By Mayur Mahajan
“The more you read, the more things you know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Dr Seuss said.
Here are just a few books that span everything from sparking your creative life, to finding peace in your home through cleaning, advice columns for everyday blunders, and more. Hopefully you’ll find one that’s just the right fit for what you need. I’m betting you will.
French scientist-turned-Buddhist-monk Mathieu Ricard is one of our greatest intellectual heroes. In Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill, he distills 25 centuries of Buddhist spiritual tradition alongside bleeding-edge neuroscience and the most compelling findings of Western cognitive psychology — an intelligent and refreshing vision for fusing the life of the mind and the life of the heart into a path of genuine psych emotional fulfilment.
2. The Art of Happiness
The Art of Happiness, a landmark articulation of the philosophy of peace and compassion as a foundation of happiness by Gyatso, His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, has served as a powerful guide to well-being for secular and spiritual happiness seekers alike for the past twelve years.
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” – His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama
The Art of Happiness captures with eloquent simplicity the most important point of all: Happiness, like any art, requires diligent study and disciplined practice.
3. The Happiness Hypothesis
In The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, psychology professor Jonathan Haidt unearths ten great theories of happiness discovered by the thinkers of the past, from Plato to Jesus to Buddha, to reveal a surprising abundance of common tangents.
Human rationality depends critically on sophisticated emotionality. It is only because our emotional brains work so well that our reasoning can work at all.
4. Stumbling upon Happiness
Nearly four years ago, Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert published Stumbling On Happiness. To this day, it remains the best-researched yet captivatingly digestible book on the art and science of happiness, exposing with equal parts wit and scientific rigor the many misconceptions we have about happiness, the tricks our minds play on us in its pursuit and how the limitations of our imagination get in the way of the grand quest.
5. The Gifts of Imperfections
Berne Brown is no ordinary sociologist. She calls herself, quite accurately, a “researcher-storyteller” and her seminal research on vulnerability, shame and empathy has brought about a whole new understanding of an intricate dimension of human authenticity and worth: Something she calls “wholeheartedness.” Her most recent book, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, isn’t the self-help bible the title may mislead you to expect. Rather, it’s a treasure trove of insight on emotional health and psychological balance, rooted in a decade’s worth of rigorous research but delivered in a deeply human way.
6. Authentic Happiness
Back in the day, we had the pleasure of studying under Dr. Martin Seligman, father of the thriving positive psychology movement — a potent antidote to the traditional “disease model” of psychology, which focuses on how to relieve suffering rather than how to amplify well-being. Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfilment offers a toolkit for harnessing our core strengths to make everyday interactions more fulfilling, complete with a range of assessment tools and self-tests rooted in cognitive science and behavioural psychology research.