Paul Dolan – Happiness By Design

This book has been my reading material over the past couple of weeks.

It probably falls into the “Self-help” category, which I swore off a few years back, but then Oliver Burkeman recommended it and I thought I’d give it a shot.

I’m about three-quarters of the way through. So far is his advice is based on a lot of behavioural research, which makes it a bit more credible than the usual offering. Most of it sounds like it would help if you were able to put it into practice.

Predictably though, much of the content has just washed over me. I suppose I could have highlighted the salient bits as I went along (I have it on Kindle) but I didn’t think of that till it was too late.

As it is, my life isn’t particularly unhappy, so I don’t feel a big need for this book. Maybe if things were grim I would have paid more attention. (He says what you pay attention to is important for your happiness).

He divides happiness into pleasure and purpose, which was a new concept for me. My own view is that happiness is largely innate, unless your circumstances are particularly unfortunate.

Anyway, if you enjoy self-help books I’d say this is one of the better ones. Available here on Amazon UK.