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Happiness is a Serious Problem

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  605 ratings  ·  88 reviews

We are completely satisfied with nothing

There is little correlation between the circumstances of people's lives and how happy they are.

This is the repair manual we should have been handed at birth

When you ask people abouttheir most cherished values in life, "happiness" is always at the top of the list. However, unhappiness does not seem to be the exceptional order

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Published March 1st 1999 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published January 1st 1998)
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Feb 16, 2008 Kara rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kara by: Kevin Peterson
Interesting. There were times where I thought, "this is so true! he's right on!" And then a few pages later, I thought "he's nuts." So yeah, I will take some and leave some from this book.
It does make me think anew about some decisions I make. I now at times ask "Is this fun for right now? or Will this make me happier in the long run?" Basically, he says that some things are fun in the moment, but won't contribute to overall happiness. These can be the littlest things in your day. Thinking this
Craig Williams
My brother, a fairly staunch Republican, highly recommended I read this book, as it completely changed his life. Since my brother doesn't read much, my curiosity was piqued. Also, I'm one of those people whom, if you recommend a book, I will read it. If a book is SO GOOD that you INSIST I read it, especially a book so good that changed your life, then by god, I'll see what all the fuss is about!

Meh. I can see how this book would be a positive influence on one's life, but most of the things discu
This Jewish gentleman is one of my favorite thinkers on Earth. I began listening to him because I enjoyed most (not all) of his conservative views. At a younger age I was hysterically liberal. As I came to manage a business and employees, started paying taxes, and began helping people who did nothing for me in return I initiated my conservative lean (although I refused to vote for Romney). Once I saw how the religious freedoms of Christians are repeatedly infringed upon by The Left I began getti ...more
Laura Leaney
I've always enjoyed Dennis Prager's commentary on the radio and his syndicated columns, at least when they used to be included in the LA Times. He's a clear and logical thinker, cutting right to the ethical truth of certain ills besetting our society. The first half of this book was enjoyable for me, and Prager's views on what causes unhappiness and what makes us happy is a nice reminder that our own mindset is what prevents our joy - not our circumstances. Definitely reminiscent of the teaching ...more
Regina Doman
This is one of those books that can change you forever. For me, it reaffirmed, from a secular perspective, what I had been taught in a religious context and gave it the added social dimension that universalized the principal. Basically, to use Prager's own words, "Happiness is a moral obligation: happy people make the world a better place. The world is made worse by the unhappy." Challenging words? Yes. But if more and more people heeded them, especially women, this world would be a better place ...more
Петър Стойков
Книгата ми я препоръча една приятелка, иначе никога нямаше да прочета подобна книга - прекалено много прилича на селф-хелп бозите, които наводняват книжния пазар, които ги четат главно празноглави патки и в тях пише неща като духовно извисяване и други цитати от дийпак чопра или генератора на случайни негови фрази (не можах да схвана разликата, ама май и почитателите на чопра не успяват: хехе).

Книгата е кратка и описаното в нея точно кореспондира с моите впечатлени
I really think this should be required reading for everyone. It's very illuminating and thought provoking. I've always thought of myself as a pretty happy person before reading this, but I've been working on a few things in this book I recognized that I do like the Broken Tile Syndrome. Caught myself doing that more than once.
Taft Babbitt
I think for many people this book would be a life changing experience. I have been a radio listener of Prager for a long time and have heard him talk about this stuff a lot. The radio show has been life changing in many ways and I would HIGHLY recommend this book for everyone, expecially if you have not listened to him on the radio.
Some people criticize this book because they feel like it says be happy with what you have and don't try to change it. But I got so much more out of it. Setting aside expectations can be a key to happiness. I thought it was a great message for a world full of people with entitlement issues.
Sure, the ideas in this book aren't new, and they may be expressed more eloquently or in more detail in philosophical texts and other teachings, but this book brings all these concepts together in a very approachable way. I really liked that. When someone is struggling and looking for tips and reminders on how to stay positive and grateful in difficult times, they don't have the energy to pour through deeply philosophical essays, they want something they can pick up that quickly and simply remin ...more
everyone in the world should read this book
David Lafferty
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
ryan shiitake
Before this, I was blown away by Prager's "Still The Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph", which I attribute as having a major influence on changing the way I view things at large and almost making me do a 180 degree turn from politically liberal to conservative.

At any rate, this book was also very good, though not "excellent" - it is indeed more of a collection of short essays, which sometimes leave the reader with a lot of questions or desire for more depth. The ideas con
[I started reading this book at my parent's house on vacation and haven't quite finished it. I didn't agree with the author on all points doctrinally speaking, but I still want to give it five stars for now, because it really pointed out some amazing insights on why we aren't happy sometimes. The more we can understand those concepts the happier we can learn to be on a consistent basis.]

So- I finally borrowed a copy from the library and finished it. I think I want to own this book-it is
Jan 25, 2010 Malinda rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Malinda by: Lorrie Jaegger
Everything worthwhile in life is attained through hard work.
I try to be happy unless something happens that makes me unhappy, rather than unhappy unless something makes me happy.
Unhappiness formula: U= I - R. (Unhappiness equals your own Images minus Reality).
If you equate happiness with success, you will never achieve the amount of success necessary to make you happy.
Fun is temporary, happiness is on-going.
Expectations lead to unhappiness.
Young children need, deserve, and therefore seek uncondi
I love Dennis Prager, and have read all of his books. His is my favorite talk radio show; I podcast it every week, especially his Ultimate Issues Hour. Prager is a conservative Jew who writes, speaks, and thinks about religion, values, politics, current events, etc. I don't agree with his every position, but I always walk away knowing a bit more than I did at the beginning (I have the same experience when I watch Rachel Maddow). In this book, Mr. Prager discusses what happiness is, how you can b ...more
Lori Ben-ezra
In continuing to explore the theme of happiness, this easy to read, yet profound book, added to my understanding of this complex topic. The author is not hesitant to promote the need for a deeper commitment to religious practice as a means to a happier life. Mr. Prager is clear that happiness is a choice that involves setting clear priorities for the way you spend your time and money. I recommend this book for anyone who is goal oriented and on a quest for a fulfilling life.
Okay, so it's pretty embarrassing that I just finally finished reading this book, since it was the book I CHOSE for our book club back in September. In my defense, I loaned it out, then lost it, and just finally found it again (packed away with my summer clothes, of all places; don't ask why I was burrowing in that particular bin in the first place, because I have no idea now..).

But I do really like this book. And I'm glad I took my time reading it, because I think it's better taken in gradually
Richard Jespers
Most revealing parts of the book: “Equating Happiness with Success,” “Equating Happiness with Fun.”

None of these books ever addresses the gay person. Prager has one chapter on The Opposite Sex. Another on Marriage. I guess we must write our own Happiness books or read his and extrapolate.

Maybe I should write it!
I discovered this book at my mom's and I was a few chapters shy of reading the entire thing when we left. However, I don't think it will change my rating that much next time I go out there and finish it so forgive me for posting this when I haven't really read the whole thing:) Nothing in this book was really new to me, but it was a great refresher course. Happiness is a choice. Fun is temporary; happiness is lasting. People present a different front to the world than the reality of their lives. ...more
I don't really know how to rate this book - since I have heard most of it on the radio. I know when I heard it on the radio, in Dennis Prager's Happiness Hour, (2nd hour every friday of his 3 hr. show), each point made a huge impact on me...and I started bugging the entire family to listen and Randy, Summer and Ryan have done so, with Randy and Ryan downloading it each day for their commutes. He has changed my marriage with his man/woman hour, and we all love him. Dennis Prager is such a clear t ...more
Carl Klutzke
Prager makes a good case that making yourself happy isn't just helpful for you, but also benefits those around you. Or as I've heard it put elsewhere, "Happy people are good people."
I've listened to Dennis for close to 10yrs and he is probably the talk show host I enjoy the most. He is level headed, funny, brilliant in many ways and Happy. I think if you asked him he'd say one of lifes greatest goals is to be happy. The book is all about that, he believes it is our duty to be happy. A moral imperative if you will.

Being that so many people are unhappy he labels it a serious problem because of the effects it has on those we live & work with or just meet on the street.
This book is no firmly entrenched in the top tier of favorite book. Amazing insights into how to be happy and why it is morally imperative to be happy. Major points are: images and how perfection often times make us less happy, because we live in an imperfect world; gratitude; realistic expectations; prioritizing life and the realization of personal costs.

While it is quite profound, it is also quite accessible. Chapters are bite size and quick to read. This book will be gifts to many of my frie
Lexie Carroll
Sep 16, 2007 Lexie Carroll rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone.
Good, grounded reminders of reality to put things in perspective and deal with how to be happy. There are no easy answers. Prager is very practical, but I think he breezes over some issues that could be more equitably explained in not much more space. All in all, I recommend it to everyone because it reminds us that being happy takes work- it doesn't just happen. It pushes the reader to deal with the reality of life in a frank and mature manner. It encomapasses a large array of subjects that, at ...more
Jeannette Villarreal
Extremely positive influence, I learned a lot from this book. There were a few things I disagreed on (such as the joy one would miss out on if didn't have children). And some I felt were a bit more relevant to males (chapter on letting go of certain expectations: I feel this is a female instinct.) This is definitely a book I would read 10 years down the road to see if Prager's words stuck with me, or also if they'd influence me in another way at that time. I love Prager's simplistic and to-the-p ...more
Michelle J
The title intrigued me. It was an interesting read.
Francisco Mercado
This book has been immensely helpful to me. It has given me a better understanding of myself, and taught me to grateful for all my blessings. Everyone should read this!
Shaghaf Awad
The first few chapters were not written "book style" as much as personal thoughts or essays, but further into the book, thoughts are better presented. It's a good book all in all. With some very interesting lines and ideas even if I don't agree with all of them.
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Dennis Prager is an American syndicated radio talk show host, syndicated columnist, author, and public speaker. He is noted for his conservative political and social views emanating from conservative Judeo-Christian values.
More about Dennis Prager...
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