A Practical Guide to Happiness: Think Deeply and Flourish was first published in 2012 by Icon Books as Introducing Happiness: A Practical Guide. The new edition was published in 2018. The book is a brief and breezy tour through a range of philosophical approaches to happiness – from the ancient Stoics, Epicureans and Cynics, to the sages of China and India, to the modern-day positive psychology movement – backed up by loads of practical exercises, so that you can put these various philosophies to the test.
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Many books on happiness promise you the secret of happiness, the One True Path to earthly bliss. In this book, I attempt to do something different: to offer a way of helping the reader navigate through the many claims that are made about happiness, to better judge which of these claims are plausible, what kinds of happiness are desirable, what approaches to happiness are the best, and also what other things, besides happiness, may also matter.
This is a guide, in other words, that aims to raise more questions than it answers, and that – through a mixture of philosophical and practical approaches – aims to help the reader explore questions about happiness, human meaning and mattering more deeply than before.