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Build the Life You Want
Cover of Build the Life You Want
Build the Life You Want
The Art and Science of Getting Happier
You can get happier. And getting there will be the adventure of your lifetime.
INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
In Build the Life You Want, Arthur C. Brooks and Oprah Winfrey invite you to begin a journey toward greater happiness no matter how challenging your circumstances. Drawing on cutting-edge science and their years of helping people translate ideas into action, they show you how to improve your life right now instead of waiting for the outside world to change.
With insight, compassion, and hope, Brooks and Winfrey reveal how the tools of emotional self-management can change your life―immediately. They recommend practical, research-based practices to build the four pillars of happiness: family, friendship, work, and faith. And along the way, they share hard-earned wisdom from their own lives and careers as well as the witness of regular people whose lives are joyful despite setbacks and hardship.
Equipped with the tools of emotional self-management and ready to build your four pillars, you can take control of your present and future rather than hoping and waiting for your circumstances to improve. Build the Life You Want is your blueprint for a better life.
You can get happier. And getting there will be the adventure of your lifetime.
INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
In Build the Life You Want, Arthur C. Brooks and Oprah Winfrey invite you to begin a journey toward greater happiness no matter how challenging your circumstances. Drawing on cutting-edge science and their years of helping people translate ideas into action, they show you how to improve your life right now instead of waiting for the outside world to change.
With insight, compassion, and hope, Brooks and Winfrey reveal how the tools of emotional self-management can change your life―immediately. They recommend practical, research-based practices to build the four pillars of happiness: family, friendship, work, and faith. And along the way, they share hard-earned wisdom from their own lives and careers as well as the witness of regular people whose lives are joyful despite setbacks and hardship.
Equipped with the tools of emotional self-management and ready to build your four pillars, you can take control of your present and future rather than hoping and waiting for your circumstances to improve. Build the Life You Want is your blueprint for a better life.
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  • From the cover A Note from Oprah  
     
      One of the many things I got from doing The Oprah Winfrey Show for twenty-five years was a front-row seat to unhappiness. Of every, and I mean every, kind. My guests included people devastated by tragedy, or betrayal, or deep disappointment. Angry people and people who held grudges. People full of regret and guilt, shame and fear. People doing everything in their power to numb their unhappiness but waking up each day unhappy anyway.

    I also witnessed abundant happiness. People who had found love and friendship. People using their talents and abilities to do good things. People who reaped the rewards of selflessness and giving, including one person who’d even donated a kidney to a stranger he’d recently met. People with a spiritual side that brought richer meaning to their lives. People who’d been given a second chance.

    Where the audience was concerned, the unhappy guests generally provoked empathy; the happy ones, admiration (and maybe a twinge of wistful envy). And then there was a third category of guest that audiences didn’t know what to make of but were genuinely inspired by: people who had every reason to be unhappy and yet were not. The lemonade-making, silver-linings-finding, bright- side-looking glass-half-fullers. The Mattie Stepaneks, is how I came to think of them—Mattie Stepanek being the boy who had a rare and fatal form of muscular dystrophy called dysautonomic mito- chondrial myopathy, yet managed to find peace in all things and play after every storm. He wrote lovely poetry, was wise beyond his years, and was the first guest I ever befriended beyond the show. I used to call him my angel guy.

    How could a boy with a fatal disease be as happy as Mattie was? Same with the mother who was full of peace and purpose and ac- tual joy even as she was preparing to die, recording hundreds of voice tapes for her then-six-year-old daughter about how to live. And the Zimbabwean woman who was married at age eleven, beaten daily, yet instead of giving in to despair, maintained hope, set secret goals, and eventually achieved them—including earning a PhD.
    How could these people even get out of bed in the morning, let alone be such rays of light? How did they do it? Were they born that way? Was there a secret or pattern of development the rest of the world should know? Because trust me, if there was such a thing, the world would definitely want to know. In my twenty-five years of doing the show, if there was one thing almost everyone in every audience had in common, it was the desire to be happy. As I’ve said before, after every show I’d chat with the audience, and I al- ways asked what they most wanted in life. To be happy, they’d say. Just to be happy. Just happiness.
    Except, as I’ve also said before, when I asked what happiness was, people suddenly weren’t sure. They’d hem and haw and finally say “losing X number of pounds” or “having enough money to pay my bills” or “my kids—I just want my kids to be happy.” So they had goals, or wishes, but they couldn’t articulate what happiness looked like. Seldom did anyone have a real answer.

    This book has the answer, because Arthur Brooks has studied and researched and lived the answer.

    I first came across Arthur through his column in The Atlantic,
    “How to Build a Life.” I started reading it during the pandemic and it quickly became something I looked forward to every week because it was all about what I’ve always cared most about: living a life with purpose...
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  • AudioFile Magazine The Harvard leadership professor and happiness scholar narrates the chapters, and Oprah delivers the introduction, some chapter prefaces, and a concluding segment. Both are beguiling speakers whose resonant clarity and authentic engagement make this material a treat to hear. Together they make these well-known truths about happiness sound fresh: Control what you can control, stay connected to your family and friends, work toward a meaningful purpose, and embrace your position in the spiritual world. Arthur C. Brooks's down-to-earth insights and suggestions are immediately motivating, while Oprah's relaxed authenticity and generous heart validate his message in a way that only she can. What makes their collaboration even more powerful is their audible commitment to these tried-and-true ideas and their love of humanity, which pulses strongly throughout this exceptional audiobook. T.W. © AudioFile 2023, Portland, Maine
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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Build the Life You Want
Build the Life You Want
The Art and Science of Getting Happier
Arthur C. Brooks
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