What is happiness? How can we encourage well-being in others? These are the sorts of questions that have kept philosophers busy since the dawn of human history. In “The Origins of Happiness,” a team of the world’s leading social scientists tackles these age-old mysteries. Their groundbreaking findings may change the workplace and public
Listed as one of the top five books Business Insider was excited about for the year 2018, “Origins” does not disappoint. If you want to better understand your own happiness or the happiness of others, you’ll find the book to be an enlightening page turner. Even though it’s based on years of research and filled with graphs and data to support the authors’ arguments, it doesn’t read like a heady scientific report.
On the contrary, this fairly short book is surprisingly accessible. Between the charts and equations, you’ll find “Origins” has wit, charm, and wisdom in spades. With their down-to-earth prose, the authors dissect complex arguments and strip long-held beliefs to their core assumptions. The result is a methodical yet enjoyable exploration of what it means to live well in today’s world.
While it’s designed to help policymakers quantify and boost the satisfaction of their citizens, there is something for everyone in “Origins.” The chapters on success and happiness in children are of particular interest to parents and educators, for example. Business owners and managers should be especially interested in the book’s data-driven reimagining of wealth and happiness.
The paycheck is no longer the universal incentive for employees we once thought it was. One has only to look to Silicon Valley to know that some of the most successful companies on the planet have prioritized the well-being of their employees. The quirky perks and benefits offered by Google and Amazon make much more sense from a business standpoint after reading “Origins.”
This is one of those rare works that captures the prevailing winds of the business world and puts them into easy-to-understand terms backed by hard data. Far more than vague platitudes about money not buying happiness, “Origins” will change the way you think about everyone’s well-being — including your own.
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