Book Report – Happier by Tal Ben Shahar, Ph.D.

I was a little bit afraid that this book would end up as an “easy-fix, self-help book”, but I must say this book is very successful at explaining how we need more than instant gratification in order to be happy. The author, Dr. Tal Ben Shahar, believes that happiness is a skill that we all can develop no matter how happy we are.

Dr. Shahar also explains how we are “programmed”, from early years, to just work from hard to harder in order to achieve our goals. Since our early school years, we start confusing happiness with the relief that we feel at the end of a stressful situation. When we stress ourselves out over deadlines and exams, and focus on achieving top grades, we completely oversee our learning journey. We don’t find joy in learning; we are just relieved out of our stress.

Among other topics, this book is excellent in explaining how you should learn to live for today and for tomorrow, simultaneously; explaining how this is the answer to a happier life. The author argues that happiness is not and end state, but rather something you work throughout your life.

I believe this book can guide us to some positive changes. I do agree completely with Dr. Shahar that our happiness should not depend on how well or fast we finish any task, as long as we learn valuable lessons. After all, I am a true believer that happiness is learned and once you have conquered that state, you take it with you for the rest of your journey in this life.

I do recommend this book. Happier is a book that is easy to read, and offers useful information about how we can change our perspective in what we do, and how we do it. At the very least, this is an enjoyable read.

“The calmness has to be inside. If you’re happy, that happiness is transportable-you take it with you wherever you go. Not that the external isn’t significant, but it doesn’t make us happy”

  • From the book Happier