- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Penguin (1 Jan. 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0141977531
- ISBN-13: 978-0141977539
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.5 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (143 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Happiness by Design: Finding Pleasure and Purpose in Everyday Life Paperback – 1 Jan 2015
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For Dolan, purpose and pleasure are both basic constituents of happiness. This is a bold and original move ... Among the imperfect definitions of happiness, the pleasure-purpose concept that Dolan offers is, I believe, a strong contender. It is a good description of what I wish for my grandchildren: a life that is rich in activities that are both pleasurable and meaningful.
Paul Dolan is an inveterate optimist who has overcome many obstacles on his way to becoming an internationally recognized expert on well-being. The optimism shows on every page of this book. In particular, Paul is optimistic about you, his reader. He believes that you can make your life both pleasurable and meaningful with deliberate choices, about the environment you create for yourself and about the aspects of life that deserve your attention. He offers a great deal of sound advice on how to make these choices and how to follow through with them(Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Laureate)
It tells us what matters to us. Few books change one's life; in 48 hours this has improved mine . . . Anyone who wonders if they are living their lives as fully as they might will find ideas worth thinking about in this engaging, persuasive book (Jenni Russell Sunday Times)
Dolan is especially illuminating when it comes to bigger life-choices . . . Dolan makes a persuasive case that happiness might really be simple. His book is a powerful reminder not to get caught up in overthinking things, but to focus instead on maximising what actually delivers joy . . . and most of us would benefit from listening to him (Oliver Burkeman Guardian)
[Dolan's] discoveries at once confound your expectations and provide an appreciable way of acting on that knowledge . . . full of facts that make you go: "Huh." (Richard Godwin Evening Standard)
Dolan's book is aimed at the lay reader who wants to be more cheerful without recourse to airy-fairy notions of spirituality or philosophy (Rowan Pelling Telegraph)
Outstanding, cutting-edge, and profound. If you're going to read one book on happiness, this is the one (Nassim Nicholas Taleb, bestselling author of The Black Swan and Antifragile)
Happiness by Design is the best kind of psychology book: the ideas are fascinating, understanding them will make your life happier and more meaningful, and Dolan expresses them beautifully. Whether you're a novice or a voracious consumer of happiness research, Happiness by Design hits all the right notes (Adam Alter, bestselling author of Drunk Tank Pink)
Dolan gives a comprehensive overview of the science of happiness and useful tips to achieve it. In his quest to explain what makes us happy, Dolan touches on a powerful idea: happiness need not be pursued, simply rediscovered. In other words, sources of pleasure and purpose are all around us, if only one knows where to look (Scientific American)
Dolan wants...to make us think about life in terms of a balance of pleasure and purpose. Some of us are 'pleasure machines', seeking out short-term gratification without paying close enough attention to our lifelong goals; some of us are 'purpose engines', so determined to get to the destination that we miss the view along the way. Whichever we are, we need to find a bit more of the other. (Archie Bland The Independent)
'Few books change one's life; in 48 hours this has improved mine ... Anyone who wonders if they are living their lives as fully as they might will find ideas worth thinking about in this engaging, persuasive book.' (The Sunday Times)
'Dolan makes a persuasive case that happiness might really be simple. His book is a powerful reminder not to get caught up in overthinking things, but to focus instead on maximising what actually delivers joy ... and most of us would benefit from listening to him.' (The Guardian)
'Outstanding, cutting-edge, and profound. If you're going to read one book on happiness, this is the one.' (Nassim Nicholas Taleb, bestselling author of The Black Swan and Antifragile) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The second part offers some advice about how to put these ideas into practice. Unfortunately (for the reader!) the author has a successful career, a well-balanced life and is naturally a very happy and active person. If you have real problems, many of the ideas will comes across as trivial and patronising, such as "spend more time with people you like", "improve your commute", "spend less time on the internet" and "stop procrastinating". He even goes into his own experiences of owning a high-powered sports car and bodybuilding. Anyone lonely, jobless or ill is liable to be thoroughly depressed by the time they get to the end of that lot!
Well, at least the book got me thinking, but I suspect that the effect of making tweaks to one's life is likely to be short-lived. I recall an experiment in which office workers' morale improved when their lighting was changed... up or down! Of course the morale boost wore off quickly and was likely caused by the novelty factor plus the feeling that someone cared about their wellbeing.Read more ›
And I can imagine some people really enjoying this book. To do so, though, requires you to be fairly analytical in nature and happy to wade through a lot of chaff to find the wheat.
The likes of Dan Ariely, Malcolm Gladwell and Daniel Kahneman (who the author has worked with and who supplies a cover quote) have made psychology 'cool' in recent years, without necessarily dumbing down or ignoring the science bit.
And there's no way you could accuse Paul Dolan of dumbing down. Far from it.
And this is the book's main failing. It is so overloaded with science and data that it's far too tough going.
Added to that, the writing style is simply not engaging enough to propel this into top-seller status.
I'm sure Paul Dolan is a first-class scientist and I possibly don't have the intellectual rigour to truly do this material justice, but he's not a compelling enough writer which is why I can't rate the book any higher.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Utterly predictable. We make our own happiness; we need relationships; a walk outside will do you good. Read morePublished 1 month ago by C. A. Austin
This book is very insightful, providing a simple model and framework when looking further into the complexity of what happiness really is. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Couldn't recommend this book any higher for anyone who wants an original and intellectual insight on improving their happiness aka pleasure and purpose in life! Read morePublished 8 months ago by Joe Maguire
Well researched book and thought provoking. Has a lot of valid points.Published 14 months ago by Shriya
Not good as expected, the literature is very uncommon and lack of direct which confuses nonnative-english-speaker readers. Although the message is clear, it isn't organised well. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
Book is fine, in good condition. Looking forward to reading it.Published 15 months ago by Anne Mc Donnell