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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Happiness at Work: Be Resilient, Motivated, and Successful - No Matter What » User review

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." Helen Keller

  • Aug 12, 2010
Some of the most interesting material in this book includes Srikumar S. Rao's advice re "No Matter What." Using the extended metaphor of a journey, he offers practical advice about how to cope with inclement weather, barriers, delays, unforeseen threats, etc. His insights are best revealed within the narrative, in context and in sequence. After Rao provides a "map" to his reader and shows his reader the "road," only the reader can make the "journey."

In this context, I am reminded of Henry Ford's observation, "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're probably right." Having read and then re-read Rao's book, I now presume to paraphrase that observation: "Whether you think you can be happy at work or you can't, you're probably right." Make no mistake about it: What Rao asks his reader to do is very difficult (but not impossible) and very complicated (but not incomprehensible). "So, go forward with the thought that this is not a book to be read; it is to be experienced. Engage with it, wrestle with it, turn it upside down and peer into its crevices. If you expend significant emotional energy in this grappling, it will pay for itself tenfold or more in terms of the benefit you derive."

At the end of each of the 35 brief chapters, Rao inserts a synthesis of his key points in the material just provided. I strongly recommend that most (preferably all) of these be reviewed occasionally, not because any of them are head-snapping revelations (nor does Rao make any such claim) but because they serve as helpful reminders that re-enforce each other.

Readers will appreciate the casual, conversational tone that Rao immediately establishes and then sustains. He makes brilliant use of direct address. He also has a playful (but not disingenuous) manner. He is especially innovative when addressing important issues. For example:

"Imagine that you are the great Director in the Sky, the orchestrator of all events in the movie of your life. You are a meticulous worker; every detail in your character's life has been planned. But now you're the character. Observe your life as someone else who is intimately familiar with every aspect of your situation - your thoughts, your feelings, your hopes and aspirations - might view it. See the drama and pathos as if you were the audience of a staged play.

"This is not easy to do, and you probably won't succeed in your first attempt. Keep trying until you succeed. You will if you keep trying." (Chapter 18, Page 116)

Note the proposed strategy of detachment that will permit a more detached, objective perspective. Note also Rao's use of a dramatic setting that leverages pathos to illuminate as well as energize the reader's given circumstances. Most of the worst decisions that people make are the result of excessive emotion or inflexible logic. "No matter what," Rao suggests, it is imperative to be resilient and motivated to achieve success (however defined) and, meanwhile, "Be happy now. Know that whatever is aggravating you is trivial. Let it go." Do not seek joy in your job, at home, or anywhere else. Release it from your heart and share it generously with everyone you encounter as your "journey" continues.

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November 18, 2010
I completely agree that you need to be resilient and motivated to achieve success....no matter what! Very inspiring review...I'm gonna have to check this book out, thanks! Have you read @trbrady's review? I think you'll enjoy it!
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review by . May 31, 2010
We live in a me-centered society. We want what we want and we want it right now. For some reason, we believe that if everything isn't exactly as we plan it, we've somehow failed. So we focus on the getting and achieving rather than experiencing the here and now and seeing what's really important.     Over the years, I've read hundreds of self help, personal growth, and business books. Many of these works promote or touch on the concepts presented in Happiness at Work. However, …
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Robert Morris ()
Ranked #168
Professionally, I am an independent management consultant who specializes in accelerated executive development and breakthrough high-impact organizational performance. I also review mostly business books … more
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About this book


Learn to create resilience and happiness no matter what’s going on in your life

In these tough times, there are few people who are completely happy with the current conditions. From business executives to the everyday Joe or Jane, everyone seems to be going through a rough economic and personal crunch. But acclaimed business school Professor Srikumar Rao says that we can learn to create joy no matter what else may be going on around us.

Rao shows you that it isn't the negative thing that happens to you that causes your unhappiness, it's how you see it. Happiness at Work is a thought-provoking new title that moves the mind away from negativity and forces you to resist labeling situations as "bad", but rather seeing them as neutral.

Happiness at Work provides:

  • Surprising ways of looking at change and problem-solving
  • Exercises that shift one’s perspective

Learn the vital wisdom necessary to achieving a joyful, successful life as you define it through greater resilience and a strong inner core. Get it now with The Happiness Choice.

"Follow Srikumar Rao’s instructions and you will enjoy the journey to more happiness and meaning in your life, no matter what!"
--Marshall Goldsmith, author of What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

"Happiness at Work brings new understanding of the essential role happiness plays in workplace learning and performance. Srikumar Rao’s guidelines for our journey to leadership include ...

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ISBN-10: 0071664327
ISBN-13: 978-0071664325
Author: Srikumar Rao
Genre: Health, Mind & Body, Nonfiction
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
First to Review

"Happiness at Work"
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