“Why Being Happy Matters” presents interviews with people in the U.S., Canada, Asia, Europe and Australia, each of whom reveal to the author what happiness means to them and why it matters. Readers also meet international Ph.Ds. who are actively studying the science of positive psychology.
The book features Peter Jennings in conversation with 37 intriguing individuals from around the world. These include John Robbins, heir of the Baskin Robbins empire (who tells Peter about turning down his inheritance and then losing his life's savings in the Bernie Madoff scandal, but still exhibiting a positive outlook of happy perseverance to life’s reversals); Roko Belic, California-based Oscar-nominated director of the award-winning film “Happy”; Dr. Christine Carter, sociologist and positive psychology specialist at Berkeley University (“Peter, you’re a happiness expert”); Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell (who shared with Peter the joy he gets from working with his buddy former President Jimmy Carter on key environmental issues); Major League Baseball legend Shawn Green; celebrated super-model & businesswoman Monika Schnarre; Time magazine humour columnist Joel Stein; 84 year old Playboy cartoonist Doug Sneyd; Leo Bormans from Belgium, author of the respected "World Book of Happiness"(who explains what lies behind his discussions with global experts); and much more.
“Happiness is booming!” says Jennings. “Magazines like Live Happy are flourishing and researchers are revealing dramatic truths: people who are happy earn more money, make better decisions, enjoy higher levels of trust, negotiate better, perform better, have more self-confidence and maintain better relationships. And yet, we see North Americans doing a poor job of capitalizing on happiness compared to global counterparts. This needs to change, and in the book I outline ways to do just that.”
“Why Being Happy Matters” introduces individuals who are confronting the same life challenges all of us do. Some of them are hard-wired “happy campers". Others have to work at getting to their state of joy, often rising from periods of despondency or real-life tragic events. But each has accepted that they have options on how to optimize their lives by choosing to integrate happiness into their daily existence.
"My goal with Why Being Happy Matters is to inspire readers," says Jennings. “Presenting enlightening discussions with credible individuals who have discovered the secret to being genuinely happy is so relevant right now in a world that’s straining under unhappy stress. We need to listen to people worldwide from all walks of life, from all socio-economic levels, from varied age groups who refuse to let the world get them down. The common theme that links them: they flourish. They’ve developed the talent and ability to be happy in unhappy times. They've harnessed the power of joy."
The book also reveals “Seven Steps to Happiness” outlined to Jennings by Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar from Israel whose lectures on how to live a happy life have become the largest and most popular classes at Harvard University. “Everyone can become happier,” Ben-Shahar says. “A person who is happy can become happier, and a person who is depressed can become happier. We do hold the power to change our lives.”
As well, Jennings shares his “Happiness Breakthroughs”, conclusions that he himself came to while compiling the book. Readers will come away with reinforced optimism, recognizing that the key to contentment is powerful. They’ll also discover how to introduce happiness into their own lives or enhance what’s already there.
“Happiness is an advantage available to all of us,” says the author, an accomplished interviewer based on his TV show "Be My Guest". "But you need to know how to mobilize it. When you do, you’ll find it’s truly a game changer, one that can intensify your life with joy and real contentedness.”
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About the Author
Peter is an author of non-fiction and fiction books, as well as a Keynote Speaker, TV Host and singer. He lives on a lake in Muskoka, Ontario, Canada (2 hours north of Toronto) where his family has been cottaging for six generations). Peter spent his career in corporate communications in Toronto running agencies handling marketing, advertising, branding, public relations and production of multimedia content, including websites and social media elements. Clients included hundreds of top-ranked businesses of all types and sizes, from McDonald’s, Procter & Gamble, Royal Bank, IBM, Coca-Cola, etc. to niche start-ups. Following education at Upper Canada College (where he wrote and produced two ground breaking feature-length films), his longstanding communications zeal was crystallized while attending Trinity College, University of Toronto, when he joined the campus radio station. This led to stints in on-air production and management at professional radio stations where he sharpened his keen sense of timing, audience response, communications innovation and production efficiency. Next, he took on creative, production and management roles as Vice President & General Manager at media companies owned by Rogers and Southam. Anticipating an entrepreneurial future, Peter assumed the role of Senior Producer at IBM Canada, thereby broadening his business skills and achieving greater exposure to U.S. and international markets. Following this, he formed his own agency to offer full-service marketing, advertising and branding expertise. Peter has been a Guest Lecturer on marketing at Centennial College in Toronto and at the Government of Ontario’s Self Employment Assistance Program (where he was voted 9 out of 10 for effective teaching by the students). He has served on the Boards of several charities, as well as chairing Boards, and provides pro bono marketing expertise to various charities. He also mentors members of his community who seek advice. In his leisure time, Peter can be found relaxing at his log home on Lake Rosseau. A keen observer and chronicler of life's adventures, he has a passionate interest in family, writing, singing and interviewing interesting people (on his television series “Be My Guest” which features conversations with such personalities as Lloyd Robertson, Paula Todd, Terry Fallis, Maureen Taylor, Moses Znaimer, etc.). His days also include great jazz, fine films, challenging golf (that is, challenging for Peter to score below 90!), relaxed swimming, enjoyable travel and spirited conversations with good friends while cruising the gentle lake in the lovely 1909 mahogany launch "Ruth".