In What Are You Willing to Give Up for Happiness? author Shohreh Rostami Aftahi shares her personal quest for self-betterment through family experiences and brief stories from her work as, presumably, a job coach, although she never clearly identifies herself as such. Using real-life examples, she shows why it is best to encourage others to “own” their behavior, rather than trying to force them to change.
Instructive anecdotes pepper the narrative. For instance, when Aftahi lets her son eat ice cream for dinner after talking him through the probable outcome, he finds out the hard way why skipping a meal might not be such a good idea. And when a dismissive, rebellious corporate team member fails to live up to his potential, she gently helps him acknowledge his actions instead of calling him out on it. Her comments on letting go of judgment—“judgmental people are the unhappiest of all,” she writes —are particularly insightful, reminding us that haughty attitudes stem from feelings of powerlessness. Likewise, her take on achieving balance and relinquishing control reminds us that we should all try to do the same. “We must be focused to do our best at all times,” she says, “but surrender to what the universe puts before us.”
Aftahi’s tone is professional, and her advice makes for a quick and interesting read. But at 52 pages, What Are You Willing to Give Up for Happiness? feels more like a booklet than a thorough how-to. It would have been useful to hear more about her career path, professional qualifications (only halfway through the book does she mention her MBA and PhD, with no details) and how she learned to detach in times of conflict.
Still, What Are You Willing to Give Up for Happiness? serves as a great little guidebook for corporate employees and other readers, who will undoubtedly welcome her ideas on how to handle relationships at work and at home.
Also available in hardcover and paperback.