Paul Dolan: Happiness by Design

“The more time you spend attending to things that make you happy, the happier you will be”.

I have just finished reading, “Happiness by Design: Finding Pleasure and Purpose in Everyday Life” by economist Paul Dolan. Published in 2014 this book is an economist’s view of the happiness literature. The question Paul asks is, “How can managing our limited time impact our mood?” His answer is a great deal; and that by following simple steps we can be happier.

In Paul’s view happiness is a balance between pleasure and purpose. We can be happier by managing the scarce resource of our attention; how we decide to use our time, how we design our daily lives and environments, and how we act. What we do, in terms of our attention and actions will markedly influence our happiness. And remember to smile! There is clear evidence that making the decision to smile directly improves our mood and that of those around us.

It’s a great read, a little dry but accessible and worth the effort. From my point of view anything that improves the amount of happiness in the world is good. I recommend this book.



About sustainabilityandbeauty

My passion is telling the stories of possibility, seeking a sustainable and beautiful future. My training is in science, chemistry, environmental science and teaching.
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