The knowledge and wisdom of 100 happiness professors from around the world.
It may be surprising to learn the amount of scientific research conducted on happiness and that there is a world database of happiness, a cumulative and continuous register of that research. In fact, the United States ranks higher than average in happiness, though not as high as the Nordic countries, including the happiest of nations, Denmark.
So perhaps there is a lot to be learned about happiness and how to achieve it. The World Book of Happiness is a fascinating compilation of brief essays by 100 of the most prominent experts in positive psychology working in 50 countries. Writing from their own areas of expertise in language free of academic jargon, the contributors examine the principles of happiness, also known as subjective well-being, and how to achieve it. These expert recommendations are shown as "keys" to happiness.
The book reveals many paths to happiness. From the founder of positive psychology, it is "other people matter." From Germany it is "pride, modesty and gratitude." In Malaysia it is "nourish the soul," and in Austria "fitness, friends and fun" bring happiness. And in Denmark, home to the happiest: "Believe in yourself." But what, too, of genetics, geography and health? The experts also consider these factors and recommend keys to happiness that address what we think we cannot control.
Positive psychology may not be widely known, but the desire to be happy is universal. By transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom, The World Book of Happiness brings readers a hopeful and practical guide to that elusive state of being.
The World Book of Happiness...acts as a good lead-in to considering happiness as being an important issue that may well have a bearing on world peace. In fact, the Chairman of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, apparently sent copies of this book as his New Year's gift to world leaders. Students of positive psychology might find it provides good direction for further reading. Individuals aware of their own feeling states may find it useful to judge which of the listed happiness circumstances affects their lives.--John Buchanan"Winnipeg Free Press" (12/11/2011)