Jan 8, 2014

Book Review: The Happiness Hypothesis

First book for this year was The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt. It was awesome book to start with. Basic idea of the book is to compare ancient wisdom to the knowledge of today's psychology. But it is much more, it's a journey to the roots of happiness. What makes people happy and why.

Book starts with basics of mind. It goes through the theories and thoughts about what mind is and how it is supposed to work. Book introduces the elephant and the rider metaphor, where conscious mind is the rider and the elephant is the automatic processes. This works as a good simplification on many of the other things that come up in the book.

Book goes through very comprehensively theories about happiness. Why complete freedom actually isn't a way to happiness and how money could buy happiness. It introduces so many important insights about happiness, that it wouldn't make sense to start going those all through here.

Book talks quite much also about divinity and gods. It goes through religions from many different perspectives. Religions are known to be source of happiness, but the as the book states believing to god isn't all there is. Author Jonathan Haidt is atheist, so the he talks critically about religions, but still explains how and why people need religions.

Book is only around 250 pages, but is still covers so many things. It talks about work life, history, ancient religions, raising kids, philosophy, medicine and so many other things. It is packed in a really good form. It is easy to read, but still I felt there was enough background offered on the facts that were presented.

This goes in my list as the books that should be made mandatory on schools. I didn't agree on all the opinions in the book, but that's not the point. It raises so many thoughts and will definitely make my life better in the future. I highly recommend this book to everyone.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

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