Book Review: Choose the Life You Want by Tal Ben-Shahar
September 27, 2012 7 Comments
Subtitle: 101 Ways to Create Your Own Road to Happiness
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Number of pages: 304
First published: 2012
I got this book: from The Experiment via Netgalley (ebook)
Genre: non-fiction, self-help
Choose the Life You Want: What it is about
This is not the sort of self-help book where you are asked to do many exercises which will tell you some great truth about yourself or that help you forward in life. Rather, the book lists 101 choices that you can make at a time of decision. Once you realise that you have a choice at any time in your life, in your day, in your present, you can act.
An example, choose between Procrastinate or Just do it! Easy to say, but the book adds some tips: just carry out that unpleasant task for 5 minutes. Usually that is enough to get you started and you’ll Just be doing it after all. Another example of a choice: Remain indifferent or Help and contribute. A study found that the well-being of people who help other people is higher than those who do nothing. So, by helping others you are helping yourself. Being aware of this will improve your own life.
The book is organised such that each of the 101 choices is followed by a quote from a famous person that is pertinent to the choice, whereafter there is a brief explanation of the choice and a real-life story illustrating the choice.
Choose the Life You Want: What I thought
If you read the book all in one go and plan to take all these options into account, you’ll go mad. But what you can do, is look through the options and choose one or two that you want to work on in the next few weeks. Then make sure you recognise situations where there is a choice to be made, and act upon your new resolution.
I think the book is useful as a dip-in/dip-out book that you can use when you have a dilemma, or simply when you feel your life could be enhanced. I’m not a self-help person myself, I hardly ever read self-help books but I think this book is very handy, as you can take it or leave it just as much as you want. It makes you consider how you are dealing with things in your own life and how changing how you handle them might improve things.
The choices are clever but it sometimes feels like several choices could be grouped under one higher-level choice. However, as the writer says himself, by having more choices listed, you can approach your dilemma from different angles. I do think 101 choices is probably overkill for one single person, but there will always be a number of choices that are relevant to each person to use in their own life.
I liked this book!
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Is this a book you would enjoy?