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How We Choose to Be Happy: The 9 Choices of Extremely Happy People--Their Secrets, Their Stories
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How We Choose to Be Happy: The 9 Choices of Extremely Happy People--Their Secrets, Their Stories

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  313 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
Now featuring new research and the most current information on the science of happiness, this book presents an outline of the nine choices happy people consistently make.
Also included are tools for self-assessment to allow readers to measure happiness-and to find out what might be holding them back from having more of it. Insightful, intimate, and inspiring, How We Choos
ebook, 256 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by Perigee Books (first published April 5th 1999)
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Recommended in Part 2 of James Baraz’s four-part Happiness talks, this book emphasizes how happiness is a mind state that we consciously choose and foster. The authors hadn’t intended to come up with nine specific choices but realized as they collected their stories that these nine choices came up over and over again and that each of these choices supported and developed the others.

The nine choices are:

1) Intention - having the active desire and commitment to be happy and making the fully consci
Ki Goff
Nov 13, 2008 Ki Goff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read self-help books as a hobby. I don't think that most of them are worth much. But there are two which I think everyone should read; Learned Optimism and this book.

It's simple. It's comprehensive. It's easily applied. It's the most useful book on happiness that I have ever read.

Don't bother with any others. Too much fretting about happiness ruins the whole point of it. Just two books, and then relaxing and enjoying.

(P.S. This book is paradigm-neutral, so religious people may disagree with
Jun 23, 2008 Joan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Both the chronic complainers & people who are just naturally happy and curious!
Well done, research-based, and full of a lot of truth. It all comes down to a few things, all put together. Begin with the intention (I intend to be happy!), follow it up with accountability (Situations and events may be outside my control, but my reaction is nobody else's but my own; nobody can "make" me mad...)
This is a good book for anyone who considers themselves a very happy person most of the time (as I see myself), but it may also help some of those who think the world's against them--to
Mandy Gordon
Jan 17, 2012 Mandy Gordon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps my favorite book of all time. Such a manifesto to the power of choice. I have read it several times over the years and have found each read adds new perspective and reveals new details. I will certainly read again!
Feb 17, 2009 Reid rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are some solid suggestions here for choices one can make to be more happy in day-to-day life, no matter what the circumstances of one's existence. However, in the final analysis, this is little more than an old-fashioned exercise in values clarification, which is valuable in and of itself, but is no panacea. Perhaps some of us are born with a more refined tendency toward cheerfulness than others. Or maybe we really can make choices which steer us in that direction. Perhaps happiness is not ...more
I know, what a dorky book to be reading. I hate reading these sort of books in public because I'm afraid people will think I'm horribly depressed and looking for answers.

I read a review of this and it sounded interesting - an informal study which demonstrated the choices made by happy people in all walks of life. It is interesting, and I enjoyed it. However, the language the "stories" of the everyday happy people are written in is obviously that of the authors rather than the speakers themselves
Judy Frabotta
I like the idea of this book -- these two guys went around asking "who is the happiest person you know?" They then tracked down hundreds of these people and interviewed them to find out how they think. Some chapters resonated more for me than others, and when all is said and done, it seems to be a book about good mental hygiene, which isn't quite the same thing as happiness. I liked the chapter on accountability -- happy people don't blame others for their problems; and the chapter on identifica ...more
Jul 24, 2007 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who is struggling to figure out how to build the life they want
Some people will just always scoff at self-help books, and that's fine. I get it. This one was good at laying out steps for clarifying my thinking and laying out a path to help people make themselves happier more consistently - in short, it's about realizing that you have control of your life, finding what makes you happy, and committing yourself to putting those things in a central role in your life.
Jennie Helena
May 20, 2012 Jennie Helena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a fan of self-help books because they seem to be so instructive. How We Choose to Be Happy is different, I guess it's in the title - how we choose vs. how to be. This book will be one of those books that I'll read more than once, it's nice to get yourself back on the right path every now and then.

I highly recommend this introspective- uplifting book to everyone, those that are looking for their happiness as well as those who've found it.
Jul 29, 2015 Anita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've got my work cut out for me.
Karisma Alize
Mar 26, 2016 Karisma Alize rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How We Choose To Be Happy is probably the first and last book I'll read on happiness. And that's because this book doesn't TELL you how to be happy. It encourages you to do what makes YOU happy. It's basically a compilation of the choices that happy people make. How did these two authors determine who's happy? By traveling the world and asking to interviewing people who were deemed to be the happiest person someone knew. It shares stories about REAL people and what issues and decisions they face ...more
Robert Case
May 11, 2015 Robert Case rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of self-help
Recommended to Robert by: a friend
Shelves: non-fiction
Happiness self-help books are very much in style right now. On the recommendation of a friend I just finished reading this 1999 edition. I found three worthwhile takeaways:
First, I agree with the author's explanation of happiness, defining the concept in humanistic terms rather than materialistic, sensational, or the result of a quick jolt of adrenaline. They describe it as a rich sense of well-being, sourced in self-awareness, engagement, and self-esteem.
Second, was the chapter on recasting, t
Feb 08, 2009 Alyse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: work, 2009
Usually the self-help/better business practices books I get from work are painful. However, this was a pleasant surprise. Though more sef-help than business it was very helpful in bridging the gap of how the self reacts to a situation in a personal situation and how the self reacts in a business situation.

Each chapter was based on a different topic, which is often the downfall of other business books. There was not padding. They did not write the same old story 200 pages so they can charge $20 a
Yuki kojima
May 21, 2009 Yuki kojima rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
Like most self-help books, this one starts out strong and loses its momentum.

For me, the chapter about setting an intention was helpful since I had not thought about the topic as it was discussed in the book because I had somehow already had decided that I knew what that meant without really thinking about it.

But for this chapter I would give it two stars because I think the book is a little too simplified for the topic it covers.
May 20, 2013 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read a lot of self-help books, and there's a lot of recycled, repackaged information out there. This book had fresh insights backed by wonderful testimonies. It was inspiring, and I learned a little bit about myself. One of the things I learned was that I am already happy. There are places where I can increase my sense of peace and well being and the book encouraged me in those areas as well. I'm thinking about using a chapter or so of this book for one of my reading classes.
Blecy Ong
Mar 10, 2016 Blecy Ong rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I actually enjoyed this reading this book, some really expert tips. There is a clear theme of taking responsibility for our happiness instead of waiting passively for it to arrive, one thing that is thus important! I’m galvanized to follow these steps that the author got arranged out. It’s a guide for a way to measure a happier life! By doing what this book suggests plenty of the strain and worry can disappear.
Dec 04, 2011 Doloresfritz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is worth the time it takes to read. One of those book full of great insight on helping the reader to realize how we are responsible for our own happiness. It has insightful illustrations of people who have learned that their happiness depends on them and have done the work to make it happen.
May 29, 2010 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Linda by: Happyreader
Shelves: non-fiction
4 stars for information, 2 stars for self-help style writing (vignettes from workshops the authors have led made me want to gag). However, the stories of individual people who illustrate the author's points about happiness are insightful. The main point of the book is that happiness is both our birthright and our own responsibility.
Feb 15, 2015 Esperanza rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Excellent reading recommended to improve your
Perception of happiness levels in different scenarios of life. Challenging, interesting and educational. Get the book feel happy.
Nov 18, 2014 Cara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am skeptical of the power of this or any book to actually make anyone happy, but I think the main point of this book, that happiness is a choice and not necessarily something outside of your control, is an important one.
Asrai Devin
Aug 03, 2007 Asrai Devin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fromthelibrary
I've enjoyed this book. IT's full of stories from happy people and how they apply each of the nine principles of happiness to their lives.
It's fun to read and has easy to do exercises to help you acheive your own happiness.

Very good.
Jan 20, 2013 Nell rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-and-others
I read this with the hope of finding a better way to relate to someone close who clearly is unhappy and stuck there. Not sure how useful it will prove for that purpose, but that’s not to say I can’t learn something to apply to my own life.

Jul 27, 2008 Luca rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: partially-read
If you're familiar with the new psychology of happiness, this probably won't be too enlightening. And, the authors' style was a bit too much of the "we" this and the "we" that. Something about the style just set me on edge.
Warren Keppler
I struggle with the idea the goal of our lives is to achieve constant happiness. That said, there are some good ideas about confronting anxiety. Those tools alone are valuable enough to recommend the book.
Nov 28, 2007 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The idea of the book was great, even if simple - but it could have been a much shorter book and still got the message across! The anecdotes were interesting though, so it was a pleasant read. I do REALLY like the actual premise. Writing was not exactly engaging though.
Jan 31, 2010 Starfruit is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I'm taking my time with this one to learn every choice but I'm a bit thrown off because I have come across 2 spelling mistakes! For me, it takes away from the credibility of a book if they can't take enough care to ensure there are no errors. Who's with me on this?
Christy Hart
Jan 13, 2008 Christy Hart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am enjoying this one! At first I thought it seemed simplistic, but the topic and the thinking gets more complex and challenging. This is a good introduction to how mindfulness meditation really works.
Jul 07, 2009 diamondkim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The stores are uplifting and inspiring, and you do put the book down with a sense of empowered happiness. Highly recommend it.
Jun 04, 2010 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Excellent book--thought-provoking, insightful, brilliant!
Ariel Lovett
Worth the read; some good steps to mindfully cultivate happiness.
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