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The Art of the Good Life

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  3,310 ratings  ·  421 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 civilizati
...more
272 pages
Published November 2nd 2017 (first published 2012)
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Average rating 4.05  · 
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 ·  3,310 ratings  ·  421 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: psy
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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 approache
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រ៉ូ | ro
May 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Art of the Good Life is a collection of 52 mental tools that are derived from Stoicism and from the field of cognitive and social psychology. Each mental tool is introduced and explained in a short and concise manner (only 2-3 pages each) which make for a fun (& profound) read.

Often when we talk about what makes a good life - such philosophical pondering can be very vague but I personally enjoyed the author’s use of imageries and analogies to cement his points.

To give an example, a mental t
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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 Wh ...more
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
Harshita Choudhary
Aug 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Rolf Dobelli provides 52 'tools' to help achieve the good life. His information comes from three fields - psychological research, stoicism and investment literature. I can't say how effective these tools can be in actually creating a good life, but the chapters are really well researched and snappy. He explains concepts like focus illusion ( when we focus on one thing, that things seems the most important - for example when we want to buy something new and feel like that will add value to our li ...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 cognit ...more
Nitin Vaidya
Dec 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Though I did not agree with some of the stuff written in the book, I still found it to be utterly fascinating and totally engaging..I also felt that it was far better than the prequel - The art of thinking clearly...A must read for everyone...One more book which belongs in the shelf whose books which need to be read again and again at various stages of once life!!! Loved it!!
Polina
Jan 23, 2020 rated it did not like it
The most annoying book I've read in my life. Its not boring which is why I finished but it is deeply disturbing for many reasons. One of them being: it is written through a cognitive bias of a rich white man describing so many problems to avoid that don't even exist for the majority of people on this planet.

"You should not be worried about volatility of Dow Jones as your assets won't be triggered too much in a long term". Congratulation to those who have a privilege to worry about their assets
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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 conc
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Marie // Callisto
DNF

I stopped reading because it seems like I am not part of the audience the book is targeted to. Repeatedly it felt like the book is directed towards middle aged wealthy men and the advice given isn't quite that what I needed or was made to believe I needed. I appreciate what this book is trying to do and some points are thought provoking and made me think, however other points I simply couldn't agree with or they're really far away from everyday life.
In general I thought this book might be mor
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EunSeong
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 fro ...more
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.
Vimal Kumar
Aug 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Insightful, challenging to established norms, and helping to think clearly.
Ludditus
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
I clearly had too high expectations from this kinda self-help book; I should have known better. Out of a whim, I purchased this paperback despite its idiotic cover instead of reading the e-book; either way, despite of the number of 52 reminding me of the cheesy (but much less patronizing) book Hot Lemon and Honey, I hoped to find inside a few “quick fixes” served as “here's what I think, with a minimum of logical argumentation.” Note that I didn't read The Art of Thinking Clearly yet.

Note to sel
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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 (Rho
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Gloria
May 21, 2020 rated it liked it
I had initially given this a 4-star rating, but after a little thought, I brought it down to 3.

Firstly, it is an insightful book and thought-provoking book with a lot of practical advice that is an interesting mix of (view spoiler) I noticed some people either abhorred the short snippet format or enjoyed it—I belong to the latter camp. It's a nice little guide that doesn't necessarily require you to dedicat
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Yuen Tan
May 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
I love Rolf Dobelli’s earlier book, a very clear thinker! Whilst in The Art of Thinking Clearly he wrote mostly about cognitive biases, in this book he tries to offer mental toolkits to help living a good life (2 sides of a coin, hence my 4 star rating, not 5).

Perhaps this should be called the art of living a good life as a Stoic :) No sir, I believe in God and relying on that to live my purposeful life - but really appreciate your toolkits!

Note: short 52 chapters original for newspaper column,
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Adham Elazhari
Jun 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Really good book the writer gives some really good techniques and tools to overcome bad perspective towards life events. and I really enjoyed the part when he write about how re-reading books is so beneficial ... and borrowing one of his sentences '' life is too short for two things : bad reading and hatred ''
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.
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 cha
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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.
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
Konstantinos Mirmigkos
May 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
After reading this book you are definitely not going to master the "Good Life", but you will notice that some of Rolf's suggestions, might make you think wiser, make better decisions and focus on things that really matter. This might not lead to the "Good Life", but it definitely leads to a "Better Daylife".
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 ha
...more
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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".

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109 likes · 16 comments
“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.” 4 likes
“There’s nothing more idiotic than slogging away at a job that earns you lots of money but brings you no joy—especially if you’re investing that money in items rather than experiences.” 3 likes
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