The most important thing to say about this book is that it is NOT just another one of those vague, hard-to-believe self-help books that promise the world but deliver only vague platitudes and tall tales. There are a few reasons, in my opinion, why this book is vastly more interesting and readable.
- It actually has a specific focus (becoming happier over 12 months, broken down into one life area per month such as money, family, fun)
- It is based on genuine research about happiness, social attitudes and thinking patterns in different societies and over time and human misunderstanding about what will make us happier
- It contains regular practical ideas about how to achieve personal change, from not eating food at children's parties to going on a 5-day intensive art class
- It is not preachy. In fact I can't remember any direct suggestions to the reader, it was almost entirely about the author's own personal journey and the changes she made.
- Most importantly, the author fails in a number of experimental changes she undertakes, and tells us so. This is entirely different from the unrealistic "I achieved instant success without even trying" kind of nonsense in many low-brow self-help books. It also meant I had a lot more trust in the book as a whole and its author.
This is unlikely to turn anybody into a millionaire supermodel overnight, but for me it has been a great prompt to make small changes to my general approach to problems, to seek out new challenges and to make better use of my time. Ultimately anybody can change their life for the better with a bit of self-reflection about what needs to change and an action plan to make it happen.
Oh, and it was also an enjoyable read!
- Audible Audiobook
- Listening Length: 10 hours and 15 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: HarperAudio
- Audible.com.au Release Date: 29 December 2009
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English, English
- ASIN: B01N2ZU9I7
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,016 in Audible (See Top 100 in Audible)