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The Art of the Good Life

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  2,239 ratings  ·  291 reviews
The indispensable new work from the author of the international and Sunday Times bestseller The Art of Thinking Clearly

Have you ever...

· Spent too long on a powerpoint presentation?
· Lost sight of what makes you happy?
· Failed to reach a long-term goal?
· Become infuriated by queuing, tax or parking tickets?
· Broken a promise you knew you'd keep?

Since the dawn of
...more
272 pages
Published November 2nd 2017 (first published 2012)
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Average rating 4.05  · 
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 ·  2,239 ratings  ·  291 reviews


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Tariq Engineer
Thought provoking. Some things I agreed with, some I vehemently disagreed with. The book boils down to be modest, have modest expectations, excel at what you do and don't worry about things you can't control.
Sambasivan
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The life is a pack of cards and you do not seem to have a control over it. Therefore there is a need for a toolkit if you want to play well. Appropriately a 52 point tool kit is proposed by the author based on his life experiences. Each one is a gem. Even though one may not agree with all of them, they are worth pondering. Must read.
Edward
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-books
This book contains lots of wisdom, advice and short-cuts to living a life with happiness, wealth and success. One might not agree with all the advice but I am sure everyone will gain a handful or more good advice from the author.

The book contains 52 pieces of advice. Each of them are written in a short, easy-to-read chapters. The author, Rolf Robelli, is an entrepreneur (co-founder of getAbstract), novelist and was an executive at a multi-national. He drew his ideas from three main sources:
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Doug
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It started out a little slow but grew on me the more chapters I read. I found it enjoyable to start my day with 1-3 chapters and started looking forward to reading them and thinking about applications or examples in my own life. I am sure I will revisit it later as he suggested in one of his chapters! Good read! Now get on to the good life!
Caroline
Sep 07, 2018 rated it liked it
2.5
There are some useful ways of thinking about things (& life) presented in this book, but it is very skewed towards a certain set of person (affluent but feeling they aren't as happy as they ought to be) and I found too much of the book was based on financial underpinnings (ie. A good investor is Warren Buffett/Charlie Munger and they are thus also very good at life) as life advice....and that has serious limitations, from my perspective.

Fairly quick to read, short chapters, and some
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Randy
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quick read that summarizes how one person implemented many of the ideas from behavioral economics, evolutionary psychology and stoicism. You could do yourself a lot of good implementing even half of the author's 52 ideas. I would also recommend reading the "source" material: Thinking, Fast and Slow, The Moral Animal: Why We Are the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology, Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Enlightenment, and The Antidote: Happiness for People ...more
AnnaG
This is 52 snippets of wisdom drawing on a three different philosophical ideas - mainly Stoicism, value investing and something else that within 2 hours of finishing the book I've forgotten what it was. Some of the chapters will no doubt speak to you and make sense and others will seem like daft ideas (or be completely forgettable it would seem).

My reason for not rating this more highly is that it doesn't flow as a book should - the chapters don't build on each other, they don't lead to any
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Catherine Kubiak
Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I almost gave this book 3 stars but after reading the authors note at the end of the book I changed my mind. In the authors note Dobelli explained the sources behind each of the different ways of thinking he described in this book which gave the concepts more substance for me. I felt that a few of the ways of thinking Dobelli described may result in people limiting themselves in what they try to achieve but I also think that it depends on your character and life experiences. I think this book is ...more
Tõnu Vahtra
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Until the very end I did not know clearly what to make of this book because the general structure did not make too much sense to me. The very last paragraph of the last chapter actually explained that the book is based on three main sources: modern psychology theory, principles of stoicism and principles of value investing (mainly from Charles Monger and Warren Buffett). The book consists of 52 small chapters (similarly to "The Art of Thinking Clearly" which is a less academic overview of ...more
EunSeong Hwang
Sep 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
While I didn't agree with everything the author suggested in the book, and a lot of the advice or suggestions seemed pretty obvious (spend less time on social media and more time with people and things that matter, focus less on yourself as being the centre of the universe and try to be more modest/humble, etc.) it was still written in a persuasive, short, and easily digestible way that made you nod your head in agreement. The author admittedly borrows liberally from Stoic philosophy, quotes ...more
Madhulika Liddle
Oct 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Rolf Dobelli’s The Art of the Good Life is a self-help book.

I am not a fan of the average self-help book (and any I’ve read have come my way not because I bought them, but because I was gifted them—as was Dobelli’s book, which was part of a Hachette India swag bag). Far too many self-help books tend to be sanctimonious, self-righteous, or indulge in a simple case of talking down too much. I don’t like being talked down to. Others are too full of hot air—too much fluff, too little substance
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Reza
Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Reading Dobelli's books, the first thing that grabs my attention is the simplicity of his storytelling. He uses the most laconic narrative to persuade the reader; No pestering, no commanding, no begging for reader's approval.
Although there are things I can't agree on with Dobelli, I consider him a wise man and his work worth the time.
Ali
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
an okay book
Dini
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Do what you can, not what you wish you could.

You can change yourself, but not other people.

Why your life isn't a Photo Album.

Experience Trumps Memory.
Ahmed
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Generally, I like his way of thinking of what the good life suppose to be? He is a very rational and logical person I like most of the ideas in the book and I start already to implement it in my life because it is reasonable and easy to be done.

I rated it 4 of 5 stars not because of the quality of the book contents but in some chapters, I don't agree with him and find his ideas some times offensive like in the envy chapter and sometimes passive and not motivational ideas like the illusion of
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Makis Karachristianidis
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book, it makes you focus on the good aspects of your life.
Amirmansour  Khanmohammad
Brilliant
Behrooz
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This text is not meant to be a summary of the book or a thorough critique, but it is only an endeavor to highlight those parts that I may not completely agree with or sometimes parts that remind me of some other thoughts related to them. I therefore comment when necessary and under the relevant chapter.

Chapter 2:
The second chapter on “constant improvement” reminds me of two Persian proverbs which are worth mentioning: “whenever you catch a fish it is fresh”, and “whenever you avoid loss you
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Maya Osseiran
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ei
Useful tips and 'shortcuts' to lead a happier life. A couple I didn't agree with, and many topics are worth researching in more detail.
Andrew
Aug 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Would have loved this book if I didn't already practice the vast majority of its preachings.
Khulood Saeed
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
The book provides vital and practical tools on how to cope with life stress. I have to mention that I did not agree with few points discussed in the book;nevertheless, it is a good and recommended book.
Meg (fairy.bookmother)
Thank you to Hachette for sending me a complimentary copy to review!

For the most part, I liked this book. I don't think it's ultimately got anything life-changing in it. However, I do think it serves as a good reminder in how to think about what you want in your own "good life." Not every self-help book is going to be the cure, but I think if you read them critically and think of ways to apply someone else's thought processes to your own life, you might make your own discoveries.

I read it in
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Nighat Sultana Tithi
Such a good read!

I always felt good about ageing as with age I got to experience so many situations and facts of life which I would never expect and accept in my early ages. With time, between my age of 32 and 35 I set up some personal “mental tools” and took some decisions that helped me so much to find peace and become calm. It’s never ending, still learning, still experiencing more and more and learning again. But the basic metal tools to keep my own peace are already there for me.

I was
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Christy
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
Dude really loves Warren Buffet. Like, REALLY loves him.

Also seems to think all PAs are women. And that PA is the more politically correct way to call secretaries: "let's say you want to hire a secretary (sorry: a PA)". That was a weird moment.
Javid Mammadoff
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
The name of the book is a little cheesy, but the content is anything but. It is a collection of 52 tools and attitudes to life. The author draws heavily on the insights from psychology, behavioral economics, philosophy (stoicism in particular), and business/investing. You will like it if you are a fan of the works by Daniel Kahneman, Seneca, and Charlie Munger.
Pros: Easy to read (each chapter is only 2-3 pages long and to the point), very practical/applicable, no BS, makes you consider new
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Nicholas
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy, stoics
A good lazy hotel read when a bit of reflection is in order.

In The Art of the Good Life, Rolf Dobelli provides a summary of ideas, maxims, or rules to help you live the good life. He creates his list from psychology, Stoicism, and value based investing. And while nearly all the material in this book has been covered elsewhere, Rolf's contribution is that each peice of advice is into condensed into short chapters (3 to 4 pages) that are easy to read and understand.

Overall the book would be a
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Karen
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
It's always tricky to write a book on "how to be." I know this book isn't titled as if it's telling you what to do/who to be but it's trying to do exactly that, in my opinion. Even though I agreed with some of his ideas, learned new ideas, and disagreed with some of what he said, the part of the book that put me off the most was the tone in which it was written.

Maybe it's necessary to be "authoritative" when writing a book on how to live, but I would have been more open to his ideas if the
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Maurya
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I quite enjoyed this book.... in some of the chapters, it totally made me think differently, and in others a good reminder of things I knew (about the good life).

It is both an easy book to read (broken in to 52 chapterettes) and a challenging book, as in some cases it challenged my way of thinking.

I recommend this book.
Pil
Jul 31, 2018 rated it liked it
It’s sort of motivational and full of pseudo-advice like most self-help books are. The author had a sympathetic voice though. Generally not a memorable book but it made me feel very Type A while reading it.
Sven
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-faith
Rolf Dobelli's THE ART OF THE GOOD LIFE is an exploration of some fascinating philosophical ideas. He tries to make his ideas as practical as possible, but some of them remain intangible. His focus on 52 chapters leads to a lot of repetition. Nonetheless, they are very short and his writing style is easy to read.

Here's an overview:

1. Reinterpret your losses as investments. You will feel better.
2. Correct everything in your life that is not quite working. You don't have to continue to struggle.
3.
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Rolf Dobelli is a Swiss author and businessman. He began his writing career as a novelist in 2002, but he is best known internationally for his bestselling non-fiction The Art of Thinking Clearly (2011, English 2013), for which The Times has called him "the self-help guru the Germans love".
“good life is a stable state or condition. Wrong. The good life is only achieved through constant readjustment. Then why are we so reluctant to correct and revise? Because we interpret every little piece of repair work as a flaw in the plan. Obviously, we say to ourselves, our plan isn’t working out. We’re embarrassed. We feel like failures. The truth is that plans almost never work out down to the last detail, and if one does occasionally come off without a hitch, it’s purely accidental.” 2 likes
“Absenz ist viel schwieriger zu erkennen als Präsenz. Anders ausgedrückt: Was da ist, hat mehr Gewicht als das, was nicht da ist.” 1 likes
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