Book Reviews and Links Baker, Dan, Ph.D. and Stauth, Cameron, What Happy People Know --- How the New Science of Happiness Can Change Your Life for the Better, 2004.

I love this no-nonsense book. As director of the extraordinary Life Enhancement Program at Canyon Ranch, Dan Baker has helped many people to learn to live happier lives, and in this book he describes how you can learn to do the same thing. I’m sorry that I can’t take all my clients to Canyon Ranch, but I’ve found Baker’s book to be a great way to share some of the Ranch’s most important lessons.

Baker describes the qualities of happiness – like love, optimism and humor – and then he talks about the tools you can use to get there. Appreciation, he says, is the most fundamental happiness tool, and he describes specific techniques for using appreciation to dispel fear and start movement toward positive solutions.

One section that I have found to be particularly useful is his discussion of how to change one’s negative inner dialogue. Not being born an optimist myself, this is an area where I have had to do a lot of work, and this book would have been handy during that process. One rule he offers is simply to talk to yourself the way you want others to talk to you.

I don’t agree with every word of WHPK, but even the paragraphs I question have offered me something to think about, and have led to some good conversations. Dr. Baker – thanks for writing this book.

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