Most people now realise that economic growth, however desirable, will not solve all our problems. Instead, we need a philosophy and a science which encompasses a much fuller range of human need and experience.
This book argues that the goal for a society must be the greatest possible all round happiness, and shows how each of us can become more effective creators of happiness, both as citizens and in our own organisations.
Written with Richard Layard's characteristic clarity, it provides hard evidence that increasing happiness is the right aim, and that it can be achieved. Its language is simple, its evidence impressive, its effect inspiring.
Layard (Happiness), founder and former director of the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics, argues in this refreshing work that the secret to a happy life is working toward a collectively happy world. Layard begins by arguing that the individualistic tendencies of the 21st century have led individuals astray. He believes that self-betterment specifically through one's mental health only goes so far; individuals who prove to be the happiest, he argues, live and work for the service of others. He presents many studies and surveys to back up his claims, showing increases in stress, materialism, and individualistic feelings across Western societies. Layard goes on to consider such occupations as teachers, health professionals, technologists, and public servants to explore what he sees as the most crucial, connective parts of society: "Together we can build a happier society. But each of us will have to contribute in our own way." With scientific research and moral justifications to back his claims, Layard provides sound reasoning and loud cheerleading for living a life of service.