Happier Book

Published on August 18, 2014

Happier is a book mentioned in Delivering Happiness (Zappos).

It is a book for us to learn to be happy.

Or at least to understand what happiness is.

Here’s what I learnt:

  • Am I happy? - is a closed question suggesting you are either happy, or not
    • It meant happiness is a binary.
    • It meant that happiness is a point that you can reach.
    • However, this point does not exist, and clinging on to this belief will frustrate you.
  • How can I be happier? - is the correct question to ask
    • It is not a finite point
    • It is an unlimited resource
    • You can never reach perfect happiness
  • Stop saying “I will be happy when I buy a house/car” or “I will be happy when I am promoted to manager/director” because reaching these states will make you feel like happy for only a few days
  • 4 Hamburger Model:
    1. Vegetarian (Rat Race) - You eat healthy, yet not so nice burger, so that you live longer
    2. Junk-Food (Hedonism) - You eat the most delicious burger, enjoying very much, without considering the consequences
    3. Worst Burger (Nihilism) - You eat sucky and unhealthy burger, because you have gave up
    4. Ideal Burger (Happiness) - You eat delicious and healthy burger
  • Rat racer is a slave to the future. Hedonist is a slave to the moment. Nihilist is a slave to the past.
  • Happiness is:
    1. Pleasure (present benefit)
    2. Meaning (future benefit)
  • Find your own meaning/purpose/calling in life
  • Note: Balance idealism and realism
  • When climbing a mountain, you focus on the peak (your goal), so that you stay on course. You have to enjoy every step, and the whole journey (process), not just the peak.
  • Goals are means, not just ends.
  • People experience work in 1 of 3 ways:
    • Job
    • Career
    • Calling
  • MPS Process: Meaning, Pleasure and Strength overlaps
  • How to be happier:
    • Help others. Contributing to others’ happiness will provide you with meaning and pleasure.
    • Introduce happiness boosters. Provide yourself with pleasure and meaning even for a short moment.
    • Look within yourself and ask the important question. Imagine you travel 10 years to the past and advise your younger self, what advise would it be? Now, think what your older self will advise you to be happier.
    • Take your time. Don’t rush.
    • Recognise happiness (not $$) is the ultimate currency

Come to think of it, we learn many things from books, yet we never learn about happiness - which is obviously the most important thing in life.

Happier is a book that should be read by all.