Cover image for How we choose to be happy : the 9 choices of extremely happy people-- their secrets, their stories
How we choose to be happy : the 9 choices of extremely happy people-- their secrets, their stories
Foster, Rick, 1949-
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Publication Information:
New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, [1999]

Physical Description:
xxi, 227 pages ; 23 cm
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BF575.H27 F67 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
BF575.H27 F67 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
BF575.H27 F67 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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What does it mean to be truly happy? Is there a secret to happiness?To most people it is self-evident--the secret to true happiness is not found in riches, things, or events. The source of happiness, as revealed in this insightful, inspiring, and infinitely practical book, is to be found in the way we choose to live our lives.Truly happy people make conscious decisions about how they will confront all of life's challenges. In the face of sometimes overwhelming circumstances, they create happiness by making the same nine internal, principle-centered choices.The people whose stories illuminate this book, representing a wide range of ages, and economic, social, political, and religious backgrounds, all make an active commitment to be happy. They are accountable for their own actions, thoughts, and feelings. They identify what makes them happy and make it central to their lives. Happy people find meaning and emotional energy in every event. They are flexible and open to life's many options. They appreciate what they have, and give unceasingly with no expectation of a "return." Happy people are truthful with themselves and others.How We Choose to Be Happy explores the nine choices that extremely happy people make, and shows how anyone can follow these tenets to create a unique personal experience.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

What are the common links between people who are happy? Are they all free from adversity? Lucky? Or were they happy from childhood on? Corporate trainers Foster and Hicks set out on a quest to find out what happy people have in common by interviewing scores of people across the country described as happy by themselves and others. What they discovered was not a set of circumstances that linked them but nine choices that people made at some point in their lives that kept them happy, even in spite of tragedies in their lives. Through case studies profiling such diverse individuals as a dance instructor, a limousine driver, and a former teacher who is now an invalid, they clearly explain each choice. The authors describe the choices as analogous to spokes in a wheel--without one the wheel is not balanced. Exercises in each chapter will prompt readers to take stock of their own happiness levels and discover how to change their perspectives and make the choices that allow for happiness in their lives. For all self-help collections. (Reviewed March 15, 1999)0399144609Marlene Chamberlain

Library Journal Review

Foster and Hicks conduct workshops internationally in the development of interpersonal skills. For this book, they interviewed happy people from all walks of life, from the United States to Eastern Europe. The resulting personal stories, writing exercises, and quotes together inform and instruct the reader in the nine principles discovered by the authors in their travels. Foster and Hicks use their nine choices to teach leadership development in the corporate world and also as a diagnostic tool for medical doctors. These choices include the active intention to be happy, accountability, identifying needs and desires, and centralizing goals by creating a dream list. These are followed by recasting (looking at experiences in positive ways), exploring options, appreciating every day, the art of giving, and, finally, exploring truthfulness. Similar to Sarah Ban Breathnach's Simple Abundance (Warner, 1995) and the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, this is recommended for public libraries and consumer health collections.‘Lisa S. Wise, Broome Cty. P.L., Binghamton, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Table of Contents Title Page Copyright Page Dedication Acknowledgements   Chapter 1 - Intention Chapter 2 - Accountability Chapter 3 - Identification Chapter 4 - Centrality Chapter 5 - Recasting Chapter 6 - Options Chapter 7 - Appreciation Chapter 8 - Giving Chapter 9 - Truthfulness Chapter 10 - Synergy   Afterword "Foster and Hicks conduct workshops internationally in the development of interpersonal skills. For this book, they interviewed happy people from all walks of life, from the United States to Eastern Europe. The resulting personal stories, writing exercises, and quotes together inform and instruct the reader in the nine principles discovered by the authors in their travels. Recommended." -- Library Journal     "My plan was to read the book long enough to decide whether I would write a testimonial. In a short time I found myself in the middle of a remarkable torrent of brilliant ideas, all delivered in a warm and sturdy format. I realized that at some unnoticed moment I had changed, and was now reading because I was convinced the book would be of great personal value to me--it could help me find more happiness. It is a delightful and boundlessly valuable book, especially for those readers willing to explore the possibility that happiness is something we can all choose." -Will Schutz, Ph. D., author of Joy, Joy: 20 Years Later and The Human Element. A PERIGEE BOOK Published by the Penguin Group Penguin Group (USA) Inc. 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R ORL, England Penguin Group Ireland, 25 St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.) Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.) Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 I Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi-110 017, India Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.) Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa   Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R ORL, England   While the authors have made every effort to provide accurate telephone numbers and Internet addresses at the time of publication, neither the publisher nor the authors assume any responsibility for errors, or for changes that occur after publication. Further, the publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.   Copyright © 1999 by Rick Foster and Greg Hicks   All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author's rights. Purchase only authorized editions. PERIGEE is a registered trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. The "P" design is a trademark belonging to Penguin Group (USA) Inc.   PRINTING HISTORY G. P. Putnam's Sons edition / April 1999 Revised Perigee trade paperback / June 2004   Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data   Foster, Rick. How we choose to be happy : the 9 choices of extremely happy people : their secrets, their stories / Rick Foster and Greg Hicks. p. cm. eISBN : 978-1-101-00738-9 1. Happiness. 2. Happiness-Case studies. I. Hicks, Greg. II. Title. BF575.H27F-37033 CIP 158.1-dc21       PUBLISHER' NOTE: Neither the publisher nor the authors are engaged in rendering professional advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures, and suggestions contained in this book are not intended as a substitute for consulting with your physician. All matters regarding your health require medical supervision. Neither the authors nor the publisher shall be liable or responsible for any loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or suggestion in this book.   Most Perigee books are available at special quantity discounts for bulk purchases for sales promotions, premiums, fund-raising, or educational use. Special books, or book excerpts, can also be created to fit specific needs. For details, write: Special Markets, Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014. For our children Tim and Molly Hicks Alex and Kathryn Foster Acknowledgments Our happiness journey has run through two eras--first, the research and writing of this book, and next, the amazing developments after its initial publication. From the beginning, it has been graced by so many who have championed it. Thanks to our editor and trusted friend, John Duff, at Penguin who nurtured and supported our work every step of the way, and to our agent Angela Miller. Thanks also for the skill and superb judgment of our independent editors: Marilyn Foster for her careful reading and insightful suggestions and Paula Munier for her knowledgeable and optimistic cheerleading through the writing process. Ron Luyet, always gentle of spirit and compassionate about our human strengths and foibles, gave generously of his professional understandings and his materials, including the "List of Defenses." Thanks also to landscape architect Laurie Grassman of Boulder, Colorado, for her invaluable help with flora, to Dr. David Spear for his deep insight into the interaction of behavior and biochemistry, to Philip Turner and Tonda Marton for advice about writing projects in general, and to Tonda for giving us a "writer's retreat" in New York City. Our first Happiness Workshops were sponsored by Dr. Barbara Scott in San Luis Obispo, California. Eva Nemeth transformed her physical therapy offices in Marina Del Rey, California, into a conference center on our behalf. A wonderful crew from Shelburne Farms, Vermont, including Emily Morrow, Alec Webb, Megan Camp and Paul and Eileen Growald, supported our work in their community. Thanks to all of them for adding to the demographic depth of the interviews and to our understanding of happiness. We also have an extraordinary support system of friends and family who gave unconditionally to the early days of the project. Special thanks goes to dear friends--Ellen Tussman, Diane Jarmolow, Russell Kaltschmidt, Herb Kindler, Marilyn Ginsburg and Janet Cobb. Their referrals to interview sources, opinions and reactions were critical to the development of our ideas. Our generous and patient readers were our parents, Lenore and Don Hicks and Harold and Diana Foster. Matt Weinstein and Geneen Roth gave us a much-needed kick-start in the beginning. And "The Men's Group" continues to provide a superb forum to experiment, try out ideas, and receive loving yet firm feedback. We also want to express our gratitude to Ailish and the late Will Schutz, who over the years taught us so much, and introduced us to the wonderful acupuncturist, Dr. Van Vu. His work kept us balanced, and gave us the energy to do our research, write a book, raise our children and continue working. Since the initial publication of How We Choose to Be Happy, a great number of people and institutions have introduced us to professional arenas we couldn't have previously imagined. Our deepest gratitude goes to Duffy Newman and Joanna Infantine of the Health Forum in San Francisco, who gave us a superb entree to the medical world. There is no way to individually thank all the wonderful people with whom we're partnering in the medical fields, but special thanks go to Doctors Nicholas LaRusso and Jeanne Huddleston of The Mayo Clinic, who astonish us with their drive for excellence. At Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Dr. David Jaques and Aileen Killen provided us with a life-altering view of surgery. Elizabeth Duthie, Director of Nursing for Patient Care Systems at NYU Hospitals Center, has been full of ideas and information and is an encouraging friend. And, Jenny Kirksey, Community Health Director of Wake Forest Baptist Hospitals has been a great supporter. We thank all of you who have become friends and colleagues. Other faculty and organizational work has also been a source of inspiration and growth. Many thanks to Dr. Joseph Mori and Julie Ryan who have included us as faculty in their MSA program at San Jose State University. Becky Miles-Polka and Gail Hardinger have also given us faculty positions with the wonderful Iowa Community Health Leadership Institute. And James Baraz and Edith Politis have brought us into the unexpected delights of the Buddhist community at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Marin County, California. You have all enriched our lives immeasurably. Above all, we deeply thank the hundreds of "extremely happy people" from around the world, whose love, commitment, words and thoughts appear in these pages. There is no way to express fully our respect and gratitude to them. They have changed our lives, and we thank them deeply for the kindness, honesty and thoughtfulness they shared with us. Although their names and hometowns have been changed, their true spirits soar through every part of this book and continue to inform our lives. A Note to the Reader Excerpted from How We Choose to Be Happy: The 9 Choices of Extremely Happy People--Their Secrets, Their Stories by Foster, Rick Foster, Greg Hicks All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.