The very things most people chase — control, ownership and independence — are making them unhappy. To be happy, Richard Eyre writes in "The Happiness Paradox," each person must shift to a happiness paradigm in which the these three "joy thieves" are traded for three "joy rescuers." To embrace this new paradigm will bring true happiness.
"The Happiness Paradox" is thought-provoking, engaging and well-written. Readers will appreciate Eyre's use of a wide variety religious and philosophical authorities — there is truly something for everyone in this book. The message resonates in today's workaholic culture that rewards hard work and stress with, well, more hard work and stress.
Interestingly enough, Eyre points out most of his own book's flaws. It is overly repetitive, rehashing a handful of principles over and over throughout the 192 pages. He overstates his points, first calling certain qualities "joy thieves" to be eschewed then describing them as "stepping stones" to be carefully embraced. While not a bad book, "The Happiness Paradox," is just a little too gimmicky — a confusing flip format (which side to start on?), "joy thieves" necessary for a stable life and "joy rescuers" that do not quite hit the mark.
The book shines at its most down-to-earth and practical moments. Eyre's personal anecdotes are meaningful and relatable, a welcome anchor in a mostly abstract book. Eyre accurately describes his anti-planner as ironically controlling considering his philosophy of flexibility, but the idea is a great one all the same.Comment on this story
Eyre and his wife, Linda, are public speakers and authors on parenting, families and life balance. One of their books, "Teaching Children Values," was in the top spot on a New York Times best-sellers list, and they have also appeared on "Oprah," the "CBS Early Show," "Good Morning America" and the "Today" show. The Eyres have spoken in many countries and publish ideas and guidance for families on their website ValuesParenting.com. They are the parents of nine children and 31 grandchildren.