find yourself living happier and more authentic happiness.

              Buy Authentic Happiness here.

              7. Stumbling on Happiness

                Written by Professor Daniel Gilbert, this is a happiness book that is both interesting and funny to read. The main focus of this book is based on the fact most of us don’t really know how to make ourselves happy.

                For his research, he pulls from various fields of psychology, neuroscience, economics, and philosophy to explain why that’s the case and how we can stumble on our happiness through that information. He also explores other areas in this book that not many other happiness books will look into—human motivation.

                Buy Stumbling on Happiness here.

                8. The Happiness Trap

                  Dr. Russ Harris has a medical background with a major focus on stress management. He trains coaches, psychologists, doctors, and many other health professionals around the idea of mindfulness. Based on his own experiences, Dr. Harriss released this book in 2013.

                  In this easy-to-read self-help book, he provides practical and empowering methods to happiness in the form of ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy). In fact, ACT has been adopted as an approach to psychotherapy and has been getting plenty of research done on its effectiveness.

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                  Beyond that, Dr. Harris explains the various myths and popular ideas around happiness and suggests that these are all misleading and inaccurate. He goes as far as saying those ideas and myths actually cause more stress, anxiety, and depression.

                  Buy The Happiness Trap here.

                  9. The Happiness Advantage

                    A lecturer at Harvard University and co-designer of Harvard’s ‘Happiness’ course, Shawn Achor reveals 7 core principles of positive psychology based on the largest studies of happiness and human potential ever—surveying over 1600 students.

                    Because the sample size is so large, it’s easy to see this book as a practical guide on legitimate ways to become happier.

                    Buy The Happiness Advantage here.

                    10. Happiness Is an Inside Job

                      Written by Sylvia Boorstein, Ph.D., this book starts with two key questions:

                      • How is it possible to remain engaged with life day after day?
                      • How can we keep our minds in a happy mood and continue loving when life itself is complicated, challenging, and frequently disappointing?

                      Based on those two questions alone, you can tell this is an inspiring book that provides detailed advice and offers plenty of wisdom. Boorstein explores that despite all of the odds being against us, we can still find our own sense of happiness. This book is also based on over three decades of her work and offers sound advice on how we can live happier lives.

                      Buy Happiness Is an Inside Job here.

                      11. The Happiness Hypothesis

                        Written by another psychology teacher, this book is the first one written by Jonathan Haidt that’s available for a general audience. This book is particularly interesting in that it draws inspiration from both science and philosophy.

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                        What the book aims to do is connect old ways of thinking to current beliefs and how that can impact our own happiness. For example, messages like “what doesn’t kill you make you stronger” or “happiness comes from within” could’ve been passed down from family member to family member.

                        The thing is, we often don’t question those truisms and we cling to those things among other ways of thinking. Examples are when we will feel truly happy if we earn more money, find our true love, or achieve some kind of big success. This book looks at all of this traditional wisdom and adds modern science to it in a unique way.

                        Buy The Happiness Hypothesis here.

                        12. The Happiness Equation

                          Awarded an MBA from Harvard, Neil Pasricha is a prominent TED presenter and founded the Institute for Global Happiness. In this book, he reveals nine secrets of happiness and shows readers that to have everything you want in life, you should want nothing and do anything to achieve it.

                          There is a lot of controversy surrounding this book for its counterintuitive way of thinking. However, it is refreshing to see a book that takes common ideals and presents them in a completely different light. All the while, the book provides good humor and wise practical advice along with it.

                          Buy The Happiness Equation here.

                          13. The Happiness Factor

                            The final book to cover is The Happiness Factor. Published in 2008, Kirk Wilkinson offers practical advice that is still relevant to this day.

                            For example, on page 33, Wilkinson writes, “Change the way you look at things… and the things you look at change.”

                            This quote alone provides some perspective on what this book has to offer—a perspective on how you can cope with adversity and overcome it to figure out true and lasting happiness. This book goes to great length to show us that we’re not all defined by the circumstances or problems that we face.

                            Buy The Happiness Factor here.

                            Final Thoughts

                            Despite the glut of happiness books available for reading, there are all kinds of unique perspectives on what it means to be happy. Many of these books will get you thinking more about what it means to be happy while providing sound advice to guide you through your own sort of issues. By doing that, perhaps you’ll find yourself getting closer to living a happier and more fulfilling life.

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                            Featured photo credit: Josh Felise via unsplash.com

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                            Last Updated on November 26, 2020

                            How Relationships Building Helps Achieve Career Success

                            How Relationships Building Helps Achieve Career Success

                            As playwright Wilson Mizner supposedly said all the way back in the 1930s,

                            “Be kind to everyone on the way up; you will meet the same people on the way down.”

                            The adage is the perfect prototype for relationship building in 2020, although we may want to expand Mizner’s definition of “kind” to include being helpful, respectful, grateful, and above all, crediting your colleagues along the way.

                            5 Ways to Switch on Your Relationship Building Magnetism

                            Relationship building does not come easily to all. Today’s computer culture makes us more insular and less likely to reach out—not to mention our new work-from-home situation in which we are only able to interact virtually. Still, relationship building remains an important part of career engagement and success, and it gets better with practice.

                            Here are five ways you can strengthen your relationships:

                            1. Advocate for Other’s Ideas

                            Take the initiative to speak up in support of other team members’ good ideas. Doing so lets others know that the team’s success takes precedence over your needs for personal success. Get behind any colleague’s innovative approach or clever solution and offer whatever help you can give to see it through. Teammates will value your vote of confidence and your support.

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                            2. Show Compassion

                            If you learn that someone whom you work with has encountered difficult times, reach out. If it’s not someone you know well, a hand-written card expressing your sympathy and hopes for better times ahead could be an initial gesture. If it’s someone with whom you interact regularly, the act could involve offering to take on some of the person’s work to provide a needed reprieve or even bringing in a home-cooked dish as a way to offer comfort. The show of compassion will not go unnoticed, and your relationship building will have found a foothold.

                            3. Communicate Regularly

                            Make an effort to share any information with team members that will help them do their jobs more effectively. Keeping people in the loop says a lot about your consideration for what others need to deliver their best results.

                            Try to discover the preferred mode of communication for each team member. Some people are fine relying on emails; others like to have a phone conversation. And once we can finally return to working together in offices, you may determine that face-to-face updates may be most advantageous for some members.

                            4. Ask for Feedback

                            Showing your willingness to reach out for advice and guidance will make a positive impression on your boss. When you make it clear that you welcome and can accept pointers, you display candor and trust in what opinions your superior has to offer. Your proclivity towards considering ways of improving your performance and strengthening any working interactions will signal your strong relationship skills.

                            If you are in a work environment where you are asked to give feedback, be generous and compassionate. That does not mean being wishy-washy. Try always to give the type of feedback that you wouldn’t mind receiving.

                            5. Give Credit Where It’s Due

                            Be the worker who remembers to credit staffers with their contributions. It’s a surprisingly rare talent to credit others, but when you do so, they will remember to credit you, and the collective credit your team will accrue will be well worth the effort.

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                            How Does Relationship Building Build Careers?

                            Once you have strengthened and deepened your relationships, here are some of the great benefits:

                            Work Doesn’t Feel So Much Like Work

                            According to a Gallup poll, when you have a best friend at work, you are more likely to feel engaged with your job. Work is more fun when you have positive, productive relationships with your colleagues. Instead of spending time and energy overcoming difficult personalities, you can spend time enjoying the camaraderie with colleagues as you work congenially on projects together. When your coworkers are your friends, time goes by quickly and challenges don’t weigh as heavily.

                            You Can Find Good Help

                            It’s easier to ask for assistance when you have a good working relationship with a colleague. And with office tasks changing at the speed of technology, chances are that you are going to need some help acclimating—especially now that work has gone remote due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

                            Much of relationship building rests on your genuine expressions of appreciation toward others. Showing gratitude for another’s help or for their willingness to put in the extra effort will let them know you value them.

                            Mentors Come Out of the Woodwork

                            Mentors are proven to advance your professional and career development. A mentor can help you navigate how to approach your work and keep you apprised of industry trends. They have a plethora of experience to draw from that can be invaluable when advising you on achieving career success and advancement.

                            Mentors flock to those who are skilled at relationship building. So, work on your relationships and keep your eyes peeled for a worthy mentor.

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                            You Pull Together as a Team

                            Great teamwork starts with having an “abundance mentality” rather than a scarcity mentality. Too often, workers view all projects through a scarcity mentality lens. This leads to office strife as coworkers compete for their piece of the pie. But in an abundance mentality mode, you focus on the strengths that others bring rather than the possibility that they are potential competitors.

                            Instead, you can commit relationship building efforts to ensure a positive work environment rather than an adversarial one. When you let others know that you intend to support their efforts and contribute to their success, they will respond in kind. Go, team!

                            Your Network Expands and So Does Your Paycheck

                            Expand your relationship building scope beyond your coworkers to include customers, suppliers, and other industry stakeholders. Your extra efforts can lead to extra sales, a more rewarding career, and even speedy professional advancement. And don’t overlook the importance of building warm relationships with assistants, receptionists, or even interns.

                            Take care to build bridges, not just to your boss and your boss’s boss but with those that work under you as well. You may find that someone who you wouldn’t expect will put in a good word for you with your supervisor.

                            Building and maintaining good working relationships with everyone you come in contact with can pay off in unforeseen ways. You never know when that underling will turn out to be the company’s “golden child.” Six years from now you may be turning to them for a job. If you have built up a good, trusting work relationship with others along your way, you will more likely be considered for positions that any of these people may be looking to fill.

                            Your Job Won’t Stress You Out

                            Study shows that some 83 percent of American workers experience work-related stress.[1] Granted, some of that stress is now likely caused by the new pandemic-triggered workplace adjustments, yet bosses and management, in general, are reportedly the predominant source of stress for more than one-third of workers.

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                            Having meaningful connections among coworkers is the best way to make work less stressful. Whether it is having others whom to commiserate with, bounce ideas off, or bring out your best performance, friendships strengthen the group’s esprit de corps and lower the stress level of your job.

                            Your Career Shines Bright

                            Who would you feel better about approaching to provide a recommendation or ask for promotion: a cold, aloof boss with whom you have only an impersonal relationship or one that knows you as a person and with whom you have built a warm, trusting relationship?

                            Your career advancement will always excel when you have a mutual bond of friendship and appreciation with those who can recommend you. Consider the plug you could receive from a supervisor who knows you as a friend versus one who remains detached and only notices you in terms of your ability to meet deadlines or attain goals.

                            When people fully know your skills, strengths, personality, and aspirations, you have promoters who will sing your praises with any opportunity for advancement.

                            Final Thoughts

                            At the end of the day, it is “who you know” not “what you know.” When you build relationships, you build a pipeline of colleagues, work partners, team members, current bosses, and former bosses who want to help you—who want to see you succeed.

                            At its core, every business is a people business. Making a point to take the small but meaningful actions that build the foundation of a good relationship can be instrumental in cultivating better relationships at work.

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                            Featured photo credit: Adam Winger via unsplash.com

                            Reference

                            [1] The American Institute of Stress: 42 Worrying Workplace Stress Statistics

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