The Happiness Formula: A Scientific, Groundbreaking Approach to Happiness and Personal Fulfillment

Health Communications. Mar. 2024. 224p. ISBN 9780757325083. pap. $15.95. SELF-HELP
Happiness coach and author Obayuwana (The Five Sources of Human Hope) outlines his development of a personal happiness index (PHI) and the theory of choosing hope over despair as the key first step to a life of happiness. Much of the advice in this book can be found in different wording in other books (for example, have gratitude, lead some kind of spiritual life, etc.). The book’s first half is appealing in its acknowledgment that sometimes this personal growth is easier said than done and that this advice and how one meets it is not one size fits all. The tone is encouraging, and there are several suggestions in each section for ways to get started. Ultimately, the “formula” part in the book’s second half becomes overwhelming. Quizzes for testing PHI, a chapter on determining the “AIM” or life’s purpose, and concepts such as “post-tragedy therapeutic square space” and “SORKS analysis” begin to bog down the positive advice.
VERDICT Obayuwana notes that this book’s original title was the Mathematics of Happiness but it was changed owing to concerns that this might turn some people off, so perhaps readers who enjoy working with formulas would find his approach helpful.
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