9 Books to Inspire Happiness
We have a small library in our office where we go when looking for inspiration, specific knowledge and ideas about how to have a better life. We have many books about happiness, and these are our favorite ones:
1. The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom
By Jonathan Haidt
This book brings back theories stated by those such as Jesus, Plato, Buddha, and others. Haidt takes these historic ideologies and applies modern psychology to determine which philosophies are still relevant today. An interesting book that can allows us to learn from the past.
2. Happiness Is a Serious Problem: A Human Nature Repair Manual
By Dennis Prager
Prager states that happiness is a problem because of human nature itself. Because of human nature, happiness can actually be difficult to achieve. However, it’s not impossible as long as people are willing to put in the work. This book explains why it can be so difficult to be happy and why certain natural ideologies make us so unhappy, and he explains how to overcome these. Understanding the root of our unhappiness is the first step towards improving
3. The Happiness Makeover: How to Teach Yourself to Be Happy and Enjoy Every Day
By M.J. Ryan
It is possible to teach yourself to be happy, and this doesn’t come from earning more money or obtaining more material items. Ryan explains how to find and truly feel happiness in order to experience life in a better light. She draws from her own personal experience of finding happiness along with psychological knowledge on the topic. This book is filled with inspiration, quotes, stories, and information on achieving happiness.
4. The Art of Happiness
By the Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler
Happiness is based on perception. If you perceive things negatively you won’t be as happy and vice versa. Having a more positive outlook can alter your perception. This is based on the fact that happiness is driven from within. It can’t be achieved through material possessions or external conditions. It’s achieved internally once the basic needs of life are met.
5. Being Happy: You Don’t Have to Be Perfect to Lead a Richer, Happier Life
By Tal Ben-Shahar
Bestselling author Tal Ben-Shahar has done it again. In Being Happy (originally published in hardcover as The Pursuit of Perfect, 978-0-07160882-4), he gives you not only you the theory but also the tools to help you learn how to accept life as it actually is instead of what you think it should be. By using the science of positive psychology along with acceptance, Ben-Shahar shows you how to escape the rat race and begin living a life of serenity, happiness, and fulfillment.
With the same technique that made Happier such a great success, Being Happy shows you how to let go of unrealistic expectations and truly accept your emotions for a more serene life.
6. Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill
By Matthieu Ricard
Ricard was once a molecular biologist, but now he is a Buddhist Monk. He explains that, even though people today have more money and material possessions than they have had in the past, they are no happier. Happiness doesn’t come from these things. He explains it’s more of a skill than an emotion that can be practiced and learned. There are exercises that can be done to develop a better outlook on the world and pursuing happiness.
7. The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun
By Gretchen Rubin
One day, Rubin had a realization. She wasn’t focusing on the right things, and life is too short for that. So, she decided to spend a year of her life on “The Happiness Project”. This book describes the event that took place throughout that year as she tested historic ideologies, scientific research, and current popular culture beliefs. After this year-long adventure, she shares her own personal realizations on obtaining happiness.
8. The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work
By Shawn Achor
We are told that IF we work hard and successful, THEN we will be happy; IF we lose weight, THEN we will be happy. Happiness is always the latter on the If/Then theory. This is actually backwards! If we are happy first, we are more motivated to work harder and achieve our goals. He discusses several principles on how to achieve happiness to overall have a better life.
9. Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment
By Martin E.P. Seligman
Seligman uses positive psychology to state that true happiness stems from focusing on your strengths and what you’re naturally good at. Instead of improving your weakness to become a better person, you should develop your strengths to become the best version of yourself! Doing what you do best every day will naturally lead you to being a happier individual.
Do you have any other favourite book about happiness? Please share it in the guest comments!