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The Five Thieves of Happiness

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  152 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Stop Seeking Happiness; Just Get Out of Its Way!
Happiness is our natural state, for each of us and for humanity as a whole, argues John Izzo. But that happiness is being stolen by insidious mental patterns that he depicts as thieves: the thief of control, the thief of conceit, the thief of coveting, the thief of consumption, and the thief of comfort. He discovered these t
Paperback, 160 pages
Published January 2nd 2017 by Berrett-Koehler Publishers
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3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  152 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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Smitha Murthy
Ever since I finished a certification course to become a Happiness Coach, I have been fascinated with trying to understand the science of happiness.

These days, happiness has become a billion-dollar industry. It's a far cry from that bubble spring of happiness that we all know resides in us, but which place is the hardest to reach. John Izzo's book, 'The Five Thieves of Happiness' means well, but lacks any insight. He says that our happiness can be undermined by these five thieves : control, con
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really read this to help my son understand where happiness comes from but it reinforced what I have been working on for years. Good book for anyone struggling with finding happiness.
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. Listened to it in one sitting.
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
The Five Thieves is a very helpful read. It is a simple and straight-forward guide for re-shaping how you think about yourself and the world around you. Izzo is thoughtful and pan-theological. He sees the value in myths of multiple faith traditions and the meditative practices which support many of them. I would be interested to hear the opinions of secularists on his thoughts but found him supportive of multiple ways of viewing the world and the human place in it. A very practical book about li ...more
Nate Regier
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
John Izzo has a knack for writing easy to read books with profound and powerful messages. Five Thieves is no exception. This book is a must-read for anyone who’s tired of the dog-eat-dog world of competitive business, or wants to get back to the basics of what it means to be fulfilled and happy. Based on the premise that happiness is our natural state, Izzo asserts that we allow five mental thought patterns to rob us of that happiness: control, conceit, coveting, consumption, and comfort.

Each t
David Marshall
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Ever since I read The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die, John Izzo has been one of my favorite authors. He initially trained as a Protestant minister, then as a psychologist, and has since studied all the world religions, with am emphasis on Buddhism. The premise of The Five Thieves of Happiness is that people are born happy, but erect walls as they get older to prevent their natural happiness from shining through. By purging the five thieves of happiness, one's true happiness can be ...more
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is a result of a long walk John did as a journey of self-discovery.

What's most interesting about the book is not the 5 thieves but the stories John shares behind the concepts.

This is not a tactical self-help book. This is a book about self-discovery and mastery of the mind.

John is not sharing new knowledge his simply sharing his lessons from his life in regards to happiness.

The 5 thieves control, conceit, coveting, consumption, and comfort, are a set of beliefs we fight throughout life
Jul 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
The book has a simple goal - to uncover the five thieves of happiness and how they are detrimental to achieving a state of contentment. I like the way the book is structured; each chapter outlines one of the 'thieves'. The author gives details, provides examples and analogies, and describes how this thief is harmful from an individual as well as societal perspective. He touches on many of the wider issues of our time; environmental concerns, conflicts rooted in religious and political difference ...more
Lisa Kosak
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I never imagined that I had thieves in my house. These aren’t just any common robbers. They are sneaky, they hide like covert spies, and they are tough to eradicate if you find them. Unwittingly, these thieves are in every house in the world and lurking in society. Moreover, they are in your head and you may not even realize it. Who are they? The band of 5 robbers - Control, Conceit, Coveting, Consumption, and Comfort. What is their favorite prize to steal? It’s your happiness and if you can lea ...more
Allie Weiskopf
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: health-mind-body
Placed on my desk at work (probably by someone who knew my New Year’a resolution was to be more positive), the well researched and experienced author looks in the 5 ways we allow others to take our happiness. By suggesting that we control what we can, and replace negativity, he encourages readers to understand what’s theirs to influence. I thought this would have been another book that could have been a pamphlet, but at 100 pages it was a worthwhile read.
Oct 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good advice about becoming and staying happy. One of the things Mr. Izzy says is “Expressing gratitude by itself is not enough to tame the thief, however. To banish the thief, we must learn to live by our own compass rather than someone else’s.”

A great daily mantra Izzo suggest is: Life is not a contest. Be grateful for what you have and who you are. Celebrate the success of others; for when I celebrate for others, I am happy.

Ralf Kruse
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: personal-grows
An intersting perspective to see the aspects steeling us happiness as thieves. It fits good together with the responsibility process, which I use as frame for my personal development.
The book gave surprisingly concrete perspectives on how you can work on it.
I will try to integrate key aspects of it into my daily routine.
السعادة هي الحالة الطبيعية للإنسان، إلا أن هناك خمس لصوص تسلب منا السعادة ، يستعرضها المؤلف مع قصة معبرة في بداية كل فصل، الفصل الأول الأكثر عمقاً وجمالاً بالنسبة لي، يتحدث فيه عن رغبتنا في السيطرة وماتؤدي إليه من رفض للواقع ، لذلك يدعونا المؤلف لتقبل ما لا نستطيع التحكم فيه والاستسلام للحكمة الإلهية، حيث أن المعاناة والألم جزء من الحياة تماماً كالسعادة والسرور.
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
I was not surprised by which were among the five thieves, and a quick glance at the table of contents will give you a good idea of what the book is about. Each thief is explained in detail, followed by practical ways you can banish each one.
Ahmed Nazar
Oct 15, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
كتاب فارغ وحشو لا غير ، طالما كُنت قد نضجت عن كتب التنميه البشرية السطحية، الا انني بين الحين والثاني تراودني رغبه بان اعطي فرصة لكتاب اخر، وينتهي بي الحال الا كرهه وتضييع الوقت فيه، يشبه فلم رخيص غير معروف الممثلين وتافه الإخراج ولا قصة فيه
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is about more than happiness. It is a guide to healthy living. It is also a short read but packed with useful information. It was well worth my time and money and I will keep it as a reference book. Good job Mr. Izzo.
Alex Aranda
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recomendadísimo!!! Es un libro corto y simple y con muy buen mensaje. Sin duda es un libro para tenerlo cerca y regresar a él cuando te sientas un poco triste o sientas que hay algo que te esta robando la felicidad.

Michelle Vandepol
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Unifying, profound, and practical. I can't think of an open minded human wanting to live their best life who wouldn't be impacted positively by it. Highly recommend.
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lots of great quotes and points made. Happiness truly does come from within. Would read it again!
Dmitri Pavlov
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Interesting perspective, some good ideas, easy read overall
Dec 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Interesting theory but very very repetitive.
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Concise, practical explanation of how we can overthink and get in our own way. This book was eye opening for me.
Deann Doolittle
May 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: self-help
Stumbled across this book. Good read. Took some notes. Hope it can help out with my bout with depression.
May 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Good for those newly interested in the self-improvement genre. I didn't finish it bc it seemed like basically the same concepts I've read elsewhere, just presented differently.
Feb 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Ok, I never read these kinds of books. But after listening to it on a long car ride, I'm reconsidering my usual choice of fiction over non-fiction. This is a good one! Even though the author comes from a Christian perspective he respects all faiths as he approaches this guide for contentment. The 5 thieves: control, conceit, coveting, consuming, and comfort. He has a very personal take on this and also brings it to a universal perspective which makes it particularly compelling if you feel like t ...more
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Gave me some practical ideas to make myself happier
Claire Barfell
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best self help books I have ever read. The five thieves of happiness all are in our mind and we must change the way we think in order to experience peace and contentment. This will improve our lives and also change society one person at a time. John Izzo gives us practical advice on how to overcome our destructive thoughts and ideas. This book could change your life. I think everyone needs to read this book.
Elly Sands
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The five thieves are control, conceit, coveting, consumption and comfort. These intrigued me especially "comfort". I've never quite heard that term used in this context but sensed it would do me some good to see why it's mentioned. This is truly a nitty gritty, practical, sensible and easy to read guide to becoming more mindful in our daily lives. These thieves are insidious in their nature and the author explains how they can undermine our sense of well being. I have to say that this book has a ...more
Zara Quintana
Jan 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great Self-help Book on Audio. I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom. I fully enjoyed listening to this self-help book. It's just under 4 hours and so it's a perfect length to listen while driving, multi-tasking, or while going to sleep. I plan to have this audiobook as a regular listen while going to sleep in place of affirmations. The narrator has a very pleasant voice and did a great job bringi ...more
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Well written and easy to understand. Seems self explanatory after reading, but enjoyed the stories used to relate the material to how you can use it in real life practice.
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John Izzo is the bestselling author of six books and has advised over 500 companies across the globe on creating high engagement, purpose-driven workplaces. He has personally spoken to over one million people and his work has been featured by the likes of Fast Company, Investor’s Business Daily, CNN, Inc. Magazine, and the Wall Street Journal.

He has been a pioneer in understanding the future of wo