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Publisher's Summary

A leading expert on health psychology, well-being, and resilience argues that happiness is the key to fast tracking our professional and personal success.

Everyone wants to be happy and successful. And yet the pursuit of both has never been more elusive. As work and personal demands rise, we try to keep up by juggling everything better, moving faster, and doing more. While we might succeed in the short term, it comes at a cost to our well-being, our relationships, and, paradoxically, our productivity.

In The Happiness Track, Emma Seppala, the science director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University, explains that our inability to achieve sustainable fulfillment is tied to common but outdated notions about success. We are taught that getting ahead means doing everything that's thrown at us (and then some) with razor-sharp focus and iron discipline; that success depends on our drive and talents; and that achievement cannot happen without stress.

The Happiness Track demolishes these counterproductive theories. Drawing on the latest findings from the fields of cognitive psychology and neuroscience - research on happiness, resilience, willpower, compassion, positive stress, creativity, and mindfulness - Seppala shows that finding happiness and fulfillment may, in fact, be the most productive thing we can do to thrive professionally. Filled with practical advice on how to apply these scientific findings to our daily lives, The Happiness Track is a life-changing guide to fast tracking our success and creating the anxiety-free lives we want.

©2016 Emma Seppala (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about The Happiness Track

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Does the book contain references?

I enjoyed it. It was light reading - listening, really. I was surprised when it ended at chapter 7. I thought I was, at best, halfway through.

Meditation, counter-culture, and many likewise and interrelated topics that were highlighted and skimmed in this book have been a long interest of mine. So, this book felt like the Reader's Digest version of that.

Not horrible, not bad, but I'm glad I got it as part of my audible trial. I don't feel it's worth $16. (I recall that being the price.) Maybe $5. I could see it being $16 in paperback, if the references to the frequently-stated "research shows" were included, since I would like to see that research and go in further depth. I can't with an audio book.

Overall, it's very good light reading. It's almost like listening to a novel. But I'm, at the end, left feeling like I'm leaving the book mostly empty-handed. Don't get me wrong - the overall attitude and advise were invaluable, reminding me to not be so hard on myself, but application and science are not the strong suit of this book. not the audible version, at least.

9 people found this helpful

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Lots of Chicken soup

Good overall but not for the seasoned veteran. More elementary with a broad range of coverage and not a great deal of depth in any one area. Narration felt a little pollyannish as well.

9 people found this helpful

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WARNING!

Great overall book reviewing the broader strokes of positive psychology. EXCEPT the way the author presents chapter 5, she appears to not understand the difference between Clifton's strengths and Dweck's mindset. The author really does seem to mean a fixed mindset when she writes about the associated dangers, but used the word "strengths" instead of trait or ability. This makes chapter 5 a pretty dangerous misdirection. If you have studied and get the difference, then you'll probably enjoy the rest.

3 people found this helpful

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Condescending and uninspiring

What disappointed you about The Happiness Track?

I've listened to a few self-improvement books before and overall, this one hasn't floored me with any of its scientific "break-throughs". Most of this information I've already heard in some form or another in other books, such as the benefits of meditation (not breaking news whatsoever). Plus whoever read this book has the most condescending voice I've ever heard, especially when she explains some of the exercises in this book as "so easy because you already have all the tools you need to complete them: your mind" (not a direct quote, but something along those lines). I can't even finish this book it's so annoying. Hopefully Audible will let me return it.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Ugh, overly saccharine and condescending.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Mb
  • 07-15-17

deep insight into the physiology of happiness

loved it . definitely gave me a deep insight into how the physical ,mental and social play a part in happiness and holistic health

1 person found this helpful

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Thought Provoking, Scientific and Relevant!

Where does The Happiness Track rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Near the top for this category.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Examples range from CEO's, Nobel prize winners, congressman, and humanitarians. Stories involving military veterans are particularly engrossing.

What does Nan McNamara bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She has an authoritative voice, that adds concreteness to the scientific nature of the text, but also fits naturally with the lighter and more entertaining parts.

What did you learn from The Happiness Track that you would use in your daily life?

Where to start, each chapter has practical tips and suggestions for living a more happy and successful life. Overall, the idea that success comes from happiness and not the other way around was profound. Also, that sacrificing short term happiness for perceived long-term success, is an endless unfulfilling cycle. This book gives you a way out of that cycle to enjoy what you have now.

Any additional comments?

This book is for anyone who consistently says there aren't enough hours in the day, anyone who is pursuing or in high-stress jobs or industries, consulting, investment banking, military etc. Honestly, everyone who reads this is likely to benefit and discover a happier and more successful way of life, and everyone should!

1 person found this helpful

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Full helpful information

This book has a lot of useful information that one can use in a daily basis. The most helpful knowledge that I got from this book was the demystification of the hustle culture. How the pursuit of wealth can be harmful to us and get in the way of a most important goal which is the pursuit of happiness.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to have a balanced lifestyle in a world full of harmful ideals.

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Didn't enjoy.

Felt love I was being told what I already know. Performance didn't engage me either.

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Repetitive citations of other people's work

This is nothing more than a systematic review of happiness literature. the listener will grow weary of the predictable monotony of this book. this was a purchase I deeply regret.

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Must read -- quick and persuasive

I have been an overachiever and also have been suffering from extreme and debilitating anxiety and depression for last decade.

Loved it a lot. Used to be a person who would dismiss many such books earlier. The author of this book happens to have been a student and professor at my college, so I couldn't dismiss it by thinking --- oh easy to say, she doesn't know what it takes to aim high to achieve greatly and be a part of such overachieving networks it gives you anxiety and depression all the time.

Very well researched and data backed. And I could connect the dots of what she said, and what a 5 year practitioner of Vipassana had said to me (calming body through breath, because even anger can be felt in the body first before the mind).

Highly recommend to feel better about oneself and this book can persuade you scientifically to start a 15min daily breathing practice.

And if you've begun to lose the strength to live anymore, it may give you back some strength as it did for me, and some answers too

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  • Richard McFerran
  • 10-06-19

Great book

It is great to read a book that promotes the way to success is by being calm and showing empathy for others.

I didn't learn anything new, what I gained was that there are times when I need to work at putting what I know into practice.

1 person found this helpful

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  • LornaBowdenArt
  • 05-18-16

Uplifting.

Elevating, inspiring and highly informative, this book is a must listen for understanding happiness generation.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Marios Georgiou
  • 08-21-16

Scientific and inspiring

The field of positive psychology can seem a bit airy-fairy unless it's backed up with science and filled with practical advice. This is an excellent book for readers in the field just starting or intermediates. A lot of material on success and mindsets also worth noting.

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  • Joanne
  • 04-17-17

Not as good as I was lead to believe...

While there are some great points & tips I found myself having to constantly filter out the never ending long winded tiles of professors from whatever institute in the such in such department and author of ......etc etc. Scenarios often related to those in corporate/ business & higher academic learning environments which I found less relatable.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jeff
  • 05-13-16

Brilliant useful tools that has me happier and loving life

I really liked the tools and the science behind it. Simplified and understandable stratified that I have been able to implement immediately.

1 person found this helpful