The Art of Happiness at Work Paperback – Sep 7 2004
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In their 1998 book The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and co-author Howard C. Cutler, M.D., explored how inner development contributes to overall happiness. In their second collaboration, the authors considered how they could best follow their highly successful first book. They chose a subject that affects millions of people around the world and produced. In this very readable, useful book, the authors attempt to discover the following: "Where does work fit in to our overall quest for happiness?" and "To what degree does work satisfaction affect our overall life satisfaction and happiness?"The Art of Happiness at Work is a modern-day Socratic dialogue in which Cutler asks the Dalai Lama about the difficulties and rewards we might encounter in the workplace. The authors explore issues such as work and identity, making money, the Buddhist concept of "right livelihood," and transforming dissatisfaction at work. The discussion appears simple, if not obvious, at first, but upon closer scrutiny, the Dalai Lama's profound wisdom and sensitivity emerges. For the Dalai Lama, basic human values such as kindness, tolerance, compassion, honesty, and forgiveness are the source of human happiness. Throughout the book, he illustrates with clear examples how bringing those qualities to bear on work-related challenges can help us tolerate or overcome the most thorny situations. Recognizing that not all problems can be solved, the Dalai Lama provides very sound advice. The authors urge balance and self-awareness and wisely state, "No matter how satisfying our work is, it is a mistake to rely on work as our only source of satisfaction." --Silvana Tropea --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
It should come as no surprise that the Dalai Lama, who is believed by his followers to be the human incarnation of the Buddha of Compassion, would take a compassionate interest in helping Westerners find happiness in the daily grind. Still, this slim follow-up to the 1998 bestseller The Art of Happiness will be a revelation to those who aren't yet familiar with the thought of the brilliant Buddhist monk. Attitude and a sense of meaning are the keys to happiness at work, the exiled Tibetan leader tells psychiatrist Cutler in the course of conversations that took place over several years. What will surprise many is the prime importance the Dalai Lama places on reason and analysis, and on the need to acquire "a sense of self that is grounded in reality, an undistorted recognition of one's abilities and characteristics." Cutler presents the findings of various Western researchers, including the concept of "flow," that state of blissful absorption in an activity that allows people to lose track of time and self-identity. The Dalai Lama compares flow to meditative experience, yet downplays it. In order to achieve the kind of happiness that can be sustained even in the hardest times, he says, we must engage in the slow, steady work of training our hearts and minds, rooting out negative habits and cultivating basic human values like kindness and compassion. The Dalai Lama avoids generalization, emphasizing the complexity of individual situations. He won't condemn the manufacture of weapons, for example, because, he says, although they are destructive, "nations do need weapons for security purposes." At a time when Western spiritual seekers are flocking to books telling them that all they really need to be happy and good is to enter into a blissful meditative communion with the now, it is provocative and moving to be urged to think and to know oneself by the man who is arguably the greatest living symbol of the developed spirit in action. And what may be most moving is this: if the Dalai Lama is right, and if people do as he suggests-if they learn to see themselves impartially and to analyze their work in light of how many people it touches-they will begin to see, whether they are picking oranges or writing a novel, that the highest purpose of work and, indeed, of life is the helping of others.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
As the title states, this book is about happiness at work. What are its attributes, what conditions are most important to assure happiness most of the time, how it impacts performance and the other dimensions of life. All, important topics. The book is written in the form of a long conversation between Howard Cutler and The Dalai Lama.
There are a whole host of interesting ideas. For example, the Dalai Lama comenting "By engaging opposition, a deeper understanding of one's own standpoint emerges." Putting a premium on debate to sharpen one's mind and to foster growth and improvement.
But the most powerful elements of this book are the realization that it's wisdom is quite simple in the end. It's simplicity, however, is complex and difficult to execute each and every day. We need a balanced life. A life that recognizes the interdependence between all aspects of our lives (work, family, hobby, meditation time etc.) We must "reduce the gap between who we are and what we do". The things on which we spend time must have meaning and ideally have some connection with creating a "greater good" and service to others.
Most of all, however, a common theme emerges that suggests that the most important aspect of happiness at work (and for that matter in anything) is one's own "attitude" and outlook. How an individual sees the world is the critical aspect in shaping attitude and therefore "happiness".Read more ›
This new book falls short however. The Dalai Lama doesn't have much of interest to say about the subject in general. Mr. Cutler, in what seems like an ego play, inserts himself into the book at every available opportunity, unlike his first book where he was much more a reporter. The conversations are endlessly boring and sophomoric.
What we do gain is an appreciation of how brilliant a thinker the Dalai Lama is even when he is being hassled by nit picking questions from someone who seems to think there is a sure thing going on. I do hope Mr. Culter gets back on track, becomes a reporter instead of subject, and focuses on topics that are more compatible with the Dalai Lama's keen intelligence.
Or perhaps the interviews have played themselves out and it is time to stop and appreciate the contributions made in the first book.
Hence, ...HAPPINESS AT WORK is very repetitive of the original and runs the risk of placing someone as illustrious as The Dalai Lama in the position of appearing too much like other marketing-driven authors of the genre who pump out repeats of their original works under other titles like ...FOR THE WORKING SOUL, ...FOR THE GOLFING SOUL, OF HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL FAMILIES, ...OF HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL TEENAGERS, etc.
After all, if you read the first book by The Dalai Lama you can easily see how his philosophies concerning happiness apply to all walks of life. Stick with THE ART OF HAPPINESS and discover for yourself how it may apply to a variety of your questions regarding your personal happiness...including in the workplace.
Most recent customer reviews
Are you struggling to climb the corporate ladder? Have a seemingly dead-end job? Or are you in a position to manage and influence others in the workplace? Read morePublished on Feb. 25 2005 by Jeff McAndrews
For someone who has made an attempt to promote so much peace in the world, I find it strange how he promotes so many books. They aren't cheap either. Read morePublished on May 21 2004 by Ahmed O'Toole
I read lot's of books on business, improving your performance on your job, and the like. I found this book to be void of any meaningful content, to the point of lameness. Read morePublished on Jan. 15 2004 by J. Stewart
Thankfully this is a slim book, for I could barely put it down. Don't confuse its brevity for a lack of content. This is a deep and rewarding read. Read morePublished on Dec 3 2003 by tj
Although I agree with some reviewer's who feel that this book is mostly about Howard Cutler's efforts to draw out the Dalai Lama, I also feel that the Dalai Lama is a full party to... Read morePublished on Nov. 30 2003 by Robert David STEELE Vivas
In 1998, H.H. the Dalai Lama joined Dr. Howard C. Cutler, an American psychiatrist, in writing a book "The Art of Happiness" which became a best-seller. Read morePublished on Nov. 6 2003 by Robin Friedman
The first review I read the reviewer had said everything about this book in one sentence "A shameful exploitation of an important religious figure." Dr. Howard C. Read morePublished on Nov. 4 2003
This book is worse than the first one. The first Art of Happiness wasn't bad, but it wasn't great, either. Read morePublished on Oct. 29 2003 by KTB
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