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The How of Happiness

A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want
Narrated by: Sonja Lyubomirsky
Length: 5 hrs and 51 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (378 ratings)

Regular price: $24.50

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Publisher's Summary

You can change your personal capacity for happiness. Research psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky's pioneering concept of the 40% solution shows you how.
©2008 Sonja Lyubomirsky (P)2008 Penguin Audiobooks

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How the web of happiness is weaved

What insight do you think you’ll apply from The How of Happiness?

Being able to find the best even in the horrendous is a practice I carry through my life; but when a truly traumatic event occurs that has bearing over extended periods of time - the dismal can set in and the fact that you can, in fact, find the best in everything becomes blurry. This was a very helpful reminder during a time when I was enduring a majorly traumatic event.

Any additional comments?

Religious individuals will like this book particularly as it is a strong proponent of people possessing some level of faith. I would have liked the author to have compared the success of religious individuals to those who: have large and strong family support, those believing (unfalteringly) in fate (but not god related) and dependents (those possessing a caretaker).

This book is interactive – if you are listening you may have to pause in order to complete evaluations (which are more complicated than yes/no) therefore I would not recommend using this book while in a vehicle in which you would be frustrated to have to pause it.

I promote the reading/listening of this book although, even with the good research that has been done by Dr. Lyubomirsky, it looks like there is a lot that isn’t covered. I recommend reading “The Willpower Instinct” to supplement. Both books are strong proponents of goals (which makes sense) though “The Willpower Instinct” can assist further when it actually comes to pursuit of them. “The How of Happiness” focuses on happiness being derived from the pursuit of goals, not necessarily achieving them while “The Willpower Instinct” aims to assist in the achievement and evolution of goals. Although it isn’t distinctly covered in “The How of Happiness” – the pursuit of goals being better or just as good as achieving them or not probably varies depending on the type of goal. If the goal is to get to Paris, sure…but if the goal is to lose weight/be healthier you might not be deriving a tremendous amount of happiness if you aren’t actually succeeding regarding the steps to this achievement.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Photo Guy
  • Rock Hill, South Carolina, United States
  • 01-21-13

Worth the credit...

Coming from a scientific background and thinking in an analytical way I greatly appreciate all the statistical support for Sonja's work. I enjoy how she throws in personal accounts that further describe her findings by sharing her own doubts and stumblings. Sometimes I thought the 'hows' suggested were a little trite but I did participate in most of her questionnaires and tests with worthy positive results. Who knew?! I love the idea of a happiness set point and proof that 40% of one's happiness can be improved! Very encouraging! Many times I found myself saying "Hmmmm...there's an idea!"

Her narration was wonderful. She has a great voice for this subject matter!

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Great Book - Don't like the voice

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, I already have! It gives a ton of great information about how to live a happier more fulfilling life. I'll be listening to it again.

Any additional comments?

I didn't like the voice reading the book! It made the read a bit boring....

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • San Jose, CA United States
  • 02-21-14

Well worth reading and doing.

Well worth reading and doing. It's hard to say more. The science of positive emotions has been maturing over the years and we're starting to see a lot of great material coming out, like this book, which is helpful and grounded in good research. The research is what distinguishes this from so many self help books, since those are usually based on one's personal experience or maybe on a clinical practice. What we miss there is a clinical practice lacks is a control. That is, is what I'm doing any better than doing nothing at all. I've adopted some of the practices already and am adding them to my teaching.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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practical and inspiring

Sonja Lyubomirsky provides some excellent advice, backed by science, on how to become happier. She both writes and speaks well. I highly recommend this book in both physical and audio format.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Chapter divisions for the audio book are terrible!

Would you try another book from Sonja Lyubomirsky and/or Sonja Lyubomirsky?

good book overall still listening.

Any additional comments?

Yes, but the chapters are not divided properly in the audiobook it is extremely annoying when she is referencing particular chapters to read or return to.

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Chapters are messed up

One star because chapters are messed up

(Besides that book is pretty good I haven’t finished it yet)

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not my favorite

While the idea of a scientific approach to happiness was appealing, some of the facts seemed contradictory to the interpretation presented which left me feeling skeptical and unimpressed at some points. For example, i believe in one section the author was trying to make the point that we have some (40%) control over our own happiness. To support the point, she describes happiness studies done on siblings including identical twins. She states that the biggest determinant of whether one twin will be happy is if the other twin is happy. To me this supports heredity not our own control of our happiness.... things like this and the overall tone of the book (i know nothing about her, stumbled on this book, but she seems like a junior researcher and more frequently than I cared for references studies in her lab...). Three stars though for seemingly well thought out book that hits on what I thought are key points with author that seems to want to help others acheive happiness.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Inspirational for a depressed person.

I like that it has scientific facts to back it up. No more maybe this will or won't work.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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lots and lots of great tips

lots of great tips help me in coping with the loss of my daughter who born on my birthday.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful