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What Happy People Know: You're Only 6 Steps Away From Happiness Paperback – 6 May 2003

4.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Element; First Edition edition (6 May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007163169
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007163168
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15.4 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 573,887 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Back Cover

'Everyone wants to be happy, yet time and again fear, depression, boredom, and grief plague our lives.'

'What Happy People Know' is a major new work that clearly explains the barriers to happiness that we construct ourselves every day. Fear is the number-one problem – an automatic fear response ensured our survival in primitive times but this same instinct is destructive to our happiness today.

In his extensive counseling work with unhappy people over many years, Dr Dan Baker realized that when we are feeling appreciative of life and people around us, it is impossible to feel the fear response that makes you unhappy. The other major barriers to happiness that he identified are the 'happiness traps', including: status seeking, couch potato living, pessimism and perfectionism, all of which make us lose sight of what we want, and what really makes us happy.

He was able to pinpoint the key things that happy people know and in doing so, developed six unique 'happiness tools' that we can use in our daily lives:

'
• Appreciating what we have
• Making choices
• Building personal power
• Leading with our strengths
• Telling healthy stories about our lives
• Living a balanced life
'

'BY USING THESE SIMPLE – YET AMAZING – TOOLS, WE CAN ALL KNOW WHAT HAPPY PEOPLE KNOW.'

About the Author

Dr. Dan Baker is director of the Life Enhancement Program at the Canyon Ranch, a position he has held for 15 years. He was one of the first doctors to hold a diploma in medical psychology. He is an active leader in the positive psychology movement.

Cameron Stauth is a highly talented and best-selling health writer. He is the author of 14 books.


Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book fully fits in the current positive psychology movement, of which I consider emotional intelligence to be a part, too. The authors explain how many people tend to make themselves unhappy, by having the wrong expectations from life and by looking for happiness in the wrong places.
Reading this book should help you change your minds and figure out why you must stop running those unhappiness patterns. The book is illustrated with numerous examples of how Dan baker helped his patients achieve this and at the end of the book you get an “action plan”, which is unfortunately only an overview table of the “do’s and don’ts of happiness”.
I’ve hesitated to give this book only 4 stars, because for me it doesn’t fully live up to its promise of being a self-help book. It calls for a sequel, which should explain better how to use techniques such as “personal appreciation”, making perceptual shifts, managing your own emotions, using constructive questioning, etc. When I showed the book to some of my coaching customers of the past week, they were going: “Yeah, that makes sense, but how do I do it?”
The good news is that there are many therapists and coaches who should have learned the techniques Baker & Stauth mention. It would be a good thing for their clients if they start reading and applying this book, in stead of creating “victims”, by leading their patients down the old therapeutic pathways.
Luckily, you don’t have to start waiting for the sequel before you can get started on your own: If you haven’t been trained in the tools and techniques the authors recommend, either visit a coach who is willing to help you following these methods or search for a good introduction course in emotional intelligence or NLP to help you out.
Patrick Merlevede, MSc
author of “7 Steps to Emotional Intelligence”
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have just added this to the reading list for my poetry therapy trainees - it's a reminder of how thinking has an impact on mood and the various stages 'stuck' people go through.

It's a bit cheesy at times and I have a real problem with any book that mentions Seligman's learned helplessness experiments for which I think he should be serving a prison sentence. There's also no index nor references for some sweeping statements.

But it's an easy read and a useful checklist that can be applied in different circumstances.
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Format: Paperback
This book really hit a nerve with me. I have bought this copy for a friend. I had been feeling fed up for a while, one thing after another not working out for me and found this book in a libary initially. There is nothing in here you do not already know however the stories told are fantastic examples of how anyone can be happy and reminder of what REALLY makes us happy is a brilliant reminder.

I particually like the '12 qualities of happiness' Love, Optimism, Courage, Sense of freedom, Proactivity, Security, Health, Spirituality, Alturism, Perspective, Humour and Puprose. Like I said there is nothing ground breaking and it does not actually tell you what to do to be happier, we are all different and need to makes different choices that are right for us.

So, am I any happier? The answer is yes, some days. I still and always will have off days, I go over individual chapters as and when I feel a little down and it does help.
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Format: Paperback
This book would looks a lot like the a lot of the self help think positive nonsense out there, and it would be easy to brush it aside. Actually it's a gem. The author is a pragmatist and realist not seeking fame or fortune from outlandish claims. It helped me reconcile how religion helps people even though it's not really a book on faith.
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