Monday, March 12, 2012

A Happiness Hypothesis

What is happiness? My criteria for happiness is similar to how Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart described obscenity in 1964: You know it when you see it.

In his book "The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom", Jonathan Haidt combines psychology, philosophy, religion and history to provide some insight into what makes a person happy.

After looking at what "happiness" truly is, Haidt does not actually proclaim to offer a recipe for happiness, but rather offers different ideas for how to measure your own state of "happiness". While one might not agree with everything in the book, it does challenge  you to consider what you really do believe about happiness and what makes you feel good about yourself.

It is an interesting take from a self-proclaimed atheist Jew who draws on Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam principles and traditions. The author presents a good dose current psychological research on the human condition compared and contrasted with ancient wisdom and philosophy.

I found the book enlightening, informing and entertaining. A great book for anyone interested in the way we think and perceive the world around us!

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