Summary and book reviews of The Art of Happiness at Work by His Holiness The Dalai Lama

The Art of Happiness at Work

By His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Howard C. Cutler, M.D.

The Art of Happiness at Work
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  • Hardcover: Aug 2003,
    224 pages.
    Paperback: Sep 2004,
    224 pages.

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Book Summary

From the authors who brought you the million-copy bestseller The Art of Happiness comes an exploration of job, career, and finding the ultimate happiness at work.

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:

  • Survival: focus on salary, stability, food and clothing
  • Career: focus on advancement
  • Calling: focus on work as a higher purpose

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.

Chapter 1
Transforming Dissatisfaction At Work

It had been a long day for the Dalai Lama. Even by the time he had eaten his meager breakfast of tsampa and tea at 7:30 a.m., he had already been up for four hours, completing his rigorous daily regimen of prayer, study, and meditation. After breakfast he began his usual workday, and that day there was a full line-up: meeting with one person after another, he saw an Indian government liaison officer, the head lama of one of the ancient lineages of Tibetan Buddhism, the president of a member republic of the Russian Federation, a high official in the Tibetan government-in-exile, and various members of his private office staff. And scheduled among these private meetings, I watched with admiration as he met with a group of newly arrived Tibetan refugees. They had made the arduous journey across the Himalayas by any means of conveyance they could find, lucky if they could afford a ride on an antediluvian bus, but more likely to have caught...

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Reviews

Media Reviews
Publishers Weekly

... if people do as [The Dalai Lama suggests] they learn to see themselves impartially and to analyze their work in light of how many people it touches--they will begin to see....that the highest purpose of work and, indeed, of life is the helping of others.

Reader Reviews
Thanh Ha

Be free
For the sake of happiness to all. This book must be free so that everyone can read. Buddha himself gives sermons free for all.

Francis

This book really opened my eyes! Cheers for writing it.

junelle Augustin

This is an excellent book. It is a must for every working individual.

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