Old Man Happy

15 Books Reveal What Makes You Happy

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Reading helps in making you view new horizons and boosts your knowledge about various things. Books are an opportunity to view our lives from the perspective of those who have greater wisdom than us and they help in stimulating our brains to resolve our problems and struggles.  Here are a few books which will make you feel thankful for whatever you have in life and will bring about gratitude and satisfaction in your personality:

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1. Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frankl

This book is about the struggle of Viktor Frankl who managed to survive the holocaust concentration camps. What do you think kept him going? It was his belief that every occurrence and every human suffering need to have some kind of meaning. If you are struggling through life because of any reason, the words of Viktor will truly give you hope and encouragement. They will make you believe that after any kind of suffering, there is a relief too and one can feel happy even during the bad days by hoping that good days are near.

2. Payoff by Dan Ariely

The economist from Duke University, Dan Ariely is of the view that human motivation and happiness are a lot more complex than we are inclined to believe. It is quite a possibility that employees working in a firm are happier when they receive free pizza from their boss instead of more money. It is up to the managers to find out the reason which will harness the power of motivation for employees so that they do the job well for the sake of doing it in the best possible manner.

3. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

Randy is a college professor who has just discovered that he is suffering from a fatal disease and only has a few last days left of his life. At his university, it is customary for professors to deliver the last speech before they leave. This speech would comprise of some words of wisdom and pieces of advice for the students. Keeping his speech entertaining and witty, he reveals how to stay incredibly positive even when you know that death is quite near. He gives a reminder to everyone how to live a happy and a complete life.

4. Earning Freedom by Michael Santos

Santos was sentenced to 45 years in prison after being charged with selling drugs. During his time in prison, he worked hard to earn a Master’s degree but his urge to acquire a doctorate was halted by a warden. He used to write books in the prison which educated the students about the criminal justice system in the country. This book is actually an insight into his entire sentence and a representation of his positive attitude during the captive years. He was finally released in 2012 and if he can find happiness while being in prison, you can surely find it anywhere too.

5. A Book about Love by Jonah Lehrer

In this book, the journalist Lehrer has taken a scientific dig on the meaning of love. The love stories have not been described with phrases like butterflies in the stomach and fireworks rather, it is how love grows through the daily maintenance tasks. Love has the ability to grow and change on itself without humans having any control on it. The book has been written beautifully and talks about other kinds of love too, for instance, the love between a parent and a child. This specific love has the ability to affect other relationships in a person’s life too. Hence, the book tells how little things matter and how these emotional connections can give you happiness even if you are not going on romantic dates that often.

6. How Proust Can Change Your Life by Alain De Botton

This is the kind of book which makes the reader believe that it has been written especially for him. The writer begins the book by asking a question to the readers how they would spend the last hour of their life if a cataclysmic catastrophe was to eliminate the entire human race. The same question was asked to the celebrities by a French magazine in 1922. While others responded with sad contemplation and indulging in an activity which they enjoy the most, Marcel Proust answered:

Marcel Proust quote

 Based on these words, De Botton presented a book which emphasized on attaining wisdom rather than attaining success. The book teaches how to suffer successfully instead of finding out ways to avoid negative emotions.

7. The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

Jonathan Haidt highlights the problems of the divided self in this book and describes mind as a wild elephant just like Buddha had used this metaphor before. He has beautifully described the role of God, love, and kindness in our lives and in our pursuit of happiness. Thus, you’ll be bound to reconsider the definition of happiness and what things actually make you believe you’re not happy.

8. Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment by Tal Ben-Shahar

Tal Ben-Shahar was the person who was behind the popularity of Harvard’s positive psychology course. In 2004, only 20 students were enrolled in this course but in a matter of two years, the number increased to a whopping 900 just because of him.

After the success of the course, he made his way to write this book which gives nothing but a beautiful outlook on life. From meditation to gratitude and goal setting, everything has been covered in the book. He has used stories and failures from his own life to explain some really important lessons.

9. A New Earth: Create a Better Life by Eckhart Tolle

Tolle had been suffering from extreme depression throughout his adult life and after he turned 29, he even started entertaining suicidal thoughts. At one instance, he was struck by some extreme desire to end his life but when he woke up the next day, he was an entirely different person. He felt enlightenment which made him free from all such thoughts.

In his earlier book, he taught what enlightenment is but in “A New Earth” he tells how to achieve enlightenment in daily life by simple actions. He has given beautiful views on pain, success, suffering, adversity, conflict, and happiness. After reading this book, one is never to have a low point in his life because of any major reason.

10. Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss

This book reveals that compromise isn’t that great. According to Voss, he helps the reader in getting what he wants not the half of what he wants. If a person really wants something, they must negotiate in a way that their life depends on it. One must have the ability to coax the person to do as one wants so that one can get their way because compromise only brings a portion of the desired happiness.

11. If You’re so Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy? By Raj Raghunathan

It is hard for intelligent people to become happy easily as their intelligence and wisdom undermine their ability to become happy. This is what Raj Raghunathan says who is a professor at the University of Texas. He says that pushing your emotions under the rug is never a good idea because they play a major role in influencing your happiness. Suppose if you have two job offers and you go with the one which is more lucrative, there is still no guarantee that this job will make you happier than the other one. Therefore, one must seek happiness beyond superficial things.

12. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Silverstein depicts in his book that happiness can be found in a simple act of giving. Loving someone and giving them everything you have is a source of joy for any human being. This is a children’s book which teaches a valuable lesson to everyone about unconditional love. It carries the true essence of happiness and how one can find peace and comfort in the art of giving to others.

13. The Dash by Linda Ellis and Mac Anderson

There are a number of things in our life which we don’t have a control over. We don’t choose them rather, they are just enforced on us. It is the dash between our birth date and death date which represents our life and will make it worthwhile. This short book gives people a great new perspective and a chance to make their life worthwhile.

14. As a Man Thinketh by James Allen

This short book is packed with a number of statements which actually make a person think twice. The book says that we actually become what we think about most of the time. Negative thoughts affect a person a lot more than they actually anticipate. Allen simply says that positive thinking means a happy life.

James Allen Quote

15. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller

No matter where your life is right now, you can always turn it in the right direction. You are the author of your own story and have the power to push your limits. Donald had remained rut in his life and was spending most of his time in bed. He was questioning the meaning of life and realized eventually that he will not remain a slave to a pre-written script. With the help of this newly developed mindset, he turned around his thoughts, life, and his actions. Never forget that you have the ability to live a happy, interesting, and peaceful life so heavily rely on it.