words by Sandra Shih Tonkinson
The pursuit of happiness is a cross-cultural and cross-temporal quest that transcends religion, politics, gender, race, and age.
We simply all want to be happy.
Like Aristotle said, “happiness is the meaning and purpose, the whole aim and end of human existence”.
Here are 6 books to get you started.
The Psychology of Optimal Experience
Mihaly coined the concept of flow – the state where skill matches challenge and we enter a timeless, effortless, selfless state of mind.
His research has found the happiness that is engendered from flow is deep and being in flow builds “psychological capital”. Find out about the nine factors to get more flow in your life.
The Happiness Project
Over a span of one year, Gretchen tried to “sing in the morning, clean my closets, fight right, read Aristotle, and generally have more fun.”
The book documents her personal journey to bring happiness into every aspect of her life. She weaves in scientific studies with her own results and comes out even more connected to who she is and I daresay, happier.
Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfilment
Martin turned to Positive Psychology when he saw that traditional psychology focused on what’s illness, but not on getting into states of uplift. In this book, he brings in different aspects of happiness and going beyond positive emotion.
Start with Why
How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
Not strictly a happiness book but knowing the why of all that you do is key to fulfilment. In understanding your why, you can align your business and business relationships. Happiness at work is a key element in our overall well-being. This book reminds businesses the importance of coming from your why and the rest flows.
The Secret Hawaiian System for Wealth, Health, Peace, and More
The secret is of course Ho’oponopono and the author takes us on his journey of discovery and transformation. This is the practice as modified and taught by Dr Hew Len. While he was the appointed clinical psychologist at the Hawaii State Hospital’s ward for mentally ill criminals, Dr Hew Len transformed the place, staff and inmates.
Happiness is an Inside Job
Practicing for a Joyful Life
The reader is led through an overview of Buddhist principles, such as Wise Effort, Wise Mindfulness, and Wise Concentration. Through personal stories and experiences, Sylvia shows how to remain calm and content in daily life. In walking the middle path, we can learn to be aware of distractions and disturbances but then come back to the centre, the balanced state of being.
Stumbling on Happiness
The Happiness Hypothesis
The Art of Happiness
Dalai Lama XIV
What Happy People Know
How to Be Happy Dammit
A Cynic’s Guide to Spiritual Happiness