Thursday, July 02, 2009

Non-Fiction: The Pursuit of Perfect by Tal Ben-Shahar

If, in the course of reading a towering stack of books intended to make you perform better, faster and stronger you discover you have pushed yourself too close to perfection, then The Pursuit of Perfect (McGraw Hill) may well be the book for you.

After a decade of teaching Happiness classes at Harvard (one gets the idea of a class of grad students sitting around blowing bubbles, but I don’t think that’s it) author, philosopher and psychologist Tal Ben-Shahar came to understand that most people aspire to more than mere happiness. Whether or not they realized it, people wanted perfection in their lives.

The result should be obvious (but does not seem to be until it is pointed out). If you crave and search for perfection, you will inevitably be disappointed -- both in yourself and the world around you. If you need perfection in your life, you’ve failed before you get out of the gate. The Pursuit of Perfect is the answer to that discovery, with Ben-Shahar guiding you through the idea of looking for attainable self-fulfillment rather than setting unrealistic goals that can’t fail to do anything but disappoint.

In addition to teaching the topic at Harvard, Ben Shahar is the author of the bestselling Happiness, so he knows this topic from many angles. He writes engagingly and is an accomplished thinker who says much that is worthy of attention. The Pursuit of Perfect is a must-read for the overachiever in your life.

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