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The Art of Happiness at Work Paperback – Sep 7 2004

3.3 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Books; 1 edition (Sept. 7 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594480540
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594480546
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.5 x 21.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #96,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

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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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I give this book 3 stars primarily because it could have been "tighter" as a result of more rigorous editing. However, there are good ideas here and they can be engaged immediately.
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".
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Format: Hardcover
Howard Cutler's first book with the Dalai Lama, "The Art Of Happiness," was packed with wonderful and accessible teachings from the Dalai Lama. We owe Mr. Cutler much thanks for the work he put into his efforts on his first book when it was not sure thing anyone would either publish or read his collection of interviews with the Dalai Lama.
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.
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Format: Hardcover
THE ART OF HAPPINESS AT WORK by The Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler falls considerably short of THE ART OF HAPPINESS, the original work by the same authors. In the original book The Dalai Lama provides very interesting views that can be applied to a variety scenarios in life, including the workplace.
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.
Douglas McAllister
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Format: Hardcover
I read the first Art of Happiness book, actually I listened to it while In the hospital recovering from spinal cord surgery, and I found it a truly life changing experience. The teachings in that book have stayed with me ever since (2000) and I still try to incorporate them into my daily life. Now comes a topic that effects almost every single adult not only in the United States but the world. How many of us hate our jobs? I mean hate in every sense of the word? So much so that just the thought of Sunday night knowing that you have to go to "that place" literally makes you sick? We've probably all been there at one time or another, some still there right now. Now how many of us like our jobs? I don't mean tolerate our jobs, I mean enjoy going to and look forward to going to work? Probably a small number. Lately I've been struggling with the "what do I really want to do with my life" question as well as the "I have to do something more meanigful and enjoyable than this." Face it, we spend more time with our co-workers then we do with our own children and family. This is a very, very sad statement. Anywhere between 8-11 hours per day are work related, not counting the tarvel time to and from the office which could add an additional 1-3 hours to the total depending on where one lives and the commute. Shouldn't we truly enjoy what we do during this time? Why do most of us hate our jobs, hate our career choices and hate our career direction? I guess alot has to do with the choices we made when we were too young and inexperienced to make a choice that would become so important in our lives. Face facts, most of decide on a career direction by the time we're 17-18-19 years old. I knew nothing at this age although I thought I did.Read more ›
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