Kirkus Review: Connecting Happiness and Success

Debut author and businessman White presents a practical guide to connecting happiness and success.

White, a business leadership coach, develops a clear theme in this how-to book: “Success doesn’t lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.” The things we think will make us happier often don’t, he adds. Indeed, White says, Americans today confuse pleasure with happiness and are losing the ability to identify and maintain lasting happiness. His book aims to help people understand the connection between happiness and success by exploring seven key topics—differentiating between pleasure and happiness; taking control of one’s life; building positive relationships; seeking a higher purpose; defining success; clarifying and prioritizing goals; and implementing goals with discipline. According to White, happy people feel autonomous, practice gratitude, live in the moment, maintain positive relationships, practice kindness, pursue a purpose larger than self and connect meaning with their work. The last few chapters emphasize the importance of defining success, writing down one’s goals and realizing that success “is something we work on every day.” The book capably surveys many of the works of the top thinkers in the field, and although it lacks footnotes, it includes a good bibliography at the end. It is practical, easy to read, and bolstered by useful charts, tables and exercises that take readers through a step-by-step process of improving their lives. A lack of willpower is one of the greatest barriers to personal change, White argues, and his book offers helpful tips on self-motivation, such as using rituals to promote automatic actions and to encourage good habits. Many other self-help guides have advocated some of the ideas found in this one, including taking control of your life, and have offered similar practical tips, such as: “Buy a journal; and before you go to bed, take a few minutes to reflect on what you feel grateful for that day, and what went right.” But White adds value with an interactive website that has a feature called “Happiness Hacks”––containing 17 helpful reminders for linking happiness and success––and a free mobile app to track one’s happiness level.

A practical, follow-the-recipe approach to a better life, with some helpful Web-based resources for follow-through.

Pub Date: May 28th, 2014

ISBN: 978-0692216064

Page count: 284pp

Publisher: Xilo Media

Program: Kirkus Indie

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7th, 2014

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