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Hein Zegers "scientifique du bonheur" (Belgique)

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Outliers: The Story of Success
Outliers: The Story of Success
par Malcolm Gladwell
Edition : Relié
Prix : EUR 17,20

20 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 la science du succès, 17 janvier 2009
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Outliers: The Story of Success (Relié)
Un livre scientifique populaire bien lisible sur le succès.

Outliers, in statistics, are results that are so extreme that they are generally not taken into account in calculations. So extreme that they are literally off the charts. Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers: The Story of Success is about people that experience this kind of extreme success. People like the most succesful hockey and soccer players. People like Bill Gates. Or the Beatles. What is it that makes people so succesful?

First, it is hard work. To become an expert in a field, one needs at least about 10,000 hours of labor. Like an Asian farmer toiling away on his rice paddy field. The proverbial 99% transpiration that comes with the 1% inspiration.

Second, it is lucky circumstances. Sheer luck. Like being born at the beginning of the year instead of at the end (which makes a surprisingly significant difference in your chances of becoming a top hockey player). Or the country you're from. Or the language you've been raised in (English gives you an early math disadvantage of about a year compared to Chinese or Japanese).

In his previous bestseller The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference, Gladwell shows that small initial differences can make for a huge end effect on a society. Also his Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking was about conclusions we all draw from small differences in quick thought processes. In the same way, this book shows how sometimes incredibly small differences can tip somebody towards extreme success.

Small differences also made for the success of Malcolm Gladwell himself. One of the most precious gifts he allegedly got from his father is the memory of "seeing him work at his desk and realizing that he was happy". The same joyous work ethic oozes from the pages of this book.

Gladwell reads like a detective. He brings you science like a professional storyteller. The science, on the other hand, sometimes suffers a bit from this high readability (some conclusions about cultural causes are quite debatable). There are no footnotes in this book, but in the back of the publication, each chapter does have a number of notes to back up some of his claims.

This book is definitely an entertaining read. It is also a good way to weapon yourself against the abundance of success stories that sound a tad too good to be a full version of the truth.

Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth
Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth
par Ed Diener
Edition : Relié
Prix : EUR 24,76

1 internaute sur 1 a trouvé ce commentaire utile :
5.0 étoiles sur 5 La science du bonheur, 17 janvier 2009
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth (Relié)
Un livre sur le bonheur, qui est scientifiquement correcte et quand-même bien lisible. Sans doute un classique de la psychologie positive.

Does money buy happiness? Does religion make you happy? What about marriage or children? What are the benefits of happiness? Is happiness genetically determined? Can you be too happy? If you want an easy one-sentence sound bite answer to questions like these, stop reading. If however you are interested in a well-balanced scientific view on the matter, you might want to take a second look at "Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth" by Ed Diener and Robert Biswas-Diener.

This publication is not your regular "10 steps to happiness" self-help book. This 250 pages read oozes with rigorous happiness research. Both authors have a combined happiness research experience of more than half a century. You can feel that they really live and breathe their science instead of just regurgitating article abstracts, and Ed Diener belongs to the happy few that have access to the priceless Gallup World Poll database. So this father-son couple really knows a thing or two about the science of happiness.

Most of the truckloads of happiness books out there try to make you as happy as possible. They embody an "optimizer" view on happiness. This publication is different. It is OK to be, say, quite happy without incessantly jumping around for joy. This book takes a "satisfyer" stance on the subject. Now it happens that research by Barry Schwartz shows that satisfyers eventually end up happier. So by not hardselling you happiness, this book might really make you happier eventually.

For a scientific book, this work is quite easy to digest. Academics might regret the lack of footnotes in the text, but many researchers are fairly mentioned by name. On the other hand, not every reader might want to know the details about the tattoos on the authors' body parts, or about how to cook a delicious bowl of cockroaches. But these parts make the book an entertaining read, occasionally bubbling with humour, which might offer you some extra fleeting moments of, well, happiness.

If you've never read a book about happiness, this one is definitely a good start. If your bookshelf shows off "Stumbling on Happiness" by Dan Gilbert or "The How of Happiness" by Sonja Lyubomirsky, just to mention a few, this one should be in your collection. And if you're looking for something to insert between your "Handbook of Positive Psychology" and your "Positive Psychology in a Nutshell", this one might perfectly do the job.

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