It spent nearly two years on the New York Times bestseller list and has sold well over a million copies in hardcover.Read more...
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It spent nearly two years on the New York Times bestseller list and has sold well over a million copies in hardcover. It remains, five years later, in its original hardcover edition. It was the book by the Dalai Lama that broke new ground, that made him accessible to a larger audience, spreading his words of wisdom and message of inner peace that captured the imagination of America. His Holiness the Dalai Lama, for the first time since that revolutionary book, has once again teamed up with psychiatrist Howard Cutler to resume the discussion about what makes life meaningful begun in The Art of Happiness.
Over the past several years, Howard Cutler has continued his conversations with the Dalai Lama, asking him the questions we all want answered about how to find happiness in the place we spend most of our time. Work-whether it's in the home or at an office-is what mostly runs our lives. We depend on it to eat, to clothe and shelter ourselves, and to take care of our families. Once again, Dr. Cutler brings forward seminal studies and asks the Dalai Lama to respond. Beginning with a direct correlation between productivity and happiness, Dr. Cutler questions His Holiness about the nature of work. In psychiatry and according to the Dalai Lama, our motivation for working determines our level of satisfaction. The book explores these three levels of focus:
Cutler probes the Dalai Lama's wisdom by posing these questions: How does the relationship between our personal values and those of our employers affect happiness? What is the relationship between self-awareness and work? What are the main sources of dissatisfaction and how can we cope with them? How do we deal with conflicts with coworkers and bosses? How do we deal with jealousy, anger, or hostility at work? How does the lack of freedom affect our levels of happiness? How do we deal with boredom or lack of challenge? Unfair criticism? Overly demanding or taxing situations? Job change and unemployment?
Once again, Cutler walks us through the Dalai Lama's reasoning so that we know how to apply the wisdom to daily life. This is an invaluable source of strength and peace for anyone who earns a living.
Dalai Lama on the job
Dr. Howard Cutler and His Holiness the Dalai Lama first teamed up in 1998 to write The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living. Millions snatched up the instruction manual for inner development. Now they've teamed up again to apply those principles to one of the biggest sources of stress and anxiety: work.
Cutler began his series of conversations about money, careers and coworker conflicts by asking the Dalai Lama to define his job. The answer was surprising: "Nothing. I do nothing." Pressed further, the Dalai Lama answered, "I just look after myself, just take care of myself." The exiled monk's busy schedule would indicate otherwise, but that serene, simple attitude is at the heart of the new collaboration, The Art of Happiness at Work.
More a story than a business text, the book discusses relevant issues like dissatisfaction at work, dealing with the "human factor" and finding the right balance of challenge and boredom. Don't be fooled; training the mind, changing your outlook on life and cultivating a wider perspective are tough human endeavors. But don't let that stop you from treating stressed-out friends to this helpful roadmap for finding peace at work.
Stephanie Swilley is studying for her M.B.A. at Vanderbilt University's Owen School of Management.